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September 2000 News:
 
09-28-00
 
Mac Radeon Testimonial!
I was just sent the following e-mail from a new G4 Cube owner. I'll spare you my excited blabbering and let you read it for yourself. I've removed the person's actual name and location for their own privacy:
 
Hi my name is *** ******** from ******* ** and i have finally after 2 weeks recieved my new g4 500 cube with radeon. And immediately i wanted to test it out so i installed quake 3, and set the res to 1280 by 1024 and maxed the settings. Then i did time demo and the frame rate was 40.1 frames per second!!!!!!!!
 
In the interest of the credibility of my news, I would like to say that this is simply heresay that I stumbled upon in my e-mail. This should be taken with a grain of salt for now as there is no way for me to verify this information on the Mac Radeon's performance. Now then...
 
This is a major step up from the Rage 128 Pro that comes stock in Apple's systems currently. Just for comparison's sake I set my computer to the same exact Q3 settings. I'm on a G4 400MHz, 192MB RAM, and the stock Rage 128 Pro card. I allocated 100MB of RAM to Q3 (up from 75MB suggested). When I ran the time demo I got 3.2 frames per second. You heard right! A whoping 3.2 frames per second! Need I say more?
ATI
Mac Radeon
 
09-23-00
 
Elite Force arrives in stores.
Retail stores have started to receive copies of Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. While this is the PC version of the game, the Mac version shouldn't be too far behind. West Lake Interactive is currently porting the game. Since this game uses the Quake 3 engine which is natively Mac compatible, the porting process is much easier.
 
On a related subject, it should also be noted that ID software has promised us a carbonized version of Quake 3. This means chances are good that Elite Force will also support OS X.
Elite Force
West Lake Interactive
 
09-20-00
 
Radeon delayed until October.
I just received word from ATI that the Mac Radeon retail cards have been delayed until October. They gave no specific date, just a new time frame. On the same note, I called outpost.com to check on the status of my preordered Mac Radeon card. The sales rep at outpost.com said the ETA in their systems has been moved back to October 10. I am very disappointed that my Radeon has been delayed. I was hoping to have it by the next LAN party I go to on Oct 13 - 14. I guess there is still hope since outpost.com is saying October 10. I would love to be able to frag some PC scum in Quake 3 at 60+ fps! I'll keep you informed as new info is sent my way.
Outpost.com
ATI
 
09-15-00
 
No internal firewire in new G4s.
I recently discovered something that may be of interest to some of you. As some of you may know, the original line of G4 computers, including revisions before MacWorld NY this year, all had one internal firewire port (with the exception of the introductory 350MHz G4 with PCI graphics). This was a standard 6 pin firewire connector, identical to the two ports on the outside of the case. The new line of G4s announced at MacWorld NY two months ago don't have this internal firewire connector. This is a curious move by Apple. It seems as though they were preparing for internal firewire device support and then dropped that support all of a sudden. The question I have is, "Why?" I'm afraid only Jobs could answer this question.
 
09-13-00
 
Product announcements at Paris Expo.
Today at the Apple's Paris Expo there were several new products announced by various manufacturers. On this list of new products we have the following:
 
-Mac OS X Public Beta: This one wasn't a surprise. Apple is selling OS X Public Beta at the Apple Store for $30. I've got my copy on order already!
 
-Radeon BTO option in new Macs: This was a welcome announcement for the Mac gaming community. Finally we can get a decent gaming card as a BTO option in our Macs. I would like to comment on something that nobody seems to have realized yet. The Radeon card that will come as a BTO option in the new Macs is very much different from the retail version that you can buy separately. The retail card is bigger than the BTO card (a concern for G4 Cube owners), the retail card uses a different AGP slot connector than the BTO card, and the video connectors supported are different between the two. While both cards still support standard VGA, the new G4s and the G4 Cube have replaced the old DVI video connector with an ADC video connector. The ADC connector provides the video signal, power, and USB signals through the same cable. To support the added power and USB signals Apple has modified the AGP connector in these new Macs. There is an extra segment of connector internally that supplies power and USB. What does this mean? It means that if you were to put a retail Radeon in a new G4 you would not be able to utilize the advantages of ADC. On the same note, there has been nothing confirmed as to whether or not standard AGP cards are even compatible with the new AGP slot. For the sake of those people that have one of these new systems already, I hope Apple provides a trade-up program for the new BTO Radeon.
 
-Mac Voodoo 5 AGP: 3dfx just announced that they plan on producing an AGP version of their Mac Voodoo 5 card. This new card is basically the same as the old one except that it uses AGP which will yield better performance. I'm curious to see how 3dfx handles the "modified AGP slot situation."
 
-New iBooks: They basically gave the iBooks more guts. Among the improvements to the iBook line are firewire and DV support, and DVD playback. For more information visit the Apple site.
 
