Random-access memory Stories January 13, 2015

2TB Mac mini quietly made its return over Christmas holidays

Following the launch of the current Mac mini in October of last fall, we noted that Apple had removed an option to purchase the entry-level Mac with 2TB of storage. It appears Apple has listened to feedback, and now users can, once again, buy a Mac mini with 2TB of storage. According to our digging into web archives, the 2TB option returned for the priciest Mac mini model in mid-December, right around the Christmas holidays. The 2TB Fusion Drive upgrade costs a $100 more than the 1TB drive, and it requires the machine to be built-to-order. Thanks, Bartosz for the initial find. 

Random-access memory Stories October 21, 2014

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iFixit and MacminiVault have both completed their teardowns of the new Mac mini, with Macminicolo planning theirs soon.

We already knew the main bad news: soldered RAM means you can’t upgrade the memory later, so you have to decide how much you want and pay Apple’s pricing for it. Both iFixit and MacminiVault described replacing the RAM as “impossible.”

Getting access to the inside of the new Mac mini is more difficult than it used to be …  expand full story

Random-access memory Stories October 11, 2014

air

Ahead of next Thursday’s Apple event, new images purportedly showing parts for the new, full-sized iPad have emerged. Photos re-published by blog apple.club.tw show a full logic board for the new iPad Air as well as parts for the new Home button, glass screen cover, and audio control components. At first glance, the new iPad Air logic board does not reveal too much new, but adjusting the colors of the image shows a fairly unexpected addition: an A8X system-on-a-chip:

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Random-access memory Stories September 17, 2014

RAM

Early reviews confirm that the iPhone 6 Plus has the same 1GB RAM as the iPhone 6. It had been suggested by some that the 5.5-inch model might have a higher spec, with 2GB RAM.

They reveal that both models of the iPhone 6 have identical specs bar the display, battery and optical stabilisation in the camera of the larger model (the 4.7-inch model having only electronic stabilisation) …  expand full story

Random-access memory Stories August 18, 2014

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A set of schematics by GeekBar on Weibo have been making the rounds today, claiming to show both NFC support for the iPhone 6 as well as ‘confirmation’ that the device will feature just 1 GB of RAM, like the iPhone 5s.

Although the site focuses on the 1 GB description at the top of the image, it turns out that the schematic is actually a design for a NAND flash component (a storage chip, the same memory used in iPhones and other mobile devices for storing user data like music and photos) rather than RAM for the SoC.

Todd DeRego, a SoC memory engineer, says that the schematic does not have enough signals for it to be a DRAM interface. He also points out that the AP_TO_NAND text refers to an application processor to NAND link, indicating this memory is actually used as a way of storing the booting firmware and not the main memory of the iPhone. Although the RAM claim is almost certainly untrue, the NFC claim cannot be so easily dismissed.

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Random-access memory Stories July 29, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 20.10.39

 

Apple seems to have inadvertently referenced a new model of Mac mini on an Apple Support page. The page was last modified yesterday, presumably to include information on the new MacBook Pro’s but instead lists “Mac mini (Mid 2014)” as a supported machine. There is a possibility that this is simply a human error on Apple’s part, of course, confusing the MacBook Pro and the Mac mini updates. There haven’t really been rumors of a new Mac mini being in the works, but due to the relative unimportance of the product in the Mac lineup, it is not of the question for it to have slid under the radar.

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Apple Store refurbished Retina MacBook Pros dip to lowest prices ever, now start below $1,000

From 9to5Toys.com:

Apple quietly released an updated lineup of Retina MacBook Pros earlier this morning and as a result, previous generation (which, let’s be honest, aren’t a big step down) refurbished models have received notable price drops.

At the low end, the October 2012 (first generation) 13-inch model has dropped $59, which has made it the first refurbished Retina MacBook Pro with a 1 year Apple warranty to dip below $1,000. This pricing isn’t completely unprecedented as we have tracked new models at $999.

