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Accelerate Your Mac! News Archive for: 1/10/2001 Wednesday's NewsReturn to Accelerate Your Mac!

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Top stories of Jan. 10th, 2001:

Reader's Guide and CDRW Compat. Listing for Disk Burn:
Eugene Kim wrote with a step by step guide to getting Disk Burn to work with 3rd party drives with links to software needed. (Includes a long list of compatible CDRW drives.)
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First Radeon PCI Card Owner Comments:
For those lucky enough to be at MWSF, a reader said he bought a PCI Radeon at a great price.

" I picked up a PCI Radeon card from the Club Mac desk in the ATI booth ($149 after rebate, btw) and haven't been able to get Quake III, Team Arena or Heavy Metal FAKK to work. Splash screen in Quake III looks normal, but on all three games the initial menu is totally jumbled and unreadable. Anyone else mention any problems?

ONI works great (looks great and seems playable (but with some stuttering in detailed scenes) at 1024x768 on max quality).

BTW, I am using a B&W G3/400 (@450) with OS 9.0.4.
Chris N.

I asked what version of OpenGL he was running but don't have any other reports on the PCI Radeon yet. If any other readers have a PCI Radeon, let me know how it performs.

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Pioneer Press Release on G4's DVD-R Combo Drive:
Edward Sikorski sent a link to a Pioneer press release on their DVR-103 model DVD-R/CDRW/DVD-ROM combo drive used in the new Macs. No mention is made of any retail pricing or availability in the press release. I've asked Pioneer about retail availability and pricing.
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Quake 3 Update w/Altivec Support Due (Possibly) Tomorrow Says ID
Abe Jellinek wrote that Graeme (ID software) has commented in a Quake3world forum post that Mac Quake3 v1.27h will have Altivec (G4) support that will "flex that velocity engine" and that "this safely puts the G4 ahead of the PC". (!?). He said he will probably post the update tomorrow. He also commented they have a G4/533 w/Geforce2 (MX?) in his office. .
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Forums Server Being Repaired
Several readers didn't see the above [note] about the forums server having a hardware failure yesterday afternoon. It appears the onboard SCSI bus of the 8600 has failed. I'll have it back online as soon as possible, but it could be some time since I have to replace the machine/setup completely.
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G4/733Mhz w/GeForce2MX Quake3 Performance Report:
[Note: There are now comparisons of GeForce2MX to Radeon (and other cards) on the Video tipics page, Graphics card section.]
I've already gotten a ton of email asking which card to buy with a new G4 - the GeForce2MX or the Radeon. Although there are no test reports with the Radeon in a new G4 yet, this reader sent Q3 results with the GeForce2MX card in a new G4/733:

"We had some of our field reporters play around with one of the new G4 733 machines after the keynote yesterday - surprisingly, they had Q3A on them. So, of course, we did some timedemos. This was with Q3A 1.11 (right off the CD) - one of the Apple guys said he'd try to update it to 127g today. Anyhow, here's what our reporters got:

Q3 High Quality Settings PLUS 1024/768
Timedemo Demo1 returned 60FPS
EVERYTHING ON

Q3 High Quality Settings PLUS 640/480
Timedemo Demo1 returned 100+ FPS
EVERYTHING ON

Q3 Fastest Settings
Timedemo Demo1 returned 125+ FPS
Everything OFF (Mostly)

Thought you might be interested. :) ... -remy"

As noted in my review of the Retail Radeon AGP, in my G4/500 (single CPU) the Radeon ran 49.2 FPS in Quake3 v1.17 with HQ settings at 1024x768, but then that system has a slower CPU (G4/500 vs 733), 2x AGP slot, 100MHz bus (vs 133), no L3 cache, etc. Still it was within approximately 10 FPS of the above report, so I'm really curious how the Radeon would perform in a new G4/733. [UPDATE - See the G4/733 Review on the Video and Systems pages for Comparison of a GeForce3 vs Radeon AGP in both the G4/733 and a Dual G4/500.]
The new G4 CPUs are also said to support write-combining [this was somewhat false info - the write combining is only on the PCI bus reportedly, not the same as the cpu chip feature in X86 CPUs]. The GeForce2 MX card uses SDR RAM and isn't as fast a chip as their GeForce 2/Ultra (and that card uses DDR RAM [or GeForce3 cards that appeared later]), but I think the MX was the first Mac compatible chip and hopefully in the future we'll see DDR/Ultra versions as options. (See the updated systems pages and video articles page for tests of the GeForce3 card w/64MB of DDR video ram.)
I've also added the Nvidia GeForce2 MX and new Mac models as options in the Video card/Game benchmark database, but until the new systems ship, there will be no reports there yet.

