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News Archive for Tuesday Sept. 30th, 2003Return to Accelerate Your Mac!

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News stories of Sept. 30th, 2003: (later posted items first)

Apple kbase doc on G5 Hardware Test CD Fan Errors
Apple has a kbase doc titled Power Mac G5, Apple Hardware Test 2.1: Interpreting Some Fan Error Messages that covers the two Apple Hardware Test (AHT) version 2.1 errors: "2FAN/4/x: Fan For BACKSIDE" and "2FAN/4/x: Fan For SLOT" and how to check to see if the fans are running. The doc mentions there's going to be a v2.1.1 hardware test version available from Apple support in late October 2003.
I'm running the hardware test v2.1 on the Dual G5 here now (Option key at boot with the DVD disc included with the G5 in the superdrive) and don't see that error message (logic board passed) but it's still not completed the "extended" test after an hour of testing. With 1.5GB of installed ram it's still on the "Memory test" (I'd estimate more than 40 min. on that test alone). As with Firewire Target Disk mode, without the OS running the fans are on full blast also.
(The "Extended" tests finally completed with a total time 1 hour, 13 minutes and a few seconds. No errors were reported. (Dual G5, 1.5GB RAM (two 512MB CL3 dimms + two OEM 256MB CL3 dimms), retail 9800 pro card, OEM 160GB drive, Airport Extreme card, no PCI cards installed.)
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Reader Tips on Eliminating G5 Beeps using CHUD Tools
Several readers wrote in reply to the earlier news item (below) on G5 "Beeping" noises to say that using Apple's CHUD tools to disable "Nap" mode may help. (Odd that if this is caused by processor idle mode switching that the "high performance" energy saver setting would have been more prone to it. However as I said earlier, I do not hear any "Beeping" noises on my 2003 Dual 2GHz G5. (FYI: I have noticed occasionally hearing a "Chirping/Squealing" (PS related) noise - Using Chud tools to disable NAP mode on the CPUs does appear to prevent that.) Here's a sample reader mail with the tip:

" I read on another help page that a fix for this problem is the following:

The solution requires that you download Apple's CHUD tools, which are available from
ftp://ftp.apple.com/developer/Tool_Chest/Testing_-_Debugging/Performance_tools/CHUD_3.0.0.dmg.bin
After installing CHUD, go to System Preferences, open the "Hardware" pane and turn off "Nap".

Apparently this option turns off the G5's ability to use processor idling, eliminating the beeping noise.
Hope this helps those with the problem. I don't have any such problem with my dual processor 2.0GB G5.
Wayne S. "

I've had several G5 owners reply to this post saying disabling Nap mode does stop the beeping noises they heard before.

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Some G5 owners reporting Pulsing Beeps or other Noises
Although I hear 3 short/very low volume clicks (hard to describe - but not a beeping sound) just at the end of the gray screen at boot, I don't hear any unusual noises after the system is running in OS X . (And I'm running the Energy Saver set to Highest Performance). However some (but not all) G5 owners have reported unusual noises in Apple's PowerMac G5 usage forum. This thread on noises seems to have the most replies/notes and some have said that "Auto" vs "Highest" energy saver setting seems to be a factor. (Update - see the later news item above for a tip on using Apple's CHUD tools to disable "Nap" mode which is said to fix the beeping noises - also helps with the PS 'Chirping/squeal' some of us hear at times.)

" Just got the 2x2 set Processor Performance to "highest" in Energy Saver. Now I am hearing a steady sound, a little faster than once per second, coming from the very bottom of the computer. It is underneath the cavity for the RAM and Processors, so I can only assume this is the power supply area. Its kind of like a fast electric pulse. The scary part is that this sound goes away if I change Processory Performance to "automatic" or "reduced" (actually its still there you just have to put your ear against the very bottom of the cheese grater to hear it.)"

Again I do not hear this (so far at least) with a Dual G5 and ES settings set to highest performance.
There's also some comments on noise that some say affects audio/speakers such as this thread titled "Hi-pitched buzzing noise".
I'm not sure how common this is but if any G5 owners want to comment on this let me know your G5 details and configuration. Thanks.

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More reports on SIIG Firewire+USB 2.0+Ethernet PCI Card
Yesterday's news had a note about a Digital Audio G4 tower owner using a SIIG Firewire + USB 2.0 + Ethernet Adapter PCI Card (added to the page on Deep Sleep Support with PCI FW/USB cards). Three other readers with legacy Macs (which don't support deep sleep) wrote they had much less favorably experiences with the card in older Macs.

(Note there's no USB 2.0 (speed) support in OS 9.x and the past tip now in the FAQ on USB card problems with 9.2.x with legacy macs may be worth checking.)

" SIIG Firewire + USB 2.0 + Ethernet Adapter PCI Card: Report 2

I got this same care for my 9600 with OS X 10.2.8...
Swapped my Belkin firewire card out...
Got ethernet with the Realtek drivers...
Plugged my isight into the firewire connector and the system froze...

Rebooted with the iSight plugged in... System froze with kernal panic...

Rebooted without the camera plugged in,... System was fine until I plugged iSight into the firewire connector...

Rebooted into OS 9.2.2 with the Realtek drivers already installed... NO ethernet.
-- Ed S."

A Beige G3 owner wrote:

" After reading your reader report on the SIIG FW/USB/NIC PCI card (JU-2NE012) , I figured it was finally time to upgrade my beige 300MHz G3 Tower (running Mac OS X 10.2.6). I went to CompUSA and purchased the card for $40 as the report indicated.

I installed the card and USB keyboard and mouse worked great. Didn't try firewire (yet). I was mostly interested in getting 100Mb ethernet working.
I downloaded and installed version 1.1.3 of the RealTek driver, but after clicking "Fix and Use" (after installing the kext), the USB (on the card) mouse and keyboard froze before I could configure the ethernet.

