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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.  

 

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?