diglloyd Mac Performance Guide
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Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, I am grateful to live where I do.

To those who made and make it happen, to those and their families who gave all they could give, thank you.

America Bald Eagle
See also: Eagles Galore.
__METADATA__

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How to get a Better Idea of Memory Usage: Purge the OS X File System Buffer Cache

It can be confusing to evaluate available memory, because OS X can use many gigabytes for the file system cache. Thus, it can be useful to purge the OS X file system buffer cache for that reason, and another:

  • Before performing or repeating a performance test, for consistent results.
  • To assess system memory usage without a bloated disk cache.

In Terminal, use sudo purge:

diglloydMP:MPG lloyd$ sudo purge

Use of 'sudo purge' is harmless; it simply empties file system caches. The 'man' page states:

Purge can be used to approximate initial boot conditions with a cold disk buffer cache for performance analysis. It does not affect anonymous memory that has been allocated through malloc, vm_allocate, etc.

The results can be seen in Activity Monitor under memory usage. The cache will not go to zero because the system keeps some important file system structures cached.

15.6GB of cache used before sudo purge, 1.09GB after (toggle to compare).

Cached files before and after

More OS X Open-File Bugs: QuickLookSatellite, Apple Mail, Ghost Applications, Trash Will Not Empty

A few days ago, I wrote about a nasty bug in QuickLookSatellite that can bring the system to its knees, requiring a force kill of QuickLookSatellite or a logout or reboot. That page has now been updated with command line alternatives that make it instant to terminate the offending QuickLookSatellite processes.

Apple Mail fails to close files too

Apple Mail has bugs in failing to close open files as well: send an image in an email, then put the file in the trash. Even hours after the email has been sent, the file(s) may remain open, so the Trash cannot be emptied. Strangely, this did/does not happen when tested with 120 images in an email. So it’s a behavior that apparently depends on something.

Here is how to see open jpg files in Apple Mail (in Terminal). These two files are in the trash. Mail has long since sent the message, but it has failed to close the files, so attempting to empty the trash produces an error alert for every such open file—quite a nuisance over the course of the day. But in this case the solution is simple: quit Apple Mail and the files get closed. While only a nuisance since there is an easy workaround, it is yet more Apple Core Rot.

diglloydMP:DIGLLOYD lloyd$ lsof | grep Mail | grep jpg
Mail 23447 lloyd txt 885100 23720017 /Users/lloyd/.Trash/Sony28_135.jpg
Mail 23447 lloyd txt 889332 23720381 /Users/lloyd/.Trash/2-frame-f13.jpg

Ghost applications keeping files open

The case of “ghost applications” seems to be a feature, not a bug, that is, in the ghastly way Apple fails to consider side effects and implications that make the alleged benefits to some a bitter brew for others.

Chris K writes:

Not just files, but programs. I have noticed this problem for the last couple iterations of OS X. It seems all Apple programs themselves (Preview, Pages, etc.) remain “open” after the last file has closed, and the icon no longer appears in the dock.

When I try to empty the trash or do other functions, I first have to use the CMD+OPT+ESC to open the “Force Quit Applications” panel, force them shut. Perhaps the intention is to quickly hot load new files, making a computer feel zippy fast.

In reality, quite the opposite, a new time suck has been created by requiring my time. Not only a frustrating waste of time, but also a waste of CPU / RAM.

MPG: this seems to be a distinctly different case: applications that the user has quit, but remain open (vs open applications keeping open files long since not needed). However it’s possible some underlying lazy* garbage collection algorithm is responsible for both at some level.

MPG also regularly observes ghost applications in Activity Monitor and has seen these trash-emptying problems, particularly with Apple Preview—PDFs in the trash remain open long after quitting Preview.

A guess: ghost applications could be related the Power Nap feature (or some underlying facility that it requires). Since Power Nap is off on all MPG machines, that would not explain it—but that presumes Power Nap is not buggy like the rest of OS X.

* “Lazy” as used here is computer programming terminology, not a pejorative.

Power Nap in OS X Energy Saver Preferences
Is it responsible for ghost applications?

Arne E writes:

I can confirm that the still-open Mail sent attachment has been a problem for a long time. I remember having to deal with it on Yosemite and even Snow Leopard, and to deal with it is very easy:

diglloydMP:MPG lloyd$ rm -rf /Volumes/*/.Trashes/*/*

No sudo needed… it just sits in one of my BitBar plugins as "Force Empty Local Trash". No need to quit Mail; force empty works while Mail is still running.

MPG: Terminal is a useful tool indeed. Another way to do it for a few files is to type 'rm ' (without the quotes and with the following space), then drag any problem files into the terminal window, which will insert the file names with path. Press RETURN and they’re gone.

ThunderBay 4 - The Speed To Create. The Capacity To Dream.

Zerene Stacker: Good Example of a Program that Uses all the CPU Cores

See the MPG computer wishlist at B&H Photo.

Focus stacking makes one image with unlimited depth of field (sharpness near to far) by merging multiple frames shot at different focusing distances. These shots of Shimano biking parts were done with focus stacking.

While four CPU cores may be plenty for many uses, photographers doing things like focus stacking can benefit hugely from 6/8/10/12 CPU cores, that is, when running programs that efficiently make use of the cores (e.g., 8 cores gets the job done in about half the time of 4).

Here, Zerene Stacker is doing a focus stacking job that takes a few minutes on an 8-core 3.3 GHz Mac Pro. It uses all 8 CPU hardware CPU cores very effectively.

See also: Photoshop CC 2015 Now Uses all the CPU Cores for RAW-File Conversion.

Zerene Stacker CPU usage while focus stacking

OWC Adds Apple 'BootCamp' (Windows Booting) Support for OWC Aura SSD and Others

OWC Aura SSD

Get OWC Aura and Aura Pro SSDs at MacSales.com (480GB and 960GB).

See the MPG review of the OWC Aura SSD for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina.

Originally, the OWC Aura SSD would not support Bootcamp, but about a month after first release OWC announced the (free) OWC Dual Boot Enabler for Apple Boot Camp updater. Direct link: Aura SSD for Mid-2013 and Later MacBook Air MacBook Pro with Retina display.

The OWC Dual Boot Enabler provides Boot Camp support to a handful of OWC products, including the Aura SSD for mid-2013 and later MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display that we sent for review.

Boot Camp allows users to partition their drive and install Microsoft Windows directly onto their Mac, enabling the simultaneous use of Windows and providing a simple transition between operating systems. While many OWC products already support Boot Camp, a few solid state drives were previously incompatible with the utility once installed.

With OWC’s new enabler, consumers can now use Boot Camp to install Windows with the following products:

OWC Aura SSD for Mid-2013 and later MacBook Air and MacBook Pro with Retina display
OWC Aura SSD for Mac Pro
Mercury Accelsior S
Mercury Accelsior E2

NOTE: users can choose to uninstall the enabler afterwards as it is only needed for set-up, or leave it installed as it uses no memory or other system resources.

 

The Drive I Use for Backup in the Field

Get Envoy Pro EX at MacSales.com or get Envoy Pro EX at B&H Photo.

For a detailed look at how I work in the field (my photography), see Mechanics and Organization in DAP.

