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News Archive for Friday Feb. 21st, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of Feb. 21st, 2003:

Apple announces Pwr Supply Exchange Program to reduce MDD G4 Noise
Several of the (many) early MDD G4 tower owners that have complained about the noise (first noted here last August - see the Aug. 28th, 2002 posted MDD PS fan replacement article here, lower section updated later for the G4noise.com website, etc.) have written with info on Apple's Power Supply Exchange program for MDD G4 owners. The cost is $19.95 for S&H according to that page. Here's a clip from the page (also linked at the sidebar of Apple's support page now):

" Power Mac G4 Power Supply Exchange Program Announcement
The Power Mac G4 Power Supply Exchange Program offers owners of Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) computers the option of reducing the operating acoustic level of their computers by exchanging their original power supplies and system fans for new, quieter versions. Participation in the Power Supply Exchange Program is optional.

The Power Supply Exchange Program kit is available at no charge, with a shipping and handling fee of US$19.95 or equivalent local currency. The kit contains the following items:

  • Power supply (360 W)
  • System fan
  • Allen key (2.5 mm)
  • Installation instructions (in various languages)
  • Prepaid return airbill and instructions for returning the original components to Apple
    (Update Shipping kit info shows no return of old parts required. Apple page no longer has this requirement listed.)

This program begins on February 21, 2003 and ends June 30, 2003."

See the Apple Power Supply Exchange program for ordering info, a guide to installing the kit and an FAQ. (If I remember correctly the original P.S. model had a higher rating than the current/replacement ones, but if the fans don't have that annoying whine, that is a good tradeoff I think.)

Note: Several readers replied to this post saying that the order confirmation web page noted limited quantities were to start shipping on March 10.

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ThermalTake Fan Replacement for GeForce4 Ti
Another MDD owner (2nd today) noting the GeForce4 Ti's fan became noisy. He chose the more conventional method (fan replacement) rather than the passive (heatpipe) cooler noted in an earlier news item today.

" I read John Rhee's email today (earlier news item below), and I had just replaced _my_ GeForce4Ti card's fan yesterday!! I too started hearing a ticking noise coming from my computer. I opened it up and used a compressed air can to blow on the fans and found the culprit, the GPU fan that came with my GeForce4Ti. I rotated the fan with my fingers, and felt a grinding sensation. Clearly a brush or bearing had gone out. You would think that a $399 video card wouldn't come with such a crappy fan!
When I read John's email, I was upset that I had just replaced my GPU fan with a thermaltake G4-VGA (http://www.thermaltake.com/products/chipset/g4coolmod.htm), when John had found a passive cooling option. But when I read all the other mods he had to do, and the fact that I'm not sold that passive cooling is the way to go in the MDD case. If you look at the case design, the video cards are kind of "blocked" by the drive bays. Also heat rises, and the video card is now at the top of the case. I suppose only time will tell with John's mod. But take it from someone who replaced the fan on a Cube's Radeon with a large heatsink... it may not fail immediately, but my card _did_ finally die from excessive heat about 4 months later. (I've cautioned on this many times in the past here , I'd want a fan on any Radeon or faster card in a Cube personally.-Mike)

I went down to my local Fry's and picked up the thermaltake for $19.95. Assembly was a easy, and I was able to unscrew the plate that came with the old GPU fan and stack it on top of the clear plate that the thermaltake came with (if I replaced the clear one, the smaller intake hole on the plate would brush against the larger fan blade, so stacking it gave it a few extra mm clearance).
I won't bother taking pictures of mine, since it looks exactly like what you see here: http://www.ingencomputer.com/tmt.html
Also note that the kit came with RAM heatsinks too. Nice.
Cheule "

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PB G4 12in owner comments on LCD, Color Sync, Power Adapter wattage, Final Cut Pro Upgrade CD
(rolling all the 3 emails from Timothy N. into one posting. Updated at 10PM for clarification on the FCP upgrade comments)

