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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 2/19/2001 Monday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!


Top stories of the day:

Reader Notes His G4/733 w/SuperDrive Should Be Shipping Now:
" Hi Mike:
I just wanted you to know that I ordered a stock 733 Mhz G4e with the SuperDrive option and an internal Zip Drive within an hour of Job's announcement at Macworld SF.

Actually, I happened to turn on TechTV, saw the demo, and immediately ordered the computer. I also should receive DVD Pro this week, and am about to order 10 blank DVD-ROM discs from the Apple Store.

I checked my credit card account on Monday afternoon, and saw that Apple had created a temp charge for the full amount of the order.

I'll let you know if I receive it, and will provide periodic updates according to what you want.
Love your site, hope you're feeling well.

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PowerBook G4 - Airport card vs Wavelan Card Range Tests:
I've added comments on some simple range tests with a PowerBook G4 using an Airport card vs Wavelan PCcard to my PowerBook G4 first impressions page. (The IBM 10GB vs 20GB drive tests also added to that page.)
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PowerBook G4/400 Tests - 10GB vs 20GB Hard Drive:
Today I installed both an Airport card and swapped out the original 10GB IBM Travelstar hard drive for a 20GB Travelstar drive in the PowerBook G4. (I swapped the 20GB Travelstar I used in the Wallstreet HD upgrade guide.) I was baffled by the slow ATTO Tools benchmark sustained write speed tests on the 10GB drive (less than 6MB/sec - the 20GB drive was nearly 15MB/sec). Even tests with no extensions showed no real gain in that test with the 10GB drive.

The results of tests in ATTO Tools Benchmark (8MB IO size) and some Finder level tests are shown in the table below. The restart tests were timed from the instant the LCD lit up until the Finder mounted the hard drive (ready to use). For the timed tests (seconds) lower numbers are faster. For the R/W tests, higher numbers are better (MB/sec). The system had the original 128MB RAM (only) and Virtual Memory was enabled. I had disabled Multiple Users extension/control panel, and Palm extensions however (both drives tested with exactly the same extension set, and same files installed [about 4GB used] - disks were defragmented before tests). ATTO R/W tests were run with extensions disabled (enabled or disabled made little real difference actually).

IBM TravelStar 10GB vs 20GB
PowerBook G4/400
% Gain
Peak Read
37.2659.31 58%
Sustained Read

Peak Write
Sustained Write
5.6714.94 163%
Dupl. System Folder
63.2546.1 37%
PShop 5.5
Load 18MB File

PShop 5.5
Save 18MB File

3.032.25 34%
49.746.0 8%

Since the IBM 20GB Travelstar drives are available for about $200 or perhaps even less now, this was a worthwhile upgrade in my opinion, doubling storage space and increasing performance. I'll be putting the 10GB drive in the Wallstreet, otherwise I'd have put it in a portable firewire case perhaps. (See the Firewire articles page for an example kit build/review.)

I'm doing some simple tests now of Airport range with an Airport card vs. a WaveLan PCCard. I'll post the results later today.

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ATI Radeon Mobility and GeForce2GO Features/Specs Compared:
A reader post in the forums noted PC site Tom's Hardware has a comparison article on the ATI Radeon Mobility vs Nvidia GeForce2GO. The article also has a specs/features comparison page. One advantage they note (feature wise) to the GeForce2GO is that it has hardware T&L support, which is missing in the Radeon Mobility chip. Power consumption is also noted as well as a simulation of performance. (No notebooks with these chips are available yet, although Toshiba has said they'll be shipping a GeForce2GO notebook later this month).
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More MacAlly iVoice USB Mic Comments:
A reader replies to a previous report there from an iVoice owner:

" Dear All,
RE: Reader Report on MacAlly USB iVoice Microphone

I've just been testing the same Mic with a new 466Mhz G4. The gain issue is a *real problem* for Multiple Users Voice Authentication. Just as your reader reported, the gain is way too high. The problem is that the Multiple Users control panel offers no way to control the level. I've tried turning it down in the Sound control panel but after I return from recording my voice authentication, the level is back up at max.

