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News Archive for Monday Sept. 29th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

News stories of Sept. 29th, 2003: (later posted items first)

Reader Tips for Geethree interface config in OS X
Richard E. replied to Mark's comments on problems getting Geethree working w/OS X mentioned in today's audio column with a step-by-step guide:

" He needs to set up a oms compatibility setup document in os9 first. Here's the steps as I discovered them and posted them to

After much sturm und drang, I finally figured out how to get the studio 5 working under OS X with DP 4.1 and a Griffin gPort. While it works, I don't know yet how much data it can take at once. If there are any quirks, I'll let you know.

DP 4.1 on dual gig g4, OS X 10.2.6 gPort with both the latest gPort driver for X and the gPort Midi driver for X available at

  1. In OSX install both gport driver and gport midi driver for osx
  2. Boot into os 9
  3. Open oms setup in os 9.
  4. Create a studio document. Configure the document for your studio setup. Save and make it current.
  5. While the current studio document is open, choose Compatibility Setup from the Studio 5 menu. Put a check in the "Emulate Midi Time Piece" box.
  6. Set the speed to 1 MHZ (NOT to fast).
  7. From the pull down menu choose Midi Time Piece In.
    Set up Midi Time Piece In exactly like your studio studio document.
  8. From the pull down menu choose Midi Time Piece Out.
    Set up Midi Time Piece Out exactly like your studio document.
  9. Choose re-establish communication from the Studio 5 menu. (Don't know if this is necessary, but it can't hurt).
  10. Now quit out of 0S 9, boot into 0S10
  11. Configure the gport with 15 ports and 1mhz. Close gport
  12. Open audio midi setup. You should see "standard interface" with 15 ports.
  13. Configure your midi setup.

You're done. It works with Midi Monitor and Digital Performer 4.1.
Richard E."

I added a copy of the above to the article but Mark later wrote he does not have Studio 5 (he has Studio 64XTC which does not have "compatibility setup" in the menu).

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Apple notes Photoshop CS and Illustrator CS optimized for G5
This morning I saw that Cnet had a page noting that Adobe had updated their pro apps line with "CS" (Creative Suite) versions but that page and the Photoshop CS what's new page at Adobe didn't mention any specific G5 optimizations that I could easily find (I may have missed it however). However Apple's front page and Hot News page now links to an Apple Adobe Creative Suite page that does mention G5 optimizations. (How much so over PS 7.0x with the G5 plugin update remains to be seen, although Apple comments "up to twice the performance of previous Mac models" running the same software.)

" Introducing the new Adobe Creative Suite. Built for Mac OS X and optimized for the Power Mac G5, it represents the most complete upgrade in Adobe's history. The Suite includes turbocharged versions of your favorite professional tools at an outstanding value....

Optimized for the Power Mac G5
... To speed your work even more, both Photoshop CS and Illustrator CS are optimized to take advantage of the G5's 64-bit computation. Illustrator CS now boasts G5 optimized features like its new 3D effects engine. PhotoShop CS integrates the software from the G5 Processor Plug-in to modify many Photoshop operations such as the new RAW format support to fully utilize the Power Mac G5's capabilities and deliver up to twice the performance of previous Power Mac models. "

For those like me that don't need the entire Suite, there are Upgrade versions of the individual apps - the Photoshop CS upgrade for instance lists for $169.

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First report of a Parallel to Serial ATA Adapter in a PowerMac G5
Although Apple has a kbase doc that says ATA Parallel-to-Serial Adapters Not Supported in the G5, I had suspected they may work if fit was not an issue. Here's the first G5 owner report on using one. (Note his later comments on performance after waking from sleep and of course it's best to use SerialATA hard drives rather than trying to adapt older models.)

(email recd Friday night)
" Apple's support site for G5's states that PATA-SATA converters are not supported, but I purchased a "Extremely mini adapter board" off ebay that fits well, the only things that are required are a molex Y-connector to plug it and your PATA hard drive into the SuperDrive's molex connector, and a longer SATA cable because the included one is not long enough. Since it is a real REAL pain to take out the hard drive carrier, I ran my molex and SATA cables down the back side of the case. I saved the hard drive out of my G4 MDD when I sold it so I could save all my data, and I know there are other people doing this, so I hope this helps.
(I asked if he had any brand info and photos of the install

I'll see if I can get some pictures taken. A problem has arisen though: when waking from sleep or spindown, when the hard drive spins back up the system lags to the point of needing to be forced shut down. Any ideas on why this might be? The name brand of the adapter appears to be simply SATA according to the box... I couldn't find another name anywhere on there. Hmm.
-Ben H. "

If anyone else tries a PATA-SATA Adapter in a G5, let me know. Again if possible I'd recommend using a SerialATA hard drive for best performance and to avoid any problems with an adapter.
Update- A reader replied to the post that day with links to what may have been the adapter brand/model used. I sent the info to the G5 owner using the adapter and he wrote back that it was the same model.

"I believe the adapter is the same one I have used in the past for pc use. There is a picture here
And they are for sale at the same store its UK based.
Its manufacturerd by
Hope that helps a few people out
Cheers, Gordy"
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Notes on Compatible PowerMac G5 Memory Modules (CAS/CL Timing Requirements)
I've used two 512MB PC3200 CL3 dimms fine in a Dual G5, but after having several G5 owners report problems with some faster than CL3/CAS3 dimms in their G5s - I've been meaning to post a note here about what I think is the problem. The first report I had on this was about a week ago from a Dual G5 owner (Martin) that said his Geil Golden Dragon and Mushkin Level II black memory (both rated faster than CL3) were not recognized in his G5. My first guess was that the PowerMac G5 required the SPD chip on the DIMM to have CL3/CAS3 timing even if the dimm was rated for lower CAS (faster) timings - despite the Apple Dev. Doc notes. (This was a problem with some CL2 dimms back in 2001 after the G4 firmware update noted in reports/tips page here back then - CL3 timings had to be in the SPD even if the dimm was rated for CL2 timing.)
Since the Apple PowerMac G4 developer doc notes that it supports other CAS latencies (under Expansion/RAM Expansion section under Figure 4-1 it says):
    "For all microprocessor speeds and for both DDR400 (PC3200) and DDR333 (PC2700) SDRAM DIMMs, the Power Mac G5 supports CAS latencies of 2, 2.5, 3, 4, and 5. "

I asked Martin to test with only a pair of the (faster rated) DIMMs installed and he said it would not boot. (Since I suspect all dimms will be run at the timing of the slowest CAS/CL timing dimm installed, I wanted him to test with the OEM CAS3 dimms removed to see if it would run with just the faster rated DIMMs installed.) Therefore I concluded that despite the note on support of lower CAS timings than 3, as with the previous firmware updated G4s, the G5 must require the DIMM to have CAS3 timings in the SPD chip, even if the DIMM is rated for lower CL/CAS timings.
I wasn't sure Martin believed my theory was correct due to the Apple Dev. Docs note (he wrote today that he does), but this weekend I found a thread in the Apple G5 forums that mentioned this was confirmed by a Mushkin tech support person and that Mushkin's product page for their memory lists PowerMac G5 specific modules with a note that says:
"Designed and Programmed for Apple Mac G5 computers".
(A reader in the Apple forums thread said he was also told by Mushkin the DIMMs had to have CL3 timing in the SPD to work in the G5.)

I'm accumulating a list of DIMMs that worked and didn't work and will post that later in a section on the PowerMac G5 Tech Docs/Compatibility/Updates page, but if you're buying memory for a G5, and it's not already listed as compatible, I'd ask the vendor if it is guaranteed to work in your PowerMac G5 model. Ironically the higher-priced (Lower CL/CAS timing) DIMMs are less likely to work than the cheaper/more common CL3/CAS3 DIMMs, but I'd still ask before buying to avoid any surprises and hassles with a return and potential restocking fees from dealers that don't guarantee/test their memory in a G5.

The question in my mind (and many others I'm sure) is can the PowerMac G5 really run at faster than CL3 timing? (assuming all install dimms have faster rated memory than CL3.) Of course the Dev Docs indicate that, so is the CL3 timing requirement in the SPD just a check at boot to make sure the system can read the DIMM's CL3 timing for cases where there's a mix of memory speeds and CL3 therefore will be the timing used. (i.e. Pairs of CL3 OEM dimms and faster pairs installed at the same time.)
If all CL2 dimms were installed for instance (and also had CL3 timing in the SPD, required to even be recognized at boot apparently) - will CL2 timing actually be used? (And is there any software that's accurate to even report this -other than trying to run a consistent memory bandwidth test perhaps. If the Benchmark/test had much run/run variation, that could make it less useful for a test like this since the difference in overall performance may be small.)

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Transition to OS X - An Audio Engineer's Diary
Mark sent Issue 73 of our Audio column titled Transition to OS X - An Audio Engineer's Diary that discusses his experience with the transition, software/hardware he used and the costs involved. (A listing of previous audio related articles/reviews is available at the Audio topics page.)
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Report on SIIG Firewire/USB 2.0/Ethernet PCI Card
I've updated the page of reader reports on Deep Sleep w/Firewire and/or USB cards to include an interesting report from a Quicksilver owner on using an SIIG USB 2.0 + Firewire + 10/100 Combo PCI card (model number JU-2NE012). The card was $39.95 he said after a $40 instant rebate at CompUSA. (Not sure when that sale expires.)
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PowerMac G5 Fan Speed in Target Disk Mode
I've not used the G5 in Firewire target disk mode but have had several reports about the fans running at high speed when used that way. The reason for this I suspect is that without the OS running on the G5 the fans default to high speed mode. (There's no fan control/thermal monitoring being done unless the OS is running.)
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 6 new reports this morning (reader entry from Friday until Sunday midnight; entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,759. Here's a summary of the update added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Giga Designs G4 1.GHz (at 1.2GHz) in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Giga Designs G4 1.GHz (at 1.3GHz) in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
    (includes test results with audio apps, more)
  • "Other Brand" (Fastmac) G4/550 in Powerbook G3 2000 (rated 10)
  • Powerlogix G3/900 in B&W G3 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4 1.2GHz in G4 Cube (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4 800MHz in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
    (noted 2 failures but 3rd sample ok so far)
    (My full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades w/apps/game tests, install info, etc. are linked here.)

(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 Database had 10 new reports added (reader entries from Friday until Sunday midnight; entries today are added the next newsday 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 11,417 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    Tape Drives:
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) ACOMdata ADR 30GB used w/G4 no AGP (OS X) (includes comments on Retrospect use with OS X and OS 9.x)

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Liteon LTR-52327s (52x32x52x) in G4/AGP (OS X)
    (using burn support plugins from FAQ for OS 9 and OS X, includes burn test results with iTunes, DB and Toast)
  • Firewire Philips PCRW1208JR (12x8x32) "jackrabbit" used w/iBook 2000 (OS X) (used Patchburn to add itunes burn support)

    DVD-ROM Drives:
  • IDE BTC BDV316C 16x/48x in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (listed under "other" brands)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE LG GSA-4040B in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (using modified burn support file from FAQ)

    DVD-R Drives:
  • Expansion bay Matshita UJ-810B in PowerBook G3 2000 (OS X)
    (using modified burn support file)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-105 in Dual G4 (OS X)
    (noted drive sleep problem - suggested trying "Spindown fix 1.1" script at
    (Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model, Beige G3 MT, and B&W G3 Macs)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Maxtor 6Y160PO 160GB in eMac (OS X)
    (noted 'big' drive support. FAQ links to eMac drive install guides at
  • IDE Western Digital WD800JBRTL 80GB in Beige G3 (OS 8.6)
    (Beige G3 MT illustrated HD upgrade guide here)
  • SCSI IBM Ultrastar 36LZX 18GB in Beige G3 (OS 9.2)
    (problems noted - perhaps jumper setting related)

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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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles, guides and reviews you may have missed.
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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 off-site links may no longer work. Remember comments were accurate only on the date posted regarding upgrade availability, pricing, etc.)

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