" Colorsync and 12in PBG4
Received PBG4 yesterday. Was disappointed with screen as compared to my original dual USB 12" iBook (May 2001). Was unable to set contrast, gamma, and color fidelity on PBG4 to that on my iBook. Compared custom settings in Colorsync and found no reason for the more washed out PBG4 screen. Before giving up, I transferred the custom colorsync profile from my iBook to the PBG4 (found in the user's directory in the Colorsync folder within the Library folder). Using the iBook custom profile, the PBG4 then matched the iBook in contrast, gamma, and color tone perfectly.
I don't know the reason for this, perhaps an earlier version of the colorsync software allowed more refined control than current versions - I simply don't know. All I want to point out is that people migrating from a 12" iBook to the 12" PBG4 might want to save their colorsync profile if they are happy with it and transfer it to the PBG4. (I have seen some new PB G4 12in owners rave over the screen, others complain about it. I wonder if there is more than one OEM source for the LCD panel perhaps. Back in 2000 when the PB G3 Pismo was first released, there was a lot of owner complaints on one brand of LCD panel used in them being very poor for color accuracy, screen having a tint, etc. - that was not a problem with another brand of panel present in some builds.
BTW - if you missed the comments/FAQ item on it here (from Dec. 2001 originally), give SuperCal LCD/CRT display calibration utility a try. -Mike
)
Equipment/Software:
12" iBook Dual USB 500 Mghz G3 (May 2001)
12" PBG4 857 Mghz G4 (Jan 2003)
OSX 10.2.4 on both machines

(He later wrote)
Perhaps common knowledge, but:
12" PBG4 comes with 45W Power Adaptor. Spare Power Adaptors ordered from Apple are 65W. According to Apple Tech, both are compatible with 12" PBG4.

(and another mail on FCP)
Owners of the Final Cut Pro Upgrade who are purchasing a 2003 Macintosh without OS 9 booting ability should call Apple Support and speak to the Final Cut Pro Support Division. They informed me that they are sending full installation disks to registered owners of the Final Cut Pro 3 Upgrade that will install on OSX.
You will probably need:
Your hardware serial number
Your Final Cut Pro serial number
Proof of Purchase for Final Cut Pro
Access to a FAX machine to send proof of purchase
Timothy Nitz
(I asked for a better explanation of the "FCP upgrade" comments)
The (Final Cut Pro 3) upgrade depends upon an earlier (thus not native OS X) version installed. I don't recall all the details of installation, but the installation itself also requires some fiddling in OS9, there is simply NO way to install the upgrade on a new Macintosh - thus the reason for them providing OSX native installation disks.
This does not mean that Apple will send FCP 3 to owners of previous versions of FCP - it simply means that those of us who legally upgraded ($299) will be provided with disks that allow us to install the upgrade on a new Mac."

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Reader Report on using Zalman Passive Graphics card Cooler w/GF4 Ti in new MDD G4
(from a reader email today - the ZM80A-HP is the larger of the passive coolers for graphics cards mentioned in the recent news here. See Feb. 14th news page. Later news pages mentioned the smaller ZM50 model being used in a Cube w/GF3 card. )

" I thought I'd share with you and others regarding my adventures installing the Zalman ZM80A-HP on a Firewire 800 PowerMacs. First of all let me start by saying that this is a Dual 1.25 ghz PowerMac G4 that has the Firewire 800 connector. It is definitely quieter than the previous version. I bought a Pioneer A105 (DVR-105) "superdrive" to complement this machine. Upon installing I noticed that the stock combo drive was set to "cable select" instead of master. What I ended up doing was putting the A105 on the top set to master and the combo drive on the bottom set to cable select. (past news pages here noted the issue of superdrives not being recognized if set to slave/CS Slave in 10.2.4) Well anyway on to the Zalman.

