OWC's new eSATA modification for 27" iMac (mid 2010 models) makes it much more attractive for serious video editing systems
By Allan Tépper | August 18, 2010
Although it has been in existence for many years and is known to be among the best and fastest ways to connect local external hard drives or disk arrays to a computer, Apple strangely has been the only computer manufacturer to my knowledge which has not yet offered a direct eSATA port on any of its computers. Even way back in the Apple G5 tower era, I used to add eSATA ports to high-end video editing systems I integrated, and this of course has continued with the MacPro (Intel) era of Apple towers. The lack of direct eSATA port on all other Macs [iMac, MacBook(Pro), and Mac Mini] has sadly meant that video editors have had to settle for slower FireWire 800 speeds… until now. The highly respected OWC (Other World Computing) is now offering a US$169 custom modification to iMac 27" (mid 2010 models) to add eSATA, which untaps 3.3 times faster performance with an external disk array or SSD, compared to FireWire 800. This article will cover what the extra speed means to a video editor, how eSATA has been added to Macs before (with compromises), the advantages of OWC's new official upgrade plan, and how to do critical video evaluation monitoring with an iMac.