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News Archive for: 6/04/2001Monday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of 6/4/2001:

More G4/733 vs G4/500 DP and GeForce3 vs Radeon Test Results:
I've updated the G4/733 and GeForce3 page with results of more tests from this weekend. I also re-ran the Quake3 tests with the Radeon in the G4/500DP and got lower scores than before at 640x480 (below 55FPS). I had not retested this since the firmware updates and several other OS 9 updates on that machine. I also noticed that the Radeon 1.1.1 drivers would not work reliably with OpenGL 1.2.2 and the OpenGL ATI 1.2.4 extension (errors trying to launch Quake3). Reverting to OpenGL 1.2.1/OpenGL ATI Renderer 1.2.3 fixed that.
In quick tests, the GeForce3 seemed to have no image problems with 4x4EVO, Descent 3 OpenGL, Deus Ex (1.01), Star Wars Pod Racer and RainBow Six (although they were not extensively play tested). Descent 3 had some problems when I tried to run at 1024x768 mode however. (The readme noted a problem with DrawSprocket 1.7.4 when running the game at higher than 640x480 mode, but the G4/733 system had v1.7.5 which has the same issue according to a reader's Descent3 tips in the forums here. The readme says putting DrawSprocket v1.7.2 in the Descent3 folder should fix that.) There were some occasional "pauses" in gameplay with several games (perhaps due to music playing from the game CD? the DVR drive doesn't seem to be that fast a CD reader). I don't have a copy of "The Sims" to test yet. (A reader had asked if the GeForce3 ran this game without any image problems.)
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GeForce3 and The Sims:
Several readers had asked if the Nvidia GeForce3 card/drivers had any issues with the popular game "The Sims". Here's one reader's report:

" Hi Mike,
Saw your mention on the front page that a reader asked if the GeForce 3 runs The Sims correctly. I got a new G4/733 with the GF3 card last Thursday, and I've run The Sims for several hours now with that configuration with out any problems/artifacts at all.

The one issue I've noticed - my previous machine was an upgraded 8500 (300Mhz G3) with a Voodoo 5. While the new machine runs MUCH faster, I miss the anti-aliasing of the V5. Sims is one of the programs where I really notice the jaggies now, even at 1024x768.

I don't own the Sims, but also notice that with Star Wars Pod Racer no other card looks as good as the Voodoo5 PCI with Anti-Aliasing enabled. (Granted it was too slow for some FPS games, but worked great in POD Racer). FSAA is an option in the PC Nvidia drivers, but it's not present in the Mac drivers to date. (Same story with the ATI Radeon.) I have heard that FSAA will be enabled on the Mac drivers - but god knows when...
It's a shame there will likely be no future 3dfx driver updates since 3dfx was bought out by Nvidia. For more info on the Voodoo5 PCI, see the previous review here from last year.

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Switch Settings for Newer Tech G4 ZIF in CarrierZIF Card:
[UPDATE: Site sponsor OWC sent a link to their page with photos on the switch settings for the CarrierZIF and Newer Tech G4/400 ZIF for 8x ratio/50Mhz bus speed/400MHz CPU speed.]
I've had a few emails from buyers of clearance priced Newer Tech G4/400 ZIFs about what ratio (switch setting) to use with a CarrierZIF (or other ZIF socketed card). Since Newer Tech's manual assumes it will be used in a 66 or 100Mhz bus speed Mac (Beige or B&W G3), they don't document the higher ratio settings needed for older Macs with CPU cards.
I thought I remembered a recent report on a CarrierZIF + Newer Tech G4/400 ZIF. So I searched the CPU Upgrades Database here, selecting only Newer Tech G4 as the upgrade brand - leaving mac model blank and found this report (it should have been filed under CarrierZIF - but I duplicated it and put it under both categories just to make it easier to find in the future). I'm sending an email to Andrew to include the 8x ratio settings (not just the 9x he noted). [I'm not sure the FAQ's CPU upgrade section, Newer Tech ZIF switch settings posted previously are accurate for their G4 ZIF models.]

" Reviewer's Name: Andrew L.
Date Submitted: 5/18/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 9
Manufacturer: Newer Tech G4
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G4 400/200 Newer Tech ZIF
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 431/215.5
Cache Size: 1MB
Mac Type: 8600/300 mach5
Running a MaxpowerG4 ZIF socketed to an XLR8 carrier card. Control software is Mach Speed Control 2.0.2.

Can only run at 431Mhz reliably with write-through enabled (a 15% speed hit). Can run at 408Mhz reliably with write through disabled. Possibly faster as I was running an Apple G3/400 ZIF previously at a 54Mhz bus speed (432/216) with speculatve enabled.

Running at a 8:1 ratio. Achieved 9X multiplier with the NewerZIF by turning all switches on the card to "off" and 9,10,11,12 on the carrier to "off". Booted fine at 405/202.5 at first. Tried bumping the speed up and I couldn't get video to boot at 9:1 after that no matter what speed I chose. Returning to 8:1 solved the problem. At too high a speed the video refused to load during boot. The 9X multiplier seemed particlarily sensitive to this. As speed increases video performance decreases in my tests. (I am running a Nexus128 video card)

I did not have to de-interleave my RAM (576MB) to acheive rated speed & good perfomance from the G4. I am happy with the chip and very happy with thecarrier card."

Note with this 9x ratio settings to run the G4/400 ZIF at its rated speeds you'd set the bus speed switches on the Carrier card to 44.4 MHz. I'm also adding this info to my past article on the Newer Tech Carrier card, since it had no info on using G4 ZIFs. (I suspect the card is compatible with the G4 ZIF, but don't remember any reports on that specific combo.) I'll add Andrew's info on the 8x settings as soon as he replies. (The prev. FAQ info noted 8.0X ratio settings for Newer Tech G3 ZIFs as: "on-on-off-off", but not sure that is the same settings for a Newer Tech G4 ZIF.)