Out in the field, my daily routine after a long day’s shoot is like this:

  1. Grab a GT’s Kombucha from cooler (Gingerade preferred) because after hiking 12 hours, it hits the spot.
  2. Download all my camera cards using a fast card reader. A fast SDXC card helps a lot too. [When/while downloading more than one card, have a clone backup running simultaneously, this saves some time. Make one final clone when all are downloaded].
  3. Make one final clone backup after the last download. If further work is done after downloading, do another clone before shutting down the laptop for the night.
  4. Store the backup drive away from the computer (having a laptop plus its backup drive stolen is painful mistake).
OWC Envoy Pro EX SSD

See my review of the OWC Envoy Pro EX 1TB. This is the SSD I use for backups in the field as discussed above. Actually, I use both a 1TB Envoy Pro EX and 480GB Envoy Pro EX as well, for dual backups.

The Envoy Pro EX is very compact, bus powered by the USB cable itself, a very fast performer, and sleek looking too.

It fits in the palm of my hand or just about any pocket, and stows with its short USB cable in its own soft carry case. It’s the perfect high performance SSD for travel.

If backup is not the goal, the Envoy Pro EX is also ideal for additional storage while traveling.

Tip: at only 106 grams it is possible to stick a small piece of velcro on it and on the top of the laptop case, and then just stick it on while working, so it doesn’t just dangle there. Handy in airline seats and such where there is no desktop.

OWC Envoy Pro EX SSD

OS X Bug: QuickLookSatellite Opens Files and Never Closes Them, Causing Wide-Ranging Errors

Update 27 May: Apple Mail has a similar bug.
Update 29 May: example listing and Finder dialog added.

A few days ago, my Mac Pro started acting funny: my testing java web server kept quitting. Other things started misbehaving too, with error messages about not being able to open a file, or ssh failing to open a socket.

The java web server could not get a file or socket to open, so it would quit. I would restart it, and it would die after a few pages had loaded. This was very puzzling, since OS X has an ample limit for file descriptors and sockets.

Here is what is happening: the background process QuickLookSatellite was opening every JPEG file that I created and keeping them all openforever! A newbie programming bug of failing to close a file after opening it. More Apple Core Rot.

With a monotonically increasing number of open files (see this listing for an example after just an hour or so), OS X runs out of file descriptors eventually, and then all sorts of weird things start happening. Servers quit, strange error messages appear, even command line tools like git and ssh abort. And so on. Why QuickLookSatellite does this is unclear—perhaps because they are new files and it is trying to be “smart” and take a peek at them for indexing. But it never closes the files, thus chewing up a file descriptor for every file.

One obvious symptom of the problem is that when these files are put into the trash, the Finder posts an error alert saying it cannot empty the trash because the file is open (an error alert for every file!).

OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock , rear ports
When files are open (“in use”), Trash cannot be emptied

The when or why—what provokes it, is unclear. Newly created files? Using Spotlight in a certain way? Selecting and moving or copying? Simply opening a folder with the new files? Probably most users will not encounter this issue, or so MPG thinks. But there could be many other situations that cause it to happen.

QuickLook is so buggy that it even keeps temporary files and network files open. Temp files are files a program creates and disposes of (or thinks it has). These files are not displayed by the Finder, so you might not realize that 5 or 10 or 200 files are open. No wonder OS X runs out of file descriptors!

QuickLook 18320 lloyd   11r     REG               1,4     534938 23703321 /Users/lloyd/Desktop/crop_tmp1365237595
QuickLook 18320 lloyd 12r REG 1,4 534938 23703321 /Users/lloyd/Desktop/crop_tmp1365237595

Detecting and counting open files

To see all open files, use the lsof command in Terminal (use 'sudo' if you want to see all files, not just ones viewable by your login user). The lsof command will dump a fairly long list of open files, which is normal:

diglloydMP:MPG lloyd$ lsof

To show only the files are open by QuickLookSatellite, but excluding files expected to be open:

diglloydMP:MPG lloyd$ lsof | grep Quick | grep -v -e /System -e /Library -e /private -e /dev -e /usr -e KQUEUE -e cwd

To count the number of files open by QuickLookSatellite, but excluding files expected to be open:

diglloydMP:MPG lloyd$ lsof | grep Quick | grep -v -e /System -e /Library -e /private -e /dev -e /usr -e KQUEUE -e cwd | wc -l
# not as complicated as it looks; the -e arguments are to omit files that are normally open by QuickLookSatellite

In my case, I observed a huge list of JPG files that I recognized as files I had recently created as part of my work. The culprit keeping all those files open: QuickLookSatellite. Knowing this, I found a solution. For example, here is a list of 254 open files (via lsof | grep jpg) that QuickLookSatellite is keeping open after just a single page I was preparing (I do many more each day). It has other jpg files open for who knows what reason; just seemingly random open files.

Closing open files by killing QuickLookSatellite

Two methods.

Using Activity Monitor

To fix this problem without rebooting:

  1. Open Activity Monitor.
  2. Enter "quick" in the search box; this will list just the matching process names.
  3. Kill both QuickLookSatellite processes.

When a process is killed, the OS cleans up the mess (files, memory, sockets, etc). So instantly the absurd number of open files are closed—problem solved. Mysterious problems go away, the Finder can empty the trash, etc. However, if the system does get into this state, MPG recommends quitting and reopening any app that had misbehaved; it could have lingering issues because it did not handle the failure well (very unlikely to ever be tested for).

OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock , rear ports
How to kill QuickLookSatellite in Activity Monitor

In Terminal

Terminal (command line) is easy and the solution can even be made into alias (shortcut) like killQL or similar. Shown below are processes before and after killing QuickLookSatellite:

diglloydMP:DIGLLOYD lloyd$ ps -ef | grep Quick
501 17488     1   0  8:13AM ??         0:00.45 /System/Library/Frameworks/QuickLook.framework/Resources/quicklookd.app/Contents/MacOS/quicklookd
501 18320     1   0  8:24AM ??         0:00.11 /System/Library/Frameworks/QuickLook.framework/Versions/A/Resources/quicklookd.app/Contents/XPCServices/QuickLookSatellite.xpc/Contents/MacOS/QuickLookSatellite
501 21160     1   0  8:58AM ??         0:01.27 /System/Library/Frameworks/QuickLook.framework/Versions/A/Resources/quicklookd.app/Contents/XPCServices/QuickLookSatellite.xpc/Contents/MacOS/QuickLookSatellite
501 24167 39289   0  9:45AM ttys003    0:00.00 grep Quick
diglloydMP:DIGLLOYD lloyd$ killall -9 -v QuickLookSatellite
diglloydMP:DIGLLOYD lloyd$ ps -ef | grep Quick 501 17488 1 0 8:13AM ?? 0:00.45 /System/Library/Frameworks/QuickLook.framework/Resources/quicklookd.app/Contents/MacOS/quicklookd 501 24208 39289 0 9:45AM ttys003 0:00.00 grep Quick

Or, make an alias in ~/.bash_profile file so the alias (shortcut) killQL can be typed in Terminal:

alias killQL="killall -9 -v QuickLookSatellite"

Or, use a short shell script (save as executable file) in your PATH:

#!/bin/sh
# save this as an executable in shell PATH
alias countDubiousQL="lsof | grep Quick | grep -v -e /System -e /Library -e /private -e /dev -e /usr -e KQUEUE -e cwd | wc -l"
alias showDubiousQL="lsof | grep Quick | grep -v -e /System -e /Library -e /private -e /dev -e /usr -e KQUEUE -e cwd"
function QL_DubiousCount() {
DUBIOUS_COUNT=`countDubiousQL`
echo $DUBIOUS_COUNT dubious files $1:
showDubiousQL
}
QL_DubiousCount "BEFORE"
echo ""
killall -9 -v QuickLookSatellite
echo ""
QL_DubiousCount "AFTER"

 

Cycling

First Look: OWC USB-C Dock

Get OWC USB-C Dock at Macsales.com.

