News Archive for: 1/27/2006 Friday's News (later posted items first)
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Overclocking the Dual G4 533 CPU Module
Chris Placzek sent an article w/photos on Dual G4 533MHz Overclocking.
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OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro series Price Cuts
(from site sponsor OWC)

" OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro FireWire 800/400 models utilize the Oxford 912 Chipset and the best hard disk mechanisms to provide reliable, high performance storage. Elite-AL models are EMC/Dantz Backup Certified, Supported for High Demand Audio-Video, and include FireWire 800 Cable, FireWire 400 Cable, Dantz/EMC Retrospect Backup, Intech HD Speedtools, a 2yr Warranty and more.
80GB w/2MB Data Buffer was $149.99, now $139.99
160GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $189.99, now $179.99
200GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $199.99, now $187.99
250GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $209.99, now $199.99
300GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $259.99, now $239.99
400GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $349.99, now $339.99
500GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $469.99, now $449.99

OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro FireWire 400/USB2 models utilize the Oxford 911Plus Chipset and the best hard disk mechanisms to provide reliable, high performance storage. Elite-AL models are EMC/Dantz Backup Certified, Supported for High Demand Audio-Video, FireWire & USB Cables, Dantz/EMC Retrospect Backup, Intech HD Speedtools, a 2yr Warranty and more.
80GB w/2MB Data Buffer was $129.99, now $127.99
160GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $169.99, now $159.99
200GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $189.99, now $179.99
250GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $199.99, now $189.99
300GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $249.99, now $219.99
400GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $329.99, now $319.99
500GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $449.99, now $429.99

UPS Ground delivery is offered from $2.95, 2nd Day Air Special for $7.95 or less.
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing"

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Latest notes from Intel CPU iMac owner with WD 4000KD Upgrade Problems
Here's the latest mail from John on problems he's had with a WD4000KD (400GB) drive swap in his new Core Duo iMac. (In reply to the drive format/type tips posted in yesterday's news. That item also has links to his past comments, previous notes, etc.)

" I formatted the WD drive using target disk mode and used GPT. This still did not result in a successful OS X install. The installation program would see the drive, and attempt to check the drive. Once it got to that point it said there were errors during the install and I should try again. I did try again, with the result being that the drive no longer showed up as a choice to install OS X onto.

Disk Utility STILL does not show the options button on my machine when changing the partition map, or use the terminal per Thursday's suggestions.
Of note, I just put a Maxtor 300GB SATA drive (7L300S0) into my iMac, and there was no problem formatting it (maybe the GPT scheme is default?). OS X is currently installing on that drive.
Thanks, John "

My guess originally was that the reason Disk Utility did not show any options for the internal drive was that it defaulted to GPT (required for Intel CPU Mac boot disks) and wouldn't allow a change (The options did show up for external drives John said in a past post).
Not sure what to think about the WD4000KD SATA drive problems but I'd personally avoid that drive model for onboard SATA Macs after the previous reports on onboard G5 SATA problems with it.

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Reader Feedback on Intel CPU iMac Built-in Audio features
Yesterday's news had a reader question on the features of the Intel Core Duo iMac onboard Audio. Several readers sent info, comments, links to Intel HD audio info, etc. that I've added to a separate page.
(Page updated again with an iMac owner's complete list of settings, rates, etc.)
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Question on Intel CPU Mac compatibility with AVCBrowser and VirtualDVHS apps (from FirewireSDK)
(Updated w/Link to Univ. binary SDK)

"I bought a Powerbook just before the Macworld announcement and was able to return it just in time to get on the list for the new Macbooks. While waiting for my RMA#, I really weighed in the pros and cons of both machines and decided to not second guess my decision and stick with the Intel Core Duo.
One of the coolest things I do with my laptop is recording my favorite shows from my DVR with the AVCBrowser and VirtualDVHS apps from the FirewireSDK. Have you heard of anyone trying to do this on the Core Duo iMac yet? Any info would be appreciated.
-Cucillo"

If any reader with an Intel CPU Mac has tried these let me know if they work.
Update - within minutes of posting this a reader sent a note about an updated/Universal binary versions of the SDK:

"Firewire SDK 21 was just released and is supposed to be universal binary. Scroll down to the Firewire SDK link.
http://developer.apple.com/sdk/
-KillRoy "
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Listing of RAlink chipset Wireless Network Adapters
(in reply to a reader post in yesterday's news on RAlink drivers working in 10.4.4 with a Linksys WMP54G v4 card)

" Since their drivers work, this link might be useful:
http://ralink.rapla.net/
It contains all know wireless adapters with the ralink chipset.
(But remember there's always the chance a mfr will change chipsets over time, as has happened many times in the past with Broadcom chip based cards, but perhaps they keep their list up-to-date.-Mike)
Also, I discovered on a forum that their model 2500 OS X driver for USB is universal binary, but the configuration utility is still PPC only. No idea if it would work in Rosetta to configure. The forum I was on said you had to use it only with open access points until the config utility is ported. But things may have changed already. Most of the posts were year 2005.

