News Archive for: Friday, March 24th, 2006
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Notes on different Quad G5 Cooling systems (dual and single pump)
" I had 3 different Quad G5s on the table in the last few days and it became obvious that Apple switched back to the Dual 2.5/2.7 liquid cooling system with just one pump. I heard reports about later Quads just reporting a single pump, so I looked into it (literally).

Not only does the system running on a newer Quad report just a single pump sensor, the difference is clearly audible. The twin-pump system emits a somewhat annoying, swelling hum, due to the addition and deletion of the noise from the two pumps, while the single-pump system just hums, no modulation or anything.

I didn't remove the CPU-block cover, but looking though the back fans of the later system you can clearly see the CPU-PSU heatsinks with the long heatpipes, just like in the old Dual-2.5.

I couldn't note any difference in cooling performance, both systems didn't have any problem to cool down the two CPUs.

The twin-pump systems had S/N around 55000, the younger, single-pump system I checked had a 60000-ish S/N.

I don't know why they switched. Maybe it was that annoying noise, maybe the single pump is simply cheaper, maybe there were other problems with the new system, who knows...
-skab "

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New Elite-AL FW800/400 Drive Pricing, $89.99 40GB FW/USB Portable drive
(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 remains $139.99
160GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $179.99, now $169.99
250GB w/8MB Data Buffer remains $199.99
300GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $239.99 -Replaced w/new 320GB-
320GB w/8MB Data Buffer -NEW- $229.99
400GB w/8MB Data Buffer was $349.99, now $319.99
500GB w/8MB Data Buffer remains $449.99
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/800/
UPS Ground delivery of above from $2.95, 2nd Day Air within the US for $7.95 or less.

40GB 2.5" FireWire/USB2 Portable - $89.99 Special
OWC Mercury Express 40GB 2.5" Portable Solution w/FireWire & USB2 $89.99 Includes Intech HD Speedtools, FireWire 400 Cable, USB2 Cable, & Carrying Case. Bus Powered and covered by 1 Year OWC warranty. Works with Macs & PCs.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/mercxpress
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing "

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Saturn Cipher (Encrypted) ExDrive Review
" AMUG has just posted an article on the Addonics Saturn Cipher ExDrive. The model discussed in this review uses a SATA hard drive with 128-bit DES encryption. The Saturn Cipher ExDrive allows you to encrypt the entire drive in real time using a certified cryptographic engine inside an ASIC. This high quality DES hard drive encryption system does not tax the CPU or the hard drive. The article discusses configuration options, connections, compatibility, cooling, energy usage, performance and security issues.
Regards,
Michael Bean
Team AMUG "
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iJet Apple iPod Remote Control for $20
"While supplies last, OWC is offering the iJet Wireless RF Remote Control at $20 + $4.50 (or less) UPS Ground Delivery. 2nd Day Air anywhere in the US is also available for $7.95 or less.
This remote control solution is compatible with all 3G, 4G, iPod Color(4G), iPod Photo, and iPod mini models.
While they last - this is the best deal out there bar none. :)
Listed on the XLR8YourMac Specials Page in the 'General Upgrade Hot Deals' section which is the last section/category at the bottom of the page.
Best Regards,
Lawrence R. O'Connor
Other World Computing "


(FYI - I've posted a page with Replies to the earlier post on Alum PB G4 finish wear.)

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More info from M-Audio on updated drivers, Enigma software for Intel CPU Macs
(in reply to a post in yesterday's news on M-Audio driver/firmware updates for some of their Firewire and USB devices)

" The M-Audio FireWire Family Driver is in beta. However, drivers for all other current M-Audio devices that can run on Intel Macintoshes are final versions. (http://m-audio.com/index.php?do=support.drivers.) The complete list of M-Audio devices that have final drivers for Intel Macs is below:

USB devices
Ozone
Black Box
Mobile Pre
Jam Lab
Audiophile USB
Transit
Fast Track
Fast Track Pro

MIDI devices/Keyboards
MIDISport 1x1
MIDISport 2x2
MIDISport 2x4
MIDISport 4x4
MIDISport 8x8
Oxygen 8

Other keyboards are class compliant in OS X (not requiring separate drivers). PCI devices are not listed, since there are no PCI Intel Macintoshes.

