News for Thursday, 8 June 2006

Seagate: A Wave Of New Products

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 08/06/2006 17:12:28 CEST - Category: Hard Drive - Source:
Seagate has announced 10 new products that should be available in a near future. We were particularly interested by two of them.
the first one will interest mostly MB and MBPro owner: a 160GB P-recording-based 2.5" SATA HD featuring a rotation speed of 7200rpm (first 2.5" SATA HD with such speed).
The second product is a also a 160GB HD, spinning at 5400rpm, but with 128 or 256MB of flash memory. Seagate claims that it can increase battery lifespan by 30 minutes, as well as HD reliability. Of course one will need to evaluate such marketing claims, and one will have to wait for the first OS to support such flash-memory containing HD: Vista; except if Apple releases support or such HD with Tiger updates, or more likely with Leopard (X.5).

GMA 950 In MacBook: It's Underclocked ...

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 08/06/2006 10:29:35 CEST - Category: Mac Intel - Source: XLR8yourMac
We've recently been discussing that the MB would have been a perfect notebook for the mass market if it came with with a real GPU. Unfortunately, Apple decided to use an integrated graphics chipset, the GMA950. Of course graphics performance are really low, but they are even worse than one could expect!! Indeed, Apple has underclocked the GMA950 in the MB — instead of running at 400MHz, it is clocked at 250MHz, as confirmed by a Apple TechNote.
So just like the Radeon X1600 in the MB Pro 15", Apple has decided to underclock GPUs to preserve battery lifespan and to limit, as much as possible, heat generation. It can also explain why the MB was delivering such poor performance in 3D benchmarks.

A Mac mini Core 2 Duo: A Benchmark Killer

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 08/06/2006 10:12:51 CEST - Category: Mac Intel
Willy, a Taiwanese reader, has sent us benchmarks of his Mac mini after having replaced the original CPU with a Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz (Merom T7400).
Here are some photos:

As expected the system does not recognize the CPU name, so it displays a default Genuine Intel CPU, but it's perfectly supported.

Here's an audio encoding test (MP3 into AAC). You can see that the Merom 2.16GHz is simply faster than a PMG5 Dual 2.5GHz... even taking into account the fact that the Mac mini has a 5400rpm HD!
Other screenshots have been published on the following forum:
Now imagine if Apple adds the Merom into the MB Pro and the iMacIntel in September... :-)

The iTMS storm in Norway

By jwa. Original by Lionel - 08/06/2006 05:05:03 CEST - Category: Apple - Source: MacNN
Apple had feared France and its laws, but it's Norway that has landed the first punch.
The iTMS will have to re-examine the terms of service for iTunes and the iTMS.
The contested points are as follows:
- Apple cannot require Norwegian consumers to comply with foreign laws.
- Apple cannot be released from the damage caused by the usage of iTunes and the purchased items
- Apple cannot modify the terms of service at any time.
Indeed, these last points make perfect sense.
But the lawyers attacking Apple want to go farther, attacking the FairPlay DRM and wanting to make it illegal.

The "Cost of Localisation" for Macs

By jwa. Original by Lionel - 08/06/2006 04:43:46 CEST - Category: Apple
Paranox sent us this table comparing the cost of Macs in the United States to those in France.

The column on the right shows the difference in price according to the exchange rate.
It is clear that Apple is supporting the cost of localising the entry level machines with the professional products.
It is also necessary to take in to account the fact that the prices are never adjusted to compensate for the continually changing Dollar/Euro exchange rate. Apple is thus maintaining a margin in case there is a rebound of the Dollar.
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