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News Archive for Monday, December 15th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of Dec. 15th, 2003: (later posted items first)
Photos of Giga Designs Dual G4 CPU Upgrade
Jamie Dresser of OWC sent a note he's posted a page of photos of the new Giga Designs Dual G4 CPU upgrade. (Pix of the heatsink, module, CPUs, etc.)
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PowerMac G5 Firmware Update 5.1.4 released
Thanks to John and Robert for the heads-up on a firmware update for the G5s:

"PowerMac G5 firmware update 5.1.4
This firmware update provides changes for initializing and running your Power Mac G5. It provides some performance improvements for some PCI-X configurations, patches a security hole and improves fan behavior in Open Firmware. "

After downloading the update, a window with instructions pops up. After reading the instructions, press shut down (in the window/dialog), then power the G5 back up - holding the power button in until you hear a long Tone. The G5 will then update the firmware (power LED flashes) and reboot. Checking Apple System Profiler on the Sept. 15th shipped Dual G5 here (which had a very early v5.0.2f2 boot rom as I mentioned back in Oct.) now shows boot rom v5.14f0.

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Halo Timedemo/Benchmark
(from a reader mail)

"Enclosed is a TimeDemo of Halo on Mac with the default options (even before running the game a first time.) I wanted to add that the card in use is a GeForce2MX (32MB) The system is an upgraded 1.47Ghz G4 (DP533 originally) with 1GB RAM.
Regards, Luis

Date / Time: 12/15/03 10:21:30 (0ms)
1500MHz, 1024MB
Macintosh HD\Applications\Halo\Halo Frames=4700
Total Time=187.57s
Average frame rate=25.06fps
Below 5fps= 4% (time) 0% (frames) (8.824s spent in 11 frames)
Below 10fps= 6% (time) 0% (frames)
Below 15fps= 11% (time) 3% (frames)
Below 20fps= 35% (time) 20% (frames)
Below 25fps= 54% (time) 37% (frames)
Below 30fps= 70% (time) 54% (frames)
Below 40fps= 90% (time) 81% (frames)
Below 50fps= 97% (time) 93% (frames)
Below 60fps= 99% (time) 97% (frames)
###Sound Options###
Hardware Acceleration= No
Sound Quality= Normal
Environmental Sound= No
Sound Variety= Low
###Video Options###
Resolution= 800 x 600
Refresh rate= 0 Hz
Framerate throttle= No Vsync
Specular= Yes
Shadows= No
Decals= Yes
Particles= Off
Texture Quality= High

For further information, please visit the timedemo FAQ at:"

Way down the linked page are timedemo comments. There's an option you can check to run a timedemo in the opening options window when running Halo on the Mac.

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Transintl has Travelstar 7200rpm/60GB hi-rel Notebook Drives
(email from site sponsor on the 'enhanced availability' version of the 7K60 Hitachi notebook drive)

" (Anaheim, CA, 15th December 2003) Trans Intl. today announced the availability of an industry first. The Enhance 7200 RPM Mobile Hard Disk Drive for 24x7 data-ready environments in a 2.5 inch form factor.

This drive offers enhanced features compared to standard mobile drives used in portable computers.

  • Designed for continuous operation to support 24x7 applications
  • The drive never sleeps. The enhance 7200 RPM drive is designed to allow users to leave it powered on around the-clock.
  • Supports a read/write duty cycle of up to 50 percent more than twice the level supported on standard mobile drives.

    Enhance 7200 RPM Mobile drive Technical Specifications and Performance characteristics:

    • Spindle Speed: 7200 RPM (Highest in mobile drives)
    • The lowest drive latency of 4.2 in 2.5 inch drives
    • Average Seek Time: 10 ms (milliseconds)
    • Delivering media transfer rates up to 518 Mbits/sec
    • The highest shock rating of : 1000G/1ms
    • Maximum Interface transfer rate (MB/sec) 100MB/sec Ultra DMA mode-5
    • Interface: ATA-6

    The New Enhanced Mobile 60 GB 7200 RPM drive is also available as an external FireWire/USB portable Disk Drive featuring the fastest sustained data transfer rate of (27-40 MB/s) enabled by an OXFORD 911 Fire Wire bridge chip.
    Click on the link below to read about this drive on our website:
    Click to upgrade Apple Powerbooks with the New Drive "

