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News Archive for Tuesday April 15th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

News stories of April 15th, 2003:

Sonnet announces the first 1GHz G4 ZIF CPU upgrade
(clip from their press release)

"Sonnet Technologies announces the new Encore/ZIF G4 1.0 GHz model, the fastest processor upgrade available for Power Macintosh models with "ZIF" (Zero Insertion Force) processor sockets. This upgrade utilizes the 745X series of Motorola G4 chips, has 256K L2 and 1MB L3 cache, and delivers total processor performance of up to ten times that of the original systems. The first shipping version of the new Encore/ZIF G4 1.0 GHz is compatible with Beige G3 Power Macintosh models. Announcements of additional speeds and further compatibility with Blue & White and G4 PCI Graphics systems are expected in the coming weeks.

The completion of this project required that significant issues in voltage, logic, temperature and other key parameters be resolved. "Sonnet has once again overcome obstacles that others thought to be insurmountable," states Robert Farnsworth, Sonnet's President and CEO. "Sonnet adds this innovation to our broad support for the Macintosh." The new Encore/ZIF installs in minutes, integrates seamlessly with all software applications, and supports all operating systems from Mac® OS 8.6 through OS X.

Availability and Pricing
The Encore/ZIF G4 1.0 GHz model will be shipping soon at the following MSRP:
Encore/ZIF G4 1.0 GHz-1M EG4-1000-1M $699.95 "

Sonnet has updated their Encore ZIF product page to include the 1GHz model. I assume the dual fanned heatsink pictured there is for the 1GHz model. (I had wondered how they were cooling a 1GHz G4 in a Beige G3 case.) Granted $700 is a lot to spend on a CPU upgrade for an older PCI mac, but I've asked Sonnet for a review loaner when their B&W G3 compatible model is available. (For comparison to previous tests with a PL G3/800 and OWC G4/533-550 at up to 600MHz.)

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Plextor's Higher Capacity 52x32x52x CDRW Drive
Cnet has an article today about a new PlexWriter Premium CD writer than can burn smaller pits to pack more data per disc. The article cites up to 980MB of data on a 700MB/80min CD and up to 1.2GB on an 880MB/99min disc. The article mentions using a "GigaRec" option in the PlexTools bundled software but it looks like that software will be PC only. I checked Plextor's website and found the press release on the new ATAPI (IDE) PlexWriter(tm) Premium 52x32x52x drive which also mentions a "SecuRec(tm)" feature that offers password protection for discs. The press release notes a MSRP of $129.00 USD.
No mac software was listed on the press release or the Premium drive product page, although the latter does list "Mac compatible (software not included)". Unknown if the drive would be bootable from CD in Macs (often a sore point with some drives) and no iApps burn support yet at least - but editing the plextor plugin file isn't hard to do to add the drive model number. I wonder if Roxio can update Toast to include an option for the GigaRec (higher capacity write) feature...
There was a higher density Sony CD recorder drive model a year or so ago, but not much feedback on it (maybe one report I remember back then).
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Mac Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo Due Soon
"Hi Mike, The UT2003 demo for Mac is "coming soon", which basically means they have a final release version ready for testing.
The enclosed link is a (Infogrames) forum post by Marc Rein, the Vice President of Epic Games.
http://www.ina-community.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=287556
-- Scott"

The forum thread VP's comments was posted yesterday saying the demo hopefully will be released this week - but only time will tell.

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Some MDD G4 Macs have USB 2.0 Controller Chip?
Update - Dr. Dennis Hong sent a translation of the Korean createmac.com page linked earlier today (Babelfish translation wasn't useful as I noted earlier):

" Newest USB 2.0 Chipset Installed on the Power Mac?
I have discovered the NEC PD720101 chipset while checking out the new PowerMac MDD 1.25 Dual motherboard. This chipset is a USB 2.0 chipset where the earlier PowerMac models only had the wirings for USB 2.0 while the new models (new PowerMacs) now have the USB 2.0 chipset (already on the motherboard) thus if we can only get the driver it seems that we will be able to use it (USB 2.0) right away.
Is there anyone who has a Mac version of the driver for this chipset? ... I assume not.
If you go to this address (NEC english page on USB 2.0 chip) detailed instructions are available and you can download the drivers for Windows.
By the way, this chip is only installed on the two top models (1.25 dual and 1.42 dual). Is there anyone out there who has information or drivers on this chip?"

Thanks to Dennis for the translation.
(original reader mail from the noon update)

"While browsing a Korean Mac magazine site, I found this interesting (createmac.com) article. It's about the USB 2.0 controller chipset on MDD Power Mac 1.25 and 1.4 motherboards. According to this article, the controller is made by NEC, model number µPD720101.
The article is in Korean, but basically what it describes the NEC USB 2.0 controller. It also mentions about the driver saying that Mac version is not available yet.
Here is the link for the controller;
http://www.necel.com/english/system/usb/product/upd720101.html
It looks like we already have USB 2.0 built-in Power Macs. I guess it's just matter of time. Hopefully Apple will add the driver to an updater soon.
- Ki"

I tried Babelfish to translate the page, but it doesn't do a very good job. The page has a photo of the chip (enlarged) which shows the location and marking.

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iCommune 2.0a1 (iTunes music sharing over a network)
A reader sent a note that http://icommune.sourceforge.net/ lists a 2.0a1 version of iCommune (v1 was pulled after a licensing issue with Apple reportedly). Here's a clip from that page:

    "Commune is an application that extends Apple's iTunes to share music over the network. You can share the music in your iTunes library and access other iCommune music collections. iCommune music collections appear as playlists in your iTunes window. You can browse through them, and choose to stream or download the music they contain.
    The new version of iCommune is finally available for download. It's definitely an alpha version, but it seems to work pretty well for me. Enjoy!"
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Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 Updater 1.0.1
Just saw the Tony Hawk 3 1.0.1 update listed at Macupdate, although it's dated yesterday. Changes noted: "Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 Updater 1.0.1 allows you to play in multiplayer mode using the GameRanger service as well as play with others across a network."
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Prosoft Data Safety System Software Bundle
I've not used this software, but Prosoft Engineering sent a press release regarding a reduced price bundle including Data Rescue X, Data Recycler X and Data Backup X, for $149.00 (regular price $187.00).
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports this morning (reader entries from yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,297. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple QS G4/867 module in G4/466 AGP (rated 10)
    (FAQ Apple G4 section has offsite link to how-to on QS to Gigabit module swap/mods)
  • Giga Designs G4/1.25GHz in G4/500 AGP (rated 8)
    (full review/specs/settings here)
  • Giga Designs G4/1GHz in G4/450 AGP (rated 7)
    (full reviews here)
  • Powerlogix G4 1.2GHz Dual in G4/500 AGP (rated 7)
  • Powerlogix G4/800 in G4 Cube (rated 1)

(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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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 5 new reports added (reader entries from yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). 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 10,280 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    Multi-Format Card Reader:
  • PCMCIA slot Sandisk SDDR-65 used w/PowerBook G3 wallstreet2 (OS 9.2) (noted wake from sleep problems if mounted)

    IDE CDRW Drives:
  • ASUS CRW-4816A (48x16x48x) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands, using modified burn support plugin)
  • HP 9100+ (didn't note speed rating) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
  • Plextor PX-W4824TA/SW 48x24x48x in Beige G3 (OS 8.6)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD/DVD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs.)

    SCSI CDRW Drives:
  • Ricoh MP7060S (6x4x24x) used w/8500 (OS X)
    (using modified burn support plugin)

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.)
(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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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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