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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 12/07/2001 Friday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of Dec. 7th, 2001:

Sonnet Duet Dual G4/500 Working in a G4 Cube (?):
Twice in the past year I've asked Sonnet if their Duet Dual G4/500 CPU upgrade for G4 Towers would work in a G4 Cube. (I asked again after the recent posting of the G4/450 Dual Cube modification page that used an Apple dual G4 module, and was told that it wouldn't, based on comments from Engineering.) As noted below, user made heatsink mods are required and Sonnet of course doesn't ship these - nor did they design the module for the Cube, so they can't officially recommend it for use in that Mac. However a reader today sent an email noting he's running a Duet in his Cube. (Note - before readers go out and buy one let me see if I can get one to test in my Cube to verify this. That way you might save some $$ and potentially your Cube. If I try one I'll do a step-by-step guide for posting here .)

" Hi,
I've been reading your site for over a year, ever since I was a hardcore PC user and now a hardcore Mac user and I just wanted to say how much I enjoy and appreciate the articles here.

After reading about Flemming's exploits, [Dual G4 Cube article] I decided to give it a try, however, having much difficulty finding the appropriate Dual G4 upgrade card, I decided to try the Sonnet Encore/ST G4 Duet 500x2 upgrade card for the PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics and Gigabit Ethernet models in my G4 450 Cube. I purchased the card from for $634.95 with free shipping. It came with a heatsink adapter for the Powermac G4 towers which I used to provide contact to the Cube's heatsink. I pried off the plate [?] for the original CPU card (insert a screwdriver under the clips) and placed the adapter directly onto the heatsink. It had to be placed a little off from the original plate to make sure that it was in contact with the 2 processors on the card and wasn't covering any of the screwholes.
The adapter comes precoated with some sort of thermal conductive paste which keeps it in place, and I used Arctic Silver II on the processors. The only problem is that the adapter is a little too thick (~5mm) and so when put it back together, I couldn't screw all the screws completely down. It's a tight fit, but the Cube will fit back into it's case and runs great. Haven't formally benchmarked it, but my iTunes encodes have gone from 7x to 14.4x and I've gotten faster framerates on Return to Wolfenstein.

I also installed an Enermax 80mm variable speed fan which I bought from for $9.99. The fan comes with a potentiometer on a separate wire, which I mounted on the inside of the cube, along the top, so I could easily adjust the speed while the cube was running. At it's lowest setting (1000rpm) it's practically inaudible, and if it get's really hot, I can turn it all the way up to 3000rpm and have it blowing. I've been keeping it on the lowest setting and I've been running at ~45-55's.

I attached a snapshot of my Apple system profile. [OS X] Sorry I couldn't get any pics of the installation, but if anyone really wants some I can try and take some.
I just wanted to share my experience with the Sonnet card. Thanks for all the great work on the site,

I asked if he could send photos, etc. to add to the previous Dual G4 Cube article.

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iPod Software Updater 1.0.2: Information and Download
This "updater" vanished from the web awhile back but it's back with an update. (Thanks to Tim OToole for the heads-up.) See Apple's iPod Software Updater 1.0.2: Information and Download page. (This update is said to fix the issue of not waking from sleep with a low battery that some have seen with the iPod.) Here's a clip from the readme:

    Changes since 1.0: iPod now supports additional languages, including Spanish, Italian, and Dutch. Power management in low battery conditions has been improved.

    The iPod Updater has two functions, update and restore.

    The update command downloads new software to an iPod. The update command may be disabled if the iPod does not need to be updated because it already has up-to-date software.

    The restore command returns an iPod to "factory fresh" condition. It erases and reformats the iPod before downloading new software.
    WARNING: The restore command erases all of the music and other data currently on the iPod."

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Would You Pay for Formac ProTV OS X Drivers?
" Mike-
I thought this was unusual, disappointing and a little funny and something ppl might want to know about if anyone is considering buying a Formac ProTV card. The just sent me this email (my bold):

Dear Formac customer,
Since there has been a high interest in OS X software for the ProTV stereo card, we are currently evaluating the possibility to provide OS X support in the future.

