Thursday, June 2, 2011

Apple secretly upping optical bay on 2011 MacBook Pros to SATA3 6Gb/s as a production change

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When this February Apple rolled out the new MacBook Pro family with Sandy Bridge chips and Thuderbolt I/O, the company surprised many with a SATA3 interface for the hard drive and disappointed at the same time by leaving the Superdrive in SATA2. SATA3 allows for theoretical data transfer speeds of 600 megabytes per second versus 300 megabytes per second for SATA2. Real-life numbers, as always, are lower and dependant on a number of factors, such as the speed of both your processor and the peripheral attached to the SATA interface. Initially, all 2011 MacBook Pros shipped with the SATA2 in the optical drive bay and the SATA3 in the main bay.

That appears to be changing as we’re hearing from multiple sources that Apple has upgraded the units delivered lately to SATA3 connectivity in the optical bay. However, this in no way implies that the latest SATA3 SSDs will work in the optical bay due to some compatibility problems with the SATA interface. Resolving them will likely require an EFI update, Snow Leopard 10.6.8 (which is currently in beta-testing) or even another quiet hardware adjustment…

Other World Computing observed on its blog last week that “units we’ve purchased over the past month indicate that Apple seems to be changing over to having 6Gb/s connectivity in both the main drive bay and in the optical bay”. Users on the Hardmac forum spotted the change as well and sites like Mac Performance Guide reported about Apple slipstreaming SATA3 6Gb/s ports across the entire MacBook Pro family. Note also that a new 2011 MacBook Pro OWC received this week “was back to 6Gb/s in the main bay and 3Gb/s in the optical”. It’s probably an isolated incident because the vast majority of web reports suggest a production change across all three MacBook Pro models (13/15/17″) enabling dual SATA3 connectivity. To see whether your MacBook Pro supports SATA3 in the optical bay, examine the Serial-ATA entry under the Hardware tab of the Apple System Profiler app on your Mac. If the Link Speed on both bays reads 6 Gigabit, you’re in luck (see below).



*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Kingston’s Wi-Drive wants to be a portable media server for iOS gadgets

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Remember Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite, a nice-looking portable wireless storage for iOS gear? This market is obviousyl booming due to the onslaught of smartphones, tablets and personal media players. The latest entrant includes Kingston which previewed a similar pocket-sized drive at Computex. Aptly named Wi-Drive, this battery-powered, flash-based portable drive acts as a media server that streams 720p video, music and other media to your devices via a dedicated iOS app (Android app is coming within 1-2 months). It’s got other features.

As a result of this media serving-focus, the product is lacking standard features such as backup tools. It does let you manage individual files, either through a web-based interface or via the included mini-USB cable. The Wi-Drive is also a wireless base station, but Engadget found out that “maintaining a constant connection will drain battery life, especially when using the Wi-Drive in bridge mode to access an Internet connection”, so you should take that into account when making a purchasing decision. Kingston says the battery has enough juice to allow for non-stop video streaming to three devices simultaneously for four hours. The Wi-Drive will set you back $130 for the 16GB model ($45 extra for double capacity).

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
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Barnes & Noble’s touch-enabled Nook now shipping

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Barnes & Noble’s all-new Nook e-reader is now shipping. The company announced via a press release yesterday that the new Nooks have been shipped to those who pre-ordered them. New orders placed via their website will ship immediately, in time for Father’s Day. The device will also be in stock at Barnes & Noble locations. The e-reader features a six-inch display with the latest E-Ink Pearl display technology that responds to touch input. It also surprises with other noteworthy goodies…

The gizmo provides 802.11g wireless access to the built-in Barnes & Noble bookstore with more than two million titles. The e-reader runs Android 2.1 on an 800MHz Texas Instruments OMAP3 processor and has interesting social features. 2GB of storage is included, expandable via a microSDHC slot. It weighs in at under eight ounces, is .47 inches thick and has battery life rated at up to two months of reading on a single charge. At just $140, the new Nook could be a decent Kindle alternative you’ve been looking for. Check out a handy video introduction embedded below.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
- Posted using my iPhone 4