Mac News Review

OS X Beats Win 7, Record Apple Profits, New iMac and Magic Mouse, Mac mini Updated, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.10.23

Microsoft officially released Windows 7 this week, but the Mac world has been buzzing about new consumer Macs, the new Magic Mouse, and Apple's most profitable quarter ever. That includes 30 million Macs, 7.4 million iPhones, and 10.2 million iPods.

Late 2009 iMac
New 21.5" and 27" iMacs

MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Products & Services

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

'Snow Leopard Consistently Beats Windows 7'

Cnet's Dong Ngo reports that Snow Leopard consistently beats Windows 7 in many general performance areas, based on tests with a good stopwatch, a 2.5 GHz 15" unibody MacBook Pro, two separate 320 GB 5400 rpm hard drives, and a lot of time, noting that, thanks to this laptop's nice design, it was very easy to swap out the hard drives with the help of a small Phillips-head screwdriver and a tiny Torx wrench.

Dong reports that Windows 7 noticeably outdoes Snow Leopard in the 3D image rendering benchmark but in other areas Snow Leopard consistently outdid Windows 7, such as taking only 36.4 seconds to boot up vs. 42.7 seconds for Windows, and Snow Leopard lasting 111 minutes' runtime on a battery charge as opposed to 78 minutes for Windows 7 lasted, while Snow Leopard managed to stay on for 111 minutes. However he says that performance-wise, Windows 7 is probably the better choice if you're a gamer.

Apple Reports Net Quarterly Profit of $1.67 Billion

Apple on Monday announced financial results for its fiscal 2009 fourth quarter ended September 26, 2009. The Company posted revenue of $9.87 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.67 billion, or $1.82 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion, or $1.26 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 36.6%, up from 34.7% in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 46% of the quarter's revenue.

In accordance with the subscription accounting treatment required by GAAP, the Company recognizes revenue and cost of goods sold for iPhone™ and Apple TV over their estimated economic lives. Adjusting GAAP sales and product costs to eliminate the impact of subscription accounting, the corresponding non-GAAP measures* for the quarter are $12.25 billion of "Adjusted Sales" and $2.85 billion of "Adjusted Net Income."

Apple sold 3.05 million Macintosh computers during the quarter, representing a 17% unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 10.2 million iPods during the quarter, representing an 8% unit decline from the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 7% unit growth over the year-ago quarter.

"We are thrilled to have sold more Macs and iPhones than in any previous quarter," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We've got a very strong lineup for the holiday season and some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010."

"We are delighted with our September quarter and fiscal 2009 results," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "For the full year, we grew revenue by 12% and net income by 18% in extraordinarily challenging times. Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2010, we expect revenue in the range of about $11.3 billion to $11.6 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share in the range of about $1.70 to $1.78."

Apple will provide streaming of its Q4 2009 financial results conference call utilizing QuickTime, Apple's standards-based technology for live and on-demand audio and video streaming. The live webcast was at 2:00 p.m. PDT on October 19, 2009 at www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/earningsq409/ and will also be available for replay for approximately two weeks thereafter.

Apple continues to reap the rewards of its June overhaul to its line of notebooks, which featured price cuts on nearly every model. The result has been two straight quarters of growth. During the quarter, Apple sold nearly 2.3 million laptops, with portables accounting for an astounding 74% of the Macs sold during the last three months.

"Last quarter was the quarter of the portable," chief operating officer Tim Cook said during a Monday conference call to discuss Apple's earnings. In response to one analyst's comment that "the [laptop] price cut worked," Cook responded loudly, "Yes, it did!"

Oppenheimer noted that the rise in Mac sales outpaced the 2-percent growth of the PC market for the quarter, according to figures tallied by market-research firm IDC. That marks the 19th time in the last 20 quarters that Mac sales have grown faster than overall PC market, Oppenheimer said.

Apple executives also cited a strong back-to-school quarter for the company. Sales to U.S. schools rose 12%, as Apple tallied its highest quarterly sales ever for the U.S. education market. Those figures were buoyed by shipments of 50,000 books to Maine as part of that state's ongoing 1-to-1 Learning initiative.