MPG takes a first look at the new OWC USB-C Dock, which adds ports to the Apple 2015 and 2016 MacBook, as well as charging the MacBook and providing high-power USB charging ports for devices like the Apple iPad. And more.

MPG review of OWC USB-C Dock for Apple MacBook

OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock , rear ports
OWC USB-C Dock ports
Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
✓ diglloyd consulting starts you out on solid footing.

Apple 2016 MacBook: Real-World Photoshop Performance + IntegrityChecker Speed

Get Apple 2016 MacBook at B&H Photo. MPG recommends MacBook models with 512GB SSD and ideally, MacBook models with 512GB SSD and 1.3 GHz CPU.

For travel: USB-C to USB adapter or Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter. BEST for desktop use, √ OWC USB-C Dock.

In addition to the previous tests, diglloyd Photoshop benchmarks are now published:

diglloydSpeed1 Photoshop benchmark on 2016 MacBook 1.3 GHz / 512GB
diglloydMedium Photoshop benchmark on 2016 MacBook 1.3 GHz / 512GB
High Performance 480GB Thumb Drive only $265
USB3 high performance rugged thumb drive.

Apple 2016 MacBook: Real-World Photoshop Performance + IntegrityChecker Speed

Get Apple 2016 MacBook at B&H Photo. MPG recommends MacBook models with 512GB SSD and ideally, MacBook models with 512GB SSD and 1.3 GHz CPU.

For travel: USB-C to USB adapter or Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter. BEST for desktop use, √ OWC USB-C Dock.

In addition to the previous tests, two performance tests for the 2016 MacBook versus the late 2015 iMac 5K and late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina are now published:

Real-world (daily task) in Photoshop: creating size variants from 42 megapixel images
Real-world task: verify file integrity using IntegrityChecker verify on 193K files totaling 125GB
Panasonic GX85: Perfect All-Around Camera?
16MP, super high-res EVF, image stabilized, 4K video, WiFi, flash, 12-32mm lens!
See also the new Nikon D500
ends in 64 minutes

Apple 2016 MacBook: CPU Utilization During Network File Copy

Get Apple 2016 MacBook at B&H Photo. MPG recommends MacBook models with 512GB SSD and ideally, MacBook models with 512GB SSD and 1.3 GHz CPU.

For travel: USB-C to USB adapter or Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter. BEST for desktop use, √ OWC USB-C Dock.

The OWC USB-C Dock was used to provide gigabit ethernet capability to the 2016 MacBook for a 240GB file copy. Performance is excellent, hitting the speed limits of gigabit ethernet when large files are being copied.

The OWC USB-C Dock delivers full gigabit ethernet speed, but there is a catch: with the fastest available 2016 MacBook CPU, the file copy consumes all available CPU cycles! [This CPU overhead has nothing to do with the Dock, at least a good portion of it seems to be inherent to Apple’s ethernet networking stack.]

Which means that when doing anything else with a network file copy is in progress, response will be sluggish, because the CPU load is shared between the file copy and whateve the user is doing and all background tasks.

Read more...

Apple 2016 MacBook: CPU utilization during network file copy
ThunderBay 4 - The Speed To Create. The Capacity To Dream.

FOR SALE: 2009 Mac Pro with NEC 30-inch display

FOR SALE: complete 2009 Mac Pro system as below. Works perfectly with no glitches—all drives tested, SMART status good, etc.

  • Excellent condition—no scratches, dents, etc. The Mac Pro and display belonged to a friend, used for web browsing only*.
  • 2.93 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
  • 12GB memory as 3 X 4GB.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT120 512MB video card
  • 256GB Crucial SSD in lower optical bay (see details below).
  • 2 X Hitachi 2TB hard drives in internal bays (see details below).
  • NEC LCD3090WQXi 30-inch display (2560 X 1600), excellent condition (does not include NEC calibration kit).
  • Includes Apple keyboard, mouse, display cable, power cable.
  • OS X El Capitan installed on one drive, OS X 10.10.5 Yosemite installed on the SSD (can be booted either way).

Used Mac Pros without a display with similar configuration sell for over $1000.

Asking $950 / best offer. Local sale strongly preferred; this gear is heavy (the Mac Pro) and bulky (the 30" display).

Contact Lloyd

* Regarding “web browsing only”, one reader already wrote anonymously to call me a liar. Dishonest cowards assume everyone else is too! It is as stated: web browsing only. The machine was for an elderly friend who works in the financial area; I set up a robust system with a big screen 6 years ago. Cost was never a consideration, reliability was key. He is now using the latest iMac 5K, this system being a haul-away—hence I am selling it.

Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
✓ diglloyd consulting starts you out on solid footing.

Lightning Cable for iPhone/iPad Keep Breaking? Tudia Klip Might Help

Tudia Klip protection for Lightning cables

Get iPhone/iPad lightning cables at MacSales.com.

My teenage daughters break their iPhone cables about every 2 months. I had a bunch of extras—all gone now to replace breakage.

So I gave one Tudio Klip each to two of my daughters—so far so good!

TUDIA KLIP CABLE PROTECTOR SHIPS FOR IPHONES & IPADS

St. Paul, MN, April 21, 2016 – Aplars, leading e-commerce store for electronic products and accessories, announced today that it is now shipping the TUDIA Klip http://www.tudiaproducts.com/klip , a 2 piece clip made of silicone and polycarbonate that snaps onto all original Apple Lightning and 30-pin charging cables, reducing strain by 80% to protect your essential Apple cables from fraying and breaking, which often happens after just 6 months of use. TUDIA Klip also fixes already frayed or damaged cables so you can continue to use them without awkwardly fixing them with tape, throwing them out, or buying new expensive Apple cables or cheaper 3rd party generic replacement cables, which are often incompatible with Apple devices.

The TUDIA Klip is available now for $7 a pair at Amazon.com.

Great Father’s Day/Graduation Gift – Make Sure Cables Will Charge When You Need Them. Package Includes 2 Clips -- 1 for Each End of Cable. A thoughtful Father’s Day or graduation gift, the stylish TUDIA Klip protects and extends the life of expensive Apple charging cables by controlling bending at the most vulnerable points of the cable – the ends, ensuring that the cables will work when you need them the most – to charge your iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple Watch. Measuring only ½” long and weighing a scant .08 oz, TUDIA Klip adds very little bulk or weight and comes in 5 colors – blue, green, pink, gray, and yellow to fit your style. The TUDIA Klip package includes 2 clips (one for each end of the cable) to fully protect your essential Apple charging cables. To use, simply slide the color silicone base on the cable to the point where it meets the plug and then attach the white polycarbonate clip to lock the Klip into place for the ultimate in cable protection.

