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News Archive for Wednesday Nov. 20th, 2002Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of Nov. 20th, 2002:

Reader Notes ATTO OS X Config Util Install Allowed Deep Sleep in OS X
(Reader email in reply to the Monday news item here on ATTO's ExpressPCI Config. Utility for OS X.)

" Hi Mike
Thought some readers might be interested to know that the kernel extensions included with the ATTO ExpressPCI Configuration utility that you mentioned (in Monday's news) will finally allow deep sleep under OS X 10.2 Jaguar.
The ATTO kernel extension included in Jaguar did not, resulting in an always-running fan and no indicative "pulsing" power light. This fix will work even for owners of Apple OEM ATTO cards (I have the UL3D from an AppleShare Server G4, for example). However, I was unable to use the flash tool to update my card's firmware-- that's still stuck at 1.6.1 and will likely remain so unless Apple releases their own update.
Still, though, I was thrilled to see the sleep problem cured. Thanks for the great site!
Fred T. "

You'd think an OEM (shipped in a new Mac) card would have supported deep sleep - but regardless maybe this tip will help other ATTO card owners that otherwise would have ignored the utility. (Note that Deep Sleep isn't supported with G4/PCI Yikes or older Macs.)
While on the subject of that utility - another reader wrote disappointed that some ATTO cards were not supported by it:

" I'd love to know why the UL2S and UL2D have been completely left out in the cold. It's very disappointing, since I have several of these cards and like them.
Kathryn J. "

I wrote an ATTO contact to see if they could answer why those models are not listed as supported.

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Reader Comments on Advansys OS X Firmware Update w/SIIG SCSI Cards
(from a reader email)

" A note about (yesterday's news item): OS X Firmware Update for Advansys UW and U2W SCSI cards -

SIIG AP-40 SCSI cards (previously unsupported in OSX) are based upon the advansys chipset... and the flash updater works on these cards with the AdvanSys bin files. I am testing the various BIOS combinations for compatibility.
Kevin M., PhD. "

I asked Kevin to report back with any issues he saw and note the OS X version used and SIIG SCSI card model number.

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No One Lives Forever Shipping (GOTY Version) - Reader Performance Comments
Macplay sent a press release that No One Lives Forever is shipping and that it's the Game of the Year Edition:

" MacPlay... announced today that the highly acclaimed, much anticipated, The Operative(tm): No One Lives Forever(tm) Game of the Year Edition has reached gold status. The product will begin shipping immediately. As an added bonus, No One Lives Forever will ship as the Game of the Year Edition and include a special Lounge CD featuring groovy 1960s-inspired music...
The Game of the Year Edition gives players all the action of the original game, plus 4 new levels, even more firepower and heart-stopping action as Cate is sent into the heart of an active volcano. The Game of the Year Edition also includes Multiplay for up to 16 players in good vs. Evil game mode or deathmatch mode. Mac players can battle PC players on-line for even more multiplayer action. Also included is a FREE special Bonus CD, containing 1960s-inspired lounge music.
The Operative: No One Lives Forever for Mac OS X is a first-person action-adventure in which gamers experience the distinct style and locales of the fabulous 60's in a captivating story of espionage...
The Operative: No One Lives Forever is available at all fine Macintosh retail locations and directly from the MacPlay Online Store, located at priced at US $49.99 and carries an "M" (Mature) rating from the ESRB. "

The following is from a reader email - I do not own this game to test:

" Hey Mike, I got my preorder today from MacPlay for No One Lives Forever. I have to say, again, sadly, that I am unhappy with what I got. Despite exceeding the recommended requirements on the box, I have gotten shoddy performance. I have a G4/550 (upgraded from 400), 576megs of RAM, running it from the internal HD, with a RADEON 8500 retail card. I have updated to the latest RADEON drivers with the addition of OS 10.2.2. I have tried the game's prescribed settings, my own manipulations, turning everything off and down and still get similar performance on virtually every settings.
I could max out everything and it will run just like it would with everything turned off. I can't figure it out for the life of me and it is really frustrating. This game is old enough to play well on my computer. Oh well, I hope other people have better experiences.
Sincerely, Edward S. "

My first thought was to try it after booting to OS 9.x, but Macplay's site lists OS X 10.1.4 (or later I assume). I've heard similar comments from some owners of SOF II in the forums. If anyone has better results with the game or a suggestion for Ed, let me know. (include your system/OS ver/graphics card details.)

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Reader Comments on PowerBook G4 Superdrive
Although Apple doesn't list DVD-RW media as compatible (they also don't with their desktop superdrives) I had hoped the slotted drive in the new PowerBook G4 1GHz would support DVD-RW at least in Toast 5.x, but this reader notes it didn't.

" Hi -
I just received a new 1gHz PowerBook G4 today, with superdrive.
There's been some talk over on the MacNN forums about the DVD-R drive in this model, a Matshita UJ-815.

It's been difficult to find specs on this specific model, which is purported to be a DVD-Multi drive, capable of reading (and writing?) DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM. There was also some conjecture based on specs of a sister drive that it would write DVD-R at 2x, and CD-R at 16x.

