OWC Tips & Deals 11/12/2004
Hello again from Woodstock, IL. Yesterday was Veteran's Day, but every day we have much to thank our Veterans for. The world would be a different place without those who put their lives on the line protecting the Freedoms and Liberties we can so easily take for granted. Think about some of the things you might have recently complained about and then consider how fortunate we are for the Freedom and life's true necessities that we are blessed to have in abundance. Without the Brave Men and Women who served in our Armed Forces, a different world today would be. I found this Henry County Library page an excellent resource on the subject linking to many places for both information as well as resources for Veterans. Their 'origins of' link is broken, but I found this well written piece for insight on that. Never forget and always remember to thank those who have protected and served.
Last time, we had just completed our Video Benchmarking for the 100MHZ Bus PowerMac G4s. The results with that 2X AGP logic board system base illustrated the role having a good processor speed in addition to just a faster video card. Dollar for dollar, upgrading from a Geforce2mx or ATI Rage 16MB (anything newer than that I'd say put the money towards memory or faster processor - unless you are heavy into games) - the Radeon 9000 is the way to go unless you want to go to the extreme with the more than twice as expensive top of the line Radeon 9800 model. But no matter what, much can be done with your PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics/Sawtooth or Gigabit Ethernet model to keep it 'competitive' or in the least get the benefits of Apple's Quartz Extreme technology.
Before I get to this week's planned video test results, wanted to mention a killer video card deal we just brought in. Talk about the timing, we've got Apple OEM ATI Radeon 9600 for PowerMac G5s at $99 and available for PowerMac G4 Digital Audio, QuickSilver, Mirrored Drive Door models at $119.00. Not only is this card an upgrade to just about every other available AGP video card prior to the ATI 9800, it also meets the qualifications for getting your foot in the door to use Apple's breakthrough 'Motion' software. We did not have these cards when we did our 133MHZ G4 model testing, but Jamie did a separate comparison just to show how the 9000 vs. 9600 vs 9800 cards compare. A nice supplement to our full results tables I'll be just getting to.
And now, this week, we bring you our full video test series results for PowerMac G4 Models Digital Audio & Quicksilver (2001 & 2002). Again, we not only tested the different past and present video card models, but also did so with various speed processor cards. You'll get a good idea of how the different video card options perform as well as see when it's your processor that needs upgrading and not the video card. Regardless of what processor you've got in a PowerMac Digital Audio Mac, replacing the factory ATI Rage Pro 16MB is always going to give a nice boost thanks to the Apple's Quartz Extreme technology a newer card will enable. Same goes with the Quicksilvers that came with either the Nvidia Geforce2mx or Radeon 7000 AGP cards, which, while QE enabled are far out matched by today's modern video card options. For those who have an Nvidia Geforce 4MX 64MB or better installed, you're in pretty good shape and a new video card would either be for some serious gaming or because of a software requirement like that of Apple's Motion Realtime HD video app. Please note that results for the Radeon 9600 are not included, don't miss those results from the prior paragraph - in my opinion, short of spending $329 for the 9800, you can't get a better video card and definitely not a better value than our Radeon 9600 $119 deal. Anyway, here are the results for this weeks video card comparison!
Getting better performance from your computer isn't just about upgrading hardware, it's also about having the right software. And, in my opinion, the right software for web browsing won't even cost you anything! The new FireFox 1.0 Release is simply awesome! It's faster than Safari and works with all the sites Explorer did(and including some complex java sites). In my short experience with it, it's a faster Safari that actually works with all the sites right and I'm thrilled to be just one more of many who have started to rave about this excellent browser alternative. So long as you've Apple OS X 10.1.x or later, get FireFox and prepare to be impressed. If you're not using OS X, FireFox is yet another good reason to consider switching(from OS 9..). Enjoy!
That's get's us started this week. Next time we will have for ya the PowerMac G5 and PowerMac G4 MDD/FW800 Video Benchmarks as well as full test results added for the iMac G5/1.8GHz and the 'new' PowerMac G5/1.8GHz Single. Our iMac G5 testing, as promised, will include a series that shows the significant performance difference between using a matched pair of memory or single/non matched. All this test info I hope is good help for something. :) Anyway, got a Quick Tip look at upgrade order, a new Music on the Mac article by our Roger Adler, and the latest Reader Specials too. Thanks for being a Tips n' Deals Reader - will be checking back in with ya next again just before Thanksgiving.
Some Quick Links
A better Apple/Macintosh ISP for a better price - FasterMac.Net
From $8 a month get nationwide dial up or DSL just for Mac Users that includes 24/7 1-800 support, anti-virus blocking, powerfully effective and fully customizable anti-spam tools, web space, 5 e-mail accounts, and more. Get more, pay less with FasterMac.Net.