We are conducting a survey with our existing ProTV customers to find out how much they are willing to spend on an OS X software for their ProTV card. Please let us know the maximum amount you would spend and if you would be interested in purchasing our OS X software. Based on the result of the survey Formac will decide if an OS X development is feasible.

For customers with immediate need for OS X software we offer an upgrade program from the ProTV stereo card to the Formac studio which has a built in TV/FM tuner and works under OS X. For details please check our website after December 15th.

We look forward to your response and thank you for choosing Formac.
Your Formac Team

I got one to do some vhs capture for a client (it doesn't really do 640x480 btw- the frame rates drop too much and the sound doesn't sync anymore. 320x240 is the best it can do). Also, the Formac studio costs more than mini-dv cams i've seen that have analog in.
matt "

I wonder if they're going to send a similar email to owners of the Proformance III graphics card.

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Lite-On 24X IDE CDRW Owner Comments on Authoring Support 1.1.5 Update:
Last night's news noted the (OS 9) Authoring Support 1.1.5 update. This is the 2nd reader email noting "support" for the Lite-On 24x10x40x model (which is not in the list of supported drives at Apple to date).

" Mike,
Just to add extra confirmation to the news you had earlier, the Authoring Support update does seem to now offer iTunes support with the Lite On 24102B. I've enclosed the tome view of the files since it will not install on my non-factory installed USB Beige G3 and had to use Tome Viewer (very handy) to extract the files.

This now seems to makes the Lite On 24102B compatible with the latest Apple drivers, Disc Burner and iTunes. Although I'll do a full series of tests this weekend and post the results.

I only bought my drive this week thanks to recommendations from the XLR8[yourmac] bulletin board and was going to give a full report this weekend. Of course this now makes it a lot easier to use since it's compatible with virtually everything now! Timely reporting! :)
Thanks for the great work and information.
Lee Dempsey"

I'll post Lee's burn test comments when received. (It's always best to actually test burning even if the drive appears to be supported.)
*Update* See Lee's drive database entry (Dated 12/8/2001 - search under Lite-On as brand, IDE as interface, CDRW as drive type and Beige G3 as mac model) where he comments on iTunes 2 (8x max burns) and issues seen in Discburner. This may be why Apple does not list the lite-on 24x as supported (officially).

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More Performance Tests/Comparisons with Virtual PC version 5:
I've updated the page of Virtual PC V5 Tests in OS 9 and OS X to include more reader reports. (The page also includes results noted in yesterday's news.)
Although benchmarks like Cinebench do emulate applications performance (Cinebench tests 3D rendering/graphics performance), I'd also like some real world applications test comparisons of VPC 5. If you run actual Applications tests comparing VPC 5 in OS 9 and OS X (or VPC 4 to VPC 5) let me know. (include your mac system details.)
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Norton SystemWorks (OEM) For $19.97, Personal Firewall for $14.99:
Site sponsor OWC sent a note they have a sale on Norton Systemworks for Mac:

" Norton SystemWorks v1.0 OEM CD, Brand new Only $19.97!
includes Norton Utilities 6, Norton AntiVirus 7, and Dantz Retrospect Express for only $19.97 and only from OWC. Free regular upgrades to latest 6.x and 7.x versions of Norton Util and AntiVirus downloadable from the Norton website!
Best Regards,
Larry O'Connor
Other World Computing, Inc."

They also have Norton's personal Firewall for $14.99. (I paid $100 for that bundle on special from Symatec last year.)

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Unibrain's FireNet for Mac OS X Performance Comments:
(See Update below with Comments from Rod of Astec. )

" Unibrain has just released Firenet for OS X.
They have an interesting test page (100baseT vs Firewire vs Gigabit) they conducted where it appears that networking under OS X is faster that networking under PC in all tests :

    "In all tests regardless the port used, Mac Networking is faster than PC networking, although Mac's CPU frequency is significantly lower than that of the PC."

