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News Archive for: 4/11/2002 Thursday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of April 11th, 2002: (Latest stories first)

Apple ATI 1.1 (AGP Update) - Solves Wake from OS 9 Sleep w/8500 AGP card
I've just tested the Apple ATI 1.1 Update on a Dual G4/533 with Radeon 8500 card (OS 9.2.2). The 1.1 update (aka AGP update extension) installer ran fine on that machine and appears to have solved the previous issue with the 8500 card waking the monitor from sleep in OS 9. (This was an issue noted by ATI in the original 8500 Radeon Readme file as affecting 2001 Digital Audio to fall 2001 Quicksilver G4 systems only. ) I had verified this problem during my 8500 review, where the system would sleep and wake from sleep but there was no video signal to the monitor after waking from sleep. (This was never an issue in OS X - only OS 9 and only with the systems noted.)
I don't know if any other ATI cards have the wake from sleep video issue seen with the 8500 in those systems, but just a FYI about what appears as the real purpose of this update.
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ATI Driver Update Reports Updated (iBook/PB G4/Tower owners)
I've updated the page of reader reports on the ATI March 2002 driver update again today. The latest additions include more iBook, PowerBook G4 and G4 tower owner comments.
The page is organized into reports by card type (Radeon AGP, Radeon 7500 AGP, Radeon 8500 AGP, Rage128 series, Radeon 7000 PCI, Radeon PCI, Radeon Mobility, etc.). I'm continually receiving more reports and will update the page as I can.

(I've also updated the CPU Upgrade and Drive Upgrade reports database listings for today - see farther down the page for today's additions.)

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ATI 8500/Blocky OS X DVD Playback Notes/Tip
I didn't see this at first but after a reader reported he saw DVD player image problems after running a game of Unreal Tournament X, I was able to repeat the problem here (using an 8500 Radeon AGP). I ran a quick game of Quake3 (opengl of course) and exited the game - then ran the DVD player and saw the same 'flickering blocks' in the image. I don't know if this affects other card models but ATI is aware of the issue now.
Rebooting is the only fix so far. (Logging out and logging back in did not help in my experience.)
(BTW - I've had a PB G4 owner also note he saw this issue with the updated drivers, but testing tonight with a PB G4/667 (Radeon Mobility chip) with the driver update showed no DVD image problems on this system - even after playing a game of Quake3. The ATI monitors startup item was not enabled on that system after the driver update - although all the driver files were installed..)
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Explanation of the purpose of all the ATI graphics card Extensions
I should have done this before since it's been posted in the forums several times by ATI - but for those that wonder what the purpose of all the various ATI extensions/control panels, etc. - see the FAQ's Video Cards topics area (the question titled What is the purpose of all those ATI Graphics card driver extensions?)
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Formac Announces FW DVD-R/RW Drive w/Proprietary DVD Authoring Software
press release announcing a firewire DVD-R/-RW/CDR/CDRW drive based on the Pioneer DVR-104 (latest model of the superdrive) called the "Devideon(tm)" and bundled with their own proprietary Mac DVD authoring software. Their software's MPEG encoder converts has adjustable video bit rates between 1.0 and 9.8 MBit and audio frequencies between 32KHz and 48KHz, with the ability (they say) to record more than 6 hours of video on one standard DVD media. The press release listed the drive/software bundle as being available at the end of April 2002 through Formac Certified resellers and online at www.formac.com for a suggested retail price of $549.

(Note: the original specs reported back in January on the DVR-104 drive noted a 8x CDRW write speed vs. 4x max CDRW speed for the first 'superdrive' DVR-A03/103 model. However checking tonight I find Apple's product pages now note 4x CDRW speeds for the DVR-104, although the 'learn more' link's info on the apple store pages still notes a 8x write speed - but shows 600k per second which is 4x speed. Bizarre. Pioneer's current DVR-A04 (retail) drive specs page shows 4x max CDRW - yet their original press release noted 'high speed CDRW' disk compatibility - which usually denotes the 4x-10x rated CDRW discs, which do not normally work in 4x max rated drives. Testing an Apple OEM DVR-104 drive shows Toast 5 showing a max 4x CDRW speed even with a 10x rated CDRW disc inserted. Note I could write to a 10x rated CDRW disc fine (at 4x) - which is not possible with most 4x rated CDRW drives. [The 4-10x media is not compatible with any other 4x rated drive I've seen - noted on the high-speed CDRW media jewel cases.] )

