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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 5/30/2001 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

Top stories of 5/30/2001:

First Impressions/Tests Results of G4/733 with GeForce3:

I finally got my hands on a 2001 G4 with GeForce3 card to test. Included on the details page are comments on what I've seen so far and results of some initial tests with Photoshop 5.5, iMovie2, Cleaner 5.02 (QT->MPEG conversion), G4Timedemo, Altivec Fractal Demo, GL Quake and Quake3. There's also a photo of the Mac GeForce3 card there. Details. (Updated with initial tests of GeForce3 in a 2xAGP G4/500.)
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More Info on GeForce AGP Power Requirements:

(Note - Thursday's news includes notes on testing the GF3 in a 2xAGP slot Mac.)
In a follow-up to my comments below on the GeForce3 and 2X AGP slot Macs (AGP slot power) - a reader post in the forums noted specs on power required by a GeForce AGP card based on a PC version. If those specs are accuate (and I'm not sure they are for the Geforce3 version - VisionTek's comments may be on the original GeForce chip/card which uses more power than the later GeForce2 and 3 cards, noted in the GeForce FAQ site) .

" I think the power requirements of the GeForce 3 could definitely be a problem with the AGP2x Macs, based on Mike's info and details I found on the VisionTek GeForce 3 card ( While this is a PC version card and it lists AGP2x/4x compatibility, the user guide for the card lists the following FAQ(partial list):

"7. Your motherboard must be capable of providing adequate voltage to the AGP card. The AGP 2.0 specification requires 6A at 3.3V for the AGP socket and 2A at 5.0V for the AGP memory. The VisionTek GeForce will consume up to 6A at 3.3V and 2A at 5.0V when running video intensive applications such as 3D games"
(posted by jhebert)"

I checked VisionTek's site and found the above info down list at this support page, under the "Resolving Computer lock-ups" topic. It mentions GeForce, not the GeForce3 specifically and their site covers the past power issues of the original GeForce cards in some PC motherboards. (Their card also includes a TV out, but I don't think that's a major factor as far as overall power used, the GPU chip is the primary factor.) The requirements noted above exceeds the 20W spec for even the 4xAGP slot listed in the Apple manual for the 2001 G4 system. (6A @3.3V = 19.8 watts plus 2A @5V = 10 watts - total 29.8 watts max - Apple notes 20W max for the 2001 G4 AGP slot but I assume that is for the 3.3v line only.)
* However *, checking a GeForce FAQ on the web, I found a note the GeForce2 did not have the PC motherboard problems like the original GeForce, since the GeForce2 used a 0.18 micron design (lower power). The GeForce3 uses a 0.15 micron manufacturing process. [Despite having more transistors, it could still use less power due to the die shrink/lower core voltage.] I've called VisionTek to ask if they can provide any facts on the GF3 power requirements and they promised to call/email if they could find them.
I still assume an AGP 2.0 spec slot is required for the GeForce3, and the low AGP slot power rating (8W max) for the 2xAGP macs (noted below), could be problem. I doubt that the 2x AGP Mac's slot is AGP 2.0 spec compatible at least as far as power, based on the power requirements noted in the Apple manual.
Tim Seufert sent a list of the AGP 2.0 spec ratings for power:

  • Vddq1.5 / Vddq3.3 : 8.0A
  • VCC3.3: 6.0A
  • VCC5: 2.0A
  • VCC12: 1.0A

The reason there's a 1.5/3.3V rail is that AGP started out with 3.3V signaling and is designed to transition to 1.5V. AGP slots can be keyed for 1.5V only, 3.3V only, or have no key at all if they can accept either kind of card (there is a sense line motherboards can use to determine whether 1.5V or 3.3V should be supplied to the card)
From what I can tell AGP 4X is probably only supposed to work with the 1.5V signaling levels.

Apple's 2001 G4 AGP connector has no keying tab.

