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.
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.
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.