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Reader Comment: MacBook Pro running OSX 10.12 has finally had the discrete GPU die... used this machine almost continuously for 10 years

Reader Paul W writes:

My 17" MacBook Pro running OSX 10.12 has finally had the discrete GPU die for the final time. I used this laptop to drive 3 external monitors (1 x 27" imac as thunderbolt display, 1 x hdmi via owc thunderbolt 2 doc, 1 x usb->htmi connector). As well, it had 2 2TB SSD drives installed.

I used this machine almost continuously for 10 years and the death of the GPU is like having both my arms cut off.

Short term, I was able to disable the GPU via these instructions: (http://dosdude1.com/gpudisable/), so I can boot up and use the computer with the laptop display with the integrated graphics, but plugging in the Thunderbolt Dock causes the machine to reboot. Not unexpected as it is trying to use the dedicated GPU.

I'd say that getting 10 years out of that laptop with a known hardware design fault is still quite impressive, but going forward, it's going to be a little tough to choose.

I think I'm now down to two possible choices:

1/ upgrade the 2013 27" imac that I previously used as a display only to be an actual work machine (ram, ssd and possibly cpu). I'm even considering moving the main ssd from the 2011 mbp into the 2013 imac. I think I'll clone the drive and test to see whether it will boot properly.

2/ purchase a refurbished 2015 mbp from OWC. I currently have a refurbed 2015 mbp from OWC, but I've got it comfortably set up at home, and I don't want it to travel and risk damaging it anymore.

Buying a new MacBook Pro is out of the question. I am not thrilled with their unrepairable/un-upgradeable design approach, nor will I want OS newer than 10.14, 10.15 installed. Heck, 10.12 ran perfectly for me and allowed me to use my older creative suite software.

Anyway, just weighing my options at the moment.

Thanks again for all the info you share at macperformanceguide.com. The pain you share is the pain that we can choose to avoid.

MPG: when a macOS “upgrade” becomes a disincentive to the point of dissuading purchase of a new laptop, isn’t something really wrong with the evolution of macOS?

Maximilien Z writes:

You can do gpu reballing, it worked on my 17”, it is about “cooking” at a certain temperature the GPU. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmny86gll-c

MPG: interesting!

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NewerTech Announces USB-C to HDMI And USB-C to DisplayPort Adapters with up to 8K Video

re: OWC Offers Dual DisplayPort and dual HDMI Adapter for Thunderbolt 3 Macs or PCs

The DisplayPort adapter on the way to test. Given that it is the latest technology, possibly it will work better than the other adapters on the 2019 Mac Pro, which is a voodoo affair bedeviling me every day with the NEC PA302W (2560 X 1600).

NewerTech Announces USB-C to HDMI And USB-C to DisplayPort Adapters with up to 8K Video

NewerTech, a leading provider of performance upgrades and accessories for Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices since 1984, announced today the availability of the NewerTech USB-C to HDMI and USB-C to DisplayPort Adapters. 

Stream sports, watch videos, play games, or browse the internet on up to a 4K HDMI or display, TV, or projector with the NewerTech USB-C to HDMI and USB-C to DisplayPort Adapters. Both are backwards compatible with earlier versions of HDMI and DisplayPort so that you can connect your USB-C-equipped computer or device to any DisplayPort and HDMI-equipped display anywhere at its maximum resolution.

With both the NewerTech USB-C to HDMI and USB-C to DisplayPort Adapters, you can add a second display to extend your desktop “view space” and increase your productivity. Kick back with family and friends and watch videos and movies on a big screen. See more page content when browsing the web. These handy adapters make all sorts of content viewing more accessible and more convenient. Both are made with the highest quality standards to deliver unrivaled performance and reliability.

