According to MacRumors, new specs for the upcoming Apple MacBook Air Models leaked already, mainly confirming what we already thought: Intel Ivy Bridge, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD stock. Unconfirmed is still the Retina Display on the MacBook Air and USB 3.0 Ports, among other rumored extensions. Let's see what the next few hours will bring!
Here are the leaked specs:
Base Model: MD223LL/A - MBA 11.6/1.7/4/64FLASH-USA
Better: MD224LL/A - MBA 11.6/1.7/4/128FLASH-USA
High End: MD845LL/A - MBA 11.6/2.0/8/256FLASH-USA
MD231LL/A - MBAIR 13.3/1.8/4/128FLASH-USA
MD232LL/A - MBAIR 13.3/1.8/4/256FLASH-USA
MD846LL/A - MBAIR 13.3/2.0/8/512FLASH-USA
Great stuff folks - MacBook Pro Specs leaked short before they will be actually presented on the WWDC 2012: 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display!
This is epic, I am wondering how much people will get a new MacBook Pro soon, expect the prices of the previous models to drop dramatically: there is already a Apple MacBook Pro MD313LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop selling (new) for $934, expect prices to drop even more...
here are the leaked specs and model numbers (thanks to 9to5mac)
MC975LL/A – MBP 15.4/2.3/8GB/256GB FLASH-USA
MC976LL/A – MBP 15.4/2.6/8GB/512GB FLASH-USA
MD831LL/A – MBP 15.4/2.7/16GB/768GB FLASH-USA
Since the SSD technology already matured a lot and the drives are mostly more stable than Hard Disk, the only question remains on which drive to choose. Actually, the answer is more simple than you might have thought: go for the longest warranty.
The OCZ Vertex 3 is a very cheap and awesome piece of hardware (read the benchmarks here: OCZ Vertex 3 vs. Intel 520 SSD) but the Vertex 3 has one major problem: it features only 3 years of warranty. So what drives are currently offering more than 3 years? The OCZ Vertex 4 and the Intel 520 SSD drives, both the cutting edge of speed and durability offer 5 years of warranty.
Both drives feature a 5 year warranty, which shows us that the drives are really high quality.
Optibay Replica for $14 for a second HDD or SSD in your Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro, including external case for your optical drive
A lot of readers and friends keep asking me about the Optibay and the modding possibilities of their MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Here is a current and up-to-date information on what you can do to tweak your Mac Notebooks to the extent:
First of all, you might want to max your RAM: read our article "Confirmed: 16GB RAM Upgrade for Unibody MacBook Pros" to see how to obtain the cheapest RAM upgrades possible. Second, you might want to consider an SSD replacement for your internal drive. Intel and OCZ are currently the best brands to look out for, you can read our article "OCZ Vertex 3 vs. Intel 520 SSD Benchmarks on OSX (Hackintosh)" for details.
The best way to mod your Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro is the Optibay still: for around $14 you can get the full shebang, including the Optibay (replica) as well as an USB casing for your optical drive, should you need it ever (i don't).
If you don't like the white color, the external drive is also available in black and there is even a slim version (slot-in) in silver. Don't worry about the replicas, they are not really different to the original Optibay - anyway you are mounting them inside your MacBook Pro and you won't see them any time soon.
Also take a look at our previous post "2011 Macbook Pro and SATA III 6Gbps, Optibay: two HD drives – setup explained". There, we recommended saving the few bucks for the external casing and getting a bluray drive instead, a recommendation i can still emphasize.
OCZ just released the OCZ Vertex 4 as a successor to the OCZ Vertex 3. The internals and performance of the Vertex 4 are very different from the Vertex 3: based on the Indilinx Everest 2 Chipset, the OCZ Vertex 4 is a totally different story: I would call this drive the Octane 2, but OCZ went with Vertex 4, to show the future of the Vertex product line.
The drive shows lots of potential, especially in random 4K writes, where it even outperforms Intel's 520 Cherryville SSD. Anandtech notes "OCZ has finally delivered much of what we've wanted in an SSD: low write amplification and very good random/sequential write performance. It could use a more aggressive real-time garbage collection algorithm but running an OS with TRIM, that's mostly picking nits." Is the Indilinx Everest 2 Chipset finally challenging the throne of the dominating Sandforce Chipset? I would definitely say: yes.
The tool to test read/write speeds: AJA System Test is a free download from AJA. The Software is available for Mac and Windows, the Tests performed were on a 10.7.2 Z68 Chipset Hackintosh System (Intel Chipset).