A best bet: Prices for the 2013 Haswell model now start at $1,019. That’s down from $1,099 (that $20 extra will go a long way on battery life alone).

You can browse Apple’s entire refurbished offerings, but keep in mind quantities are extremely limited and popular models tend to sell out quickly. Be sure to check back frequently because inventories are constantly being replenished. Apple refurbished products have a reputation for being nearly as good as new and are still eligible for AppleCare.

Best Buy continues to be the best place to buy a new MacBook for anyone with access to an .edu email address. The big box retailer offers students an additional $100 off already discounted MacBook prices. All other buyers should follow our buying guides and 9to5Toys to keep up with the best Mac deals.

Random-access memory Stories July 28, 2014

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The unverified photo from a Chinese Apple Store appearing to show a slight refresh to the Retina MacBook Pro launch is accurate, claims French site MacG, citing a reliable source. The site claims that the refreshed models will go on sale tomorrow.

The refresh is a minor one, with a modest speed boost of 200MHz and an increase in RAM across the range to 16GB. Apple is also, for the first time, offering a 1TB SSD in a standard model …  expand full story

Random-access memory Stories July 27, 2014

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An image posted on a Chinese forum, claimed to have been taken inside of Apple’s new Paradise Walk store, indicates that Apple could be preparing to release an updated line of Retina MacBook Pros in the near-future. The image appears to be from one of Apple’s iPad Smart Signs within the store, and the sign advertises 15-inch MacBook Pros with technical specifications and features not found in the current lineup.

The first possibility is that this image is faked, but the other likely possibility is a system error on Apple’s part. There’s also room for this image to indicate an actual MacBook Pro lineup update coming in the near-future. The rumored specifications indicate that Apple will be bumping the standard 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro line from two models to three, and all will include 16GB of RAM as a standard option. Here are all the purported models:

  • 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 3.4GHz), 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • 2.5GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 3.7GHz), 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics & NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M w/2GB Video Memory
  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost to 4.0GHz), 16GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M w/2GB Video Memory

For comparison, here is the current MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup:

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Random-access memory Stories April 3, 2014

Expect faster MacBooks with longer battery-life thanks to DDR4 RAM

Matt Margolis is predicting that Apple will be switching from DDR3 to DDR4 RAM for future MacBooks this year, suggesting faster performance and improved battery-life.

One of Apple’s RAM manufacturer. Micron, says that DDR3 bandwidth tops out at around 17GB/s, while DDR4 aims to double this by 2015:

Since the introduction of the iPhone, the industry has responded with an evolutionary transition from 2.6 GB/s LPDDR1, to 8.5 GB/s LPDDR2, to 17 GB/s LPDDR3, the technology currently is powering today’s high-end devices in volume production. DRAM bandwidth has roughly doubled with each generation to keep pace with demand.

The next generation of low-power DRAM (LPDRAM)—also known as LPDDR4—addresses these constraints by doubling the bandwidth of LPDDR3 while maintaining power neutrality. For example, LPDDR4 targets 34 GB/s of total bandwidth for a x64 memory subsystem, doubling the bandwidth target from LPDDR3

The company has not given specific targets for improved battery-life, but says that it aims to reduce power consumption in both active and standby modes.

Margolis suggests that DDR4 RAM may also make it into future iPhones and iPads.

Random-access memory Stories April 2, 2014

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You may still be waiting for your Mac Pro to arrive, but OWC is ready to sell you a CPU upgrade once it does. The company offers a choice of four E5 2600-series processors, ranging from an 8-core 2.6GHz chip with 20MB cache for $950, to a 12-core 2.7GHz processor for $1480.

We first confirmed that CPU upgrades were possible last December. The company says the upgraded processors offer speed gains ranging from 25 percent to 46 percent over Apple’s base model 4-core 1600-series processor. You can get rebates of between $100 and $750 for trading in the processor supplied with your Mac Pro, and also have the option of boosting the RAM from Apple’s maximum of 64GB to 128GB …  expand full story

Random-access memory Stories December 31, 2013

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Following a quick look from Other World Computing last week, iFixit has published its teardown of the new Mac Pro.