No More Broken Apple Cables

“After my iPhone died at an extremely important time and I was unable to charge it because of a broken Apple cable, I decided to create the Klip,” said Winson Teh, Founder of Aplars LLC. “Most people see their Apple cables start to fray within 6 months of continued use. Because of this, customers have been asking for a solution to the low quality charging cables that come with Apple devices. The TUDIA Klip is the essential solution to this problem.”

Tudia Klip Features:
· Protects Apple Lightning and 30-Pin charging/syncing cables for iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple Watch.
· Extends the life of cables.
· Fixes already frayed or damaged cables.
· Stylish, doesn’t add bulk or weight.
· Easy to use, quickly snaps on.
· 2-piece design made of a durable silicone base and polycarbonate clip.
· Reduces the need to buy expensive replacement cables or cheaper incompatible third party cables.
· Available in 5 colors: Pink, Blue, Green, Gray, and Yellow.
· Priced at only $7 per pair.

TheTUDIA Klip is available immediately through Amazon.
For more information, see the TUDIA website: http://www.tudiaproducts.com/klip/,
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tudiaproducts , Twitter: @TudiaProducts,
YouTube video: https://youtu.be/NWpnU6lJuBs ,
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjsjpSJluXhjneID9Qob8g.

When Software Crashes It is Immensely Frustrating: Why is Lightroom Crashing?

See Memory: It’s Great to Have 64GB in the iMac 5K.

Hank M writes:

Three weeks ago I bought via the Premium Apple reseller Amac your advised iMac, see below. Since then I have a lot of crashes in Lightroom 6.5 a day. Black screen and restart of the Mac.

I asked for Apple Care, Adobe, Queen Lightroom for advice and send them my crash reports. Everybody think the problem is RAM related, in other words the RAM of 64GB you have advised. The QE of Amac thinks it is because the OWC RAM is made for 64bits while the iMac is 32 bits.

Though the best way to find out is to replace the 64GB RAM for 32GB “Apple” RAM, 32GB OCW RAM did not work either. Because I paid a lot of money 800 Euro for the OCW RAM for a fast working Lightroom I expected it to work. It cost me a lot of time to stop every time with my work and correspond with Adobe and others.

I trust you research this phenomena and that you warrant all your customers and readers that OCW 64GB does not work with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Also Google Chrome does not load sometimes and I have got glitches on my screen when I play a video.

[follow up]

As I stated before, I thought it could be wise to change the RAM from the OCW 64GB to OCW 32GB. That did not help.

Then I changed OWC 64GB to Crucial 32 GB that helped BUT other things occur. Everything became SLOW, Google Chrome did not load always.
Also I change again with the OCW modules. Much faster but crashing again.

What I do before when my Lightroom 6.5.1 crashes (suddenly stops and the Mac makes a restart), are:

1. Zooming using the F-key in the Develop Module.
2. Deleting spots. This I do very frequent because I am busy with scanning my thousands of Middle Format slides with a Nikon D810 and a Macro Lens. The results are fantastic. Better than Drum Scanning. There are lot of dust spots to remove. After I had removed 30 spots my screen goes black. LR Crashes.
Most of the time this happens with this kind of adjustments in the Development Module of LR.

... I am sorry to tell that after I updated OS X to 10.11.5 and busy with the Spotting Tool, after 6 times LR crashed AGAIN!

DIGLLOYD: Hank M is very frustrated, and rightly so. Not just because of the issues, but because of the bad advice from everyone from which he’s asked advice. The message is not entirely clear, but I’ve gone back and forth with him on getting more details.

I’ve used Photoshop with 64GB memory on the MPG late 2015 iMac 5K for many months now in demanding work—it has been 'bulletproof'. As a check, I loaded up the latest Adobe Lightroom on the MPG iMac 5K with 64GB OWC memory, imported 880 raw files totalling 48GB, exported all of them to JPEG, then spotted 30 times without any issues. Whatever the issue, it is not happening readily for the MPG system.

There is a lot of bad advice out there handed out in ignorance, the graping-at-straws approach, since few people are capable of saying “I don’t know” (the 64 bits vs 32 bits comment foisted on Hank M is just an expression of incompetence). Having a degree in computer science, and having been a professional software engineer for 25 years writing interrupt-driven code, multithreaded server code, device drivers, C, C++, java and assembly, I know a 'little bit' about crashes and debugging. It is not an answer to take a fairly vague problem and blame it on “bad memory”—at least not without some evidence.

Vague bug reports are impossible to diagnose, but some general things apply.

  • Yes, memory can be bad (one bad bit in one module is enough), but MUCH more common are software bugs. Moreover, changing memory configuration can provoke bugs that might otherwise lie hidden, because the OS and the apps behave differently with more (or less) memory.
  • GPU drivers (by Apple) haven been notoriously buggy. Witness the 2013 Mac Pro debacle in which Adobe had no option but to remove GPU support for sharpening, after adding it.
  • The software stack these days is extremely complex. Lightroom (or Photoshop) on top of GPU drivers in a multithreaded environment. It doesn’t take much to whack a pointer, the effects of which can show up seconds or minutes or hours later. Also, Adobe has had some reliability issues with Lightroom in the past year.

The fact so many problems occur and that the Mac also crashes with kernel panic (also seen) and with different memory (OWC vs Crucial) suggests a more general problem. There could just be something defective about this particular iMac.

Testing for bad memory

  • diglloydTools MemoryTester is one option for checking core reliability (ideally, use the command-line version in Terminal, quit the Finder and all other apps so as to free up as much memory as possible).
  • Run Apple Diagnostics. Run BOTH because sometimes problems are intermittent; diglloydTools MemoryTester can be left to run for a long period of time, sometimes detecting a problem.
  • Swap out 3 of 4 memory modules; if the theory is a bad module, this can isolate the module. Tedious, but effective if one bad module. Or, start with 2 modules, then add one.

Software bugs

MPG config for Adobe Lightroom

I don’t know for sure what is causing Hank M’s crashes. But I have some evidence-based guesses from the details he has provided. From what I see, there is a bug in code using a bad (invalid) pointer. That usually means that (a) code is overwriting memory, or (b) code is using pointers that have been deallocated to the free pool, or (c) some portion of the stack is overwritten, or similar. In other words, a plain 'ol software BUG. In other words, NOT bad memory and NOT a bad iMac. I’m speaking probabilities here; bad memory cannot be ruled out, but I see no evidence to support that.

For example, using Topaz InFocus (a sharpening tool) in Photoshop on a layer with a layername longer than 64 characters corrupts memory in Photoshop (Topaz refuses to fix this bug). Photoshop will crash 5-10-60 seconds later, depending. I’ve had to write a script to rename the layer to a short name, do the InFocus sharpening then rename the layer back to the original name!

