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News Archive for Thursday, August 26th, 2004Return to Accelerate Your Mac!


News stories of August 26th, 2004: (Later posted items first)
High Resolution Pictures Of The G5 Liquid Cooling System
(from a reader mail today)

" High Resolution Pictures Of The G5 Liquid Cooling System (link disabled after photos removed)
I just made a new .Mac photo album of my 2.5Ghz G5 processor. I hope you like the Cube vs G5 (core) picture.
James. "

The last photo shows the G5 radiator core beside the core of a G4 Cube (they're about the same size).

Updates to OmniWeb and Camino browsers (incl. security fixes)
OmniWeb 5.0.1 reportedly fixes several security issues as well as minor updates to the Help files.
Camino 0.8.1 also lists fixes for 4 security vulnerabilities, 1.72. Gecko engine, disables prebinding on Mac OS X 10.3.x and improved localization.
Sprint Certifies Xserve and QuickTime for PCS Vision Multimedia Services
Apple's news page today links to an announcement that Sprint Certifies Xserve and QuickTime as mobile multimedia delivery platforms for Sprint's new PCS Vision Multimedia Services.
Another Update to ATI/Nvidia OS X VRAM Reporting Utility
MU lists another update (2nd in 2 days) to ATI Nvida Get VRAM, the reader utility that provides video ram usage info in OS X. (A feature in ATI's OS 9 control panel, but not in the OS X versions.)

" Supported Cards: ATI 7000, 7200, 7500, 8500, 9000, 9200, 9600, 9700, 9800 and all NVIVIA cards...
Version 0.62:
  • added AGP MAP sum, added Texture Pagein sum, added GPU Time sum, fixed VRAM MIN value

    Requirements: Mac OS X 10.3 or later. (for) now, only works if one card is active. 2 card support will follow. "
  • IBM Article on 970FX G5 Power Usage/Vcore Limits
    (from M.Isobe, author of several previous articles on G4 CPU module designs on the Systems page.)

    " Dear Mike, ... I have found interesting document from IBM that is related to your Xserve G5 power usage reports. (this earlier page)
    Please read an article titled "Power envelope and power management in Power Architecture processors" (
    The article shows the power consumption of 970FX/2.5GHz in various power management mode. According to the article, 970FX with 1.3V Vdd has a reliability problem. So, the upper voltage is limited to 1.2V. I think it was the reason for the CPU Vcore was 1.2V in newer revision of Xserve G5.
    The article also stated that IBM's 90nm process has a problem that prevents operation below 1.0V Vdd. So, I can speculate current situation of 970FX;

    1) The reliability problem in high voltage (Vdd > 1.2V) operation inhibits faster (> 2.5GHz) chip,

    2) We cannot expect ULV revision for PowerBook because 90nm 970FX does not work below 1.0V.

    I am happy if this info is useful for your readers.
    Best Regards,
    Michiro Isobe "

    I've added this to the previous page on Xserve G5 (970FX)

    Notes on Mac Internal Optical Drive bus limits with 12x and Faster DVD Burners
    The internal optical (CD/DVD) IDE interface in Macs before the PowerMac G5 tower were generally ATA/3 (16.6MB/sec max in theory - less I'm suspect in practice) which hasn't really been a limiting factor with high-speed (i.e. 52x) CDR and most DVD drives in the past. However with new drives like the Pioneer DVR-108 (and others) that have 16x (max) DVD burn rates, it is (as far as peak rates - read on). Granted there's no 16x rated DVD media yet but some drives will allow selecting 12x rates with 8x rated media - and 12x DVD burn rates are appx 16.6MB/sec by my calculations. (16x DVD rates are just over 22MB/sec.)
    But remember like CDR "max" rates, typically the max is only for the outer tracks of the Disc. The DVR-108 is spec'd at 16x Max Z-CLV, so rates vary across the disc (inner/middle/outer zones) - average burn rate across the entire disc is much lower than the 'max' spec rate. (Update - I found a Cdrinfo review of the 108 drive which has a page with Nero graphs showing avg burn rates with several types of media, some 8x media allowed selecting 16x rates, although even max actual rates were less. Avg rates shown were in the 10-11x range. See table on that page.)

