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OCZ Jumps On Mac Hardware Bandwagon

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

Need a Blu-ray burner or solid state drive for your Mac? MCE and OCZ are happy to oblige.

When it comes to laptops and desktops from Apple, you are typically stuck with whatever hardware comes in the original computer. Whether it's storage, RAM, or optical drives, upgrading a Mac can be a headache when compared to upgrading a PC. If you're a Mac owner and have been looking to upgrade, the last several days have seen a flurry of activity regarding Mac-specific hardware from several different companies.

OCZ, a brand known for PC memory, power supplies and solid state drives (SSDs), is now bringing a number of different Mac-specific SSD and RAM solutions to the market. For starters, OCZ has unveiled a "Mac Edition" Vertex SSD. Available in 30, 60, 120 and 250 GB flavors, the Mac Vertex drives boast read speeds of 220-240 MB/sec. and write speeds ranging from 125-170 MB/sec., with the smaller drives having the slower read and write speeds. These drives were tested in the labs over at Apple and are certified as such. A "guaranteed compatibility" list shows us that the drives are supposed to work flawlessly in any and all MacBooks and MacBook Pros released in mid-2007 or later. More specifically, if your Mac laptop shipped with OS X version 10.4.2 or later, you should be in the clear.

OCZ is also selling notebook RAM for Mac laptops. With DDR2-667 and DDR3-1066 speeds available, the memory is "Qualified by OCZ engineers in the Apple Development Center." both varieties are available in 2 GB and 4 GB kits, but there is no word on price just yet.

If you're rocking a Mac Pro desktop (or even an older Power Mac) and want to add a Blu-ray drive to your arsenal, MCE has unveiled its newest BD drive. At $400, the MCE burner boasts an 8x BD-R speed, 2x speed for re-writeable Blu-ray discs, and can write DVDs at 16x. While adding a Blu-ray burner to a Mac Pro setup would make for an impressive multimedia machine, Apple has yet to support Blu-ray players in its OS X software. Until that happens, the MCE drive can burn BD media, but it will not be able to play a Blu-ray movie on your Mac. That said, the burner will work with Adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro and Roxio Toast 10.

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  • 6 Hide
    Humans think , April 11, 2009 1:43 AM
    If I were Devin I would not lose the opportunity to post sth at the end of the commercial ooops "press release" to show my feelings

    I have upgraded the RAM of my Macbook by using standard 2GB module from Kingston. This whole MAC approved story is simply disturbing. What happened to generic hardware? Any SATA/USB HDD/SSD/CD/DVD/BD (same with memories) should work under Mac and shouldn't need an approval by Apple, all these are generic hardware ffs.

    There are just trying to find ways to charge us more for the same thing (Apple tax).
  • 0 Hide
    mamw93 , April 11, 2009 2:01 AM
    That's what makes Macs lesser to PC's. Impossible to upgrade and extremely expensive. All you pay for is that shiny Apple logo on the back. Mac OS 10 is 100 bucks to buy so you are overpaying by a ton.
  • 0 Hide
    Humans think , April 11, 2009 2:12 AM
    I use Windows/OS X and Linux
    Some upgrades for Apple you can do on your own like the memory I upgraded or the hard drive, and it is fairly easy, so you don't pay Apple Tax.

    OS X won my heart, i go to Windows only for gaming. This is what Apple is using to drive us from the balls
  • 0 Hide
    SneakySnake , April 11, 2009 2:30 AM
    Why do they do a specific "Mac Edition" HDD. I'm running one their "Windows" editions drives in my Macbook Pro right now.

    The Macbook, Macbook Pro, and Mac Pro are actually made to upgrade yourself. It gives you specific instructions in the manual on how to do it. The only computer that you can't upgrade are the macbook air, which is obvious. The iMac's RAM and HDD can be accessed but upgrading it is pretty tricky.

