News Archive for: Friday, June 16th, 2006
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Price Cuts on Neptune FW400 Hard Drives
(from site sponsor OWC)
" New, lower OWC Neptune FireWire solution pricing
The OWC Neptune FireWire 400 line of solutions, with the latest Oxford 911+ Chipset, is great for Audio/Video, Music, Backup(Dantz/EMC Backup Certified), or general storage. These solutions are also fully bootable on any system with FireWire boot support. All models include: EMC/Dantz Retrospect Backup Software (Mac/PC), Intech HD Speedtools utility suite, FireWire Cable, Pretested/preformatted with 1yr OWC Warranty:
80GB 7200RPM w/2MB Data Buffer was $95.99, now $94.99
160GB 7200RPM w/8MB Data Buffer was $119.99, now $109.99
250GB 7200RPM w/8MB Data Buffer remains $139.99
320GB 7200RPM w/8MB Data Buffer was $169.99, now $167.99
400GB 7200RPM w/8MB Data Buffer was $249.99, now $239.99
500GB 7200RPM w/8MB Data Buffer was $359.99, now $319.99
Neptune solutions listing online here:
UPS Ground shipping available from $2.95 to $4.50; 2nd Day Air $7.95 Special "
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Norco DS-1220 12-Bay SATA Enclosure Review
" AMUG has posted a review of the Norco DS-1220 ($799). This 12 bay SATA enclosure has two 5-bay SATA PM setups along with two direct connect bays, all in a single enclosure. A 4 port PCI-X host adapter is included. The 12 drive bays can be used for individual hard drives or to create a RAID(s). My favorite combination is to use 10 hard drives as a striped RAID set in the SATA PM bays. This can provide high performance and still leaves two bays open for accessing additional files or for backup. The article discusses connections, design, energy usage, cooling, acoustics, Sonnet compatability, sleep and performance.
Have a nice weekend,
Michael Bean
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Sonnet G4 1GHz CPU Card for Legacy PCI Macs
(I can't remember if I posted anything on this legacy Mac 1GHz upgrade in the past, I know there are many reports on the 700/800MHz versions from Mac 73-7600, 85-8600 and 95-9600 owners in the database.)

" Hi Mike, Were you aware that a limited number of Sonnet Crescendo/PCI G4 1GHz was produced for the 73/75/76/85/86/95/9600 series of computers. I was on Sonnet's web site to buy an G4 800 MHz upgrade for my 7300 when I noticed they were showing a 1 GHz upgrade, model PPCG4-1000-2M G4/1.0 GHz L3 2MB/250 MHz. I tried to buy one from their online store, but it was not available. I contacted a Sonnet salesperson and he said this was a very short lived product.... Interestingly, I found they were available from Other World Computing for $249.00, so I bought one. They are somewhat hard to find on OWC. The 1 GHz does not show up if you try to upgrade by computer model (for example 7300). I found it by selecting the Manufacture (Sonnet), then choosing the Crescendo PCE G3&G4 option. From here you can purchase it. Interestingly the description says the following:
Sonnet Crescendo/PCI G4/1GHz with 2MB L3 Cache - For PCI based Macs. 3yr Sonnet Warranty. ***FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED - While Supplies Last!!!*** (STIPPCG410002M). (Link removed as they sold out after posting this today)

This was a surprise to me. I never did see this upgrade on any of the Mac news sites. I guess they never had a chance to advertise it. But, as of this message, it is still shown on Sonnet's Crescendo/PCI G3 & G4 web page and available from OWC.
When I install and test it for awhile, I will send you a report.
-Gene "

BTW: I sent Gene a FYI on a note in the FAQ's CPU Upgrades section (from 2003) on the Sonnet Legacy Mac G4/745x CPU upgrade (700/800MHz models - same probably applies to the 1GHz version) compatibility problem with some very old graphics cards such as the IXMicro Twin Turbo/Ultimate Rez and ATI pre-Rage128 models (i.e. XClaim 3D, ATI Mach 64). After some posts in the news page here back then on the problem, Sonnet wrote with a link to their tech tips page on the issue. The OWC product page also links to a FAQ item on issues with some clone logic boards as well.
Update - another reader rely on this upgrade:

" Hi. I thought I'd offer some additional info on the PPCG4-1000-2M. Like (Gene), I was surprised to find the card while browsing Sonnet's web site awhile back. I questioned a buddy at Sonnet about it and he told me that their supplier (Freescale) quit making the 800 MHz G4 processors they were using and offered them the 1 GHz processor as a replacement. At the time, Sonnet had roughly 140 PCBs on hand that they could use to build 1 GHz G4 cards. Because the supplier of the PCBs for these particular cards went out of business and the cost of transitioning the Crescendo/PCI line to Sonnet's current PCB supplier was considered prohibitive, due to relatively weak sales of this product, Sonnet decided to let the Crescendo/PCI line die on the vine. For this reason, they decided to roll out the G4 1 GHz/2 MB L3 cards with little fanfare.

I bought one of these cards a couple months ago and have been using it in a PM 7300/200. I also have a Sonnet Tempo Trio, Seagate ATA/100 drive and Radeon 9200 Mac Edition installed in the machine and have found it to be quite stable running OS X 10.4.6, except for occasional freezes that seem to be caused by playing either audio (iTunes) or video with audio (CNN Pipeline, etc.). I'm happy enough with the performance that I purchased a couple more of the cards from OWC to use in other machines. I also own a couple of the older 800 MHz G4 cards, but haven't done any head to head performance tests in the same machine.

... the supply of these cards may be very short. When I ordered the additional cards, OWC at first told me that they had none left to ship to me. Sonnet also indicated that their stock was gone. But OWC magically came up with a couple more cards and shipped them to me and, as you pointed out, they still have the card listed on their web site. I have no way of knowing exactly how many they have left in stock, but based on conversations with Sonnet and OWC, I'd guess that the number may be less than 10.
-Lynn "

Although they still had some this morning when I first posted this, I removed the link after a note from Lynn that they sold out today. (OWC wrote they do have other fast legacy Mac CPU upgrades including a 1GHz G3 upgrade w/1MB onchip L2.)

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Shock Video: Overcharging bad Lithium-Polymer battery pack
After the recent stories/photos on swollen MacBook/Pro Batteries (Lithium-Polymer types) a reader sent a link to a "shock video" on Google showing a 'bad' LiPo battery pack being overcharged until it exploded:

" This is a video showing what happens if you overcharge a Lipo battery. (lithium-polymer) The battery pack in the video is a 2 cell 4000mah lipo which was part of a 3 cell battery for an R/C helicopter which went bad so we decided to overcharge the two cells to show how dangerous Lipo batteries can be if something goes wrong. Please be careful with your batteries. "

(I wonder if this ever made that TV show on 'don't try this at home' stunts...)

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