    A reader with a Pioneer DVR-108 wrote he moved the drive to a Firewire800 case as his solution for better performance, saying even his Oxford 911 FW case resulted in lower than normal performance (longer burn times than expected) for 12x burns. The Oxford 911 bridge is rated for ATA/66 at least so in theory it should be more than fast enough. I've seen ATA mode hard drives in Oxford911 cases sustain more than 30MB/sec with a single drive, but haven't tried a drive like a DVR-108 in a 911 FW case in ATAPI mode. (The source drive and media can also affect burn time/rates.)

    The PowerMac G5's optical bus is ATA/100 so this doesn't affect those systems.
    For owners of Mirror Drive Door Towers, you could run the cable from the secondary ATA/66 bus to the DVD drive for better performance than the ATA/3 interface. IDE PCI cards for older Macs are an option also, but they appear as SCSI typically (as do the connected drives), but that may not interfere with patchburn II profile support for the DVR-108. (No native iApps burn support for the 12x and 16x DVD burner models like this, so patchburn II is usually used in 10.3.x. Hopefully a future OS X update will have native burn support for the 108.)

    Reader report on UK iTunes Store Problems
    (from a reader mail yesterday)

    " UK iTunes Music store available from... date bugs.
    I have noted that several albums are giving the error Your Request Cannot Be Completed... xxxx Will Be Available In-store on xxxxx with available date in the past.

    Link to Tina Dico - Far in the Top 100 Albums says not available in store until 27 July 2004, yet if you search manually for it, it is available.

    Stereophonics link from opening iTunes store page shows a list of top albums, they are all not available yet giving dates in the past if you click them, eg.
    Moviestar EP 5 May 2004
    Just Enough Education to Perform - 17 April 2001! etc.

    Think there is a bug with the store here.
    I have filled a feedback bug report for the store.
    Neil "

    AlchemyTV DVR PCI Card reports updated
    I've updated the page of Reader Reports on the AlchemyTV/DVR PCI card with a postive report on the 2.1.2 software update for the card from a Dual G4/533MHz owner running 10.2.8.
    Apple Knowledge Base Doc Updates
    (from apple's mail list)

    CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
    The Drive Compatibility Database had 6 new reports added this morning. (Entries from Wednesday, entries today are added the next newsday morning.). The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, 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, USB, adapters). Current total 13,507 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)

      Combo DVD-CDR Drives:
    • IDE LG 4480B (48x24x48x +16x DVD-ROM) in PowerTower Pro using IDE PCI card (OS X) (didn't comment on iTunes burn support or booting from CD)
    • Exp. Bay Toshiba SD-R2512 in (Pismo) PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X 10.3)
      (using Patchburn II for Panther iApps burn support.
      Mac models page, Powerbook section has articles from 2001 on expansion bay combo drive installs/swaps.)

      DVD-R + DVD RAM Drives:
    • IDE Matshita UJ-825S in PowerBook G4 (OS X 10.3)
      (also filed under "DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW" category since it supports both DVD-R and DVD+R burning. No native iApps burn support so using Patchburn II for Panther.
      installation guide for PB G4 ti linked at the bottom of this OWC product page.)

      DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
    • Firewire (cased) Lacie (actually Pioneer DVR-107D drive) used w/Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.3) (native burn support in 10.3.3 and later.)
    • Exp. Bay Matshita UJ-825-B in (Pismo) PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X 10.3)
      (using Patchburn II for Panther iApps burn support.)
    • IDE Pioneer DVR-108 in (yikes) G4 no AGP (OS X)
      (no iApps burn support, said he tried patchburn 1.1 but wasn't successful.)

    For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the ATA/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 send a report.

    Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
    The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report this morning (entries from Wednesday), entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,525. Here's a summary of the report added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

    • Newer Tech G3/500 in PowerCenter 150 (rated 8)

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

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