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snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
91
An Island in the Salish Sea
Quote:
Originally Posted by snberk103
I'm just wondering *why* Apple is choosing this time to introduce built in SD card readers.

"This time" being last summer, when they started including them in MacBooks?

They don't really need a reason besides pretty much every consumer camera using SD media these days.

Was it really that long ago? Time flies, eh? Anyway.... They could have added it to the Mini back then quietly and without redesigning the whole case, similar to the way that the 5th USB port was added, if it was to satisfy photographers.

And they didn't need to immediately go to the top end SDXC.... most consumer cameras aren't using those cards yet. Once the low or middle speed SD card reader was added, it would have been easy to upgrade it to the top end SD card reader in a few years when those cards were more widely used. This would have been more in line of Apple's philosophy of increasing specs and features and keeping prices down. i.e. Today's new Mini has plain SD card reader, and in a year they "add" the faster reader to make a "new" new Mini.

I think there is something more to this... we'll just have to stay tuned, eh?
 

inguatu

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2009
7
0
+1 That is is kind of "Think Different" Apple should be encouraging!

I was more thinking along the lines of why Apple is suddenly putting SD card readers into several models. They are usually driving new technologies (or ignoring them), not catching up. SD cards have been around for a while now. Why is Apple choosing now to start adding SD card readers. And, in the case of the Mini - on the back.
Cheers


Not sure how Apple is thinking any differently? People give them way too much credit.

I'm assuming Apple is finally yielding to pressure from the professional community as well as hobbyists since most PCs and laptops these days ship with SD ports. Apple realized they finally needed to catch up with the times. Although, they're still not resting on their "no BluRay" laurels in order to "encourage" people to use iTune$ to buy, stream and watch HD content (minus the extras only found on BluRay).
 

Imhotep397

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2002
350
37
I said this a while back. Apple should buy SanDisk, buy Sony, get rid of Ex-FAT and re-package/re-brand/standardize this media in every product they make and package a flavor of it for ROM as a successor to Blu-Ray.

Small, portable, insane storage capacity and Apple could build the format without the insane licensing fees that have been attached to Blu-Ray. Apple is a global company and they want all of their products to be immensely useful globally, unfortunately broadband and internet mean something completely different to everyone, in terms of connection speed, and that will in all likely hood never change. A small disc, slightly larger than a half a stick of gum, that can hold up to 2TB of data potentially is the perfect bridge for every digital device in virtually any form factor.
 

iphoneguy123

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2010
116
0
I said this a while back. Apple should buy SanDisk, buy Sony, get rid of Ex-FAT and re-package/re-brand/standardize this media in every product they make and package a flavor of it for ROM as a successor to Blu-Ray.

Small, portable, insane storage capacity and Apple could build the format without the insane licensing fees that have been attached to Blu-Ray. Apple is a global company and they want all of their products to be immensely useful globally, unfortunately broadband and internet mean something completely different to everyone, in terms of connection speed, and that will in all likely hood never change. A small disc, slightly larger than a half a stick of gum, that can hold up to 2TB of data potentially is the perfect bridge for every digital device in virtually any form factor.

Buy Sony?

facepalm.jpg
 

bogg

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2005
447
78
Sweden
I really don't get why people who come up with specs don't think ahead. When SD came out it has a 2GB limit. So they updated it, SDHC for a 32GB limit. Now they had to update it again, SDXC for a 2TB limit. They should have just designed the format to scale in the FIRST place.

For example: CompactFlash came out in like 1994 and has scaled all the way up to like 137GB, when the first cards were under 1MB.


Yeah, they scaled just fine when it came to sizes. But instead they are at like the 6:th revision when it comes to speed capabilities.
 

mixel

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2006
1,730
976
Leeds, UK
Look up some numbers please, and then come back with that facepalm...
Look up anything about how both Sony and Apple operate internally and what they do in their respective fields and tell me the facepalm isn't relevant.

The facepalm is massive understatement.
 

mmulin

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2006
404
0
Is Apple thinking that SD cards are going to become the new "floppies"?

Many people who exchange files by 'sneaker net' use CDs, but don't need the capacity of a CD. Plus while rewriteable CDs exist, they are pricey and most people don't use them. Most files are exchanged a barely used CD that then gets shelved and collects dust.

Imagine if people started exchanging SD cards. Initially lower capacities only will be available, but soon CD equivalent SD cards will be available, and soon after that the 1 and 2 TB cards.

If Apple can create enough demand for cards, then economies of scale will bring prices down as they become a standard commodity.

As others have mentioned the bigger capacity ones would have all sorts of uses besides the exchange of files. Wow.

Hmm.

Are you living in 2005 or so? Recent SD cards already max out at 64GB. That is already ~100 CDs worth of data.
 

