As I noted on in the 3D Game news last night and today on the front page news, readers have reported the latest shipping Blue and White G3s have the following improvements (Note that some systems were 'interim' models and may have shipped with some but not all of the features shown below - the most important one by far is the revised IDE chip on the motherboard to add slave drive support/address data corruption issues with rev 1s that have updated/modern hard drives):
Note: As reported in the front page news several times - there is mixed stock at many dealers. If you want to make sure you get a new rev G3 the safest bet is to personally verify this (as I did) at a local dealer. Next best bet is probably ordering from the Apple Store, at least until the older stock is sold out from the supply chain. I saw some new and some older revisions models at a local CompUSA. The model number on the new revision B&W G3/350 I saw was M7556LL/A **BUT** a reader just reported his new G3 with that same model number did not have any of the new features. Again, the surest way is to personally verify the features are there at a local store. The serial number on one later rev. I saw was XB92..L6GHZ.
Update: Harald Ruebenach of Cologne, Germany sent a picture of the label from the *inside* of his box that indicated it had a 'speed bumped' video card (faster Rage128 as noted below). My G3 (w/faster Rage128) had no such label inside and no US version B&W G3 I've seen has a label that looks like this.
- The Rage128 now has a heatsink on the controller chip, which indicates the rumors (reported here months ago) of a faster (appx 100MHz vs 75MHz) Rage128 clock speed are true. I suspect the retail boxed versions will have the same heatsink/clock speed since the PC retail Rage128's are said to be 103MHz cards. [The new Chip clock speed seems to be appx. 90MHz with a 100Mhz memory clock.] Thanks to Dale for the photo below:
New Rage128s are Faster: As I suspected, the new heatsinked Rage128 cards are faster than the previous versions as Jake Beck found out in game tests:
It is true, some of the new speed-bumped Power Mac's do have a faster
RAGE 128. I had the chance to test an old RAGE 128 against the new one,
here's some specs for you. Tests were taken in a G3 400/DVD/192MB. Both
the new and old card were used in the exact same machine.
|Test ||Old Rage128 ||New Rage128 |
- New vertical dual drive bracket, allowing a 2nd 1" high drive to be mounted directly over the existing drive in a more (PC) standard fashion. With the original side-by-side drive mounting, custom cables (with wider master/slave connector spacing) were often needed to reach as noted in my January B&W G3 Slave drive article (page 2 has cable details). In keeping with the dual drive bracket, a new UltraATA dual drive IDE cable is now standard. Thanks to Dale for providing the photos below:
- Revised IDE Controller Chip to provide improved IDE Slave drive support (solve the data corruption errors reported here recently with many fast IDE drives like the WD Expert and IBM 18GB). The revised CMD646 IDE controller chip can be identified by the "402" marking next to the part number. Harald Ruebenach of Cologne, Germany sent a picture of the chip showing the new markings:
The IDE controller chip is near the rear of the PCI Slots as shown below:
- Taller CPU Heatsinks are also in the latest models. Although nobody else commented on it, I noticed it right away. This may help with the issues I saw of overheatink if the CPU was run with the case open for very long. Note the taller fins (about 1/4 inch or more higher) and the trimmed fins for clearance with the ZIP drive bay metal chassis:
6/22/99: A reader sent some interesting info from Apple's service docs on the different (rev 1 vs 2) B&W G3 motherboards. The marking of the IDE chip was posted last week at my new features page but the policy notes are what is interesting:
From the Apple service notes:
(B&W G3) Rev. 1 and Rev. 2 logic boards are similar. To differentiate, check the number printed on the CMD chip at location U1. The CMD chip on Rev. 1 logic boards is PCI646U2 and on Rev. 2 logic boards is 646U2-402.
Rev. 1 and Rev. 2 boards must be returned like for like. Note that when you return a Rev. 1 logic board, you may receive logic board 661-2104 or a logic board equivalent to 661-2194 as your replacement module."
Again I warn readers that want to get a new B&W G3 with all the new features that the safest way is to verify it in person as I've gotten dozens (every day) of mails from new owners that had either no new features or a mixed bag. Next safest way is to order a BTO system from the Apple Store until all older stock is purged from the supply chain (which could take months).
If you have comments, tips or inside info on the G3, please contact me.
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