I had to unplug the USB kbd and mouse and use ADB keyboard and mouse for the driver to not freeze and show up in the network prefs panel. I configured it, and plugged the USB mouse and keyboard back in, and they all worked.

The G3 showed up in rendezvous. Then I tried copying a large 640 MB file to this Mac and it consistently froze after writing 10 or so MB of data.

This driver does not seem very reliable and I had to revert to the onboard 10Mb ethernet card. I am still using it with my USB keyboard and mouse. I will try firewire soon.
(Just occurred to me, I could use IP over firewire to connect to my other mac while the 10Mb goes to the cable modem, but I would still prefer a 100Mb ethernet LAN connection; thats why I bought this card)
- Doug"

An 8500 owner wrote:

" Hi Mike, I noticed you mentioned a reader's report on SIIG's FW/USB2/100BaseT 3-in-1 card, and I wanted to share with you my experience using the card in my Power Mac 8500 (upgraded with an XLR8 G3/400 at the time) half a year ago. My 8500 already had 2 PCI slots occupied by a Sonnet ATA/100 controller and an ATI Radeon (original) so having a 3-in-1 card seemed like an excellent solution.

Basically, I was able to get everything to work, albeit with several caveats. The caveats were significant enough that I decided to pull the card out of my 8500 and replace it with a regular SIIG FW/USB2 2-in-1 card.

Essentially, Firewire, USB 2.0 and ethernet all worked fine under OS X. Under OS 9, USB worked as I had expected (I knew USB2 drivers for OS9 were nonexistent and expected USB1.1 speeds), ethernet worked OK (you have to do some basic hacking with the Realtek OS 9 drivers (instructions are in the Realtek download), but the Firewire had issues which would corrupt my external Firewire hard drives as soon as I connected them to the card.
I was able to workaround the Firewire hard drive corruption issue by chaining a Sony DVMC-DA1 DV converter to the end of my Firewire chain, but I was not very fond of the prospect of having my hard drives being corrupted so easily (especially if I happened to forget to power up the DVMC). I also found out that the performance of the 100BaseT ports using the Realtek drivers was actually slower than my 8500's built-in 10BaseT port when doing local network file transfers in both OS 9 and OS X.

Given the age and limitations of my computer, I never bothered testing the sleeping features of the card - I was just happy to get the card working. Thanks for your site, BTW.
Michael "

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CT Magazine tests G5 with optimized version of CineBench 2003
Jan B. sent a note that german magazine CT got their hands on a G5 optimized version of Cinebench 2003 that scored about 25% higher on the Dual G5 than the current Mac version available at http://www.cinebench.com. Hopefully a revised version will be available for download there soon.

" The German Magazin CT which for my money is Europes best computermagazin, because you can't buy great reviews with ads has compared the different 64bit chips on the desktop market. On of the test was a test with a not yet released version of cinebench (CT does have there connections) that passed the 500 mark with 504.
Considering that Maxon had hoped to reach the 500 mark with the final version, 504 is very good. Especially because Maxon thinks they might be able to squeeze more out of the machine then they have finished the optimization. The website is www.heise.de/ct but the benchmarks can only be found in the magazine it self.
-Jan B. "

Dual G5s typically score about 403 as noted on my previous Dual G5 tests page, benchmarks section.
I wrote Maxon to ask if about the status of a G5 optimized version of Cinebench and they replied:

" I'm not sure where that was printed, but C4D (Cinema4D) has not yet been fully optimized for the G5. I believe there are "some" improvements, but there is still more development to be done.
Regards,
Paul Babb
MAXON Computer, Inc. "
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Daystar Announces G4 CPU Upgrades for PowerBook G3 Pismo
Gary Dailey of Daystar (now running the XLR8.com websie) sent a press release about their new G4 CPU upgrades for the PowerBook G3 2000 (aka Pismo). They promise 24-hour turnaround (like all Pismo CPU Upgrades, the original CPU module is reworked for the G4 CPU since it contains a proprietary Apple UNI-N chip). Prices listed are $329 for a G4/500 and $369 for a G4/550. You send your complete Powerbook to Daystar for the installation and testing after the upgrade. For more information see the MAChSpeed G4 Pismo product sheet and MAChSpeed G4 Pismo information FAQ. The upgrade is available for order at the daystar online store.
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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 5 new reports this morning (reader entry from yesterday; entries today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 8,763. 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 1GHz (at 1.2GHz) in (sawtooth) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Other World Computing G4 1.4GHz in (Digital Audio) G4/AGP (rated 8)
  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1GHz in (Quicksilver) G4/AGP (rated 1)
  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1.2GHz in G4/AGP (rated 5)
  • Powerlogix G4 Dual 1.2GHz (set to 1.3GHz) in Dual G4 (rated 1)
    (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 3 new reports added (reader entries from yesterday; 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 11,420 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) TDK Indi440N used w/G4 Cube (OS X)
    (said that 10.2.8 added native burn support?)

    DVD-R + DVD RAM:
  • Firewire (IDE drive in FW case) Panasonic LF D521 used w/Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X) (no itunes/db burn support)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Western Digital WD2500JB 250GB in 95/9600 using IDE PCI card (OS X)

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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Reader Game Reviews Database Updated
The Rate Your Mac Games database update today included more reviews of Ghost Recon and Unreal Tournament 2003. Total Reviews (all titles): 1045. To read game reviews use the search page.
If you've not already done so - Enter a Game review. Please include as much detail as possible in your review comments. (If your game title is not in the long listing, select "other game" and note the title in the comments)
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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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