News Archive for: 6/13/2005 Monday's News (later posted items first)
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ATI releases Mac X800 XT 109 ROM/Driver Update (notes on fixes for 3D/Pro apps, games)
Update - It seems the first post of the 109 ROM update release notes included (by mistake) info on a separate Hotfix. (Trying to find the download/page on the hotfix now...) I wrote Bruno to mention the 109 ROM release notes had comments on a driver/hotfix. (The release notes have now been revised to remove that info but see below for a copy of the original post.)

"Hi Mike.
One other release. Hotfix drivers have been posted for the X800XT (this install does not include files/changes for any other product). This fixes corruption problems seen by some customers running higher-end software like Maya, Modo and Lightwave. Customers who do not run these applications and/or have not seen a problem with the built-in 10.4.x drivers should not download this hotfix.
The download can be accessed by following Knowledgebase article 737-19102 via
Bruno "

When I enter that article ID in the advanced search it goes to the ROM update page. Hopefully the Hotfix update will be posted at later tonight or tomorrow.
(here's the earlier email today from Bruno of ATI on the Mac X800 XT 109 ROM update)

" Hi Mike.
A new ROM (v109) for the X800XT is available on the ATI.COM driver download pages. It's under the ROM Updates category which is under the Mac section. I won't bother with a direct link because aleady noted the cookie requirements on the site prevent such links from working properly.

This update fixes some corruption that customers were seeing with FSAA in games like Ottomatic and others (recently reported on your site).
Bruno "

Some readers w/Pro Apps (Final Cut Pro 5, Maya, LW, etc.) also reported some corruption issues in the past here and a few tested a hotfix a couple of weeks ago that helped. (Hopefully the Hotfix will be posted later tonight or tomorrow.)
I enabled cookies in my browser and went to the site and saw the post dated today on the ROM update. Here's a link to the v109 updater download and the release notes. The original release notes listed 10.4.0/10.4.1 as required for the Hotfix update which includes drivers and ROM xtender. (Also mentioned other fixes and a note on potential Doom3 performance impact.) As of 6PM the release notes for the ROM update have been revised but here's the original info on the changes and (separate) Hotfix/driver update.

" ROM Version 109 (this release) Fixed is a rare occurrence of corruption or hang for a few specific instances with the Added built-in Firmware Fan control

Release Notes for Mac OS X (NOTE: This refers to a separate Hotfix/driver update - not the 109 ROM updater.-Mike)
Fixed various 3D bugs in Tiger.

1) Radeon X800 corruption in Modo, Lightwave, and other multi-paned apps in Tiger
2) Corrected Raster position reporting
3) Fixed checkerboard texture problem on X2 : The Threat

This hot-fix is recommended for users of all professional CAD applications, but it is not recommended for DOOM 3, as there are no issues fixed for this application. In certain instances, this release may include a slight but noticeable performance drop for DOOM 3 at high resolutions when running with FSAA enabled.

Double-Click the installer icon and follow the on-screen instructions.

The installer contains the following items:
Mac OS X:

  • ATI ROM Xtender
  • ATIRadeon9700.kext
  • ATIRadeon9700DVDDriver.bundle
  • ATIRadeon9700GA.plugin
  • ATIRadeon9700GLDriver.bundle
  • ATIRadeon9700VADriver.bundle

NOTE: Do not remove your previously installed ATI files. This installer will overwrite any files that need to be updated. If you remove your existing ATI files, your older ATI product may no longer function as expected.
You must restart your computer after installation is complete."

I'm going to install the update now. If any readers find this update helps with problems they had (or doesn't), let me know. (Include system/OS/apps details in reports. Thanks)

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Using Pegasus USB to Ethernet Adapter Drivers w/Tiger server
" A few weeks ago (May 26th news page) I wrote to let everyone know about free USB to Ethernet drivers for the mac ( - driver for Pegasus-based USB 1.1 Ethernet adapters).
I'm writing in to let you know that it's been working fine on an iMac G3/ 400/10.4 Server using a Belkin F5D5050 USB to 10/100 Adapter. It's self installing and works great so far. Many thanks to the people who've provided these drivers for the mac community.
-Jonathan "

(I'm guessing his onboard Ethernet port went south (failed) or he wanted a 2nd Ethernet port for the server.)

