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News for Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Radeon X1600 in MacBook Pro is massively underclocked!

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 18/04/2006 13:55:45 CEST - Category: Overclock
In our forums (in French), SpacetitoX has reported that while playing with his MBPro and its GPU while running WinXP, he has noticed an interesting point:
After searching the web for information or reports, I have decided to install ATI tools for WinXP on my MBPro; but the version 0.24 was not working...
Then I successfully installed ATI optimized drivers to replace those ones provided by Apple, then I installed ATI Tools beta version 0.25...
And I immediately came to the conclusion that once again Apple dramatically underclocked the GPU of its notebook models. Indeed the Radeon X1600 in the MBPro is clocked a 310MHz / 278MHz (GPU and RAM respectively)!
When looking on the web, I have found that many PC notebooks featuring this GPU have a 470MHz/470MHz setting...
Then I decided to increase the clockspeed settings of the ATI Radeon X1600 located in my MBPro, while carefully checking heat release and side effects/display artifacts...
And as a big surprise: no artifacts and huge performance gain!! When using Counter Strike source benchmarks (all settings to the max and definition at 1440x900) FPS jumped from 61 to 97!
No comments.
Having a MBPro, I have repeated the operation.
I have been able to install the ATI Tools beta version 0.25 R14 without changing drivers as SpacetitoX did; and indeed the settings are far below those ones recommended by ATI: 475MHz for the GPU, 470MHz for the RAM.
I also did not notice any artifacts, but it took only couple of seconds to turn one the cooling system fan to a rotation speed that I have never experienced before even when performing CPU intensive tests. It is clear that Apple has underclocked the GPU of the MBPro to keep the machine as silent as possible; and also to keep a battery lifespan similar to the PBG4 (eventhough overclocking the GPU only reduced battery lifespan by 30 minutes).
We are waiting for the next release of ATIccelerator that should support this GPU. It will be interesting to increase on-the-fly the frequency of this GPU in order to improve performance for GPU-consuming games such a Quake 4 or Doom3.
Keep in mind, that if you try to repeat this hack we will not be responsible for any damage that might arise to your machine.
Last points, ATITools 0.25 is relatively not stable when using the original Apple's drivers.

Western Digital releases its 500GB HD model

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 18/04/2006 13:29:35 CEST - Category: Hard Drive
After Hitachi and more recently Maxtor and Seagate, Western Digital has finally introduced its 500GB HD model.

This drive sports 16MB of cache while rotation speed is 7200rpm.
The MTBf is 1.2 million hours and features a 5 years warranty!
Having now the three main HD manufacturers competing on the half-TB HD market should decrease the price of such models in a near future.

Great deals on European RefurbStores

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 18/04/2006 13:24:40 CEST - Category: Apple
As reported already last week-end, the European RefurbStores are proposing interesting deals including iBook 12" 1.33GHz, iMac Core Duo 17" and 20", as well as some iMacG5 17" 1.9GHz G5.
To quickly access the European RefurbStores:
- UK Refurb Store.
- German Refurb Store.
- French Refurb Store.

Koffice: OSX native version soon

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 18/04/2006 12:33:00 CEST - Category: Software
Thanks to Aymeric for this info.
An OSX Tiger native version for Koffice 1.5 should be released soon!
Ranger Rick, who maintains KDE for Fink and OpenDarwin, has starting porting Koffice for OSX (so without X11).
To have more information about Koffice:
http://koffice.org/
For those who can wait: http://wiki.kde.org/tiki-index.php?page=Building+KDE%2FMac+from+Source
Koffice is an OpenSource and free Office Suite currently running via X11.

Official: Leopard to be demoed at the WWDC

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 18/04/2006 10:32:34 CEST - Category: Apple
NicleT has told us that Apple has sent to a restricted group of developers an email announcing the demo of Leopard during the next WWDC, which will take place August 7th-11th.
Apple announces that developpers will have the opportunity to meet engineers who have given birth to OSX.5 Leopard. knowing how Apple can be paranoiac, we suspect that they will not unveil hot tips; except if Leopard development is ahead on schedule...
Based on our current estimate, OSX.5 Leopard should arrive by the end of 2006, early 2007... in other words it is on track to eb released before Vista.
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