Apple also noted particularly strong sales in its Asia Pacific market, with Mac sales increasing 42% from the year-ago quarter.

Cook also said that Snow Leopard sales were stronger than Apple expected, with twice as many sales of Snow Leopard upgrades during the operating system's first five weeks on sale than Leopard made during its first five weeks.

Apple Kills Recession

Forbes' Brian Caulfield declares:

"It's official. There is no recession at Apple . . . The iPhone maker shocked investors Monday, reporting a fourth-quarter earnings leap of more than 47% from the year-ago quarter. Apple shares rose $11.65, or 6.14%, to $201.51 in after-hours trading.

"The result: There's no need to sell cheap notebooks. Layoffs are wholly unnecessary. If the company has any plans to replace the water coolers at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters with large vats of Dom Perignon, it should go right ahead."

Apple Unveils New 21.5" and 27" iMacs

PR: Apple on Tuesday unveiled an all new iMac line featuring brilliant LED-backlit 21.5" and 27" widescreen displays in a new edge-to-edge glass design and seamless all aluminum enclosure. The new iMac line, starting at $1,199, is the fastest ever with Intel Core 2 Duo processors starting at 3.06 GHz, and Core i5 and i7 quad-core processors for up to twice the performance.* Every new iMac ships with a wireless keyboard and the all new wireless Magic Mouse, the world's first mouse with Multi-Touch technology pioneered by Apple on the iPhone, iPod touch and Mac notebook trackpad.

Late 2009 iMacs
Bigger and better: The new 21.5" and 27" wider-screen iMacs.

"The iMac is widely praised as the best desktop computer in the world and today we are making it even better," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With brilliant LED displays and the revolutionary Magic Mouse, the new iMac delivers an amazing desktop experience that we think customers will love."

The new iMac features stunning LED-backlit displays with a 16:9 aspect ratio, ideal for watching high definition movies and TV shows from iTunes, or editing and watching your own videos or photos using iLife. The new 21.5" iMac features a high resolution 1920-by-1080 pixel display. The 27" iMac features a beautiful 2560-by-1440 pixel display that offers 60 percent more pixels than the previous 24" model. Both 21.5" and 27" displays use IPS technology to deliver consistent color across an ultra wide 178 degree viewing angle.

The iMac comes standard with a wireless keyboard and the new Magic Mouse featuring Apple's revolutionary Multi-Touch technology. Instead of needing mechanical buttons, scroll wheels or scroll balls, the entire top of the Magic Mouse is a seamless Multi-Touch surface. Using intuitive gestures, a user can easily scroll through long documents, pan across large images or swipe to move forward or backward through a collection of web pages or photos. The Magic Mouse can be configured as either a single button or two button mouse, according to the user's preference. The wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse work seamlessly with the iMac's built-in Bluetooth capabilities to provide a clean, cable-free desk top.

The iMac features improved graphics across the line with Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics or ATI Radeon HD 4670 discrete graphics in the 21.5" model, and ATI Radeon HD 4670 discrete graphics or ATI Radeon HD 4850 discrete graphics in the 27" model. The new iMac line now also features 4 GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 memory and capacity up to 16 GB across four SODIMM slots. Every iMac features a built-in iSight video camera, mic and stereo speakers integrated into the thin aluminum and glass design. iMac includes built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n WiFi networking, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, a total of four USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port and a new built-in SD card slot.

Apple today also announced that the Mac mini, the world's most energy efficient desktop,** is now faster, offers more storage and comes standard with double the memory. Starting at $599, the entry level Mac mini features a faster 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2 GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, a 160 GB hard drive, five USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 800, Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics and a SuperDrive. The $799 Mac mini features a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB of memory and a larger 320 GB hard drive. Apple now offers a $999 Mac mini that is specially configured with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server. Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server features two 500 GB hard drives for a total of 1 TB of server storage in the tiny 6.5" square by 2" tall Mac mini enclosure.

Continuing Apple's commitment to the environment, both iMac and Mac mini extend their leadership in green design. iMac and Mac mini meet the new, more stringent Energy Star 5.0 requirements and achieve EPEAT Gold status.*** The new iMac now features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Both iMac and Mac mini use PVC-free internal components and cables, contain no brominated flame retardants, use highly recyclable materials, and feature material-efficient system and packaging designs.

