Tags ssd

9to5Toys Lunch Break: Mohu HDTV antenna $24, NAS systems from $159, Jaybird Bluetooth headphones $30, more


Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.



Time to chuck your cable bill, Mohu Leaf Paper-Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna is $24 today

QNAP NAS WD Nas-Gold Box-sale-01

Amazon Gold Box–Everything for your home computer network: SSDs from $40, NAS from $159, Wifi Range Extenders from $33


JayBird Freedom Sweatproof Bluetooth Earbuds: $30, 66 Audio BTS+ Bluetooth Sports Headphones: $37 shipped


App Store Free App of the Week: Piloteer goes free for the very first time ($2 value)

Award-winning iOS platformer Thomas Was Alone is now available for just $1 (Reg. $5)

Highly-rated puzzler Osmos now 80% off on iPhone & iPad: $1 ea. (Reg. up to $5)



Streaming Media Players: Chromecast (2nd gen) w/ free $10 Gift Card $35, Fire TV Stick w/ Voice Remote $40 (Reg. $50)

Regal Movie Theaters-gift card

Prep for Valentine’s Day w/ these gift card deals: Applebee’s $50 for $40, Regal Movies $25 for $20, more



Amazon’s best-selling iPhone Virtual Reality kit $20 Prime shipped (Reg. $40)


Apple TV 32GB w/ Siri Remote and HDMI Cable $126 shipped (Reg. $149+), 64GB $176 shipped – also now available in refurbished condition via Apple


Game pre-orders for Amazon Prime members –Zelda, Far Cry Primal, FFXV: $48 ea (Reg. $60)



Build your own 1:5000-scale New York City with this incredible Kickstarter project


The CrossOver from NextDesk turns nearly any setup into a motorized standing desk

Filed under: Tips and Tricks Tagged: 9to5Toys, Amazon, Amazon Gold Box, app deals, Best Buy, Bluetooth Sports Headphones, Daily Deals, free apps, Gold Box, Indoor HDTV Antenna, JayBird Freedom, Mohu Leaf Paper-Thin, Piloteer, QNAP NAS, SSD, video games, WD NAS

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Justin Kahn

February 1st



You Can Throw This Tonka-Tough SSD Drive Around and Your Data Will Still Be Safe

A portable SSD is already a better way to carry gigs of valuable data because the lack of moving parts means there’s less chance of the drive dying if it gets jostled, banged, or accidentally dropped. But your data’s even safer with SanDisk’s updated rugged SSD that’s now wrapped in a shock, dust, and water-resistant bumper.


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Andrew Liszewski

January 6th


Review: TarDisk Pear increases your MacBook’s storage in one-click with an SD card fusion drive


Adding extra storage to a MacBook using an SD card is easy, but it works like a thumb drive or external hard drive and not like your permanent, built-in storage. That means you’ll have to manually manage the storage, dragging files to and from the drive. But TarDisk Pear lets you add extra flash storage to your MacBook using the SD card and with 1-click setup to merge the storage with your external drive. After a quick setup, the TarDisk SD card installed in your Mac will act as one fusion drive with your built-in storage. I’ve been testing the product to see if it works like it should…


To get started, you simply stick the TarDisk Pear in your MacBook’s SD card slot like any ordinary SD card. The installer software is supposed to launch automatically, but I had to open it from the SD card itself which was recognized and popped up inside Finder after inserting.

There are a few steps to go through (more on that below), but all the formatting happens behind the scenes, with the entire process taking me around 50 minutes with a few clicks of the mouse and a few restarts.


TarDisk-Pear-BareRequirements: You’ll need a MacBook with an SD port, 8GB of free space (at least temporarily for the installation), and Bootcamp partitions aren’t officially supported. After starting the installer, it then prompted me to turn off encryption on my internal drive by switching off FileVault and to enable Core Storage (you can enable FileVault again once Pear is installed).