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    PCI Firewire and USB Card Deep Sleep Reports Page Updated
    I've updated the page of Firewire, USB 2.0 Combo PCI card deep sleep support for the latest reader reports. (Macally 5-Port USB 2.0 only card and a generic USB 2.0 card.)
    If you have tested a Firewire, USB or Firewire/USB combo PCI card for deep sleep/wake from sleep problems, let me know the card brand/model and your Mac model/OS details. (Remember connected devices can also cause problems - test w/o devices connected also.) Thanks.
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    Revolution 7.1 Audio Card 1.2.9 Driver update reports page updated
    I've updated the Revolution 1.2.9 driver feedback/tips page for two more reader reports. (Both noting kernel panics, one with the DVD player and another with games like RTCW.
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    TechTool Pro 4 Reports page updated
    I've updated the TechTool Pro 4 feedback page to include another reader report.
    If you've used TechTool Pro 4, I welcome your comments. (Include mac model used/OS version and if you've tested booting from the TTPro 4 CD on the latest mac models in reports. Remember it can take a long long time to boot from the TTPro 4 CD, even on a fast Mac - up to 10 minutes Micromat says.)
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    Another Xpostfacto/PB G3 Wallstreet/Panther report
    I'm late in posting this report from last week - another PB G3 wallstreet owner using XPostFacto 3 to install Panther. (Long email/comments)

    " re: Panther on Wallstreet
    XpostFacto 3.0a9, Carbon Copy Cloner, OSXvnc/Chicken of the VNC, IOXperts wireless driver, Cardbus/PCMCIA cards

    I have successfully installed Panther (Custom install, sans languages, iMovie and printer drivers, etc.) on a late release 14" TFT Wallstreet G3/233 with 384 mb of RAM. It has an IBM/Hitachi 40GB 40GNX 5400rpm drive, with a 3GB partition for Panther and 9.2.2 on the remaining larger, second partition. I've had none of the magnet/sleep problems others have discussed (unrelated to Panther - but as noted in many past reports over the years and a tip in my PB G3 WS HD upgrade guide, many travelstar drives have an issue with the magnetic sleep/lid sensor in the wallstreet-Mike), either with this drive or the previous IBM/Hitachi 20GB 4200rpm 40GN drive. In fact, Sleep and Wake from Sleep function perfectly on this Wallstreet in Panther both with the screen closed and open.

    Neither have I had the Graphics issues associated with the ATIRagePro plugin and I didn't need to remove it. (The WSII series has a RageProLT chip - the WS1 models have the RageII based RageLT chip. A previous RageLT/WS1 owner noted removing the driver, but others noted that was not neccessary. See Sat. news page archives listing for past reports from WS/Panther users.) I did have to use the Terminal fix, available in an earlier article, for ejecting PCMCIA/Cardbus cards. (From the recent news pages here - added to the FAQ's Powerbook section now-Mike I found it simple and straight-forward to execute. Ejecting now works fine, both by button and menu.

    Using XpostFacto 3.0a9, I was unable to install Panther from 10.2.8 and had to install from 9. (Also I could not get get the Wallstreet to boot in 10.2.3 but was able to boot in 10.2.6 and 10.2.8.) I first installed Panther (successfully) over 10.2.8 on the 20GB drive and used a firewire PC Card to clone it onto the freshly formatted 40GB drive in an external FW enclosure using Carbon Copy Cloner. This cloned system on the 40GB drive booted my tiBook from the external drive (a test) but did NOT work to boot the Wallstreet when installed internally. I had to start from scratch, reformatting and installing 9 on the second partition and Jag on the first, before beginning the Panther installation (again) running XPF from 9. (remember the PB G3 wallstreet is one of the models where OS X normally has to be installed within the 1st 8GB of the drive. A reader post last week from a Beige G3 owner (another system w/this onboard IDE limit) had a tip to work around that-Mike)

    So far so good except for a crash caused by an unexpected power loss. This required booting into 9 and then restarting Panther via XPF. (I forgot to turn off the L2/L3 check box at first, and so had to try this a second time) It started up in Panther and subsequent restarts from Panther have proven reliable.

    Panther seems to be stable on the Wallstreet, using it as a wireless iTunes server/stereo connection and Print server. Belkin USB Cardbus works great. IBM FW Cardbus/PC card works fine. Still successfully using Orinoco Silver Wireless 802.11b Cardbus/PC Card with a third party IOXperts driver, which for a mere $20 is far superior to the buggy freeware Sourceforge driver I had been using in Jag. (Why doesn't OSX see this card as an Airport card like it did back in in 9? So frustrating.) (Note: with Airport 3.1 and later, broadcom based 802.11g cards have native support w/o any addon drivers - see notes in FAQ networking section)

    I control the Wallstreet remotely using freeware, the OSXvnc server and the Chicken of the VNC client on my other Airported 'Books. Sleep stays off on the Wallstreet, but screen dimming and drive sleep are on. I encountered a few VNC settings issues at first (Making the Display name in OSXvnc and the computer name in the Sharing preference panel match, solved one) but now it's cruising.

    Pather, updated to 10.3.1 is as fast or faster than 10.2.8 on the Wallstreet. I have changed the default display preference setting from Thousands to Millions of colors with no adversity and nicely improved imagery. Panther looks and works more smoothly than one could ever expect from a G3/233. Not as snappy as 9 of course, but it runs iTunes 4 and talks to my other OSX 'Books for printing, so I'm happy I could make the upgrade.
    I hope this is useful. Thanks for being such a singularly excellent resource.
    Ben B."

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    Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
    The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 10 new reports this morning (reader entries from Friday-Sunday midnight ET; entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,978. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

    • Apple Beige G3/233 OC report
    • Apple Beige G3/266 OC report
    • Apple QS G4/867 in Dual G4/450
    • Giga Designs G4 Dual 1.2GHz in (gigabit enet) G4/AGP (rated 9)
    • Giga Designs G4/1GHz in G4/Cube (rated 9)
    • Other World Computing G4/1GHz (at 1.2GHz) in (Sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 9)
    • Other World Computing G4/700 in (gigabit enet) G4/AGP (rated 9)
    • PowerLogix G3/800 in Beige G3 (rated 9)
    • Sonnet G4/500 in Beige G3 (rated 9)
      (My reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades w/apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked here. 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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    CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
    The Drive Compatibility Database had 15 new reports added (reader entries from Friday-Sunday midnight; entries today are added the next newsday 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, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 11,929 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

      CDROM Drives:
    • IDE Liteon LTN486 (48X) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    • IDE Phoebe Micro CMD5211 52x in Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.3)
      (listed under "other" brands)

      CDRW Drives:
    • IDE Cendyne 48x16x48x in Beige G3 (OS X)
      (no iapps burn support, problems noted)
    • IDE "Other" brand (didn't note brand) (48x16x48x) in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
      (no native burn support, didn't note if bootable from CD)
    • IDE Sony CRX 1611-82E (16x10x40x) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)

      Combo DVD+CDR Drives:
    • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case)Toshiba SD-R1002 in iBook 2002 (OS X)
    • IDE Samsung SM-352B (52x24x52x + 16x DVD-ROM) in B&W G3 (OS X) (using modified burn support plugin in 10.2.8)

      DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
    • IDE MSI (no model given) in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
      (no native burn support, costs about as much as a natively supported DVR-106 drive. Didn't note if bootable from CD)
    • IDE Pioneer DVR-106RD in G4/AGP (OS X 10.3)
      (RD model is acer OEM, FAQ has reflash tip using PC to flash to std DVR-106D model but avoid them if possible. std DVR-106Ds are $140 or so now, see site specials page)
    • IDE Pioneer DVR-106 in B&W G3 (OS X 10.3)
      (noted strange boot problem)
    • IDE Pioneer DVR-106 in B&W G3 (OS X)
      (didn't realize iDVD requires a G4 CPU)
      (Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT and B&W G3 Macs)

      DVD-R + DVD RAM Drives:
    • IDE Panasonic SW-9571 in Starmax (OS 9.1)

      DVD-R Drives:
    • IDE Toshiba SD-R5112 in Dual G4 (OS X 10.3)

      Hard Drives:
    • IDE Hitachi 60GB in Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.3)
      (PowerBook G4 15in. LCD illustrated Hard Drive install guide here
      Alum. PB G4 15in take-apart guide here.
      Powerbook G4 12in LCD illustrated Hard Drive install guide here)
    • IDE Maxtor 120GB in iMac slot-loading (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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    Recent Reviews and Articles:
    Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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    News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago
    (These older pages in some cases have off-site links that may no longer work. Remember comments were accurate only on the date posted regarding producs/availability/pricing, etc.)

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