Every Mac comes with Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the world's most advanced operating system, and iLife, Apple's innovative suite of applications for managing photos, making movies and creating and learning to play music. Snow Leopard builds on a decade of OS X innovation and success with hundreds of refinements, new core technologies and out of the box support for Microsoft Exchange. iLife features iPhoto, to easily organize and manage photos; iMovie with powerful easy-to-use new features such as Precision Editor, video stabilization and advanced drag and drop; and GarageBand which introduces a whole new way to help you learn to play piano and guitar.

The new 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac and Mac mini lines are now shipping and available through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The Intel Core i5 and i7 quad-core iMacs are available for order and will begin shipping this November. Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server is available from the Apple Store and Apple's retail stores.

The new 21.5" 3.06 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,199, includes:

  • 21.5" 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit display
  • 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3 MB shared L2 cache
  • 4 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16 GB
  • Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics
  • 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm
  • a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately)
  • built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • built-in iSight video camera
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • four USB 2.0 ports
  • one FireWire 800 port
  • SD card slot
  • built-in stereo speakers and microphone
  • Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.

The new 21.5" 3.06 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,499, includes:

  • 21.5" 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit display
  • 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3 MB shared L2 cache
  • 4 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16 GB
  • ATI Radeon HD 4670 discrete graphics; with 256 MB GDDR3
  • 1 TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm
  • a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately)
  • built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • built-in iSight video camera
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • four USB 2.0 ports
  • one FireWire 800 port
  • SD card slot
  • built-in stereo speakers and microphone
  • Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.

The new 27" 3.06 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,699, includes:

  • 27" 2560 x 1440 LED-backlit display
  • 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3 MB shared L2 cache
  • 4 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16 GB
  • ATI Radeon HD 4670 discrete graphics; with 256 MB GDDR3
  • 1 TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm
  • a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Mini DisplayPort for video input and output (adapters sold separately)
  • built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • built-in iSight video camera
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • four USB 2.0 ports
  • one FireWire 800 port
  • SD card slot
  • built-in stereo speakers and microphone
  • Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.

The new 27" 2.66 GHz Core i5 iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,999, includes:

  • 27" 2560 x 1440 LED-backlit display
  • 2.66 GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core processor with 8 MB shared L3 cache
  • 4 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16 GB
  • ATI Radeon HD 4850 discrete graphics; with 512 MB GDDR3
  • 1 TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm
  • a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Mini DisplayPort for video input and output (adapters sold separately)
  • built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • built-in iSight video camera
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • four USB 2.0 ports
  • one FireWire 800 port
  • SD card slot
  • built-in stereo speakers and microphone
  • Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.

Build-to-order options for the 27" Core i5 quad-core iMac include a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor.

*Based on estimated results of industry-standard SPECint_base2006 and SPECfp_rate_base2006 rate tests. SPEC is a registered trademark of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). Testing conducted by Apple in October 2009 using preproduction 27" iMac Intel Core i5-based 2.66 GHz units and shipping 24" iMac Intel Core 2 Duo - based 3.06 GHz units. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of iMac.

**Claim based on energy efficiency categories and products listed within the EPA ENERGY STAR 5.0 database as of October 2009.

***EPEAT is an independent organization that helps customers compare the environmental performance of notebooks and desktops. Products meeting all of the 23 required criteria and at least 75 percent of the optional criteria are recognized as EPEAT Gold products. The EPEAT program was conceived by the US EPA and is based on IEEE 1680 standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products. For more information visit www.epeat.net

27" iMac Also Designed to Work as a Display

AppleInsider's Prince McLean reports:

"Apple has designed its new 27" iMac model to serve as an external display for DisplayPort devices such as recent MacBook and MacBook Pros.

"The new model is the first all-in-one system from Apple that doubles as an external display. Attaching a notebook or other device capable of DisplayPort output only requires the use of the appropriate cable...."

New iMacs Viewed as Boon for Sagging Desktop Sales

AppleInsider's Neil Hughes reports:

"While sales of portable machines saw tremendous growth during Apple's last financial quarter, desktop sales lagged behind. But the release of new iMacs this week is predicted to change that in a big way."