Unlike any other Apple product iFixit has reviewed this year, the firm gives high praise to the repairability of the Mac Pro. The system uses no proprietary screws and RAM is accessible without the need for any tools.  Add in the socketed, upgradable CPU originally found in the earlier teardown, the Mac Pro is the most repairable computer in Apple’s lineup by far.

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Random-access memory Stories August 15, 2013

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In a new report out today, KGI’s Mingchi Kuo updated his previous predictions for the iPhone 5S due for announcement on September 10th. Notably, he expects:

(1) the new A7, ARMv8 based AP (application processor), featuring a 1GB LPDDR3 RAM chip; (2) a sapphire home button with fingerprint  sensor; (3) main camera unchanged with 8MP, but featuring a larger F2.0 aperture with dual flash lights; (4) new option for golden casing; and (5) new option for 128GB storage.

We’ve heard the Sapphire fingerprint reading home button previously from Kuo and the A7 is the natural successor to the A6 and will likely be a 64-bit processor. The 1GB RAM seems in line with previous predictions but that 1GB of RAM will be faster according to Kuo:

We reckon A7 will upgrade memory bandwidth spec to LPDDR3 from LPDDR2 adapted by A6, in an effort to improve system performance. Since Apple is in charge of both hardware  and OS design, it is capable of minimalizing memory capacity at an optimized state. Therefore, A7’s RAM will likely be unchanged at 1GB.

However, the Gold option is something that has been only heard of in more sketchy rumors until now. Additionally, we discussed the 128GB option in our roundtable quite a bit yesterday. The iPad got a 128GB option this spring and the option on the iPhone would be a big differentiator for power users.

We’ve also heard the upgrade on the camera would include an F2.0 aperture with dual flashes but have heard a variety of megapixel options including 12 and 13. As with previous ‘S’ models, this one would be able to take dramatically better pictures, especially in low light situations.

Kuo doesn’t believe that there will be NFC capabilities in the iPhone 5S.

All told, Kuo expects Apple to sell 35M iPhone 5S units in 2013 (not including previous models and the lower cost iPhone 5C) as long as sapphire fingerprint reader manufacturers can keep up with demand.

Kuo’s record on parts predictions is good (timing notwithstanding) and these predictions should be taken seriously.

Mockups via MartinHajek.com, more here. expand full story

Random-access memory Stories July 11, 2013

Random-access memory Stories March 5, 2013

Apple introduces $1,099 21.5-inch iMac for education with 4GB RAM, 500GB HD & 3.3GHz dual-core i3

As noted by MacRumors, Apple has recently introduced a new model of the low-end 21.5-inch iMac to educational institutions that brings slightly downgraded specs and shaves $200 off the price of the entry-level iMac available to consumers.

Replacing the old $999 iMac for education option, the new $1,099 21.5-inch iMac (ME699LL/A) offers 4GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000, and a 500GB hard drive. That’s compared to the 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive Apple includes in the regular entry-level model. Apple is also including a 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 CPU in the machine instead of the usual 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5.

The new education model offers most of the usual built-to-order options, including the ability to upgrade to a 1TB Fusion Drive and up to 16GB of RAM.

Apple just recently dropped shipping times from 1 to 3 days down to “within 24 hours” for the new iMacs in its North American online stores, but the new iMac for education is shipping in 5 to 7 business days.

Random-access memory Stories March 1, 2013

Digital-A-V-connector-Lighting-take-apartThe hacked apart cable costs as much as a Roku because it has the same kind of horsepower

The fine software developers over at Panic are working on some new AV software, and they are investigating Apple’s new-ish Lightning Digital AV Adapter. What they found is that unlike the earlier 30-pin module, the Lightning adapter doesn’t carry a native 1080p signal. In fact, when mirroring, Apple says the optimum resolution is 1,600-by-900, and, when that signal is shown on a 1080p display, it is likely up-converted, showing artifacts consistent with streaming and uncompressing video data

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 9.40.50 PMBefore it is ripped apart, via Amazon

What’s more interesting is that they split open the cable and found a full ARM processor with 256MB of RAM to process video signals inside the adapter cable. We knew way back in September that the 8-pin adapter wouldn’t carry video natively, but Apple was able to build a cable. How? Panic thinks that it is actually streaming an AirPlay network signal through the cable, and the ARM processor is decoding it.