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More info on Apple ATI Update 1.1
(Updated with more comments below - but see the later news post above about what this extension really fixes.)
The Apple ATI Update 1.1 noted earlier today, despite the info noted originally at VT, appears to be only for G4 AGP systems and contains only a single file (extension) called "AGP Update". (Using Tomeviewer to look at the installer Tome contents.) Opening the "Installer" folder/"ATI Update" folder shows a doc named "PowerMac G4 ATI Update".
The "AGP Update" file reminded me of a past update with the same name (one extension) over a year ago I think - it was later removed and I never really heard what it was actually supposed to fix/improve.
Two readers noted it installed on a G4 Digital Audio with Rage128 Pro AGP card and a DP450 system. (The DP450 owner didn't note the graphics card he had installed - I assume an ATI card.)

    " The "Apple ATI 1.1 Update" worked on my G4 (Digital Audio) 466Mhz, which shipped with the ATI Rage 128 Pro card. Funny that the description only mentions G3s.
    - Tony"

    " I was able to install the ATI update on my 450Mhz MP [Dual G4] box with 1.1 gig. I had no problems with the install process.
    Joel H."

Another early (sawtooth) G4/AGP owner noted the installer would not run on his machine - .

    " Hey, I read your web site almost everyday, but I have never written before. Just wanted to let you know my experience with the new ATI update.
    I tried the ATI Update 1.1 on my G4 350 with the original AGP Rage 128 Pro 16 Mb card installed and the installer failed to work.
    However, I recently installed (successfully) the newest Radeon Retail driver update (although i only have the Rage 128 Pro). Perhaps the installer may not be letting people install the ATI 1.1 update if they had previously installed the Radeon update? Just a thought, as I would assume my machine meets all the requirement to install this latest update...
    Dan L. "

Note: This installer, etc. for this update was not written by ATI so they can't answer anything about it. There's two basic theories about the purpose of this update:

  • It's a fix for some existing (current version) AGP library issue with certain G4/AGP systems that have ATI cards installed.
  • It may fix the "wake from sleep" issue that was noted with 2001 Digital Audio to fall 2001 Quicksilver G4 towers with the 8500 Radeon card.

I was able to run the instaler on a Digital Audio G4/533 DP today with a 8500 Radeon card installed. I had previous verified the ATI comments in the original 8500 readme file about wake from sleep issues with this machine and the 8500 card. After the update that issue has been solved.

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Apple ATI 1.1 Update
(See above for more info on this update - it's only a single AGP Update extension.)
Late yesterday an "Apple ATI 1.1 Update" appeared at Versiontracker. The info there as of this morning said it was related to RagePro/Rage128 cards and powerMac G3/iMac, etc. but that description has now been changed as of this afternoon to note it's for wake from sleep issues with some G4/AGP macs and ATI cards. (see my later comments above for more info.)
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive /Cardreader Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 7 new reports added today. The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 7,087 reports. Here's a summary listing of today's new reports. (Does not include updates to previous entries)

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drive Reports:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-104 in Dual G4 (OS X)

    DVD-ROM Drive Reports:
  • IDE Lite-On 16x/48x in B&W G3 (OS 9.1)
  • IDE Raite RDR-108H 8x/?x in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands)
  • IDE Toshiba SD-M1612 16x/48x in G4/AGP 2001 (OS X)

    SCSI CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Yamaha CRW 6416S 6x4x16x (Ext.) used w/7500 (OS X)
  • Yamaha CRW 6416S 6x4x16x in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Seagate ST380021A 80GB in G4 Cube (OS X)

You can find full owner reports (latest shown first) by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the IDE Articles page. The Firewire articles page also has guides on case kits, installing drives, etc.
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. [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.]

(Entries today will be added the following newsday. Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 3 new reports. (Total to date: 6,963). [Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning. Incomplete entries, those with not comments, missing info, etc. are deleted]
Here are the new entries (does not include update/added comments to previous reports):

  • Apple Dual G4/450 in G4/AGP 500 [single] (rated 9)
  • Other World Computing G4/500 in B&W G3 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix Bluechip G4/500 in PowerBook G3 Wallstreet2 (rated 9)

(Warning - Overclocking may not be reliable and could lead to hardware failure or corrupted data.) You can find the 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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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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