Hard disk drive Stories December 18, 2012

iMac2012

As customers begin receiving the new iMac this month, business-end users and gamers may find one issue when booting up their new machine. As reader Michael Verde first shared with us, the built-to-order 27-inch iMac configuration with a 3TB Fusion Drive (an extra $400) will not allow any Boot Camp use. This essentially cuts off access to a full Windows experience that some Mac users may want to benefit from. Many might consider this a bummer, as a sizable amount of users turn to Boot Camp to access necessary Windows programs or just simply enjoy Windows paired with Mac hardware.

Apple highlighted the issue on both its iMac configuration and Fusion Drive explanation page. “Boot Camp Assistant is not supported at this time on 3TB hard drive configurations,” Apple said in buried text. “At this time,” could mean the feature is enabled down the road in a software update, but it is non-existent as of now.

There are virtualization solutions, such as Parelles and VM Ware, that provide a Windows experience, but they do not offer a full experience that many may want. Boot Camp users include gamers who want to run games at full settings and business users looking to use specific business apps in a full Windows environment.

Right now it is not clear what the cause is, or if it has anything to do with Apple’s new Fusion Drive technology, but it seems that Boot Camp is limited to hard drive with less than 2TB of space (PC World has a good explanation for this). Announced in October and shipping in the new Mac Mini and iMacs, the top Fusion Drive configuration provides 128GB of flash storage coupled with 3TB of HDD space. The cheaper configuration, 128GB Flash Storage + 1TB HDD, supports Boot Camp. So, we have to wonder: what is holding back the more expensive configuration? We reached out to Apple for comment.

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Hard disk drive Stories December 4, 2012

LaCie refreshes its best-selling hard drive, the d2, with Thunderbolt & USB 3.0

LaCie announced today that it is releasing a refreshed version of its best-selling hard drive with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectivity. Known as the LaCie d2 USB 3 Thunderbolt series, LaCie is offering a 3TB model for $299.95 and latest 4TB 7200rpm hard drive option for $399.95.

According to LaCie, the new d2 offers speeds up to 180MB/s:

Get the fastest speeds available on Mac and PC thanks to the USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports. The LaCie d2 performs at speeds up to 180MB/s, twice as fast as FireWire 800 and nearly four times faster than USB 2.0. These speeds allow the user to transfer a 10GB project in less than one minute, back up a computer in record time, easily edit video in demanding applications and browse through photo libraries without delay. Plus with 256-bit AES encryption the data is always secure.

Hard disk drive Stories November 23, 2012

Black Friday Deals on peripherals and accessories

(We’ll be updating this list all day/week, also hit 9to5Toys for the latest.)

Spotlight Top DealsApple TV 1080p MD199LL/A (Newest Version) $85 + free shipping  & Apple iPod touch 16GB (4th Generation) Black or white $165 (Reg. $199)

USB Storage: 32GB PNY USB Stick at Best Buy: $12.99 16GB Sandisk Cruzer Fit $8.99, 32GB: $15.99 Seagate Expansion 3 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive: $99, 2TB: $79 Centon 128GB DataStick Sport USB 2.0 Flash Drive: $59 WD My Passport 2TB Silver Portable USB Hard Drive with Free Case: $129 (Careful of the Mac Tax) WD 1TB Elements USB 3.0 Hard Drive: $50 after rebate + free shipping

iDevice Accessories iSkin Premium accessories for iPhone, iPod, Mac Save up to 65% BodyGuardz, Apple device protection 40% sitewide discount for everyone, 50% for returning customers OtterBox including iPhone 5 & iPad Mini Cases up to 15% CASE1449 iPhone cases & accessories (Including iPhone 5 bumpers) 25% off Griffin Technology iPhone, iPad, iPod cases & accessories 20% off Griffin Powerjolt SE – Lightning cable car charger for iPhone 5, iPad mini, iPod $19 + free shipping Red Cross Solar/Crank rechargeable emergency radio USB charger: $19.99

SSDs/HDDs Seagate 3TB 7200RPM Bare drive: $99 Hitachi 4TB Deskstar 3.5″ SATA III Internal Hard Drive: $189

SD Cards: SanDisk 32GB Class 10 SD card: $17.99

Cameras: Canon PowerShot S100 12.1-Megapixel Digital Camera+ 8GB SD Card: $229 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera (Body): $2499 Pentax K-01 Mirrorless Camera w/ 40mm Lens:$417 Canon EOS Rebel T3 12MP DSLR w/ 18-55mm Lens: $400 Canon EOS 7D Body (Refurb): $959 More Canon Deals

Printers:

