site logo
News Archive for Friday April 30, 2010     Goto Current News Page

Macs | CPU Upgrades | Video | Storage | Audio/HT | Apps/OS Updates/Networking

Steam for Mac official (public) release date is May 12th
Short PR email from Valve:

"Steam for the Mac: May 12
Valve today announced the public release of Steam for the Mac is May 12.
Please stay tuned for more information."
Go to Current News PageTop
2009 Mac Pro owner running GTX-285 and ATI 4870 Cards (via Aux power Y adapters)
Not sure if anyone else had tried this earlier (I know in the past some Mac Pro owners had used ext PS, or adapters off the PATA Optical drive connections in pre-09 Mac Pros.) And yes, he knows that apple lists 300W Max for the PCIe cards in the manual.

"So Far, So Good
Just chiming in that I've got the dual high-power graphics cards running without a hitch. It's rendering with the GTX 285 and CUDA now while I use the computer with the Radeon 4870 (no GUI lag, which is a nice change from using the GTX 285). The total system power draw hit 470 Watts (per iStat Menus) when I ran SmallLuxGPU with all cores and GPUs but no smoke - hehe. Right now it's at 367 Watts and while it's not as quiet with two high-end cards running, it's definitely stable so far.... Feel free to just post the above comment for curious readers.

I'm using a readout from iStat menus, not a measurement from a hardware utility. I'll plug in the Kill a Watt to test later.
The nice thing is that OpenCL automatically uses all GPUs (and CPUs if you want) (he sent screenshot but it's too large to post here.-Mike)
-Dave G."

I asked he report back after longer term use and I'd be curious what the wattage use was if he could load up one card with CUDA and then run something like the Quake 4 timedemo repeatedly. (I included total system wattage readings per my UPS's LCD display during various tasks with single card use (GTX-285 vs ATI 4870 vs GT120) down the first page of my GTX-285 review last June, although that was before I filled all the drive bays.)
I have a similar 09 Mac Pro (dual 2.66GHz) and still have my original ATI 4870 card, but right now have no plans to put the 4870 back in as I don't even have a spare 2nd display. So for me personally all that would do is add more heat/noise/power draw. (And this reminded me I forgot to get Applecare before my std warranty ran out last month...)

Go to Current News PageTop
Benchmarks of OWC 100GB Sandforce SSD in 2008 MacBook Pro
(from a reader mail/drive upgrade report today - updated w/more notes)

"Just purchased an OWC Mercury Extreme 100GB SSD this week, just thought I would supply some benchmarks.
System has 4GB RAM, and is a late 2008 Unibody MacBook Pro. Being the late 2008 model I think I managed to dodge the SATA bug that the 2009 model had. I cloned my 10.6.3 system across from my old drive, so it has numerous apps and add-ons which probably don't help the figures.

System boots lightning quick, and most apps launch within 1 bounce. Re-opening Firefox with a bunch of saved windows is markedly faster. Definitely a must-have upgrade, its like having a new computer!
Let me know if there is any tests or benchmarks you would like me to run over it.

Xbench Version 1.3
Disk Test 330.39
  Sequential 199.55
    Uncached Write 247.34 - 151.86 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 268.56 - 151.95 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 102.04 - 29.86 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 403.47 - 202.78 MB/sec [256K blocks]
  Random 959.65
    Uncached Write 1234.48 - 130.68 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 474.15 - 151.79 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 3259.72 - 23.10 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 1061.18 - 196.91 MB/sec [256K blocks]

(I asked if he'd seen any issues with sleep/wake)
Haven't put the computer to sleep yet as I have it set up as a server, I might sleep it tonight and give it a whirl.  No crashes or anything yet which is great, just works like a normal HDD. I remember hearing about the issues and to use hibernate mode, (tip from OWC support posted here a month or so ago) I think the drive has 3.0.5 firmware which might have fixed the issue? Will give it a go and report back.
(he later wrote)
So far so good with the sleep function, slept the computer for around 3-4 hours this afternoon when I went out, came back and it woke right back up, no problems.  Still havent had a single crash or freeze since I fitted the drive :) Price-for-performance this is definitely the best upgrade I have made

Go to Current News PageTop
Fix for iTunes 9.1.1 re-sync issue w/128Kbps conversion
Followup mail last night from a reader that reported this issue earlier this week:

"To follow up on the 128K resync issue, Apple issued a hotfix today. (It did work and solve the problem.) Now if I could just get it to stop determining gapless playback every time I sync that would be great. That's been going on since 9.1.

From the discussion group:
Hello all, If your songs with lyrics are re-syncing every time you sync (with 128 kbps conversion enabled) after updating to iTunes 9.1.1, follow these steps:
1. Re-download the iTunes 9.1.1 installer from
2. Run the installer.
This will install iTunes over the existing
3. Open iTunes.
iTunes will automatically update your iTunes Library. This may take a while for large libraries, but after the update has completed, syncing should return to normal."

Go to Current News PageTop
Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Doc updates

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

(Ad/Sale Items)

= UPGRADES by Model =
Upgrades for YOUR Mac!

= Refurb Mac Pros =
(Click for Current List)

= SSDs up to 4TB =
SSDs for Most Macs!

= ThunderBolt =
Drives, Docks & More

Up to 12 TB HDD
HGST, WD, Seagate, Toshiba

= 2.5" HDs & DIY Kits =
Notebook Hard Drives and DIY drive/case kit bundles

Lifetime warranty RAM Upgrades!

Internal and External Superdrives/Blu-Ray drives

Graphics cards, Displays, Adapters, Cables & more

Interfaces, Cables, Software, Speakers, Headphones & more

Apps, Utilities, OS, VM, Games and more

WiFi and Bluetooth Devices/Adapters/More

= Repair Service =
for iPhone, iPad, Macs

= iPad/iPhone/iPod =
Accessories, Cases, Docks & More

= back to =
Copyright 1997-2018. All Rights Reserved
All brand or product names mentioned here are properties of their respective companies.
Legal: Site Privacy and terms of use.