NewerTech USB-C to DisplayPort Adapter Highlights

  • Connect it all: watch videos, play games, create crisp digital signage walls, and make eye-catching presentations on a DisplayPort display or projector (#1 footnote).
  • High speed: HBR3 for higher refresh rates and up to 8K UHD resolution
  • Stunning visuals: HDR for sharper images, brighter colors, and greater contrast 
  • Hear more: supports multichannel high-definition digital audio formats (#2 footnote) 
  • 3 Year NewerTech Limited Warranty

NewerTech USB-C to HDMI Adapter Highlights

  • See it all: stream sports, watch videos, play games, browse the internet, or create digital signage walls on an HDMI display, TV, or projector (footnote #1)
  • Supports up to 4K maximum resolution
  • Supports HDR for sharper images, brighter colors, and greater contrast
  • Supports HDCP 2.2 content protection
  • 3 Year NewerTech Limited Warranty

Pricing & Availability 

The NewerTech USB-C to HDMI Adapteris available now for $12.99 at macsales.com  
The NewerTech USB-C to DisplayPort Adapteris available now for $18.99 at macsales.com

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Reader Comment: Avoid “Upgrades”, Stick with What is Proven

Reader Jose S writes:

Just to add my two cents to your endless list of issues with MacOS and Macs in general. I've been using Mac computers since the very appearance of MacOS X. OS upgrades were not frequent and they costed money. Upgrading was a no-brainer: it just worked. I did that until Lion appeared. It looked very nice and it promised a lot of UX functionalities that seemed useful. And the upgrade was not expensive. I bought it. It was a mistake. My first MacOS system crash screen appeared with Lion. It was the dreaded MacBook Pro Graphic card issue that was never recognized as such by Apple. They always did the same: logic board switch (charging for it, of course) and never recognized it was a software issue. "Downgrading" to Leopard did the trick for a while until software stopped being compatible. Bought a new MacBook Pro.

Found this site. Understood I was not alone. Since then I have several rules that I've either learned from this site or this site has reinforced:

1- Backup often. Do not trust backups. Verify them as often as you make them. I use Integrity Checker. It was worth every penny. Thanks for that.

2- Never upgrade your MacOS unless you really need it. There is no "6-month delay". There is no "1-Year delay". Just don't unless you can afford to lose your workstation stability and eventually spend days trying to go "back to normal"

3- If you MUST upgrade because your software does not support your current version anymore, do so trying to stay at least one version behind. There is a corollary to these two rules put together. DO NOT use Apple software unless absolutely needed because they force you to "upgrade". If you need Apple software you should seriously think about putting it on a separate machine. Believe me, it's worth every dollar you spend in that double setup.

4- Do NOT buy AppleCare for your everyday machine (assuming you don't "upgrade" unless you absolutely need it) AppleCare used to be a must for me before Lion. Now it's a waste of money (lots of money) and you have absolutely no guarantee it will solve your issues when you eventually have them.

5- Do NOT buy the latest Apple hardware for your everyday toaster. Go for the second-hand market. Go OWC for used Macs. They have better deals and you will save a lot of money to follow the last part of number 3.

My current setup consists of a 2015 MacBook Pro (for work) running Sierra ("low Sierra") and my personal 2011 MacBook Pro (which I call "the last real laptop Apple made") running Mavericks and using Data Doubler and VMWare Fusion to run several Windows and Linux VMs for software development. First-generation Mac Mini for media server running Leopard. Never upgraded. I don't plan to buy anything new from Apple until my current machines die, and in that case, I will definitely try to replace them with something similar. I don't plan to go Apple Silicon. I don't plan to use any Apple development tools unless I need them. Some teammates use XCode for software development (they develop for iOS) so I have some new machines with just XCode, no 3PS, no mail, no nothing there. If those machines die, we can always buy a new one, install XCode and get going again without having to worry about anything else.

Thank you very much for this site and for your software tools. I use IntegrityChecker every day and it's an invaluable tool to keep trust in my backups.

MPG: pretty much on the nose. Developer machines can sometimes get by with older/slower Macs, but 16GB can get really tight. It all depends on what the tasks are. So you might have to upgrade and take the hits.

As for macOS versioning I agree: once a workflow is established, stick with it and never again do a major OS upgrade. Keep it as a “toaster” as long as it runs. That’s the only way professionals should operate: new OS only with a new machine. Exceptions abound, but don’t break that rule without strong reasons.

