January 2001 News:
iMacs go undiscontinued?
Today I noticed that iMacs in our computers at CompUSA were back to A01 status. This means they are an active product that is still in production. Just one week ago they were listed as D01 which means they are discontinued. Take this to mean what you will. I'm a little confused.
New vBulletin forums.
I just upgraded the forums to vBulletin. It uses PHP programming language and a MySQL backend datebase which make these new forums much faster than the old ones. I have imported all existing members files and threads from the old UBB forums so it should be a smooth transition. Let me know what you think of the new forums!
Message Board
iMacs go discontinued.
Today I noticed that two iMac SKUs in our computers at CompUSA have gone D01 status (meaning they were recently discontinued). Only the two lower iMac models went discontinued. The prices have stayed the same at $799.97 and $999.97. The two higher models (DV+ and DV SE) remain at A01 status (active product, not discontinued) but recently dropped in price $200 each. This price drop puts them at $1099.97 and $1299.97 respectively. This recent development would seem to indicate that new iMacs are eminant at this point.
GeForce 2MX vs Radeon correction.
I feel that I need to clarify a statement I made in my post showing benchmarks for the GeForce 2MX and the Radeon. I have been contacted by certain people that have requested clarification on the following statement:
"The Radeon beats the GeForce 2MX at lower resolutions but falls behind at higher resolutions and on all resolutions at HQ Max settings."
Though my disclaimer - Note: these time demo numbers are in no way a good way to compare the Mac GeForce 2MX and the Mac Radeon as they are both running on very different systems. - emphasizes the "non-uniform" nature of these benchmarks, the above statement can be seen as a contradiction to this disclaimer.
Specific variables in these benchmarks that *did in fact* affect results include: point release versions, CPU speed and architecture, RAM clock, AGP speed, and operating systems. If we account for all of these variables then we should be adjusting the benchmark results with a curve in favor of the Radeon as it has the disadvantage with respect to all of these variables.
In my own humble, now more informed, opinion, the Radeon and the GeForce 2MX are very close contenders indeed. One interesting piece of info I discovered is that the GeForce 2MX uses SDR memory. The Radeon on the other hand uses DDR memory. RAM is the main bottleneck in video cards today. The fact that the Radeon uses faster RAM than the GeForce 2MX leaves something to be considered. I haven't yet been able to find any uniform benchmarks comparing these two cards on equal grounds. I'll let you know if I do.
Apple Computer
iMac prices drop.
On Saturday I noticed that the SKUs for the iMac DV SE and the DV+ dropped in price $200. I have confirmed this on Apple's web site. This is a limited time instant savings according to the Apple web site. "Offer is valid for all qualifying purchases between January 13, 2001, through February 14, 2001, or while supplies last." Does this mean we might have new iMacs coming soon? We'll just have to wait and see.
Apple Store
Mac GeForce 2MX benchmarks!
Straight from the show floor of MacWorld SF 2001! These numbers came right off of a demo 733MHz G4 tower at the expo. While I was at it I stopped by the ATI booth and took some time demos from their newest card, the Radeon. Note: these time demo numbers are in no way a good way to compare the Mac GeForce 2MX and the Mac Radeon as they are both running on very different systems.
The following benchmarks are taken from Quake 3 using time demos in demo 001. A time demo plays through a set amount of frames as fast as the computer is capable of and calculates the average fps (frames per second). Norm stands for Normal graphical settings under setup -> system. HQ stands for High Quality graphical settings. HQ Max is High Quality graphical settings with the texture detail and geometry turned to the max. The highest fps for each row is highlighted in yellow. Also note that I was unable to confirm what point release the 733MHz system was running. The Radeon system had to be running v1.17 for OS X as this is the only point release that runs natively under OS X. Differences in point releases can, and probably did, affect time demo results.