A little over half of the installation time mentioned above was spent on turning off FileVault and Core Storage with a couple restarts in between. I already had a recent back up, so the install time will vary depending on what your current setup is, how long your backup takes (the company not surprisingly recommends running a full backup first), and whether or not you run through the recommended steps to check the health of your current drive, remove BootCamp if installed, etc.

Using TarDisk:

You shouldn’t have to think about TarDisk much after installing it. The idea is that it merges with your internal drive so you can use it as if you have just upgraded your internal drive, and I found the process went smoothly. In my month-long test I didn’t run into any issues with my upgraded storage, and I didn’t find a noticeable difference in performance overall on the original, 2012 Retina MacBook Pro I tested it on.


Tardisk-Pear-03How does it work? The company explained it uses “a combination of undocumented OSX commands and proprietary software.” For those that want to know a little bit more about what’s happening behind the scenes, the drive itself is formatted with Apple’s Disk Utility into Mac OSX extended Journaled. And in the background, this is how OS X will handle your storage between the two drives once installed:

  • The new logically merged volume is managed by OSX.
  • Internal SSD is primarily used before data is sent to the product.
  • More frequently used files are maintained on SSD hardware.
  • TRIM enabled SSDs maintain original speed benefits of Trim.
  • Read/Write buffer (“swap-space-equivalent”) is maintained on SSD to buffer writes to files located on the product.
  • Failure modes, if ever encountered, allow for direct restoration from TimeMachine backups.

Disk Utility allows users to format drives and since OS X 10.8.3 create DIY Fusion drives, but the entire process is a one-click step with TarDisk’s installer software handling everything for you.

Since the TarDisk Pear works like one drive in combination with your built-in storage, you won’t see the SD card mounted in Finder anymore. And you’ll be able to manage storage in the same way you manage the built-in storage in your Mac. Once installed, you’ll see the new drive appear under “About this Mac” and System Profiler (as pictured above).

Removing TarDisk isn’t recommended. The company refers to the product as a “permanent upgrade” and warns you’ll have to restore your old drive completely from a backup if you remove the product:

“…This is comparable to the level of involvement required to replace a hard drive. Because it creates a hybrid drive, removing it will cause files to appear as missing. Re-inserting the TarDisk remedies this problem. As with any storage device, a backup should be a part of your routine. TarDisk Pear becomes part of your hard drive, and just like your regular hard drive if it fails, you lose that data.”

Should you buy it?

Out of all the options for upgrading the storage on an old Mac— a standard SD card, an external drive, or upgrading the internal drive— the TarDisk Pear proved to be the easiest overall solution. If you can deal with the pricing ($149 to $399) and the available storage and speed options, and you don’t want to put up with the mess of upgrading internal drives on Macs, then I’d recommend TarDisk as the easiest, although one of the priciest, approaches to upgrading your storage.

The TarDisk Pear is available now in 128GB ($149) and 256GB ($399) versions. It’s compatible with MacBooks that have an SDXC port and Yosemite or El Capitan installed.

Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Disk Utility, DIY, Fusion Drive, MacBook, SD Card, SSD, Storage, TarDisk Pear, Upgrade, upgrade Mac hard drive

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Jordan Kahn

December 10th



SSD Prices Are Plummeting, Say Good-Bye to Hard Drives

Solid-state drives are superior to hard drives in every way but one: they’re faster, lighter, and less fragile, but they’re also more expensive. The last one has been the only thing keeping HDDs alive, and that thread appears to be getting thinner by the day.


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Chris Mills

December 2nd


Apple Quietly Made the Fusion Drive Much Smaller

For the last few years, Apple’s iMacs have tried to combine the best of both storage worlds in the Fusion Drive, a SSD/hard-drive combo that’s meant to blend performance and storage capacity into one. The newly refreshed iMacs are sporting Fusion Drives, but they’re much smaller than their predecessors.