Just what does OWC do with trade-ins, open box items, discontinued goods, etc.? We put 'em up on our Clearance Deals Page, new items added just this week!
Get the most from a Pioneer Superdrive! Increase read and write speeds, install current firmware, and more! OWC's Jamie tells you how!
Upgrade the Mac you have or get a new one? OWC's exclusive Benchmark Reporting System helps you answer your own question. Compare various stock Macs vs. New Macs vs. Upgrades - you pick the Macs to compare and from up to 15 different tests we've completed.
Use Apple OS 9.2.2 & Apple OS X on Macs Apple doesn't support because OWC does with OS 9 Helper and Xpostfacto!
Quick Tip: In Order to Upgrade
There comes a time when the Mac you have, as it stands, just isn't cutting it. In one way or another, the good news is, in most cases - you can upgrade it. Even if you plan on buying a new Mac, upgrading the one you have can give you time to wait out for the next Apple model release or simply give you better performance from a second machine that may now have a new lease on life. But where to start?
First and foremost, it's the memory. OS X runs good with 640MB or more, runs better with 1GB or more. The difference in performance upgrading from less than 512MB to 640MB+ is significant and noticeable even just navigating the desktop. It makes an even greater difference as you get those applications going. OS X, with its Unix core, is very memory efficient and very good at using memory provided. If you're using OS X, before you worry about video card or processor speed - make sure you've got enough memory. There is no point upgrading other parts of the system if low memory will remain your performance bottleneck. A properly upgraded G4 and even a G3 can run circles around a G5 that has only its factory 256MB installed. Consider that when you buy a new machine too, the base memory or not enough memory will hold back your Mac's true potential no matter how fast the rest of the parts are.
Next and kinda in between is your hard drive. Whether you have a desktop or a notebook, a more modern hard drive can make a major difference. That's both in actual startup times, launching apps and opening files, etc. It's good even for general performance as normal system operations swap 'memory' to and from the hard drive so a faster drive gives you an overall zip that's definitely noticeable. At the same time, when you add a new drive - you also should have one option or another to use the old drive for backing up - a good idea no matter what. You don't necessarily need a new controller either, today's drives are backwards compatible and the real boost comes from the better initial drive access speed with very less gain the result of the newer ATA or SATA interfaces themselves.
Then, if not before, it becomes an issue of processor speed. Putting a faster processor into a PowerMac 72-96; PowerMac G3 or G4 will provide instant gratification. It turns that old machine to new again with a performance boost you see in just about every aspect of use and for a lot less money than 'new' costs too. We make it easy with our Benchmark Reporting System to compare just what the different processor upgrade options will do for your machine too. In addition, you also can compare various new and old stock G3/G4/G5 systems against upgrades you might be considering. A new processor will have your system booting faster, responding snappier, getting your work done faster, and leave you with more time to enjoy better frame rates from the games you play too. :)
And for those games, and other things too, the video card. If you already have a fast enough processor, then it might be time to upgrade to a faster video card. Especially for any PowerMac shipped in 2001 or prior - much can be gained with new video. For Macs without an AGP slot, the just released Radeon 9200 just blows every other PCI (never mind built in) video card before it out of the water. It's the very first Mac PCI Card that actually beats the ATI Rage Pro AGP in tests. While neither can the Radeon 9200 nor any PCI Video Card much compete with a modern AGP card, it is still fast enough to allow even today's games to be played respectably while providing stellar all around non-gaming display performance. And if you have a later PowerMac with an AGP slot, and that slot is occupied by an ATI Rage Pro, get a new video card to replace that and be ready to be wowed! These are the video benchmarks we have so far to share:
PowerMac G4 AGP Graphics/Sawtooth + Gigabit Ethernet Results
PowerMac G4 Digital Audio + Quicksilver Results
Quick Compare Series 9000 vs 9600 vs 9800 Radeon Mac for G4 Digital Audio, QuickSilver, MDD
When you've already got a well equipped system, always good to make sure your software is up to snuff too. Apple OS X 10.3.x Panther is snappier than 10.2.x Jaguar which happens to be much zippier than 10.1.5. New OS X Versions just get better and better, and also, don't forget upgrading at the application level. Apple's iPhoto 4 is lightning fast and a huge jump forward compared to iPhoto 2, Microsoft Mac Office 2004 is a performance leap vs. the original Office X, and to mention FireFox again - switching from Safari or even more so from Explorer to that hot, new, web browser also brings what I believe is a much better performance experience. Software is every bit as important as the hardware. Who knows, you may not even need an hardware upgrade - or with a bit of both the gains are even more fantastic.
In summary, just be smart about how and why you buy various things to make your Mac better. As easy as it might be for us just to promote everything imaginable, our goal and philosophy at OWC is about providing what you really need. It doesn't do you or us any good if products you buy don't accomplish what you're expecting. An informed customer is always our best customer. Like you, we're in this for the long haul.
