42 Peripheral Devices Connected to One 2013 Mac Pro [Mac Blog]

Since Thunderbolt ports can support up to six peripherals in a daisy chain, which is a wiring scheme where multiple devices are chained together in a certain order, Macworld Lab decided to test how many devices they could daisy chain together with the new Mac Pro’s six Thunderbolt ports, four USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port and two gigabit Ethernet ports.

MacWorld Lab referred to the test as the Mac Pro Daisy Chain Challenge and were able to connect a total of 42 peripheral devices to the Mac Pro.

We connected 36 drives (19 Thunderbolt, 15 USB, 2 FireWire 800) with a combined capacity of 100.63TB. In addition to the drives, we also connected two Thunderbolt docks (the Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock and the CalDigitThunderbolt Station), an Apple Thunderbolt Display, two Apple Cinema Displays, and one HP Z Display Z27i. All this to a single Mac Pro.

Only a dozen of the drives were being powered from the cables connecting them to the Mac Pro. The 24 remaining drives required external power and had to be plugged into three power strips with an attached Watts Up power meter. The combine power draw when Macworld ran a script that copied data from the Mac Pro’s internal flash storage to the drives was 865 Watts.

Through Mac OS X’s Activity Monitor, the lab found that there was a combined throughput of 3 Gbps. The rate slowed as the fastest drives, of which OWC’s Mercury Helios was the fastest, finished transferring data.

The lab also found that the daisy chains didn’t affect the performance of a single drive working alone. Rather, the location of the drive within the daisy chain affected performance. For instance, one drive’s average write speed was 709.8 Mbps when tested at the beginning of the daisy chain and without a daisy chain and only 556.7 Mbps when placed at the end of the chain.

The full list of devices connected to the Mac Pro, along with more information on the challenge and future tests can be found at Macworld.




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42 Peripheral Devices Connected to One 2013 Mac Pro [Mac Blog]

Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station [Mac Blog]

Since late 2012, a number of accessory manufacturers have released docking stations taking advantage of Thunderbolt technology to allow users to connect a number of different types of devices to their machines with a single cable. Matrox was the first to reach market with its DS1, and similar offerings from Belkin and CalDigit have since been released.

Popular TV and video accessory maker Elgato has now released its own dock, offering three USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Thunderbolt ports to support pass-through, HDMI and Ethernet ports, as well as headphone and microphone jacks.

In addition to the hardware, Elgato has also released a free menu bar utility that allows for easy ejection of mounted storage devices while also enabling high-power USB support.

In terms of connectivity, Elgato’s dock is most similar to CalDigit’s Thunderbolt Station, with each supporting the same set of ports. Matrox’s docking station offers only a single USB 3.0 port (plus two USB 2.0 ports) and only a single Thunderbolt port, which limits users to placing the dock at the end of a Thunderbolt chain. Belkin’s Thunderbolt Express Dock does away with a dedicated HDMI port and instead expects users to use one of the dock’s two Thunderbolt ports for display connectivity. Belkin’s dock does, however, include a FireWire 800 port.

Sonnet announced an even more expansive dock including internal storage and DVD/Blu-ray drives a year ago, although its release has been pushed back as Sonnet redesigns it to include support for the new Thunderbolt 2 standard supported on the latest Mac Pro and Retina MacBook Pro models.

Elgato’s Thunderbolt Dock launches today on Amazon (although currently listed as out of stock) with a suggested retail price of $229.95 with a Thunderbolt cable. A $199.95 version without cable is also available.




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Elgato Becomes Latest Company to Launch Thunderbolt Docking Station [Mac Blog]

Belkin Introduces iPhone-Enabled WeMo Crock-Pot Slow Cooker [iOS Blog]

Belkin has introduced a new Crock-Pot-brand slow cooker integrated with the company’s WeMo home automation technology. According to Belkin, this will be the first of a number of WeMo enabled small appliances, including items like space heaters.

The Wi-Fi-enabled cooker looks nearly identical to other similar slow cookers, with controls on the front for toggling warm, low and high settings – but chefs can use the WeMo iOS app to adjust temperatures and set automated on/off timers.

The „Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker enabled with WeMo“ will be available for $99.99 this spring.

Belkin also announced new LED light bulbs that work with the WeMo system, similar to Philips’ Hue bulbs.




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Belkin Introduces iPhone-Enabled WeMo Crock-Pot Slow Cooker [iOS Blog]

CyberMonday 2013: Discounts on iPads, MacBook Pros, and More

The Monday after Black Friday has been dubbed Cyber Monday to reflect a large number of online purchases that takes place on that day. As a result, many retailers continue or begin online sales on Monday. Here’s a selection of Apple-relevant Cyber Monday sales.