AppleCare

Good advice, but repair costs are scary expensive if it gets into a display or logic board. And laptops have a fairly high failure rate. So I strongly advise AppleCare for all but the cheapest laptops. And definitely for any machine $2500 on up.

It’s a question of risk assessment vs cost: as the cost of the Mac hit $2000 on up, AppleCare is an increasingly good deal for the risks, because the cost of AppleCare relative to the price of the Mac keeps decreasing. For lower end machines it’s a rip-off, as it forms a too-high percentage of the cost, but by the time you get to $2500, it’s down to 15% and keeps dropping from there.

Shame on Apple for charging premium prices with a pathetic 1-year standard warranty. Pro gear should carry a 3-5 year warranty, as it does with the better brands (OWC, NEC, and some others).


Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

macOS Big Sur: how to List Active Kernel Extensions

Sometimes when diagnosing problems it is best to see what’s under the hood in terms of kernel extensions.

Kernel extensions should be strictly minimized to only those actually needed. Avoid software that requires a kernel extension without a very strong reason.

Listing active kernel extensions3

Open a Terminal window (/Applications/Utilities), and enter:

kextstat -l

The list from the command above will contain all Apple extensions, and usually the concern is only the non-Apple ones. The following will remove all the Apple kernel extensions from the list:

kextstat -l | grep -v com.apple

diglloydMP:MPG lloyd$ kextstat -l  | grep -v com.apple 
Executing: /usr/bin/kmutil showloaded --list-only
No variant specified, falling back to release
131 0 0xffffff7f9b46a000 0x2f000 0x2f000 com.softraid.driver.SoftRAID (6.0.3) 83667FDA-C07C-33C0-AD91-12BD3B39E02C <30 6 5 3>
161 0 0xffffff7f9b385000 0x3000 0x3000 tw.com.asmedia.driver.AsDirectHW (1.3) 879F189F-F7E6-39DD-9E1C-7895B8EA540A <8 6 5 3>
198 1 0xffffff7f9b44c000 0x6000 0x6000 com.owc.driver.SATA-Command (8.1.0b16) 1E2E3172-9D8F-A67B-5F1C-63F0ADF947BB <197 30 14 6 5 3 1>
199 0 0xffffff7f9b454000 0x5000 0x5000 com.owc.driver.SCSI-Device (1.1.0b16) C2CA0C13-7FAA-BD13-1F8B-D484928C05DA <198 31 30 29 6 5 3>
200 0 0xffffff7f9b462000 0x2000 0x2000 com.samsung.portablessd.driver (1.5.06) BEA96791-4055-392C-9CA0-F3C52E34FAFF <31 29 6 5 3>
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macOS Big Sur 11.3 Reader Comment: Multiple Issues including Kernel Panics

Reader Joe M writes:

I thought I had waited long enough so it was safe, also it appeared some of the recent security updates were delivered first to Big Sur.

I upgraded my iMac Pro video editing workstation from macOS Catalina to Big Sur 11.3.1. Here are some issues I've already encountered:

- CMD+F in Finder periodically doesn't put focus in search field. Workaround: resize Finder window, try again, eventually it will start working. Or just give up and manually click on the search field.

- Finder sidebar does not show SD cards if SD card is "Untitled". Workaround: just use desktop icon, or rename SD card in Finder, eject then re-insert.

- Kernel panic upon shutdown if multiple OWC Thunderbolt drives are connected (with or without SoftRAID). This isn't new to Big Sur but also happened on Catalina. Apparently MacOS is issuing synchronous (not asynchronous) dismounts. Depending on response time of various RAID arrays, the cumulative response time exceeds some MacOS shutdown timeout and it panics. If MacOS issued async dismounts it might not happen.

On Catalina, SoftRAID 6.x did a workaround to dismount all drives during shutdown, but this apparently quit working on Big Sur. They reported it to Apple back in Catalina; still not fixed on Big Sur 11.3.1. Example of kernel panic attached.

