New iMacs, OWC eSATA for iMac, & More
OWC Tips n' Deals September 17th, 2010
In this issue:
Hello Again from your OWC friends in Woodstock!Just when I think we're going to have some time to get things back to a regular schedule – here comes Apple with not one, but two new Mac releases. Can't make more time in a day (although we get an extra hour in the one day next month for day light's savings), but certainly can get more done in a day with the right tools at hand. We have those tools; I use those tools; and OWC makes sure that those tools are offered to you, our loyal customers, for your benefit, too.
So let’s get to it!
At first glance, the new iMacs have raw speeds and basic specs which appear similar + a speed a bump or two vs. the 2009s they replace. More to the story are changes in the processor generation and the system architecture truly sets them apart. Going to try to first compare and then hit the details beneath.
The Apple iMac 21.5" base model is still a 3.06GHz Dual-Core for $1199. The processor is now the Intel Core i3 vs. Core 2 Duo. The Nvidia 9400M 'shared memory' video has been substantially boosted with the ATI Radeon 4670 256MB Dedicated solution.
Starting at $1499, the 21.5" stepped up model is available with a 3.2GHz Dual-Core i3 Processor and Radeon 5670 512MB Dedicated Video. For an extra $200, you can choose the 3.6GHz Intel Core i5 Processor option, higher clock + advanced processor vs. the standard 3.2GHz i3.
The Apple iMac 27" base model is now a 3.2GHz Dual Core for $1699. The Processor is also now an Intel Core i3 vs. the 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo in the 2009. The base video has been upgraded to the ATI Radeon 5670 512MB dedicated vs. the 2009 27" base with 4670 ATI video. For an extra $200, you can choose the 3.6GHz Intel Core i5 Processor option, higher clock + advanced processor vs. the standard 3.2GHz i3. For an extra $150, this model has the option to upgrade video to the ATI Radeon 5750 1GB Dedicated video solution.
The Apple iMac 27" Quad-Cores still start at $1999 and now are base with a 2.8GHz Core i5 Processor compared to the 2.66GHz the 2009 model was equipped with. The Video has also been upgraded to ATI Radeon 5750 1GB Dedicated replacing the ATI Radeon 4850 in the 2009. It is a $200 option to upgrade to a 2.93GHz Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor.
Those are the basics... now lets hit what makes things different + exciting new options too!
Processors: The Core i3/i5/i7 series eliminates the need for separate memory controller. By directly accessing memory, access efficiency and performance provide a lift across all the new iMacs. The 2009 models, which had a base architecture supporting both the Core 2 Duo i5/i7 processors still maintained a separate memory controller.
Intel Core 2 Duo vs. Intel Core i3 Dual-Core: The i3 is built with Intel's latest 32nm wafer production technology as it's highest end Xeons. Incorporating advanced Intel Hyper-Threading and Smart-Cache technologies, these processors sail by Core 2 Duos - even those running the same clock speed as the i3 gets substantially more done with each clock cycle. Basically - like being able to carry more passengers at a time in a larger vehicle... Still making the same trip back and forth, but takes fewer trips as you're transporting more with each pickup.
Intel Core i3 Dual-Core vs. Intel Core i5 Dual-Core: The latest gen i5 Dual-core processors found in these iMacs are also built on the same 32nm technology as the i3. The extra 400MHz you get with $200 i5 options is substantial by itself, and in addition - the i5 also adds Intel's 'TurboBoost' technology. Turboboost automatically kicks a core speed up by as much as another 266MHz depending on heat/load/and core use variables. There are plenty of applications that don't fully exploit more than a single core - and where such occurs, TurboBoost gives those functions a nice boost.
The Quad-Core i5 and i7 Model/options: These is not a lot in terms of technical details that explain the differences between the two processors Apple uses in their Quad-Core iMacs. Both are 45nm technology processors and vs. the Quad-Core i5/i7 used in the 2009 iMacs - the main spec difference is the speed bump (i5 2.66GHz moved to 2.8GHz, i7 2.8GHz moved to 2.93GHz). That said - the new architecture throughout the entire iMac line up lets these faster processors show more gain than just processor speed alone would have done. Further - when it comes to deciding pro/con on the $200 i7 option - while being less than 5% faster in clock speed alone, independent tests show benefits of over 30% with the i7 vs. the base i5 Quad-Core. If you're going for the Quad-Core, the i7 options should definitely be considered.