Below, I don’t know what GetWarpedSourcePipe_A() isdoes but it looks to be in image processing code, and I know from personal experience that Adobe has had recent JPEG crash bugs inPhotoshop (fixed in latest release, at least the bug I encountered). So it would not surprise me that LR has crash bugs too, particularly with JPEG processing. But whether GetWarpedSourcePipe_A() is the culprit or it has been handed a bad pointer to work with cannot be aid from this stack crawl. Moreover, some bugs overwrite memory, and then the crash happens sometime later, when hapless code uses data that has been overwritten. So such things can be 'interesting' to track down.

Process:               Adobe Lightroom [900]
Path:                  /Applications/Adobe Lightroom/Adobe Lightroom.app/Contents/MacOS/Adobe Lightroom
Identifier:            com.adobe.Lightroom6
Version:               Adobe Lightroom [1067055] (6.5)
Code Type:             X86-64 (Native)
Parent Process:        launchd [1]
Responsible:           Adobe Lightroom [900]
User ID:               0
Date/Time:             2016-05-16 12:52:13.822 +0200
OS Version:            Mac OS X 10.11.4 (15E65)
Report Version:        11
Anonymous UUID:        44950BD0-1A4B-0CE2-ACCE-E955959A77A1
Time Awake Since Boot: 1800 seconds
System Integrity Protection: disabled
Crashed Thread:        43  GetWarpedSourcePipe_A (thread index 1)
Exception Type:        EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGSEGV)
Exception Codes:       KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x00007ff8d6b8bc10
Exception Note:        EXC_CORPSE_NOTIFY
VM Regions Near 0x7ff8d6b8bc10:
MALLOC_TINY            00007fb8e2000000-00007fb8e3800000 [ 24.0M] rw-/rwx SM=PRV  
--> 
STACK GUARD            00007fff4c084000-00007fff4f884000 [ 56.0M] ---/rwx SM=NUL  stack guard for thread 0
Thread 43 Crashed:: GetWarpedSourcePipe_A (thread index 1) 
0 com.adobe.ag.AgImageIO 0x000000011736f464 0x116f90000 + 4060260
1 com.adobe.ag.AgImageIO 0x00000001170b5ac4 0x116f90000 + 1202884
2 com.adobe.ag.AgImageIO 0x00000001170a04b2 0x116f90000 + 1115314
3 com.adobe.ag.AgImageIO 0x00000001170b5e22 0x116f90000 + 1203746
4 com.adobe.ag.AgImageIO 0x00000001170a1635 0x116f90000 + 1119797
5 com.adobe.ag.AgImageIO 0x00000001171d3685 0x116f90000 + 2373253
6 com.adobe.ag.AgImageIO 0x00000001171d99a1 0x116f90000 + 2398625
7 com.adobe.ag.AgImageIO 0x00000001170b9915 0x116f90000 + 1218837
8 com.adobe.ag.AgImageIO 0x0000000117141ed2 0x116f90000 + 1777362
9 com.adobe.ag.AgImageIO 0x0000000117141de1 0x116f90000 + 1777121
10 libsystem_pthread.dylib 0x00007fff92b5699d _pthread_body + 131
11 libsystem_pthread.dylib 0x00007fff92b5691a _pthread_start + 168
12 libsystem_pthread.dylib 0x00007fff92b54351 thread_start + 13
Cycling

Apple 2016 MacBook: SSD Performance

Get Apple 2016 MacBook at B&H Photo. MPG recommends MacBook models with 512GB SSD and ideally, MacBook models with 512GB SSD and 1.3 GHz CPU.

Single USB-C port on the Apple MacBook a problem? Get the OWC USB-C Dock.

How fast is the SSD in the Apple 2016 MacBook compared to the 2015 MacBook? Quite a bit faster on writes than the SSD in the 2015 MacBook, and marginally faster on reads.

But that comes with a caveat: performance improvements are modest until very large transfers occur, and such transfers are not common. The left 1/2 of the graph is what matters for nearly all real-world use (X axis up to ~4MB). So the 2016 model is assuredly better, particularly for writes, but perhaps not much better in real world tasks.

The 2016 MacBook SSD is a far slower performer than the SSD in the 2015 MacBook Pro Retina (the red and green lines at top).

Below, the 2016 MacBook uses the lines with heavier darker green (reads) and thick orange (writes), both with squares for data points.
The 2015 MacBook lines use circles for data points.

2016 MacBook 1.3 GHz 512GB SSD vs 2015 MacBook 1.3 GHz 512GB SSD and 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 2.8 GHz 1TB SSD

SSD/Flash Drive Sequential transfer speed
Apple 2016 MacBook • Apple 2015 MacBook • Apple 2015 MacBook Pro
Must-have expansion: OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock

Thunderbolt 2, USB 3, Gigabit Ethernet, 4K Support, Firewire 800, Sound Ports

OWC Weekender Specials: Deep Discounts on Apple Mac Pro and Memory

Big savings on Apple factory sealed refurbished 2013 Mac Pro with AppleCare

OWC Weekender deals of note:

Tested: SanDisk Extreme Pro 512GB SDXC Camera Card

SanDisk ExtremePro 512GB SDXC

See diglloyd deals on camera memory cards.

See also reviews of other camera memory cards.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro 512GB SDXC offers 512GB of storage capacity for digital cameras—terrific for 4K video recording.

Another potential use is to make an ultra-compact backup of up to 512GB that fits easily into a wallet for a personal backup, or to stash or hide 512GB of data in a hard to find location if there is a fear of theft (say from a car or similar).

Tested: SanDisk ExtremePro 512GB SDXC camera card.

At about $299.95 as this was written, the SanDisk 512GB SDXC offers the best performance + price mix on the market (see Similar Cards, below). Check the diglloyd deals page for deals on camera memory cards as it was available for a time at $249.

  • 512GB Data Storage Capacity
  • Class 10 Speed
  • Ultra High Speed Class 3
  • Max. Read Speed: 95 MB/s
  • Max. Write Speed: 90 MB/s
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
SanDisk Extreme Pro 512GB SDXC camera card in fast Lexar USB3 card reader
ThunderBay 4 - The Speed To Create. The Capacity To Dream.

OS X: How to Fix Hang in Image Capture Utility

Beginning with OS X El Capitan (“El Crapitan”), Image Capture often hangs waiting for the scanner on my Epson Workforce printer to respond. Same scanner as for ~2.5 years, new OS X bugs.

The message is typically “Waiting for printer to respond...” or some such thing. The wait is forever (a “hang”), unless the machine is rebooted (logging out might work), or this shortcut fix is used.

How to force-kill the 'Image Capture Extension' process

A force-kill of the hidden process Image Capture Extension makes things work again*.

  1. Quit Image Capture (this is the app you’re trying to use to scan something).
  2. Open Utilities => Activity Monitor, then make sure that View => All Processes is checked.
  3. Enter “image” into the search box as shown below (not strictly needed but it filters out most process names).
  4. Select Image Capture Extension, then click the X near upper left to force-kill it.
  5. Relaunch Image Capture.

Scanning should now work again.

* This nonsense is part of kudzu-like Apple Core Rot. The next OS X release should be name OS X Roquefort, for the mold that runs through the entire software stack. But unlike stinky cheese, OS X doesn’t taste good.

Activity Monitor: finding Image Capture Extension in order to force-kill it
Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
✓ diglloyd consulting starts you out on solid footing.