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AGP Slot Power Specs of 2X AGP vs 4X AGP Macs:

One of the hottest questions on reader's minds is why Apple lists the GeForce3 AGP card as requiring a Mac with 4x AGP Slot (i.e. 2001 G4 Tower, vs previous models that had a 2x AGP Slot). As I've noted before - I wondered if the design of the AGP slots in previous models could source enough current for the GeForce3. (This was an issue in some PC motherboards with the original GeForce card as I've also mentioned before ).
I checked the specifications on the 2001 G4's AGP Slot - Apple states the 4x AGP slot has a 20 watt max capability. Checking the specs. on a 2000 Gigabit G4 shows that the 2x AGP slot has a 8 watt max capability. [I assume this is for the 3.3v power.] I think this is why Apple notes a 4x AGP slot is required for the GeForce3, since I'm sure it uses more than 8 watts of power. (The original GeForce was said to draw as much as 6 Amps of 3.3V under full load [19.8W] - the Geforce3 may have a smaller die/lower power design, but I'd still bet it's a lot more than 8 watts. I can't find any specs on the GeForce3 as far as power requirements.) [Update: See the GeForce3 tests page for updates on testing of a GeForce3 in a 2xAGP G4/500.]

As a FYI - the Gigabit G4 manual shows the 3 PCI slots have a max spec. of 45W. The 2001 G4 specs the max of the PCI slots + the AGP slot (combined) at 55 watts. (As a side note - both the 2001 G4 and my Gigabit G4 have the same power supply/same ratings on the supply.) I don't have a pre-Gigabit G4 model to check the specs on that model (Fall 1999 - pre-summer 2000 model G4 towers.)

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Pioneer IDE SuperDrive Listed for $788.95:
Stephen Chu wrote that Profeel has the Pioneer DVR-A03 "SuperDrive" listed on their web site for $788.95, but not sure if they have the drive in stock. [A reader said he was told they are due in "two weeks", but that another dealer had been telling him the same thing for some time.] It doesn't list what software (if any) comes with the drive, so you'd need Toast 5 or other software for DVD burning. (iDVD is free on SuperDrive equipped G4/733s, but not available otherwise that I know of.) DVD Studio Pro is another option, but lists for $999 at the Apple Store.
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Latest in Mobility T45 IDE CDRW Tests:

Well I've tried everything I can think of to get a Plextor 12/10/32 IDE CDRW to work on the onboard IDE of the T45 expansion chassis with no luck. (However an older HP 4x4x24x drive does seem to work.) The Plextor however always locks up when trying to write a disc in Toast (4.x and 5.01), regardless of speeds, burn-proof on/off, etc. I tried firmware versions 1.07 and 1.08 (latest), swapped cables, and even tried the undocumented "force UDMA33 mode" jumper setting - same results. At least in Toast 5.01 the error dialog did display an error message (Unstable Interface) - Toast 4.1.x froze before the text was drawn in the dialog. The drive burns CDs fine in a PC (tested to prove the drive was not defective.)
IDE hard drives seemed ok and were bootable as I noted before. All tests so far were done with a B&W G3 rev 2. I've written my contact at Mobility to see if he has any suggestions.
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Appleworks OS X Preview Install Problem:
" Mike,
FYI, I ordered Appleworks 6.1 (education version), waited 21 days for it. When it finally arrived, the OS X preview installer could not find a copy of my installed Appleworks.
Apple support failed to find a solution after 3 hours on the phone. They suggested I just run Appleworks in classic mode.
Has anyone else that you know of had this problem?
Clay J."

If anyone has suggestion that would help, let me know. (I don't own Appleworks v6 personally, just an older version that came with the iMac.)

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WinAMP Alpha Version for Macs:

Mitch Crane sent a note he was surprised to see that there's an alpha version of WinAMP for the Mac available at I'm not familiar with this program; just posting this as an curiosity, since I'm not sure what it would offer that the free iTunes doesn't have.
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CPU Upgrades Owner Ratings Database Updated:

The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 4 new reports (total to date: 5,727).

  • NewerTech G4/400 in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G3/400 in 7600/120 (rated 1)
  • XLR8 G3/466 in Beige G3 [AIO model] (rated 10)
  • Apple dual G4/500 swap in G4/AGP 400mhz (rated 10)

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 6 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 3,885 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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Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News

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