- On Catalina and continuing to Big Sur I had a problem whereby attempting to enter recovery mode with CMD+R would enter a boot loop, culminating in a kernel panic. Re-installing Big Sur didn't fix it, removing all kexts didn't fix it. Finally I erased the machine and reloaded my files using migration assistant from a Time Machine backup, that fixed it.

Several of my co-workers have Apple Silicon machines which must run Big Sur and they reported no major problems. However those are not running 3rd-party kexts.

However Big Sur has a kext detection feature and under some conditions it disables them all and you must individually enable each one in Security & Privacy. I previously tried leaving them all disabled and it still had the boot loop problem on CMD+R boot. OWC tech support said there was a Big Sur bug so even when disabled some 3rd-party kexts may still load.

Currently the only kext that shows as loaded is SoftRAID when I do: "kextstat | grep -v com.apple".

MPG: there are many more problems, but maybe macOS Big Sur is not worse than macOS Catalina. For example, I use Image Capture.app a fair amount, and it has 7 new bugs. Tip of the iceberg.

The real workflow destroyers are what concern me most:

  • Kernel panics every day or two using Photoshop. This has been going on for months. Adobe is working with Apple; I’m told these are Apple bugs. I have supplied complete system info and kernel panic logs to Adobe which has passed them onto Apple. No fix yet, no workaround. When it happens I lose a minimum of 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes due to flaky display syncing problems after reboot (voodoo to make it work)—which is itself another bug.
  • As of the latest macOS update, Photoshop now runs at half the speed of my iMac 5K when scripted. Apparently this is an issue with my 28-core Mac Pro and does not affect lower core-count machines.
  • As of the latest macOS update,  have a 2-3 second delay after opening an image. Again, seems to be peculiar to the 28-core Mac Pro.

Upgrade the memory of your 2020 iMac up to 128GB

macOS Big Sur 11.3: Upgrade ASAP for fix to 0-Day Gatekeeper Security Exploit (Apple CVE-2021-30657)

If you are running macOS Big Sur, update to 11.3 ASAP to get an urgent security fix.

In essence, you could do little more than double-click to open a document faking-it as an app, and compromise your entire machine.

Take-ways

It’s hard to operate in today’s internet environment without risk. But when Apple has bugs like this one, hardly anyone is safe, not even highly-knowledgeable people (including me). Break these rules at your own risk, since this latest Apple bug is an existence proof of that nothing is safe.

  • Unless you are CERTAIN that a file comes from a trusted party, do not download or open files received in email. Even then there is a risk since a friend or acquaintance could have been tricked, or infected.
  • Prefer plain-text emails.
  • Do not open attachments from unknown parties, particularly those forwarded by others.
  • Do not click on links in emails. Yeah it’s convenient—don’t.
  • Disable auto-loading of images in Apple Mail (Preferences => Viewing => Load Remote content in messages = unchecked/off).
  • Communicate by phone (voice) with persons sending you attachments/links to verify validity. And only those you already know.

Years of risk from sloppy practices at Apple?

Apple’s zealous security lockdowns have resulted in numerous impacts on those who use their computers for real work. Bars on the windows, rear doors locked, concrete bunker inside—but here we have the front door left wide open.

It took nearly TWO YEARS to find and fix this outrageous bug. Which is one more reason why waiting at least 6 months for a major macOS update is the smart move. But even that wouldn’t have worked in this case.

Ever wonder why Apple’s operating system releases require numerous updates in just 6 months? Check your premises on quality control—Apple ships by schedule, not by software quality.

About the bug

See also: Apple Security Bounty

 CVE-2021-30657 was discovered and reported to Apple by security engineer Cedric Owens on March 25, 2021.

An unsigned, unnotarized, script-based proof of concept application [...] could trivially and reliably sidestep all of macOS's relevant security mechanisms (File Quarantine, Gatekeeper, and Notarization Requirements), even on a fully patched M1 macOS system," security researcher Patrick Wardle explained in a write-up. "Armed with such a capability macOS malware authors could (and are) returning to their proven methods of targeting and infecting macOS users.

