News Archive for Friday August 28, 2009     Goto Current News Page

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

OS X 10.6 reports on Sil3124 (4 port) and Marvell chip based Sonnet Cards
" The SiliconImage3124 driver was not removed by OS X 10.6 installer, and seems to work correctly. Of course only when booting into the 32-bit kernel.
This was a Lycom (PE-124 I assume) PCIe SATAII Host Card with 4 eSATA External Ports.
-Doyle"

Another clone of that card (has active cooled heatsink) is the DAT Optic PCIe 4 port card that sells for about $167.99 at OWC.
(FYI - Saturday morning I had a StardomSJ20-x8 SATA card RAID user say the Sil3124 v2.0.3 drivers didn't work with 10.6. I asked if like the Sil3132, there were RAID and non-RAID 3124 drivers. Even with earlier OS's, readers reported problems with the 3132 RAID drivers.)
And a report from a user of Sonnet's Marvell chip based SATA cards. (Sonnet notes the E4P PCIe and Tempo PRO Expresscard are "Snow Leopard Tested" (compatible w/32bit kernel) on their website now)

"Sonnet eSATA Expresscard PRO/34 works fine w/10.6
No issues. Shows in PCI cards by name. Very fast copying - 2.6GB to hardware encrypted (2.5in HD) drive in a minute. (FYI - the Marvell-chip based Pro card tested faster than 3132 cards in OS X 10.5.x, but I had a SIIG 3132 card owner reply after 10.6 removed the drivers on the install pre-scan, he reinstalled from CD later and said he's seeing appx 1GB in 15 seconds on xfers (to 3.5in 7200rpm HD in eSATA HD dock) but still not sure if it will be reliable longer term, since apple flagged those drivers as incompatible. He also noted having to power the card off before sleeping the MBP. No follow-up yet to the initial report from a Griffin 3132 card owner that installed sonnet 1.1.9V2B drivers earlier today (in post below).-Mike)
Drives mount promptly. More so than with Si3132 alternative...
I replaced a Sonnet E2P and Expresscard (non Pro) 34 (both Si3132) with the E4P and the Pro both using the Marvell chipset. And now that the price of the Pro 34 is $100 less (was $199.95), it is really the only card to buy....
With eSATA you get what you pay for, that's for sure.
-Ricardo"

Update/FYI: On Sept. 5th, 2009 I recd my $19.99 (single port/JMB360 based) eSATA expresscard and in my tests with an eSATA HD Dock, including working when booted to the 64bit kernel in OS X 10.6/10.6.1. See updated notes on OS X 10.6 Tests w/Cheap eSATA PCIe and ExpressCards.

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Are you seeing any World of Warcraft Problems in OS X 10.6?
(Update - I called an ATI contact tonight about this. He said although they have seen these reports, they've not been able to replicate the reported problems with their iMac/4850 and Mac Pro/4870 systems. But regardless, said they are working to try and determine the cause for those that are affected.)
From a reader mail tonight (FYI to anyone that might be affected, and welcome other feedback on this)

"World of Warcraft and 10.6 incompatiblity notes
(from a WoW forum post titled ATI 4850/4870 with Snow Leopard 10.6)
    "If you are using an iMac with an ATI 4850 card or a Mac Pro with an ATI 4870 card you may want to hold off on upgrading to Snow Leopard for now.
    There are a few bugs that impact WoW:

    1) Black Screen Issue- When you start up WoW, nothing will render although you will hear the music and see the mouse cursor. Once you move your window, the scene will render, but this can be an annoyance. (A reply from a a Mac Pro owner w/flashed 4870 said he didn't see a black screen, but hadn't logged in yet)

    2) We are seeing some random crashes on this card with Snow Leopard. We are not entirely sure if it is limited to this specific card, but this is something we are investigating.

    Rest assured we are working with the appropriate parties to get these issues taken care of."

This would explain the crashes I was getting that I had reported to you earlier that was going unanswered until now.
-Adam"

FYI: Here's a reply from an ATI 4870/10.6 user not seeing any problems:

"Just a short feedback - I have tested WoW on 10.6 with Apple's original Radeon 4870 in Mac Pro 3.0 GHz (Clovertown) with max settings on Cinema 30" and I have no issues at all. It works perfectly for hours!
Best, Davor"

And a later mail from an ATI 4870 owner that has had crashes:

" 10.6 on an 09' Mac Pro with ATI (I assume 4870) card crashed 3x last night in a raid. Never crashed before I upgraded.
Also, I do have one of the nVidia GTX 285 cards and can say that I do see the outlining and performance is poor by comparison to the ATI card under 10.6.
Hopefully these issues will be addressed soon.
-Kyle B."

