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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 4/6/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 4/6/2001:

First Look at XLR8's MAChCarrier MPe Dual G4 CPU Card:
I just received a loaner of an XLR8 MAChCarrier MPe CPU card with dual G4/400 CPUs. I'll be testing it in my 9600/350 and comparing performance with the original 604ev/350MHz CPU card. I took a few photos of the kit and the card for those that are interested in taking a look at it.
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GeForce3 Backorder Options - Get Geforce2MX Card Now, GF3 Later (and keep the MX)
A reader with a Dual G4 with GeForce3 on backorder sent an email noting (as rumored) the GeForce3 cards being delayed and with an option to get the system with a GeForce2M now, and have the GF3 shipped later (keeping the MX card):

" To Our Valued Apple Customer:

Thank you for your recent order for a custom-configured Power Mac G4 system including an nVidia GeForce3 graphics card. The GeForce3 graphics card was recently introduced, and nVidia is experiencing a longer delay than anticipated for the release. We sincerely apologize for this delay and would like to offer you some options regarding your order.

If you would like to start using your new Power Mac G4 as soon as possible, we can ship it to you with the nVidia GeForce2 MX card installed and ship you the nVidia GeForce3 graphics card kit when it's available in late May. This is a self-installable option with easy directions for installation. There will be no additional charge for selecting this option, and you may keep the nVidia GeForce2 MX card once you receive the nVidia GeForce3 card.

Please choose one of the following options and email your response to <orderstatus@group.apple.com>.

My order number is _________________

__ Please ship my G4 with the nVidia GeForce2 MX card installed. The nVidia GeForce3 graphics card kit will be shipped at no additional charge when it's available in late May.

__ Please leave my order unchanged. Please ship my G4 with the nVidia GeForce3 graphics card installed in late May.

__ Please cancel my order. These options do not meet my needs at this time.

Again, we appreciate your patience and your business. Thank you for shopping at the Apple Store! "

= 4:54 PM Update Follows =
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$100 Price Cut on GeForce3 For Mac:
The Apple store has cut the price of adding a GeForce3 card (see this article here for GeForce3 info) by $100. it's now $250 as a BTO option (vs. $350 previously) and $499 on the Accessories page (vs. $599). Rumors are the Geforce3 chip has had 4 revisions delaying its release, which might be a factor. Regardless the price drop is welcome. Several readers said their existing orders were also reduced in price to reflect the $100 price drop.
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Comments on DH Max Graphics Card v2.0 Driver Update:
A reader commented on Cinema4D and Final Cut Pro performance with the 2.0 drivers. (Since Promax tech support and the readme file notes no OpenGL support yet, I can only assume Cinema4D was running in software mode)

" Open GL is working great in Cinema 4DXL 6.3. I am running on 2 19" Hitachi monitors at 1024 x 768 x millions of colors.

I can change the colors and textures on an object and get a live update without rendering. FCP 1.2.5 is also working great on 2 monitors.
Daryl "

I asked Daryl if he could run CineBench2000 with the driver update and report the shading (software mode) vs OpenGL mode scores. (This will show if there is any OpenGL acceleration.) Here's a clip from the readme included with the 2.0 drivers:

    What's still in the works:

    - OpenGL support
    - Support for Apple's DVD Player
    - More QuickDraw and QuickTime acceleration

Although earlier (pre-v2.5) DVD Players relied on ATI cards, I hear the 2.5 player is less hardware dependent (works with Nvidia GeForce2MX cards). If Promax could add DVD player support (and OpenGL drivers), that would make this card very attractive (for non-gamers at least) for those wanting to run dual monitors and short on slots. (And for Cube owners with no PCI slots, it's the only card with dual outputs that fits.) As noted in the earlier post today, the Promax support page lists the driver update with instructions on how to obtain it.

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More Readers Report SoundBlaster Live! Cards Arriving Today:
Yesterday a reader said he recieved an email noting his SBlive for Mac card shipped. I've also gotten other emails from readers noting their SBLive cards are being delivered today. I've asked for reports on the card, since I didn't preorder one and have not been able to get a loaner from Creative yet. If I can find one in stock at a dealer I'll be buying a SBlive as soon as possible.
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Powerlogix Releases Profiler X Cache Enabler:
"PowerLogix Announces Profiler X

AUSTIN, TEXAS -- April 6, 2001 -- PowerLogix announced today the public beta release of their new diagnostic utility, Profiler X. Profiler X is an OS X version of the popular Cache Profiler software fro OS 9. It allows users of OS X to read the processor speed and cache speed and other details of their machine.