Canon WiFi PIXMA MX892 Multifunction Printer: $59.99 Canon – PIXMA MX432 Wireless All-In-One Printer: $49 Brother HL-2240 Monochrome Laser Printer: $49.98 Brother Multifunction Network Laser Printer: $100

Misc:

Apple Magic Mouse for only $35 with free shipping

Beats by Dr. Dre headphones discounts up to $30 off at Walmart

Klipsch Image S4i Earphones:$49

myCharge Peak Portable Battery: $59

iCade 8-Bitty – Retro Wireless Game Controller for iPhone/iPad $20 (Reg. $30)

iCADE – iPad Arcade Cabinet $69 (Reg. $100)

Powerbags at Groupon $39.99 (Scroll Down). We reviewed and loved these guys.

ToysRUs $20 gift card for $10

Logitech M525 Cordless Optical Mouse: $10 after rebate + free shipping

Hard disk drive Stories November 21, 2012

MacMall slashes prices on Apple products in their early Black Friday sale

From 9to5Toys.com:

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MacMall starts its Black Friday early with discounts on a monster selection of Macs, hard drives, iPods, and more by up to $799 off.  Plus, all orders over $25 qualify for free shipping. We’ve already populated our new Apple Products section with all the new low prices so check them out.

Notables include AppleTV for $89, Retina MacBook Pros starting at over $100 off, MacBook Airs starting at $897.

That’s the biggest sale we’ve seen from MacMall this year. (We saw up to $675 off in February.) Deals ends November 24 at 3 am ET.

We’ll be updating 9to5Mac and 9to5Toys with deals this whole long weekend so stay tuned.

Hard disk drive Stories October 31, 2012

Developer gets Fusion Drive functionality running on older Mac

There is still a lot we do not know about Apple’s new hybrid SSD/HDD Fusion Drive option available for the new iMacs and Mac minis. Today we get a little bit of insight into how Fusion Drive will function thanks to a few blog posts by developer Patrick Stein detailing how he was able to build his own Fusion Drive solution on his Mac Pro running 10.8.2 (via MacRumors). Stein was able to get OS X to recognize an attached 120GB SSD and 750GB HDD as a single drive using diskutil and, surprisingly, exhibit Fusion Drive-like functionality with little configuration. MacRumors explained:

Stein then proceeded to test the setup, writing data first to the SSD and then to the traditional hard drive once the SSD had filled up. By preferentially accessing data that had initially been written to the traditional hard drive, Stein was able to watch as the data was automatically transferred to the SSD for faster access. Upon stopping the process, the system automatically pushed the data back to the traditional hard drive, and in one final step Stein began accessing the data once more and after about an hour was able to see it pulled back onto the SSD.

Head over to Stein’s Tumblr for all the details. ArsTechnica also has an excellent breakdown of Fusion Drive:

Based on these findings, Fusion Drive is indeed a base operating system feature, either contained within Core Storage or built into OS X 10.8.x (Jollyjinx notes at the bottom that he’s using 10.8.2). It appears that Fusion Drive detects the SSD-ishness of a drive based on SMART info read across the SATA bus, though it’s possible that Apple might be using Microsoft’s SSD detection method and simply testing attached drives’ throughput. If a Core Storage volume contains an HDD and an SSD, Fusion Drive appears to be automatically activated.

Hard disk drive Stories October 23, 2012

Apple just finished unveiling its all-new iMac design that we previously unveiled leading up to the event. We told you at the time that Apple is shipping two refreshed models of its 21-inch and 27-inch iMacs, but we would unfortunately likely see delays on at least some models. Apple decided to take the wraps off its refreshed iMacs today, but as we predicted, the models will not ship right away.

Apple did not confirm during the unveiling, but it has now listed the new iMacs on its website with availability dates listed as November for the 21-inch model and December for the 27-inch model. You will no longer be able to get your hands on the last-generation iMac, except through Apple’s refurbished section. Hopefully Apple can get enough of these out before the holidays, especially the 27-inch model that will not ship until weeks before.

Also of note for the new iMacs is the fact that the 21-inch model comes with no user accessible RAM slots, while the 27-inch model has 4 slots accessible from the back of the machine. The 21-inch model is configurable up to 16GB through Apple, but the 4 slots on the 27-inch can handle up to 32GB:

The 21.5-inch iMac comes with 8GB of memory and can be configured online with 16GB. On the 27-inchiMac, 8GB of memory comes standard, and you can upgrade to 16GB or 32GB. Configure and buy your iMac at the Apple Online Store and it will arrive with the memory already installed. Or add more memory to the 27-inch model yourself by popping open the easy-to-access memory panel on the back.

You can get full details on the all-new iMacs in our full coverage of the unveiling here.

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