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10/19/01 Friday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

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Sonnet ATA/100 IDE Card Owner Reports
Older Mac Owners Report Stuttering Audio Fix Works:

Last updated: 10/22/2001 (for graphs by mode setting)

The Oct. 18th news had a report from a 7500 owner using Sonnet's new ATA/100 card w/software utility to address the issue of stuttering audio when playing back files from IDE drives in older Macs using PCI IDE card. (Not all owners reported this, but many have). Another Sonnet ATA/100 card owner wrote that the fix also worked for him:

" Hello Mike,
I've just read a reader's review on your site that the Sonnet ATA 100 fixed his audio problem with his PPC 7500. I can definetely confirm this to be correct with my PPC 9500. Maybe the details could be interesting to some.

Tech specs:
PPC 9500/120
NewerTech G4 accelerator
OS 9.1 and 9.0.4
2 Ultra ATA volumes: one IBM DTLA-307030, one Maxtor 92041U4

BEFORE: TurboMax ATA-33 controller
To prevent the audio issue in my PPC, I installed a TurboMax ATA-33 card in one of the three lower PCI slots. (Neither Sonnet 66 nor Acard 66 helped.) The audio issue was gone, but the following issues appeared:

- when two volumes were attached to the TurboMax, only the volume attached to port #2 was bootable; if I wanted to boot from the other volume, I had to switch the cables i.e. ports on the TurboMax. TurboMax' Support confirmed that "this is possible to happen" in older PPCs and to attach only one drive. (Only solution left is to buy two ATA controllers.)

- when copying large files (several hundreds MB) from one volume to another, I got an "Norton Personal Firewall" error message and the copying was cancelled. Therefore, I always had to deactivate "Norton Personal Firewall" when I wanted to copy large files

File throughput: approx. 6.5 MB per second. "MacBench" gave my IBM 221%, my Maxtor 122% (with G3/333 as default 100%).

NOW: Sonnet ATA-100 controller
I installed the Sonnet card in the second PCI slot from top. After a few reboots, the volumes were recognized (reformatting the volumes is not nescessary, although the Sonnet Manual says so). Of course, the audio stutter was audible.
I then installed the "Tempo AV Tool" control panel. 3 options are offered here: 1. video playback 2. uncompressed media 3. compressed audio. I tried all settings and stayed with uncompressed media. (Video playback slows down the system too much, compressed audio wouldn't solve the audio stutter with my AIFF files.) So, NO MORE AUDIO STUTTER. About the other issues:

- the TurboMax issues are gone. Booting is possible from both volumes, no matter which port they are being attached to. Also copying larger files between volumes does not interfere with "Norton Personal Firewall".

File throughput:
Without "Tempo AV Tool": approx 9.5 MB per second. "MacBench" gave the IBM 231%, my Maxtor 132% (with G3/333 as default 100%).

"Tempo AV Tool" activated (uncompressed media mode): approx 6.5 MB per second. "MacBench" gave the IBM 195%, my Maxtor 118%.

"Tempo AV Tool" activated in video playback mode slowed down the IBM to 130% according to "MacBench" - don't bother!

Synopsis: Quite a bit of speed compared to the TurboMax, although Zero when activating the Audio stutter prevention. On the other hand, it fixes some issues and incompatibilities you can well live without. For owners of Pre G3 PowerMacs, this is a must buy.
Thanks again for your great site,
Robert "

Another Sonnet ATA/100 card owner report in a 7500:

" Okay, I bit the bullet... took one for the team... and I'm happy to say that my new Sonnet ATA/100 card works flawlessly in my 7500.
Upon initial installation, I still had audio glitches (but blazing fast booting off the new buss) so I installed the accompanying software. This is a control panel with 4 settings that basically slows the card down to prevent the audio glitches we all know and hate. Works like a charm. I've also been running for a week without having to drag out Disk Warrior for major repairs.

[I asked if he would send some performance test results-Mike]

I ran some tests using HDT and the 4 settings that come with the Sonnet Tempo AV Tool. There are 4 possible settings:

  • Default/Top Performance
  • Video Playback
  • Uncompressed Media
  • Compressed Audio

I've attached a jpg screen grab corresponding to each setting. If I understand these graphs correctly, the Compressed Audio Setting provides the best results on my 7500 Newer G4 350 and a Western Digital 18GB 7200 RPM Drive (I think). Also the wild fluctuations using the Default/Top Performance setting go a long way to explain what's going on when Audio Glitches occur.

I hope this helps everybody - GREAT SITE!!!
Soundman "

Default/Top Performance

Video Playback

Uncompressed Media

Compressed Audio

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