Memory: As noted above, all of the new iMacs benefit from the Intel Core series direct memory access. Further, they now utilize and further benefit from 1333MHZ DDR3 (prior models used 1066MHz). All 2010 iMac Models, like the 2009 models they replaced, have four memory slots for a maximum of 16GB and are base with 4GB installed (2GB x 2) with 2 slots open. Memory needs to be added in Matched sets, two at a time, for best results. At a great savings vs. the factory cost... Up to 70% off, OWC has options for going to 8GB, 12GB or 16GB of total memory. Important note – 1333MHz SO-DIMM Memory is NOT backwards compatible with 1066MHz. Further... DDR3 is not backwards compatible for systems that use DDR2. Regardless of which iMac model you have, our easy to use iMac memory guide ensures you get the correct modules for your iMac. Our online installation videos also show how easy memory installation is - in addition to Apple's printed instructions in recent model iMac manuals.
Internal Hard Drive option: Just like the 2009 models, all of the 2010 models come standard with a 1TB hard drive that, for $150, can be upgraded to a 2.0TB Drive. Currently we have seen Apple using the same 2.0TB Hitachi 7200RPM model that we’ve long offered and currently offer for $135.00. Kind of a steep cost for just swapping the 1TB drive for a 2TB, but these machines are no joy to open up and replacing the hard drive in a 2010 or 2009 iMac is best done by a professional.... which we'll get to...
*NEW* SSD Option for 27”: Apple now offers a 256GB SSD for $750 available as an option when you select a Quad-Core 27" iMac. We have no explanation why Apple doesn't offer this option on all of their 27" 2010 models (good be supply, could also be using it as a hook to pull power users to the quad-core), but we have confirmed all 27" iMac 2010 models have the necessary SATA 3G channels to support this additional drive - all 27" models have the same exact logic board with the same capabilities. This is where OWC comes in.
OWC Turnkey *eSATA Port*/SSD/HardDrive Program Upgrade Program for ALL Apple iMac 27" Models:
SSD: OWC Mercury Extreme Pro Solid State Drives: One of the very fastest (up to 40% faster than the SSD Apple uses) and most reliable line of SSDs on the market today can be installed into any 27" iMac model with capacity of up to 480GB from $319.00 'TurnKey'.
The Whole Program: We'll 'SuperCharge' your 2010 Apple iMac 27", enhancing it's performance and capabilities, with options for eSATA Port, and/or up to THREE Internal Solid State Drives, and/or an ultra-high performance 2TB HD + also upgrade the memory while we're at it. Pricing is from $169.00 for adding an eSATA port, $319 for adding an SSD, or from $349 for adding both SSD and eSATA. Prices include all labor, up to 1 year warranty on entire iMac (in addition to component warranties) + option for 3yr, and cost to deliver your 'OWC Supercharged iMac' to your door.
Links related to the above:
The OWC Mercury Extreme Pro Solid State Drive line (SSD) is, for most applications, far better than a processor upgrade or even new computer alone. By replacing a traditional hard drive with our SSD, even a Mac from years ago can feel like new and be back in the game. From the home user to the power user, all aspects from startup to application launching to file loading, to application processing, even simple web browsing/email - all receive benefit from our SSD. Our SSDs also use less power, have a higher reliability than hard drives, and run cooler too.
The OWC SSD line features the latest in Sandforce processor technology to delivery exceptionally high performance and unmatched reliability. We built this product for the Mac, but it's equally exceptional for use in PCs too. Unlike options that do not use a Sandforce processor, the Mercury Extreme Pro SSD does not depend on the OS for 'TRIM/Garbage collection' block management. That's a really good thing since Mac OS has no support for this function and it's not even a great solution where it is supported on the Windows side. As a result, while other ssds lose significant performance the longer they are in use, the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro is built to be among the fastest from the get go AND, rather importantly, actually maintain that performance for the years ahead of it - that is further backed by an industry leading warranty of up to 5 years.