Bye Bye Baby

macrumors 65816
Sep 15, 2004
1,152
0
i(am in the)cloud
So can I put one of these new SDXC cards in the back and use that as my boot drive while maintaining the internal HD for data storage?

Would that be better than an SSD?
 

3247

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2008
237
4
Germany
So can I put one of these new SDXC cards in the back and use that as my boot drive while maintaining the internal HD for data storage?
Would that be better than an SSD?
No. The maximum interface speed for SD cards – that's UHS-I at 104 MB/s – is slower than most SSDs. (Well, slower than SSDs you would want to use as a boot drive.)
 

applesupergeek

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2009
879
0
So can I put one of these new SDXC cards in the back and use that as my boot drive while maintaining the internal HD for data storage?

Would that be better than an SSD?

No it wouldn't be better than an ssd, on the contrary it would worse than an HD, sd cards are not optimized for the many small writes that an os performs, nor do they lend themselves well to ntfs or hfs+, and that's why ssd drives that include flash have such convoluted contollers and cost that much more than sd cards, because of the development that goes into them.
 

rshullic

macrumors newbie
Jul 14, 2010
2
0
Sort of.

Lets separate reading and writing exFAT. If I can read it, I can pull stuff off of it. So OS X will require the ability to read exFAT in order to make it compatible with non apple devices that will be using this format. HOWEVER, it is not required that Apple choose to read exFAT. You could format with HFS+. Then any device that can read HFS+ could read and write to it.

If I can write to exFAT, then I can place data (even 4GB+ media files) on the card. Apple may create a driver that allows you to read exFAT but not write to it.

This matters if you are going to use the card to store media files (4 GB+), or are planning on using the card with non Apple devices. I could get a 128 GB SDXC card, format 100 GB in FAT32 for a user directory, and format 3 8GB swap spaces (one for OS X, one for Windows, and one for Unix). Then I'd have my user files and swap space with me wherever I go, and it would be cross platform compatible (everyone reads and writes FAT32). Yes, FAT32 does have a maximum partition size, this is why I used a 128 GB SDXC card as the example. And yes, I wouldn't have my media files (movies) on the card (I'd need one of the 2 TB cards to do this).

Since Pretec is selling an ExpressCard SDXC reader, this is what I plan to do with my triple boot MBP (see sig). I'll point my OS X user directory to the directory that will be on this card, I'll do the same for Win7, and BackTrack. Each OS will also have swap space on the card. This increases security too. If I have my SDXC card with me, someone using the laptop can't see my files at all. It also increases speed (maybe and a little) because I'm using a different storage device and bus to put my user files/swap space on.

Let's take a closer look at what we have here.
For references we have: http://www.sans.org/reading_room/wh...engineering-microsoft-exfat-file-system_33274 and the blog rshullic.wordpress.com

First, the SDXC card is set to be exclusively exFAT. You may be able to format the card as FAT32, or HFS or NTFS as FAT32 can be formatted to 2TB although you can't use Microsoft utilities to do so. Microsoft will read a 2TB FAT32 file system and write to it, they just won't let you create anything over 32GB. If you want to use the SDXC card exclusively with the Mac, then you could format the card with almost any file system. I have formated a 256MB (yes MB, it is SD Version 1.00) SD card as exFAT. But put that card with exFAT into a camera, like the Panasonic Lumix which has SDXC support, and it says that the card is not formatted properly and won't let you use the card until you reformat it. A SD card is speced for FAT, a SDHC card is speced for FAT32 and a SDXC card is speced for exFAT, and some camera manufacturers enforce the proper file system. So, if you intend to use the sdxc in a camera or a phone or other consumer device, formatting it as anything other than exFAT may not be an option.

And Apple might need to license exFAT just to read it even if not to write. (might need, I don't really know as there are now forensics tols that read exfat but I don't think those guys are licensing it, maybe read only is ok and doesn't violate licensing agreements?)

The SDXC card actually begins at 48GB, which is the equivalent of a dual layer Blu-Ray disc. I have seen 48GB and 64GB so far, and the 64GB (at a low i/o speed) can be gotten at amazon for about $200. But the card are running in the $350-$600 range with speeds claimed to be 30MBs (that is mega-bytes per second) so it will be a while for the prices to come down and the speeds to increase near the SD 3.0 level of 104 MBs, let alone the SD 4.00 spec of 300 MBs.
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
5,082
998
Canada
So, apart from all the discussions about exFAT and all... am I the only one who wish the SD reader was in the front?

They could have made a black plastic strip the same thickness and width as the optical drive, meaning two long black strips in the front of the Mac mini instead of one, and put the reader on the far right of the second strip, just like the infrared receptor is at the right of the CD/DVD slot.

Or even better, design some kind of CD/DVD slot with an SD reader built-in.

I also wish Apple would be able to get the same slot-loading mini-CD/DVD capability as the Nintendo Wii.
 
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