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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 1/29/2002 Tuesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of Jan. 29th, 2002:

GeForce3 vs GeForce4MX Performance Tests in Dual 1GHz G4

A reader (Brett) posted results of Quake3 tests on his new Dual 1GHz G4 system comparing the Nvidia GeForce3 card to the new GeForce4MX card. I created a graph of the results to better illustrate the performance delta of the two cards.

dual 1ghz GF3 vs GF4 Q3

As the graph shows, the GeForce3 card has higher memory bandwidth that widens the gap at higher resolutions.
Here's his post which notes other details and tests (Cinebench, Fractal demo, etc.)

" got back from the apple store (glendale) with my new dp1g machine about three hours ago. this is what i have to report so far:
    osx 10.1.2 (5p63)
    dvd-rw dvr-104
    ram was 512 cl3 (i took it out)
    seagate barricuda hd

    smp bench 6 threads 531%
    testbench x 135%
    a.fractal 7625 gflops
    dnetc 20.8Mkeys
    cbench 8.7, 10.6, 12.4, 21.8

here's the good stuff. quake with same config (fresh + s_mixahead .1). rez, gf3, gf4mx (in fps):

    0640 182 179
    0800 174 159
    1024 152 122
    1280 101 077
    1600 070 049

i'm putting pix/shots/etc here:
brett. "

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G4/867 Owner Comments on GeForce3 Quake3 scores higher than GeForce4MX in G4/933
A G4/867 owner with GeForce3 card sent comments on performance compared to the new G4/933 with GeForce4MX card. (Note: See the later news post above for a direct comparison of a GeForce3 vs GeForce4MX card in a dual 1GHz G4 running Quake3 at 640x480 to 1600x1200 resolutions.)

    " hi,
    regarding the 4mx vs 3 discussion: I get >90fps in quake III with all eye candy turned on on my g4/867 with geforce 3, while apple quotes 83fps for the g4/933 with geforce 4mx... since that machine is 66mhz faster I guess that means the geforce 3 is better and the 4mx is a re-labeled 3mx?
    (He later wrote that the FPS rates above were from Aug 2001 nvidia drivers and Q3 1.27 beta, I asked he re-run tests with the latest drivers and latest OS X Q3 version.-Mike) "

I realize the Geforce4MX has dual monitor support which the GeForce3 doesn't have but the GeForce3 is faster based on past tests (esp. with OS X Quake3 where both processors are used - DP800 owners report over 120FPS rates with the GF3 in a dual 800 with Q3 at 1024x768/32bit mode.) This is clearly shown in the GF3 vs GF4MX comparison above.
Here are results from some of my systems with the latest version of Quake3 for OS X (1024x768/HQ/32bit mode, no tweaks). The results below used the latest Q3 (1.31beta4) version and latest updates to OS X, etc.

  • G4/733 (OC to 800mhz) with GeForce3: 99.8 FPS
    (1MB L3 cache digital audio model )
  • Dual G4/500 Cube with OEM Radeon card: 79.x FPS

The framerates commented on are from Apple's page on the new G4 tower's Graphics cards which lists a graph of Quake3 performance tests (1024x768/32bit) with the original GeForce2MX dual head (DP800 system), the ATI Radeon 7500 (new G4/800) and GeForce4MX models (G4/933 and dual 1GHz). There are some other GeForce3, Radeon, MX, etc. Quake3 performance test results with other systems here on the Video articles page.

Nvidia is expected to announce higher end versions of the GeForce4 early next month. (The GeForce4MX is the low end version - which some say is based on the GeForce2 core.) I posted a link recently to this page of (rumored) leaked specs on the new GeForce4 series.)

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Wallstreet Owner Comments on Problems with Over-Tightened Hard Drive Screws
    " Hi Mike, Recently I tried one of the new IBM 48GH drives in my Wallstreet2 and had an odd experience. At first the computer could not see the drive, which I'd screwed in very firmly, at all. Freaked, I called MCE, and they responded that simply backing off those mounting screws by up to a half-turn would fix the problem. They couldn't tell me why though. Anyway, after a quarter turn the PB could see the drive again. Happy ending. (BTW I always use that handy xacto knife antimagnetic fix on the HD bracket in this machine.)
    Bob F "

I noted in my Wallstreet hard drive upgrade guide to not over-torque the screws. (Noted on this page of the illustrated guide where I say "There's no need to over-torque the screws - snug them firmly, but don't use excessive force.") It may a) put the drive under stress (housing) or (perhaps) cause the screw to protrude enough to contact some part of the drive's circuit board. (Depending on the screw lengths and HD circuit board design.) The screws are inside rubber grommets (vibration mounts) and there's no need to torque them down with a lot of force.
Also noted in the guides are a warning to not press down on the top cover of notebook drives, which could damage the hard drive. (Some drives note this on their label.)