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Chris Mills

October 14th



New Samsung SSD might be the fastest in the world

Samsung 950 Pro SSD Specs Price Release Date

If you’re looking to replace your current hard drive or SSD with a better option, then you absolutely have to check out Samsung’s 950 Pro, a new SSD that’s so fast it leaves all competitors in the dust. The 950 Pro series is supposed to launch in October and it delivers read speeds of up to 2,500MBps and write speeds of up to 1,500MBps. For those of you keeping track, that's four times the read speed and three times the write speed of its predecessor, the 850 Pro.

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Chris Smith

September 23rd


New 15TB SSD fits world’s highest-capacity hard drive in compact, 2.5-inch package


Continuing its push to make solid-state drives (SSDs) the dominant storage medium of next-generation computers, Samsung has revealed the PM1633a, a 15.36TB SSD that is believed to be the world’s highest-capacity hard drive. More amazingly, notes an Ars Technica report, that incredible capacity — over 120 times the storage of an entry-level MacBook Air or MacBook Pro — fits within a compact 2.5″ hard drive enclosure.

The PM1633a’s debut ahead of a comparably capacious spinning platter hard disk demonstrates the degree to which SSDs are rapidly replacing traditional hard drives.

Loaded with 48 layers containing roughly 500 256Gb/32GB NAND flash chips, the PM1633a is being billed as “~16TB” in capacity, a size that’s currently better-suited to enterprise applications than mainstream customers. It’s also roughly twice the height of 2.5″ drives commonly found in laptops. For these reasons, Samsung demonstrated the PM1633a in a server with 48 SSDs installed, reaching a total capacity of nearly 768TB.

No pricing has been announced for the new SSD, but estimates in the $5,000 and up range would be appropriate. Samsung just began to sell 2.5-inch 2TB SSDs for $800 (consumer) to $1000 (professional) last month.

Filed under: Mac, Tech Industry Tagged: 15TB, 16TB, Samsung, SSD

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Jeremy Horwitz

August 13th



How-To: Swap Your iMac, Mac mini or MacBook CD/DVD drive for a super-fast SSD


When I wrote a series of How-To guides showing how easy it was to swap old Mac hard disks for new solid state drives (SSDs), I focused on raw upgrades — slow mechanical drives for fast chip-based ones. The reason was simple: put an SSD in your Mac instead of the old hard disk, and you’ll be blown away by the speed increases. But as several readers have noted, there is another way to add an SSD to your Mac: you can keep your old hard drive, and instead replace the Mac’s CD/DVD optical drive, also known as a SuperDrive.

Swapping a SuperDrive for an SSD has a mix of pros and cons. It’s typically a little easier and less expensive to replace the SuperDrive than a stock hard drive, and you’ll always wind up with more internal storage than you started with. But you also lose CD/DVD reading and writing abilities — things fewer people care about these days — and you’ll need to set up your Mac to properly take advantage of the SSD. Read on for the details…


Which Macs Have Swappable Optical Drives?

If your Mac has a CD/DVD drive built in, there’s a very good chance that it can be swapped for an SSD. There are millions of Macs with optical drives, including iMacs sold prior to late 2012, Mac minis sold prior to mid 2011, and 15″ MacBook Pros sold prior to late 2013. Apple still sells non-Retina 13″ MacBook Pros with optical drives; this model hasn’t been updated with new hardware in a long time.

(Techies will note that the most significant speed improvements will be seen on late 2008 or newer machines, as those Macs support faster SATA II or SATA III storage devices, including most SSDs. The SATA III standard Apple began to support in 2011 is backward-compatible, so an SSD with SATA III support will work in SATA II Macs, just at slower (but still noticeably better than typical hard drive) speeds.)


What Does Swapping The Optical Drive For An SSD Get Me?

Short answer: much faster speeds. Every Mac’s overall performance is weighed down by the computer’s slowest parts. Even if your CPU, graphics card, and other components are on par with current-generation Macs, your apps and files could be stored on a slow hard drive that takes a long time to load and save things you’re using. Putting an SSD inside your Mac, then moving OS X and your apps over to the SSD, can radically improve the Mac’s speed: it’s possible to get 4X to 5X improvements in OS X and app loading times, a difference you’ll notice every time you wake your Mac from sleep or switch apps.