The link to the test page :
A trial version of Firenet is avalaible @ their website.
Mike Perez"

Unibrain's comparison of Ethernet speeds is a bit lop-sided and not quite accurate, if Gigabit is connected as it would normally be using a Switch.

As I reported last May, with a copy to you, Gigabit is not what it should be on Macs, but it certainly isn't as slow as Unibrain would have you believe, nor is it faster than a PC implementation:

Subject: Gigabit Ethernet
Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 05:48 AM
From: Rod Paine
Unfortunately, nobody at Apple has commented on Gigabit Ethernet, with respect to actual data rates possible. I recently asked the question with respect to the new Mac OS X Server 10.0 performance:

Apple Discussions - Gigabit Performance?
The question has had zero responses to date.
I've seen about 300-350Mbps maximum data rates (HELIOS LANTest), or only 30-35% of Gigabit wire speed, which our clients are not interested in spending money on. In the meantime, I've looked at Windows 2000 Servers delivering 800Mbps via GbE connections, so it's clear that it works, but not very well in the Macintosh GbE environments.

With a half-dozen clients who want to implement GbE, I'd certainly like to see Apple do or say something about it.
ASTEC Company, Inc., Virginia, USA"

Also see the previous Gigabit/NIC performance pages here such as this one. (Given some past comments on Firenet from readers way back, I wonder how reliable it is. One reader has also noted he can't get FireNet working in this forum thread.)

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 13 new reports added this 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, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 5,722 reports. [Entries after Midnight are added the following newsday morning.]
(Note - ** Please include your CD/CDRW Drive Speed in the entry **. And Please do not post questions in the database, use email for that and check the database and articles here for answers/tips/guides first. Incomplete entries, those with no comments, etc. are deleted.)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports
  • Lite-On LTR-24102B 24x10x40 in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
  • Yamaha CRW2200EZ (20x10x40x) in Starmax (OS 9.1)
  • TDK Velocd (24x10x40x) in Starmax (OS 9.1)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports
  • Iomega 24/10/40 (IDE drive in Unspecificed Firewire case) used w/PB G4 (OS X)
  • Lacie 24x10x40x U&I used w/73-75-7600 (OS 9.1)
    [didn't note specific mac model]
  • Que 16/10/40 used w/PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X)

    USB CDRW Drive Reports
  • Freecom Classic Series CD-RW 4x4x6 used w/G4 AGP (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands)
  • Que 4x4x8x used w/G4 Cube (OS X)
    [No Itunes/Discburner support]

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports
  • Que M3 80GB used w/G4 Cube (OS X)
    (problems noted - but not sure he's updated to 10.1.1 which solved some past issues with FW drives and 10.1 noted here some months back)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports
  • IBM 60GXP 60GB in Starmax (OS 9.1)
  • IBM 60GXP 60GB in B&W G3 with IDE PCI Card (OS 9.2)
  • Western Digital WD600ABRTL 60GB in iMac slot loading (OS 9.2)

    Removable Media Drive Reports
  • IDE Iomega ZIP 100 in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
    (problems noted, perhaps jumper/drive related)

You can find full owner reports 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.]

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CPU Upgrades Owner Reports Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 7 new reports this morning. (total to date: 6,489). [Entries after midnight are posted the next newsday morning.]

  • Other World Computing G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Other World Computing G4/500 in B&W G3 (rated 9)
  • Other World Computing
  • PowerLogix Bluechip G3/466 in PB G3 wallstreet1 (rated 7)
  • Powerlogix G3/375 in PowerCenter Pro 210 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in 6100/66 (rated 1)
    (updated report - problems noted)
  • Sonnet G3/466 in 8600/250 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 10)

(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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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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Software Updates and Other Net News Links
(Barney's tied up tonight so the list is very light, sorry)

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