Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

OWC Back to School Deals

Build a MacBook Pro configuration right on the OWC web site—see below.

Check out all OWC back to school deals.

Popular back to school items:

OWC Back to School Deals
Other World Computing / MacSales.com: Build the MacBook Pro Retina of Your Dreams

B&H Photo Deals (Ending July 18)

Many vendors seem to be timing deals days to Amazon Prime—great fun for consumers!

See these links with deals on many products. All deals over July 18 @ 23:59.

Also, some hand-picked deals:

B&H Photo Deals
$999 SAVE $700 = 41.0% $101 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 6D DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$649 SAVE $250 = 27.0% $20 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 77D DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$1049 SAVE $450 = 30.0% $20 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 77D DSLR with 18-135mm USM in Cameras: DSLR
$1299 SAVE $500 = 27.0% $101 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 80D DSLR with 18-135mm in Cameras: DSLR
$1697 SAVE $300 = 15.0% Nikon D750 DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$2197 SAVE $900 = 29.0% Nikon D750 DSLR with 24-120mm in Cameras: DSLR
$3297 SAVE $800 = 19.0% Nikon D810 DSLR with 24-120mm in Cameras: DSLR
$1999 SAVE $300 = 13.0% ZEISS 18mm f/2.8 Milvus ZF.2 in Lenses: DSLR
$1299 SAVE $200 = 13.0% ZEISS 21mm f/2.8 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1099 SAVE $200 = 15.0% ZEISS 25mm f/2 Batis in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1199 SAVE $500 = 29.0% $19 FREE ITEMS Canon 18x50 IS Image Stabilized Binocular in All Other Categories
$70 SAVE $20 = 22.0% $19 FREE ITEMS Celestron 15x70 SkyMaster Binocular in All Other Categories
$300 SAVE $160 = 34.0% $9 FREE ITEMS Steiner 8x32 XC Binocular in All Other Categories

 

Which Camera System 📷 is Best?
Which Lenses to Choose?🌈

Avoid costly mistakes and get the ideal system for your needs: diglloyd photographic consulting.

Amazon Prime Day + OWC Deals

Today is Amazon Prime Day.

Thank you for buying through this link (I get a commission on sales), this and every day. Bookmark this link or just use the Amazon link at the top of this page.

You do need to be an Amazon Prime member for the deal. Amazon Prime is worth it for me at least as I make my money back many times over on shipping costs.

View all Prime Day Deals

Some varied items as examples (some deals end in a few hours).

OWC Deals

Some of these are today only discounts.

See OWC storage solutions for other ideas.

OWC Deals

 

B&H Deal ZoneDeals by Brand/Category/Savings
Deals expire in 5 hours unless noted. Certain deals may last longer.
$1199 SAVE $500 = 29.0% $19 FREE ITEMS Canon 18x50 IS Image Stabilized Binocular in All Other Categories
$1049 SAVE $450 = 30.0% $20 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 77D DSLR with 18-135mm USM in Cameras: DSLR
$1697 SAVE $300 = 15.0% Nikon D750 DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$2797 SAVE $200 = 6.0% Nikon D810 DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$898 SAVE $100 = 10.0% Sony DSC-RX100 V in Cameras: Point and Shoot
$300 SAVE $160 = 34.0% $9 FREE ITEMS Steiner 8x32 XC Binocular in All Other Categories
$1099 SAVE $200 = 15.0% ZEISS 25mm f/2 Batis in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1299 SAVE $200 = 13.0% ZEISS 21mm f/2.8 Loxia in Lenses: Mirrorless
$1999 SAVE $300 = 13.0% ZEISS 18mm f/2.8 Milvus ZF.2 in Lenses: DSLR

Pondering the 2018 Apple MacBook Pro: Serves Little Useful Purpose for *Me* Even for Travel—I Await a Revised iMac or iMac Pro

See my overview of the 2018 MacBook Pro.

I’m traveling so I will keep this brief and to the point.