Because of this, any slight change in the level of your voice causes voice authentication to fail and has basically rendered that feature of Mac OS 9.1 useless. There's also no alternative since the analog audio inputs have now disappeared!

So, buy another USB Mic? I'll probably just type a password in like everyone else!
Peter Thompson
Sheffield, UK."

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Sony Widescreen FW900 and GeForce2MX:
A reader with a new 2001 G4 w/GeForce2MX graphics card wrote to say the card doesn't seem to support any of the widescreen modes of the Sony (CRT) FW900. (He specifically noted 1920 x 1200 as the resolution he preferred.) He noted trying SwitchRes, etc. which didn't help. He's asked if there are any other readers with a FW900 running either the GeForce2MX or the Radeon AGP with any success using wide-screen modes. If you have used an FW900 monitor with the GeForce2MX or Radeon cards and can comment on wide-screen mode support, please let me know.
(My retail Radeon AGP review hardware specs page lists several wide-screen modes including 1920 x 1200, but I don't have a Sony FW900 to test.)
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Review of OS X Beta Build 4K56: has posted a review of OS X Beta build 4K56.
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OM Firewire Repeaters - Owner Comments on Limits:
A G4/AGP system owner that bought 8 Orange Micro Firewire repeaters for use with a SanCube wrote to say despite the claims, he was unable to get more than 3 in a daisychain to work reliably. (He said he'd worked with OM tech support on the issue without success.) Therefore the max range would be 60 feet (15ft firewire limit + extended 3 times by the repeaters). If anyone has used any other brands of repeaters on the Mac that work in longer daisychains, please let me know.
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Oni Tools 1.2, Quake3 Team Arena Map Pack 1:
Macgamefiles lists an Oni Tools 1.2 download. (For more info on Oni Tools see I also forgot to mention last week that there's an addon Map pack 1 for Quake3 Team Arena.
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 13 new reports (total to date: 5,265). [Entries from after midnight EST will be added the following day.]

  • MetaBox G3/300 in 8500/132 (rated 9)
  • Newer Tech G3/500 in 8600/250 (rated 6)
  • Newer Tech G4/400 in 7600/120 (rated 9)
  • Phase 5 G3/366 in 7300/166 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G3/350 in 8500/180 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G3/350 in PowerBase (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix Zforce with G4/400 ZIF in 7300 (rated 9)
    (using $299 Newer Tech G4/400 ZIF module)
  • Powerlogix Zforce with G3/300 ZIF in 9500 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix Bluechip G3/500 in PB G3 Wallstreet2 (didn't select a rating)
    (problems noted)
  • Sonnet G3/250 in 6100/60AV (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF (Machcarrier) G3/500 in PowerTower Pro 250 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 G3/466 in Beige G3/233 (rated 10)

  • Beige G3/266 OC report

You can find these 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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Video Card/System Benchmark Performance Database Updated:
Updates to the Mac Game/Video Card Performance database included:

  • Quake3 retail (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768) from Beige G3 300 w/Radeon PCI
  • Quake 3 Demo (1280x1024) from 2001G4 533MHz w/Radeon AGP
  • CineBench 2000 from G4/400 no AGP (yikes) w/ATI Rage128
    (ran at 1280x1024 instead of the requested 1024x768 mode)
  • Unreal Tournament [cityintro] (512x384,640x480,800x600,1024x768 ) from B&W G3/400 w/Voodoo3 3000 PCI
  • UT Wicked400 benchmark (640x480,800x600,1024x768 ) from B&W G3/400 w/Voodoo3 3000 PCI
  • UT Wicked400 benchmark (640x480,1024x768 ) from B&W G3/400 w/Rage128
  • UT Wicked400 benchmark results (1024x768) from Beige G3/541MHz w/Voodoo3

Total entries in the database to date: 2,462. 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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More Reader Game Reviews:
Today's Reader's Rate Their Mac Games database updates included another review of Master of Deus Ex and Unreal Tournament. Total Reviews (all titles): 734.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review.
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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News:
Reported By: Barney Buoy

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Recent Reviews and Articles:
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