News Archive for: 4/27/2005 Wednesday's News (later posted items first)
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Superdrive Firmware Update (2004 G5s, eMac USB 2.0 models)
The update is available via software update and at
http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/superdrivefirmwareupdate.html.
Apple doesn't mention which OEM drive models are affected, only listing Mac models:

" SuperDrive Firmware Update
The SuperDrive Firmware Update delivers updated SuperDrive firmware to improve reliability when accessing DVD and CD media.

Systems:
- Power Mac G5 (June 2004)
- Power Mac G5 (Late 2004)
- eMac (USB 2.0)
System Requirements: Mac OS X v. 10.3.8 and greater "

A reader with a G5 with Pioneer DVR-117D (firmware B705 per Apple System Profiler) wrote the updater said it wasn't needed.
(Update - see Thursday's news for notes on the OEM LG/Hitachi drives this update is for.)

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ATI Displays update due Tomorrow, also Flasher w/previous X800 ROM version
Tomorrow ATI should be posting an updated ATI Displays app. (It does not address the X800 kernel panic problems, but there're working on a ROM update for those that had problems with the previous -107 update.)
The ATI displays update is to add VersaVision (display rotation) support to the following OEM graphics cards/onboard graphics if you're running OS 10.4/Tiger:

  • RADEON 9800 Pro (G5)
  • RADEON 9800 XT (G5)
  • RADEON 9600 Pro (G5)
  • RADEON 9600 XT (G5)
  • Mac Mini

That's basically the only change from version 4.5 I hear. Here's a quote on VersaVision (display rotation):

"VERSAVISION, hardware accelerated display rotation, was introduced by ATI with the first retail RADEON 9800 Pro card for the Power Mac G4 and G5, and later added to other retail offerings. It's now available on all our current retail products and with Tiger is being added to numerous ATI OEM installations (built-in and Build-To-Order graphics). ATI Displays 4.5.1 marks the first version of ATI Displays to support these new additions, but be looking for future updates to support the rest of the ATI line-up in Apple configurations very soon."

I thought a past reader post here on Tiger noted display rotation support for his OEM ATI card in Apple's Tiger display prefs IIRC. (Can't remember the details now or find that archived news item right now.)

I also believe they will post a revised X800 ROM flasher with that will include an older ROM (-104) as well as the -107 version released previously. That will allow anyone experiencing problems with 107 to revert back to the original ROM. (As mentioned yesterday, they're running beta tests for a future update to resolve the problems some X800 owners reported with the -107 update.)

While on the subject of ATI, they've posted a press release on the Mac 9650/9600 models available with the revised G5s today. (Original 2003 G5s had a 9600/64MB card option used in some previous reviews here and 2004 models had a 9600XT/128MB card option. These had ADC + DVI ports, but neither were dual-link.)

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Info on Quicktime Pro 7 (for 10.3.9 and later)
Jeremy sent a note that you can buy QT Pro 7 now at the apple store. His apple store link included a sessionID and timed out but following Apple's QT product page finds a link to http://www.apple.com/quicktime/buy/ with info on the requirements and a note about a QT 7 update for Panther due on the 29th:

" Important notes:
QuickTime 7 Pro for Mac OS X requires QuickTime 7 to be installed. QuickTime 7 is available for Tiger and Panther starting April 29, 2005. (emphasis mine) Before purchasing QuickTime Pro 7, make sure you've already installed QuickTime 7. If you haven't, please click here to do so now.

System Requirements for QuickTime 7 Pro for Mac OS X:

  • A 400 MHz PowerPC G3 or faster Macintosh computer
  • At least 128MB of RAM
  • Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or later
  • QuickTime 7"

  • (BTW - I've been offline the since about 2PM working on the Bullitt and haven't had time to read/post the most recent mails this afternoon on TechTool Pro 4.0.4, notes/replies on the Revolution 7.1 driver 1.4 issues mentioned earlier today (reportedly fixed in the release version of Tiger) and other topics including a reader's list of all drives w/burn support in Tiger. I'll post these/update the related pages tomorrow.)