Ironic that macOS Catalina introduced the bug, what with all its extra security hassles. Of course, Catalina was a dismal failure in terms of so many other security bugs.

AnandTech: Actively exploited Mac 0-day neutered core OS security defenses

When Apple released the latest version, 11.3, for macOS on Monday, it didn't just introduce support for new features and optimizations. More importantly, the company fixed a zero-day vulnerability that hackers were actively exploiting to install malware without triggering core Mac security mechanisms, some that were in place for more than a decade.

..the flaw appears to have existed since the introduction of macOS 10.15 in June 2019, which is when notarization was introduced.

MPG: if the bug was being “actively exploited”, how can Apple be so out-of-the-loop to not know that after nearly two years? Why isn’t there a team at Apple that infiltrates the hacker community and/or actively buys exploits, so as to fix them?

Why doesn’t Apple owe compensation to the victims of this bug? A constant barrage of buggy macOS releases has a long track record of sloppy work—Apple should be liable given that track record.

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iOS 14.5 and macOS: Removing/Breaking Useful Functionality One Small Piece at a Times

I often (daily) listen to a web podcast of sorts. Not a formal podcast as such*, just playing audio on a web page.

In all previous iOS versions, I could start listening, then switch to another web page. I like letting the podcast play while I read the news so I can use my time efficiently.

But in iOS 14.5, as soon as I switch to another web page, the audio is instantly cut off.

Is this just one more arbitrary design change by intention? Sloppy work? A bug?

No matter the cause, it has a major impact on the #1 time use of my phone. It’s so frustrating and disappointing that Apple keep destroying useful features on macOS, and now iOS.

* Apple’s formal podcast support sucks: downloading stuff I might not listen to, notifications irritating me, etc.

MacOS Big Sur 11.3 Update: woe to professionals daring to use dual displays on a Mac

Woe to professionals like me daring to use dual displays on a Mac.

The macOS BigSur update is itself bad enough in taking a very long time, many minutes of which are blank (black) screens. And when it’s done, it doesn’t beep or notify, it’s just an interminable black screen. I only figured out when it was done by checking every few minutes—it had booted up and gone into sleep mode.

That dog-poop user experience aside, the real nightmare is the 45 minutes I spent trying to get my dual display setup working again, a witchraft and voodoo affair involving:

  • 4 reboots
  • black main screen and black 2nd screen
  • black 2nd screen and lit-up main screen
  • lit-up main screen and black 2nd screen
  • flashing out of sync flickering problems.
  • warnings of outrageous syncing settings by the display—looks like a video card that can't do things right.

Do things work better if all displays are Thunderbolt? Not realistic for professional use.

By comparison, my 2nd display on my iMac running macOS Mojave works flawlessly for 10 years (various Macs). And it and its predecessors works flawlessly for a decade or more in total.

But the 2019 Mac Pro and either macOS Big Sur or macOS Catalina have been a daily headache because the problems above are a daily one, albeit usually only taking a minute or less to resolve.

I have no way to separate whether the issues are pure software or hardware only, or both. I just know that the same display works flawlessly on my 2019 iMac 5K with macOS Mojave.

Ron Y writes:

I have a mac pro 7.1 with a Vega two card. I am using OS 10.15.7. I have two Eizo 2740 displays both running at scaled 2560 x 1440. They work perfectly—lighting up after sleep and reboot -- all open windows returning to the correct places. My experience is that the connection type seems to make a difference. My main monitor is connected to the video card Thunderbolt and the display port on the monitor. The second display is connected using Thunderbolt connection on the top board (one that USBC and Thunderbolt connections) and Thunderbolt on the monitor. [diglloyd: it's USB-C on the display, not Thunderbolt]

Some time ago, I tried using a Thunderbolt hub and had all sorts of disasters, similar to what you are describing. You might try connecting your monitors to the computer differently. In my case, that was the trick. Hope a different set of connections solves your problem.

MPG: the Eizo 2740 display supports USB-C and USB power delivery. It is also a 4K display. As such, it is not comparable to an NEC PA302W, which is about 5-year-old tech (but still the best panel available IMO).

