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OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCI Express SSD Drive

Filed Under (Apple, Hardware, Product Review, Technology) by admin on 18-05-2013

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owc-accelsior_e2I just picked up a great new product, the OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2.  It’s basically 2 x raided SSD drives on a PCIe card that goes in my Mac Pro.   The Mac Pro has been the top of the line POWER beast in Apples hardware lineup for years but also hasn’t been upgraded in years.  More an more Mac Pro owners are looking for ways to pep up their Mac Pro to make it last a little longer until the next great Mac Pro is released, which will hopefully be soon.

In any event, I received the Accelsior in 2 days from http://www.macsales.com which is one in the same with OWC or Other World Computing.  Larry has been running OWC for many years now and has always offered great products to help you upgrade your Macs, whether it be ram, hard drives, video cards, etc, so definitely check them out for great products at great prices.

The Accelsior I picked up was the 240gb model which has 2 x 120gb ssd blades like those used in the MacBook Air.  The key ingredient in this product though is that it runs on the PCIe bus, not through SATA which on the mac pro is still 2.0 and not very fast.  Another cool feature is that the E2 also offers you 2 x 600mbps eSATA slots.

Now to the numbers.  My standard 1gb 7200rpm drive received under 70MB/s on both Read and Write operations using the Blackmagic Design disk speed test application while the new Accelsior received 608.1MB/s on Read operations and 492.8MB/s on Write operations.  Below are the screen captures for each…

OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 240gb PCIe Card
Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 9.54.24 AM

Standard 1gb 7200rpm SATA Drive
Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 9.56.20 AM

In conclusion, my Mac Pro has a whole new life.  I have installed my startup disk on the Accelsior and boot times have gone from about 1 minute to around 22 secs.  Its absolutely amazing.  I also have all of my applications running on the Accelsior so they spring to life almost immediately after clicking them.  I also do a lot of video editing and it is a dream to work off of this drive.

I highly recommend this to any Mac Pro owner.  It’s a no brainer.  If a new Mac Pro comes out you can simply unplug it and put it in your new machine.  Kudos to Larry for staying ahead of the curve as per usual.  Another great product from a great company, Other World Computing rocks!

On a side note, these reviews are my personal opinions and have not been the result of any discount for this product.  I paid full price for this product and I do not review products that were given to me.  Rest assured what you find in this review is fact and my opinion was not bought.  

 

Hackintosh? The low cost alternative to buying Apple…

Filed Under (Apple, Hacking, Hardware) by admin on 08-05-2013

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Hey Folks,

hackintosh2It has been one hell of a long time since I have posted here but why not just jump right back into the blogging sphere with a cool article about building your own, low cost Macintosh, err hackintosh. Make no mistake about it, Apple builds superior computers. They are extremely well designed, offer the highest quality components, and provide you with a refined user experience.

That said there is always some room for improvement. Take for instance the Mac Pro line of hardware. It is the machine to use if you are a graphic designer, a software developer using XCode, a video editor, or just about anyone using a Mac for audio or video production. Unfortunately, this line hasn’t been redesigned since 2006-2007 and has only been minimally refreshed with new processors since then. No real new improvements.

While there has always been a subculture movement working hard to make OS X run on ordinary PCs it just hasn’t been fruitful, until now.

In past years there have been many hacks, may mods to kexts and specially made boot keys and CDs some which have partially worked and others which didn’t work at all.

Now with the help of youtube (search for Hackintosh) or tonymacx86.com you can get extensive build guides and tutorials as well as lists of recommended and known working hardware to build your own machines, all at a fraction of the cost of a new mac.

I plan on building my very own Ivy Bridge based Hackintosh in the coming weeks and will report back here with an article on how the experience went.  In the meantime, please be sure to check out these hackintosh related videos and websites, they will certainly offer you everything you need to get started with your very own hackintosh project.

 

YouTube Videos

Building an Ivy Bridge Hackintosh From Start to Finish – LIVE
Building a Socket 2011 Hackintosh From Start to Finish
Ultimate Hackintosh Tutorial | 10.8 My Hacks

Dual-Boot Snow White Hackintosh Pro Build Update & Walkthrough!
Hackintosh Tutorial: Setup A Unibeast Mountain Lion USB

 

Important Hackintosh Resource Sites

Hackintosh.com
tonymacx86.com
lifehacker.com/tag/hackintosh
BenchmarkReviews.com – Hackintosh

 

Best regards,
MM

New iPad 2 is LOADED!

Filed Under (Apple, Hardware, Smart Device) by admin on 02-03-2011

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iPad 2

iPad2

Apple has just announced the new iPad 2… Here are some key features…

  • Dual-Core A5 Processor
  • Up to 2x faster CPU
  • Up to 9x faster Graphics
  • Same Low Power as A4
  • First Dual Core tablet to ship in volume
  • Dual Web Cameras (one front facing, one rear facing)
  • 33% Thinner than iPad1
  • Weighs 1.3lbs (iPad 1 weighs 1.5lbs)
  • Comes in Black or White
  • Works on both AT&T & Verizon Networks


16 GB32 GB64 GB
WiFi$499$599$699
WiFi + 3G$629$729$829

Apple to Release iPad 2 Today!