FYI - I had a long mail Saturday morning from a 10.6.0/WoW/Nvidia 8800GT card owner report he no longer saw any AA options in World of Warcraft - also saw a similar post from a 8600M/MBP owner.

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
2 reports that OS X 10.6 seems to fix the GTX 285 driver/Sims 3 problem
I don't own Sims 3 to try but earlier today a GTX 285 user said his first attempt at running Sims 3 in OS X 10.6 worked. (There was a lot of anger/frustration and finger-pointing (blame game) about the problem with GTX 285 drivers and the Sims III in OS X 10.5.x.)
I also wrote a reader with this combo (Neal, who had posted comments here previously on this problem and that the last two Sims 3 updates didn't help) to ask if he'd tested with 10.6. Just got his reply:

" Yes, it was sat in the hallway when I arrived home from work this evening. I've installed it and had a wee look.
I'm pleased to confirm that The Sims 3 running on a MacPro with an EVGA GTX285 installed finally loads without any glitches. I've not had long to actually play the game since installing Snow Leopard, but it loads, which was a welcome revelation.
As you know, 10.5.8 would not even see The Sims 3 load with a GTX285 and brought the machine to a crashing halt. 10.6 drivers work. Given that they are alleged to be the same Nvidia drivers as the pre 10.6 release, Apple clearly worked to improve compatibility in Snow Leopard. This will need some investigating and I may compare drivers between 10.5.8 and 10.6 installs.

Obviously it is not possible to see if there are performance improvements between 10.5 and 10.6. If you're interested I can do some Sims 3 on Vista v Snow Leopard comparison tests this bank holiday weekend.
All the best.
Regards, Neal "

I've added a FYI on this to the previous notes in my review of the EVGA Mac GTX-285.

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Reader notes on Rosetta/Old Apps (Adobe PShop CS/Illustrator CS, MS Office X) under OS X 10.6
" Older Apps working under 10.6 Rosetta - other notes
(Rosetta is an option you can check in the 10.6 installer.-Mike)
Just wanted to confirm that OfficeX and AdobeCS both seem to work under 10.6 on my MacBook Pro Santa Rosa. I haven't tested them extensively, obviously, but the all launch and I can open files, and quit them without errors. I have OfficeX and Illustrator CS and Photoshop CS. I simply made sure to include Rosetta in the optional installs when installing 10.6.

I'm having a bit of a problem with my migrated keychain in keychain access, but I've been able to work some of it out. Resetting my admin password seemed to help.

And MobileMe Preferences is not listing any computers in the registered computers list at all, so I have syncing turned off before it does something nasty to all my data. Will have to see if this crops up as a problem with other people.
(he later wrote)
All issues seem to be resolved with my password and MobileMe problems. I was having trouble with mail, too, where it refused to remember passwords or accept them and I couldn't bring a few mail accounts online.

But simply resetting my admin password and my keychain password (with the same password I already had), and then rebooting the machine solved everything. MobileMe syncs and shows registered machines, mail works and doesn't forget passwords, and keychain no longer tells me I don't have the right to see my information. So if anyone else has these issues after "migrating from another HD attached to this computer" this is the way to solve it. For whatever reason, the migration tool brings over the users and passwords but may not register those password correctly as administrators for all purposes.

Still much smoother than the nightmares people had using Migration Assistant from Tiger to Leopard. Then again, if I didn't know very much about how Macs work, I'd have had to call Apple about it, so hardly a "just works" situation.

So far the most impressive thing is the speed of the Finder. Even though right now I have my OS on an external HD, and I'm still copying files to the Disk from the internal drive before I swap them, Finder responds instantly.

PICT file format does not work in 64-bit mode. You can't open a PICT in Preview running in 64-bit SL (running 32-bit kernel or not), nor can you use a PICT as a desktop picture. You are told to enable 32-bit mode in Preview if you try to open one there, and if you try to use a PICT as a desktop picture, it simply registers as a blue field.
What logic would Apple have in not enabling PICT translation in 64-bit, but taking the time create dialogue boxes and recommendations on how to get around their omission? There is plenty of archived material out there with PICTs in it...
-Mike K."