The news on the BTO Radeon and AGP Voodoo card are welcome announcements for us Mac gamers. When I receive my copy of OS X I'll let you all of you know how certain games run in the Classic environment.
Mac OS X
Mac Voodoo 5 AGP
Mac Radeon BTO
iBooks
 
09-12-00
 
Mac OS X beta tomorrow!
Some time tomorrow Apple will be releasing the long awaited public beta version of OS X. I will be getting a copy as soon as possible. I've already got a second hard drive for it. Stay tuned as I will be writing an extensive review of this next generation OS once I get it.
Mac OS X
 
Yet another Radeon update.
Just yesterday I discovered that outpost.com had started taking orders for the AGP version of the Mac Radeon. Just one week ago they were only taking orders for the PCI version. Now they are only taking orders for the AGP version, not the PCI. Outpost.com offers free overnight delivery were as CDW charges for 3 day delivery. I cancelled my order with CDW and placed an order with outpost.com. The cost is actually less through outpost.com since shipping is free. As a bonus, outpost.com doesn't charge tax with the exception of two states (I forget which). The out-the-door price is $259.95, $229.95 after rebate. When I ordered the Radeon this morning the sales rep said they had 40 of these cards scheduled to come in on Monday, the 18th. 31 of these 40 cards had already been reserved for preorders. If this ETA is accurate then I should be receiving the Radeon on Tuesday, the 19th. As with OS X, I will be writing a full review of this card once I receive it. Stay tuned!
Outpost.com
ATI
 
09-10-00
 
Voodoo 4 arrives in stores.
Several retail outlets have begun to receive Voodoo 4 cards recently. Though they are the PC versions of these cards, the Mac version can't be far behind. 3dfx's web site says the Mac Voodoo 4 cards will be in retail outlets this summer. Technically, the last day of summer is on September 21. If all goes well we should be seeing both the Mac Voodoo 4 and 5 cards along side their PC counterparts soon.
 
We should also be seeing the Mac Radeon in stores later this month assuming ATI holds true to their ETA. Whoa! It's almost like us Mac users will have a range of graphics cards from which to choose. What's this world coming to? heh.
3dfx
ATI
 
09-09-00
 
New Radeon ETA.
Well, CDW still has no Mac Radeon cards in stock. They keep giving me new ETAs which come and go with no cards to speak of. I don't know where CDW is getting their ETAs, but it can't be from a reliable source. On the same note, I have recently obtained ETA information from one of the world's largest wholesale providers, Ingram Micro. Almost all retail chains use Ingram Micro as the "middle man" between product manufacturers and themselves. Their ETA on the Mac Radeon is September 20. Given Ingram's position in the wholesale market, this ETA should be very accurate. I wouldn't be surprised if CDW was using Ingram as their main supplier. I will continue to bring you the latest information on this issue as it becomes available. However, for right now it appears that September 20 is the most likely ship date for these cards.
CDW
Mac Radeon Page (AGP)
ATI
 
09-08-00
 
Mac HALO after xBox version.
I just received word from Bungie regarding a tentative release date for the Mac version of HALO. While they could give me no specific date or even a general time frame, they did say that the Mac version would be released after the xBox version. This was to be expected since Micro$oft's obvious reason for purchasing Bungie was to bring HALO in as the one of the first games on the xBox. Releasing HALO for other platforms first or simultaneously with the xBox would only take away from the initial "fire" of the xBox. The xBox is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2001. With this xBox time frame we will hopefully be seeing the Mac version of HALO by MacWorld SF 2002 (a little over a year from now).
 
As many of you know, the Mac version of HALO was confirmed at this last MacWorld. While it looks like we'll have to wait a while for this title to come to the Mac, we can at least rest easy in knowing that it WILL in fact come to the Mac. This "knowing" is all too rare with most Mac games.
Bungie
Micro$oft
 
Mac Tribes 2 updates.
I just contacted Sierra regarding the Mac version of Tribes 2. Of course, they gave me a "cop-out" reply that didn't even mention the Mac version of Tribes 2. Here is what they sent me:
 
The only information that we have available for Tribes 2 is the release date which tentatively is early November.
 
At least they gave me something. This is obviously the PC version's release date. On the Mac side of things nothing is certain. In response to this uncertainty, DemandMac.com has started a Mac Tribes 2 petition. I just signed the petition myself and so should you. If you don't I will hunt you down and... and... uh, yeah. :p
Sierra
Dynamix
DemandMac
 
09-06-00
 
Mac processing power... by the numbers.
It seems like PC users don't take us seriously when we talk about how much faster the Mac is compared to PCs. Who can blame them when all we have for evidence are Photoshop benchmarks? Well, I just came accross a little something that will make PC users stop and think twice. It's called Seti@home. This is a list compiled by Seti@home that shows specs for their program with respect to operating systems. You'll see the Mac weighs in at second place for number of work units completed... but wait! What's this about average CPU time per work unit?!
 
 
heh. That's right PC users! There are your numbers to prove what we've been trying to tell you. On average, Mac computers around the world calculate one Seti work unit almost 7 hours faster than PC systems. In case you're wondering what Apple's latest machines can do, my 400MHz G4 does one work unit in 6 hours flat! Imagine what a 500MHz G4 could do! I can't even fathom how fast a dual 500MHz G4 would be if Seti's software were optimized for dual processors on the Mac.
Seti@home
Platform listing
 
Update on Radeon ETA.
I just received word from CDW that the Mac Radeon cards (AGP) didn't arrive on Sept. 2 like they were supposed to. There was no updated ETA they could give me. In fact, as of today their computers are giving an ETA of August 30. My rep did assure me that there were no indications of a delay in shipping for these cards; no later ETA being specified usually means that the product will arrive soon. I wouldn't be surprised if the Labor Day weekend affected shipping of this product to retailers. As for right now nothing is definate. I'll keep you posted as more information becomes available.
CDW
Mac Radeon Page (AGP)
ATI