News Archive for: Tuesday, September 5th, 2006 (later posted items first)
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Some Battery Exchanges (from Recall) arriving earlier than expected
" Hi Mike, Your readers might be interested to know that Apple has started shipping the replacement batteries for folks affected by the recent PowerBook G4 (and iBook G4) (Sony cell) battery recall. I filled out their online form the day the recall was announced (Aug 24th) and got the standard "4 to 6 weeks" for the replacement to arrive.
Well, it arrived today, so hopefully other folks will start getting theirs soon.
-Barry K. "

The next day a reader posted a note he received his also:

" Just chiming in to say I received my two replacement 12" Powerbook G4 batteries today...
-Etracer "
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Apple 'Showtime' special event set for Sept. 12th
Apple sent press invitations on a "Showtime" special event on Sept. 12, expected to be an announcement of a new movie section for the iTunes store and an improved Video iPod. (It was rumored that today they'd announce a 23" iMac and Merom upgrades to Core Duo based Macs, but nothing seen so far, despite the apple store being down for awhile this morning.)
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Mac Pro (2.66GHz) Photoshop CS2 tests in Rosetta vs. Win XP (BootCamp)
" Hi Mike, I ran PSBench (the OWC version) again on my Mac Pro, this time with a stop watch, once immediately after cold boot in OS X, and then once (after all my antivirus and spyware software finished loading) in Win XP Professional (Bootcamp), both in fully updated CS2 installations. The results really show what to expect on the Mac Pros once CS3 is out and Universal next year:

    (Time to complete 21 filter tests)
  • OS X in Rosetta: 227 sec
  • Win XP native: 110 sec

Yes, that's more than twice as fast. In fact, it'll likely be even faster. My OS X Photoshop install is running its scratch disk off a SATA RAID, but the Win XP install is running scratch on a single SATA/2 drive. Not sure how much PSBench 7 hits the scratch disk, but I did hear disk activity during the tests. (the std PSbench test uses a 10MB image, although the official site has downloads that use up to 50MB image)

My Mac Pro is a Quad 2.66 with 2GB RAM (4x512MB installed by Apple).
Vader "

The Aug. 24th news page had his previous notes on Mac Pro 2.66GHz vs Dual 1.8GHz G5 Photoshop CS2 Filter tests

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Macbook Random Shutdowns Solved?
There's a page titled Random Macbook Shutdowns. Solved. At Last. Hopefully that says the cause is said to be a cable between the heat sensor contacting the CPU's heat sink and melting the insulation. (reinsulating the cable reportedly solves the problem.)
Note: Apple now has a knowledge base doc titled MacBook: Shuts down intermittently that simply says to contact Applecare if you have the problem. I've heard that the repairs for this are not just replacing a sensor wire, so perhaps there's more than one cause.
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PowerPC Mac vs Intel Mac dnetc performance
" I'm the guy who did the dnetc primer...
Anyways, I've got 2 Intel iMacs for my office, and although I won't be running dnetc on these computers on an ongoing basis, I did want to see how they crunched.

The iMacs in question are the 17" 1.83 GHz core duo models.

As a frame of reference, my early-model dual 2 GHz G5 tower runs dnetc at a rate of about 28 million keys/sec.
This iMac is running at a rate of about 8.3 million keys/sec.
Looks like AltiVec is still the kickass king of the hill for this kind of number crunching; so much for SSE* being equivalent.
It'll be interesting to see if the Mac Pros do any better.
(Other readers had mentioned this big delta in performance so I asked if he was using the X86 version of dnetc on the Intel Macs and if he had installed WinXP on the iMac to compare native XP performance)
At the dnetc downloads page, they now have 2 options, the PPC and x86 versions for OS X. The x86 version is what I'm referring to.
I DO have Parallels running on this, but of course, Parallels only uses 1 core. I have NOT tested it within Windows XP/Parallels, and don't think I will..
I did see keys/sec up as high as 8.8 million, after my original email (the client was generally running above 180%). Pretty slow.. Maybe they will be doing some more tweaking of the code to improve things.
Cheers, Andrew "

Chris sent a note the developers had commented on this back in March 2006 in a plan file:

" .... So here is the distributed.net take on the Apple switch over performance. A Mac Mini with a 1.42Ghz G4 benchmarks 15,049,781 Mkeys/s for RC5-72 and 32,176,334 Mnodes/s for OGR-P2. A Mac Mini with a 1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo benchmarks 9,057,090 Mkey/s for RC5-72 and 44,886,648 Mnodes/s for OGR-P2.

            PPC          x86       x86/PPC performance
------------------------------------------------------
RC5-72   15,049,781    9,057,090   -39.8%
OGR-P2   32,176,334   44,886,648   +39.5%

(Comparing the fastest G4 processor shipped in a Mac Mini with both cores of the fastest Intel Core processor in a Mac Mini)

The dual cores of the Intel Core Duo give it a substantial advantage over the single G4 in OGR performance. However, the Intel chip is certainly no match for the powerhouse G4 in RC5-72 performance. With some more volunteer help we still might be able to further optimize the code for Intel Core processors. As always we thank our volunteers for contributing to the projects."

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New/Updated Apple Knowledge Base Docs
(from apple's weekly list)

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Drive Compatibility Database Updated
The Drive Compatibility Database had 5 new reports added. Current total - 15,846 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • Firewire (cased) Pioneer DVR-710 (retail boxed DVR-111D) used w/MacBook Pro (OS X 10.4.x)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-111D in iMac G4 (OS X 10.4.x)
    (iMac G4 15in take-apart article here)
  • Exp. Bay Pioneer DVR-K05 in (Pismo) Powerbook G3 2000 (OS X 10.4.x)

    Combo DVD (Rom)-CDR Drives:
  • IDE Samsung SM-332B (32x12x40x +12x DVD-ROM) in G4/AGP tower (OS X 10.3.x)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for OS X 10.3.x iApps burn support. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers B&W G3, Beige G3 MT and G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE (SerialATA onboard) Western Digital WD5000KS 500GB (x2) in Mac Pro (OS X 10.4.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). The database includes reports on DVD +/-R, CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, Hard Drives and Removables (tape drive, ORB, ZIP, MO drives, NAS, CF/Smartmedia readers, etc.) in all interface types (IDE, IDE RAID cards, SATA, Firewire, SCSI, USB, adapters).
If you've added a IDE, SATA, Firewire, USB, or SCSI, hard drive, Optical drive/burner, NAS, tape drive, etc., send me the details for adding to the database.

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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. Total to date: 10,273. Here's a summary of the latest additions (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Sonnet G4 1.6GHz Dual (7447A) in (QS) G4/AGP (rated 9)
    (includes some before/after tests vs stock 867MHz CPU)

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

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, send a review with your experience and rating (1= worst to 10=best). Search the database for entries from most every upgradable Mac model *before* you buy. (Searchable by mac model/upgrade brand).

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Other Net News/Misc. Software Updates

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