News Archive for: 1/19/2006 Thursday's News (later posted items first)
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Starcraft X and BroodWar Updates
MU lists Starcraft X 1.13f and Starcraft Broodwar X 1.13f updates today. Version 1.13f "fixes several bugs that contributed to game exploits".
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Squeezebox/Slim Server (prefs pane) Broken on Intel Macs
Not sure how many readers use it, but Frank sent a note/link to a forum thread on Squeezebox/Slim Server broken on Intel macs. According to a post they are working on an update to the prefs panel to fix that.
If anyone spots an app/utility, driver, etc,. that doesn't run under Rosetta, or a Universal Binary update to a popular app/game/utility, let me know.
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Intel iMac owner compares performance to PB G4 1.5GHz
(from a reader mail - updated with results with i386 build of Handbrake. For those that send test results, please note if apps used on Intel Macs were Universal Binary or running under Rosetta. Thanks. )

" Hey Mike, I just got my new Intel iMac 17" and figured I would run some tests against my Powerbook G4 1.5GHz.

Powerbook G4 Specs:
- 1.5ghz G4
- 512MB Apple RAM
- 80GB Toshiba HD
- 128MB Radeon Mobility
- Superdrive

Intel iMac 1.83 specs:
- 1.83ghz Intel Core Duo Processor
- 2GB DDR2 533 RAM
- 160GB Maxtor HD
- 128MB Radeon X1600
- Superdrive

Here are the results:

(There's no universal binary version yet of Handbrake but I asked if he used the i386-only build available at the Handbrake downloads page on the Intel iMac. Rosetta translated apps take a big performance hit usually. He later wrote with results of the i386 Handbrake build.-Mike)

DVD Rip (Handbrake)
(The Simpsons Season 4 DVD set: Disc 1, Episode 3)
Powerbook G4: 19.1 FPS avg.
Intel iMac (Rosetta): 19.01 FPS avg.
Intel iMac (i386 build): 31.23 FPS avg.

Quicktime Conversion (DVD Rip -> iPod video)
Powerbook G4: 40 minutes
Intel iMac 1.83: 24 minutes

Let 1k Windows Bloom
(ran under Rosetta on the Intel Mac.)
Powerbook G4: 14 sec.
Intel iMac: 13 sec.

Xbench (1.2) Scores
(Using Universal Binary build)
Overall score: PB G4 = 47.27 / Intel iMac = 62.64
CPU Test: PB G4 = 54.33 / Intel iMac = 70.52
GCD Loop: PB G4 = 94.66 / Intel iMac = 238.25
Floating Point Basic: PB G4 = 36.10 / Intel iMac = 83.34
vecLib FFT: PB G4 = 86.50 / Intel iMac = 40.87
Floating Point Library: PB G4 = 42.02 / Intel iMac = 62.28
Thread Test: PB G4 = 66.69 / Intel iMac = 178.89
Memory Test: PB G4 = 28.95 / Intel iMac = 98.17
Quartz Graphics Test: PB G4 = 65.92 / Intel iMac = 60.63
OpenGL Graphics Test: PB G4 = 79.55 / Intel iMac = 131.06
User Interface Test: PB G4 = 39.92 / Intel iMac = 21.38
Disk Test: PB G4 = 32.02 / Intel iMac = 91.83
Sequential: PB G4 = 62.91 / Intel iMac = 114.66
Random: PB G4 = 21.47 / Intel iMac = 76.58
Keep up the good work!
-John W. "

If you missed the recent news posts, here's some other recent articles/tests of Intel CPU Macs:

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MacBook Pro also supports 802.11a
" Mike, A posting (yesterday) noted that the iMac Core Duo supports 802.11a wireless, and wondered about the MacBook Pro. An Apple rep at a demo today said that the MacBook Pro does support 802.11a along with b & g.
-David B "

As mentioned yesterday, Apple doesn't mention this but I suspect it's due to the fact their Airport cards and Bases to date do not support 802.11a. (An older article I read on 802.11a vs g noted although the performance specs were similar, 802.11a had better interference immunity (esp. in 2.4GHz range) and better throughput.)

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G5 owner report on OrangeUSB 2.0 and Sonnet Tango 2.0 FW/USB PCI cards
" I recently retired my dual 1.25Ghz G4 PowerMac and replaced it with a dual 2.7Ghz. After years of having Deep Sleep problems with the G4 due to PCI (USB and Firewire) card incompatibilities, I finally set out to try to solve the problem for the G5. When I first moved my existing PCI cards to the new G5, the Deep Sleep problems continued. But, after a bit of research on xlr8yourmac.com, combined with some good old fashioned trial and error, I finally came up with a combination of two PCI cards that (together) give me an additional 2 external Firewire 400 ports plus an additional 6 external USB 2.0 ports and do it WITHOUT any Deep Sleep problems.

As other owners have already figured out, it's not so much "the card" as what's plugged into the PCI card. With regard to Deep Sleep on the Mac, these aftermarket PCI cards just don't seem to like any kind of "storage" device attached to them. But, for me at least, Deep Sleep works just fine with my other non-storage devices.

So, here's the scoop on my hardware and what's plugged into each:

* Orange Micro "OrangeUSB" USB 2.0 PCI Card - This card has four external USB 2.0 ports. The four peripherals I have plugged into those four ports are: Epson 2200 printer, Epson R200 printer, Dymo LabelWriter 330 printer and Brother MC-8440 printer.

* Sonnet "Tango 2.0" Firwire/USB Combo PCI Card - This card has two external USB 2.0 ports and two external Firewire 400 ports (plus one of each as internal ports - currently unused). One of the external USB ports is taken by my Harman/Kardon SoundStick speakers and one of the external Firewire 400 ports is taken by my iPod. The remaining two external ports (one USB and one Firewire) are currently unused.

* I am also using all of the G5's built-in rear ports as well. The G5's two rear USB ports are taken by my keyboard (Apple) and by my SanDisk Multimedia Card Reader (for Compact Flash, Secure Digital, etc.). The G5's rear Firewire 400 port is taken by the cable to my Mini-DV camcorder. The G5's rear Firewire 800 port is taken by my external hard drive enclosure.

That's it. A grand total of eight rear USB ports (7 taken), three rear Firewire 400 ports (two taken) and one rear Firewire 800 port (taken). With this arrangement, my G5 (Mac OS 10.4.4) enters Deep Sleep and wakes from Deep Sleep just fine.

I should point out that the "culprit" peripherals that caused Deep Sleep problems when they were plugged into the PCI cards are the external hard drive (when using Firewire 400) and, more importantly, the SanDisk Multimedia Card Reader (USB). The Deep Sleep problem always followed these two devices. Interestingly, my iPod (also connected via Firewire 400) doesn't cause any Deep Sleep problems.

So, there you have it. I'm not sure if other G5 owners will be as "lucky" as me but I think they can greatly improve their chances if they change their connections around to keep "storage" devices away from the PCI card ports.
Mark "

I've added this to the previous page of G5 owner Feedback on USB and Firewire Devices/Cards.

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Other Net News
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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: 10,166. Here's a summary of the report added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Giga Designs G4 Dual 1.8GHz (7447A) in (Digital Audio) G4/AGP (rated 10)

    (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.)

(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).

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