Accessories, iTunes Gift Cards and Software

$100 iTunes Gift Card – $85 ($15 off)
iOS Apps on Sale at AppShopper
Mac Apps on Sale at AppShopper

Zagg – iPhone/iPad accessory maker is offering 20%-50% site-wide including keyboard cases and portable power.
Belkin – 30% off entire order with promo code: „CYBERMONDAY“

Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 – $49.99 ($50 off)
Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 & Premiere Elements 12 – $69.99 ($80 off)
Quickbooks 2014 for Mac – $181.30 ($69.65 off)
VMWare Fusion 6 – $38.99 ($21 off)

iPads

iPad Air Wi-Fi – $20-$34 Off
iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular – $20-$34 Off

MacBook Pros

BestBuy has two good deals for the 13″ MacBook Pro today:

13″ Retina MacBook Pro with 256GB – $1399 ($100 off)
13″ Retina MacBook Pro with 512GB – $1599 ($200 off)

All Other Macs

MacMall continues to have modest discounts on all other Mac models:

Current Model Retail MacMall 11.6″ MacBook Air 128GB $999 -$69 11.6″ MacBook Air 256GB $1199 -$69 13.3″ MacBook Air 128GB $1099 -$69 13.3″ MacBook Air 256GB $1299 -$69 13″ MacBook Pro (Retina) 128GB $1299 -$49 13″ MacBook Pro (Retina) 256GB $1499 -$49 13″ MacBook Pro (Retina) 512GB $1799 -$49 15″ MacBook Pro (Retina) 256GB $1999 -$74 15″ MacBook Pro (Retina) 512GB $2599 -$74 21.5″ iMac 2.7GHz $1299 -$49 21.5″ iMac 2.9GHz $1499 -$49 27″ iMac 3.2GHz $1799 -$49 27″ iMac 3.4GHz $1999 -$49 Click on prices to link directly to product.
Pricing and availability changes rapidly on Cyber Monday, so sales may not be current. Some links may be via our affiliate links which can financially benefit this site.




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CyberMonday 2013: Discounts on iPads, MacBook Pros, and More

CalDigit’s $199 Thunderbolt Station Shipping November 4 [Mac Blog]

CalDigit today announced that its $199 Thunderbolt Station will begin shipping on November 4, with pre-orders available now through the company’s online store. Announced back in April, CalDigit’s addition to the range of Thunderbolt docking station from manufacturers such as Belkin and Matrox offers three USB 3.0 ports, audio in and out jacks, Ethernet, and HDMI, as well as pass-through capabilities to allow users to include the device in a daisy-chained configuration off of a single Thunderbolt port.

The HDMI port on the CalDigit Thunderbolt™ Station supports resolutions of 2560×1600. Other devices on the market only support lower resolutions such as 1080i and 1080p. The HDMI port is ideal for situations when you need to expand your monitor set-up. It also supports HDCP playback that enables you to play content such as iTunes movies on a HDMI display. If you also daisy-chain a Thunderbolt monitor alongside a HDMI monitor you can have up to a maximum of three displays including a laptop’s built in display.

Unlike other devices in its class the CalDigit Thunderbolt™ Station features USB 3.0 ports that support full transfer speeds. Other similar devices on the market are limited to 2.5Gbs. The CalDigit Thunderbolt™ Station’s USB 3.0 ports are 5Gbs. Having the ability to add USB 3.0 connectivity to your computer is incredibly useful for users who have a Thunderbolt equipped Mac without USB 3.0 ports, as it opens the door to connecting a whole host of USB 3.0 peripheral devices. The USB 3.0 ports also bus-power external storage devices, and can charge mobile devices.

CalDigit’s Thunderbolt dock offering comes just as Apple begins introducing Mac hardware supporting the new Thunderbolt 2 standard, which offers twice the throughput of the original Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt 2 is available on the just-released Retina MacBook Pro models, and will be included on the redesigned Mac Pro launching in December.

(Thanks, Dave!)




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CalDigit’s $199 Thunderbolt Station Shipping November 4 [Mac Blog]

Belkin’s Qode Keyboards For iPad Air Look As Good As The iPad They Fit

; I wonder just what effect the new iPad Air will have on keyboard covers? The iPads one to four were all big enough that you could pretty much squeeze a full-sized keyboard into a matching cover, but all the…Read more ›

The post Belkin’s Qode Keyboards For iPad Air Look As Good As The iPad They Fit appeared first on Cult of Mac.




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Belkin’s Qode Keyboards For iPad Air Look As Good As The iPad They Fit

Roundup: Cases and Accessories for iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini [iOS Blog]

Following the announcement of Apple’s iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, multiple accessory manufacturers are preparing cases and other products to accompany the new iPads ahead of their November release. Below are some of the new product offerings from a number of well-known vendors, which should be able to ship before or shortly after the new iPads are available to consumers.

Belkin has announced an array of new accessories for the iPad Air, including several keyboard cases and standard folio cases. Belkin’s keyboard cases start at $80, with the $100 version offering a front cover and the $130 version offering an extremely thin aircraft-grade aluminum body.

Belkin
Additionally, there are several standard cases, including the $60 LapStand Cover, the $60 FreeStyle Cover, the $40-$50 FormFit Cover, and more that can be found on the Belkin site. The company also has an Apex 360 Advanced Protection case for the iPad mini, priced at $70.

