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“Secret” Firmware lets Late ’08 MacBooks use 8GB.

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 | Author: and

Every once in a while, a blip on the radar comes up, letting us know that there’s something not quite right in our little corner of the Mac Universe. This time around, it came in the form of Tweets directed to us, as well as in posting in popular Mac forums.

As it turns out, several other memory vendors—along with some Late 08 MacBook/MacBook Pro users—have laid claim to these machines working with 8GB of RAM. This was contradictory to our testing in December 2009 which quite clearly showed that while these models recognized a full 8GB, if an application addressed more than 6GB, the system would slow down significantly.

Not being the type to just let these sorts of claims to go unchallenged, we went back to our testing lab, grabbed the affected model machines, running 10.6.6. and dropped an 8GB upgrade kit in them.

The results were exactly the same as in 2009, lending credence to our conclusions, but the sheer number of claims to the contrary led us to continue searching—and the trail ended at Apple.

In late 2009, an EFI Firmware Update was released to address the buzzing noises coming from the optical drive. However, it seems that somewhere along the line, Apple changed this update without notating it anywhere.

Whether any other elements were affected by this change is undetermined, but it did change memory addressing; with the later version of the update installed, you could address a full 8GB in Snow Leopard. Unfortunately, Software Update doesn’t show this version as being different from the previous one, so users wouldn’t be notified if they had already updated their firmware to the older version.

The practical upshot of all this is that if you installed the EFI Update when it first came out, like we did, you would have gotten the old code, which meant your computer would only address 6GB properly. Those who didn’t upgrade until after Apple changed the updater got the newer firmware, which allowed proper addressing of 8GB.

Once we manually installed the “updated” version of the EFI Firmware in our test machines, they were able to address 8GB normally, without any crashing or slowdowns.

How do you ensure your Late ‘08 MacBook/MacBook Pro can address 8GB of RAM?

Article Continues…

OWC YouTube Channel Reaches 1 Million Views

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 | Author:

The OWC YouTube channel, where you can find all our instructional videos, SSD shootouts, promotional pieces and other bits of video goodness, topped over one million views late Monday. Of course, that number doesn’t include views from our Tech Center or from iTunes. If you take those two into account as well, we’re probably already closing in on the two million mark.

Our Instructional Series shows you, step-by-step, how to install the most popular upgrades in most modern Macs. Also popular are our SSD shootouts where we show how much an OWC SSD can improve your computer’s performance. They’re just one way we try to make upgrading with OWC the best experience possible.

We’re not resting on our laurels, though. We’ve got more great content in the pipeline, including:

  • in-depth looks at some of our products
  • more shootouts showing performance gains from upgrading
  • more of our highly-acclaimed Instructional Series of videos
  • various other fun little tidbits from the OWC Video Staff

To get the latest, join the over 1000 subscribers to our YouTube channel and keep an eye here on the OWC Blog!

Loaded with Stuff!

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 | Author:

It has been over 6 months since I last told you about my Lola and I feel that It is my duty to share some of her newest experiences with you. Time just flies when you are having fun and let me tell you, Lola has had some fun.

She has been driving pretty fast as of recently! You could even say Jimmie Johnson fast when using an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE SSD drive. Only the fastest and most reliable Solid State Drive on the market today will suffice for Lola’s data storage and backup needs.

At this point, I must say that Lola is pretty spoiled. She has taken over my credit cards. I am sure that some of you can relate. Lola is loaded with so much stuff that she now has her own section in my home.

She recently demanded that I take better care of her. Always dragging her to and from work and anywhere else she demands.

So, as always I quickly shopped and purchased the Case Logic Laptop Sleeve. It has everything that a MacBook Pro like Lola would want and need. Form fitted, suede, zippers, durability and a slimline design. Even a 25 year warranty. 25 years! I mean, really!?!

Of course, It did not stop there.

Lola wanted more protection from all of the bumps and bruises of travel. I continued to shop and got her the Matias Laptop Armor. It is stylish, rugged and has a silver aluminum slim design.

