OWC has released SSD upgrades suitable for Apple's MacBook Air (our 2011 review). The SSDs are branded as Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G and come in capacities of 120GB and 240GB. OWC claims speeds of up to 507MB/s read and 454MB/s write, which is about twice as fast as what the Samsung SSD used in some MBAs provides. The SSD controller is the same as found in OWC's Mercury 6G SSDs: SF-2281. Prices are $350 and $600 respectively and they ship in 24 hours. 

In January, OWC released Mercury Aura Pro Express 3G series for 2010 MacBook Airs so this announcement is a logical follow-up of that. The SATA interface in 2011 MBAs is 6Gb/s, but Apple is using 3Gb/s SSDs. Hence OWC's Aura 6G SSD should guarantee a healthy performance boost in disk intensive tasks, although the difference will most likely be negligible in everyday operations. For most people, there is no reason to upgrade the SSD but in case you have for example the base 11" with 64GB SSD and more space is needed, OWC's offerings might come handy. There are no other SSDs suitable for 2010-2011 MBAs, unless you find an original part on eBay. 

Source: OWC

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  • Paul Tarnowski - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    Bring the dedicated SSD slot to the desktop motherboard with a controller that can handle the full speed. Could be similar to the way DIMMs are handled today, including a 128 bit bus.

    I can see it on enthusiast boards. It would definitely help bring down the price of SSDs.
  • rhangman - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    Well there are already boards with mSATA for SSD's.
  • bhigh - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    mSATA is still limited to 3Gbps or 6Gbps. OCZ's HSDL interconnect is a higher bandwidth solution, though probably costs more than a consumer would be willing to pay.

    Most boards already have a slot that can be used for a high-speed SSD though. It's called PCIe.
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    And PCIe comes with a hefty premium. I would say that for 98% of people, any modern SATA 3Gb/s SSD is more than fine. The difference between this and that SSD is negligible in everyday tasks.
  • etamin - Saturday, September 17, 2011 - link

    using a PCIe SSD also eats GPU lanes. This 16x limitation on everything other than X58 (and X79 most likely) is quite frustrating with high end cards.
  • retrospooty - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    and what card exactly requires more than PCIe x16?

  • Toolius - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    Hey guys .. there is a nifty little utility called Trim Enabler for OSX..
    Search for it on google or click on the link below..

    Ultra simple and does exactly what it says it will do.. i currently have 4 SSD's in my Mac Pro mid 2010 model with the Xeon @ 2.8ghz and this saved my SSD's :)
    You can check in system information under the SATA tab and you will see TRIM = ENABLED !! :)
    Cheers and kind regards.
    P.S. Screw you apple for blocking it out for every ssd but yours and yours suck !!!
  • Kristian Vättö - Saturday, September 17, 2011 - link

    You don't really need TRIM with most SSDs due to firmware level garbage collection.

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