USB stick turns a Mac into a Windows games machine in seconds
A new prototype USB stick called the SuperSpeedBlazer is claimed to turn a Mac in to a Windows 10 machine capable of running the latest games. The device is claimed to boot Windows in around 10 seconds, which runs natively on the Mac – rather than inside a less efficient virtual machine as is the case with a software alternative like Parallels or VMWare Fusion.
The device also saves disk space compared to using a virtual machine or indeed Bootcamp, a means by which more than one operating system can be installed on a Mac. This is because all the Windows files remain on the USB stick instead of being installed to the computer. As well as working with Macs, the stick can also be plugged into another Windows PC to run an alternative Windows installation. The device weighs 20 g (0.7 oz) and measures 70 x 24 x 9 mm (2.8 x 0.9 x 0.4 in).
The idea of running an alternative operating system from a USB stick isn't new, but has typically been the domain of older and lightweight operating systems. A fast USB Windows machine is now viable thanks to gains made in USB transfer speeds. SuperSpeedBlazer uses USB 3.1, with read speeds up to 1,000 MB/s and write speeds of 970 MB/s. It also supports DirectX, so players can run current PC games. The associated PR calls out PUBG and Overwatch in particular.
A Windows license is needed to use Windows 10 via SuperSpeedBlazer. It relies on Microsoft's Windows To Go technology, so though minor Windows software updates are possible, major updates are not.
However, the stick still relies on the Mac to process the game, so we wouldn't expect all Macs to run the newest games on their maximum graphics settings – not well, at any rate. However, the stick is claimed to run games at the optimum resolution automatically, which is a neat touch.
It's also claimed that the stick leaves the host computer safe and sound, which is certainly a plus if this can be proven, as security concerns abound when it comes to plug-in devices. It works with BitLocker to protect data stored on the device, and is also claimed to work as a secure cryptocurrency wallet (if you're into that sort of thing).
According to a press release, SuperSpeedBlazer CEO James Cho began developing the stick over 2 years ago. The device remains a prototype, and its makers are seeking crowd-funding ahead of manufacture.
The stick will come in three sizes: 64, 128 and 256 GB. Early bird pledges start at US$149, $179 and $299 for each. At the time of writing, the campaign is around 70 percent of the way to reaching its $25,000 goal. If all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in November.
You can see a video all about the SuperSpeedBlazer below.