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ADS Pyro Firewire Case Firmware Fix for 24x Drives? (Updated)
(See below for updated comments and links)
Not everyone with an ADS Pyro Firewire case reported problems with 24x drives, but some did. (See the reports in the drive database here and on this recent article with 24x Drive/Pyro owner comments. Some previous comments there on different bridge firmware versions and the latest cases having an Oxford911 bridge.) A reader sent an email yesterday with comments on a firmware download (PC only) from ADS that may solve the problem for owners that have issues with 24x drives completing burns in the Pyro case.

" Mike -
I just upgraded my 8X Sony Spressa CD-RW to a Lite-ON 24X. Guess what - it does not work - the drive hangs and never finishes the burn. After waiting on hold for 30 minutes (not toll free) the technician said they have been having reports of 24X+ drives not working in the Pyro Case. He had me check if my firmware was October 2000 - and it was.

They have a flasher to correct the problem - but of course it is Windoze only. I told him their largest market for this product is Mac users and he agreed and said a Mac Flasher has been requested by their Tech Support people and is supposedly in the works. He did email me the Windoze Flasher. Since I bought the case at COMPUSA I am hoping they will let me use a Sony PC with firewire to flash it ...
You can download it here:

Incredibly it is actually an earlier version of the firmware - March 2000. Perhaps someone else with easier access to a PC with firewire can give it a try ...
He later wrote

Mike -
Success!!! I put a firewire card in a PC at work and flashed the Pyro case back to the March 2000 firmware .... My first attempt was using Toast 5 under OS X and burned at 24X on a 16X certified disc. There was a brief pause then the message in Toast went from Writing to Finishing and it completed successfully .....

It appears my iDisk is only working with Mac's and I was trying to download it on a PC .... The original link should work for Macs and for PC's use:
The instructions are included in the self-extracing zip file ...

If any readers that have had the problem are able to flash their bridges let me know if it solves your problem. (If you're not having a problem do not apply any updates. The latest Pyro cases are reported to have the Oxford 911 bridge; the firmware noted above is for the previous model.)

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More Sources of Tech Details on 1GHz G4 CPU Chip
A reader replied to yesterday's post about an article with details on the new 1GHz G4 CPU chip with more sources of info:

    " Hi Mike,
    Just thought you'd like to know that Motorola now have the full specs for the PPC 7455 and 7445:

    There's plenty of handy info on these pages along with pdf's etc.

    I've also just installed an IDE Lite-On LTR-32123S (32x12x40) CDRW in my Beige G3, it's working like a dream burning 700Mb cd's in about 2 1/2 minutes. ASP says it supported by Apple Disc Burning altho iTunes doesn't seem to recognise it. I'll submit a Drive Info Database report ASAP.
    Ben B. "

( Yesterday's news had a note about Silicon Strategies' article titled Motorola pushes PowerPC to 1-GHz with SOI technology with tech details on the MPC7455. The article also comments on a new 7455 lower power version at up to 800Mhz speeds, which might appear in future PowerBook G4s.)

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Tips from G4 CPU Upgrade Owner for Audio/iMovie2/FCP Issues
[Updated with another readers tips below the original post]
(from one of today's Rate Your CPU Upgrade database entries) I'm posting this since even some Beige G3 owners have noted similar issues with a G4 CPU upgrade and thought the tips below might be of some help.

    " Aloha Mike:
    My computer configuration:
    UMAX S900
    CarrierZIF SSE w/Other World Computing 500 G4,
    498 MHz, buss speed 55.4 MHz., cache speed 249 MHz.
    OS 9.1
    656 MB RAM
    Slot#1 Evergreen Firewire/USB Combo card
    Slot#2 ACARD ATA-66 host adapter
    Slot#4 ATI Rage Orion video card

    Install was easy, running the upgrade for three weeks, very stable and fast. The G4/CarrierZIF SSE replaced an OWC G3 400/XLR8 CarrierZIF. Temperature is 40 to 50 degrees C, I use a small CPU cooling fan that I tied on the heat sink with thin insulated wire I scavenged from an old broken headphone. My S900 can't run the G4 any higher than 55.4 MHz bus speed. I tried putting an Adaptec 2930 SCSI host adapter in slots#3 to #6 but the S900 doesn't see it (I need slots#1 and#2 for the firewire and Acard cards).

    I had a similar experience to what Ken Valentine noted in his beige G3/OWC G4 500 Mhz reports (much thanks and aloha to Ken!). I experienced problems with the XLR8 MACh Speed extension and MACh Speed Control panel versions 2.6.1 when used with two Apple programs, iMovie2.1.1 and Final Cut Pro 2.0.2.

    The problems:
    iMovie -
    1) I get small colored retangular blocks that fly across the playback window in the program when playing video segments or clips.