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Wanted: Fan-less OEM Radeon AGP Card:
I traded my OEM Radeon card for a GeForce2MX mac card back in February and need one to check resolutions, etc. (I'd prefer the fanless one, not the ones with a fan that are shipping in the latest Macs).
I'd buy it outright or trade for a retail Radeon Mac Edition (with TV out, and DVI vs ADC, etc. - see my review for full details on the retail card features). I checked Ebay and didn't find any OEM cards for sale. [Thanks to all that responded - over a dozen readers.]
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USB APC UPS and G4 Cube:
There's been a thread on a mail list for Mac web servers that had some reports of a suspected problem with a Cube web server that had a APC UPS (battery backup w/software) attached. Here's a reply in one of the latest posts in the thread that mentioned the issue of support with the Cube :

" I just spoke to APC Tech support and they said that they don't support the G4 Cube... only the G4's, and frankly are surprised it works fine for me on my Filemaker machine! I pointed out that nowhere does it say they don't support the Cube, and that they're essentially the same machine in a different package. He nicely went and checked with people on the Mac team and said they are sure, they don't support it on a Cube for some reason they identified during testing. (I know the voltage on the USB bus on the cubes was increased to support the USB speakers, which I personally don't think was a good move on Apple's part since USB is supposed to be a standard and they broke it, but even if that's the cause then all the new G4's will have that problem since all future G4's support these speakers I think.)

So.. I guess the solution is to disable the APC software and unplug the USB cable for the UPS, and I guess that will prevent the problem. I plan to run the other one with it though since that seems to have no problems with it and I understand Filemaker has a greater potential for file corruption in general, so a proper shutdown is advisable.
Mike "

I assume this is the Back-UPS Pro USB version (w/software). The problem report was from using it with a WebTen server, but as noted above, it seemed fine with a Filemaker server. I welcome any other Cube owner comments that use a USB Back UPS if they have seen any problems. ( Of course unless the power has went out, you'd never know how well the software worked.)

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More 2001 iBook Hard Drive Upgrade Comments/Tips:
Another new iBook owner wrote with comments on hard drive upgrades:

" Against my better judgement I forego all the warning and replaced the HARD DRIVE in my new iBook. I am an experienced Mac user and have take apart/modified most everything since the Mac Plus days. This is one job I would not do again! Granted the job did work and all is well - there were some hairy moments in the process.

Thought I would send in this note/warning for people who may be attempting this:

1. You best friend in the process will be a set of paper cups you can mark with numbers that match the numbered steps in the various PDF install guides. Put the screws from the various steps in the matching cup. There are LOTS of screws to remove!

2. When I was finished and putting the final screws back in on the back - the ones with the metal sleeves/grommets around them that hold the rubber feet. I must have overtightened one of them slightly as the metal grommet snapped it's inner tabs and fell right off past the screw. I am very conscious of torque applied to screws and I can tell you it did not take a lot of torque to break that grommet. Hopefully I can find somewhere to buy another grommet as the plastic foot will not fit without it and the iBook tips a little while using it.

On an unrelated note - just got through installing Mac Os 10.0.3 on the iBook and I must say it is FAST and in the realm of usable at this point. The only slowdown I noticed was when resizing windows. Other than that the speed was comparable to other Systems. I don't understand though why it is so fast and usable on my iBook but slow and unusable on my G4/400 (AGP).
- cleve"

Friday's news also had some tips and Tuesday's news had links to a reader's guide pages also available in PDF form.

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IDE RAID Card Experiences from Dual G4/2001 G4 Owners:
Last Friday a reader requested feedback on IDE RAID cards in 2001 G4s/Dual G4 systems. About a half-dozen readers sent their experiences. One reader sent his ATTO benchmark results which looked impressive. See this page for details.
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More IDE Sony 16/10/40 CDRW Reports:
Today's Drive Compatibility Database included more reports on the new Sony 16/10/40 CDRW drive. G4/AGP owners reported good compatiblity such as this owner's comments:

Sony CRX168B-A1
Dual G4 running OS 9.1
" Went out to CompUSA planning on buying the Sony 160 for $179.00 and found this one (16x/10x/40x) for $199.00. In addition to the faster speeds, it also has an 8MB buffer compared to 4MB in the 160.

Total install time was less than 5 minutes and the G4's bezel fits and works fine. Firmware through Profiler reports 1.0A.

Toast 5.01 worked great on burning audio and data. iTunes doesn't recognize the drive but Toast is faster anyway so I don't use it. I don't run DiskBurner so don't know how that would fare, either.

The drive is bootable on the 9.1 and OSX CDs.
Brian P. "

For those that wonder what's involved in swapping out a CDROM drive in a B&W G3 or G4 mac, see this previous illustrated guide (also covers Beige G3 MT and 86/9600s).

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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 7 new reports (total to date: 5,745). [Entries after midnight last night are added the following day.]

  • Newer Tech G3/250 in 7600 (rated 8)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in Beige G3 (rated 6)
  • Sonnet G4/450 in Umax S900 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/OWC G3/500 ZIF in PowerCenter Pro 210 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/Railgun G3/400 ZIF in PowerCenter Pro 180 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF w/G3/400 ZIF in PowerCenter Pro 210 (rated 9)
  • PowerBook G4/400 OC report

You can find these 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 Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 20 new entries added this morning. The database has reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 3,923 reports. [BTW - the drive database is not a place to post questions, it's for reports on drives you've used. For guides to drive installs, see the IDE, SCI or Firewire articles linked above and/or the FAQ. 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.]
You can find full owner reports by searching the database by drive/brand/interface/mac models (the latest reports are shown first in searches).
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.
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