Zagg has invisibleSHIELDs and keyboard Folio cases ready for the iPad Air. The screen protectors range in price from $30 to $35 and are available in high-definition and smudge proof varieties. The $100 ZAGGkeys Folio is available in black, with white coming soon.

Zagg
Incipio has announced several different folio-style cases for the iPad Air, ranging in price from $35 to $70. There are also a range of folio and shell cases for the Retina iPad mini priced at $30 to $45, including the popular Smart Feather.

Incipio
Otterbox has announced Defender Series cases for both the Retina iPad mini and the iPad Air. While the Retina iPad mini version can be pre-ordered for $70 in three different colors, the company has yet to announce pre-orders or pricing for the iPad Air version.

Otterbox
Griffin has multiple products coming for the iPad Air, including the $80 Slim Keyboard Folio and the $80 Survivor Case, which is similar to Otterbox’s offerings. The company also plans to debut a $50 Back Bay Folio and a folio-style $40 Journal Case. Griffin is currently selling multiple cases for the Retina mini, including the Folio and the IntelliCase for $45 and $40, respectively.

Griffin
Cygnett has debuted a range of folio cases for the iPad Air as well, each with varying colors and designs. Prices range from $40 for a basic fabric folio case to $70 for a leather origami-inspired case that can be folded into multiple stand angles. The company’s flexi-folding Paradox cases are also available in several colors for $40.

Cygnett
Moshi has several different Retina iPad mini cases available, including the $50 VersaCover and the $45 Concerti Portfolio, along with multiple iVisor screen protectors priced at $30. The company also plans to debut similar cases for the iPad Air, retailing for $55 to $60. iPad Air iVisors will also be available for $30.

Moshi
In addition to the cases listed above, the following companies also have iPad Air and Retina iPad mini cases available for purchase: Grove, Speck, M-Edge, Gumdrop, Hard Candy, iLuv, and X-Doria.

While the iPad Air has taken on a full redesign necessitating all new cases, the Retina iPad mini is just 0.3 millimeters thicker than the previous generation. It is unclear whether existing cases will fit the new Retina iPad mini, so consumers would be wise to check with vendors about fit before purchasing a first generation iPad mini case for the Retina mini.

Apple will begin accepting orders for the iPad Air on November 1, with orders for the Retina mini commencing later in November. As with the iPhone 5s, the company does not plan to offer pre-orders.




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Roundup: Cases and Accessories for iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini [iOS Blog]

Belkin’s iPad Dock Dials In The Perfect Fit

Belkin’s new Express Dock for iPad lets you dial in the perfect fit for any Lightning iPad, whatever case it’s in. Literally: there’s actually a dial on the back to adjust the dock’s size. Up until the iPhone event a couple of weeks back, you could have been forgiven for thinking you didn’t need a […]

The post Belkin’s iPad Dock Dials In The Perfect Fit appeared first on Cult of Mac.




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Belkin’s iPad Dock Dials In The Perfect Fit

CalDigit Thunderbolt Station Adds to Growing Ranks of Thunderbolt Docks [Mac Blog]

Storage maker CalDigit this week announced a new portable dock called the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station, adding to the growing collection of Thunderbolt docks introduced recently from Sonnet, Belkin and Matrox.

CalDigit’s entry costs $199 and provides users with USB 3.0, Audio In and Out jacks, Ethernet, and HDMI in a portable aluminum case.

“As Macs are getting thinner, and more portable we need more ways to connect to multiple devices. The CalDigit ThunderboltTM Station gives professional users the ability to connect their ultra portable computers to a lot more devices via a single ThunderboltTM port“, said Kosta Panagos Director of Marketing at CalDigit.

CalDigit makes a number of high-end storage enclosures and expansion cards for audio and video professionals. The company says the Thunderbolt Station will be „available soon“.


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CalDigit Thunderbolt Station Adds to Growing Ranks of Thunderbolt Docks [Mac Blog]

Sonnet Announces Thunderbolt Dock With Internal Drive Bay and Blu-Ray Drive [Mac Blog]

Sonnet has announced a new Thunderbolt dock that combines USB 3.0, SATA and eSATA, FireWire 800, audio input and output, and Gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as a DVD or Blu-ray reader/burner, and well as a 2.5″ or 3.5″ 6 Gb/s SATA drive bay.

The dock is available for pre-order for $400 with a DVD drive and $450 with a Blu-ray drive. Additional choices are available with hard drives built-in.

Back in February, nearly 18 months after it was announced, Belkin announced it was finally taking pre-orders for its Thunderbolt Express Dock. However, the company has again delayed shipment of the device, issuing this statement to MacRumors:

Belkin’s Thunderbolt Express Dock utilizes a brand new interface and has an ambitious set of features. The Belkin team is taking the time and steps necessary to ensure that we deliver the best user experience possible. Customers who placed pre-orders for the Thunderbolt Express Dock on Belkin.com were alerted of the new product status and will be kept up to date via email.


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Sonnet Announces Thunderbolt Dock With Internal Drive Bay and Blu-Ray Drive [Mac Blog]