For a while now the fan that came with the Apple GeForce 4 Ti 4600 was making a weird flapping sound. So when I found out about the Zalman (from your site), I immediately place one on order from www.frozencpu.com. Let me tell you that these heatsinks are very heavy and bulky. Installing is very straightforward but you do need to cut the graphics board to allow the heatpipes to fit. If you want to see the pictures, go to my website at
http://homepage.mac.com/jcrhee/PhotoAlbum30.html. You will know what I mean. There are couple issues that I have found with this particular heatsink and the MDD PowerMacs. The big obvious is that it won't close because of the top 5.25" media drive. I had to cut about inch and a half from the top so that the case would close. This is a major issue if you need to use up all two of the media bays. Again refer to the pictures and you will know what I mean. In my case, I decided to remove the combo drive altogether and put the superdrive on the bottom.

Another potential problem is the fourth ram slot. I have a Crucial branded 512MB ram occupying that slot and the heatsink barely touched the top of the ram. I would say that there is about a thickness of a dime distance between the top of the ram and the heatsink. It is very close. And last problem is that since the back of the video card also has a huge heatsink, you can kiss the first PCI slot good-bye.
So what ended up being a simple idea turned into a huge chopping project - but it works. So far from the few minutes that I have been using it, I am happy but won't know for sure until it has been running for many hours. My only gripe is that I loose the top media bay.

Also another upgrade story for you is that I bought and installed the SIIG IDE 133 RAID card and two WD 120gig HDs. The first thing I did was flash it to 2.42 using the ACARD firmware. Since I can't boot into OS 9, I flashed it using one of my friend's G4. For the past couple of days now, I have been having trouble with the RAID setup and Final Cut Pro 3.0.4 in OS X. Everytime it tries to render to the RAID, it gives me a general error. For some reason the render is not "sticking" to the RAID HD. I'm going to try to reFlash it again and maybe setup the RAID in OS9 from a friend's computer. I'll let you know what happens.
One last thing, I don't know if you are aware of this software or not, but Granite Digital has released SmartVue lite preview edition. It is an OS X (10.2) hard disk utilities that does benchmarking and drive data integrity testing. You can download that at
http://www.granitedigital.com/smartvue/index.htm.
That's it for me. I think your website is just awesome.
John Rhee
Fretboard Pictures"

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Comments on G4 MDD (FW800) Motherboard having what appears to be a 2nd ADC Power Connector
*UPDATE* On Saturday a reader with a new FW800 tower wrote this '2nd' connector has no voltage when sleeping but has 5V and 12V on it when running. (Therefore not related to ADC montior power which is 24-28V.) So this must be a connector for providing additional power (beyond what the standard AGP slot sources) for some future graphics card (9700 pro? Nvidia FX?). Note some years back some PC motherboards started including the "AGP PRO" slot, which includes (inline with the original AGP connector) extra 3.3V and 12V power for high end AGP Pro cards. Apple's new connector has 5V/12V on it, but could be regulated on the card for other voltages perhaps (i.e. 3.3V, 1.5V, etc.)


(original news item follows)
I've not seen one of the new MDD G4 (FW800) models but Jamie at OWC wrote to say they have a 2nd motherboard ADC-like (appearing) power connector (the original MB ADC mb connector is for passing the ADC display power to the graphics card, previous models since the Gigabit G4 have one connector separate from the AGP slot connector for this purpose).

"Not sure if this has been noted yet or not -I just received a new 1GHz MDD system today, and in direct comparison to my dual 867 at home, the AGP slot has the 28v connector in the rear of the slot like all systems since the gigabit ethernet machines, but it ALSO has a connector that looks just like that to the front!
Something new on the horizon in the way of video?
Sincerely,
Jamie Dresser"

Interesting... since the Radeon 9700 (PC model) requires a hard drive power connection for extra power I wonder if the 2nd connector is for that (instead of ADC/24-28V) to avoid having a cable connection to the 9700 card - or if there's some other reason (flipped Nvidia FX card config, or dual ADC port card if the original stub connector could not handle enough power, but that would need a beefier power supply if the original 28V/4A per ADC port is still used. the 4A max was only needed for the original CRT 17" ADC display, the LCD models used less power than the CRT model which was discontinued more than a year ago.)
I asked jamie if he could check the voltage on that new connector to see if it's 24-28V or some other voltage. (See update above - 5V/12V is present in the connector.)