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Articles on iTunes and New G4s:
I've posted more articles from Steve Manke and Paul Roesner on the New G4 Towers and iTunes. The PowerBook G4 article posted yesterday has two new photos added from the show (thanks to Jamie Dresser).
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iTunes CDRW Compatibilty Tips and Reports:
Although officially only the OEM CDRW drives are supported, some readers have already sent reports and tips on using iTunes with older macs and non-Apple OEM CDRW drives. (If you've tried iTunes on an older mac or retail CDRW drive let me know and note this in the comments of your Drive Compatibilty Database Entry.)
[Update - see the FAQ's CDROM/CDR section for some modified support files for unsupported drives.]
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G4/667 and 733MHz Macs Use New 7450 CPU Design:
As some readers already spotted, the 2 higher speed G4 Macs use the new 7450 G4 CPU with 256KB on-chip L2 cache and 1MB L3 cache. I added that comment to a new article from Steve Manke on the new PowerMac G4 Models. Wayne Chang sent a link to this Motorola 7450 page which has more details. Several readers also sent a link to this Dow Jones press release noting that Motorola was shipping 7450s (they note 533, 667 and 733mhz speeds).
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OS 9.1 Game Performance/Video Card Reports:
I gave up trying to get the OS 9.1 update yesterday after having files stall, disappear, etc. despite trying alternate FTP locations. There apparently was a massive load on the Apple servers yesterday (considering OS 9.1, along with their official release of OpenGL 1.2.1, iTunes, etc.). One reader that applied the OS 9.1 update to his rev 1 G4/AGP system with Radeon card reported a substantial drop in game performance and said he was not alone. A Voodoo3 owner sent some driver/ROM mixing tips for OS 9.1. See the OS 9.1 feedback page for details.
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PowerBook G4 - Variable Speed CPU:
[Update - See the PowerBook section of the Systems page for performance tests/comments, etc. on the PowerBook G4.]
Jake of Mac-gamer.com sent a screenshot from Apple's System Profiler on a new PowerBook G4 showing the CPU speed as a range of 300-500MHz.

I replied this is probably a similar technique to the "speed-step" used by PIII notebooks, where the CPU speed is throttled back to save battery life and reduce heat. I think previous PowerPCs also had this capability, although ASP didn't report CPU speeds this way. Jake also noted he's posted some Expo pictures at his web site.

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iMac DV, Cube DVD ROM Firmware Update for Improved Audio Extraction:
The Apple iTunes web page has a link to a DVD ROM Firmware update for Cubes and iMac DVs that is said to improve audio extraction performance.
The iTunes page also links to this CD Burner download.
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Apple TILs/Tech Docs on New G4 Towers and PowerBook G4:
Due to forum server problems last night I was late in posting yesterday's Apple TIL updates which included several related to the new Macs.

Apple TILs on the new G4 Towers:

  • PowerMac G4 Developer Notes
  • Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio): What's New and Different
  • Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio): Technical Specifications
  • Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio): NVIDIA Video Card Specifications
  • Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio): Digital Sound System Information
  • Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio): Sound Output Ports
  • Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio): Differences Between Models
  • Power Mac G4: Display Compatibility
  • Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio): Disc Burner 1.0 Software Records Single Session Only
  • Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio): Requires PC-133 Memory

    Apple TILs on the new PowerBook G4

  • PowerBook G4: Technical Specifications
  • PowerBook G4: How to Find the Serial Number
  • PowerBook G4: How to Install an AirPort Card
  • PowerBook G4: How to Remove or Install the Battery
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    Apple TILs on OS 9.1:

  • Mac OS 9.1: Some Sherlock 2 Channels May Appear Empty
  • Mac OS 9.1: Pro Keyboard CD Does Not Install if Third-Party USB Card Is in Use
  • Mac OS 9.1, FireWire 2.7: Third-Party FireWire Drives May Not Recognize Audio CDs
  • Mac OS 9.1: Hard Disk Space Requirements
  • Mac OS 9.1: AppleShare Client Disappears From Chooser
  • Mac OS 9.1, AppleShare IP 6.3: Installing Mac OS Server Admin
  • Mac OS 9.1: PowerBook 1400 Fails to Restart After PRAM Reset
  • Mac OS 9.1: Software and Before You Install Document
  • Mac OS 9.1: Start Up from CD to Install on Original Power Macintosh Computers
  • Mac OS 9.1: Installer Only Updates the Startup Disk When Mac OS 8.5 or Later Is Installed
  • Mac OS 9.1: Computer Stops Responding After Accessing Extensions Manager at System Startup Time
  • Mac OS 9.1: Some Preferences Are Not Retained When Updating to Mac OS 9.1
  • Mac OS 9.1: Dialog Box Does Not Cancel on First Attempt
  • Mac OS 9.1: ARAP No Longer Available
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    CarbonLib 1.2 Update - Problems w/Quicken 2001?
    Yesterday there was a CarbonLib 1.2 update available via Software Updates that a reader noted caused problems with Quicken 2001on his machine:

    "Dear Mike,
    Just a word to the wise, Carbon Lib 1.2 for the Mac will not work with Quicken 2001 for the Mac.
    When you go to move the register or click on it, it moves away from you and can't be opened.
    I had to revert to 1.0.4.
    Eric "

    If any other Quicken owners have seen this let me know.

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    Apple AGP Update 1.0 Extension Returns:
    [Note: Several readers said this update requires OS 9.1. I've not had time to download it personally yet.] Todd Bangerter sent an email noting that the AGP 1.0 Update has reappeared on Apple's site. (It was first available around Dec 22nd, then disappeared about a week or so later.) He sent a direct download link to the update, but said he saw no changes from the original release. The original info noted it was to improve reliability with Rage128 Pro AGP cards, and would not install on my rev 1 G4/AGP system, but did on my G4 Gigabit model.
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    Software Updates, Apple TILs, Other Net News:
    Reported By: Barney Buoy

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