News for Friday, 19 December 2008

Use DVDPlayer 5.0.3 with an external reader

By crispin. Original by Lionel - 19/12/2008 16:21:40 CET - Category: CD Drives
After having replaced internal Superdrive of MacBook Pro Unibody with a hard drive, then to have fitted new electronics to the MacBook Air DVD reader to make it 'universal', we lack one more thing to make all perfect, to patch the DVD Player software so that it agrees to launch without an internal reader.

We have managed this a final touch and it is relatively simple for you to carry out.
Start by going in /System/Library/Frameworks/DVDPlayback.framework/Versions/A.
Copy to your Desktop the file DVDPlayback and made in a backup copy somewhere else.
With a Hexadécimal editor search and replace the 4 Internal occurrences by External.
Save the files and put them in the place of the original (you will need administrator privaledges). Henceforth, DVD Player will function with an external reader.
PS: This is a true return to our first loves, the first patch which we had issued to make an identical thing back in 2002.
PS2: This simple replacement should function with practically all the future previous versions of DVDPlayback. Make it only if you do not have an internal reader, if not, the internal reader will not be supported any more.

The first video chip engraved in 40nm will be a Radeon

By crispin. Original by Lionel - 19/12/2008 16:01:57 CET - Category: Video
According to Nordic Hardware, AMD is ready to produce the first video chips engraved at 40 nm. The first card to profit from it is the RV740, a midrange chip.
This choice not to start with the high-end is rather traditional because it makes it possible to tune the processing on less complex chips, and on which a delay in the production would be less expensive.
With a little luck, we will end up having powerful video cards that no more are the principal energy drains on our machines.

ATOM-dedicated GeForce 9400M : First Results. Ready for the Apple TV 2?

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 19/12/2008 14:09:23 CET - Category: PC
Anandtech could attend a demo of the ATOM-dedicated GeForce 9400M motherboard, and directly confirmed our previous information about the potential of this chipset.

They of course could not run an in-depth test and analysis, however, some results illustrate the potential. When decoding a video stream in HD 1080p format at 18 Mbit/s, the small ATOM CPU was only loaded at 27%. The Core 2 Duo of a Mac mini will be fully loaded to complete the same task.
This is the proof that the graphical chipset and/or associated GPU can perform some specific task more efficiently than CPU. For NVidia it is important to demonstrate that a powerful graphical chipset associated with a entry-level CPU can nevertheless lead to a hardware with interesting performance levels.

Intel SSD X25-M in a MacBook Pro: some Benchmarks

By linathael. Original by Lionel - 19/12/2008 13:43:29 CET - Category: Hard Drive
Hereafter are the benchmarks performed with the Intel X25-M. As a reminder, this 80 GB SSD is still expensive, with a retail price around 650€.

If you want to compare it to the 128 GB Samsung SSD installed by Apple as a BTO, the corresponding benchmarks are below:

As one can easily see it, if both SSDs obtain similar results in writing mode, the Samsung SSD is almost 2.5 times slower than the Intel model in reading mode.
The last test, in sequential mode, demonstrates how Intel SSD is playing in another league compared to the Samsung unit, which is beyond the best SSD currently available on the market. The Intel SSD really brings a “speed feeling”. Booting and launching applications are completed within seconds, as an example after pressing the “enter” to validate the password, the finder is almost instantly available, no need to wait for the menu bar to be displayed. One can also run in the background applications requiring heavy HD-based tasks (such as monolingual), without affecting the performance level of other applications being used.
The Intel X25-M should remain the fastest SSD currently available for couple of months, till the next generation of SSD appears with better chips integration and improved controller. Well according to current roadmap and projected performance levels…

Change the USB bridge of the Superdrive of the MacBook Air

By crispin. Original by Lionel - 19/12/2008 10:10:24 CET - Category: CD Drives
Apple, for a reason never made official, decided that the external Superdrive sold with MacBook Air would not function on any other machine.
Since we needed to make this superdrive unit function on a MacBook Pro Unibody (you will know soon the reasons), we decided to replace its USB bridge for another bridge that would not have such restrictions. After much research, fortunately we found on an American site,
Here is the electronics in question:

It has a size completely compatible with that of the Apple original, actually being shorter by two good centimetres.

To replace the original bridge with this this one, we started by removing its connector in order to gain place, then soldered the wires onto that of the Apple connector.

Two black wire (ground were soldered together). The white wire goes on +, the green wire on - and the red to VCC. It is important once the soldering has been completed to isolate the whole with an adhesive tape so as to prevent the soldering from touching the metal case of Superdrive during the reassembly.
Note that we do not detail here the disassembling and the reassembly of the apparatus since such instructions are commonplace. The bottom is taken off by levering the side with a blade, and then the Superdrive by removing 3 screws and its electronics with two more.
Attention, with the reassembly of the electronics, it is necessary to use the spacers and screws provided with the new one, the screws of Apple are too short. Once the apparatus is reassembled, we connected it to a MacBook Pro and inserted a DVD.

He was recognized without problem, Mac OS X regarding it as delivered by Apple.
The electronics cost $15 (without tax and shipping).
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