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GameRanger adds Premium Service
Here's a clip from Scott Kevil's press release email:

"The new Premium Service leaves the existing free service unchanged, while offering a host of new benefits for Premium Members including a unique account name, many more profile personalization options, auto-reply away messages, appearance customization, personal chat rooms, and more. Premium Membership is available today to all GameRanger members for just $49.95 US per year.
More information on GameRanger Premium Membership is available at http://www.GameRanger.com/premium/"
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HP 2100/2200 AIO Driver Updates
Yesterday Versiontracker listed HP driver updates for the 2100 and 2200 series of printer/copier/scanners. Their pages for the updates noted "improved support, increased stability, greater functionality and a wide range of bug fixes. Once downloaded, please read the ReadMe.htm file for a more complete list of changes."
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 8 new reports this morning (from reader entries Yesterday until about 11AM EST today; entries made later today are posted the next newsday morning which is usually Monday). Total to date: 8,091. Here's a summary of the updates added today :

  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1.2GHz in G4/466 AGP (rated 2)
  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1.2GHz in G4/733 AGP (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1.2GHz in G4/400 AGP (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G4 1.2GHz (single) in G4/400 AGP (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G4 1.2GHz (single) in G4/400 AGP (rated 7)
  • Sonnet G4 800 in 8600/300 (rated 6)
  • XLR8 G4 550 in G4/350 AGP (rated 9)
  • PowerBook G4/400 OC report (@500MHz)

(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 searchable database had 14 new reports added (reader entries from yesterday until 10AM EST today; entries later today are added the next newsday morning). (*Entries missing info, having no useful info, etc. are deleted. I'm just tired of emailing over and over for missing info, sorry. Also Search for answers, don't post questions there.*) 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 9,879 reports.

    CompactFlash Reader:
  • Firewire SanDisk Ultra Imagemate used w/Dual G4 DDR (OS X)

    DVD-ROM Drives:
  • Expansion Bay LG DRN 8080B (6x/24x) in PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X)
  • IDE Pine 16x in Dual G4 DDR (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands - not recognized as slave after 10.2.4 update)
  • IDE Hitachi GD 2500 (no speed rating given) in B&W G3 (OS X)

    Combo DVD+CDR Drives:
  • IDE Plextor PX-320A (20x10x40x + 12x DVD-ROM) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (using modified plextor plugin for iApps burn support)

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drives:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105 in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (didn't realize iDVD needs a G4 CPU to run - will need a G4 cpu upgrade.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105 in G4/AGP (OS X)

    IDE CDRW Drives:
  • Lite-0n LTR-52246S (52x24x52x) in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (using burn support file from FAQ here)
  • Yamaha F1Z (44x12x44x) in G4/AGP (OS X)
  • Verbatim (48x12x48x) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands, drive mechanism not supported by iApps burning)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs.)

    Firewire CDRW Drives:
  • Buslink RW5252 (52x24x52x) in FW case used w/iMac slot loading (OS 9.2)
    (listed under "other" brands, no itunes burn support, unknown mechanism)
  • TDK CDRW4800B (48x16x48x) in FW case used w/Powerbook G4 (OS X)
    (oxford 900 bridge case needed older firmware flash to work with the drive. See FW articles page/FAQ FW section here for prev. notes/links on this. PC required to flash the bridge though. FAQ here has OS X 10.2.x burn support plugin)

    IDE Hard Drives:
  • IBM Travelstar 40GB in iBook 2000 (OS X)
    (FAQ's iBook section has links to iBook HD/CD upgrade guides)

    Firewire Hard Drives:
  • Lacie d2 120GB used w/iMac G4 (OS X)

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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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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