Photoshop CC 2015 Now Uses all the CPU Cores for RAW-File Conversion

For a long time, Photoshop ACR batched conversion was poorly engineered: it processed one file at a time (serially), so that a fast 4 core trounced a slower clock speed 6/8/12 core Mac.

But that has changed; at least in the ACR batch convert process, Photoshop uses ALL the CPU cores by keeping more than one raw conversion in progress simultaneously.

Even so, it shows just how fast the 4-core iMac 5K is, since the 8-core 3.3 GHz 2013 Mac Pro used here is the fastest Mac Apple won’t sell you with a CPU upgraded by OWC. The fast GPU in the late 2015 iMac 5K might also be factor, as well as its nearly twice-as-fast SSD (later 2013 Mac Pro builds might have a faster SSD than the March 2014 machine used here).

tConvert 160 42-megapixel Sony A7R II fileso very high quality JPEG (view settings):
2013 Mac Pro 8-core 3.3 GHz: 04:09
  Late 2015 iMac 5K 4.0 GHz: 05:43 (37% longer, impressive given only 4 CPU cores)

Bottom line: a modern CPU and GPU in a Mac Pro are sorely needed, since the late 2015 iMac 5K bridges the gap by a considerable amount given only 4 CPU cores.

It appears that Photoshop ACR batch convert keeps at least 4 images in progress on 4 core machines, possibly 6 on 8 core machines. This suggests that a 12-core Mac Pro might do even better.

On an 8-core machine, 800% CPU utilization means all CPU cores are in use; values over that (up to 1600%) are virtual cores, which are all smoke and no fire, having no meaningful performance value. On a 4-core machine, it is 400% and 800% respectively.

3.3 GHz 8-core 2013 Mac Pro: convert 160 42-megapixel Sony A7R II files to very high quality JPEG
4.0 GHz 4-core late 2015 iMac 5K: convert 160 42-megapixel Sony A7R II files to very high quality JPEG

NVIDIA Doubles GPU Speed, Halves Price with new GTX 1080: Good for New Macs?

In Nvidia Pushes Chip Speed Higher, Price Lower, the May 7 Wall Street Journal reports NVIDIA has pushed GPU performance to a new level:

  • Titan X “world’s fastest GPU” (8 billion transistors, 3072 CUDA Cores, 7 teraflops SP / 0.2 teraflops DP
  • 12GB memory
  • Twice as fast as current $1000 flagship GPU card!
  • Consuming 1/3 the power
  • Retail price for PCIe card with the new GPU is $599.

The natural question is whether a new Mac Pro might be spec'd to include two of these hyper fast GPUs. Or for that matter, what I’m hoping for: an iMac 8K.

Apple still builds zero (0) Macs capable of driving virtual reality headsets. Must be that new leading from behind thing. Apple graphics performance is way behind the PC world these days, rather a laughingstock for gamers and virtual reality or video users.

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

Graduation Approaches: Great Camera Deals

While most teenagers use cell phone cameras these days, there are some terrific deals out there on DSLRs. And not all of us are teenagers, and some teenagers do have a brain nonetheless!

So check out awesome DSLR deals, such as the Nikon D3300 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses and a camera bag at HALF PRICE. Its image quality is outstanding. But I’d suggest one fast 'prime' (non zoom) lens too: the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G, to be used as a short portrait lens, particularly in lower light. The older (and half the price) Nikon 50mm f/1.8D will do just fine too.

These deals on Nikon DSLRs and deals on Canon DSLRs (and printers) offer outstanding image quality. Of course if you want to spend a LOT more money on high-end mirrorless, here is my Sony mirrorless wishlist.

You’ll also want a memory card or two; I recommend Lexar or SanDisk SDXC cards and one spare battery. Most Macs now have an SD slot for camera cards, but if not, you’ll want a USB3 card reader.

Nikon D3300 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses and a camera bag at HALF PRICE
Huge discounts on Nikon DSLRs

Upgrades Make Sense in Many Cases

These days, Macs get a little faster with new models. But a new computer is expensive and yet even Macs that are relatively old can benefit from an upgrade, such as memory or a fast SSD.

For example, if stuck with a 256GB or 512GB SSD, the MacBook Pro Retina or MacBook Air can get a 1TB SSD upgrade. Many other similar upgrades exist.

OWC has a large variety of upgrades for all Macs.

Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
✓ diglloyd consulting starts you out on solid footing.

B&H Photo Mother’s Day Specials

B&H Photo has a variety of Mother’s Day specials (some specials require promo code MOMDAY16).

Some good ones for teenagers, or the Mom who want sleek and lightweight or unusual:

With free expedited shipping on most items.

And... what every Mom needs: 15% off Custom Photo Props for newborns! (I bet my daughter’s cat would love 'em too!).

And Ted Cruz really needs one of these.

Cycling

Do you have 2 “iPad devices”?

Oh, two deer animals—Phil Schiller’s pluralization insanity!

Do you have two iPhones or two iPhone devices? Two iPads or two iPad devices?

Two iMacs or two iMac computers? Two MacMinis or two MacMini bricks?

I do have two telephone devices at home. And I have two eye and two ear and two feet (and my nose runs and my feet smell).

MPG is going to keep saying “two iPhones, two iPads, two iPad Pros, two Macs, etc”.

Mike writes:

In my house we have 3 iPads, 3 iPhones, 2 Mac Minis and 1 MacBook pro.

I agree with you and it’s stupid for Schiller to try and teach improper grammar. Hasn't education been dumbed down enough?

My 2 cents,
Mike

Think different[ly]. MPG thanks Mike for his two cent pieces. My three daughter persons don’t care either way.

Michael S writes:

Regarding Schiller’s pluarlization — he’s stuck with trademark preservation requirements. As a long-time copywriter, I’ve been driven crazy by this legal demand for awkwardness.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_distinctiveness#Maintaining_distinctiveness
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generic_trademark

MPG: Uggh.

What’s Coming in Macs This Year?

This year ought to be the year that we see major refreshes across all the product lines: iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, MacMini.

That is, the convergence of USB and Thunderbolt into one unified standard means the PC world will make Apple look old and stale if things don’t start shipping by early fall—and that is getting rather late. So MPG expects to see at least one product line announcement by June, with the MacBook Pro line most likely to appear first. But a surprise could come, and it could be the Mac Pro. The iMac perhaps, but since it as bumped up last November, it may well be the last to come. Or maybe not—only Apple knows for sure.

Already it appears that current stocks of 2015 MacBook Pro models have been blown out with deep discounts, so MPG expects the MacBook Pro to come first. An ideal upgrade would include Thunderbolt 3 (presumably with 2 ports, but 2 ports on each side would be much better), a wide-gamut DCI P3 display, and a 32GB memory option.

CPU speeds are not going to magically jump a lot higher; modest gains are in store at best. The real story is to equalize product lines in terms of storage and devices, via Thunderbolt 3, thus reducing the awkward tradeoffs that have long been an issue for non-Mac-Pro systems. As well, we may see strong gains in graphics performance in some models.

In terms of age in the market, the Mac Pro is most due for a makeover. But will Apple make it even less “pro” than its current semi-pro disappointment? Or not carry it forward at all? That’s always a risk.

SSD Upgrade for MacBook Pro Retina

What’s all the Fuss About iPhone Security Anyway?