Why would Apple do this? It’s likely Apple wants to move people to AirPlay wireless streaming to Apple TV, so this is just a stopgap solution. Rather than making a larger Lightning cable, it sacrificed on wired video-out quality and HDMI (And VGA?) cable costs.

Update: Our friends at Braeburn and an anonymous Apple Engineer sent along their takes on the situation below:

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Random-access memory Stories December 29, 2012

Apple drops prices on refurbished Mac Minis by $50, now start at $469

From 9to5Toys:

Apple has taken an additional $50 off the refurbished 2011 Mac mini this afternoon on its online Certified Refurbished Store. Apple now offers the Intel Core i5 starting at $469 for the 2.3GHz model with 2GB of RAM. As it does with the entire refurb store, a 1 year warranty is applied just like new models.

Random-access memory Stories November 16, 2012

OWC is announcing a sub $100 16GB RAM upgrade. We go even further…

OWC today announced 16GB RAM upgrades for Mac mini, MacBook Pro, and iMacs all for just under $100, around a 66 percent savings compared to Apple’s own factory upgrade options. Full details on the new OWC upgrades are below, but we recently found a 16GB RAM upgrade for $60 on Amazon that will save you almost an extra $40 on top of OWC’s prices.

OWC is also offering Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac for $39 with the purchase of 16B Memory Upgrade Kits:

OWC Certified 16GB Memory Upgrade Kits:

Upgrades for all Mac mini models from $15.99 16GB Kit (8GB x 2) from $99.00 for maximum memory

Upgrades for all MacBook & MacBook Pro (non-Retina) models from $29.99 16GB Kit (8GB x 2) from $99.00 for maximum memory

Upgrades for all iMac models from $11.99 16GB Kit (4GB x 4) for 2009 models for $97.99 for maximum memory 16GB Kit (8GB x 2) for 2010(i5/i7) & 2011 models for $99.00 (can add to existing) 32GB Kit (8GB x 4) for 2010(i5/i7) & 2011 models for $197.99 (double the factory offered maximum)

Upgrades Qualify for Special Parallels Offer With the purchase of OWC 16B Memory Upgrade Kits, customers qualify to purchase Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac for only $39.00…a savings of $40.00 off retail.

Random-access memory Stories October 24, 2012

OWC offering RAM upgrades for new Mac minis: $50 (8GB), $85 (12GB), $115 (16GB)

Apple’s new Mac mini lineup that unveiled yesterday comes with 4GB of RAM stock for all three models, but it now allows for up to 16GB of RAM across its two slots. Today, OWC announced some pretty attractive RAM upgrades that offer big savings on factory upgrades and one configuration not available through Apple. OWC sells similar RAM upgrades for iMacs. Unfortunately, though, the new 21-inch model does not provide user accessible memory.

OWC Memory Upgrades for 2012 Mac mini 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz, or 2.6GHz Intel i5 or i7 models:

Replaces existing factory installed 2 x 2GB memory modules with 8GB total memory at 50 percent lower cost vs. same sized factory 8GB option costing $100 

Replaces existing factory installed 2 x 2GB memory modules with 12GB total memory. This kit offers 50 percent more RAM at 14 percent lower cost vs. factory 8GB option costing $100.

Upgrade not available as a factory option.

Replaces existing factory installed 2 x 2GB memory modules with 16GB total memory at 67 percent lower cost vs. same sized factory 16GB option costing $300.

OWC has full details here.

