Best Mac accessories for gift-giving [2017 Gift Guide]

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These best Mac accessories are perfect for any Mac owner on your gift list.
These accessories are perfect for any Mac owner on your gift list.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2017 Gift Guide bug Christmas creeps up on you quickly, so if you haven’t already started your shopping, it’s time to do something about it. Cult of Mac can help! In this guide, you’ll find a selection of stellar gifts that are perfect for the Mac lover in your life.

We have killer keyboards, stunning stands, super speakers and more!

Apple joins last-ditch bid for Toshiba’s chip division

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Toshiba
Everyone wants a piece of Toshiba's chip division.
Photo: Toshiba

Acquiring Toshiba’s chip-making business could still be in play for Apple after all, even though the company’s previous attempts to secure the coveted division with Foxconn fell through.

According to a new report, Apple is part of a “last-ditch” bid to acquire Toshiba’s chip-making ability along with Bain Capital and a few other players. If successful, the acquisition could give Apple a serious weapon in its battle with Samsung for smartphone supremacy.

Apple may help rescue Toshiba’s chipmaking business

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Foxconn
Foxconn wants Toshiba's chip business.
Photo: Foxconn

iPhone-assembler Foxconn may be about to get some help from none other than Apple in its quest to buy Toshiba’s chipmaking business.

Apple is reportedly considering whether to make a huge multi-billion dollar investment in the world’s second-largest memory chip maker. If the deal goes through, it would give Foxconn and Apple a major advantage over other smartphone manufacturers.

Western Digital’s new USB-C hard drive can also charge MacBooks

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The G-Drive packs 45 watts of charging power.
The G-Drive packs 45 watts of charging power.
Photo: Western Digital

Owners of the new MacBook Pro with USB-C can now connect an external hard drive and get their charge on at the same time.

The folks at Western Digital introduced the new G-Drive USB-C external hard drive today, which combines up to 10TB of hard disk storage with 45 watts of charging power so MacBook owners have fewer dongles and cables to worry about.

Best Mac accessories of 2016

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Best Mac accessories 2016
From dongles to docks, these are the year's best Mac accessories.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac We value our Mac computers. Whether on a desk or in a lap, they help us complete many life tasks. But you and your machine wouldn’t make it without reliable accessories — especially now that we live in the USB-C era.

Storage drives, hubs with extra ports, a good pair of headphones, maybe a bag to carry your tech — all these Mac accessories play important roles. They often remain unsung, but sometimes come through to help us avoid a devastating loss of hardware or important work.

So if you are looking to bolster your Mac support team, look no further than this list of some of Cult of Mac’s favorites accessories from 2016 for iMacs, MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

New WD drive puts terabytes in the palm of your hand

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Western Digital My Passport for Macs
Back it up! The new Western Digital My Passport for Macs holds 4 terabytes.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

The best work I ever did as a photographer resides in a collection of Western Digital external hard drives that are stored in an old, large camera bag in my closet. The images span more than a decade and with any one of the WD My Passport drives, I can confidently plug one in and quickly find some black-and-white relic of my past.

You can see the progress of time in the pictures (clothes and hair styles) as well as in the design and sizes of the WD drives. Each year, the drives offered more storage space in the same basic compact housing.

So I was astonished a couple of weeks back when the UPS driver dropped off a WD My Passport sized just a little bigger than a deck of cards — with a whopping 4 terabytes of storage.

Which massive hard drives are too big to fail?

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blog-which-drive
Looking for a new hard drive? Stay away from 3TB units. Photo: Backblaze Media

One year ago we were given some insight into which hard drives last the longest thanks to Backblaze media’s analysis of the tens of thousands of hard drives in their data center. The company uses regular consumer-grade hard drives due to the cheaper costs to power their unlimited storage offerings for customers, and this year they’re back with a new study revealing which 4TB hard drives are too big to fail.

After spinning 41,213 disk drives in its data center, Backblaze crunched the numbers at the end of 2014 to find that if want a hard drive with the lowest failure rate possible, go with an HGST drive.

How to build a gaming Hackintosh on the cheap: hardware

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More power, less money, runs OS X. Winning! Photo: Killian Bell
Want more power for your money? Build a Hackintosh. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

I recently decided it was time to get a proper desktop computer. I needed it predominantly for work, but I wanted it to be powerful enough to play the latest games in 1080p without worrying about stuttering or terrible frame rates.

The new Mac lineup didn’t offer a perfect fit — the Retina 5K iMac was too expensive, and the new Mac mini simply wasn’t powerful enough — so I set myself a goal: To build a gaming machine with a dedicated video card, capable of running OS X, for around the price of a Mac mini.

I set a budget of $650 for my build. That’s $150 more than the base model Mac mini, but $50 less than the midrange model. In this piece, I’ll take you through the components I purchased and why I chose them, and how I put them all together. Next week, I’ll show you how I installed OS X to turn my DIY gaming rig into a Hackintosh.

Gadget Watch: Staying home with robots

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Who needs to go out outside this week? Not us: We have headphones, a home-monitoring video camera, a robot to clean the floors and a keyboard that sleeps on your desk, all ready to play with your iDevices. Determined to leave the house? Take the GoPro PowerPole with you and then offload the footage to a new wireless, battery-powered hard drive from Western Digital.

Who needs to go out outside this week? Not us: We have headphones, a home-monitoring video camera, a robot to clean the floors and a keyboard that sleeps on your desk, all ready to play with your iDevices. Determined to leave the house? Take the GoPro PowerPole with you and then offload the footage to a new wireless, battery-powered hard drive from Western Digital.


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