OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini RAID the perfect external HDD for new MacBooks

If you have a new MacBook Pro and, like me, don’t want all your info stored only “in the cloud,” the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini RAID is a great solution for expanding your available local storage.

It’s a traditional hard disk drive, not a solid state drive (though the OWC products are also available in SSD configurations), but you get good bang for your buck. A 1TB OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini RAID costs US$228.99, the 2TB version (which I tested) is $268.99, and the 4TB model is $329.99. Compare those prices to the $1,200 Apple wants to expand a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to a 2TB PCIe-based SSD.

The OWC HDD is ready for demanding mobile workflows. This bus-powered unit (no driver required) comes with a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connection, designed with the latest MacBooks and MacBook Pros in mind. Running at 7200RPM, it’s plenty fast and spacious enough to serve as the home to my large iTunes library of music and movies.

The Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini offers user selectable modes RAID 0 and RAID 1. You can choose the configuration that best suits your needs. In RAID 0 (which I use), you get data transfer speeds up to 738MB/second. Or you can select RAID 1 for greater data redundancy from mirrored disks.

The Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini is housed in a rugged aluminum chassis. The folks at OWC say it’s “designed for near silent fanless" cooling and operation. However, sometimes I can hear it softly humming in the background. That’s not a big deal for me, but I know folks who simply must have totally silent HDDs. 

The Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini is backed by a three-year limited warranty and 24/7 customer support. It comes with Prosoft Engineering Data Backup 3, a very handy tool and a $59 value.

I’ve tried various external drives for use with my 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, but this is my favorite. Though I do sorta wish it came in a space gray version to match the laptop (the OWC comes in silver.).