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Mac World of Warcraft Performance on new iMac G5 w/9600 Radeon
I've updated the Mac WoW performance page with comments on framerates/performance from the owner of a new iMac G5 w/9600 Radeon graphics.
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Mac Radeon X800 XT Feedback page updated
I've updated the Mac ATI Radeon X800 XT feedback page with a reader report on higher PCI zone case fan speed (duty cycle) in later OS X versions. (I see similar duty cycle here with my 2003 DP G5 w/X800 card but it doesn't seem noisy to me. The 6800 Ultra card (even at idle) has an even higher duty cycle - almost 50%.)
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Techtool Pro 4 reports page updated
I've updated the TechTool Pro 4 Feedback and Tips page with a reader's (disaster) report on using an old Techtool Pro 4.0.1 CD on a Tiger/10.4 Volume. (Back in late April they released a 4.0.4 update that noted Tiger compat. - I'd never run an old version of 3rd party drive utility on a Tiger volume without checking for updates and compat. notes from the vendor.)
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Apple Knowledge Base Doc Updates
(New or Updated Knowledge Base Documents from Apple's weekly update listing)
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Other Net News
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CDRW/CD/DVD/Hard Drive/Cardreader Compatibility Database Update Listing
The Drive Compatibility Database had 9 new reports added this morning. (Entries today are added the next newsday morning.) The database includes reports on CDRWs, Combo DVD-CDRW, DVD-ROM, DVD Burners, 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). Current total - 14,801 reports. (searching by drive type/brand, mac model etc. listed below will show the full reports, most recent first - does not include updates to previous reports) iApps burn support mentioned in reports unless otherwise noted.

    CDRW Drives:
  • IDE Liteon SOHR-5239S (52x32x52x) in B&W G3 (OS 9.2)
    (Using Toast 5.x for burning. Illustrated CD drive install guide here covers B&W G3 and G4 towers up to the Digital Audio Model)
  • IDE Teac CD-W54E (4x4x32x) in B&W G3 (OS X)
    (didn't comment on iTunes burn support.)

    DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives:
  • IDE Matshita UJ-845B in Mac Mini (OS X 10.4)
    (Using Patchburn 4 for Tiger)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-109 in Dual G4 (OS X 10.3)
    (Includes notes on Protools LE '001. Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support.)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-109 in (Digital Audio) G4/AGP (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-109 in (Digital Audio) Dual G4 (OS X 10.4)
  • IDE Pioneer DVR-109 in iMac G4 (OS X 10.4)
    (iMac G4 15in take-apart article here)
  • Firewire (cased) Sony DRU-800A used w/G4 AGP (OS X 10.3)
    (Using Patchburn 3 for iApps burn support.)

    Hard Drives:
  • IDE Maxtor Ultra16 250GB in (MDD) Dual G4 DDR (OS X 10.4)

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). For guides to installing CD/CDRW/DVD drives or Hard drives in many mac models, see the IDE Articles page. The Firewire articles page also has guides on case kits, installing drives, etc.
If you've added a IDE, SCSI, Firewire or USB hard drive, CDRW, tape drive, etc. make sure you add a report to the database. (If you post an updated entry - make sure you use the same name, etc. as you did before so I can find your past entry. Thanks.)
(Incomplete entries are deleted. Do not post questions in the database, it's for drive reports not questions on what drive to buy - for that try searching the database for reports from owners of your mac model on the drive type/brand/interface, etc. you're interested in.)

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Rate Your CPU Upgrade Reports Database Updated
The Rate Your CPU Upgrade database has been updated with 4 new reports this morning (entries later today are added the next newsday morning). Total to date: 9,958. Here's a summary of the reports added (search by brand/mac model for full reports - latest reports always shown first):

  • Sonnet G4/1GHz in Beige G3 (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G4/1.2 GHz in (Digital Audio) G4/AGP (rated 10)
  • Sonnet G3/400 in 7300/166 (rated 9)
  • PowerLogix BlueChip G3/900 in (Pismo) Powerbook G3 2000 (rated 1)
    (noted he finally got a warranty replacement, but not installed yet.)

    (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.)

(Warning - Overclocking may not be reliable and could lead to hardware failure or corrupted data.) 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, please post an entry in the database. Search the database for entries from most every upgradable Mac model *before* you buy. (Searchable by mac model/upgrade brand).

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System/Video Card Benchmark Performance Database Updated:
The Mac Benchmark/Game Performance database has been updated with Unreal Tournament 2004 Botmatch tests at 1024x768 from a (MDD) G4/1GHz DDR w/Geforce4MX running OS X 10.3 and Unreal Tournament 2004 flyby tests from PB G4 (1.5GHz) w/Nvidia FX5200 at 800x600 running OS X 10.4 and Dual 2GHz G5 w/9800 Pro at 1920x1200 running OS X 10.4.
If you haven't already, enter your results with any of the game titles or benchmarks listed on the entry page (details on how to test are there). If you're curious how a CPU upgrade or new Video card would help game performance, the search page options can help you find similar system/configurations to get an idea before you buy.
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Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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