One extra benefit of choosing the optical drive for an SSD swap: unlike a hard drive to SSD swap, there’s no need to buy a special cable with a thermal sensor to install the SSD, since the Mac’s existing optical drive cable already has a thermal sensor attached. Unless you want to add a mounting kit, a sub-$20 part, all you need is the drive itself.

What you’ll lose is the ability to read and write optical discs, which at one point was a big selling point of computers but has become less important over time. Some people buy Apple’s external $75 USB SuperDrive to keep around “just in case.” I personally haven’t used my optical drive in around two years, and consider any optical drive purely optional at this point.


Which SSD Should I Buy?

For most Macs, I’ve recommended Samsung’s 850 EVO drive (rated 4.7 out of 5 stars with nearly 4,000 reviews), the SSD I use and love, and readers have told me they love theirs, too. Samsung just introduced a 2TB version of the 850 EVO, which offers incredible storage capacity for an SSD with the same outstanding warranty and performance found in the 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB versions.

Personally, I opted for a 1TB 850 EVO before the 2TB version was released, and I’d recommend going for as much capacity as you feel comfortable buying. I feel a lot safer with my important photos and files on an SSD versus an aging mechanical drive. But if you’re going to have both the SSD and original hard drive in your Mac, you could pick a smaller SSD for OS X and your apps, keeping your music, photos, and videos on the old hard drive. Samsung also makes the 850 PRO, which has an even longer warranty and faster performance than the 850 EVO, if you’re willing to pay a premium for them.

Image courtesy iFixit

Image courtesy iFixit

Swapping Your iMac’s Optical Drive

The excellent DIY repair shop iFixit publishes iMac model-specific optical drive replacement guides for the 21.5″ iMac (late-2009, mid-2010, and mid-2011), 27″ iMac (late-2009, mid-2010, and mid-2011), and earlier 17″, 20″, and 24″ models that are about as far back as you should consider for possible SSD swaps.

As each guide notes, the process of replacing an iMac’s SuperDrive with an SSD should take a confident and reasonably computer-savvy person less than an hour; if you don’t feel comfortable opening your own Mac, ask a friend. You’ll need two large suction cups to remove the iMac’s glass front, a T10 Torx screwdriver, and a spudger. If you’re opening a 27″ iMac, you’ll also need a thin and small but solid piece of metal to lift up the screen — iFixit recommends a common paperclip. I’ve gone through the iMac upgrading process before, and while there are a bunch of steps to follow, none is particularly difficult.

iFixit’s guides walk you through all of the steps except one: placing the tiny SSD you buy within an adapter/caddy as large as the optical drive you’re replacing. Since the SSD is so small and light, some people skip the adapter and just uses pieces of double-sized tape to hold their SSDs in place. But if you’d like to use a mount to keep your SSD firmly within the old optical drive bay, you have a couple of options. This $9 Micro SATA Cables-branded adapter is inexpensive and praised for its fit in 27″ iMacs. Alternately, this $19 Nimitz hard drive caddy is designed to fit a variety of 2009-2011 iMacs. Pick the one you prefer.

Image (2) mac-mini-teardown.jpg for post 18072

Swapping Your Mac mini’s Optical Drive

Swapping parts inside recent Mac minis is, in a word, daunting. Although they’re super-simple from the outside, they’re the opposite of user-friendly when it comes to DIY repairs; iFixit’s guides correctly describe many upgrades to unibody (metal-topped) Mac minis as being “difficult.” This is the mid-2010 Mac mini guide, for which you’ll need a 2mm hex screwdriver, T6 and T8 Torx screwdrivers, a spudger, and a Mac mini Logic Board Removal Tool, plus hours of disassembly and reassembly time.

