That’s not a defibrillator, it’s OWC’s DIY SSD kit for 2011 iMacs

iFixit introduced its iMac Mid 2011 Dual Hard Drive Kit ($69.95) last month for adding an SSD to both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch models. Meanwhile, OWC Macsales made its own kit available today for 2011 iMac users, which allows you to install any 2.5-inch Serial ATA SSD. The kit will work with most compatible SSDs, but OWC recommends its $99.97 OWC Mercury 6G SSD (up to 480GB) shown in the installation video below. As for the kit itself, it is now available through Macsales for $44.99. Here is what you will get:
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iFixit launches Dual Hard Drive Kit and guides for Mid 2011 iMacs

While you might be familiar with iFixit from its in-depth teardown guides meant to provide the ultimate resource for DIYers, it also offers the necessary tools to get the job done. We told you a while back about its “iPhone oppression kit” allowing you to swap out Apple’s pentalobular screws with standard Phillips screws. Stemming from a discovery of two unused mounting points in its recent 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac teardowns, iFixit is now providing a kit that provides all the tools necessary to install a second hard drive in your mid 2011 iMac.

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90GB OCZ 90GB Agility 3 SATA3 SSD for $100

From 9to5Toys.com:

Today only, Amazon offers the OCZ 90GB Agility 3 2.5″ Serial ATA 6Gb/s Internal SSD, model no. AGT3-25SAT3-90G, for $99.99 with free shipping. That’s the lowest total price we could find by $30. This Sandforce-controlled drive advertises 500MB/s+ read write times when connected to a SATA3 controller.

While OCZ’s drives are certainly fast, we’ve had a better experience with Samsung’s 830 series SATA3 SSDs which should soon be entering production on Apple’s MacBook Air/Pros.  The 128GB is listed at $199 while the 64GB variety is $109.

Update: previously mentioned rebate had expired last week.

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Intel’s new 520 Series SSD benchmarked: Easy on the battery, great data protection and compression features

Intel announced today the new 520 Series solid-state storage code-named “Cherryville” and a number of tech websites and blogs already have their reviews up. The Verge has a nice review round up, and MacWorld’s own review provides an extensive overview of the pros and cons of the device. Fabbed on Intel’s 25nm Multi-Level Cell process, the 520 boasts sequential read/write performance of 550/520MBps when using a system with a SATA 3.0 6Gbps interface. The spec sheet positions the 520 Series as a solution for media creators and tech enthusiasts.

Still, Samsung’s comparable 830 Series came in fastest during Tech Report’s review (see the chart below the fold), with sequential read/write speeds of 500/350MBps on a SATA 3.0 6Gbps interface. We reviewed the Samsung 830 and found it to be the fastest available. In addition, the 830 SSD is almost $150 cheaper and it is going into MacBook Airs soon, unlike the 520 Series that comes in a 2.5-inch form factor—so it only fits inside MacBook and MacBook Pros.

MacWorld’s review achieved read-writes of 303/324MBps (sequential) and 303/338MBps (random) with Xbench 1.3 and 456/241MBps in read/writes using Blackmagic benchmarking software with 4K blocks. The 520 Series also has lower-than-usual power requirements and delights with strong data protection and compression features…

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OWC gives Mac Pro users the first PCI Express SSD option

The easiest way to upgrade your Mac Pro’s everyday performance is to replace its slow internal hard drive units with pricier and much speedier solid-state storage (SSD), as it typically provides many times faster access times compared to HDDs and way greater sustained transfer rates. The problem is, you can only put flash storage inside the Pro’s hard drive bays that connect to the SATA interface.

Unfortunately, your super-fast SSD is limited to transfer rates of the Mac Pro’s SATA controller.

Enter OWC’s upcoming PCI Express-based SSD solution for Mac Pros, due for release “in the very near future.” Why does it matter? Well, for starters, it is a dream come true for the Hackintosh community. However, there is more to it than meets the eye…

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Samsung updates MacBook Air class SSDs to 6Gbps SATA 3, 500MB/s reads and 350MB/s writes

Variant of SSD that could go in future MacBooks Pros and Airs

We told you back in April that Apple was upgrading from Toshiba SSDs to Samsung-built drives in the latest MacBook Air lineup. Today a report from Anandtech notes the Samsung PM810 (a customized variant of the same drive currently ships in the 2011 Air) has received some substantial upgrades in its latest refresh.

Samsung has announced the PM830, the latest generation of the PM810, which is slated to pack a 6Gbps SATA 3 that provides up to 500MB/s reads and 350MB/s writes, according to Samsung.  That 150% to double the real world speed of the current Samsung Air SSDs and easily beats Apple’s Pro line options.

The new drive will also be shipping with up to 512GB capacity, a nice bump up from the current 256GB offered in the MacBook Air.

Normally it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to think that Apple might naturally include this upgraded SSD in the next MacBook Air refresh. However, with tension growing between Apple and Samsung due to patent related lawsuits (if you haven’t heard by now), more and more questions are being raised about the sustainability of Samsung being one of their main competitor’s part suppliers.

According to a story from The Economist, Samsung might turn out to be a much more important supplier than you may have thought. While companies like Taiwanese-based Foxconn are known to provide many of the cheaper components that make up Apple devices, the report notes Samsung “provides some of the phone’s (iPhone) most important components” including flash memory, DRAM, and processor components. However, they are also quick to point out Apple is one of “Samsung’s largest customers”.
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