Mac mini Updated, Server Model Added

Along with the new iMac and MacBook revamps and Magic Mouse introduction on Tuesday, Apple also quietly refreshed the Mac mini, adding a new $999 model that ships with Snow Leopard Server.

Mac miniThe base $599 Mac mini gets a faster 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor similar to the one used in the new MacBook and the 13" MacBook Pro as well as 2 GB of DDR3 1066 MHz RAM (twice the Early 2009 mini's standard allotment), and a 160 GB hard drive (up from 120 GB in the previous model). The new minis have five USB 2.0 ports (up from 4 on the preceding model), FireWire 800, two monitor ports, Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics, Mini-DVI and Mini DisplayPort video out, and a Mini-DVI-to-DVI adapter is included Grand Central Dispatch, 64-bit operation and OpenCL are also supported.

There's an 8x SATA SuperDrive that writes DVD±R discs at up to 8x speed, DL at 6x; DVD±RW at 8x; reads DVDs at up to 8x; writes CD-R and CD-RW discs at up to 24x, and reads CDs at up to 24x.

Moving up a notch, the $799 Mac mini middle model gets a 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB of RAM standard and a 320 GB HD. If you need more power than that you can order the Mac mini with a 2.66 GHz CPU.

back of Mac miniThe new $999 server Mac mini comes configured out of the box with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server (which sells for $499 separately) loaded up, and also is equipped with two 500 GB hard drives instead of the usual single HD and internal SuperDrive combo, for a total of 1 TB of internal server storage in its minuscule 6.5" x 6.5" x 2" housing, which is pretty amazing when you think about it. There's a whole server in that tiny package, and Apple says it's easy to set up, easy to run, and the $999 price tag makes it easy on the wallet as well, considering what you get.

Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is designed to make it easy for anyone to set up a server to help communicate, collaborate, and share information. It's perfect for small businesses or groups - retail shops, medical and law offices, classrooms, design studios and so forth. For $999 you can have your own server that supports email on Mac computers, PCs, and iPhone. Sync and share calendars and contact information, between Mac computers and PCs, and can help you create full-featured wikis and high-quality podcasts as well as automatically back up all your important data.

Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server lets you add an unlimited number of Mac and PC users without per-user licensing fees, so you can grow your business or other operation without growing your costs.

Designed to be easy to use, Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is ideal for people who've never run a server before or for overtaxed IT departments. Apple's Server Assistant will walk you through the setup process step by step. And if you want help at any stage, just click the ? icon for more information.

Tools like Server Preferences let you quickly set up all your key services and manage users and groups. And a Server Status Dashboard widget makes it easy to keep an eye on the status of services such as email, file sharing, web hosting, and more.

Advanced network hardware and software make it simple to integrate Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server into a Mac or PC environment, and it's compatible with a wide range of displays, keyboards, mice, and other peripherals, so you can put it to work with equipment you already have.

If you need capability to burn discs or install additional software, an optional $100 external USB-based MacBook Air SuperDrive is available, drawing power through its USB cable with no need for a separate power adapter, making it simple to connect, space efficient, and energy efficient.

According to Apple Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server uses less than 16 watts of power when at idle, or an estimated 4.5 times less than a similarly equipped tower server. It's also made from highly recyclable aluminum, making it a greener choice, as do its tiny dimensions.

The three Mac mini configurations available are:

Base Model

  • 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2 GB memory
  • 160 GB hard drive
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard
  • Free Shipping
  • $599

Mid Model

  • 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 4 GB memory
  • 320 GB hard drive
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard
  • $799

Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server

  • 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 4 GB memory
  • Dual 500 GB hard drives
  • Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics
  • Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard
  • Free Shipping
  • $999

Magic Mouse: The World's First Multi-Touch Mouse

Apple on Tuesday also introduced the new wireless Magic Mouse, the first mouse to use Apple's revolutionary Multi-Touch technology. Pioneered on iPhone, iPod touch and Mac notebook trackpads, Multi-Touch allows customers to navigate using intuitive finger gestures. Instead of mechanical buttons, scroll wheels or scroll balls, the entire top of the Magic Mouse is a seamless Multi-Touch surface. Magic Mouse comes standard with the new iMac and will be available as a Mac accessory at $69.

