News Archive for: Friday, Feb. 17th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Intel CPU iMac user notes on DVD Player Dolby/DTS Output
"I purchased a 20" iMac Intel Core Duo 2GHz computer on February 13, 2006. After fussing with the computer trying to get Dolby Digital or DTS sound, searching forums on the subject and coming close to calling my Apple Store or AppleCare, I gave up and seriously considered returning the computer for a PowerMac. Before boxing it up, I tried one last thing.
- Open DVD Player without a disc in the optical drive. Under the DVD Player menu item, click "Preferences" or use Command-comma Click "Disc Setup"
Change the audio output pulldown to "Digital Out - Built-in Output"

This setting can only be changed when a DVD is stopped or a disc is not in the drive. If the disc is paused or playing, this pulldown will be grayed out.

With the proper cable (and adapter for iMacs), you will experience pristine Dolby Digital or DTS sound. I have confirmed 6.1 DTS with The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition, and 5.1 DTS & 5.1 Dolby Digital with Spider-Man 2 Superbit.

You can use any optical (TOSLINK) cable with a PowerMac, but for iMacs, you need an adapter. The Monster iCable Fiber Optic Kit is perfect for this. You receive the adapter and a 2 meter (appx. 7- foot long) white optical cable for $30 retail. This kit is not easy to find -- most computer stores don't carry it, the Apple Stores I've visited don't know what I'm talking about and I've been unable to find it on the online Apple Store. Here is the MonsterCable.com link
-Pete "

A report here on Feb 1st mentioned getting a cable from a Target store. (I've added this to the previous page of info/reports on Intel CPU iMac Built-in Audio Features.)

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Comments on WoW, FSAA and ATI Displays control
(in reply to an Intel iMac user post yesterday)

"I read the post from Jake B. using ATI Displays with World of Warcraft. I highly recommend users to not use ATI Displays for WoW on any system (PPC or Intel) and to instead use the built-in functionality or at the very least, avoid using the ATI Displays FSAA override as it can lead to graphic corruption.
Using WoW's built-in FSAA does not have the same issues. There also seems to be an issue with some of the new Intel iMacs where enabling FSAA for WoW will eventually result in a system freeze. According to some posts in the WoW Mac tech support forum it's been investigated, or as they put it:
"Top men are working on it - top men." - Raiders of the Lost Ark
Ciao! -A.J. "
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More CineBench v9.5 (64-Bit/Univ. Binary) Results (Quad G5, Dual G5, Intel 2GHz iMac)
(updated w/more reports)
Yesterday's news had a note about the new Cinebench v9.5 (which is 64-Bit and Universal Binary) and results from an Intel Core Duo iMac 17in/1.8GHz. Here's the latest reader reports on scores from it:

" Quad G5 w/7800 GT card results
-Michael R.

CINEBENCH 9.5
****************************************************
Tester : MAR
Processor : Quad
MHz : 2.5 GHz
Number of CPUs : 4
Operating System : 10.4.5
Graphics Card : GeForce 7800GT
Resolution : 2560 X 1600
Color Depth : Millions
****************************************************

Rendering (Single CPU) : 383 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU) : 1187 CB-CPU
Multiprocessor Speedup : 3.10

Shading (CINEMA 4D) : 391 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting) : 1302 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting) : 2796 CB-GFX
OpenGL Speedup : 7.15
****************************************************"

"CineBench v9.5 with dual G5 (compared to Intel iMac)
Hi Mike, I saw your post (in yesterday's news). I ran CineBench v9.5 with my dual 2GHz G5 (1. generation), 3GB Ram, Radeon 9800 BTO and got very similar result to the Intel CPU iMac
-Yves E.

CINEBENCH 9.5
****************************************************
Processor : G5
MHz : 2000
Number of CPUs : 2
Operating System : 10.4.5
Graphics Card : Radeon 9800
****************************************************

Rendering (Single CPU): 304 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 552 CB-CPU
Multiprocessor Speedup: 1.81

Shading (CINEMA 4D) : 304 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting) : 890 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting) : 1715 CB-GFX
OpenGL Speedup: 5.64
**************************************************** "

"Cinebench 9.5 on Apple Quad
To compare to the MacIntel result.
-George S.

CINEBENCH 9.5
****************************************************
Tester : Redshift
Processor : Apple Quad G5
MHz : 2.5Ghz
Number of CPUs : 4
Operating System : OSX 10.4.5
Graphics Card : nVidia 6600
Resolution : 2560x1600
Color Depth : Millions
****************************************************

Rendering (Single CPU): 385 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 1179 CB-CPU
Multiprocessor Speedup: 3.06

Shading (CINEMA 4D) : 388 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting) : 1201 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting) : 2245 CB-GFX
OpenGL Speedup: 5.78
**************************************************** "

Here's a report from an Intel Core Duo iMac 20in/2GHz model with 256MB Vram:

"Here are my results running the new cinebench on my 2.0 GHZ CD iMac with 2 GB memory, 256 MB VRam
-Ken

