I wish I had better news for you all with this, but I've been trying to track down the cause of the Mac Pro PIO mode issues and so far I've come up empty handed. I've tried all avenues, the least successful of which has been going directly to Apple. The best I've gotten out of Apple is they are aware of the problem and are currently investigating a solution. No word on the cause or anything beyond confirmation of the problem.

I've upgraded the 2.0GHz Mac Pro I used in our review to 3.0GHz with a simple processor swap, it works just as expected and the only problems I ran into were just gaining access to the CPU sockets without gutting my hand. As user friendly as most of the case is, Apple doesn't seem to want you easily replacing CPUs. Luckily it can be done and you can buy these things from Newegg, so my recommendation is to go with slowest CPUs you can deal with today and wait for the prices on the faster ones to drop before upgrading.

Regular FB-DIMMs do work in the Mac Pro, and during normal usage you won't run into any problems. However, if you run a memory stress test (or I'm guessing if you are running a combination of applications that is very memory intensive) non-Apple modules will begin to overheat. I know Crucial is working on a revised heatsink design for their FB-DIMMs that will keep the modules cool enough in the Mac Pro, and I've been told to expect availability of those by the end of this month. I'll let you know how they turn out as soon as I get some samples in my hands. There are some other vendors that are currently shipping similar memory with the large heatsinks that seem to work fine as well, but I would stay away from any standard FB-DIMMs without more robust cooling.

Living with Rosetta on a regular basis has been fine, although I did need to upgrade the version of Dreamweaver I was using. For some reason, with Derek's X1950 XTX article Dreamweaver MX 2004 would crash if I clicked away to a different application and then switched back to Dreamweaver and tried to type in a table (without first clicking on the table cell my cursor was already in). Moving to Dreamweaver 8 fixed the problem, but be warned that Rosetta may not always play nice with your applications. Photoshop CS2 under Rosetta works just fine, but the application is clearly slower than other native applications. The easiest way to tell is to try quitting a bunch of applications in a row; all of the universal binaries quit almost instantaneously, the Rosetta apps take another second or two which ends up being quite visible. The performance impact also exists whenever you're interacting with the application and as I wrote in our Mac Pro review: it feels as if you're running 2 - 3x slower than you should be. By no means is Rosetta a deal breaker, but it's something that I want to have out of my hair as soon as possible.


View All Comments

  • Dennis Travis - Saturday, August 26, 2006 - link

    Good find plinden. I guess it's something to do with the SATA driver in Bootcamp then.
  • plinden - Sunday, August 27, 2006 - link

    More news on SATA drivers. Apparently, if you create your own XP install disk and include the SATA drivers it works fine - see here http://web.mac.com/terrabit/iWeb/macpro/xp.html">http://web.mac.com/terrabit/iWeb/macpro/xp.html Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Sunday, August 27, 2006 - link

    Thanks for the link, I'm trying it now and will report back in the morning on my findings.

    Take care,
  • edwardhchan - Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - link

    Hehe, it works for me.... Somehow, it reports the drives as Multi-Word DMA 2, which of course is maxed at 16.6 MBps. However, using HDTach, it's clearly running at SATA 3.0Gbps :D 65 MBps average speed, burst speed in the 200 MBps range. Reply
  • aaaaa - Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - link

    http://google.com">http://google.com Reply
  • ftf - Sunday, August 27, 2006 - link

    WOOHOO!!! If this works, I'm ordering a mac pro tomarrow, this is the only thing that has been holding me back from jumping on it. It's a really good deal, esp considering the edu discount.... Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, August 28, 2006 - link

    It looks like it does :)

    Take care,
  • plinden - Saturday, August 26, 2006 - link

    Someone over on http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=22778...">MacRumorsMacRumors has posted that they put an IDE drive in one of the optical slots, set it up as master, and is getting 57MB/s from the drive. Reply
  • ksherman - Friday, August 25, 2006 - link

    So you were using a "regular" ATI X1950 XTX in the Mac Pro, not an Apple branded one? I was under the impression that Apple was using some kind of EFI system with their video cards. Reply
  • ViRGE - Sunday, August 27, 2006 - link

    The X1950XTX he's talking about is the one used in review Derek did. The problem is Dreamweaver choking with the article. Reply

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