An easy removal of four Allen head screws and the case splits apart. The PCB itself is not held by screws or fasteners and thus is easily removed.
On one side we find eight of the sixteen total NAND modules. One thing that we don’t like to see is the bridge wire soldered on the left side of the drive. We usually run across this on engineering samples, but not on retail drives. OWC has said media reviewer concern over this is undue/unfounded and wrong. The next batch of these drives come in next week and they will incorporate the trace circuit on the PCB instead of the external wire trace. We are happy to hear this as that is the proper way. Both ways work, but we’d like the wire traces to be in the PCB where they belong.
OWC is very proud to say that they only use “Tier 1/Grade A” NAND flash memory in their drives. In fact, they have a detailed blog article discussing this in comparison to some competitors which we’ll touch on again later. The Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G uses Micron branded 25nm asynchronous NAND with each being 8 GB in density.
On the other side lies the remaining NAND modules along with the SandForce controller. As with all other SandForce based drives, there’s no cache.
As we’ve seen, the newest generation of consumer SandForce SF-2200 controllers are beasts. They rely heavily on real-time data compression to reach peak performance and utilize their proprietary DuraClass technology to handle the compression, wear-leveling, error correction, and all the other duties required for efficient operation such as idle garbage collection and TRIM. OWC cleared up some misconceptions that the drive uses a 16 channel die which they had incorrectly published. Let’s see how this thing runs.