Products mentioned you can get from OWC:
New Hard Drives
OS X Software
See past Quick Tip topics online in the Quick Tip Archive
Great Buys and Featured Exclusive Specials for OWC E-Mail Subscribers:
Find all the deals reserved just for Readers on your Tips n' Deals Exclusive Specials Page. What follows next is just a sampling of this week's highlights.
Video Card Deals
The value just doesn't get much better for 133MHZ Bus or 167MHz Bus PowerMac G4 owners, or those looking to upgrade from the base video in a PowerMac G5. Our latest killer deal sets you up nice with the very snappy Apple OEM Radeon 9600 MacEdition 64MB AGP Video Card. It's faster than the currently more expensive Radeon 9000, and it's the base card needed for using Apple's new Motion software. A 1 year OWC Warranty applies to both G5 and G4 modified card versions.
ATI Radeon 9600 MacEdition 64MB DDR AGP 8X Enabled for any PowerMac G5 $99.00
Same, modified for G4 Digital Audio, QuickSilver, and MDD models $119.00
As a fast 2D/3D primary display card for a Mac without an AGP slot and/or to add more display capabilities to any PowerMac, Radeon 9200 PCI MacEdition is the Ticket! The first Mac PCI Video card tested to beat any AGP Card! In stock, $129.00
OS X, a Better OS for a Better Price at OWC
Apple OS X 10.2.x 'Jaguar' $27.50
Apple OS X 10.2.x 'Jaguar' with Apple iLife '2003' Bundle $29.00
Apple OS X 10.3.x 'Panther' $59.00
Apple OS X 10.3.x 'Panther' with Apple iLife '2004' Bundle $89.00
10.3.x Special - When you buy 10.3.x for $59, use Coupon Code '103LIFE' at checkout and you'll get the iLife '2003' included at no cost!
Belkin 802.11B WireLess Feature Special - Again!
While we did sell out of what we were offering last time, I think it's great news that we found another deal stash on these. This time, they are in new condition, but are open-box returns accumulated from the major retail chains. Their loss is your gain as all units are complete and further have been OWC tested so you know it'll work right out of the box. This time for $17.99 you can add 802.11b 'Airport' compatible wireless capability to any Mac running OS 9.2.2 or OS X 10.1.x and later via a built in or added USB port. Works with PCs, even reportedly with the TiVo too. A bargain no matter what you're looking to go wireless with.
Logitech RF Wireless Mouse, Mouse + KB Special
Logitech RF Wireless 2 Button USB Mouse w/Scroll Wheel, only $12.99!
I've now been using mine for nearly two months on the same batteries and it's got the 'OWC Larry Endorsement'. Logitech makes a fine mouse - smooth operation, and flawless wireless response. Highly accurate like a good corded mouse, except the freedom of cordless.
I personally don't need a Wireless Keyboard - but for those that do, well, you can't beat our deal on the Logitech Freedom Wireless Keyboard at just $23.95. And that would be a great deal if it was just for the keyboard alone... But $23.95 actually gets you that Logitech Wireless Keyboard with Logitech Wireless Mouse too! Just plug and play via built-in USB or USB via an add on card. Freedom!
FireWire Storage Deal
Although it's hard to beat our OWC Mercury Elite Pro FireWire 800/400/USB solutions which include Dantz Retrospect Backup, Intech HD Speedtools, and a 2 year warranty - while they last, these LaCie 250GB we attained on a special from Lacie justify mention:
LaCie D2 FireWire 400 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Buffer new retail box solutions for just $195.99. What we have now is it - get 'em while the gettin is good.
Get a Superdrive from $57.99, read/write CDs & DVDs
Looking to get creating both DVDs and CDs? Our latest deal in the door are for Genuine Apple Rom/Apple Logo Pioneer DVR-105 4X DVD-R + CDRW SuperDrives at $57.99 **Apple 105s almost sold out**
Also check out our Apple Genuine DVR-106, Pioneer DVR-108 Drives & Value bundles from $75.99! Great deals on 'Plug n' Play' External Solutions too. You can plug in and start burning with one of our external Firewire Solutions starting at just $129.99.
Memory Specials & Price Trend Report:
11/12/2004 update: Honestly, I'm surprised prices haven't already moved up and happy too that we've been able to secure a couple special builds at well below the market too. Across the board we've got some great prices for all your Mac Memory needs and it's certainly not a bad time to upgrade. In my opinion, it's never a bad time to add more memory if you need ti - but today's prices doesn't hurt either. A Mac deprived of memory is a Mac that is not performing to its potential.