"Apple is the Multi-Touch leader, pioneering the use of this innovative technology in iPhone, iPod touch and Mac notebook trackpads," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Apple's Multi-Touch technology allows us to offer an easy to use mouse in a simple and elegant design."

Magic Mouse features a seamless touch-sensitive enclosure that allows it to be a single or multibutton mouse with advanced gesture support. Using intuitive gestures, users can easily scroll through long documents, pan across large images or swipe to move forward or backward through a collection of web pages or photos. Magic Mouse works for left or right handed users and multibutton or gesture commands can be easily configured from within System Preferences.

The Magic Mouse laser tracking engine provides a smooth, consistent experience across more surfaces than a traditional optical tracking system. Magic Mouse uses Bluetooth wireless capabilities to create a clean, cable-free desk top and its secure wireless connection works from up to 10 meters away. To extend battery performance, Magic Mouse includes an advanced power management system that works with Mac OS X to automatically switch to low power modes during periods of inactivity. The wireless Magic Mouse is powered by two AA batteries which are included.

Magic Mouse comes standard with the new iMac and is available at the end of October through the Apple Store, at Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $69. Magic Mouse requires Mac OS X Leopard version 10.5.8 or later.

iFixit Magic Mouse Teardown

getting inside the Magic MouseiFixit takes apart the new Magic Mouse.

iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens says:

"We took apart the new Magic Mouse. We didn't find any fairy dust inside, just a lot of capacitive sensors.

inside Apple's Magic MouseHighlights:

From the Apple logo up, the entire surface of the mouse is covered with capitative touch sensors.

The mouse uses a Broadcom BCM2042 Advanced Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Bluetooth Chip.

everything inside the Magic MouseThere's not much Aluminum in the mouse; we weighed just 10 grams. That's compared to 37 grams of plastic and 47 grams of batteries. Nearly half the mouse's weight comes from the two AA batteries.

"We'll be taking apart the iMac that came with our Magic Mouse next. Follow @ifixit on twitter and we'll keep you updated."

Photos courtesy iFixit.

Apple Plans Turbocharged Mac Pro Speedster

The Register's Chris Mellor says:

"The Mac Pro is the Big Mac, with up to two Nehalem processors and 32 GB of RAM producing great graphics processing performance.

"But it's a pussy compared to what might be coming. Early next year we could see a 12-core Mac with 128 GB RAM that just screams: a Mega Mac, if you will."

Products & Services

First External Hard Drive with Reduced Standby Power Consumption of 95%

PR: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has announced that its new 3.5" external hard drive, STORY Station, will feature the industry's first standby power consumption below a watt when it ships in November. The reduced standby power level easily meets requirements for the forthcoming European Union's EuP (Energy Using Products) Directive for Standby Regulation, effective January 2010.

Samsung has lowered the standby power consumption by over 95%, to 0.09W from the conventional level of 2.5W, a move that will cut down on indirect CO2 emissions. Samsung's introduction of the low standby power level is the first for any 3.5" external hard drive.

User requirements for external hard drives now include eco-friendliness and lower power levels in addition to performance, reliability and exceptional design, said C.H. Lee, vice president, Storage sales & marketing, Samsung Electronics. Samsung's STORY Station, which has been praised for its appealing external-drive design, takes a huge step forward in setting the stage for the timely introduction of environmentally-conscious hard drive technology.

The reduced power level for standby mode was achieved by adopting a new circuit structure, which makes the drive non-operational when the power cable is connected and the USB port is not.

Samsung's 3.5" STORY Station external hard drive line up is available globally in densities ranging from 500 gigabytes (GBs) to two terabytes (TBs) and features Samsung Auto Backup for ongoing data preservation, SecretZone!" software for personal data encryption and SafetyKey!" for password protection.

The lowered standby power feature will be adopted in all STORY Station drives shipped from early November 2009.

