Thursday, June 23, 2011

Testing the 27 "iMac" Thunderbolt - part III

Intel also provides the chipset of the iMac, a Z68 Series 6, replacing the P67 which had experienced numerous problems in the launch of the platform Sandy Bridge (SATA performance degradation). This chipset manages Smart Response, a new technology to use a SSD (up to 64 GB) as a cache for the hard drive, like the hybrid discs as the Seagate Momentus XT. Apple does not use this function: the SSD and hard drive of the iMac appear as two completely separate volumes. They are both connected to SATA III, allowing them to express themselves to their full potential.

The potential for the SSD is 240 Mb / s maximum throughput of 160 Mb / s of average flow. It's good but not dazzling, especially the hard drive of 1TB provided by Apple (a Western Digital Caviar Black 7200 RPM SATA III and 32 MB cache) is doing very well. The high density of its platters, SATA III interface and 32 MB cache allow it to reach speeds of around 120 Mb / s, with a fine linearity over large files.

Overall more efficient, the SSD, arranged in housing behind the SuperDrive, takes advantage of two areas: its access time and noise level. Fast, fast, fast, these are the three adjectives to describe what DSS quick fix on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, it is also on the iMac. While the scratch disk and is sometimes responsible for a certain delay, the SSD can boot the machine in a few seconds (12-14), forget the color wheel of death, and fluid in general operations, all in a royal silence accentuated by the presence of discrete fans.


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