With all the fuss about iPhone encryption (and the absurd contention that it matters much to the average user given that iCloud has everything right there instantly avaialble to law enforcement), some perspective on a more real threat is appropriate. Namely, hackers or just about any well financed organization can track cell phone users.

IEEE Spectrum reports in Alarming Security Defects in SS7, the Global Cellular Network—and How to Fix Them:

The global network that transfers calls between mobile phone carriers has security defects that permit hackers and governments to monitor users’ locations and eavesdrop on conversations. As more reports of these activities surface, carriers are scrambling to protect customers from a few specific types of attacks.
...
Once they’re in, hackers and government intelligence agencies have found ways to exploit security defects to monitor users or record calls. Experts who study SS7 have found some individuals are tracked by as many as nine entities at once. While the average citizen isn’t likely to be a target, it’s impossible for consumers to know whether or not they’re being watched.

The sheer scale of SS7 means that these flaws present a massive cybersecurity problem that could theoretically affect any mobile phone user in the world. “Technically speaking, more people use the SS7 than use the Internet,” says Cathal McDaid, chief intelligence officer at network security firm AdaptiveMobile. “It’s the majority of the world’s population.”

MPG’s view is that Apple’s legal positions have great merit, but also make for great PR while yet being all but irrelevant to 99.999% of Apple users—much ado about squat given that these same users sync their stuff up with iCloud, which is essentially a real-time feed to law enforcement. Issues like the defects above + the hacker threat form a far more concerning issue. Think corporate espionage, organizations like ISIS looking to track and kill enemies, just for starters.

Thunderbolt 3 Brings Many Benefits, but Neither a Seamless nor Immediate Transition

Finally, a convergence of connectivity standards, thus upping the odds for widespread adoption across Macs and PCs.

Thunderbolt 3 merges Thunderbolt, USB 3,1 Gen 2, and Display Port standards into one common standard/connector. Utilizing a USB-C style connector, TB3 is physically incompatible with any Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 2 device (but see Compatibility, below).

The USB-C That Does It All — Thunderbolt™ 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at speeds up to 40 Gbps, creating one compact port that does it all – delivering the fastest, most versatile connection to any dock, display, or data device.

For the first time, one computer port connects to Thunderbolt devices, every display, and billions of USB devices. A single cable now provides four times the data and twice the video bandwidth of any other cable, while also supplying power.

It’s unrivaled for new uses, such as 4K video, single-cable docks with charging, external graphics, and built-in 10 GbE networking. Simply put, Thunderbolt 3 delivers the best USB-C.

Expect to see most Thunderbolt 3 devices start to appear for sale in July 2016, such as the three OWC Thunderbolt 3 products. It makes sense that Apple could announce new Macs supporting Thunderbolt 3 around that time frame. Normally in the vanguard of Thunderbolt, Apple has zero Thunderbolt 3 support as of April 2016, as compared to a wide range of PC devices. The April 2016 Apple MacBook remains crippled in having a single USB-C port that does not implement Thunderbolt 3—rather lame from the world’s most successful company.

The Thunderbolt 3 approach promises big wins for users on simplicity, form factor, price and performance:

  • Over time, choices should expand and prices should drop: common connectivity means both Mac and PC platforms are likely to adopt TB3, thus delivering more selection at lower cost by virtue of a far larger market that supports more product development.
  • Simplifies cabling and charging and ports on computers and devices, since USB and Thunderbolt share a common physical USB-C cable type.
  • Future versions of Macs that are currently crippled by only one USB-C port (Apple MacBook) or limited by only one Thunderbolt bus (MacBook Pro, iMac, MacMini), should now be able to enjoy very high performance connectivity and display options, thus making the choice of computer more about form factor than about avoiding connectivity and performance limits.
  • Displays and other devices should be able to act as USB hubs.

Specific advantages:

  • Bandwidth doubles from the 20 Gb/sec = 2.5 GB/sec of Thunderbolt 2 to 40 Gb/sec = 5 GB/sec.
    That’s 2.5 GB/sec in each direction—not 5 GB/sec—which is ample for most all needs, but still rather slow for high-performance 8X or 16X PCIe graphics cards.
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 for high performance. Implements USB power delivery for 15 watts of bus power for bus-powered devices and up to 100 watts for system charging—goodbye to external power cords for most all devices.
  • Can simultaneously drive two 4K displays at 60 Hz or one 5K display up to 5120 X 2880 (5120 X 3200 also?), which means that a future Mac Pro might be able to drive dual 5K displays on two busses. Still, this is less than half the bandwidth needed for 8K, so external 8K displays remain years away.
  • Power consumption is halved.
  • Support for PCIe 3.0, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2.

Perhaps Thunderbolt networking will finally work correctly? See ThunderboltTM Networking Bridging and Routing Instructional White Paper.

Compatibility with Thunderbolt 2

Compatibility of Thunderbolt 2 devices on a Thunderbolt 3 computer will be via a Thunderbolt 2 => 3 adapter. Such adapters are likely to cost $100 to $150. Note that on the Mac Pro, several such adapters may be needed (one for each port or bus that uses Thunderbolt 2 devices).

Compatibility of Thunderbolt 3 devices on a Thunderbolt 2 computer is more complicated and may not be attractive in practice.

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

Thunderbolt 3 Emerges: OWC Announces Thunderbolt 3 SSD, Dock, PCIe Enclosure

The NAB conference in Las Vegas runs through today. One of the key storage developments for 2016 is Thunderbolt 3, which utilizes a new connector merging USB-C + Thunderbolt + display support. It means double the performance, and up to dual 4K displays at 60 Hz on one port. But until Apple ships Macs with Thunderbolt 3 support, its potential cannot be utilized.

A few Thunderbolt 3 products are trickling out, meaning they have been announced:

Most of this stuff won’t appear until summer (claimed, let’s wait and see!).

OWC will have a variety of Thunderbolt 3 products soon, presumably including a Thunderbolt 3 versions of the OWC Thunderbay 4 and OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini. And it would certainly make sense for the OWC Viper 4/8TB SSD to debut with Thunderbolt 3, to avoid being speed-throttled by Thunderbolt 2.

In the meantime, OWC has announced three new Thunderbolt 3 products.

OWC EXHIBITS IMPRESSIVE INNOVATIONS AT NAB SHOW 2016

AT BOOTH #SL14205, OWC GEARS UP TO REVEAL THUNDERBOLT 3 DOCK, ENVOY PRO EX WITH THUNDERBOLT 3, AND MERCURY HELIOS 3, ALL COMING LATER THIS YEAR.

Las Vegas, NV – April 18, 2016 – OWC Digital®, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, unveils today that it will launch a trio of innovative products featuring Thunderbolt 3 technology at the acclaimed National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Internationally recognized as the largest annual digital media conference and expo for industry titans specializing in the creation, management and distribution of entertainment across all platforms, NAB 2016 is set to kick off festivities Saturday April 16th, with exhibits commencing on Monday, April 18th through Thursday, April 21st. OWC will exhibit numerous marquee products at Booth #SL14205, including three fresh devices slated for public debut later this year.