Earlier Mac minis are easier to open, requiring a putty knife, Phillips #00 Screwdriver, and spudger. Later mid-2011 and 2012 unibody Mac minis lack optical drives, but can instead get upgraded with a $30 dual-hard drive kit that includes all the tools and parts you’ll need.

If you’d like to use a mount to keep your SSD in place within the optical drive bay, this $19 Nimitz hard drive caddy is designed to fit 2009-2010 Mac minis. Alternately, this less expensive $9 Micro SATA Cables-branded adapter can be made to fit inside Mac minis, though you’ll only be able to use two screws to hold the drive — not a problem if your Mac’s going to stay in one place.


Swapping Your MacBook’s or MacBook Pro’s Optical Drive

MacBooks are probably the easiest Macs for optical drive to SSD swaps for a variety of reasons: they require the fewest tools (a Phillips #00 Screwdriver and a spudger) and the fewest steps, as well as fairly simple parts. You don’t have to remove major components such as a logic board or screen to access the optical drive.

iFixit publishes separate guides for the 13″ unibody metal MacBook, non-Retina MacBook Pro 13″ (mid-2010, early 2011, late 2011, and mid-2012 to present day), the non-Retina MacBook Pro 15″, and MacBook Pro 17″, all of which involve little more than using one screwdriver, opening the bottom compartment, and disconnecting some connectors before reassembling the machine. To hold the new SSD in place within the former optical drive bay, this $9 BrainyTrade drive caddy works with the metal 13″ MacBook and pre-Retina, pre-2012 13″/15″/17″ MacBook Pros.


What Do I Do Once The SSD Is Installed?

If you’ve installed the SSD as a replacement for your optical drive, using the SSD is easy. Open OS X’s Disk Utility app (found in the Applications > Utilities folder or by typing Disk Utility under Spotlight search), and select the new drive. Erase the drive using Mac OS Extended (Journaled) formatting. Then, you can choose to either use the drive as a spare (assisting your prior hard drive with extra files), or turn it into your primary boot disk.


There are two easy ways to turn your new SSD into a boot disk. One is to install a new copy of OS X on the drive, then install only the apps and files you want. You can do this by holding down Command (⌘) and R after restarting your Mac, choosing Reinstall OS X from the OS X Utilities list, and selecting the new SSD as the destination for OS X. This will give you a completely fresh start, though your emails, app settings, and other files will need to be separately hunted down and brought over from your other hard drive.


The simpler option is to back up your Mac’s old hard drive to an external drive using Time Machine, then restore the backup to the new SSD. Follow the directions here. You may need to go to System Preferences > Startup Disk and select your new drive, or OS X may give you the choice to boot from it after the restoration is done. You should find that your emails, files, and apps have all been brought over intact. Just confirm that the SSD backup is working by using it for a day or three to make sure everything is where it should be. At that point, you can erase your old hard drive and use it for spare storage.

More From This Author

Check out more of my How-To guides, editorials and reviews for 9to5Mac here! In addition to my SSD guides for iMacsMacBook Airs + Retina MacBook ProsMacBooks, Mac minis, and Mac Pros, I’ve covered a lot of different topics of interest to Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch users.

Filed under: How-To, Mac, Tips and Tricks Tagged: iMac, Mac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, optical drive, speed, SSD, SuperDrive, swap, Upgrade

For more information about Tips and Tricks, Mac, and Mac continue reading at 9to5Mac.

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Jeremy Horwitz

August 10th



9to5Toys Lunch Break: PNY 64GB USB3 Flash Drive $16, iPad Air 2 64GB $490, Olio Smartwatch giveaway, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

pny-elite-performance-sdxc-256gb pny-turbo-64gb-flash-drive

Amazon Gold Box – PNY storage up to 50% off: 64GB USB3 Flash Drive $16, 128GB microSD $52, 64GB SDXC $22, more


Apple iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi 64GB in Gold, Silver or Space Gray for $490 shipped (Reg. $599)


Giveaway: Olio Model One Black Collection Connected Timepiece for iOS and Android ($795 value)


