News Archive for: 9/22/2004 Wednesday's News
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G5 owner warning on Hammerfall DIGI9652 (rev 1.5/1.6) Card going up in Smoke
(from a reader mail just now)

" Hi, I have a new G5 DUAL 2GHz and want to use my DIGI9652 from my G4 where (it was) working very good.
What is happening... (after installing it in the G5) Push the powerbutton and "SMOKE".
The Card and the G5 Slot are burned !!.
Later i went to the RME page and read this in the not so easy finding menu.

    important information on compatibility with Apple G5 computers
    RME updates information on G5 compatibility
    All currently available RME interface cards are fully compatible to Apple's new G5 computers. They operate at the reduced voltage of 3.3V, and therefore provide the second notch at the PCI contacts to fit in any PCI-X slot. This is especially true for all PCI cards of the HDSP series, HDSP PCI, HDSP 9652 and HDSP 9632.

    Older cards are in many cases not compatible:
    Hammerfall (DIGI9636 and DIGI9652) revision 1.5/1.6: These cards have been shipped since June 2000. Until the end of 2002, cards have been shipped, which included a PCB error, making them incompatible to PCI-X slot computers. Unfortunately it is not possible to define the time frame more accurately, nor to list the affected manufacturing dates.

    DIGI96 series: The PCB error also affects all cards of the DIGI96 series until the end of 2002. Unfortunately it is again not possible to define the time frame more accurately, nor to list the affected manufacturing dates.

    Using one of the above cards in an Apple G5 computer can cause serious damage to both DIGI96 and Hammerfall series of cards, as well as damage the G5. Therefore RME strongly advises to have all cards meeting the above criteria to be checked by RME before using them in a G5. Checking and - if neccessary - modification is done for free by RME's representatives.

    Hammerfall (DIGI9636 / DIGI9652) revision 1.1: These cards, manufactured from 1999 to April 2001, are not Mac compatible at all - and thus can't be used in a G5 anyway.

    Note: the revision is printed on the PCB. The date time of manufacturing is coded as week/year on the back of the cards, within a copper area (for example 17/01 for week 17 in 2001).

Why they don't put that on the Mainpage and TOP in Extra RED color? Is it not so important? What about people that have no easy internet access...Now we will have some money for that s**t from RME, but we will see what happens... to be coninued.
Greetz "

He also sent a photo of his burned Hammerfall DIGI9652 and G5's PCI slot connectior.
Since the release of the G5s last fall, I have tried to post any info I could find on PCI card compatibility here and in the PCI compat. section of our PowerMac G5 tech docs/updates/Compatibility page (linked on the systems page), which has a (very) long list of posts/info from past news page items on this topic. I've updated that page to include the above warning (with a red heading).

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Mac drivers for Nvidia 6800 Ultra
(from a reader mail - although most 6800 card orders have been delayed)

" While in the discussion forum on apple's G5 support page, I found that someone put a link for the nVidia 6800 ultra drivers. Also remembering back to this site that someone had a 6800 ultra for their Mac but it didn't work because of the drivers maybe. (see Aug. 23rd news page item on Comments and Photos of Mac Nvidia 6800 Ultra card (bought off ebay) -Mike)
So here's the link and you can get it to that person.
-Stroeh "

I sent a note to the reader with that ebay bought 6800 card to see if he's tried these.

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IBM 750GX CPU Errata doc notes some instructions won't run properly at rated speeds
Most all CPUs have some errata (flaws) as you'll remember from links to errata docs in the past here. Many times the flaws are so obscure they may rarely be encountered by end users and there's workarounds usually listed for them by the mfr. Yesterday a reader sent a link to an older article at the Register titled IBM's PowerPC 1GHz chip only runs properly at 933MHz that links to an IBM 750GX errata pdf doc that lists some instructions that don't function properly at the CPU's rated speed.
The table on page 17-18 for Erratum 8 (Move condition register field and logical condition register instructions) lists affected P/Ns up to 1GHz and what speeds are the actual maximum for each (for instance 933MHz for the 1GHz part). It does not list a 1.1GHz part in that table, unless they didn't update it for the 1.1GHz 750GX or it's been fixed in a later stepping of the 1.1GHz rated part.
I wrote Powerlogix last night for comments on this and they said they have a call in to IBM on this and will get back to me. (Nate's review of the PL G3 1GHz/1.1GHz vs G4/1GHz, G4/800MHz and G4/550MHz CPU ZIF Upgrades here didn't mention any functional problems running common apps and games.)
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Warcraft III and Frozen Throne 1.17 Updates / Stuffit Standard 9.0
MU lists Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos 1.17 and Warcraft III: Frozen Throne Updater 1.17 with another long list of changes/fixes.

And following the release of Stuffit Deluxe 9.0 yesterday, they now list StuffIt Standard 9.0. (I'm still using 7.x.. but one reader said he likes what he's seen of 9.0 so far.)

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 1.0.3a Update
The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 1.0.3a updater notes a fix for Macs with high monitor refresh rates and fixes an autosave bug.
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More Reader Feedback/Notes on Radeon Card Firmware Updates/ATI Displays 4.4
The ATI Radeon Firmware Updates/ATI Displays 4.4 feedback page has been updated again with more reader reports/tests from the last 24 hours. (Included is a very long/detailed report from an Digital Audio owner with several ATI cards driving a total of 6 Displays.)
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More M-Audio Transit user reports on 1.5.9 driver update
I've updated the M-Audio Transit feedback page with 2 more owner reports on the 1.5.9 driver update, which some have mentioned helped with past problems.
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NVIDIA announces GoForce 3D 4500, 3D Wireless Media Processor
There's a press release on the GoForce 3D 4500, which features "High-Performance 3D and Multimedia Functionality, Revolutionary Power Management, and 3.1 Megapixel Camera Support in a Single Processor". Nvidia's website has a new GoForce 3D 4500 page which lists its features:

  • Specifically designed for handsets, the GoForce 3D 4500 features geometry processing for arcade-quality 3D acceleration and gaming
  • Programmable shaders, bilinear and trilinear texture filtering, texture compression, support for six simultaneous textures, and a 40-bit color pipeline for high-resolution detailed images
  • Revolutionary new NVIDIA nPower technology for better battery life allowing for longer talk time
  • Support for MPEG-4 and H.263 formats for VHS-quality recording and playback
  • A 3.0 megapixel JPEG codec, for capturing and viewing sharp, crystal-clear photos
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MacMame 0.87 Update
MU today lists MacMame 0.87 (classic arcade emulator) with a long list of fixes/changes.
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 3 new reports added this morning. (Entries from Tuesday, entries today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on Combo DVD-CDRW, CDROMs, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, 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, USB, adapters). Current total 13,622 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports)

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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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 1 new report this morning (entries from the last 24hrs), entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,558. Here's a summary of the report added today (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Apple Dual G4/500 in G4 Cube (rated 8)

    (For full reviews of G4 and G3 upgrades compared to stock CPUs, including real world apps/game tests, install info, etc. - see the CPU upgrades page. OC/CPU module articles are on the Systems page.)

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