I fully understand the portability benefits of a laptop and that for many users, this is paramount since lugging around an iMac 5K is an absurd non-starter. Also, the 2018 MacBook Pro appears to have adequate grunt for my work while traveling, though it falls well short on memory (I regularly use more than 32GB).

But, I now travel almost entirely in my Mercedes Sprinter photography adventure van, with a lovely 48 X 29" hickory table and 10 kW of lithium iron phosphate batteries and dual Xantrex Freedom XC 2000W power inverters. So power is not an issue, even for days of all-day work and the Sprinter at 800 rpm idle can put out up to 1.8 kilowatts anyway*.

* An hour of idling takes 0.8 gallons of diesel fuel with no diesel stink out the tailpipe. So with low batteries, somewhere between 1.3 and 1.5 kW per hour can be stored into the batteries, after charging losses. BTW, solar panels are a foolishly wasteful negative energy-losing investment, at least for my usage patterns.

It’s the display size at issue

The key thing is this: I need a large screen for my work. The MacBook Pro has a small non- screen 2880 pixels wide that is a recipe for bodily damage (hunched over posture) and eyestrain (too dense/small) and inferior keyboard (vs a desktop keyboard). And that I’d-pay-to-eliminate-it touchbar wart. Note that much of the Apple PR for pros shows a separate display—no accident.

There are other limitations, which when they arise are major productivity killers:

Accordingly, I have no plans to buy a 2018 MacBook Pro (though I’ll be testing it), which is ironic, since it is the laptop I’ve lusted after all these years. But it would be hugely expensive and sit idle most of the time—a very poor value for my needs. Very cool but foolish for my needs.

I’ll be waiting for the revised iMac 5K and/or iMac Pro. The iMac 5K with the new Intel chips is surely not far off. And I can always hope for an iMac 6K or iMac 8K.

Below alongside the MacBook Pro models I recommend, the 2017 iMac 5K that I have been using full time since November 2017—outstanding machine for my needs, though I wish it had 6 cores.

48 X 29 X 1.5 inch HICKORY EDGE GRAIN BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP as installed in Lloyd’s 2017 Mercedes Sprinter
Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

Check Out B&H Photo Deals at 20% Off or More

View deals at a certain percentage off (click to choose) for any given brand, or click:

Some hand-picked deals below.

Wow, there are some deep discounts there.

Deals at 20% off or MORE
$999 SAVE $700 = 41.0% $101 FREE ITEMS Canon EOS 6D DSLR in Cameras: DSLR
$2197 SAVE $900 = 29.0% Nikon D750 DSLR with 24-120mm in Cameras: DSLR
$699 SAVE $300 = 30.0% Rokinon 14mm f/2.4 SP in Lenses: DSLR
$1199 SAVE $500 = 29.0% $19 FREE ITEMS Canon 18x50 IS Image Stabilized Binocular in All Other Categories
$300 SAVE $160 = 34.0% $9 FREE ITEMS Steiner 8x32 XC Binocular in All Other Categories
$199 SAVE $300 = 60.0% GoPro HERO4 Black in Video: Camcorders

Apple Updates the MacBook Pro to a Real Pro Machine

I’m traveling but will have a lot to say on the 2018 MacBook Pro. B&H Photo will be loaning me my recommended configuration of the 2018 MacBook Pro for me to thoroughly test.

Below is my recommended configuration. A 1TB SSD is OK if it works for you, and a 4TB SSD is fantastic and preferred, but very pricey.

For the first time ever, the MacBook Pro really looks like a pro machine. The key factors are the 6-core CPU, the 32GB memory option, P3 gamut display, and 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports. I wish I could pay to remove the touchbar, but we cannot have everything.