Having checked it out today using Toast 5.2, I can report that it writes at speeds Apple has specified. 1x for DVD-R and 8x for CD-R. It rejects blank DVD-RW media (tried Princo and Pioneer), and will read formatted DVD-RW media, but won't erase or write to it.
Perhaps a Toast update will allow DVD-RW functionality?
(unless the drive doesn't support -RW, searching google didn't find any specs on the drive today to check for that. I wrote contact that works on Toast to see if he knows the drive specs.-Mike)

Also, I've got some benchmarks on the internal 60GB 4200 rpm drive (FUJITSU MHS2060AT) vs an IBM 60GH 5400rpm drive. The 60GH is in a 667 (non-DVI) PB G4. Also, the new drive is much quieter than the 60GH. I used Xbench 1.0b2 for the tests. Apple would appear to be correct in their claims about drive performance, assuming there haven't been improvements in the ATA sub-system. Both disks were filled to about the same capacity. (~20GB free on each).

IBM 60GH (in PB G4 667/non-DVI, OS 10.2.2)
Uncached sequential write: 13.39 MB/sec
Uncached sequential read: 14.76 MB/sec
Uncached random write: 7.11 MB/sec
Uncached random read: 8.86 MB/sec

Fujitsu (in PB G4 1gHz, OS 10.2.2)
Uncached sequential write: 18.25 MB/sec Uncached sequential read: 19.05 MB/sec
Uncached random write: 11.12 MB/sec
Uncached random read: 10.84 MB/sec

Enjoy your sites - keep up the good work!
Joe "

With all other factors equal, a higher RPM drive should have better random access at least (sequential R/W tests won't show that however). In general higher RPM drives should be better overall performers, but how much better will vary on task/test used (as well as other factors and even drive design - notebook drives typically have lower performance than desktop drives). Tim Seufert wrote to say that IBM's current 5400 rpm Travelstar line also has much lower density platters than their current 4200 rpm line, which also helps make the rates similar.
In my (old now) Pismo HD upgrade guide final page I ran some simple tests back then of 4200rpm vs 5400 rpm IBM drives (older models) and noted little difference other than better random access.
I suspect Apple uses the 4200 rpm drives primarily because they are cheaper (even a $10 or so savings per system multiplied by hundreds of thousands built adds up to significant savings) and the fact that many users probably wouldn't see a difference in typical use. (The 4200 rpm drives may run a bit cooler also, but I doubt that's the major factor in OEM value engineering decisions.)

BTW - Many OS X drive benchmarks are not good tests of the actual drive mechanisms. As noted before here, many report rates far in excess of what the drive and the interface is capable of (often from 2x to 10x higher than the drive can actually sustain - or many times the actual interface rate limit). I saw a table of results today with 100MB to 178MB/sec rates noted for a PB G4/867 drive using Apple's diskbasher (part of their CHUD tools). These rates clearly are not possible to the drive which has an ATA/66 (66.6MB/sec max) interface. Even the notebook drive vendors don't even claim rates anywhere near those figures with faster interfaces. These insanely high disk benchmark rates are due to the OS X disk cache in RAM.

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated today with 3 new reports this morning. Total to date: 7,757. (Entries made today are posted the next newsday morning.)
Here's a summary of the updates added today :

  • Powerlogix G4 1GHz in G4/400 AGP (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4 800 in G4/400 AGP (rated 10)
  • "Other" Brand G3/533 in Beige G3 (rated 10)

(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). For detailed reviews with performance tests and install tips, see the CPU Upgrades page.)

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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility searchable database had 12 new reports added this morning. The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, CDRW, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, Firewire, SCSI, adapters). Current total 9,064 reports.

    DVD-R DVD Recorder Drive Reports:
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105 in G4/AGP (OS X)

    Combo DVD+CDR Drive Reports:
  • IDE Matshita UJDA 710 (8x4x24x +8x DVD ROM) in PB G3 2000 (OS X)
    (FAQ here has 10.2 plugin file from another owner, but he said it didn't work for him)
  • IDE Toshiba SD-R1102 (8x8x32x + 8x DVD-ROM in G4/AGP (OS X)

    IDE CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Fantom 40x12x48x in B&W G3 (OS 9.1)
    (problems noted - actually liteon mechanism)
  • LG 8320B (32x10x40 ) in Dual G4 (OS X)
    (FAQ here has modified plugin files for this drive)
  • Lite-On LTR-48125W (48x12x48x) in Dual G4 (OS X)
    (FAQ here has 10.2 modified plugin file for this drive)
  • Sony CRX700E (8x4x24x) in iBook (OS X)
  • Teac W540E (40x12x48x) in Beige G3 (OS X)
    (discburner problems noted)
    (FYI - Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, B&W G3 and 8600/9600 Macs.)

    Firewire CDRW Drive Reports:
  • Lite-On LTR-40125S (40x12x48x) in FW case used w/Beige G3 (OS 9.2)

    IDE Hard Drive Reports:
  • Maxtor Diamondmax plus 80GB in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (Beige G3 MT illustrated HD upgrade guide here)
  • Western Digital WD400BB 40GB in G4/AGP (OS 9.2)
    (Illustrated guide to adding a 2nd HD here in B&W G3 rev2 to G4 QuickSilver models)

    Firewire Hard Drive Reports:
  • Acomdata 60GB used w/G4 AGP (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands)

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.]
(Entries today will be added the following newsday. 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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News pages from 1, 2 and 3 years ago:
(Sometimes these old pages are a bit embarrassing - and in many cases the offsite links may not work and comments there were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, etc.)

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