I can't remember now if that was mentioned in one of the apple 10.6 docs from yesterday... but I don't have any PICT files on my current macs. (Not for many years at least.)
BTW - speaking of really old apps/Rosetta - I just ran the old Mac Game "Return to Castle Wolfenstein" under 10.6 - still seems to run fine. I've always been impressed at how well Rosetta handled a ton of old titles here I bought years ago for PPC Macs. (One of the days (when I retire most likely), I'm going to go back and play through all those old titles...)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Notes/Tips on Sil3132 SATA card drivers (SI's and Sonnet's) and OS X 10.6
(Updated earlier post below from Griffin owner w/notes on using sonnet drivers and a SIIG 3132 owner notes on reinstalling its drivers after 10.6.)
The Apple doc OS X v10.6: About incompatible software I listed here yesterday includes Silicon Image SiI3132 Drivers (v1.5.16.0 listed (the RAID driver version IIRC?), but the popular v1.1.9u SI drivers also get moved to "incompatible software" folder also on 10.6 upgrade install). Many (typically low-cost) SATA PCIe/Expresscards use that chipset. This problem was expected and mentioned in a news page post here earlier this month. Firmtek had said they're working on updated drivers for their 3132 based cards, but no word officially that Silicon Image is. (Despite rumors to the contrary, I hope they eventually will as there's a ton of 3132 based cards out there.)
Here's some mails this morning on the subject of SI 3132 chip based SATA cards:

(from a reader mail from last night)
"I got this response from FirmTek today (27-Aug-2009) regarding the FirmTek SeriTek/2SM2-E:
    'The current FirmTek 5.3.1 and 5.3.2 drivers are NOT compatible with Snow Leopard. FirmTek is in the process of validating a new driver with the Apple Snow Leopard golden master. Once this process is completed, FirmTek will post new Snow Leopard compatible drivers at http://www.firmtek.com/download/.'
-Craig"

And mail(s) this morning from a Sonnet card user (non-Pro Tempo eSATA expresscard):

"Apple has confirmed that the SiL (3132) drivers for the Express/34 card are broken under 10.6. SiL contends that they do not provide drivers at all - merely cores for OEMs and it's up to each OEM to provide drivers. This while they have a driver on their download page... (linked here many times since 2006 on the MBP/Expresscards page)
No word back from Sonnet: it would be impossibly expensive for me to replace my SATA tower with a Firewire option (USB 2.0 is too fragile & problematic) - and incredibly disruptive to do without those 4 drives....
(he later wrote)
Mike - just heard back from Sonnet:
    "The driver we currently have posted works under 10.6 in 32-bit mode but not 64-bit mode. (64bit kernel can't load 32bit drivers.) And we've updated our website to indicate that. The current issue the card has with configurations that have greater than 2GB of RAM is an entirely separate issue and is being addressed by Silicon Image. (The expresscards page here had a post on that (although not everyone reported a problem) - as well as comments on a SI 'firmware' update.-Mike) They are working on a new version of the driver and once they're done with internal testing, they'll be passing it along to us."

Thought I'd pass that along.
-Charles"

I'll post any later feedback from him on 10.6 with these drivers. In the meantime, if anyone verifies those drivers work with 10.6, let me know. (include info on card used, ext drive used, etc.) Thanks.


Update/FYI: As I had done in Dec 2008 (with "1.1.9v2" drivers), I dug into the Sonnet 1.1.9v2B download pkg and saw the real driver (3132 kext) was just SI's (December 6th, 2006 dated) SiliconImage3132.kext. The same date of the SI site v1.1.9u OS X (non-raid) driver. But as I've mentioned for years, many venders of these cards just re-package (w/their readme, company name/text, etc.) the reference drivers from the OEM mfr, but regardless I used the sonnet d/l just in case they had some installer fix. They seem to worked fine here in my Tests in OS X 10.6 with cheap SI3132 based Expresscard and PCIe cards. (Dynex $19.99 PCIe 2 port eSATA card and a $24.99 2-port eSATA Expresscard.)
On Sept. 5th I updated the page with notes on SL tests with the $19.99 (single port/JMB360 based) eSATA expresscard as well (native support still, including 64bit kernel support unlike the current Sil3132 drivers). All tests used an eSATA HD Dock. (No multi-drive or PM cases.) See my updated notes on OS X 10.6 Tests w/Cheap eSATA PCIe and ExpressCards.

