News Archive for: 4/28/2005 Thursday's News (later posted items first)
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ATI Displays 4.5.1 and X800 ROM Updater (w/104 ROM) released
The updates I mentioned last night are released as promised at https://support.ati.com. (Follow the the recent topics list links down the page. Cookies required to be enabled in browser.) Since links directly to the specific ATI update pages don't usually work unless going to the root domain to set the cookie first, I'm including direct download links to save you time.
ATI Displays 4.5.1 update (download link). I already mentioned the changes (per a contact) last night but here's a link to the release notes.
Also the revised X800 XT ROM updater with the ability to flash back to the -104 ROM has been posted. Here's the release notes for it which has a "special notes" section:

" Special Notes
Added ability to downgrade to original ROM version 104 The updated April 2005 ROM installer now provides the ability to revert to\ the original ROM for the RADEON X800 XT MAC EDITION, in the unlikely event of kernel panics or boot issues known to occur in a small number of configurations. The ROM Update installer provides this downgrade option at setup (suggested to perform a Safe Boot), and may be used if you experience difficulties."

I didn't see any problems with ROM v107 with my 2003 G5/10.3.9 but many did. I'm going to stick with -107 for now (until a later version is released, which is in the works) but will update ATI Displays later.
For X800 owners that reported problems with the -107 ROM update (and didn't sign up for beta testing), if you flash back to -104 let me know if that solves your problems. Thanks.
(Note: within a few hours of posting this I've gotten a couple of mails from X800 owners saying reflashing back to the 104 ROM helped.)

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Reviews of Tiger/10.4
There's reviews of Tiger at Ars and the WSJ (less detailed)
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More on Tiger Burn Support (with drives not in the standard profiles)
I flagged this 2 days ago but kept forgetting to post it (got pushed far out of sight in the inbox). Note the "Burn Support: Yes (Unsupported)" profiler report (profile path: none) - not sure what OEM mechanism this drive is.

" I have an eMac (700 MHz model). My copy of Tiger came yesterday. (3 days ago-Mike) Today, I decided to purchase a double layer burner. I went to CompUSA and they're selling the I/O magic double layer burner for about $55 after rebate(s). I went home right away and installed it in my eMac. Once is everything was back into place, I manually opened my burner with a paper clip to open the tray and put Tiger in it. I turned on my comp and held down "C" and it booted from the DVD and it installed with no problem.
...After that, I went to System Profiler and chose disc buning. This is what it says:

    DVDRW IDE 16X:
    Firmware Revision: A07M
    Interconnect: ATAPI
    Burn Support: Yes (Unsupported)
    Profile Path: None
    Cache: 2048 KB
    Reads DVD: Yes
    CD-Write: -R, -RW
    DVD-Write: -R, -RW, +R, +RW, +R DL
    Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
    Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes
    Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO
    ....

    Seems like Tiger recognized the drive without me having to use Patchburn.

    (I asked he try burning in a disc in iTunes or iDVD just to verify it worked-Mike)
    ... I went to iTunes and burned an audio CD. It burns perfectly. In iDVD v5, I just did a 1 min video including a menu, just to test and guess what? It burns perfectly as well. No patchburn needed.
    -Charles "

Note - a reader with a similarly reported ("Unsupported"/no profile) drive reported that although he could burn in iTunes and the Finder, Disk Utility couldn't burn dmg files (media error reported) but said he saw the same problem in Panther (using Patchburn3).
I'm hoping that (finally), most any drive can be used with iApps in Tiger without requiring user installed profiles. (But a mail later today from a MDD owner that added a Teac CDRW that's not in the support lists below said the drive didn't have any burn support. I'm asking for more details now.)