Whether you're using a PowerMac G5, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, etc - we want everyone to experience the benefit of our SSD. Backed by a 3 year Warranty and a 30 Day Return Option models are available to up to 480GB with 60GB starting now at $159.99 and the 'get your feet wet special' 40GB offered to you at $99.00. The Mercury Extreme Pro SSD has received scores of awards and accolades from a broad base of tech reviewers - including one of the latest, a glowing 4.5/5 Review from Macworld. It's not just us singing it's praises.
Once you experience your Mac booting/running off an OWC SSD... Everything else - well, it's just painfully slow. :)
Links with more info:
In our last newsletter edition, we were hot off the heels of having received the official LEED Platinum Certification of our OWC Headquarters facility, a first for an operation of our type.
This time around, pleased to say that we can now add official US Energy Star recognition. Looking solely at the energy a facility consumes on a monthly basis, this further demonstrates the efficiency of our headquarter's energy efficient design and general operation. This particular rating doesn't concern itself with the fact that we have our own on-site, Wind-Generated power - but rather with how much the total power consumption is for us to operate (Wind or otherwise).
Long term/down the road, renewable resources are the future. For the foreseeable future, non-renewables will continue to be a large portion of the energy we consume. Making the best, smart use of all of our domestic resources avaialble reduces pollution, reduces foreign dependencies, and ultimately enables more investment into the 'renewables futrure'. It won't be a switch flipped overnight. That said, when applied on a mass scale, even small energy use reductions result in substantial reductions in energy consumed. Taken to our extreme, there are substantial savings and return on investment taking action to be energy efficient vs. paying for that higher energy consumption each month too.
I am going to step up and we're going to have more frequency to the OWC 'flagship' newsletter. That being said, the OWC team and I are always adding more content via our online blog. With new articles posted in the heat of the latest events as well as ongoing for a wide variety of general interest topics, something for everyone. What's more? We invite you to ask your own questions, provide feedback/make comments in response to these postings too.
Some of the most recent posts:
Some ongoing General posting categories:
And a whole lot more... The writing is fun and informative and you can follow it all on our OWC Blog page
Exclusively for OWC email subscribers, this 'featured specials' link, has all of the links in this newsletter to our site - includes a special activator code that ensures you get the best reader special price whether you're on the reader specials page or the normal site category/search listings.
Delivery Options now start from as low as $1.95 and free delivery on orders $179.00 & Up
Online Installation Videos, PDF Docs, FAQ & more in OWC Tech Center:
From installing memory to ipod batteries, installing processor upgrades to Optical and Hard Disk Drives - you'll find help in the OWC Tech center. Tips on setting up hard drives, creating raids, proper memory handling, network setup, basic troubleshooting, and just a whole lot more. We're always adding new information, videos, etc - a wealth of information we're happy to share!
There's lots of things you might pay someone to do for ya... with a little help from our Tech Center, you may learn and find out first hand how easy a lot things can be done right at home.
We don't get these newsletters out far near often enough... and the entire OWC team as a lot of great insights and general commentary to share. Visit our OWC Blog - you'll be glad you did!
New - OWC Radio: Download our Podcasts with fun Mac news & Interviews you'll truly find nowhere else.
FasterMac.Net - Great Prices for Great Mac Knowledgeable Internet Access & Solutions, nationwide
Alright - not even close to catching up... Right on the heels of our last newsletter, the new iMacs came.. And with them, a huge focused effort on our exciting iMac Upgrade program. Then came the Mac Pros... Then came the start of school, two in preschool now and my son started kindergarten - first bus ride. :) - - Hardly a dull moment. A lot of happenings in a very compressed period of time.
With what goes for normality coming back somewhat now, going to compress out a series of catch up newsletters with the time to sorta spare.
On the schedule:
— OWC Larry
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