The ColorEdge CS2740 features USB Type-C connectivity with 60W of power delivery. With a single USB Type-C cable, you can display video, transmit USB signals, and supply power to a connected device such as a smartphone or notebook PC. Simply plug in and get creative without worrying about additional cable clutter.

Basically, we are comparing apples and oranges here vs the NEC PA302W, which supports a wide variety of inputs (except Thunderbolt/USB-C) and a very wide range of input resolutions and sync rates.

Even if I had the funds for expensive new displays (I don’t), thing is, no panel on the market today has as neutral a backlight as the NEC PA302W with its truly neutral GB-R LED backlighting*. And nothing that ppi at 2560 X 1600 resolution. I don’t want inferior color and higher ppi and inferior “looks like” resolution (eg 1920 X 1080) on the Eizo 2740.

Some time ago I discusssed those USB-C to DisplayPort cables—total fail when I tried it. I’ve tried all viable options for the PA302W, meaning dual DisplayPort adapter, Thunderbolt Dock, USB-C to DisplayPort. The first two work with voodooo, the USB-C to DisplayPort cable fails outright. HDMI is not viable for optimal calibration. There are no other options.

It is also possible that NEC displays are troubled by newer Macs, and that other brands are not. But without comparing comparable technology, that’s a dubious premise. But the most damning evidence is that this all started around November 2019, prior to which operation had always been flawless.

* All other displays I’ve tried have a slight magenta tint which measures neutral, but is definitely not neutral as any side-by-side proves including other NEC displays. I have exceptional color discrimination, so most people cannot see the tint I can see. However, I have not seen the latest crop of displays and I don't know how the Eizo 2740 behaves. It uses some kind of “Wide-Gamut LED” and maybe that addresses the neutrality issue.

re: Display Connections for HDMI/DisplayPort Displays on 2019 Mac Pro or Other Macs
re: Mac mini has Serious Trouble Syncing with Display via either HDMI or DisplayPort
re: Nasty Surprise with Apple Software Update: NEC PA302W will no longer Work (UPDATE: how to fix it)


Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Automatic Image Downsizing in Apple Mail Wrecks Image Readability

As an ongoing headache, I regularly get emails from people with severely downsampled images so small that no text or details are readable. Screen shots, spreadsheets, etc. Which wastes everyone’s time.

The culprit is Apple Mail defaulting to a low-res size, typically “Small”.

Fortunately the fix is simple: make sure Image Size = Actual Size.

Of course if you really do want a downsized image, you can use the feature. But sending friends and family postage-stamp quality images is a bummer.

Tigger

OWC Solutions for Apple M1 iPad Pro

See new Apple TV 4K, Apple iPad Pro M1.

OWC has a host of products suitable for use with the new Apple iPad Pro:

OWC Announces Innovative Storage and Connectivity Solutions For New iPad Pro and iMac


Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Apple 24-Inch iMac with M1 CPU —  Home Run for Mainstream Usage, Iffy for Photographers

Pre-order Apple 24" iMac at B&H Photo (and save the sales tax). Thanks for using that link! See also new Apple TV 4K, Apple iPad Pro M1.

The new Apple 24" iMac with the M1 CPU should be a home run for Apple—physically not too small and not too large, a lighting fast CPU and GPU, 4.5K display, and color options*.

  • Apple M1 8-Core CPU
  • 8GB or 16GB Unified RAM
  • 256GB or 512GB or 1TB or 2TB SSD
  • 24" 4480 x 2520 Retina Display
  • 7-Core GPU, 16-Core Neural Engine
  • P3 Color Gamut, True Tone Technology
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0
  • 2 x Thunderbolt ports
  • 2 X USB-C ports
  • High quality sound system.
  • Gigabit ethernet optional.
  • Color options available.

Perhaps most important in this age of telework, the high quality stereo and triple microphones and 1080p camera can help you reach Zoom fatigue better than ever.