FirmTek 64-bit and 32-bit PCIe 'Snow Leopard' Compatible 4-Port eSATA Host Adapter

PR: FirmTek, LLC, a pioneer in Serial ATA (SATA) storage solutions announced today the SeriTek/2ME4-E 4-Port eSATA host adapter is shipping. Mac OS X 10.6.x "Snow Leopard" 64-bit and 32-bit modes are supported with direct connect enclosures like the SeriTek/2eEN4 and port multiplier enclosures like the SeriTek/5PM. The SeriTek/2ME4-E is also backward compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.6 or higher. This new 4x PCI-Express eSATA controller is designed to provide extreme data storage performance options with all Apple Mac Pro models and the late 2005 PowerMac G5 (11,2).

SeriTek/2ME4-E 4-Port eSATA host adapter"The FirmTek SeriTek/2ME4-E engineering effort has produced a superior quality, 4-port, eSATA host adapter that meets the needs of our Professional customers", said Chi Kim Stanford Vice President of Business Development. The SeriTek/2ME4-E is ideal for audio/video editing, photography, large media content libraries, storage expansion, backup and any application where external, hot swap, high performance, data storage is desirable. The new FirmTek 64-bit SeriTek/2ME4-E driver is built from the ground up to take advantage of Snow Leopard while providing a low power, ultra high performance native PCIe to Serial ATA interface.

Ultra High Performance

Professional Macintosh users with uncompromising data storage requirements will appreciate the high-bandwidth available once the SeriTek/2ME4-E is installed. Four direct connect hard disks attached to the SeriTek/2ME4-E provided RAID 0 performance as high as 540 MB/sec. during FirmTek performance trials. As more advanced storage technologies are introduced, the SeriTek/2ME4-E is ready and willing to deploy up to 250+MB/sec. per channel. When multiple SeriTek/5PM enclosures are utilized, up to twenty hard disks can be supported a single SeriTek/2ME4-E. Hard disks installed in the SeriTek/5PM can be formatted as individual disks, multiple RAID sets or as one large RAID. Twenty hard disks configured in RAID 0 can provide throughput reaching beyond 700 MB/sec, enabling up to four simultaneous HD video feeds to be streamed directly to disk.

Configuration Options

Users looking for raw storage capacity can engage the expansive hard disk configuration options provided by multiple SeriTek/5PM enclosures with the SeriTek/2ME4-E. Up to 40 TB of data storage is available when twenty 2 TB hard disks are installed! Meanwhile, Macintosh performance minded users looking for the ultimate in four drive RAID 0 performance can configure the SeriTek/2eEN4 with the SeriTek/2ME4-E. This option offers unprecedented bandwidth that maximizes hard disk performance. Professional users will appreciate the significant number of different configuration options available with the SeriTek/2ME4-E.

Think SMART

The new FirmTek SeriTek/2ME4-E driver includes S.M.A.R.T application support. This feature allows the FirmTek driver to deliver SMART data to Macintosh third party utilities like Hardware Monitor. Users can conveniently monitor hard disk temperatures and the health of hard disks attached to the FirmTek controller while using their favorite Macintosh SMART reporting application. In addition, Disk Utility can be used to verify the SMART status of hard disks. SMART application support provides users with an excellent tool for keeping an eye on the condition of hard disks attached to the SeriTek/2ME4-E.

FirmTek SeriTek/2ME4-E Key Features and Benefits Supports Mac OS X 10.6.x "Snow Leopard" 64-bit and 32-bit modes Backward compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later Compatible with all Apple Mac Pro models and the late 2005 PowerMac G5 (11,2) PCI-Express 4x bandwidth (Compatible with 4x, 8x and 16x PCIe slots) Four independent data channels with external Serial ATA (eSATA) connectors Supports Apple Disk Utility RAID and JBOD hard disk configurations SATA II 3 Gb/sec. Backward compatible with SATA 1.5 Gb/s hard disks S.M.A.R.T application support for third party Macintosh utilities Self-contained PowerMac G5 boot functionality Not bootable with the Apple Mac Pro (provides additional storage) Bus Mastering off-loads data I/O handling from CPU Complete CRC error checking, for all bits transmitted offers enhanced data protection SATA II Native Command Queuing and Spread Spectrum Clocking (SSC) Low Power Consumption Environmentally Sensitive Design Onboard Flash ROM for easy firmware updates Port multiplier support: Connect up to 20 drives using SeriTek/5PM enclosures Direct connect support: Connect up to 4 drives with a SeriTek/2eEN4 enclosure Simple to install, easy to use, built solely for Mac OS X

