While we are not in the habit of announcing products before they’re ready to launch, we decided to let the lid off of this one a little early, as it is quite exciting. We’d like to introduce you to our new PCIe-based SSD.
This card has a “stackable” design, allowing you configure the drive in sizes between 60GB and 2.oTB. This is done using individual miniPCIe daughter cards that attach to the main card. There’s no requirement for all the daughter card slots to be filled at once, which means you can easily expand capacity over time as you need it.
The main card is based around the Marvell 88SE9445 SATA RAID Controller and the individual daughter cards will feature a SandForce 2200 Series controller. It’s compatible with both Mac and PC, and as such, will be the first Mac supported PCIe SSD solution of its kind.
We’ve got more details and performance numbers in the works; stay tuned to the OWC Blog for more information on pricing, performance, and a projected release date in the very near future.
image courtesy of NASA
So while it appears the U.S. is leaving Low Earth Orbit operations (like the ISS) to the private sector and other countries once the Space Shuttle program is retired later this year, our country is going to “boldly go” into the unknown depths of space.
Finally, some good news from NASA that perhaps can return us to the pinnacle of space exploration!
In a press release dated May 24th, NASA officials announced plans for a new spacecraft designed for deep space exploration. The Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) is based on designs originally intended for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, part of the Constellation Program that was canceled early last year.
“We are committed to human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and look forward to developing the next generation of systems to take us there,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “The NASA Authorization Act lays out a clear path forward for us by handing off transportation to the International Space Station to our private sector partners, so we can focus on deep space exploration. As we aggressively continue our work on a heavy lift launch vehicle, we are moving forward with an existing contract to keep development of our new crew vehicle on track.”
This new spacecraft is being designed by Lockheed Martin Corp., who has been involved with many NASA projects over the years.
With 316 cubic feet of pressurized, habitable space and a rough cone shape, the MPCV resembles a slightly larger Apollo Command/Service Module with a fresh coat of black paint. However, it has been designed for missions up to 21 days, will carry four astronauts, and is supposed to be 10 times safer during launch and re-entry than the Space Shuttle.
Apple released MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.8 on December 8th, 2009, sparking a new interest in the Late 2008 MacBook Pro models and their maximum memory capacity.
Apple supports up to 4GB of memory in these machines, but OWC has done the testing with our memory modules and has been able to support 6GB of memory since their release. However, there was something interesting we found with our testing when trying to qualify the laptops to accept 8GB of memory. Simply put, while System Profiler recognized that there was indeed 8GB of memory installed, once more than 6GB of memory was actually put to use, the performance of the overall machine diminished.
Of course, when we heard the rumors circulating again that the Firmware Update may have silently addressed this issue as well, we got excited and performed the qualification testing again after installing the update. Unfortunately we found the same scenario on all the machines. The machines were faster the more memory we installed until more than 6GB was present. Once the machine tried to address the final 2GB of memory the performance started to suffer yet again.
It would have been nice to officially support twice the memory that Apple intended, but alas, we’ll have to settle for a 50% increase. Which all in all – isn’t bad.
The machines that were rumored to go to 8GB, are supported to only 4GB by Apple, and have been tested and confirmed by us to 6GB are:
MacBook Pro 15″ 2.4GHz (All)
MacBook Pro 15″ 2.53GHz model w/ExpressCard Slot (Late 2008)
MacBook Pro 15″ 2.8GHz model w/ExpressCard Slot (Late 2008)
MacBook 13.3″ 2.0GHz (All)
MacBook 13.3″ 2.4GHz (All)
White MacBook 13.3″ Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz