News Archive for: Wednesday Nov. 21, 2007       Goto Current News Page

Systems | CPU Upgrades | Video | Storage | Audio/HT | Apps/OS/Networking

SoftRAID 3.6.6 in beta testing
SoftRAID, LLC has SoftRAID v3.6.6 beta in testing now. Included is a feature to allow a user to convert disks back and forth from SoftRAID disk format, to Apple disk format. This will assist users installing Leopard onto PPC systems, systems requiring firmware updates, and general troubleshooting. While it is a closed beta, registered SoftRAID owners can apply to participate by sending an email to support@softraid.com.
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PowerMac G5 Coolant Leaks page updated
I finally made time this morning to update the page on PowerMac G5 Coolant Leaks with reports (and follow-ups) I've received in the last several weeks. Included in today's additions is another reader that received a new Mac Pro system (and due to an order mistake got a 3GHz 8-Core model), a (rare) follow-up on a repaired system (often parts don't seem to be readily available) and several more general reports on leaking systems. (Often out of warranty unfortunately and YMMV getting OOW leaks covered... although some readers have, sometimes after initially getting turned down.)
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Latest notes/tips on Overheating X1900 XT (Mac Pro) cards
Another recent mail on X1900 XT issues (overheating, artifacts, etc.) from a Mac Pro owner - he said (initially at least) the replacement card seems ok. (If running the stock cooler remember to check over time for dust clogging the fins)

" Radeon X1900 XT issues in Mac Pro
I was having issues with my X1900XT on my Mac Pro in Leopard and in Vista using Bootcamp. While playing 3D games (Unreal Tournament 2004 on the Mac, and Unreal Tournament 3 on the PC) my computer would crash after 5 or 10 minutes of graphics intensive play.

After reading posts on the Apple support board I came to the conclusion that it was most likely a hardware issue. I did the "normal" things such as removing the card, cleaning the fan and heatsink, resetting the SMC, zapping the PRAM, making sure the firmware was up to date, etc. I arranged for Apple to send me a replacement card.

Just for fun I decided to install ATI tray tools on the PC side (http://www.guru3d.com/article/atitraytools/189/) and manually raise my fan speed to about 60% of maximum at all times. Doing this allowed me to play Unreal Tournament 3 (Demo) for several hours with no freezes.

The replacement card arrived today from Apple and I installed it into the machine (and removed ATI tray tools) and it also seems to have solved the problem. I have played Unreal Tournament 3 (release) for several hours today and have experienced no problems.

I'd suggest that anyone who is not covered by the Apple warranty try ATI Tray tools and/or install a replacement fan. I believe all the issues I was having was caused by overheating.

(I asked if he noticed any difference in fan speeds (or noise) in case they had changed the fan/temp curve, or any other changes to the fan/card, etc.).)
I haven't noticed difference yet, except that the card is not overheating when playing games. The cards look identical to the naked eye too. Info on new card from ASP shows Revision ID: 0x0000 (not changed), ROM Revision: 113-A52027-202. EFI Driver Version: 01.00.202 (same as the Oct. 2007 Mac XT1900 firmware update)

(Since he was running Leopard with a 30in Cinema display and ATI card, I asked if he had seen any of the issues some X850/800 owners w/30in displays mentioned earlier this week (although I had a reply from an X800/30in cinema owner to that post saying he hadn't seen those problems))
I did have the issues the day Leopard came out. Mine manifested as black or gray lines that would stay inside of windows, even if you moved the windows around. I believe these went away when the first Leopard update. I do not have any glitch issue as of today.
-Tom "

Hopefully it stays ok. Maybe this one has a better build quality (cooler contact, etc.) or maybe they've tweaked the fan curve (temperature to fan duty cycle) but it will be interesting to see over time if the problem doesn't crop up again. (Downclocking is another option/question.) Not everyone with an X1900 had problems like this, but then you're always 10x more likely to hear from those with a problem than from those without any.
Apologies to Oliver (you sent several long mails w/attachments, etc. awhile back - still not had time to get to them) but here's some links to previous articles and notes from Mac Pro/X1900 XT owners:

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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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