The FirmTek SeriTek/2ME4-E 4-port eSATA controller for Apple Mac Pro and the late 2005 PowerMac G5 (11,2) is available now, with an estimated retail price of $199.95. The SeriTek/2ME4-E (SATA-2ME4) can be purchased from FirmTek distributors, resellers or directly from FirmTek. The SeriTek/2ME4-E is also available bundled with the SeriTek/5PM (SATA-5PM-2ME4). For more information about the SeriTek/2ME4-E, please visit FirmTek's website.

Software

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Released

PR: Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 software combines power and simplicity so you can easily go beyond the basics to tell great stories with your photos. Make your photos look extraordinary, share your life stories in creative ways, and easily manage all your photos. Works great with iPhoto.

Quickly recompose your photos to any size, without distortion.

Go from flawed to phenomenal with one-step shortcuts and the Smart Brush tool.

Perfect lighting is a snap

Automatically create perfectly lit shots that show every detail using new Photomerge capabilities - just one of the many great new editing options in Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac.

Photoshop Elements 8 works great with iPhoto

Easily bring photos from Apple iPhoto into Photoshop Elements to take advantage of fun yet powerful photo-editing options.

Exploring what you can do

Browse the feature highlight movies and see how easy it is to manage, edit, create, and share your photos with Photoshop Elements 8.

Get the best exposure

Want to capture all the details in a scene that includes light and dark areas? Snap one photo with flash on and one with flash off, and Photomerge Exposure will combine the shots into a single, perfectly lit photo.

Recompose photos to any size - without distortion

Ever want to change the size or orientation of a photo to fit a certain frame? Now you can quickly resize - even going from landscape to portrait or vice versa - without distorting key subjects like people or buildings.

Quickly clean your scene of unwanted elements

You took five shots of your subject, but pedestrians and cars distract from the scene in every one. Now, use Photomerge Scene Cleaner to simply brush away any elements that changed positions between photos and create a composite with just the look you want.

Select and apply with a single stroke

Simultaneously select a specific photo area and apply incredible effects with a single stroke of the Smart Brush tool. Improve lighting, add rich textures, and more with eight libraries of over 50 sophisticated effects.

Go from flawed to phenomenal in seconds

Get just the photo fixes you're looking for with new one-step shortcuts that whiten teeth and make skies a vibrant blue.

Choose the best result

Perform a full range of common photo adjustments - including color, contrast, and lighting - with just one click. Then choose the best result from a group of adjustment previews.

Give your creations fresh looks

Experiment with new artwork and templates to give your printed creations fun and stylish new looks.

Count on step-by-step assistance

Need to touch up a scratch or blemish but not sure how to begin? Let Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 software for Mac walk you through each editing step to easily get the results you want. New Guided Edit options help you achieve both basic and artistic effects. Quickly retouch skin and soften other surfaces new

Soften surfaces while keeping edges and details crisp with a Surface Blur filter that works great on portrait shots. Share in fresh ways on the web new

Share your photos in new, eye-catching web gallery templates that you can easily preview before uploading.

With special offers and integrated options from Adobe partners, it's easier than ever for you to do anything you want with your photos and videos.

Education discounts

Find out how teachers, students, and administrators at qualifying institutions can take advantage of lower pricing.

Upgrading to Adobe Photoshop Elements 8? Get a $20 rebate.

System requirements

  • Multicore Intel processor
  • Mac OS X v10.4.11 through 10.5.8 or Mac OS X v10.6
  • 512 MB of RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • 64 MB of video RAM
  • 2 GB of available hard-disk space (additional free space required during installation 1,024x768 display resolution
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • QuickTime 7 software required for multimedia features Internet connection required for Internet-based services

Language versions

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese

$99.99: Save $20 after mail-in rebate - $79.99

Free trial available

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