After almost 9 months with the OCZ Vertex 3 SATA-6GBPs (read about my OptiBay two-drive setup) and mostly no issues, the drive died on me. Starting with several GSOD (Grey Screens of Death) on my OSX Lion MacBook Pro, the drive became more and more unreliable.
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs: FindNextLeafNode: Error from hfs_swap_BTNode (node 9852)
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs_swap_HFSPlusBTInternalNode: catalog key #54 too big
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs: Runtime corruption detected on SSD, fsck will be forced on next mount.
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs: FindNextLeafNode: Error from hfs_swap_BTNode (node 10370)
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs_swap_HFSPlusBTInternalNode: catalog record #22 keyLength=32 expected=65568
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs: node=10965 fileID=4 volume=SSD device=/dev/disk0s2
Nov 28 18:30:43 mbp kernel: hfs: Runtime corruption detected on SSD, fsck will be forced on next mount.
Nov 28 18:30:43 mbp kernel: hfs: FindNextLeafNode: Error from hfs_swap_BTNode (node 14503)
Nov 28 18:30:43 mbp kernel: hfs_swap_BTNode: record #55 invalid offset (0x9B46)
It was getting slower and slower, reporting tons of errors in the Console.app. Then, it did not reboot anymore. Even in an external USB drive enclosure the drive did not mount anymore. Contacting OCZ about this issue, they sent me an RMA number right away and told me they will replace the drive. Does this mean our data is not safe in SSD? What can we learn from this?
First of all, it is a myth that SSDs are more reliable than hard drives. Secondly, they are not even fully supported on OSX yet (see Should I use Trim Enabler on Lion for the OCZ Vertex 3? No!) - at least if you install the drives yourself (which is also what I would suggest, since Apple does not offer any decent SATA 6GBPs drives yet).
So where is the proof, you ask?
Proof #1: The Hot/Crazy Solid State Drive Scale (via Coding Horror)
Super Talent 32 GB SSD, failed after 137 days
OCZ Vertex 1 250 GB SSD, failed after 512 days
G.Skill 64 GB SSD, failed after 251 days
G.Skill 64 GB SSD, failed after 276 days
Crucial 64 GB SSD, failed after 350 days
OCZ Agility 60 GB SSD, failed after 72 days
Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, failed after 15 days
Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, failed after 206 days
As a commenter put it: "Average life of SSD = 227.375 days (based on Wills' data)" - which is also what I can confirm.
SOLUTION: Backup early, backup often. Don't rely on the SSD and make two local backups plus one backup in the cloud.
Proof #2: long-term study of SSD failure rates (via Tomshardware)
SOLUTION: Buy drives that come with a very long warranty. Be prepared to let your drive replace for several times.
I am still waiting for my replacement OCZ Vertex and I will benchmark how fast it will die again. Since OCZ told me, it can take up to three weeks for my replacement to arrive, I bought myself a Seagate ST750LX003 750 GB SATA 600, Momentus XT, 8 GB SLC - it's a hybrid 750GB HDD with an 8GB SLC cache. The drive shifts data that is used often in the 8GB SLC SSD space automatically. While the SSD part of this hybrid drive can also fail, the data won't be lost and it will suffer just some minor speed loss (if it fails, since SLC is said to be more reliable than MLC chips). While this disk is now my main startup disk, i will go back to using the OCZ Vertex 3 again, once the replacement arrives. I just need to backup regularly - the speed gain is really worth the trouble.
RAW Video for DSLR with Magic Lantern and Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle (vs. Atomos Ninja): 5D MKII, 550D, Rebels
[Update] Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle 2 as well as the Atomos Ninja 2 Recorder are already out. We are reviewing them shortly, as we have used both already in production. Both are capable of DNxHD as well as Apple ProRes.
SLR Film making got even more exciting: with the availability of HDMI recorders, RAW Video footage can be recorded to get the maximum out of your Canon 5D MKII or other camera compatible with Magic Lantern. Standard Firmware does not output a "clean" HDMI signal, at least not for Canon cameras; the Panasonic GH2 produces a clean HDMI output, as noted by Philip Bloom (!).
What are currently recommended HDMI field recorders?
1. Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle (RAW Video)
2. Atomos Ninja - Portable HDMI Recorder (ProRes)
Unless you are super-rich and have tons of money to spend for Solid State Drives and a RAID Array, you should get the Atomos Ninja. Besides the actual device, you also get a monitoring solution and have a true portable device, that creates files usable with normal hard drives. Overall cost is much lower and there should not be a really visible difference from ProRes to RAW footage. If you are into Bokeh Porn, you might want to spend your money in the Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle.