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    ATI 9650, X850 and 30in Cinema Display Support
    " Hi Mike, I just noticed something on Apple's store that is confusing. Apple's product page on the 30" Cinema Display states that the new ATI Radeon 9650 can drive the 30" screen
      "The 30-inch Cinema HD Display is so big, it requires the next level of graphics technology. The ATI Radeon 9650 and NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics cards for the Power Mac G5 deliver, with the most advanced graphics engines available for Mac. "

    When you build a Powermac and click on the "Learn More" button in the displays section, it states that the 30" display:

      "Requires Power Mac G5 with either the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL or GeForce 6800 GT DDL graphics card. Requires Power Mac G5 with ATI Radeon X850 XT or NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics card. "

    But the X850 XT isn't being offered as a choice...and I don't remember that card being offered in the past, and it doesn't mention the 9650. Any thoughts?
    Thanks, Kevin "

    After getting his email I checked the Apple store G5 options "learn more" link on graphics cards (instead of the Displays learn more page) and it says that one of the 9650's DVI ports is dual link/supports the 30in Cinema display. (I've also written a contact to verify that was true - it is.) I'm guessing they just hadn't updated some areas to mention the 9650 was compatible. And maybe the X850 is coming soon... I expected a BTO X800 (series) model to appear eventually, guess Apple opted for an X850 since the Mac X800 XT has been available at retail for months now. (Only PC X850's previously available.)
    BTW - I updated the previous post on the new G5s to mention that the new 9650/9600 cards don't have an ADC port (after a reader wrote he was upset over having to buy an adapter for use with his previous model Cinema Display) and to highlight the new dual 2GHz model no longer has PCI-X slots (mentioned in the feature list but a reader suggested I point that out specifically).
    They still had some leftover previous models (refurbished) on the Special Sale page at reduced prices if someone wants to pick one of those up. (\I've received SPAM from several web dealers offering up to $600 off previous list prices for older models.)

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    Notes on Revolution 7.1/Driver 1.4.0 problems w/Tiger
    (Update - I've had a mail saying the problem John notes below was supposed to be fixed in the release version of Tiger. I asked if he was running the release build.)
    I don't own a Rev 7.1 card to verify this but posting as a FYI:

    "Tiger won't Reboot or Shutdown with the 1.40 Driver installed. It has been confirmed several places, and I can confirm that as well. It may have all sorts of new features, but hold off on this one.
    -John
    (I asked if the previous driver version worked in Tiger.-Mike)
    I haven't seen any identifiable problems with the 1.29 driver. I ripped out the 1.40 and reinstalled 1.29. It seems to be fine. "

    I'll add this to the Revolution 7.1 reports page also.

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    Apple cuts prices on 20in and 23in Cinema Displays
    Apple has cut pricing on their Cinema Display 20inch (now $799) and 23inch (now $1499) models. The 30in remains at $2999. (I'll add this later to the previous page here of Alum Cinema Display reports.)
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    Apple updates PowerMac G5 Line
    Apple has updated the PowerMac G5 line with new mods as rumored (specs here). The Apple store shows they're available now (shipping in 1-3 days ETA listed this morning).

      1.8GHz PowerPC G5
      600MHz frontside bus
      512K L2 cache
      256MB DDR400 SDRAM
      Expandable to 4GB SDRAM
      80GB Serial ATA
      8x SuperDrive
      Three PCI Slots
      NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
      64MB DDR video memory
      56K internal modem
      US $1,499.00

      Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
      1GHz frontside bus/processor
      512K L2 cache/processor
      512MB DDR400 SDRAM
      Expandable to 4GB SDRAM
      160GB Serial ATA
      16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
      Three PCI Slots
      (prev. Dual 2GHz had PCI-X)
      ATI Radeon 9600
      128MB DDR video memory
      US $1,999.00

      Dual 2.3GHz PowerPC G5
      1.15GHz frontside bus/processor
      512K L2 cache/processor
      512MB DDR400 SDRAM
      Expandable to 8GB SDRAM
      250GB Serial ATA
      16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
      Three PCI-X Slots
      ATI Radeon 9600
      128MB DDR video memory
      US $2,499.00

      Dual 2.7GHz PowerPC G5
      1.35GHz frontside bus/processor
      512K L2 cache/processor
      512MB DDR400 SDRAM
      Expandable to 8GB SDRAM
      250GB Serial ATA
      16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
      Three PCI-X Slots
      ATI Radeon 9650
      256MB DDR video memory
      US $2,999.00

    Travis wrote to say both the Dual 2.3GHz and Dual 2.7GHz models are liquid cooled.
    FYI - The new ATI 9650 and 9600 cards don't have an ADC port but the 9650 is listed as supporting the 30in Cinema display (one of the DVI ports is a Dual Link) For previous model Cinema (ADC) owners, you'd need to buy a DVI-ADC adapter. (ATI now has a press release on these cards.)
    Curtis wrote to say that apple's "Special Deals" page (see Apple store link) has some (refurbished) previous models listed (prices as of 1PM ET today and some models are going fast..):

      Power Mac G5 Dual 1.8 GHz SuperDrive = $1,499.00
      Power Mac G5 Dual 2.0 GHz SuperDrive = (no longer there as of 1PM ET)
      Power Mac G5 Dual 2.5 GHz SuperDrive = $2,299.00

    These may be gone by the time you read this... but other mail order dealers with previous model stock will likely cut prices (later in the day I received SPAM from several online mac dealers mentioning up to $600 off previous model list prices).

