OWC ships Mercury Elite Pro Quad four-bay external drive with USB-C connectivity

in General Discussion edited March 2018
Aftermarket Mac upgrade vendor OWC has launched the Mercury Elite Pro Quad, an external hard drive enclosure which connects via USB-C that is capable of offering up to 48 terabytes of RAID storage when all four of its bays are occupied with drives.

OWC Mercury Elite Pro Quad USB C external hard drive enclosure

The Mercury Elite Pro Quad can accept up to four 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard drives, and is capable of transfers of up to 947 megabytes per second over USB 3.1 Gen 2. The USB-C connection allows it to be connected to any USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 port, but it does include a USB-C to USB-A adapter cable to use the older and slower USB connections.

Two versions of the enclosure are offered with different RAID setups using OWC's SoftRAID engine, depending on the Mac user's needs. One is set up with RAID 0 and RAID 1 modes as the "RAID-ready" option, as well as disk certification and drive monitoring, while the other supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 4, RAID 5, and RAID 1+0.

The RAID options are specifically for Mac usage, but Windows users are able to set up simple striped, two-way mirrored, and parity storage spaces in Windows 7 and later operating systems if required.

Housed in a heat-dissipating aluminum enclosure, the storage device is designed to be as silent as possible, with a "whisper-quiet" fan used for cooling and vibration-absorbing feet. To the front is a lock and status indicators for each drive, and the back panel houses the USB Type-C port, an AC power input, a Kensington-compatible lock slot, and the fan.

The enclosure is available on its own as well as with drives at various capacity levels. The enclosure on its own includes a one-year limited warranty, while the versions with drives have a three-year limited warranty and undergo a multi-hour drive "burn-in" procedure to make sure the drives are operating properly before being used to store data.

Where to buy

OWC is selling the Mercury Elite Pro Quad through its MacSales store and via resellers. The enclosure alone is priced at $299.99 for the RAID-ready version, rising to $399.99 for the RAID 5-equipped model, while the versions including drives start from $549.99 for 4 terabytes and rise up to $2,999.99 for the Raid 5 48-terabyte variant. B&H Photo also has the Mercury Elite Pro Quad with drives starting at $548.75 with no tax collected on orders shipped outside New York and New Jersey (Colorado and Vermont residents, see here).


  • Reply 1 of 3
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,773member
    I'd love one as soon as I get the new MacPro 2018 :). Correction, make that several!

    I love SoftRAID, use it 24/7 on a several RAIDs.  OWC have a dizzying array of choices for DIY RAID enclosures now.  I am no way connected or involved with OWC but here is a link to the vast selection of options : https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/External-Enclosures/3.5-Inch-Drives
    edited March 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 3
    I really don't like software RAIDs especially if I'm using it with a laptop.

    Rebuilds require the computer to be on and attached to complete and that can take hours if not days depending on your setup. If you like to hot swap for backups, then it becomes a regular pain. OWC also has Thunderbolt units with the same software RAIDs. I just don't like them, when it's easy enough to find units with the full array of RAID modes in hardware; some have 0/1/5/10 all in the same hardware. Hardware RAIDs in my opinion are more reliable and don't depend on the OS or 3rd party software, which is what SoftRaid is.

    Akito has some really great hardware too. I recently purchase their Thunder3 RAID system and it's amazing. It's Thunderbolt 3 but it works with Thunderbolt 2/1 with an Apple adapter. One cable and I get a hardware RAID 1/0, two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports (hub), two USB 3.1 ports (hub), DisplayPort (monitor), ethernet, laptop power, etc,. for $349. They also have quad bay units, eGPUs units, etc,. Some really amazing equipment.


    I use to buy all my gear from OWC but I think their RAID units has become lackluster and overpriced. They haven't had a lot of competition up until more recently. I had looked at their thunderbolt hubs but by the time I combined a RAID with a HUB, I was looking at double the price and the hub had a lot of ports I didn't need or want anymore. I quit the legacy port club, Thunderbolt/USB-C is the way forward.

    Thunderbolt has really exploded in the PC community too. It's becoming a lot easier to find better choices.
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 3 of 3
    tyancytyancy Posts: 85member
    Beyond my other comment, I recommend the Elite Pro QX2. Costs less, works great, USB3 / ESATA / FW800. Works with current as well as older Macs.
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