256MB SDRam for all PowerMac G3 Models and PowerMac G4 'Yikes PCI $28.75
256MB PC133 CL3/PC100 CL2 SDRam for PowerMac G4s AGP Models 350-1GHz & Cube $31.50
Or, top things off with 512MB Modules at $85.00
1GB PC3200 DDR Upgrade Kit (2x512MB) for all PowerMac G5 & iMac G5 Models $179.00
This is almost $40 less than Apple charges to bump 256MB to 1GB alone.
Really hungry for memory? 2GB PC3200 Kits (2x1GB Module) special $419.00, less than half what Apple charge PER 1GB module!
1GB Module for PowerBook G4 AL 12/15/17"; iMac G4/1.0GHz+, iBook G4s $235.00
Get a 1GB from OWC vs. what Apple charges to add just 512MB!
Mac 128MB 5V 168 Pin 60NS Dimms for 7300-9600 Models & Clones, $15.75
Visit our Mac Memory Section to browse the full selection of memory we offer and/or use our online memory guide to get the right memory for the Mac(s) you have.
Listen good, listen longer with longest lasting iPod Battery + FM
NewerTech internal battery for 1st and 2nd Generation Apple iPods:
1600mAh version, 30% more capacity - $29.95; 2100mAh for over 70% more $39.95
NewerTech internal battery for 3rd Generation Apple iPods:
850mAh version with over 30% More capacity vs. Apple's - $25.99
Get the iPod going on the road with the NewerTech 'RoadTrip!' FM Transmitter:
The cost is only $19.99, but this product really works, and works well. Some of you have been frustrated by products that either don't sound good, are complicated to use, or both. The RoadTrip! is plug and play simple & it really sounds great! Just doing our part to get you a better product that comes with a better price as well. And - when you buy the RoadTrip! and one of our 2100mAh batteries on the same order - get and extra $10 with coupon code 'HIGHROAD'.
Power Backup for when the Power is Out
Tripplite 525VA 6-Outlet Uninterruptible Power Supply/Surge Suppressor just $39.00
Peace of mind doesn't get much cheaper than this.
You'll find more great deals, updated regularly on yourTips 'n Deals Reader Specials Page, check it out!
Music on the Mac 11/12 - Peak Impulse
Greetings from http://www.macsales.com/music
Several people have asked me recently about the special type of reverb included in Peak 4. I mentioned this so-called ImpulseVerb in a recent newsletter and it seems interesting to people. They want to hear what it sounds like for themselves. As I had mentioned recently, ImpulseVerb is a type of reverb program that derives its sound from the characteristics taken from a real world acoustic space. An "impulse" or short sound is sent into a space such as a church or bathroom and the response is recorded with microphones. The resulting sonic "blueprint" is then used to come up with a reverb preset that exactly mimics that space in a very convincing way. In an effort to let you hear what this sounds like, I took a short musical segment that I had called "stones8bar" and applied several different ImpulseVerb presets to it.
The 7 tracks are:
I hope you find these examples helpful in getting a quick handle on the great sounding and realisitc reverb available with Bias Peak 4. It is truly a full featured Mac audio editor which has earned its reputation as the choice of pro Mac users worldwide. We are proud to bring these tools to you at competitive prices at macsales.com
Thanks to those who stopped by my GarageBand demo Today at the North Michigan Ave Apple store! We got a real surprise in store for all our readers in the next newsletter. :)
We encourage you to visit our Mac Music/Audio Forum for all your musical needs and to share your questions and info with all!
Also, visit our website to view all of Roger's other OWC Music on the Mac articles online!
About our Music Guru:
Roger Adler is a 4 time EMMY nominated composer/producer/performer. You may have heard his music in his role as Music Director for the A&E TV Series "The BEST of COMIC RELIEF" starring Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg. He also appeared in and played on the soundtrack for the hit movie "GROUNDHOG DAY" starring Bill Murray and Andi MacDowell. He is the Music Director for the popular TV Series "WILD CHICAGO" now in it' s 15th season on WTTW in Chicago. In 2001, he travelled to Antwerp, Belgium to produce and perform in the annual meeting for Philips Electronics. He recently composed and performed two TV commercials for WRANGLER JEANS, currently airing on ESPN.
It's always fun writing this and I'm glad to live in a country where I've got the opportunity to do just that. To have the time to spend on this computer stuff means that the important things are taken care of. We have food, water, family, friends - the necessities and people we care about. Everything else is a bonus. What a different place the world would be, how different the priorities, if not for our Veterans who served to protect and preserve. No matter what your politics (if you didn't vote, but could have, shame), there is not thanks enough we can give to the brave men and women who served in the past and serve today in our armed services. Our freedom and liberty is secure because of their willingness to risk the ultimate price the protecting of. It's easy to complain in this land of plenty where so often things are taken for granted which we should really be most thankful for.
We Support our Troops
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