Filed Under (Apple, Hardware, Smart Device) by admin on 02-03-2011

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Apple iPad 2 Live Event

Apple iPad 2 Live Event

Apple is hosting a special live event from San Francisco today starting a 1pm EST.  The company has long been rumored to unwrap its brand new version 2 of the iPad which is widely believed to include not one but 2 cameras, a slimmer build, and could possibly be available in both white and black.

The other opportunity for Apple to make big news today will be whether or not Steve Jobs makes an appearance at the event.  Jobs has been fighting pancreatic cancer since 2004 and most recently has been on leave from Apple due to a deteriorating health condition.  This latest situation has prompted Apple to put a succession plan in place in case Jobs does not make it back to Apple.  An appearance today by Jobs could send Apple’s stock skyrocketing and so Apple followers and fans wait with guarded optimism.

If you would like to following the event live you can do so at one of the following blogs…

I’ll be back after the event with my thoughts… See you all later…

Apple TV 2 – Review

Filed Under (Apple, Hacking, Hardware, Product Review, Smart Device) by admin on 17-02-2011

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Apple TV 2 - Fits in the palm of your hand

Sleek, black, powerful, multimedia device

The AppleTV 2 is so small it fits in the palm of your hand but it packs quite a punch on the big screen.  I have 2 now.  I liked the one I bought for my office so much that I acquired another at a Christmas party this past holiday season.  And by acquire I mean stole.  You see, the party I went to is set up that every couple brings a $100 gift and everyone gets a number.  As your number comes up you can either pick a gift off the pile or steal one that has already been given.  And since that’s how I role, I now own two Apple TV 2.  Haha.

Anyways.  Here is the deal.. The Apple TV 2 will allow you to stream media from your iTunes account via wifi or ethernet cable on any computer to your TV.  Plain and simple.  But there is more.  The Apple TV 2 also have built in NetFlix, YouTube, MobileMe, or Flickr.  It’s actually quite impressive and I use it just about everyday.

If you subscribe to video blogs or are a NetFlix addict like myself then this is a product for you.  The quality is great and it is incredibly easy to setup and navigate.    You can also rent or download movies from your iTunes account and play them in HD on your big screen TV and be perfectly satisfied with your purchase.

The Remote is sleek, small and pretty easy to use.  I have slipped up a few times doing a text search but I have been getting the hang of it.  It’s the same remote that Apple shipped to control Front Row on the mac.   The Apple TV reminds me a lot of the old Front Row interface but much improved.

Apple TV 2 Remote

The Remote is very small but pretty easy to use...

The unboxing and setup take virtually no time at all.  Simply open it, Connect Power, Ethernet, and HDMI and you are ready to go.  If you do not have Ethernet then you can configure it to use your wireless connection if available in your house.  You must have a wired or wireless network in your home to use Apple TV2.

Back panel connections

Ports on the back of Apple TV 2

The left most port is the power connector, next to it moving right is the HDMI connector, beneath the HDMI connector is a Micro USB connector for restoring your Apple TV 2 in case you screw it up trying to jailbreak it, the next port is an optical audio connector and finally the right most port is an ethernet connector.

The same Micro USB port can be used to jailbreak the Apple TV 2 but you need a special Micro USB cable that can be found on eBay.  It looks exactly like this…

Apple TV 2 -> Micro USB Cable

Micro USB Cable

Articles on jailbreaking the AppleTV2 can be found all over the web.  It’s just not the purpose of this blog so please google jailbreaking the Apple TV 2 for more info on that process.  That said you can add more functionality to the Apple TV 2 such as installing the XBMC Media Center to allow you access to all different types of video formats and content.

When all is said and done I highly recommend the Apple TV 2 to my friends, family and colleagues.  It is a great piece of engineering and for $100 how can you go wrong?

iPad Info

Filed Under (Apple, Hardware, Smart Device, Windows) by admin on 13-12-2010

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I was standing in line the other day at Best Buy when I noticed a friend of mine picking up an Apple iPad for a loved one.  I couldn’t help but interrupt his purchase when the sales person told him that he should get the extended service plan.

I know a lot of people who are buying iPads and I want to give them a little info before they buy.  First off, there are 2 versions of the iPad – a) Wifi-Only and b) Wifi and 3G.  The 3G is AT&Ts wireless network that you will wind up paying something like $45 a month for and isn’t unlimited anymore.

My recommendation.. If you are using your iPad at home, don’t get the 3G enabled version.  If you are using it on the road then get the 3G capable model and only turn the 3G on when you absolutely need it.

Oh, a word about warranties.. Don’t buy Apple’s or BestBuy’s or anyone else’s.  Buy an insurance plan from Squaretrade.com.  They are cheap and they cover everything.

If you have any questions… Post them… Otherwise good luck!