The Enigma software has also been released in an Intel Macintosh-compatible version.
(M-Audio) "

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MacBook Pro owner reports page updated
I've updated the MacBook Pro reports page with another owner mail on random shutdowns. A few others had mentioned this, one reader saying removing 3rd party ram helped on 2 samples with the problem - but this reader said that didn't solve the problem on his MacBook, which had only Apple installed ram. (One reader previously mentioned a possible suspect batch of motherboards, but only apple knows for sure.)
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PowerMac G5 Random Shutdown Reports page updated
I've added 3 more reports to the page on Feedback on G5 Tower Random Shutdowns, 2 from pre-dual core model owners.
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Intel Core Duo 2GHz iMac Mac World of Warcraft Performance
"WoW performance on iMac Intel Core Duo 20in, 2GHz, 2GB RAM, 256MB VRAM

Resolution 1680x1050
24 bit color 24 bit depth 2x multisample (AA)
Terrain distance maxed
Environment detail maxed
Texture detail maxed
Anisotropic filtering maxed
Terrain texture maxed
Spell effect detail maxed
All shader effects checked (only thing I can think of not enabled is trilinear filtering, not sure why I didn't turn this on....) Basically, everything is on full

Results:
- Indoor about 40 - 100 fps (in a "full" population realm at peak hour I'm sitting on 30+ fps when looking west across the bank- >auction house area, look at a wall and the framerate will max out at 100)

- Outdoor 25-50fps (normally with full screen glow unchecked)

- Mouse look is still extremely laggy, but this has been fixed on the PTR running version 1.10. Even with lower framerates the mouse movement is now very smooth on the test realm.

- Full screen glow is fine to enable in indoor instances but creates too much of a hit to framerates outdoors, ~ in the order of 10fps which is more noticable outdoors.

- I'll be going on my first MC/BWL runs on the new iMac this weekend, so I should be able to add some more info as to how it performs in the ulimate stress situations in 40 man raids (Raiding, for those who do not know is an area where Macs suffer far more than PCs, this appears to be an interface related issue that Blizzard has acknowledged)

- In conclusion, this is a fantastic machine, the first all-in-one that Apple has produced that really does have cutting edge technology and can easily run the latest games maxed out (as universal binaries) and older games not yet recompiled run just fine on middling settings.
-Ben"

I've added this to the page of Mac WoW performance which has other Intel CPU and PowerPC Mac user's notes on FPS rates seen in play.

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How's your Alum Powerbook Finish Holding Up?
(Update - as of 4PM Eastern time Friday I had 11 replies to this post - several noting they also had some finish wear or black spots/pitting, etc., although some said theirs still looks great, especially with regular care/cleaning.)

" i was wondering if any other owners of the aluminum PB have issues of losing paint in the small area between the track pad and keyboard. My PB is 1.67ghz 15", I have had it since June 2005. I can send a pic if you would like.
-Aaron "

I use an older 17in AL Powerbook G4 daily (1.33GHz, bought light used) for the last 2 years but always use a mouse with it - so far the finish looks fine - not sure if it's painted or some sort of clear anodize, but other than some stains at times and a few scratches - it still looks good so far. (The Ti Powerbooks however often had finish/paint problems - I had one where the paint on the outer trim ring cracked and flaked off and some owners of them years ago posted pictures of paint wearing through, etc.)
If any AL Powerbook users have had finish problems let me know.

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Other Net News / Misc. Software Updates
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CDRW/DVD/Hard Drive/Storage Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 3 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 - 15,656 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 Pioneer DVR-111DBK in iMac G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (Problems noted that sound like a jumper setting conflict w/HD. Would need Patchburn 3 for 10.3.x iApps burn support. iMac G4 15in take-apart article here)

    Combo DVD(rom)-CDR drives:
  • IDE Toshiba R2612 in iBook 2002 (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for 10.3.x iApps burn support.)

    CDRW Drives:
  • SCSI Yamaha CRW 4416S in 6500 (OS 9.2)
    (using toast for burning/toast reader extension)

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: 10,231. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple B&W G3/400 OC report (at 450MHz)

    (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.)

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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