  • 2.9 GHz Intel Core i9 Six-Core
  • 32GB of 2400 MHz RAM
  • 2TB SSD
  • 15.4" 2880 x 1800 Retina Display with P3 color gamut
  • AMD Radeon Pro 560X GPU (4GB GGDR5)
  • True Tone Technology
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Bluetooth 5.0 Touch Bar
  • Touch ID Sensor
  • 4 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) Ports
  • Force Touch Trackpad
  • macOS High Sierra

Negatives:

  • The TrueTone display sounds like a disaster for those working with images where accurate color is needed. It will need to be turned off.
  • The Apple T2 chip will create booting and recovery headaches just as with the iMac Pro. That said, encryption of the SSD without any speed penalty is something well worth having for a travel machine.
  • The keyboard and touchbar irritated many pro users including me. These seem to remain, and will make the usage experience less than ideal.

Recommended configurations below. Be sure that 512GB is enough if you go with an SSD that small—it is not upgradeable. My work demands nothing less than a 2TB SSD, so even 1TB is problematic. It can be a very expensive mistake to buy too small an SSD (buy another one to fix the problem, a huge cost).

Do not buy a MacBook Pro with only 8GB of memory unless it is only for casual use. The memory is soldered on, and 8GB is nowhere near enough for many tasks. It is sufficient for email and web and so on—casual simple uses.

While a 13-inch display is too small for my taste, the smaller size may appeal to some.

Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Must-have expansion for 2017 iMac/ MacBook Pro
Thunderbolt 3 • USB 3 • Gigabit Ethernet • 4K Support • Firewire 800 • Sound Ports

OWC Mercury Helios FX Thunderbolt 3 Expansion Chassis for PCIe Graphics Cards

Want a notebook for travel, but looking for more power when docked at home/work? Add a PCIe graphics card in an external Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. This might appeal to video producers in particular. And as I understand it, more than one external unit can be attached simultaneously.

OWC / MacSales.com (highly recommended) has introduced the about $300 OWC Mercury Helios FX Thunderbolt 3 Expansion Chassis for PCIe Graphics Cards.

  • Software Requirements: macOS 10.13.4 or later1 Windows 10 (64-bit, version 1709) or later. (For non-GPU PCIe cards, 10.12.6 or later is required).
  • Hardware Requirements: Any eGPU-compatible Thunderbolt 3 Mac or PC (Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 Macs do not support external graphics).
  • PCIe Card Support: Any driverless PCIe card or PCIe card with a Thunderbolt-aware driver. (All cards which require a driver must have a Thunderbolt-aware driver (Mac and Windows))
  • Transfer Rate (Max): Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps)
  • Expansion Slots: (1) PCIe 3.0 (x4)
  • Power: Internal UL-listed universal auto-switching, Supplies 550 W.
  • Environmental: Ambient Temperature Operating: 32°F to 95°F (0°C to 35°C).
  • Dimensions: Height: 20.0 cm (7.9 in) Length: 34.0 cm (13.4 in) Width: 18.5 cm (7.3 in).
  • Weight: 3.22 kg (7.10 lbs)
OWC Mercury Helios FX Thunderbolt 3 Expansion Chassis for PCIe Graphics Cards

The eGPU chassis built to empower

Add the power of a high-performance GPU to your Mac and PC via Thunderbolt 3. Whether you're bringing a creative vision to life, crunching research data, playing the latest hardware-punishing game, or connecting additional displays — the OWC Mercury Helios FX is built to empower everything you do.

The Power to Do More

Achieve smoother frame rates, encode faster, edit in greater resolutions, add displays, utilize VR and AR, elevate gaming performance, or take advantage of the complex data crunching GPUs excel at. You'll have plenty of options with support for most Thunderbolt-compatible AMD Radeon™ and NVIDIA® GeForce®, TITAN, and Quadro® GPUs.

  • Connect a GPU via Thunderbolt 3
  • Mac and Windows PC compatible
  • Elevate gaming performance
  • Utilize multiple displays
  • GPU power + notebook charging
  • Thunderbolt cable included
  • 3 Year OWC Limited Warranty
OWC Mercury Helios FX Thunderbolt 3 Expansion Chassis for PCIe Graphics Cards

Transformative Notebook Performance

Change the way you think of notebooks. Utilize the greater portability and flexibility of lighter laptops while taking advantage of easy-to-upgrade desktop-class GPUs. With an OWC Mercury Helios FX in your arsenal, performance is plug-and-play, and upgrades are easy.

Multi-Platform Flexibility

The OWC Mercury Helios FX provides an exhilarating performance boost to both Macs and Windows PCs featuring a Thunderbolt 3 interface. Whether in a single-platform environment or a mixed-platform environment, the OWC Mercury Helios FX can easily be moved between computers to enhance workflows wherever it is needed most.

Powerful, Cool, and Quiet

The OWC Mercury Helios FX is built to handle the most power-hungry GPUs and simultaneously charge your notebook. It stays cool with a whisper-quiet, temperature-controlled fan, making it perfect for noise-sensitive environments.

Beyond GPUs

It's easy to quickly swap out cards as needed with the OWC Mercury Helios FX. In addition to GPUs, it has the cooling, room, and power to support virtually any Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card — including popular RED ROCKET and AVID Pro Tools | HDX PCIe cards.

World-Class OWC Support

Should the need ever arise, our award-winning support team is ready to patiently answer any questions you may have about your OWC Mercury Helios FX.

OWC Express 4M2: 4-Slot M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosure

See also my top deals lists and also deals of the day and various wishlists for cameras and computers. Or, search for deals by category or search for deals by brand, filter by percent savings and search. All updated daily, bookmark these pages!

OWC / MacSales.com (highly recommended) has introduced the Express 4M2, a 4-slot Thunderbolt 3 enclosure that takes up to four M.2 NVMe SSD blades.

OWC Express 4M2: 4-Slot M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Software Requirements: macOS 10.12 or later (SSDs using 512b sector sizes require macOS 10.13 or later), or Windows 10 or later
  • Hardware Requirements: Mac or PC featuring Thunderbolt 3 interface or Mac or PC with Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 interface (Host computers with a Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 port require the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter)
  • Interface (Chipset): (1) Thunderbolt 3 (Alpine Ridge DSL6540) (2) USB-C and Power Delivery (Texas Instruments TPS65983) (1) DisplayPort.
  • Max Transfer Rate: 40 Gbps (5000 MB/sec).
  • Display Support: 4K @ 60 Hz.
  • Drives Supported: (4) M.2 NVMe or (4) M.2 AHCl (PCle only).
  • LED: Yes (Power and Activity)
  • Housing Material: Aluminum, black
  • Certifications: CE, FCC
  • Power Supply: Internal UL-listed universal auto-switching, AC input: 100 ~ 240V, 50/60Hz, DC output: 12V, 7.5A.
  • Environmental: Ambient Temperature Operating: 32°F to 104°F (0°C to 40°C) Non-Operating: -4°F to 158°F (−20°C to 70°C).
  • Dimensions: Height: 6.0 cm (2.4 in) Length: 11.3 cm (4.4 in) Width: 13.6 cm (5.4 in)
  • Weight 800.0 g (1.76 lbs)

NOTE: while the appeal of M.2 NVMe blades is high and very appropriate for many use cases, Lloyd would personally prefer the all-in-one pro-grade OWC Thunderblade 4.

Infinitely configurable. Infinitely reconfigurable.

You like to explore your own independent path, and digital storage is where you have fun, push hard and spark the imagination. You explore, you refine, and when ready, you share your vision with the world. The OWC Express 4M2 is the external drive built for the journey before you and the path yet to be explored.

Customize your Express 4M2 with up to four NVMe SSDs, RAID them however you wish and connect it all with Thunderbolt 3 — the fastest and most flexible interface around. The sheer performance of the Express 4M2 helps you meet deadlines faster, giving you more time to explore your creativity and push your projects further.

Pint-Sized Powerhouse

Small in stature. Big on capability. The OWC Express 4M2 is ready to serve with four easy-to-access M.2 NVMe SSD slots customizable for any workflow with vibration damping feet that allow for vertical or horizontal orientation. Install up to 8TB of capacity and experience up to 2800MB/s of mind-bending performance via Thunderbolt 3. The Express 4M2 is an amazingly small digital workhorse with world-renowned OWC quality and award-winning support built in. Ingest and duplicate dailies at breakneck speeds, work with higher resolutions, smoothly scrub through demanding timelines, and plow through thousands of photos with ease. The OWC Express 4M2 is one seriously fast drive to have by your side to take your digital capabilities to a new level.

  • Up to 8TB
  • Up to 2800MB/s
  • Four M.2 NVMe SSD bays
  • Compact design
  • Advanced SoftRAID engine
  • Thunderbolt Certified for Mac and Windows
  • Thunderbolt 3 cable
  • 1 Year OWC Limited Warranty

Built Smaller and Faster from Input by Pros Like You

The OWC Express 4M2 is designed with superior ease-of-use in mind. We worked with award-winning creatives and listened to the kudos they heaped onto the OWC ThunderBay mini, and we put all that shared knowledge to good use when we set out to build the next-gen Thunderbolt 3 multi-bay drive. The result is the 57% smaller and 2.5x faster OWC Express 4M2. It's smaller and easier to fit into your workflow, studio and on stage. It's faster with four easy-access M.2 slots so you can swap, upgrade or expand your Express 4M2 to configure and reconfigure it to serve any project need.

Game-Changing NVMe SSD Performance

NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a hyper-efficient communications interface protocol built from the ground up to properly take advantage of SSD technology and high-performance connection buses like PCIe. The result is exponentially faster and efficient SSD storage, and the OWC Express 4M2 has room for four NVMe SSDs.

DisplayPort

Display connection flexibility is yours with a convenient DisplayPort located right on the rear of the OWC Express 4M2. There's no need to worry about adapters or extra long cables. Just plug your display directly into the Express 4M2 and you're all set.

Multi-Drive

The OWC Express 4M2 comes equipped with OWC SoftRAID which provides the amazing capability to RAID across multiple drive enclosures. You can also add more Express 4M2 drives to your storage pool using Windows Storage Spaces. Configure and reconfigure your storage however you need by combining multiple OWC Express 4M2 drives together on Mac and Windows.

SoftRAID: Conventional Wisdom Turned on its Head

It's often thought that hardware RAID is better than software RAID, but we've proven that not to be true. We've combined the performance and capacity of the OWC Express 4M2 with our robust SoftRAID engine. Experience breathtaking performance, multi-enclosure capability, advanced drive monitoring, e-notifications and downloadable updates. Once you do, you'll see how hardware RAID doesn't even come close.

The Better and Simpler Way to RAID

We created SoftRAID to make it easier to maintain mission-critical workflows to save you time and money. With SoftRAID you no longer need to be locked into expensive hardware RAID technology that's not upgradeable or expandable. SoftRAID future-proofs your data and storage with software updates that provide cutting edge capabilities and robust stability. SoftRAID takes advantage of your computer's processor versus the slow processors found in most hardware RAID enclosures. The result is a fast and flexible RAID array with no discernible impact to your favorite apps. SoftRAID drive certification tells you whether or not a drive is up to the task before creating a RAID array. Advanced monitoring tools work behind the scenes to keep your RAID running in tip-top shape. SoftRAID protects your data by alerting you to issues before anything happens, ensuring you're protected when you're on a critical deadline. SoftRAID rebuilds your RAID in a fraction of the time it would take a hardware RAID to complete the same task, sparing you from significant downtime when you're ready to upgrade or replace a drive.

RAID and Storage Spaces

The OWC Express 4M2 comes with SoftRAID Lite XT ready to be set up in RAID 0 performance or RAID 1 mirrored drive mode. So you can customize your Express 4M2 for speed or data redundancy. If you need more options, you can easily upgrade to add extra capabilities and RAID modes to meet any workflow demand. The OWC Express 4M2 fully supports Windows workflows as well. Using Windows Storage Spaces you can pool the four M.2 NVMe SSDs together with support for all the Storage Spaces configuration options including the ability to add another OWC Express 4M2 to expand your storage pool on the fly.

Connect to Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 Systems with Ease

The OWC Express 4M2 is fully backward compatible with Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2. Utilize Thunderbolt 3 performance to work at full speed, and step back to Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 whenever connectivity compatibility is needed for your workflow. Add a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter along with the appropriate Thunderbolt cable, and you're all set.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Cable

OWC Express 4M2 comes with an OWC Thunderbolt 3 cable which is Thunderbolt certified for Mac and Windows, with additional 0.5 meter to 2.0 meter lengths available separately.

Quality You Can Trust

Like all OWC drives, the OWC Express 4M2 is built to the highest standards of reliability and performance and Thunderbolt Certified for Mac and Windows. Because 100% reliability is always the goal, Express 4M2 is rigorously quality tested and backed by our one-year limited warranty plus award-winning, 24/7 customer support.

Upgrade Your Mac Memory
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options.
Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.

OWC July 4 Specials

See also my top deals lists and also deals of the day and various wishlists for cameras and computers. Or, search for deals by category or search for deals by brand, filter by percent savings and search. All updated daily, bookmark these pages!

OWC / MacSales.com (highly recommended) has a number of July 4 deals. Select deals shown below.

Build your own (custom configure) most of these Macs, many factory sealed also (view all):

Terrific Thunderbolt 3 storage:

Some items below have extra goodies—click through to view.

Just some of the OWC July 4 Savings

 

 

Another Finder Data Loss Bug

I had just generated 4 images and related posting material in a holding folder.

With another folder active as the top window, I did a Select All, then cmd-delete (which puts selected items into trash) and then cmd-shift-delete to empty the trash. Bingo—all the files in the inactive window below the top one were vaporized. As well, Select All on the still topmost window would not function in spite of it still having all its files. The other folder hidden underneath was now empy bereft of the past half an hour of my work.

This is true data loss that is the fault of Apple bugs. Stuff like this should be fixed before Apple makes one more damned emoji.

I have seen this bug before as well. Beware.

Barton T writes:

I’ve had this problem for ages (on 10.12.6 currently, but also had it in 10.11 and probably further back). Just as worrying I get it reporting the previous size of a folder even when it is clearly empty. So a folder might say it has 86GB but clearly there is nothing in it (or something much smaller). If it’s important stuff that I need to organise I find it safer to check/copy the folder/files in Bridge (that sounds hilarious when said out loud, since Adobe can’t even get Lightroom to remember the last folder exported to properly), or clone folders with CCC.

MPG: yes, it is probably several years old now, stemming from the poor decision to use Spotlight search for inappropriate things, including the speed problems with the Open dialog.

Richard H writes:

Lately we have had huge problems accessing files on our Synology servers. A folder with 18,000 files takes ages to update on the Mac, but if we perform the same operation using Windows in Parallels, it happens in seconds. As you have rightly noted, Apple has lost their way, worrying about new emojis instead of fundamental things like the finder and the file system.

MPG: Recently I used file sharing on a 10.8.5 Mac. Connecting to a server took ~1 second as it always does. On two other Macs running 10.13.5 and for 1-2 years now, it takes ~30 seconds (to the same server and all machines on the same gigabit switch). This can be repeated ad nauseum.

OS update decisions are now the province of 12-year-olds in marketing, from what I can tell.

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

Apple’s Penchant for IGNORING Data Loss Risks Continues, Unabated: Finder Erroneously Shows Files as Zero Bytes

See the MPG recommendations for iMac Pro, backup, peripherals. Not sure which Mac to get or how to configure it? Consult with MPG.

The issue is that the macOS Finder shows files and/or folders as having zero bytes, sometimes for well over a minute (and probably much longer, if the drive is not a fast one).

Empty? Put it into the trash and empty the trash, of course. What reasonable person wants an empty file except for some oddball purpose? So if one is cleaning up or organizing, it becomes very risky to assume that a file is non-empty when shown as empty, or even to assume that the file size is correct.

macOS Finder shows folders and files as being zero bytes for 30 seconds or even minutes at a time if the drive is slow

When and why

I don’t know when this bug cropped up, but I think it has been a few years. It is one of many data loss risks that Apple has ignored for a long time now. I first wrote about this bug back in December of 2017 and we are now on macOS 10.13.5 and no fix yet.

Today, I just about destroyed my own files, as they were listed as zero bytes in size by the Finder. I was organizing files and folders but narrowly escaped trashing apparently empty files and folders by using 'ls' in Terminal (the command line). Joy.

I think this bug is related to using Spotlight or some similar background daemon technology to update things. So the Finder won’t show the correct file/folder sizes until it gets some message/event letting it know the size. In the meantime instead of showing “pending” or “calculating”, it shows “Zero bytes” (why not just say "empty"?).

Incompetent software design

To say this is poor software design judgment is true but an understatment; it is also dangerously incompetent as as the user will be be mislead into thinking that files and/or folders are empty.

Whether in a Finder window or even an explicit Get Info window, the Finder screws the pooch—every day in my experience. This holds for both files and folders.

What Apple should do:

  • NEVER show false or misleading data. If a file/folder size is unknown, it should say “calculating...” or some such thing.
  • Don’t show “Zero bytes”; say “EMPTY” (perhaps in red) when display files or folders that are actually empty. What kind of lack of thought process leads to displaying bytes when conceptually it is empty?
  • Root out and eradicate the other data loss bugs in the Finder and elsewhere as the #1 priority in macOS.

See also:

macOS Finder shows files as being zero bytes for 30 seconds or even minutes at a time
Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Tested: OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 SSD

Get OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 at macsales.com.

MPG tested the OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 SSD in two flavors:

  • Consumer edition 500GB model
  • Video edition 2000GB (2TB) model.

OWC states that the video edition is designed for extremely consistent read and write speeds. The tests bear this out.

The consumer edition actually writes faster (see tests) but with periodic spikes that make it problematic for certain kinds of 4K video capture or processing, though not for other uses.

Three different tests are presented.

OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 SSD, Consumer Edition vs Video Edition

Both drives are very fine performers, and extremely well-built units and highly recommended. See also OWC Thunderblade.

OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 SSD 500GB CE vs 2TB VE: sustained write and read performance
Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Tested: Samsung 860 EVO, 2TB and 4TB

Get Samsung SSD at MacSales.com and Samsung EVO at B&H Photo. For those looking for capacious portable and ultralight storage, see the Samsung T5.

Thanks to B&H Photo for loaning the 2TB and 4TB Samsung 860 EVO SSD for testing. Drives tested in the OWC Thunderbolt 2 Drive Dock.

For high performance needs, see the OWC Envoy Pro EX Thunderbolt 3 series.

MPG reviewed the predecessor Samsung 850 EVO 2TB SSD 18 months prior to this review. Since then, Samsung upped their game. Compared to the EVO 850, the EVO 860:

  • EVO 860 is faster, hitting data rates that approach the limits of SATA III (see test results).
  • 860 EVO is rated for up to 8X more terabytes written than the 850 EVO—far more durable. For most users, the longevity is way beyond what will ever be needed.
  • 860 EVO includes a 4TB EVO 860 option.

As SATA III drives, they cannot be expected to perform like PCIe drives, or Thunderbolt 3 drives, since they are limited to 600 MB/sec by the SATA III bus.

Read more:

Samsung 860 EVO, 2TB and 4TB SSDs

Both drives are very fine performers. MPG expects to test some similar capacity OWC SSDs soon.

Sustained transfer speed of 2TB and 4TB Samsung 860 EVO across entire drive capacity
in OWC Thunderbolt 2 Drive Dock, 2015 MacBook Pro
Upgrade Your Mac Memory
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options.
Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.

Laptop and/or Desktop for College Student?

See also my top deals lists and also deals of the day and various wishlists for cameras and computers. Or, search for deals by category or search for deals by brand, filter by percent savings and search. All updated daily, bookmark these pages!

Kid going to college or high school? Mine are.

When I was in college, I went through terrible neck pain that required 6 weeks of physical therapy—all from hunching over a computer. Today, laptops are guaranteed injury-provokers over time. They have their place, but for hours of work over years, they are beyond awful to physically dangerous.

Don’t wreck your kid’s neck with a laptop (hunching over, terrible ergonomics) or staring at tiny screen and slowly damaging vision—get a desktop with a big screen and preferably a desktop and a laptop (if you get both, make sure that both are Thunderbolt 2 or both are Thunderbolt 3, for compatibility with peripherals).

My thoughts on “both” further below in response to James G.

OWC sells a wide variety of used and factory sealed Macs.

James writes:

Although I understand your reasoning for choosing to send your girl(s) off to college with a desktop, let me share my experience.

My youngest son is maybe 7 years older than your daughter(s) and now a graduate mechanical engineer at Cal. He went off to college with an iMac desktop. Although fast, and blown away with university-grade internet speed (I think 90mbps at the time) the desktop isolated him to his room and after awhile there were psychological and social concerns with this. After he got a 13" mac laptop everything changed. The new laptop was almost as fast if not faster than his desktop but it allowed him to take his work to the library where he could more easily collaborate with his peers in real time and that changed everything. And collaboration is a skill much emphasized today compared to when you and I were in school. Yes, you have to worry more about theft and there is something about the young adult brain that is unprepared for this.

As for my nephew, his desktop was also a source of isolation and near ruination --- video games. His parents eventually sprung for a laptop but not soon enough in my opinion, and they should have taken his desktop away. I suspect girls don't have these problems so much, but consider a laptop and if you do go that route make sure it is speedy enough for email and word processing but too wimpy to effectively run computer games.

DIGLLOYD: Each person is unique and boys are not girls—and I don’t have any boys (3 girls). My girls have never played video games and have no interest in them. Netflix is the bigger time-wasting risk! And for one, social media, the evil of our time.

I didn’t explain fully in my intro—my daughter will have a basic laptop like the 2017 MacBook Pro 8GB / 128GB and a basic desktop (iMac 4K or iMac 5K) along with a 500GB Samsung T5 for storage between the two.

She greatly dislikes working on a tiny screen (just as I do), hence the desktop. And she has a medical condition that fatigues her quickly—a laptop is a terrible choice for sustained work for that reason alone. Yet the laptop is needed for portability and classes, etc.

Writing a quality essay/paper or doing complex math (e.g. her interest in physics) and in general becoming a self-reliant critical thinker can only be achieved alone. With that base in place, collaboration then brings value to bear—but not before. Through high school where she has nearly completed two years of college courses already, she works alone and is very focused—yet she has tremendous people skills at both school and work, where customers seek her out. She will be just fine on the collaboration front, and actually have a reasoning mind, which 95% of college students lack, IMO.

As to groupthink (excuse me, collaboration), it has its place at times and when appropriate, it is of course very useful and productive to have. Yet it is over-emphasized to the point of groupthink toda, certainly part of the heavy-handed collectivist trend in today’s schools (K-12 in particular as I am a witness for the las t16 years for 3 girls). Great minds did not sit around colloborating for their best ideas. I also think that collaboration is the antithesisof critical thinking (setting aside debate-type stuff).While a group can stimulate ideas and is therefore invaluable at times, it’s all a question of where/when/how much. I did not invent my 3 patents in a group; I though them up while alone and partly, while sleeping.

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