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News Archive for Monday, August 30th, 2004Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of August 30th, 2004: (Later posted items first)
Reader Feedback on ATIcellerator II Overclocking Utility
Early this morning I posted a note/link on ATIccelerator II (overclocking util) and several desktop and powerbook owners sent reports on using it to overclock their ATI cards and onboard graphics chips. Some reports included benchmark tests. See the page of reader feedback/overclocking reports using ATIcellerator II.
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Sonnet updates 745x Cache Enabler Beta Software
Back when 10.3.5 was first released, several readers with Sonnet G4 745x (700MHz-1GHz) ZIF upgrades reported boot/startup problems using their original cache enabler. (PL's CPU Director didn't have this problem reportedly.) The fix was to remove the original Sonnet enabler and install their later Beta version. (See the 10.3.5 feedback page for notes on removal steps, etc.). Neil of Sonnet tech support sent an email they've updated the beta again:

" Mike, Just wanted to point out we posted beta 2 of our SonnetCache.kext to:
What we fixed is right at the top of the page.
(here's the change notes)
Bug Fixes, beta 2:
Fixes issue when booting from an external drive with Mac OS X and SonnetCache.kext installed where the system crashed (kernel panic) at startup. This issue occurred only when the drive was connected to a Mac with a 745x or 744x processor and without L3 cache, and used to boot the system.
Sonnet Customer Service "
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Slipy 1.2 utility for creating OS X install DVD disk images
In reply to last Friday's reader comments on using BootCD to create an updated 10.3.5/TechTool Pro 4.0.3 boot CD, another reader sent a note on "Slipy 1.2" which I had not heard of before:

(from the author's webpage info)
" Slipy is a utility used to create Mac OS X install DVD disk images from your existing Mac OS X install CD set. In addition, Slipy can create automated installs and will allow you to "slipstream" or add additional software installations to your install DVD. Once created, simply use Disk Utility to burn your custom image to DVD.
System requirements for Slipy 1.2: Mac OS X 10.3 or higher (including BSD subsystem)
Slipy author's website: (click more info link there)
VT Page for Slipy."
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More feedback on Virex 7.5 CPU usage, Prefs settings, etc.
Several readers wrote in reply to the earlier post today on Virex 7.5 being pulled (from VT and .Mac) and included their comments on CPU cycle usage, prefs settings, removing it, etc.
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Another Update to ATI/Nvidia OS X VRAM Reporting Utility
MU lists another update (3rd in the last week) 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: 0.701:
  • ATI 9600 is now listed as ATI 9600/0700/9800 (same card family)
  • changed code for 2 card detection, some users reported problems in detection - hope 701 fixes this

    Requirements: Mac OS X 10.3 or later. (for) now, only works if one card is active. 2 card support will follow. "
  • One PB G4 ti owner report there still mentioned a problem in graphics chip reporting.

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    Reader posts ATI Graphics card Dynamic Overclocking (on the fly) Utility
    (from a reader post yesterday - here's a clip from his web page)

    "ATIccelerator II
    ATIccelerator II comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. If you destroy your costly 9800 Pro or your now worthless Rage 128 because of a bug in this program or your careless utilisation of it, you're on your own!

    ATIccelerator II can change ATI graphics cards frequencies live, on-the-fly, under Mac OS X. It's much more sophisticated and convenient to use than ATIcceleratorY¥(I) for the following reasons:

    • no potentially dangerous flashing required
    • no cumbersome three-steps process (dump, modify, then reflash ROM)
    • no need to reboot for every frequency change
    • no OS 9 required (that's right, G5s and other recent OS 9-free Macs are now supported!)

    Graphics cards overclocking on the Mac finally comes out of stone age!

    • Mac OS X 10.3
    • An ATI graphics card

    A number of cards and chipsets have been successfully tested, from the Rage 128 Mobility to the Radeon 9800 Pro. However not everything from ATI available on the Mac was tested, so drop me a line if something looks suspicious. "

    I welcome feedback on this utility from readers (i.e. as far as how much reliable headroom is present in your graphics card or onboard graphics chip).
    (Updated - I've posted a page with reader feedback/overclocking reports using ATIcellerator II.)

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    Reader photos/notes on Replacement for Original Airport Card
    (from a reader email this weekend)

    I have found a good alternative for the original airport card (802.11b)
    Thanks, macinside
    (the photos show it working in OS 9.x, a reader asked if it worked in os X)
    this card works on mac os X.3 (tested with a emac) "

    The linked page has photos of the original Apple Airport card and an apparently identical form factor Sony Vaio card, which he installed and tested in an early iBook Airport card slot. From the photos the internal antenna cable is also connected.

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    Virex 7.5 pulled?
    (from a reader mail yesterday - updated with more comments)

    " Maybe you saw this already, but .mac and the links at VT/MU are now back to 7.2.1
    I forgot to mention the official word from Apple:

      "NOTE: Due to customer feedback and technical issues currently under investigation, we have temporarily discontinued distribution of Virex 7.5 from McAfee until further notice."

    I discovered this because I was getting frustrated by poor performance on my Ti867 pbook, and after running tests was looking at xbench scores that were substantially lower than past performance. Confounding the issue (and initially panicking me) was all the reports of ram issues with the 10.3.5 update. I rebooted off my firewire backup that still had 10.3.4, and all was good again.

    Then I started looking at a cpu gauge and noted a vshield process that I didn't recall from earlier taking up entirely too much cpu time. I searched my boot volume for everything with 'virex', threw it all in trash, and then restarted. Once the reboot was done, all was back to normal performance, including the bench scores from xbench.

    That got me looking for info on the web about this or any issues, and I came up dry. However, the fact that Virex 7.5 is gone, and my own experience, was all the confirmation I needed.
    Mike C. "

    Thanks Mike. I downloaded 7.5 but didn't install it yet. (One reader that did said she had to delete her previous 7.x prefs, but didn't mention other problems - however if it's been pulled I'd not suggest installing it.) I wonder if there's some prefs setting to disable any background processing/scanning. (See the later news item above for other reader feedback on this issue - including notes on prefs options/CPU cycle usage, etc.)

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    World of Warcraft Stess Testing Sign-up
    A reader sent a note that is now accepting sign-ups (first come/first served from North American residents) for the upcoming 7-day World of Warcraft stress test. For more info, see the World of Warcraft Stress Test Beta FAQ.
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    Apple forum thread on dual 2.5GHz fans/screen ripple effects
    A reader sent a note there's a forum thread at Apple's site with several dual 2.5GHz owners complaining about fan noise and several noting a "rippling" (tearing?) screen effect when scrolling and asked if any other Dual 2.5GHz owners had seen this. (I don't own a Dual 2.5GHz G5 but it almost sounds like the tearing seen in a game when vsync is off and the framerate exceeds the refresh rate).
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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 from the weekend, 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 13,517 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)

    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 3 new reports this morning (entries from the weekend, entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,529. Here's a summary of the report added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

    • Apple Quadra 605 Overclocking report
    • Apple B&W G3/350 Overclocking report
    • Giga Designs G4/1.2GHz in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)

      (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.)

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