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    Salling Clicker 2.2.1 released (Tiger ready)
    Matthew sent a note that Jonas has officially released Clicker 2.2.1 which is Tiger compatible. (A reader post yesterday mentioned he'd used v2.2.1 with Tiger OK from a link in Jonas' forums.)
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    First feedback on Techtool Pro 4.0.4
    I didn't run the TechTool Pro 4.0.4 updater since it said it required a reboot (and I didn't want to do that last night) but I've added several reader reports today on it to the TechTool Pro 4 Feedback and Tips page. Only one so far noted a problem applying the update - not sure why. (That page has past tips on creating updated boot cds also using BootCD as well as other methods.)
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    Report on IE not installed with Tiger (Stuffit Expander and Acrobat reader also MIA)
    I can't say as I use Internet Explorer much anymore other than to check any bugs I see in other browsers (I use Safari and Firefox primarily) but a reader sent a note that IE wasn't installed with Tiger:

    " Hi Mike, I'm a long time reader of your site.
    I'm one of the people who received a shipment Tiger early, and have had a chance to play around with the system for several days. I haven't made the jump yet to make it my main system (I have it installed on an external Firewire drive for now), but can see that it will be a useful upgrade.

    Anyway, I noticed something almost immediately upon using the system: Internet Explorer is nowhere to be found after doing an erase-and-install on the external FW drive. I thought that maybe the application was hidden in some extras/utilities folder, but Spotlight doesn't find it. I searched the install DVD as well for "explorer" and didn't find anything.

    Perhaps I'm just not looking hard enough, but it certainly isn't anywhere in the Applications folder.
    I use Safari 99% of the time, but Explorer, of course, is still useful for certain sites.

    I guess we have to download it from Microsoft's site...
    Michael "

    A reader also wrote to say he kept IE installed as some airport/motel, etc. wireless portals required IE for authorization in his experience and that IE 5.2.3 seems OK under Tiger.
    I've also gotten a report that Stuffit Expander and Acrobat reader are also no longer installed (haven't got tiger to verify that but some readers said Acrobat has been removed since 10.3.5 CDs). I wonder if the omission is due to a licensing or a compatibility issue with current versions. (If anyone can verify compatibility let me know.) I personally rarely use Acrobat reader anymore (Preview works ok for most of my needs) but unless Tiger's archive (for ZIP format) has been updated to support other formats (like .sit) I'll want to install Stuffit Expander. (Avoided using Stuffit versions later than 7.x before but probably won't have a choice for Tiger if 7.x doesn't work with it.)

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    Revolution 7.1 Audio card reports page updated (1.4.0 driver feedback)
    I've updated the Revolution 7.1 reports/tips page with AJ's comments on the 1.4.0 driver update which had a couple of issues he said. (Perhaps a corrupted prefs/plist file.)
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    CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
    The Drive Compatibility Database had 7 new reports added this morning. (Entries today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 14,613 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports)

      DVD-R + DVD RAM Drives:
    • IDE Panasonic SW-9585 in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
      (includes DVD-RAM speed tests but no comments on iApps burn support.)

      DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
    • IDE LG GSA-4163B in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
      (Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model)
    • IDE Pioneer DVR-K04L in Mac Mini (OS X 10.3)
      (native burn support, but like some past reports on the mac mini page - noted only 2x burns instead of 8x and some buffer underruns.)
    • IDE Pioneer DVR-109 in G5 Tower (OS X 10.3)
      (Noted performance problems after updating from 1.05 to 1.40 firmware. Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support.)
    • Firewire (cased) Pioneer DVR-109 used w/Dual G4 (OS X 10.3)
      (Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support.)
    • Firewire (cased) Samsung TS-H552B/WBCH used with (MDD) Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.3)
      (Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support. Burn problems noted however)
    • IDE Sony DRU-720A in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
      (Problems noted with discs mounting. No native burn support so using Patchburn 3.)

    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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    Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
    The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 4 new reports this morning (entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,890. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

    • Apple B&W G3/400 OC report (at 450MHz)
    • Giga Designs G4 1GHz/1.2GHz in G4/AGP (rated 10)
    • Giga Designs G4 1.5GHz in G4 Cube (rated 10)
    • Sonnet G4 1.2GHz in (Digital Audio) G4/AGP (rated 4)
      (problems noted)

      (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

    (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).

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    Recent Reviews and Articles:
    Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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