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Review: OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure

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OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure

OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure

Courtesy of Other World Computing

The Bottom Line

Aside from a mouthful of a product name, the OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure is one of the better quality dual drive enclosures available in its budget-friendly price range. It lacks multiple external interfaces, but it makes up for this with the simplicity and reliability of its eSATA/SATA interface.

If you need a well-built, reliable dual drive external enclosure, and you have added eSATA interfaces to your Mac, this enclosure should be on your short list.

Pros

  • Dual drive enclosure
  • Dual eSATA external interface
  • Dual SATA internal interface
  • Supports any SATA interface speed (1.5G, 3G, 6G, Etc.)
  • Can be used for external RAID array

Cons

  • RAID usage requires software
  • External power supply (power brick)
  • No USB or FireWire interface
  • Awkwardly long product name

Description

  • Two-bay external hard drive enclosure
  • Two SATA internal interfaces
  • Two eSATA external interfaces
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Single tool (Philips screwdriver) needed for installation
  • Case size: 9 x 2.8 x 5.8 inches

Guide Review - Review: OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure

The OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure is simplicity at its best. Forgoing the electronics needed to create multiple external or internal interfaces results in a highly reliable enclosure whose only potential points of failure are a small, replaceable fan or an external power brick. For all practical purposes, you can think of this enclosure as just an additional drive bay connected to your Mac.

Of course, for some that’s the rub. The tradeoff for the enclosure’s very reasonable price tag is its use of eSATA for its external interface. If you have a Mac Pro, adding an eSATA interface is fairly simple. You can add a SATA card with external ports or, for an even less expensive option, you can just add an eSATA bracket and use the two unused SATA ports built into your Mac Pro. If you don’t have a Mac Pro, you still have eSATA options. Thunderbolt equipped Macs can make use of an external Thunderbolt expansion chassis such as the Mercury Helios PCIe Thunderbolt system.

The OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure doesn’t come with any hard drives, so you’ll need to install your own SATA drives. Installation is straightforward. The enclosure uses each drive’s side mounting points. While the mounting system is easy, to use a smaller 2.5-inch or 1.8-inch drive, an adapter bracket would be necessary.

In use, the OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure is quiet. It has a small fan, but its noise is hardly noticeable in a typical office or home environment. More pronounced is drive access noise, which varies depending on the brand and model of the hard drives you install.

We’ve been using the OWC Mercury Elite Pro-AL Dual SATA Drive Enclosure on a daily basis for a few years. It has performed well during that time, with no problems.

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