If you plan on buying one of Apple’s new 21.5-inch iMacs for $1,099 and then upgrading internal components yourself later on, then listen up. Upgrade experts OWC have torn down the new entry-level all-in-one and discovered that its memory is soldered to the motherboard and cannot be upgraded.
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Last year, Apple made an important change to 80 percent of their Mac line-up, including the new iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac Air, and Mac Pro, that changed the type of flash storage of each of those systems to incorporate a PCI Express (or PCIe)-based storage system. It’s a much faster technology than the Serial ATA based storage Apple was using before, but there’s a rub: it also uses a non-standard connector, making upgrading any of these Mac’s flash storage impossible up until now.
At CES this year, however, it looks like Other World Computing (OWC) has made important strides to cracking the problem. They showed off flash storage prototypes that should enable users to upgrade their newer Mac’s SSDs.
I love the look of OWC’s Envoy Pro EX. It’s a tiny external USB 3 drive which makes even a pocket HDD look bulky, and it packs a 240GB or a 480GB SSD, making it as fast as you’ll ever need.
But there’s one small problem: even the little one is $315, and the 480-gigger is almost $600. Ouch.
iFixit has described Apple’s new MacBook Pro as the “least repairable laptop” it has ever opened up, and subsequently gave the device a repair score of 1/10. However, just like the MacBook Air, you’ll be pleased to know that it is possible to upgrade the new MacBook Pro’s solid-state storage yourself.
For years we’ve heard a lot of hype about SSDs and how they’re going to change computing, but their progress has been slow, and the masses have been getting impatient. Well CES 2012 will be the start of SSDs officially entering into mainstream use thanks to Apple Inc. The best purchase I made in 2011 was when I replaced my MacBook Pro with the new 11’ MacBook Air. Not only is the MacBook Air lighter than any laptop I’ve owned, it’s also powerful enough to do some really awesome things I’d never thought possible on a miniature computer (like playing graphic intensive games like Star Wars the Old Republic). Most of these technological marvels are all thanks to Apple’s inclusion on SSDs in the MacBook Air lineup. Of course, Apple didn’t invent the SSD, nor were they the first company to use them, but they’re responsible for bringing SSDs to the masses at an affordable price.
Apple’s recent firmware updates were famous for preparing the company’s latest Thunderbolt-equipped Macs for the upcoming Thunderbolt Display. However, they also enabled one feature than Apple didn’t tell you: SATA 6Gbps support.
Apple’s latest line of Mac mini compact desktops offer some pretty impressive specifications. What with those latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and the opportunity to grab a solid-state drive with a custom build, you can get a super speedy mini if you have the money.
One thing you can’t get for your new machine, no matter have much money you have, is 16GB of RAM… at least not from Apple.
With the 2011 iMacs, it’s become even harder for users to upgrade their machines without paying Apple their pound of flesh.
Other World Computing has just announced its latest Mercury Aura Pro Express solid-state drive designed for the latest generation of MacBook Airs. Boasting a whopping 480GB of storage, the upgrade offers nearly 4x more capacity than currently available from factory available SSDs, and is an incredible 68% faster.
As you’d expect from an SSD, however, especially one designed for the latest MacBook Air, these babies come at one heck of a price. The 480GB upgrade will set you back a staggering $1,579.99, but you’re not going to find this kind of storage for Apple’s ultra portable notebook anywhere else.