AccelerateYourMac logo
The Source for Performance News, Tips & Reviews

Click for Data Doubler Kits!
Data Doubler Kits!

Reviews and Daily News with a  Difference!
Select a Topic Area To See a List of Related Reviews & Articles
Systems  | CPU Upgrades  | SCSI | IDE | Firewire  | Video  | Audio  | Games  | Misc/OS  | Archives  | Search
Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 3/15/2001 Thursday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

Click  for Thunderbolt upgrades!
Click for Thunderbolt upgrades!

Top stories of 3/15/2001:

PowerBook G4 - My Experiences After One Month of Use:
It's been insane here in the last month, with an accident costing me over 100 pages worth of a writing project (dropped Wallstreet destroying both the internal HD and expansion bay HD) as well as some personal family health issues that continue to make even sleep a rare thing lately. About the only thing that's been trouble-free recently is the PowerBook G4. Although there have been some reports of battery connection problems, DVD/CD eject problems, static discharge lockups, etc. (see the PB G4 comments page), I have seen none of this in about a month of use with my PB G4/400. It's been one of the most stable and enjoyable computers I've ever owned.

I've seen no DVD/CD eject problems, no grinding noises when titled at even a 45 degree angle, no shut-off problems with the battery - nothing unusual. My Nomad II MP3 player and Sony Firewire 10/4/32 CDRW drive have been plug-and-play with iTunes also, and unlike the PB G3/500 firewire I reviewed last year, even my old Nikon CoolPix 100 PCcard camera works with it. I realize this is little consolation to those that have seen problems, but so far my PB G4 has been trouble-free.

There are a few minor cosmetic flaws in my PB G4 however, despite the perfect screen. The surface above the DVD drive (if you look carefully at an angle), does show some impression lines and there is a wider gap in the bottom cover at the corner of the DVD drive. (After removing the cover this is due to one of the plastic "hooks" being broken off - something to be aware of if you remove the cover a lot.) I hesitate returning it for these cosmetic flaws however since everything is working perfectly otherwise. You don't really notice them in normal use and I'm afraid if I returned it for service they may replace the entire machine and I might get a less-than-perfect screen.

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
More OS X Game Ports from Omni?
A reader wrote regarding Omnigroup's hints at future OS X native game ports

" Hi Mike,...
Here's a partial copy of a post to the mac-games-dev list at apple by Tim Wood of Omni. The post is regarding the talk that Tim will be giving on the last day of GDC (Game Developers Conference) on March 23rd. Given their past experience of doing the preliminary OS X port of Quake3Arena we could be in for some interesting announcements within the next week or two.

I am not familiar with Omni's games. What am I forgetting?

"The only one that we can name right now is Quake3 (well, there are the older ports, Quake2 and DoomII). We have four other top shelf titles that we are currently working on now. Hopefully I'll get permission from the publishers to mention these games at the talk. I don't know that we'll have time to demo any of them since (a) most people have probably seen them already and (b) we'll be covering a ton of ground and I'd rather leave time for Q&A than have people watch me play games :)"

All the best,
Ben Boffey"

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Reader notes VST IDE card and Radeon Conflicts:
A reader sent a copy of a letter to ATI tech support on problems he's seen with a Radeon card in his Dual G4/450 system with VST IDE card (running Softraid)

(a copy of the reader's email follows)

" I wrote to you awhile back (see below) about problems I had been having with my computer. I had a IDE controller card installed (VST ultra-tek 66 with softraid 2.2.2) with two IBM deskstars that worked great for a long time and then started having problems. Well it never dawned on me that I had installed a Radeon retail card for the mac and that was the problem. I had been hounding VST about this problem and they finally told me to take the Radeon card out-that it was a problem causer on many message boards and voila! all problems gone.

(copy of letter to ATI follows)

"I received a automatic response that was so off-base it was hilarious. It wasn't even for the MAC. I have had to remove my much anticipated RADEON for the MAC because its presense created corruptions and i/o errors with my VST Ultratek 66 card. I have all the latest drivers. I check religiously. But I deal with Final Cut Pro and video. I have spent the last two months (since my girlfriend gave me the card as a Christmas present) trying to figure out what the evolving problem with my RAID (softraid 2.2.2). So I erased the Raid and tried using both radiologic drivers and apple drivers to run the 2 Deskstar 75 GXP's(45gb) that were connected to the IDE controller card (VST ultratek 66). Before the Radeon-there was no problem, it worked like a charm (super fast HD response). I have tried every possible thing to get the drive to run correct but the same problem exists. WHEN TRYING TO RUN QUICKTIME MEDIA/MOVIES FROM MY RAID DRIVE (SEE SPECS ABOVE) THE FILE WOULD FREEZE UP!

FOLLOWED BY THE SYSTEM. Occasionally I would get a message about a I/O error followed by a freeze. After spending months hunting down a frustrating problem and working with VST. They told me to take out the radeon and put in the original rage 128 pro. MY SYSTEM IS THE FOLLOWING:

Once the Radeon was removed-no more errors. It worked flawlessly again. I have tested software configurations and hardware configurations. it is the radeon. Apparently their are conflicts all over the place-on hundreds of message boards. So despite my frustration- I would like to keep the card if it was debugged because ONI looked great on the card. But I edit video and this card-had destroyed a few projects. I had redo stuff that was stored on my RAID because it became corrupt. Now you could say it was VST who is at fault...but their card has been out a whole lot longer than the Radeon and is commonplace upgrade for video and graphics specialists (for the inexpensive speed up). So why wasn't the RADEON tested with this card? Could you explain why this is occuring and whether it will be addressed in the near future? Otherwise I would like to return my card to ATI for a refund because I cannot use it. The retailer told me I would have to deal with you because technically the card is in working order. Which it can sell it to someone else-no problem. But it has been a pain in the butt for me. I even bought a second ATI card for my second monitor to prevent conflicts and to stay loyal. But guys Nvidia makes a mean card and my friends say their tech support is excellent.