    2) The "Playback" menu in the "Preferences" menu vanishes (is no longer there). Without the Playback menu, iMovie defaults to high resolution for the playback window and the program drops frames when outputting to DV devices.

    Final Cut Pro -
    1) When playing a clip or sequence in FCP using the Canvas window and Viewer window, small colored retangular blocks fly across the window.

    2) The audio has very loud hiss and pops occuring intermittantly. (Also get the flying blocks and bad audio in QT Player5)

    After reading Ken's reports about using Quicktime 4.1.2 as a remedy, I have discovered a solution for two of the three FCP problems I had. Apparently there is a incompatibility with XLR8 and some components of Quicktime 5. But you can only use Final Cut Pro2 with QT 5.x. If you substitute the extension Sound Manager 3.6.7 (installed by Quicktime 5) with Sound Manager 3.6.5 (installed by Quicktime 4.1.2), the flying retangular blocks in the video and the hissing in the audio vanish. However the intermittent loud audio pops still exist. I tried to eliminate the pops by substituting other Quicktime 5 components with some from Quicktime 4.1.2 and 4.0.3 without success. The pops do not occur in transfering DV to tape so I can live with it.

    The solution also gets rid of the flying blocks in iMovie2, however I have to use Power Logic's "G3/G4 Profiler INIT 1.5" and "AltiVec Enabler 1.0" extentions to get back the missing menu (the XLR8 software still eliminates the "Playback" menu).

    (And QT Player5 plays clean video and audio.)

    I've been in contact with XLR8 (much thanks and aloha to Don Berry). They noted my problems and may consider it for a future update. Also learned from Don how to tell an SSE CarrierZIF from a regular MPe CarrierZIF: the SSE has an additional small square chip marked with a green dot on it in the lower right hand quadrant of the card (card oriented with ZIF socket face up and gold connector pins facing your tummy).

    I'm sorry about the long e-mail, thank you so much for creating and running this terrific website.

    Mahalo much,
    Neal Uehara"

Another reader replied to this post:

    " I've had similar Splotchy DV playback problems with my G4 upgraded 8600 under OS9 as Neal Uehara has had with his G4 upgraded s900.

    I had also just hunted down the sound manager from QuickTime 5 as part of the problem. Unfortunately Final Cut 3 requires the sound manager of QT 5 to run and that sound manager is the one that causes splotchy DV playback.

    What can be done to fix this is you can use a reseditor to replace the "nift" resources of QT5's SoundManager with the "nift" resources from QT 4.1.2. This will allow clean DV playback and the use of FCP 3. This doesn't fix everything but goes a long way to improving program behavior.

    What it does not fix is the audio crackle and hiss in playback under OS 9, but you can mixdown audio to take care of that.
    -Josh L."

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive /Cardreader Compatibility Database Updates
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 11 new reports added since Friday. 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 6,368 reports. [Entries from 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, name, contact info, etc. are deleted.)

    Combo DVD-CDRW Drive Reports
  • IDE Ricoh MP9120 12x/10x/32x + 8x DVD ROM in Dual G4 (OS X)
    (noted installing Toast 5.1 added discburner support for the drive in OS X )

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports
  • Lite-On LTR-24102B 24x10x40 in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (noted it would not boot the OS X 10.1 CD)
    (for MT systems, there's a CD drive install guide here.)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports
  • Lacie 32x10x40x used w/PowerBook G4 (OS X)
  • Lite-On LTR-24102B (24x10x40) in ADS Pyro FW case used w/G4 AGP (OS X server)
    (problems finishing burns noted)
  • Lite-On LTR-24102B 24/10/40 in ADS Pyro case (OS X)
    (problems finishing burns noted)
  • Plextor PX 24/10/40A in ADS Pyro Case used w/B&W G3 (OS X)
  • Teac CD-W524E, 24x10x40x in FW case used w/7600 (OS 9.1)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports
  • IBM Travelstar 60GB in PowerBook G3 wallstreet2 (OS X)
    (Noted sleep sensor issue, see PB G3 wallstreet HD upgrade guide)
  • IBM Travelstar 60GB in PowerBook G3 2000 [firewire model] (OS X)
    (see PB G3 HD upgrade guide here)
  • Maxtor 30GB in Beige G3 (OS 9.1)
  • Western Digital 100GB in iMac (OS 8.6)

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 5 new reports this morning. (total to date: 6,691). [Entries made after midnight last night are posted the next newsday morning.]

  • Apple G4/450 (OEM) module in G4/AGP [350] (rated 10)
  • Metabox G3/400 in 7600 (rated 7)
  • Other World Computing G4/500 in G4 no AGP [Yikes] (rated 8)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF MPe (SSE) w/G4 500 OWC ZIF in Umax S900 (rated 8)
    (comments include notes on solving issues with iMovie and FinalCut Pro)
  • AGP/2001 (Quicksilver 733) OC report

(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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Software Updates and Other Net News Links

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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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