Many of us here at the OWC Blog are big fans of the Mac mini, and the latest version is no exception. It packs a lot of punch in its diminutive frame, and for many users, it may just be all the computer they need.
To see just how well the new Mac mini can perform with certain OWC upgrades, Lloyd Chambers of Mac Performance Guide has put it through his battery of tests, and the results show that the mini can be considered as viable workstation solution for Photoshop and Lightroom power-users. Using an OWC 6G SSD doubles the performance in his tests compared to the Apple 1TB hard drive, and using an OWC Helios + Accelsior Solution via Thunderbolt is even faster…how’s a speed improvement of 70% grab ‘ya?
Check out Lloyd’s full writeup for all the performance insights.
Newer Technology, Inc. announced today its miniStack external storage solution is now available with an OWC Mercury Solid State Drive in four capacities from 120GB to 960GB priced starting from $199.99. Specifically designed to match the appearance and size of Mac mini models from 2010 to the new 2012 machine introduced this week by Apple, the miniStack ‘stacks’ on top of the mini to conserve precious desktop workspace. With the new SSD-based models, the miniStack can be used as a boot drive for faster OS loads as well as for dramatically faster processing with intensive graphics and A/V applications. Article Continues…
When the 2012 MacBook Pros were released, we found that SATA 3.0 SSDs—such as the OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G and the Mercury Electra 6G—exhibited poor performance and reliability in the 13-inch model when installed in the optical bay via an OWC Data Doubler, while the same SSDs in the 15-inch model worked just fine.
This was similar to what happened in 2011, where (ironically enough) the 13-inch models were the only ones able to handle our Mercury 6G SSDs in the optical bay at first. Eventually, though, an Apple firmware update resolved the problems in the 15-inch and 17-inch models in the main drive bay.
As it turns out, the same thing happened to the 2012 models. Yesterday’s EFI Update 2.9 for MacBook Pro appears to have fixed the problem. Article Continues…
In case you missed it, we released a new firmware update for our SSD line yesterday. At the same time, we’ve been running tests to determine if there was any impact on performance.
Well, there is a bit of an effect in that this latest revision seems to smooth out the performance of the drive, lessening the variance in write performance considerably.
It’s probably just easier to show you.
We tested a 240GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD using the DiskTester diglloyd Tools both before and after the firmware update, and got these results.
As you can see, read rates stay right around the same speed and variance, but take a look at how much less varied the write rates have become after the update. You’ll also notice that while the variance has narrowed, it has narrowed toward the faster range. Now the minimum speed is right around the level that used to be considered the middle-0f-the road for this drive; it’s now slightly faster.
Granted, this increase in speed isn’t likely to be perceptible to most users – you’d have to be writing files in the multi-gigabyte range just to see a couple of seconds shaved off. However, the stabilization of and increase of write speeds may be an additional benefit if you choose to upgrade your firmware.
Update: OWC Releases Firmware Update For Industry-Leading SSD Line
Other World Computing announced today it has released a new firmware version—MP5.0.1—to deliver optimum performance and stability from its industry-leading, SandForce Driven Mercury Solid State Drive line when installed in the latest Macs and PCs. The GUI driven, Mac experience friendly and bootable updater for Solid State Drives is freely available from OWC for use exclusively with OWC Mercury Extreme Pro, Mercury Electra, and Mercury Aura Pro SSD models.
The Only Mac Friendly Update Experience
OWC’s proprietary firmware updater, now available with support for all of Apple’s latest Mac models, as well as nearly all prior machines, eliminates the need for a PC, ownership of Windows or other operating system, or the creation of a specially designated drive partition that many SSD updaters have required. Mac users only need to download the updater from OWC’s site, obtain and burn a DVD, and then boot from that DVD to launch an easy to use, point and click GUI for installing the latest firmware revision to their OWC Mercury SSD. OWC’s Mac-friendly firmware updater continues OWC’s unmatched firmware update support for Mac users of SandForce-based SSDs. OWC also provides update support for PCs running the Windows or Linux OS.
“We recognized SSDs would be an ever-evolving product, so we made it our priority to ensure users of OWC Mercury brand SSDs would immediately be able to utilize the benefit from any hardware and/or firmware updates,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “As such, this latest firmware update is quick, easy and performed with no guesswork or doubt via the only point and click Mac-friendly updater; as well as standard upgrade packages for Windows and Linux Operating System users.”