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List of Burn Supported drives in Tiger
(from a reader mail yesterday)

" Hi Mike,
I was able to extract the vendor and product names of all CDRW/DVD+- RW drives from the DiscRecording Framework XLMs of 10.4. So all devices in this two lists should be supported by Tiger. The drive specific features seem to be embedded in a binary format, I had no luck decoding them.
As there is no list from Apple itself so far, this could be some nice information for your readers.
My own NEC3500AG in an Macpower Prefect II Firewire400/USB2 case works perfectly with tiger and all iApps. Keep up the good work!
Thanks, Ralf "

Here's the link to listings of Device support profiles and Vendor support profiles.
BTW - just because a drive is in a listing isn't a guarantee of no problems as even natively supported drives can have issues (due to firmware, media used or even the system/config)
See the later news item above (I'm 2 days late posting it) that has a report on an I/O magic "Brand" (boxed) drive that had iApps burn support with no profile path and a profiler report noting "Burn Support: Yes (Unsupported)". As always, if you install Tiger and have a replacement CD or DVD burner, please post a report in the drive database here.

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Apple Superdrive Firmware Update is for LG OEM drives
Last night I posted a link to the Apple Superdrive firmware update for 2004 G5s and USB 2.0 eMacs, but Apple didn't note which drive(s) it was for specifically. Since a G5 w/DVR-117D said it wasn't for that drive I asked for reader feedback if their drive was updated. This morning I had more than a dozen mails from readers that had their OEM LG/Hitachi (reported by ASP as "HL-DT-ST DVD-RW GWA-4082B") drives updated to firmware version C03D. (Previous firmware was C039 some said, but that could vary by build.) A reader said previously the drive would often only burn some brands of 8x rated DVD discs (like Memorex he said) at 4x instead of 8x and another reader said this update fixed a problem he had reading the original UT2004 DVD.
One reader examined the updater to find the drives affected:

" Hi Mike! Examining the code in the SuperDrive Firmware Update reveals the following:

Computers:
PowerMac6,4
PowerMac7,2
PowerMac7,3
PowerMac9,1

Vendor:
HL-DT-ST

Products:
DVD-RW GWA-4080B
DVD-RW GWA-4082B

Revision level:
C03D

Best regards,
Ulf Soderlund "

Thanks to all the readers that sent info on their drives.

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Newer Tech RoadTrip+ adds Charger to FM Transmitter
Site sponsor OWC sent a press release on a new model of the NewerTech RoadTrip FM Transmitter. The new RoadTrip+ ($27.95) includes a charging feature.
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More feedback on Techtool Pro 4.0.4
I've updated the TechTool Pro 4 Feedback and Tips page with more reader reports on the recent 4.0.4 update. (One reader that's getting Tiger on Friday said he was told to install the update after installing Tiger.)
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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 more notes on the 1.4.0 driver update (incl. notes on Tiger and a tip for a previous 10.3.x user's problems that may be due to a corrupted prefs/plist file.)
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Other Net News/Software Updates
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 4 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 - 14,617 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/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE NEC ND-3520A in G4/AGP (OS X 10.4)
    (burn support in Tiger, use Patchburn 3 for Panther iApps burn support. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model)
  • Firewire (cased) Pioneer DVR-109 used w/B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support.)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Serial ATA card connected Hitachi 250/160GB drives in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
    (Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here in B&W G3 rev2 and G4 towers up to the QuickSilver models. IDE articles page RAID section has an illustrated guide for adding 2 more drives in the side bays.)
  • IDE Seagate Momentus (5400 RPM) 100GB in PowerBook G4 (OS X 10.3)

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 1 new report this morning (entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,891. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Giga Design G4 1.4GHz in (Sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 8)
    (said one of his 256MB dimms was listed as unsupported after the upgrade install - odd.)

    (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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System/Video Card Benchmark Performance Database Updated:
The Mac Benchmark/Game Performance database has been updated with CineBench 2003 results at 1280x1024 from a (MDD) Dual G4 DDR 1.25GHz w/9600 Radeon card (modified G5 OEM card sold by OWC).
If you haven't already, enter your results with any of the game titles or benchmarks listed on the entry page (details on how to test are there). If you're curious how a CPU upgrade or new Video card would help game performance, the search page options can help you find similar system/configurations to get an idea before you buy.
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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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