Keep in mind, there are currently some issues with HDMI out an Magic Lantern: there is a video on the 5D MKII's 1080i out and also some discussions going on in the Magic Lantern Forums, because some processing needs to be done to get actual usable files. Actual resolutionis 12-19% less (depending how you do it) but still the results are awesome - especially in low light situations. Maybe we will get real clean HDMI out with the Canon EOS 5D MKIII.
We recently blogged, after purchasing two OCZ Vertex SATA3 Drives (240GB) and inserting them with an Optibay setting (2 Drives in one MacBook Pro; see our previous post: 2011 Macbook Pro and SATA III 6Gbps, Optibay: two HD drives – setup explained).
Since we still were experiencing freezes and Sandballs on our Mac OSX Lion 10.7 SSD Setup that were actually not related to TRIM, also the system did not feel as snappy anymore.
Conclusion: don't use TRIM on OSX Lion 10.7, if you are using a Sandforce based SSD. Revert to the original driver and not only the Beachballs will go away, but also the system feels snappy again. See the below Benchmarks for real-life results (since AJA System Test does not work on internal drives, we can recommend using XBENCH to verify the figures for you).
XBENCH Screenshot with TRIM Enabled (using TRIM Enabler for OSX 10.7 Lion)
Screenshot of XBENCH without TRIM Enabler (Restored to original setting)
UPDATE: Grant Pannell (digitaldj.net) reports on how to restore to the original settings.
While Apple's 10.7 Lion OS looks much more like GNOME like any other previous version of OSX, is comes with lots of annoyances. People using an SSD drive might have to update, since it finally supports the TRIM command, there are also lots of annoying features you might want to get rid of:
1) No TRIM support out of the box if you are using your own SSD (not Apple's)
This is ridicolous: TRIM only seems to work for Apple buit-in SSDs. There is a tool by groths.org that will do the trick: TRIM Enabler, which works for Lion and for Snow Leopard as well. You might want to consider enabling this feature, since TRIM will make your Solid State Drive last longer, due to less writes to the cells.
2) Mouse scrolling direction got reversed: how to revert
Apple decided to reverse the mouse scolling on 10.7 Lion, meaning you have to scroll your mousewheel up to actually move the on-screen content down. Here is a screenshot from System Preferences, where you can change that "feature" to the way it was before: simply uncheck the box left to "Move content in the direction of finger movement when scrolling or navigating".
3) Disabling the "Resume" feature
The "Resume" Feature in Mac OS X Lion restores the state of the application windows, when re-opening an application. Since I definitely do not need this feature, here is a way to turn it off: just uncheck the left box next to "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps" in System Preferences -> General
4) Disabling "Versions" feature in Mac OSX 10.7 Lion
Versions should't be a problem unless you are using Time Machine. MacRumors has a forum post on disabling that features.
5) Other (small) annoyances
Google Chrome does not get moved with an update ( Chrome vanishes with Lion 10.7 Update)
This is also very strange: the Google Chrome Browser did not get moved on my Lion update. I had to re-download Google Chrome.app. At least the Application Support files got moved, so I did not lose any browsing history or bookmarks.
Dropbox needs to be reinstalled: special Lion build
The dropbox right-click features dissappear when updating to Lion. Download the Latest Forum Build of Dropbox that is Lion compatible (1.2.16 at the time of writing this entry)
Other interesting reviews about Mac OSX 10.7 Lion can be found here:
* Time Magazine on OSX Lion: "With OS X Lion, Apple's Macs Enter the iPad Era"
Since we recently purchased two 2011 MacBook Pros (with lots of issues, as previously reported) we were wondering if SATA III 6Gbps drives would be supported. The short answer is YES, the longer answer is: only on the original Hard Drive port. Here are recommendations on which drive setup is best suited for getting the maximum out of the 2011 Apple machines.
Which type are you?
- the collector: two 750GB SATAII Drives
- fast, but not furious: 256GB SSD SATAIII drive + 750GB HDD in the optical drive slot
- the caretaker: 256GB SSD SATAIII drive + 500GB SATAII hybrid drive in the optical drive slot
- speed enthusiast: 256GB SSD SATAIII drive + 256GB SSD SATAII drive in the optical drive slot
- humongous and rich: 512GB SSD SATAIII drive + 512GB SSD SATAII drive in the optical drive slot
The new MCE OptiBay was created for users who want as much hard drive capacity as possible inside their MacBook Pro, MacBook, PowerBook G4, iMac, or Mac mini. Period