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News Archive for Tuesday Jan. 28th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of Jan. 28th, 2003:

PowerMac Model Changes, up to Dual 1.4GHz, New Displays, $1500 23in Cinema Display Price Drop
Apple has revised the MDD G4 Tower line with faster CPU speeds (although now a single CPU at the low end), two Firewire 400/one Firewire 800 port, 4x rated (DVR-105 I assume) SuperDrive. The combo drive is now a 32x CDR write speed model. Also note the Radeon 9700 Pro is a BTO option "available soon" at the same upcharge as the GeForce4Ti ($350 additional upgrade from the GF4MX, $300 additional from the 9000 Pro.) And the low end's Geforce4MX is now back to 64MB vram like the original, unlike the prev. MDD GF4MX model that had 32MB vram.

  • Single 1GHz G4 w/1MB L3 cache, 256MB ram (DDR266), 60GB HD, Combo drive, Geforce4MX (64MB vram), Modem - $1499.

  • Dual 1.25GHz w/1MB L3 each, 256MB ram (DDR333), 80GB HD, Combo drive, Radeon 9000 Pro (64MB vram), Modem - $1999

  • Dual 1.42GHz w/2MB L3 each, 512MB ram (DDR333), 120GB HD, Superdrive, Radeon 9000 Pro (64MB vram), Modem - $2699

  • Dual 1.42GHz w/2MB L3 each, 2GB ram (DDR333), 120GB HD, Superdrive, Geforce4 Titanium (128MB vram), Modem - $3799

See Apple's Apple's PowerMac page for more info. (Note - a reader sent a reminder that these new systems don't boot OS 9, so for those that still need that capability the older models can still be found.) As usual, only the high end system has 2MB of L3 per CPU and the lower end model has a 133MHz bus, vs 167MHz on the more expensive models.

Display Changes: Apple today also shows a new 20 inch Cinema Display (1680x1050) for $1299 (smaller physically, but higher resolution than the prev. 22 inch Cinema), the 17in (1280x1024) LCD drops to $699 and the Cinema 23 inch HD display price drops a whopping $1500 to $1999. See Apple's Displays page for details.

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Reviews of Nvidia's GeForce FX Card
I've been so tied up with non-computer related things lately I forgot to mention that the PC web has a lot of reviews now of the latest Nvidia FX graphics card announced last fall. A Forum thread here lists links to many of the reviews at the major sites and comments on the surprising amount of power the card draws (75W reportedly at full load). As mentioned before, it takes an AGP slot plus a PCI slot space for an attached cooling fan. Here's some links to reviews and articles on the FX 5800/5800 Ultra that compare it to the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro (which is now a Mac BTO option listed as "coming soon" - hopefully soon at retail also). Of course drivers will improve over time, but the results are interesting for those that have been waiting for a comparison of the 9700 Pro and the FX card.

Note: With the FX card design shown in these articles, it would not fit in a Mirror Drive Door Mac which has the AGP slot at the bottom (no PCI slot below it).

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Revised ATI Radeon 7000 v208 ROM Flasher Available
(from Bruno of ATI, for those that had a failure of their board and didn't get the revised flasher direct from him. No change in actual ROM code for those that flashed 208 successfully with the first release.)

"Hey Mike.
The new revision of the installer for the RADEON 7000 Firmware has been put up on the site. If someone has previously downlaoded and applied the first ROM 208 updater they do not need to download again. This revision is simply intended to update the installer to work around a conflict with a third party extension as previously reported and to allow the re-flashing of cards that have been blanked (either due to the mentioned problem or something like a power failure).
A direct link to the download page:
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Xbench 1.0 (non-beta) Released
"After a long period of beta testing, Spiny has released Xbench 1.0.
Here's what's new:

  • first non-beta release
  • added "Model" detection
  • added CPU Version detection
  • made cache reporting more reliable on upgraded machines
  • made processor type detection more reliable on upgraded machines
  • corrected a crash while gathering cache information
  • improved video card detection on a variety of machines
  • fixed detection of dual processors
  • fixed a problem causing the UI test to display progressively lower results each time it was run
  • added progress sheet for results submission
  • fixed a potential crash while submitting

Download it at:

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports this morning (from reader entries yesterday). Total to date: 7,961. (Entries made later today are posted the next newsday morning.) Here's a summary of the updates added today :

  • Other World Computing G3/550 in B&W G3 (rated 8)
  • Other World Computing G4/500 in B&W G3 (rated 10)
  • PowerLogix G4/550 in B&W G3 (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G4/700 in 8600/300 (rated 10)
  • Apple G3/350 ZIF in Beige G3 (rated 1)

(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 10 new reports added (reader entries from yesterday; 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, etc, 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 9,685 reports.

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drives:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105 in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (problems noted with reading standard CDs)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105 in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (2nd report of this combo having cd read problems)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105 in G4/AGP (OS X)

    IDE CDRW Drives:
  • Buslink RW5224 (52x24x52x) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands, problems noted, unsupported mechanism)
  • LG GCE-8481B (48x24x48x) in B&W G3 using IDE PCI card (OS X)
    (FAQ has modified LG plugin for itunes burn support)
    (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.)

    SCSI CDRW Drives:
  • HP9200i 8x4x32 in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)

    IDE Hard Drives:
  • IBM Travelstar 20GB in iBook (OS X)
  • Toshiba 3017GAP 30GB in PowerBook G3 Wallstreet2 (OS X)
    (illustrated HD install guide here)
  • Western Digital WD800JBRTL 80GB (8MB cache) in iMac slot loading (OS X)
  • Western Digital WD800JBRTL 80GB (8MB cache) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here in B&W G3 rev2 and G4 towers up to the QuickSilver models.
    IDE articles page RAID section has an illustrated guide for adding 2 more drives in the side bays.)

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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Reader Game Reviews Database Updated
The Rate Your Mac Games database update today included another review of Star Wars Jedi Knight II. Total Reviews (all titles): 1019. (Reviews of No One Lives Forever and Ghost Recon wanted.) To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. Please include as much detail as possible in your review comments. (If your game title is not in the long listing, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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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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