RAID storage in a portable bus powered unit for video work

by planetMitch5 Comments

This just came across my desk – and there are more and more storage options coming online these days – I especially like to see the ones that can be ‘bus powered' (meaning they don't need a power brick and can run from the power in your computer). This setup from Other World Computing (OWC®) has been certified for video capture and playback without dropping frames plus has built in RAID capabilities making for more peace of mind that drive failure won't lose your work. Of course, you'll still need backups as nobody should ever trust a single unit for important work!

I'm currently using a couple of 500gb bus powered drives and really enjoy their portability with my laptop (and they always seem to be full! HA).

I'm guessing there are other similar units out there (but I admit I haven't done any extensive searching) but I love the name “Other World Computing” since it is very ‘planetary' HA!

OWC Mercury Elite Pro™ Dual mini

OWC Mercury Elite Pro™ Dual mini

Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini Portable Drive

Other World Computing Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini Portable Drive Test Certified for High-Definition Video Capture and Playback

High-Performance, Bus-Powered RAID Solution with Dual 2.5-Inch Drives Offers Up to 2TB of Portable Storage/Backup Capacity Built to Handle Demanding Needs of Video Editing and Creative Professionals

February 20, 2013, Woodstock, IL – Other World Computing (OWC®), a leading zero emissions Mac® and PC technology company, announced today it has test certified the OWC Mercury Elite Pro™ Dual mini, a high-performance bus-powered RAID storage solution for video capture and playback without dropping frames in the most popular compressed high definition video file formats including HDV, DVC Pro, and ProRes 422HQ. Available with two 2.5″ 7200RPM hard drives or OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs configured either in a RAID-1 “mirrored” or RAID-0 “stripe” mode, the test certified Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini models offers video and creative professionals Plug and Play storage capacity up to 2TB and data transfer speeds up to 300MB/s with Mac and PC computers.

Big Capacity in Easy-to-Transport Design
Measuring the approximate size of a portable CD player – 5.6″ (D) x 6.1″ (W) x 1.1″ (H) – the bus-powered (no AC adapter needed) Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini’s unique flat side-by-side two-drive design enables it to fit into any gear carrying bag for maximum “in-the-field” data protection of content transferred from video cameras. Packing a pair of 2.5″ SATA hard drives with up to 2.0TB of capacity or two award-winning OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs with up to 1TB (960GB after over-provisioning) of total capacity, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini delivers big storage performance in an under two pound, fanless solution.

Convenient Yet Flexible Hardware RAID Settings
The Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini comes conveniently factory set for Plug and Play use in one of two RAID levels: RAID-1 for writing the same information in real-time for “live activity” data redundancy; or RAID-0 for “striping” data across both drives for the highest speed backup. Users who desire a change to either RAID level setting, including the SPAN option, can do so easily via switch selectors.

Compatible with New and Legacy Macs and PCs
With a “Quad Interface” of two FireWire 800 ports, one FireWire 400, one USB 2.0, and one eSATA port and high-quality connecting cables included, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini doesn’t require any complicated set-up and is ready for Plug and Play use with legacy Macs, the latest 2013 Mac models and PCs. It provides data transfer speeds up to 300MB/s and can be moved between different systems utilizing its supported interfaces with complete interoperability for maximum data backup performance and flexibility.

Six Test-Certified Models Available:

• 1.0TB (500GB+500GB 7200RPM) OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini pre-configured as RAID-0 or RAID-1 and FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA interfaces. $219.99

• 1.5TB (750GB+750GB 7200RPM) OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini pre-configured as RAID-0 or RAID-1 and FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA interfaces. $229.99

• 2.0TB (1.0TB+1.0TB 7200RPM) OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini preconfigured as RAID-0 or RAID-1 and FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA interfaces. $279.99

• OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini with two 240GB, 480GB, or 960GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSDs priced starting at $337.99

In addition to the HD video test-certified models, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini is also available in 5400RPM hard drive models that are suitable for audio, photography, video playback and other data storage needs. All Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini solutions come ready for Plug and Play ease of use with interface connecting cables, a $100 retail value disk utility software bundle, and an industry leading three-year complete solution warranty which includes free lifetime US-based 24/7 technical support and a 8-hour repair turnaround time with up to one year of complimentary Level 1 data recovery service.

For more information on the complete OWC Storage Solution line, visit:

“We’re very pleased to offer these proven solutions that meet the specific needs of video professionals,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “Compact, yet built to handle rugged use, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini portable drive offers the industry’s best combination of capacity, speed, and convenience.”

About Other World Computing (OWC)
Other World Computing has been providing quality hardware products and support to the computer industry since 1988 and features one of the largest online catalogs of computer, iPod®, iPhone®, and iPad® enhancement products through its e-commerce portal As a member of the Apple Developer Program, OWC also provides extensive US-based technical support for Macintosh® users around the world as well as Internet access via and

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(cover photo credit: snap from the announcement)


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  1. Hey there Mitch!

    I’ve had a couple of the dual 500GB drives in use here for about a year and a half now. They can be 1TB in RAID 0 or span mode but I run them in RAID 1.

    My primary use is to dump footage cards on location. I can get effectively 2 copies in the transfer time of just one. This helps a lot when shooting multiple cameras and there are lots of cards to dump, yet offers a measure of redundancy.

    Obviously, as soon as possible, an additional copy of the footage is made.

    Bus power: Even though there are two drives in there, my older 2010 Macbook Pro would spin them up just fine over firewire 800. In fact, in a pinch it could run two (4 drives!), But I bought the AC adapters anyway and plug them in when I can.

    Now that I’ve got a Retina Macbook Pro, and am using the Thunderbolt to FW800 adapter, I find there isn’t as much power available on the bus. Just enough to spin up a single drive, but not enough for even one of these units. That makes the external power adapters mandatory on these new Macbook Pros. I suppose an enterprising person could find a way to get battery power into those DC ports for portability though.

    Anyway still love these drives, they are very well built and useful.

    1. Unfortunately, Thunderbolt only provides 10W of power which is only good enough to probably power a single drive. You’ll have to use the second FIREWIRE 800 port to provide more power. Firewire provides 45 watts of power per port. The Elite Pro has 3 Firewire ports. That’s enough to power up to 4 drives at once.

      EDIT: I just took a look at Apple’s website and noticed that with the Retina MacPros, Apple completely got rid of Firewire. Sad. Not everyone can afford Thunderbolt technology/drives. What a bummer.

  2. Although I agree that a RAID drive is great from a practical standpoint, I question the need, knowing there are some great off-site services such as Crash Plan allowing one to invest in a great standard drive. Also unfortunately OWC RAID drives fall way short from a quality standpoint. Personally my OWC RAID failed 4x in 3 years!

    1. Warren. It all depends on how you use it. Working as a post production graphic designer and editor, having a raid system running RAID 0 is a blessing. We have a secondary back-up system so security on the RAID system isn’t our primary concern. I ordered a bare Mercury Elite Pro for personal use and will be installing 2 SSD drives running in RAID 0 configuration. Looking forward to this.

  3. Technology is so advanced today that we as consumers have the privilege of a very vast collection of data storage solutions readily available from retailers all across the globe. Competitors within the information technology industry are contending against one another to provide consumers with the advantage of having a huge range of products right under their noses. All they need to do is to perform some research in order to get the best choice for their needs. Different specifications provide different power; hence a little read-up would help.

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