    The only gripe people (and me) have about upgrading macs is the GPU. The best option available is a 512 mb 4870 for the Mac Pro. However when a new Mac Pro release comes around you can upgrade to the newer card in you older Mac Pro
  • -1 Hide
    greenskye , April 11, 2009 2:58 AM
    I still think its sad that there's no Blu-ray support for macs... They better release a BD drive this year or they will fall too far behind. For awhile I was an apple "fanboy" but some of their recent design decisions have really put me off...
  • -1 Hide
    waffle911 , April 11, 2009 4:56 AM
    From what I can tell, Mac pricing also takes into account a "pay more now, pay less later" approach. While the OS may only cost $100 to buy, that is not the legal license to use it; it's basically an "upgrade" license. Still cheaper than Windows "upgrade" packages. Apple branded hardware is the legal software license to use OSX, so they make you pay out the nose now so that you will be more likely to keep your old hardware but upgrade your software later on for the next few major OS releases. Better than buying a "Vista Capable" machine only to find out that it means "Runs Vista...Barely." Or, paying upwards of $200 for a retail copy. Yes, I realize you can get an OEM copy for less, but you can only install that on one NEW computer, and would the average consumer even know that this option exists? OSX doesn't have any DRM bull$hit, install it on as many Macs as you have that'll run it, and same for iWork and iLife, even though they sell "family packs" that officially allow you to install on up to five computers. You paid for the hardware already, they don't really care all that much if you bend the rules with the software as long as it's running on their hardware.
    As for hardware upgrades, I have never known anyone with an average amount of technical knowledge (i.e. everyone who doesn't even know that sites like Tom's Hardware exists) to even consider upgrading components. At most, they'll consider having me install more RAM or a bigger hard drive. Forget the graphics card, they don't do anything that stresses it out anyway, old as it may be. They let these things get to be 4, 5, 6 years old without any substantial upgrades in-between, which basically means it's too late to upgrade almost anything. Might as well replace the whole system.
    Sounds a lot like a Mac upgrade path to me. Plus, the family members who have switched to Mac have stopped bugging me for free tech support for the most part, because they can figure it out on their own or with a little help from Apple's website. Means more time that I can spend working on my Mac laptop or gaming on my dedicated PC desktop. (I haven't reformatted or defragged the HD in months (or reformatted ever, for tat matter, just re-installed), and, despite being 4 years old with an updated GFX card and RAM and extra storage drive, the boot drive is still a 5400RPM IDE drive. Boots to desktop, ready to go in less than a minute. Because all I do is game, no background apps, no start-up items, no anti-malware, no nothing, because it's rarely exposed to anything but the trusted websites of the online games I play, for updates.)
    As for Blu-ray on a Mac, I couldn't care less. I wouldn't get a laptop with Blu-ray, Mac or otherwise. Uses too much extra power just for CD's / DVD's. Best to confine it to the ever-evolving gaming rig. It's like having an expensive German car that is dependable, well-built, and rewarding to drive without being too fussy about what you do with it, and having a Mazda MX-5 or something that you can mod and tune the crap out of for real performance on the weekends at the track or whatever; it's a fun car to drive, but you wouldn't want to use it for everyday tasks.
  • 0 Hide
    mavroxur , April 11, 2009 4:58 AM
    Way to go OCZ, you guys are DEFINATELY gonna capture that 1% of hardware sales you've been missing out on
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , April 11, 2009 6:17 AM
    Meh. I don't pay the apple tax so I don't care. Not too fond of OSX. If I wanted to look at an interface like that I'd use one of the premade mods on Linux. I pretty much stick to the standard KDE desktop in Linux though.
  • 5 Hide
    falchard , April 11, 2009 7:35 AM
    "Mac Edition" an oppurtunity to sell the same products from a PC for twice as much. I think its an awesome idea, I think I will jump on this Mac band wagon.
  • 4 Hide
    blackened144 , April 11, 2009 1:14 PM
    falchard"Mac Edition" an oppurtunity to sell the same products from a PC for twice as much. I think its an awesome idea, I think I will jump on this Mac band wagon.