Also included in the public beta, is a command line interface for changing L2 cache settings. This code works with all PowerLogix upgrade cards. (Some models of PowerLogix cards set the cache automatically and do not require software.) It also works with all other brands of processor cards, as it supports any PowerPC compatible SRAM and any valid PowerPC cache size.

"This new utility works on any machine running OS X," reports Robin Howdershelt, Marketing Director for PowerLogix. "Profiler X is the first diagnostic tool for OS X that reports processor temperature, cache size, backside cache speed, and bus speed. It's is very helpful for owners of upgrade cards to verify the operation of their backside cache."

Profile X is available for download at www.powerlogix.com/support/betasoftware2.html

A GUI version of the command line interface of is expected to be released very soon."

Ryan Rempel and XLR8 have also recently released cache enablers for CPU upgrades and OS X . The forums here have feedback on these.

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DH Max Dual Output AGP Card 2.0 Drivers:
I'm not sure when these were released, but a reader noted there's a 2.0 driver update for the Promax DH Max dual monitor AGP card (a first look at the card with the initial drivers is here.)

" The new 2.0 release of the DH-MAX(tm) drivers are available now for download for Registered DH-MAX users only. Video out on the second head using supplied composite/s-video cable is now working. This enables you to extend your desktop applications or video out to an external monitor or NTSC/PAL monitor. Included in the new release: improved video acceleration, new QuickTime acceleration, and DH-MAX control panel.
The DH-MAX control panel lets you:
-Check ROM versions for the card
-Update your ROM
-Check acceleration
- Adjust the Hue, Saturation, Brightness and Contrast for Composite/S-video output only.

Possible Configuration Options with the new 2.0 software:
Two RGB monitors
RGB+ Analog Flat Panel
RGB monitor + NTSC/PAL Studio Monitor
RGB monitor + analog Flat Panel
Analog Flat Panel + NTSC/PAL Studio Monitor
Two analog Flat Panels
*Please contact support@promax.com for downloading instructions. Write "DH-MAX software update" request in the header of your email. "

As noted in the preview of the card here, it does fit the Cube (the only dual-output card that does currently). Past drivers didn't have any OpenGL or Rave support, but not sure if this new update does. (If you've tested the 2.0 drivers let me know.) The Promax support page lists the driver update with instructions on how to obtain it.

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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 11 new reports (total to date: 5,500). [Entries from after midnight EST will be added the following day.]

  • Other World Computing G3/450 in Beige G3 desktop (rated 10)
    (update after 1 year of use)
  • PowerLogix G3/500 in 8600/300 (rated 10)
  • PowerLogix G3/400 in 7500 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G3/350 in PowerCurve (rated 10)
    (update after 10 months of use)
  • PowerLogix BlueChip G3/466 in PB G3 wallstreet1 (rated 10)
  • PowerLogix BlueChip G3/4500 in PB G3 wallstreet2 (rated 10)
    (3rd time the charm)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in B&W G3 (rated 7)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in PowerCenter 120 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 5400/120 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 G4/500 in B&W G3 (rated 10) [running 600mhz?]
  • B&W G3/350 OC report

You can find these full reports by searching the database selecting the indicated Mac model and upgrade card brand/type. If you've upgraded the CPU on your Mac, please post an entry in the database. Search the database for entries from most every upgradable Mac model *before* you buy. (Searchable by mac model/upgrade brand). For detailed reviews with performance tests and install tips, see the CPU Upgrades page.)

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CDRW/CD/DVD/HD Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 7 new entries added this morning including DVD-ROMs, CDRWs, and Hard Drives. Current total 3,472 reports. Entries from after midnight are added the following day. [BTW - the drive database is not a place to post questions, it's for reports on drives you've used. For guides to drive installs, see the IDE, SCI or Firewire articles linked above and/or the FAQ. If you post an updated entry - make sure you use the same name, etc. as you did before so I can find your past entry. Thanks.]
You can find full owner reports by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
If you've added a IDE, SCSI, Firewire or USB hard drive, CDRW, tape drive, etc. make sure you add a report to the database.
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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News:

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