So where do we go from here?
thank you for your time and consideration in this matter
Travis Guba"

Just a FYI on support - as noted here many times - there is no retail Mac Nvidia cards and the OEM/BTO versions are actually supported by Apple, not Nvidia direct. I do hope their excellent record for driver updates seen on the PC proves true for the Mac. Currently as GeForce2MX owners know, there are some Rave game issues as well as Lightwave3D 6.5 problems with the current drivers (see my GeForce2MX vs Radeon article for LW 3D screenshots and more info).

He later noted his Radeon was an AGP model. I've never owned a VST (ultratek card) but have had good results from a retail and BTO Radeon card in my dual G4/500 and single G4/500 (used for the reviews and articles on the Graphics card reviews page).

If any other readers have used a PCI IDE card from VST and an ATI Radeon card combo, let me know your experiences. (Include your system, driver, etc. details.)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Farallon Skyline Wireless card Driver/Firmware Update:
With the recent news having several posts on the Skyline PCI wireless card I thought I'd mention that there's a v2.3 udpate that also includes a firmware update. Download v2.3 at
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Reader Comments on Norton Personal Firewall and OS 9.1:
(Note: another reader replied he's running OS 9.1 and Norton Firewall fine, but suggested removing it including preferences and reinstalling Norton Personal Firewall after the OS 9.1 update. See Friday's news for more info.) In reply to the post in yesterday's news on Symantech's $99.95 Systemworks/Personal Firewall bundle, a reader sent a note about problems he's seen after upgrading to OS 9.1.

" Hi Mike,
... I just wanted to put my two cents in about the Norton bundle you posted on []. It is a good product, no doubt. It does have some issues if running OS 9.1. Once I upgraded from 9.0.4 to 9.1, I can no longer run the app. Ironic, the firewall remains functional and I can still disable/enable via the control strip. Unfortunately, I cannot modify the configuration etc etc. Look at the message boards at Symantec and you will see MANY of us have the same problem. I don't want to discourage any readers from buying this product however I felt compelled to tell the story.
Luigi Cusano"

OS 9.1 also 'broke' at least one Mac web server software package I know of (requiring an update to the server software). Hopefully Symantech will have an update to address this soon.

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports (total to date: 5,395). [Entries from after midnight EST will be added the following day.]

  • Metabox G3/400 in Umax S900 (rated 9)
  • Powerlogix G3/400 in PowerCenter 132 (rated 9)
  • Sonnet G3/500 in PowerCenter 150 (rated 10)
  • XLR8 G4/450 ZIF in B&W G3 (rated 9)
  • XLR8 CarrierZIF G3/500 in 9600/350 (rated 9)

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.)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
CDRW/CD/DVD/HD Compatibility Database Updates:
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 15 new entries added this morning including CDRWs, DVD-ROM, and Hard Drives. (Current total 3,253 reports). Entries from after midnight are added the following day. [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 here and/or the FAQ. 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.
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Video Card/System Benchmark Performance Database Updated:
Updates to the Mac Game/Video Card Performance database included:

  • Quake1 (640x480, 1024x768) results from PowerTower Pro w/G3/433 upgrade and Radeon PCI
  • Unreal Tournament Demo (1024x768) results from PowerTower Pro w/G3/433 upgrade and Radeon PCI
  • Throughput results from Dual G4/500 with Radeon AGP card

Total entries in the database to date: 2,598. If you haven't already, enter your results with any of the game titles or benchmarks listed on the entry page (details on how to test are there). If you're curious how a CPU upgrade or new Video card would help game performance, the search page options can help you find similar system/configurations to get an idea before you buy.

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News:
Reported By: Barney Buoy

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Recent Reviews and Articles:
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top

Click for Data Doubler Kits!
Data Doubler Kits!

(Ad/Sale items)

= UPGRADES by Mac =
Upgrades just for

= Used Macs =
(Click for List)

SSDs from under $50!
Fast SSDs for Most Macs/PCs

= ThunderBolt =
Drives & More

Up to 6 TB HDs!
Hitachi, WD, Seagate, Samsung HDs

= 2.5in HDs & SSDs =
Notebook Hard Drives and DIY drive/case kit bundles

Lifetime warranty RAM Upgrades!

Internal and External Superdrives/Blu-Ray drives

Graphics cards, TV tuners, DVR, adapters and more.

Apps, Utilities, OS, VM, Games and more

WiFi and Bluetooth Devices/Adapters/More

= Repair Service =
for iPhone, iPad, Macs

= iPad/iPhone/iPod =
Accessories, Cases, Repairs & More

NuGuard iPhone Case *Extreme* Drop Tested!

XLR8YourMac T-Shirts

Help Fight Hunger

= back to =

= Other Site Topic Areas =
Mac Mods/Upgrades | CPU Upgrades | Storage | Video | Audio/HT | Misc/Software | Search | Recent

Copyright © , 1997-2014. All Rights Reserved
All brand or product names mentioned are properties of their respective companies.

Legal: Site Privacy and terms/conditions of use.