Random-access memory Stories October 11, 2012

As usual, our friends at iFixit have once again taken apart Apple’s latest device. This time we get a look inside the new fifth-generation iPod touch that started shipping to customers this week, revealing all of its internal components including: 512MB of RAM from Hynix, Apple’s A5 processor, and NAND flash from Toshiba.

* A5 Processor * Hynix H9TKNNN4KDBRCR 512 MB RAM * Toshiba THGBX2G8D4JLA01 32 GB NAND flash * Apple 3381064 dialog power management IC * Murata 339S0171 Wi-Fi module * Broadcom BCM 5976 touchscreen controller * Apple 33831116 * STMicroelectronics AGD32229ESGEK low-power, three-axis gyroscope * Texas Instruments 27AZ5R1 touchscreen SoC

While the iPhone 5 was able to grab an impressive repairability score in its teardown, iFixit unfortunately found the new iPod touch much harder to get inside. Due to lack of external screws and two “hard-to-manage ribbon cables” on the logic board, the device gets a low 3 out of 10 repairability score. That’s in comparison to the 7 out of 10 awarded to the iPhone 5. iFixit said, “repair is not impossible, but it’s certainly going to be difficult and expensive if one component breaks.” The teardown also found the iPod touch Home button has a “weaker, rubber-membrane design” when compared to the iPhone 5.

Here are some of the highlights:

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Random-access memory Stories September 16, 2012

Amazon gets new iPods as Best Buy throws a MacBook Sale

From 9to5Toys.com:

Amazon just launched pre-order pages for the new iPod Touch, Nanos and Shuffles. They will ship probably right after Apple starts with sales tax in only some states.

Meanwhile. Best Buy is having a MacBook Sale this weekend with up to $200 off MacBooks. The new Airs with 4GB of RAM start out at $949 and many 13″ Airs/Pros are $100 off, which are the lowest prices we could find.

Random-access memory Stories June 11, 2012

Apple just unveiled a refreshed MacBook Air lineup while on stage at its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. Much of the information matches what we previously revealed: the lineup of refreshed Airs will receive Ivy Bridge processors up to the 2.0GHz dual core i7, USB 3.0, up to 8GB of RAM, and “60 percent faster graphics” with the Intel HD Graphics 4000. The new MacBook Airs ship starting today.

The new 11-inch MacBook Air: There will be two variants of the 11-inch Airs. Both will sport a 1.7GHz dual-core i5 and 4GB of RAM. The $999 entry model will get you 64GB of storage, but an extra $100 will upgrade you to the 125GB option. Aside from this, the two models appear to be identical.

The new 13-inch MacBook Air: The new 13-inch MacBook Air will start at the same $1,199 price point and come with a 1.8GHz dual-core i5, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage. The $1,499 price tag will get you the 265GB storage option.

Stay tuned to our live blog for the latest updates.

Random-access memory Stories March 13, 2012

Following their unboxing video, we have some more from the guys at Tinhte: They ran their Retina iPad through Geekbench and got some interesting results.

The processor is clocked at 1GHz and is of the same class as the iPad 2 processor.

The RAM is indeed 1GB confirming numerous previous reports including our own whispers.

The mid-700 score is similar to the iPad 2, which scores also scores in the mid-700s, while the original iPad scores in the 400s. The difference is likely due to the benchmarking software’s inability to test the 4 core GPU or the “X” factor in the iPad’s new A5X chip.

There are many more scores at the source. Thanks Daniel!

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Random-access memory Stories February 10, 2012

Early last week, Apple discontinued the white plastic MacBook, which had been an education-only item since mid-2011, but is continuing to sell the product to education institutions while supplies last. The remaining supplies are being sold for $899, and sources say that Apple’s white MacBook inventory for educational institutions is still rather high. While white MacBooks for education are a thing of the past, Apple is not giving up on education: they are launching two new MacBook Airs for schools programs today.

The first new program is called MacBook Air 5-Pack Bundles and allows schools to purchase the MacBook Air in bundles of five at a discount. There are six bundle options, and each bundle saves schools $20 per MacBook Air:

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