MacDirectory Magazine

Warren Manser

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 96 of 115

FEATURE THE MACDIRECTORY IWARDS WORDS BY BILL TROOP This year we've seen an interesting trend. The most impressive products have come from companies that have been in the game for decades, yet have shown unexpected expertise and imagination recently. They include Apple, Intel, Olympus, Microsoft, Adobe and Norton. The MacBook Retina Intel's 520 Series SSDs The MacBook Retina is the most advanced personal computer ever made. Its primary innovation is the scaling technology Apple built into the hardware, the operating system, and into apps. On the surface, what Apple did was simple: It merely incorporated a higher-resolution display than had ever been used before in a laptop. Had they stopped there, it would have been impressive enough. But it would have been disappointing too, because such high resolution in a 15-inch form factor would mean that many of the interface elements would be too small to be comfortably visible. Apple's solution was to perform differential scalingon different screen elements. It is extremely complex, requires huge processing power, and can occasionally exact penalties — slow scrolling in web pages, app sluggishness where you don't expect it. But no company in the world even thought of doing these things before Apple. Or had the imagination, capacity, and drive to get a working product out the door. This is truly the most award-worthy technological achievement of the year, and it will always rank as a high point in computer history. For more detailed information, see Anand Lai Shimpi's article over at . In fact, Anand deserves an award for it, because he's the only technology writer yet who understands what really makes the MacBook Retina tick, and we're delighted to acknowledge the reach of his expertise. This is our third award for an Intel solid state drive. We believe Intel's SSDs are the most valuable hardware component a computer user can own. SSDs have no moving parts, so there is nothing mechanical to go wrong and ruin your data. Last year, we awarded Intel's 510 Series. This year, the 520 Series brings faster speeds, even greater reliability, more capacity, and lower cost per GB. Nothing makes your computer work faster than having an SSD. Virtually all disk operations are between 2 and 10 times faster. Boot times and app loads are better than halved. The seconds and minutes you save with an SSD quickly add up to meaningful hours and even days. And because SSDs are so dependable, we've noticed that we have fewer day-to-day problems on both OS X and Windows 7 when we power either OS with an SSD. That's because long before a mechanical hard drive fails, there are day to day glitches that are fixed on the fly either by the OS or by the hard drive's internal controller. These errors aren't fatal, but they are probably what cause you to have to spend a day here and there reinstalling a driver, a program, or even your entire system. What's priceless about SSDs is that these vexatious glitches just don't seem to happen much anymore. Intel has been producing solid state storage since the late 1970s and knows more about it than any other technology company. Although it has some worthy competition from Samsung and Micron (steer clear of the other brands), Intel SSDs are widely considered the most reliable. If you care about data integrity, and your time is valuable, you won't regret purchasing an Intel SSD. MacDirectory 95

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