NomadPlus converts your iPhone USB wall charger into a 1800mAh power bank: $20 shipped (Orig. $40)


App Store Free App of the Week: Matter 3D photo effects goes free for the first time ($3 value)


Pay What You Want For The 10 App Mac Power User Bundle (Orig. $383)

More new gear from today:


VIZIO 49-inch 4K 120Hz Smart LED UHDTV $650 shipped (Reg. $770), more

More deals still alive:


Back to school essentials you may have overlooked: Litographs tees, dorm decor, GE alarm kit, more

Bose SoundTrue On-Ear Headphones in black or white: $90 shipped (Reg. $120)


The coolest Apple-certified MFI Lightning cables you can buy for your iPhone, iPad and iPod

New products & more:


Thermos’ latest water bottle will nag you with iOS notifications to make sure you stay hydrated


The new Graava action camera uses your heartbeat to capture the best moments and make a highlight reel


Filed under: Tips and Tricks Tagged: 9to5Toys, Amazon Gold Box, Amazon Prime, app deals, apple deals, coupon codes, Daily Deals, eBay Daily Deals, flash drive, Flash storage, free apps, free shipping, Freebies, giveaway, iPad, iPad Air 2, New Toy of the Day, Olio, Olio Smartwatch, PNY, SDHC, SDXC, SSD, video games

Continue reading more about iPad, Tips and Tricks, and 9to5Toys at 9to5Mac.

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Dan DeSilva

August 10th



9to5Toys Lunch Break: iPad mini 2 $230, SanDisk 128GB microSD $60, 13″ Retina MacBook Pro $1,100, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

sandisk-ultra-128gb-microsd sandisk-32gb-ultra-fit-flash-drive

Amazon Gold Box – SanDisk Flash Storage up to 50% off: 128GB microSD $60, 32GB Ultra Fit Flash Drive $11, more


iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi 16GB: $230 2-day shipped (Reg. $299)

iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi 16GB: $300 shipped (Reg. $399)

iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB in Silver: $449 shipped (Orig. $929)


13-inch Retina MacBook Pro: 2.7GHz/8GB/128GB $1,100 shipped (Reg. $1,299)

15-inch Retina MacBook Pro w/ Force Touch $1,819 shipped (Reg. $1,999)


Amazon Prime Day Hub, monster sales announced: Fire Stick $24, 32-inch TV $75, and 40-inch TV $115, more

Walmart CEO blasts Amazon’s Prime Day, promises a week-long sales event with “some special atomic deals”

Amazon is throwing itself a birthday party so big it’ll make you forget about Black Friday


Review: SanDisk’s new Connect Wireless Stick is one of the easiest ways to expand your iPhone’s storage


Giveaway: Win one of SanDisk’s newly released massive 200GB microSD cards ($250 value)


Small States: A-Lamp Design fashions charming lights for your home from US materials, multiple giveaways

More new gear from today:


Beats by Dre 1-Day Sale: Powerbeats2 Bluetooth Headphones, Pill 2.0 Portable Speaker $130 ea (Reg. $200)


RAVPower Portable 3,200mAh External Battery Pack w/ Flashlight: $7 Prime shipped (Reg. $13)

More deals still alive:


Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-inch Internal SSD $90 shipped (Orig. $140)

New products & more:


The Lemunati CS1 coverts your iPhone 6 into a Super 8 style camcorder for an “upgraded” filming experience


This TIE Fighter look-alike music machine plays your favorite action theme songs


Filed under: Tips and Tricks Tagged: Amazon Gold Box, Amazon Prime, apple deals, Beats by Dre, Beats Pill 2.0, Best Buy, coupon codes, eBay Daily Deals, Flash storage, force touch, free apps, free shipping, giveaways, ipad mini 2, MicroSD, powerbeats2, Prime Day, Retina MacBook Pro, review, SanDisk, SDXC, SSD

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Dan DeSilva

July 14th


February 2016
« Jan    

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