The forum guys had checked out the Belkin USB adapter on a hacked OSX86 install on a pc-laptop and reported it working with the above limitation. See http://forum.osx86project.org/index.php?showtopic=1546
- Paul "

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More Feedback on New PowerBooks Audio Echo, Stuttering, Display Issues
Yesterday's news had notes about a page with complaints on new Powerbook models having audio echo/stuttering problems (and link to an Apple kbase doc on the issue). The first reader reply was from a new 17in PB G4 owner that said he's not seen that problem but some later mails were from those that have.

" I experienced this problem within the first week of getting my PowerBook. It happened on separate occasions while running two Apple applications -- 'Mail' and 'Chess" -- by themselves. Obviously neither are very demanding on a PowerBook's audio capabilities.

I'm even more concerned about the 'line problem'. Please check out the links in the answers to my post ( http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=1588145#1588145 ). If you view this graphic on a new Powerbook and any other Mac side-by-side, the difference is plain. One side of the graphic appears darker on the PowerBook not on the other Mac. Incrementally advancing the graphic up or down will flip the 'dark side' left and right.

By PowerBook's battery went from super performance to dying within seconds after a couple of months, but Apple's software fix for that solved the problem.
I keep hoping they're come up with software solutions to the line problem and audio problem as well.

Check out the threads on Apple's support forums for the PowerBook G4 15-inch Aluminum; there are many threads discussing these problems.
General Use: http://discussions.apple.com/forum.jspa?forumID=1037
Displays: http://discussions.apple.com/forum.jspa?forumID=1029

There's also the recently launched http://powerbookdefect.info/. (that's the same page I linked to yesterday-Mike)
While its home page currently focuses on the audio problem, the small link at the bottom of the page will take you to information about the display issues. Thanks for your time.
-Bob M "

" I got the new 15" PB High-Res, with 120GB disk and 1.5GB memory in November. I have experienced the problem most times I have done either a long Skype call or a long iChat audio conference (with headphones) (about 5 times in total).
(Many years ago there were some reports of stuttering audio on powerbooks during heavy network/airport use, but after I mentioned that the 17in PB G4 owner yesterday said he's not noticed it on his machine-Mike)
I have also had it happen to me once with the "Mail Sent" sound. Strangely, I have NEVER had it happen to me in hours and hours of iTunes playback through both analogue headphone out and via Airtunes, even when many other applications are running, several of which send system sounds.
I do NOT believe my cpu was heavily in use at the time of the problems. Apple has shown their awareness of this problem, and therefore I believe they will do what it takes to fix it.
But it is frustrating to all of us who have this problem - especially those who have it happening to them very frequently.
Cheers, Ian "

Apparently apple has had enough reports of this that they posted that kbase doc on PowerBook G4 (Double-Layer SD) audio stutters or skips.

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CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 7 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 - 15,502 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 LG SuperMulti GSA-4167B in G5 Tower (OS X 10.4)
    (noted no Retrospect support currently.)
  • IDE NEC ND-3550 in G5 Tower (OS X 10.3)
    (using Patchburn 3 for 10.3.x iApps burn support. Noted some problems that sounded like drive sleep.)
  • IDE NEC ND-3550A in G4/AGP tower (OS X 10.3)
    (requires Patchburn 3 for 10.3.x iApps burn support.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-K05 in Powerbook G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (Didn't realize that for 10.3.x iApps burn support you need to install a Patchburn3 profile.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-110D in eMac (OS X 10.4)
    (FAQ's iMac section has a link to download a PDF eMac superdrive install guide.)

    Hard Drives:
  • Firewire (and USB) cased Maxtor 5000DV 160GB used w/B&W G3 (OS X 10.4)
    (some problems noted with OS X)
  • IDE Seagate ST3300831A 300GB in iMac G4 (OS X 10.4)
    (iMac G4 15in take-apart article here)

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: 10,174. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Powerlogix G4 2.0GHz (7447A) in (QuickSilver) G4/AGP (rated 1)

    (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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