Performance should be stunningly fast compared to the current iMac. Like a sports car that does 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, but with top speed governed to 62mph. So it will be a terrific computer for the mainstream market, for basic “commuting”. Enough with analogies.

When it comes to real-world performance that I and many other photographers need, it’s dead on arrival because of the 16GB memory limit. Photoshop as I use it hits 32GB memory usage (for Photoshop alone) with even my lightest usage, and ramps up to 100GB and beyond at times. However, some photographers doing light-duty work may find 16GB adequate so long as attention is paid to not too many applications and/or images all at once.

Just having 32GB would have expanded the envelope firmly into low-end professional use. It looks like Apple is still working on the M1 chip that can support more memory than laptops had 7 years ago (eons in the computer industry).

Recommended : OWC Thunderbolt Hub, or OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock.

* The last time Apple offered color options on a Mac it was hideous plastic schlock. But metallic might work.

CLICK TO VIEW: Recommended Storage from Large to Huge


Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

OWC Thunderbolt 4 Dock: Seamless Operation Overall, But With a Few Limitations

OWC Thunderbolt Dock

re: Thunderbolt 4 Is Here...
re: Thunderbolt hub

See previous post for details on the OWC Thunderbolt Dock.

Thunderbolt 4 makes a Thunderbolt hub possible and the new OWC Thunderbolt Dock not only incorporates the capabilities of a Thunderbolt hub, but adds additional ports of its own.

I’ve been running the OWC Thunderbolt Dock for a month now and it has performed flawlessly.

With built-in hubbing capability, 3 Thunderbolt devices can be connected to the Dock, which is pretty nifty considering that it occupies only one port on the computer. Most useful for me is using these ports for USB-C SSDs like the OWC Envoy Pro EX and multiple OWC Thunderbay enclosures.

The 10Gbps USB-A ports are as always super useful, great for all sorts of USB devices and standalone hard drives like the OWC Mercury Elite Pro and similar.

Limitations

See also: Display Connections for HDMI/DisplayPort Displays on 2019 Mac Pro or Other Macs

  • There is no Mini DisplayPort as on the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock. That port is essential to connect my NEC PA302W color-managed display (ditto for any Mini DisplayPort display). This is not so much a limitation as a design choice in favor of the Thunderbolt hubbing (a bandwidth allocation issue).
  • The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dual DisplayPort Adapter would not work to connect my display through any of the hubbed ports on the Dock and yet it would work directly connected to the Mac Pro. Perhaps this is some sort of limitation with Thunderbolt?
  • Downstream devices are limited to 20 Gpbs write speeds. If you have a high-speed SSD like the OWC Thunderblade, it’s therefore best to daisy-chain it or plug it directly into the computer, rather than plug it into the ports on the Dock.

Given these considerations for my own computing needs (not necessarily in general), I am probably better served by the 14-port OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock (with the Mini DisplayPort) along with one or two OWC Thunderbolt Hub.

See also: Intel: What Is Thunderbolt 4?

CLICK TO VIEW: Recommended Storage from Large to Huge

OWC Thunderbolt Dock

Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance

Apple Image Capture in macOS Big Sur: Degraded and Broken

Brilliant idea #1: remove the checkbox for deleting images from the device.
Brilliant idea #2: remove the command key shortcut for deleting images and hide it in a menu (Edit => Delete).

I hope the genius coding Image Capture doesn’t proceed to Brilliant Idea #3.

Who thinks this stuff up? Don’t get me started on the new error-inducing dialogs in Big Sur.

But wait! Not content to degrade a key feature, Image Capture can’t even draw things properly any more. This drawing bug happens 100% of the time on my system.

Oh, and my scanner won’t show up 80% of the time, not unless I plug/unplug repeatedly.

Incompetence at Apple is the norm now, with macOS Big Turd the epitome of everything that is wrong with Apple.

I wish I could just run everything on macOS Mojave, which had its issus, but I breath a sigh of relief every time I use my iMac (still on Mojave).

Apple Image Capture in macOS Big Sur: cannot draw properly

Apple Image Capture in macOS Big Sur: cannot draw properly
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