Here's links to the Sonnet Tempo (PCIe) SATA E2P card drivers page and Tempo SATA Expresscard/34 card drivers page. (They both have the same download file, listed on the page as "v1.1.9 V2B", dated Dec-09-2008, although the download zip file is dated Aug 7, 2009.)
They apparently updated the driver from the first "1.1.9 v2" release posted in late Nov 2008. (The Dec 5th, 2008 news page post had info on different 'revisions' of sonnet's 3132 based expresscards, and back then I checked the "1.1.9 v2" download driver package and found the actual driver inside was the SiliconImage3132.kext dated Dec. 6, 2006. (i.e. the v1.1.9 driver that's on SI's site, the most popular driver for these cards which are sold under dozens of brand names). Some readers had problems with SI's RAID driver (dated 2007).)

And here's an earlier mail from a Griffin (also SiL3132 based) Expresscard user regarding problems he's seen in 10.6 (using SI 1.1.9 drivers)

(Updated w/sonnet driver comments)
"I am using a late 2008 15in Unibody MBP with the Griffin expresscard/34 eSata card. I just got Snow Leopard and have found the SI 3132 drivers v1.1.9u do not work in Snow Leopard. I constantly get kernal panics after periods of use.

I am also having issues where software cannot see all the directories in the drive. I am patiently waiting for a software update from either griffin or silicon image.
I use my esata ports for back ups for time machines and for a local music server on my network. I am using to external hds with eagle consus eSata/usb 2.0 cases. If you Have any suggestions as to how to uninstall the drivers and to try another vendors drivers with that work with the Griffin card, please let me know
(he later wrote)
I uninstalled the driver and tried again and the drives connect but cause the MBP to kernel panic.
(I sent Greg a fyi/link to the Sonnet drivers to see if those would work.-Mike)
Hey Mike, so far I did try the sonnet drivers and they seem to be working. Im going to try and see what happens while I am using it. I will test it by streaming media off of it on my network and see what happens. I will keep you posted.
-Greg"

My copy of 10.6 has not arrived yet (due here later today) and I hope to be able to do my own testing also (using a $24 Dynex 3132 based Expresscard - I would have preferred one of those natively supported (in 10.5) Jmicron cards for my light needs, but grabbed the Dynex as it was the only thing at local stores. I plan to order one of the $20 single port Jmicron cards later to try with 10.6. (For my light use, I can't justify $200 for the Sonnet Pro (marvell based) Expresscards.)

FYI - I had a SIIG 3132 expresscard owner write despite 10.6 installer scan removing the drivers, he later reinstalled them from CD (1.1.9 driver) and said it seems to be working (noted 1GB xfers in appx 15 seconds to 3.5" WD 7200RPM in ThermalTake BlacX HD Dock) but I wonder about longer term stability (since apple flagged these drivers as incompatible with 10.6). He also said he now has to turn the card off (menu item) before sleeping the MacBook Pro. (Couldn't remember if he'd tested that in 10.5.x.)

Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Apple Support/Troubleshooting doc updates
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top
Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
Return to Accelerate Your Mac!Top

OWC XYM SPECIALS!
(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

= HARD DRIVES =
Up to 12 TB HDD
HGST, WD, Seagate, Toshiba

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

= MEMORY =
Lifetime warranty RAM Upgrades!

= OPTICAL DRIVES =
Internal and External Superdrives/Blu-Ray drives

= VIDEO / DISPLAY =
Graphics cards, Displays, Adapters, Cables & more

= AUDIO ITEMS =
Interfaces, Cables, Software, Speakers, Headphones & more

= SOFTWARE =
Apps, Utilities, OS, VM, Games and more

= WIRELESS =
WiFi and Bluetooth Devices/Adapters/More

= Repair Service =
for iPhone, iPad, Macs

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

NuGuard KX iPhone Case *Extreme* Drop Tested!


XLR8YourMac T-Shirts


= back to www.XLR8YOURMAC.com =
Copyright © 1997-2017. All Rights Reserved
All brand or product names mentioned here are properties of their respective companies.
Legal: Site Privacy and terms of use.