Quake 3 Benchmarks Mac GeForce 2MX 32MB SDR Mac Radeon 32MB DDR
System configs 733MHz G4, 256MB RAM, OS 9.1, 4x AGP. Dual 500MHz G4, 256MB RAM, OS X (latest build), 2x AGP.
640 x 480 Norm 81.3fps 115.6fps
640 x 480 HQ 80.7fps 106.7fps
640 x 480 HQ Max 76.1fps 63.8fps
800 x 600 Norm 80.1fps 92.2fps
800 x 600 HQ 74.0fps 76.4fps
800 x 600 HQ Max 66.7fps 51.0fps
1024 x 768 Norm 75.3fps 59.9fps
1024 x 768 HQ 52.9fps 50.3fps
1024 x 768 HQ Max 45.6fps 35.4fps
1280 x 1024 Norm 57.4fps 40.7fps
1280 x 1024 HQ 33.9fps 36.0fps
1280 x 1024 HQ Max 29.0fps 26.9fps
1600 x 1200 Norm 57.4fps failed to load
1600 x 1200 HQ 33.9fps failed to load
1600 x 1200 HQ Max 29.0fps failed to load
If you will notice, the GeForce 2MX has identical performance on both 1280 x 1024 and 1600 x 1200 for all three graphical settings. The Radeon beats the GeForce 2MX at lower resolutions but falls behind at higher resolutions and on all resolutions at HQ Max settings. When trying to run at 1600 x 1200 with the Radeon the Quake 3 app crashed. Once again I would like to remind you that these time demo numbers are in no way a good way to compare the Mac GeForce 2MX and the Mac Radeon as they are both running on very different systems.
Apple Computer
MacWorld Pictures!
I just got back from my first day at MacWorld, and I brought lots of pictures back with me. I started a thread in the "Living Room" forum on the message board for the pictures. Go check them out and post any comments or questions you have. I'm going to the expo again tomorrow so I will be able to relay any questions or comments you have to the big people in the industry if you want. I'm your source on the show floor; let me know if you want me to check on anything in particular for you. I'll check the forums tomorrow during the expo. :)
MacWorld Post
Doing the MacWorld thing.
I will be attending MacWorld Expo SF 2001 on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 9 - 10. I may have access to a PowerBook with Airport from which I can post updates from the show floor. So stay tuned next week as I may be doing the "Live from the show floor" thing. :)
Clan site update.
A while back I said there was a new "feature packed" clan site in the works. Well, it has taken a lot longer than I originally thought. The main reason for the delay is the scripts that need to be written to add the interactive features that I want. A friend of mine was going to do the scripting part but he hasn't had time to do it. I'm going to assume that my scripting guy isn't going to have time for my little clan project for a long while. So I have decided to take matters into my own hands.
I am learning PHP internet programming language. I will be doing the new clan site myself (scripts and all). I already have a working visual template for the new site. I'm am continuing to develop the visual aspects of the new site while I read through my PHP books. I am also investigating a new and improved message board for use with the clan and the rest of this site. Also, when the new site is up we will be supporting all Mac games, not just Diablo 2.
So don't worry, this clan isn't dead by any means. There's some cool stuff in the works. As far as an ETA goes, I still have none. The html and visual aspects of the new site are practically done. At this point it's just a matter of how long it takes me to implement the scripted interactive features that I want. I will update you with any new information.
Please don't let this situation hold you "new prospects" back from joining our ranks. We've got an active community going on the message board. Feel free to get involved!
Thanks for being so patient!
Diablo 2 Clan
G4 tower prices drop.
Today the Apple Store dramatically cut prices on G4 towers. The dual 500MHz system dropped an amazing $1000 to $2499! Let's reflect on this situation shall we? Things to consider:
1. Apple dramatically cuts prices on G4 towers.
2. MacWorld Expo SF 2001 is in one week.
Hmmmm... makes you wonder. We'll just have to wait and see. Btw, look at the date today... 01-01-01. hehe!
Apple Store