There is that word “slim” again. Lola just loves slim.

OWC’s October Garage Sale Full Of Tech Treats

Monday, October 18th, 2010 | Author:

It’s a hauntingly good time to get a tech treat for yourself while the kids are making plans to load up on free candy. That’s right, just for the ghoulish geeks out there, we unveiled our monthly garage sale over the weekend.

And just like a candy bowl left at a front door that says, “pls take one,” the goodies have been moving fast.

No need to scream though…with well over 200 great deals remaining, you still have time to find your favorite kind of treat.

Items are first come/first served, of varying limited quantities to what we have on hand. and must be ordered on-line via our website.

Here are just a few highlights of the available items that automatically count down and ‘vanish without a trace’ as they sell out:

PowerMac G4 up to Dual 1.25GHz from $89.99; iBook G4/1.33GHz for $199.99

Limited supply of Jabra BT125 BlueTooth Headset-NEW in Damaged Box for $19

Wireless 802.11g,n Routers and Adapter options from $10.00

Four Mac Software Titles up to 77% off normal retail while supplies last

Great Mac Memory Deals – 1GB from $14.50; 2GB from $30; 4GB from $60.00
Listings for Mac mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and more

MacBook & MacBook Pro Batteries, New from $48.00

Laptop Carrying Cases, Battery Chargers, Docking Stations, & More

Nearly 30 Different 3.5″ Desktop Drives 500GB and up to 2.0TB from $37.50

Nearly 30 Different 2.5″ Laptop Drives 160GB and up to 1.0TB from
$34.99

OWC, Intel, Crucial, and Apple SSDs up to 512GB from $94.50

A selection of over 60 drive enclosure kitsstarting from $7.99
2.5″, 3.5″, Serial ATA, IDE/ATA, Single Bay, 2-Bay, 4-Bay, RACK

Controller Cards for IDE/ATA & SATA (PCI, PCIe, Express34) from $17.50

SuperDrives from $22.50 for Desktops and Laptops, Blu-ray from $87.50

Don’t worry about gobbling up all this great gear and having your teeth fall out over high priced shipping. We offer freight specials from as low as $1.95 for delivery…and if you place an order of $179 or more, we ship it to you FREE.

And so that you can be first to howl at the full slate of deals next month, make sure to sign up for for our FREE Tips n’ Deals and Hot Deals newsletters!

OWC’s September Garage Sale Full Of Gadget Deals

Monday, September 20th, 2010 | Author:

OWC’s September garage sale started with over 300 items this week and has already dwindled to just under 200! But fret not, there are still a ton of great deals to be snagged.

Items are first come, first served and of varying limited quantities. Quantities limited to on hand available and items automatically count down and ‘disappear’ as sold out.

Here are just a few highlights:

NEW high capacity batteries for Apple Macbook 13”, MacBook Pro 15” & 17” from $54.99

Nearly 40 different external hard drive enclosures/docks featuring FireWire 800, FireWire 400, eSATA, and/or USB 2.0 interfaces from $7.99

3.5” desktop/tower hard drives from $36.00…including a variety of 1.0TB drives from $55.00!

2.5” Notebook/Laptop drives from $34.99…including some Apple 256GB and 512GB Factory Genuine SSDs!

Software deals at up to 83% off

Save on used/trade-in OWC Tested memory for Macs from $5.50 – 2GB DDR3 Modules from $35.00 for latest iMacs, Mac mini, MacBooks, Mac Pro

Wireless 802.11n/g adapters, routers from $12.50

Some Unique Laptop Accessories – including docking stations and a Designer Bag, hard to find – discounts up to 55% off Original price

Don’t worry about loading up on all this great gear and paying through the nose for shipping. We offer freight specials from as low as $1.95 for delivery…and if you place an order of $179 or more, we ship it to you FREE.

Speaking about payment…we offer a wide variety of checkout options for your convenience. Select from American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal. Or, use your Amazon account to checkout.