    I read soemthing just the other day that said the "MAC Edition" specs are actually slower than the Windows counterparts and this is because of some limitation in the OS.

    "You might be wondering, "what limitations?"... we conducted some research and discovered a reason. Folks, Mac OS X has an issue with couple of things, and this was bound to happen - the Apple-written SATA controller driver can get saturated by a single SSD drive on ocassion, but two will definitely saturate the bus. The underlying issue is the fact that Mac OS X comes with journaling filesystem, a feature not present on Windows-based file systems."

  • 0 Hide
    Chipi , April 11, 2009 3:07 PM
    That's right blackened144, the great OSX has a speed limitation. And on top of this, the future OSX Snow Leopard won't fix this either. Buhu apple fanboys :p 
  • 1 Hide
    Humans think , April 11, 2009 6:12 PM
    @waffle911 don't be fooled OS X is DRM-enabled, the only modern OS that is not is of course Linux, we have to give to give the credit there.

    I guess the thing that you wanted to say is that there is no CD-key for the OS X which is true since OS X only runs in Apple hardware (with some exceptions) but there is CD-key protection in the server edition.

    I have a Macbook 2 GHz with upgraded RAM to 2,5 GB how man years should I expect my system to run the latest Mac OS, it is my first Mac :p 
  • 1 Hide
    deltatux , April 11, 2009 6:50 PM
    I just stick regular PC upgrades into my Macbook, why bother paying for "Mac specific" parts when all it is, is just marketing to make it seem like there's any difference.

    Macs are PCs, but PCs aren't Macs.
  • 0 Hide
    deltatux , April 11, 2009 6:59 PM
    blackened144I read soemthing just the other day that said the "MAC Edition" specs are actually slower than the Windows counterparts and this is because of some limitation in the OS. Link

    Windows' NTFS is journaled. That blockquote is pure BS. Any computer science student that has studied Windows knows that NTFS is journaled. All hell would break loose without journaling especially for critical data systems.
  • 1 Hide
    Shadow703793 , April 12, 2009 7:00 PM
    If you're a Mac owner and have been looking to upgrade,

    I thought Mac users upgrade by replacing the entire system??? :lol: 
  • -1 Hide
    norbs , April 13, 2009 4:27 AM
    Stupid kids and their Mac vs PC battle... Keep fighting cuz I'm sure you arrogant comments are sure to sway a PC user or a Mac user to the other side.
  • -1 Hide
    norbs , April 13, 2009 4:29 AM
    Man i wish the mod would make a news article that has code to detect weather the user is on a mac or pc and then make a headline "It's official is the best!" it would be great to see all the zombies fight...
  • -1 Hide
    norbs , April 13, 2009 4:30 AM
    norbsMan i wish the mod would make a news article that has code to detect weather the user is on a mac or pc and then make a headline "It's official is the best!" it would be great to see all the zombies fight...

    "It's official [Opposite platform here (Mac or PC) is the best!"
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2009 5:27 AM
    Chill out folks. Same product on the OCZ website, and the 'minor' differences in ratings and throughput look to be nothing more than difference in how the underlying OS deals with IO tests. Remember, take the same hardware and test with Windows & Linux and you'll get slightly different results there as well. Many manufacturers already sell the same product for Mac and PC in the storage market - the difference being that the PC versions ships with NTFS, and the Mac version with HFS+. Western Digital has done this for a long time, and the Mac version is usually a minimal higher cost just because they make fewer of them on the line and they have different packaging. By the same device and reformat it, works fine. The only real story here is that the Mac market has grown enough for OCZ to pay attention to the market specifically. I've got Mac and PC's here, and trust me OSX has no 'bugs' that limit throughout on drives. Quit making up stuff, and only post facts when you have 'em. Both platforms are fine, both have their purpose.
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