CINEBENCH 9.5

Rendering (Single CPU): 308 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 563 CB-CPU
Multiprocessor Speedup: 1.83

Shading (CINEMA 4D) : 358 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting) : 979 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting) : 1686 CB-GFX
OpenGL Speedup: HL 4.71, SL 2.73
**************************************************** "

And another 20in Intel iMac but with 128MB Vram:

" I saw you had the benchmarks from Cinebench 9.5 for the iMac 17" Intel Dual Core. Here are the results from my iMac 20" 2Ghz Dual Core (1GB RAM, 128MB VRAM):

Rendering (Single CPU): 308 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 566 CB-CPU
Multiprocessor Speedup: 1.84

Shading (CINEMA 4D) : 356 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting) : 976 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting) : 1688 CB-GFX
OpenGL Speedup: 4.75
****************************************************
Thanks, Charlie W. "

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More reader reports on using free 'Q' Emulator to run Windows
(Note: Link to "Q" emulator removed as site/page no longer online. The following is the original post from Feb 2006, however I cannot provide support for Q personally nor do I know any current links for it.)

" (Q) It works pretty nice! However developer is still waiting for his MacBook Pro and new versions are not released as fast as they should since he has to test using VNC access.

I had Win2k installed after a few steps. The only requirement was using a not compressed disk and enabling --win2k-hack parameter under advanced virtual PC options. Everthing else is quite easy.

I purchased WinTel 2.0.1 and ran awfully since it was basically Bochs running under Rosetta .... when I asked for a refund they refused it. More about it at http://qemu.dad-answers.com/viewtopic.php?t=847
Best regards, George "

PowerPC Mac owner reports follow:

"... I'm not running it on an Intel CPU yet, but I have been following Project Q for a few months and running Windows XP on it on my old G4. It performs better than I expected it to and is a great free alternative to VirtualPC.
Q was very easy to setup compared to Bochs. About the same as VirtualPC.
-Keith C. "

" Mike, I also tried Q (the public, free one) on my dual G5 after seeing it mentioned on your site.
I managed to import a VPC7 virtual PC with Windows ME into it, but I got an error message about the graphics display not being configured properly (an emulated Cirrus Logic in Q) so it only ran at VGA mode, 16 color. I tried reconfiguring it into the generic SVGA display but got the same error. Aside from this problem, it seemed quite fast compared to VPC. Maybe a fresh Win ME install would help with the display problem.

Next, I tried a fresh install of Win XP into a fresh (compressed) disk image. It installed fine (but slow), but upon the final reboot, it hung on the Win XP loading screen. I'll try later the non-compressed disk image trick that the other guy mentioned on your site. (see report above)

The real purpose of my writing is to mention that the Q developer noted on his web site that virtualization (a separate module) is not there yet in the universal binary. So on a Mac Intel, it is still emulating a PC within a PC (although apparently faster than on a G5). Once the virtualization module is working (fingers crossed), it should run WinXP at almost native speed on a Mac Intel, similar to Vmware on Linux/x86 running WinXP.

There is also a petition on slashdot or somewhere to get Vmware ported to Mac OS X Intel (Darwin Intel using X11 would do).

Microsoft's (Connectix's) VPC for Windows (host) is a virtualization layer, not an emulator. So it is also well within their capabilities to port a VPC for Mac Intel virtualization engine.
Thanks. - Paul "

" I just wanted to report a big problem with "Q" on a PoweBook G4 Titanium 1 GHz and a PowerMac G5 DualCore 2.0 GHz, both running Tiger 10.4.5 and with at least 1 GB RAM each: "Create PC" does nothing but close the window. No new PC, nothing !
(he later wrote)
I found the cause to my problem with Q not working on my two Macs:
Q doesn't follow the alias I have for my Documents folder, it requires a real Documents folder in the user's home folder to put its QEMU folder in !
Is it really that difficult to correctly use the file system API ?
Regards, A. Frank "
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PowerMac Quad G5 Review
Michael Bean of AMUG wrote they've posted a review of the Quad G5 2.5GHz system with performance and power usage notes.
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CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 4 new reports added this morning. (Entries later today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters). Current total - 15,569 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) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Liteon SOHW-1673S02C in G4/AGP (OS X 10.4)
    (Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio model and B&W G3 and Beige G3 MT Models)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-110D in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4)
    (although Tiger has basic iApps burn support for most drives without it, he noted using Patchburn 4.)
  • USB (Cased) Pioneer DVR-109D used with (MDD) Single G4 DDR (OS X)
    (I'd not use a USB case with a USB 1.1 port mac - FW case would be a much better choice, or mount it inside the case. Problems noted. Mentioned trying patchburn 3 but did not select OS X 10.3 as OS.)

    CDROM Drives:
  • SCSI Pioneer DR-766 in 85/8600 (OS 8.6)
    (using Pioneer driver for DR-706)

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 1 new report (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 10,193. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple PowerBook G4/867 OC report (at 1.2GHz)

    (Full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked at the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

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).

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