Apricorn Velocity Solo X2 review

The Apricorn Velocity Solo X2 PCIe X2 card can add a solid-state drive to your Mac Pro, even if all your drive bays are full.

If you’re still rocking the Apple Mac Pro because the Xeon(s) in it are more useful to you than the Core i7 in a new iMac, then you may want to add an SSD to keep your system feeling speedy. The Apricorn Velocity Solo X2 ($99 list) can add a speedy SSD to your Mac Pro or other tower PC, plus you won’t have to use a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch drive bay bracket. It’s got a large appeal to a limited group of computer users, the very definition of a niche product.

Features
So you’ve maxed out the four drive bays in your Mac Pro with hard drives, or you’ve filled the internal SATA ports on your PC. You don’t want to remove any of the installed drives, because maybe you’ve set them up together in a RAID configuration, or simply have data capacity you can’t lose. What now? The Apricorn Velocity Solo X2 can be used to add a 2.5-inch drive plus another SATA 2.5/3.5-inch drive in a matter of minutes. It’s a PCIe X2 card that fits on your motherboard in any PCIe X4 card slot or larger. That is, it can even fit in a PCIe X16 slot if that’s the only one free.

Simply clip the 2.5-inch SSD (or hard drive) into the Velocity Solo X2′s SATA port, screw the drive in with the included screws, and pop the card into your PC or Mac Pro’s free PCIe slot. If you’ve never installed a PCIe card in your system, you may need someone looking over your shoulder. If you’re an IT guy, it’ll take five minutes. The drive comes up instantly when you boot the system back up, and the OS will ask you to format the drive. We used an OCZ Vertex 4 128GB drive for our test install, but you can use drives like the Seagate Momentus XT or Samsung SSD 830 Series (256GB) as well.

Once installed, you can use the drive as a scratch drive for your graphics programs like Adobe Premiere Pro or Photoshop, but you can also use the drive to install your OS and applications for an added boost of speed. The drive acts like any other hard drive you have connected to one of your motherboard’s SATA ports.

Performance
Using the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB, we were able to get a stellar 451 MBps read and 437 MBps write speed on our AJA System test. This means that the combo of the Vertex drive and the Velocity Solo will certainly be a great tool for HD video editing. We also were able to get a blazing 10 second transfer on our drag and drop test. These speeds were faster than the external LaCie Little Big Disk 240GB SSD (Thunderbolt). This mean you won’t have to feel jealous of your colleagues with their Thunderbolt-equipped iMacs.

Like the Apricorn Mac Array, the Velocity Solo X2 is an accessory that’s made to extend the life of your Apple Mac Pro or other PCIe-equipped tower PC. Think of it as a product to help you speed up your already speedy system.

COMPARISON TABLE
Compare the Buffalo MiniStation Cobalt USB 3.0 with several other hard drive side by side.

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Specifications
System Type Desktop
Type Internal
Ports PCIe

Verdict
If you're still rocking a fully tricked out Apple Mac Pro and are jealous of new users with SSD drives, then the Apricorn Velocity Solo X2 PCIe X2 card can help you out.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc