Custom graphics card not upgradable, PCIe storage still in doubt
A teardown of the new Mac Pro by upgrade experts Other World Computing will give cause for much celebration among DIY technophiles (who are, ironically, unlikely to be customers of the new workstation) -- the retailer says both the RAM and, more surprisingly, the central CPU unit of the Mac Pro are removable, paving the way to future upgrades. Its also possible that the proprietary connector used for the PCIe-based storage may be upgradable as well.
OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express gets 480GB version
Other World Computing has answered one of the more common calls among MacBook Air owners and has put out a 480GB version of its Mercury Aura Pro Express. The new solid-state drive doubles the storage of its SATA3-based, 6Gbps model line. As with other SSDs, more capacity doesn't mean a sacrifice in speed, and it can deliver as much as 500MB per second in peak transfer speeds.
New 9.5mm height disks allow 1TB expansion
OWC -- Other World Computing -- is adding a 1TB option to its Data Doubler series of MacBook and MacBook Pro expansion sets. Previously, 1TB 2.5-inch disks were 12.5mm in height, preventing them from being used in the Data Doubler bracket, which fits a second hard disk into the internal optical drive bay, replacing the optical drive. With the new 9.5mm height Samsung 1TB disks, spinning at 5400 RPM, the Data Doubler bracket can now expand the original storage by 1TB, allowing 2TB of hard disk capacity across two hard disks, assuming a 1TB disk in the main drive bay, or a 1TB storage disk added to a main-bay SSD operating system disk, balancing storage with speed.
New chipset delivers 300MB per second throughput
Other World Computing (OWC) has added the newest Oxford chipset to its Mercury Elite Pro Mini Quad Interface models. The new Oxford 944SE chipset offers faster data throughput, up to 300MB per second, with reduced power consumption and cooler operation. The aluminum enclosure cases offer a choice of FireWire 800 and 400, USB 2.0 and eSATA. The FireWire ports support daisy-chaining multiple drives, and provide bus-powered operation. The eSATA port can be used with FireWire bus-power as an option. The case is also offered in an add-your-own configuration.
16GB Chips max out at up to 96GB
Other World Computing has launched 16GB RAM chips for Mac Pro 2009 and 2010 models, exceeding factory-shipped maximums by a factor of 1.5x to 3x -- allowing maximums of 48GB or more depending on configuration and available memory slots, with a 12-core 2010 model reaching 96GB of RAM. Kits are available for both 2009 and 2010 models.
Set up allows iOS device mobile access, control
Other World Computing has launched a home theater package centering on Apple's Mac Mini, the OWC Media Center Solution for the 2010 Mac mini. The new service, which was previewed at the Macworld Expo, will preconfigure a 2010 Mac mini with Plex's digital media front-end app, add 4GB of RAM to the machine and bundle a portable Blu-ray burner and an OWC Mercury Pro Qx2 RAID 5 external drive, with either four, eight or 12TB of storage space. Combined with either an Elgato EyeTV Hybrid or HD DVR, the package can record and store Live TV, seek out streaming video via Plex apps, like Netflix, Joost, Hulu, Vimeo and YouTube, and back up DVD and Blu-ray movies for later streaming.
Drive can be had with FireWire 800 or USB 3.0
Other World Computing -- OWC -- has launched 750GB portable hard disk offerings spinning at 7200rpm. The Mac-based hardware sales company is shipping the OWC Mercury On-The-Go Pro drive in four connectivity options, offering the portable cases with USB 2.0, USB 3.0, a combo interface of USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 and a triple interface, with FireWire 800, 400 and USB 2.0. The 750GB hard disk can be purchased for internal installation as well.
OWC Extreme Pro SSD 40GB cracks price barrier
OWC finished the week this afternoon by cracking a price barrier with the Mercury Extreme Pro. The new 40GB hits the $100 price mark but still uses a high-speed SandForce memory controller that should make it the fastest at its price. Read and write speeds can both last as high as 260MB per second, a speed normally reserved for larger capacity but also much more expensive drives.
Brackets install smaller drives in optical bays
Other World Computing has launched new Multi-Mount hard disk mounting kits for Mac Pros and PowerMacs. The new brackets are custom engineered and use hard rubber dampers, reducing noise and vibration, between the bracketed drives and the Mac case. They are made of high-grade aluminum and designed to fit smaller drives into the Mac's spare optical 5.25-inch bays, such as a 3.5-inch drive into a 5.25-inch bay. OWC is launching seven different brackets, with three of the brackets specific to Mac Pros. The two Mac Pro kits come with power and SATA cables. With the kits, users can add a 2.5-inch drive -- or SSD -- to a 3.5-inch bay, or a pair of 2.5- or 3.5-inch drives in a 5.25-inch bay.
Adapter reads 170MB/s, writes 120MB/s, bootable
OWC has launched a new eSATA ExpressCard adapter for MacBooks. The card, which is rated for 3GB/s, is hot swappable and fits flush inside the MacBook frame, making for easy transport within the MacBook. The new card is ACHI compliant, requiring no drivers for any Mac notebook running Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.
Drive burns Blu-ray discs at up to 12X speeds
Other World Computing on Tuesday announced that it is now offering a Mercury Pro external Blu-ray drive with a quad interface. Users can choose between USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, or eSATA connection methods. The company claims the Pioneer BDR-205 can reach burn speeds of up to 12X on Blu-ray discs, 16X with DVDs, 4X on DVD-DL media, and 40X for CDs.
OWC ship new RAM chips
Other World computing has launched new Memory upgrades for Apple iMacs (Early 2008 models) and the 2009 White MacBook 13". The iMac offerings include a new DDR2 800MHz 4GB module and 6GB kit, allowing for a 5GB or 6GB setup that is not available from Apple. The 4GB memory module is $150 and the 6GB combo, which includes both 4GB and 2GB RAM modules, costs $170. OWC also has 2GB and 1GB options at substantially reduced pricing vs. Apple factory charges. The memory sticks carry a lifetime OWC warranty.
OWC ships new drive
OWC today launched a 500GB, 7200RPM version of its Mercury On-The-Go Pro mobile hard disc. The drive reaches peak speeds of 100MBps via FireWire 800 and is available with three connection options, being joined by the earlier FireWire 400 standard and USB 2.0. OWC is also offering a less expensive dual-interface FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 model as well as a low-cost, USB 2.0-only version. The internal drive is a SATA 2.5-inch disc with a 16MB cache.
Other World Computing on Thursday released the Express USB 2.0, a compact enclosure for 2.5-inch SATA I/II hard drives with heights up to 9.5mm. The device is bus powered, eliminating the need for an AC adapter. Both Windows and Mac systems are supported and the package includes a USB connecting cable and carrying sleeve.
OWC USB display adapter
Other World Computing has introduced a USB 2.0 display adapter that can be used to add multiple displays to a PC or Mac. The device plugs into an available USB port, while the displays can be connected via HDMI, DVI or VGA cables. Full 32-bit color is supported, along with resolutions up to 1600 by 1200 pixels. Up to six adapters can be used to clone the primary screen or extend the desktop to six displays.
Guardian MAXimus upgrade
NewerTech has announced an update to its Guardian MAXimus RAID 1 Mirror storage device which provides support for quad-interface connection choices. The device now works with eSATA, FireWire 400, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 interface ports, and offers a new improved energy efficient design that lowers power usage a maximum of 40 percent for high-performance live backup at speeds up to 300MB per second. The MAXimus writes all information in real-time in two separate drives, each with up to 2TB storage capacity, to provide a mirrored copy.
OWC memory for Mini
OWC now offers DDR3 memory upgrade kits for the new 2009 Mac mini models, with available capacities up to 4GB. The company claims to offer a savings of over 50 percent from the factory-installed modules. Customers can add a single 2GB module to an existing 1GB factory chip, totaling 3GB of DDR3 memory, or purchase a kit with two 2GB modules for 4GB of RAM.
OWC ships iMac RAM
Other World Computing has announced the first third party DDR3 Memory Upgrades up to 8GB for the new iMac. The new 2GB and 4GB single module upgrades are available only from OWC and are not an option on factory ordered iMacs. Kits are offered with up to 8GB of RAM for the new 2009 iMac models introduced Tuesday, at an average savings of 50-percent off of Apple's factory prices.
OWC hard drive dock
Other World Computing has released a number of new Voyager hard-drive docking bundles, with storage capacities up to 2.0TB and dual-interface or quad-interface options. The external Voyager S2 features USB 2.0 and eSATA connection options, with support for both Windows and Mac systems. Customers can choose between a 500GB or 1.0TB Hitachi Deskstar drive, 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda drive, or a 2.0TB Western Digital Caviar Green drive.
OWC Blu-ray burner
Other World Computing has launched the Mercury Pro BDR-203, a quad-interface external Blu-ray burner that supports 8X write speeds of up to 2GB per minute. Interface options include FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0 and eSATA, with plug-and-play support for both Windows and Mac platforms. Along with Blu-ray discs, the burner can also write to DVD-RAM, DVD Dual-Layer R/RW, DVD-R/RW and CD-R/RW.
OWC external BD burners
Other World Computing (OWC) on Wednesday introduced its Mercury Pro Blu-ray external drives, the first on the market, the company says, that include a quad interface. This includes FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0 and eSATA connectivity options for both Macs and PCs, allowing the external drives to write Blu-ray media at speeds up to 4X or 150MBps, or twice as fast as OWC's previous generation BD burners.
OWC MacBook HD Upgrades
Other World Computing finished its week today by capitalizing on the launch of Apple's new MacBooks to ship its own set of MacBook drive upgrades. The kits take advantage of recent updates by hard drive makers and, as barebones kits, are normally less expensive than paying Apple's upgrade price. They also let owners keep the factory-stock drive, OWC is keen to add.