Upholding a deep-rooted commitment to innovation, OWC rolls out the next generation of functional docks and popular external drives. These soon-to-be released products will take advantage of the new capabilities found in Thunderbolt 3 technology, boasting faster, more versatile connections than ever before. Thunderbolt 3 doubles available bandwidth to 40Gbps, cuts power consumption in half, and can simultaneously drive two external 4K UHD displays. Utilizing these new capabilities, the latest OWC solutions featuring Thunderbolt 3 technology create endless possibilities for content creators demanding the highest performance from their devices.

Thunderbolt 3 Dock

[MPG: see the MPG review of the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock]

Compatible with Mac OS X and now Windows, the dock’s litany of ports provides a compelling solution for creative professionals seeking to unite a multitude of peripherals for ultimate connectivity. Like the Thunderbolt 2 Dock, the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock offers convenience and flexibility with its 12 ports, which now include a high-power USB 3.1 Gen 1 port for fast mobile device charging, a mini DisplayPort with support for a hi-res display up to 4K at 60Hz, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

With the introduction of Thunderbolt 3 technology, the new OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock can support two incredible ultra hi-res 4K displays at 60Hz, extensive connectivity with daisy-chain, and power delivery, creating an even more streamlined workflow.

Envoy Pro EX with Thunderbolt 3

[MPG: see the MPG review of the Envoy Pro EX 1TB SSD and MPG review of the Envoy Pro EX 480GB SSD]

Concurrent with the Thunderbolt 3 Dock, OWC is pleased to announce that the award-winning Envoy Pro EX will be one of the first external storage solutions to integrate Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, making the aesthetically sleek enclosure faster and more powerful than ever before. Achieving scorching-fast data transfer rates of over 1 GB/s, the super portable device safely houses a PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD, handling virtually any storage or backup need. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the high-performance capabilities of the Envoy Pro EX with a live demo at the OWC booth.

Mercury Helios 3

[MPG: see the MPG review of the OWC Helios and MPG review of the dual-slot OWC Helios 2 ]

The next generation in the OWC Mercury Helios lineup, Mercury Helios 3 is the new frontier for powerful high-speed expansion cards, defying the current limits of conventional Macs. Accommodating a double-width, half-length x16 PCIe card, Helios 3 is hot-pluggable, powers on and off with your computer and is great for hi-res video ingest cards and other PCIe connectivity solutions needed to ensure seamless productivity. Built from a rugged aluminum chassis with a dedicated cooling fan, the PCIe expansion chassis features two Thunderbolt 3 ports for optimal performance.

OWC touches down at NAB Show in Las Vegas this April 16 - 21 for an unprecedented week of illuminating breakthroughs in technology showcased by three distinct groundbreaking products, exemplifying their continuous dedication to innovation and customer satisfaction.

About OWC

Having served the Apple community worldwide since 1988, OWC has become the reliable manufacturer and upgrade provider of choice for Apple and PC enthusiasts with its extensive catalog of accessories, storage, and memory upgrades for nearly every Mac made in the last decade. Recognized for award-winning customer service, OWC provides extensive U.S.-based technical support for Mac and PC users around the world and comprehensive step-by-step installation and support videos.

Cycling

B&H Photo NAB Specials End 21 April

Worth a look as these B&H NAB specials end tomorrow.

Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
✓ diglloyd consulting starts you out on solid footing.

Mac vs PC Pricing

Here is an example of how PCs can sell for considerably less than Macs.

The HP 15.6" OMEN Pro Multi-Touch Mobile Workstation was $2500 is now $1500 OFF for only $999.95 ENDS 21 April at 21:00 PST. With free expedited shipping.

It’s not a retina display, but offers a large 1920 X 1080 screen that is anti-glare—lots of working area and Apple no longer offers any anti-glare options.

  • 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core
  • 16GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
  • 15.6" UWVA Anti-Glare Touchscreen
  • Full HD 1920 x 1080 Screen Resolution
  • NVIDIA Quadro K1100M Graphics Card (2GB)
  • 512GB Z Turbo Drive M.2 PCIe SSD
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi & Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • USB to Ethernet Dongle
  • Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)

Need a PC? I’m not a fan, but some people have to have one for some reasons.

Apple Bumps Up the MacBook

B&H Photo has the new Apple MacBook available for pre-order. The prior MacBook models have rebates up to $200 OFF.
MPG benefits when your order anything through B&H, thank you.

My review of the 2015 MacBook is still highly relevant, but there are modest improvements in the April 2016 MacBook “bump”:

  • About 15% faster CPU performance (claimed)
  • Faster SSD, slightly faster memory, faster graphics.
  • 8GB memory standard (disappointing not to have 16GB option).
  • Claimed +1 hour longer runtime (41.4 Wh battery which is 10% more watt-hours along with more efficient Skylake CPU.
  • DISAPPOINTING: does NOT have Thunderbolt 3 + USB-C port; still has only one (1) USB-C port for all expansion needs.

I liked/like the MacBook for what it is, but I would never confuse it for my laptop of choice, the 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 2.98 GHz 16GB / 1TB / M370X, albeit a model I hope to see supplanted by a Thunderbolt 3 model with an OLED wide gamut display.

More ports on the MacBook

OWC’s USB-C Dock may be the ticket for port expansion, given the single USB-C port. OWC also has USB-C cables.

OWC USB-C Dock for Apple MacBook
Apple MacBook (April 2016) high-end configurations in 4 colors
OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock
Review of Thunderbolt 2 Dock

B&H Photo NAB Specials

View all B&H Photo NAB Specials. NOTE: some specials valid only with code BHNAB16.

These deals end today at 21:00 PST:

Other items (some end with NAB on Thursday April 21):

OWC Weekender specials ending Monday:

See all OWC Weekender specials.

8TB HGST Ultrastar He8 Hard Drive in 2009 Mac Pro Internal Bay (DiskTester fill-volume)

Get HGST 8TB Ultrastar He8 Hard Drive and OWC Thunderbay 4 RAID-5 edition at OWC.

Some video users still favor the 2009/2010 Mac Pro tower, which has four internal bays (and two more with appropriate brackets), making it possible to have up to six internal drives. With 8TB drives, that means 48TB is possible in the 2009/2010 Mac Pro, all internal. Or 32TB using only the four standard bays.

MPG previously tested the 8TB HGST Ultrastar He8 Hard Drive in the OWC Thunderbay 4 attached to the 2013 Mac Pro. Questions previously not answered by that testing include whether the 8TB drives work at all in the 2009 Mac Pro, and if so, whether behavior and performance are as expected.

The good news is that the HGST 8TB Ultrastar He8 work great in the 2009/2010 Mac Pro, including seeing no sleep/wake issues. Performance is solid, as can be seen in the graph below. It is within 5-10MB/sec of the tests on the 2013 MacPro.

There is one minor catch: the drive bolt holes are changed in some newer-model drives like the He8. To mount the drives in the internal bays, use the nifty OWC Hard Drive Bracket
for 2009-2012 Mac Pro
. The bracket is compatible with both newer and older drive mounting holes (simply use the screws in the matching holes for the drive).

See also:

Performance across 8TB capacity of HGST 8TB Ultrastar He8, internal bay of 2009 Mac Pro
Which Mac? Storage, Backup, RAID? Color Management?
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