News Archive for Tuesday, February 28th, 2012:

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(Late 2008) MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.8 (Display Flicker Fix)
"About MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.8
This update is recommended for MacBook Pro (15-inch, late 2008) models. The update resolves a graphics issue that may cause the internal display to flicker.

System Requirements: OS X v10.5.8, v10.6.8 or v10.7.3"

If the Apple EFI updates page is correct, the ROM version after the update is MBP51.007E.B06. Wednesday's news has positive reader feedback on the update saying it did fix a display flicker problem and also said it seems to have helped battery runtime. (?)

(If you missed it, last week Apple posted EFI Firmware Updates for 2011 iMac, MacBook Pros, MacBook Air and Mac Minis.)
  

New/Updated Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Articles:


  
Nvidia Posts Drivers/CUDA Update for OS X Lion:
(Release date yesterday but see below for notes a later version included w/10.7.3, but the Nvidia D/L has wider GPU/card support.)
"QUADRO & GEFORCE MAC OS X DRIVER RELEASE 270.00.00
Version: 270.00.00f01
Release Date: 2012.02.27
Operating System: Mac OSX Lion 10.7.3
File Size: 31.0 MB

CUDA Application Support:
In order to run Mac OS X Applications that leverage the CUDA architecture of certain NVIDIA graphics cards, users will need to download and install the CUDA 4.x driver for Mac located here. (Nvidia CUDA v4.1.29, dated Feb 10th, 2012)

New in Release 270.00.00f01:

  • Contains performance improvements and bug fixes for a wide range of applications.

Release Notes Archive:
This driver update is for Mac Pro 5,1 (2010), Mac Pro 4,1 (2009) and Mac Pro 3,1 (2008) users only.

Supported Products

  • GeForce 200 series: GTX 285 for MAC
  • GeForce 100 series: GT 120
  • GeForce 8 series: 8800 GT
  • Quadro series: 4000 for Mac
  • Quadro FX series: FX 5600, FX 4800 for MAC "
  • Here's the Nvidia Driver Download page.
    FYI: I'm not running Lion, but a reader said 10.7.3 includes a later version but with more limited support:

    "These drivers are older than what Apple ships in 10.7.3 which is 270.05.20f02.
    The one interesting thing is that unlike the Apple driver which specifies a range of specific device ID's supported - These (Nvidia's release) support any NVIDIA card.

      (BTW: - Hackintosh site Netkas noted the Nvidia driver D/L had:
       "...gtx580 support out of the box... nVidia cards works without efi rom or aty_init on macpros now, just plug it in, just no boot screen."   
      The last time I saw this sort of thing the Nvidia D/L was later revised to remove support for some later (than Apple OEM'd) cards. Hopefully not again.
    FYI: A (2008) Mac Pro owner later wrote his 6-pin to 8-pin Pwr adapted Zotec GTX-580 card fan's did not run in his Mac Pro. (Mac Pro Pwr Supply has only 6-pin pwr connectors, so 8-pin adapter was reqd for GTX580 card.)-Mike
    )

    I did a quick test on a Hackintosh using Luxmark 2.0 doing a GPU only test and these drivers performed slightly worse than Apple's on a GTX 550 Ti.
    (How much is slightly worse? 5%?, 10%? Any bugs noticed?)

    I will be doing more extensive benchmarks on the hack using the following cards:

    • GTX 460
    • GTX 470
    • GTX 550 Ti
    • GTX 560
    -Mike W."

    If any reader tries these drivers let me know if you see any pros or cons and your card/GPU model/system details. Thanks. (If I had Lion I'd be tempted to pick up a GTX-560 2GB card ($250 or so) to try... IIRC the GTX560 uses 6-pin pwr connectors, unlike the 580.)
    BTW: Friday's news has a report from a 8800GT owner that these drivers seemed to have fixed his Black Screen/Crashes in OS X 10.7.3.

    Report on GTX-580 card Fans Not Running in Mac Pro 3,1:
    I later had a 2008 Mac Pro owner say he tried a Zotec GTX-580 card (w/6-pin to 8-pin pwr adapter) but the card quickly overheated (within a couple minutes) - turned out the card's fans would not running in the Mac Pro. (He tried a 2nd, same issue. Both cards tested OK in his PC he said.) If anyone else tries a 580 (w/adapter since mac pros have only 6-pin aux power connectors) in their mac pro with these drivers, let me know if you see the same problem.

    (Back in April 2010 I had a reader report he ran both a GTX-286 card and an ATI 4870 card (both are dual 6-pin cards) in his 2009 Mac Pro. I had asked to confirm he had stressed both cards w/o problems w/pwr supply and he said he had seen no problems. Of course that was w/different cards, different OS/drivers and a later Mac Pro but I was curious if there would be any issue with adequate current for both those cards at once. More Aux Pwr Supply connectors (incl. 8-pin) has been on my wish list for future Mac Pros for years.)
      

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