My experience using USB 3.0 on a Mac has been wonderful. It’s so well-integrated you might not notice it except for the performance. At over 200 MB/s, it blows FireWire out of the water and is even faster than nearly any device you’re likely to throw at it. CalDigit sent me their Mac OS X-compatible USB 3.0 PCI Express card for evaluation, and I’m pleased as punch with the card.
It is tempting to think of storage as a game of hard disk drives, and consider only The Rule of Spindles. But RAM cache can compensate for the mechanical limitations of hard disk drives, and Moore’s Law continues to allow for ever-greater RAM-based storage, including cache, DRAM, and flash. But storage does not exist in a vacuum. All that data must go somewhere, and this is the job of the I/O channel.
Apple updated the ultra-slim don’t-call-it-a-netbook MacBook Air this week. Along with a wimpy out-of-date CPU, the new Air features all-SSD storage of an entirely new and apparently proprietary type. Let’s take a look and see what we can see.
With Apple almost certain to introduce a new MacBook Air, questions have turned to the specifics of the hardware to be used. A leaked pre-production photo features an odd memory configuration (not to mention four batteries), a device I immediately recognized as an SSD-on-a-stick. With this high-profile introduction of a new SSD stick form, I thought it was time to cover these unconventional new storage formats.
PCMCIA and CardBus slots were universal and popular a decade ago, but the advent of PCI Express meant reengineering the old standby. The result was ExpressCard, a never-popular compromise that mixes PCI Express and USB into a confusing and little-used mashup. With few modern laptops including an ExpressCard slot and fewer users, a fair question to ask is “where did it all go wrong?”
While getting some hands-on time with Iomega’s new 12-drive storage array, I spotted an exciting but unannounced feature: The ix12-300r includes native Avamar backup client! It also includes two PCI Express slots, bringing up intriguing possibilities for future expansion.
The SanDisk ExpressCard flash media adapter converts a notebook’s ExpressCard slot into a versatile flash media adapter, takes most versions of SD and Memory Stick, and works in both OS X and Windows without a hiccup or even a driver install