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Thad Boyd

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About Thad Boyd

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  1. GTX 560/Mac Pro 1,1/Lion?

    All right, some background: I've got a quad-core 1,1 Mac Pro. I primarily run Ubuntu on it. I have Windows installed for games. I don't use OSX much; I mess around with it now and again, and I use it if I need an Office document converted to PDF, but I use it less than the other two OS's. Anyhow, I'm planning on updating my graphics card. I read up on flashing ATI firmware and it looks straightforward, but ATI's Linux drivers are lousy and, since Ubuntu is my primary OS, I'd rather go nVidia. I did some reading up, mostly on Rominator's posts here and on the Netkas forums: GTX480 running OSX in 1st Gen & Nehalem Pro !!! Fermi comes to Mac GTX 470 on an actual MacPro4,1 So I gathered that it would probably be feasible to run a GTX 470 in my 1,1 Pro, using my old 7300GT as a helper card. However, given Rominator's recent success in getting a 570 to run under Lion DP4, I was wondering if I should hold off until Lion's release and get a 560. It doesn't appear that anybody's really tested the 560 with a genuine Pro, let alone a 1,1. Is there any reason it would fail outright? What is the likelihood that it will work under Lion on a 1,1 with a helper card and ATY_init? And even if it doesn't, it will run fine under Linux and Windows, right? (Push come to shove if I can't get it to work under OSX at all I can use the 7300 for OSX -- I'd like to have a sweet Fermi card working under OSX but it'd be mostly for the joy of tinkering; I don't really use OSX for anything graphics-intensive.) And what's the correct power adapter? Amazon's got one labeled as "for Mac G5"; am I correct in understanding that it'll work on the Pro MB too? And I need two of them, right? And is there any other general information I need to know? Any pitfalls I should avoid? Should I go with a particular brand of card? (I notice a lot of people using nVidia cards on genuine Mac Pros go eVGA or PNY. I've had good luck with eVGA in the past and am likely to go that route.) What about ports? Can I expect HDMI to work, or just DVI? And if just DVI, will dual DVI work, or just single? I know I'm asking a lot of questions, but I've tried to do my homework in advance; I'd just like somebody to check my work before I spend the money. And I'll be sure and come back and let you guys know how it goes, whether it works, what kind of steps it took me, etc. Thanks!
  2. Hey -- sorry for the multiple consecutive posts, but I've got a new question: what about cooling? I was getting too much fan noise so I tried unhooking the case fans to see if it was them or the processor fan; it must have been the case fans as the system runs much quieter without them. So, question is, should I replace them, and if so, what should I get? My system doesn't seem to be running too hot without them (it's an aluminum case and, as Zapp noted earlier, not a configuration that uses a whole lot of juice). Should I have case fans running anyway? How many? Just an exhaust fan, or should I have front fans too? And what's a good quiet 80mm fan to get?
  3. Followed the instructions in Gigabyte GA EP43 DS3L Vanilla Installation Guide- Written for Noobs by a Noob. Removed all the kexts from my /Extra/Extensions folder except AppleDecrypt, Disabler, OpenHaltRestart, AppleHDA, and HDAEnabler, then built with Kext Helper. It threw up a bunch of dependency errors so I'm not sure if anything actually got applied, but at any rate everything seemed the same on reboot -- sound still works (2.1 only) and shutdown is still broken. Meantime, I'm trying to get HFS read (and write if possible) working under Windows 7. MacDrive 8 doesn't mount the drive even though it's supposed to work with 7/64, and Paragon's HFS for Windows is 32-bit only. Going to see if I can get the Snow Leopard Boot Camp drivers to work... (EDIT: MacDrive 8 is working now. No idea what changed.)
  4. Thanks, that's at least got me thinking in the right direction. Still not sure that the shutdown is an OSX issue as I've got it on Win7 and Mythbuntu too, but it could be they're all three missing drivers. I'll do some research and see what I come up with.
  5. Just followed the advice in the thread -- SATA only, followed Weaksauce's guide, then installed Scottapotamas's kexts when sound didn't work. Then, when sound STILL didn't work, I followed Scott's link to EP43_DS3L_Sound.zip, which, as noted, got stereo working but not 5.1. I'll have to double-check on AHCI (when I get home -- at work on lunch right now) but I think it's enabled in BIOS. I've also found that MacDrive 8 isn't working under Windows 7 even though it's supposed to support it; my Mac drive doesn't mount.
  6. Also, having a problem with shutdown/sleep -- computer hangs on sleep and power supply needs to be power-cycled for it to run again, and shutdown hangs such that drives stop but fans keep running and power light stays on. I've seen some references to kext fixes and the like for this, but am not sure if that's relevant as OSX isn't causing the problem; it happens when I shut down Windows and Linux too. I've updated to the latest BIOS but that hasn't fixed it either.
  7. Leopard is up and running! Well, sometimes. This might be time for a threadsplit as it's a troubleshooting thing and not a hardware thing... ...OSX doesn't always boot. About 50% of the time, the bootloader comes up, then brings up the OSX boot screen, but the hard drive doesn't spin and eventually it brings up the circle-and-slash across the Apple logo and I have to hard reset. This has happened across different bootloaders -- I'm currently using Chameleon 2 RC2, but it also happened under PC EFI, and happened every time I tried to boot using Boot Think. (EDIT: Chameleon 2 RC1 seems to boot consistently, but I'll update if it starts flaking too.) Next problem: can't get 5.1 audio to work. I've gone into Audio MIDI Setup but everything but Stereo is grayed out in the dropdown under Multichannel. The speakers are connected correctly and work under Windows. (EDIT 2: Found the AppleHDA Patcher thread. Tried somebody else's dump but it didn't work; I'll try booting to Linux and dumping my own a little later. Course, I don't have audio working at all in Linux yet so I might have to get that set up properly first...) I've searched for these problems on the forums but haven't found an answer offhand -- doubt I'm the first person they've ever happened too, though.
  8. Remote Buddy's a nice piece of software. IIRC the Remote Wonder Mac software works pretty well out of the box too; my problem was mostly that the connection had a tendency to drop if I left the computer on awhile. (Again, that was a G4 Mini running Tiger, so that may no longer be the case.) The Rumblepad is a great damned controller; I have two of them. (Actually, three, including one of the older-model ones with six face buttons...but that one is actually pretty crummy. It's interesting what a difference one generation can make.) It's perfect for console games, especially SNES and PS1 stuff, but I've always wanted a stick for MAME and now that they finally have decent-quality wireless ones I'm interested in checking them out. The Wii Remote is of course perfect for NES emulation, but if I'm using it as my media center controller I'm going to need to work out a way to make it play nice with the two different functions -- I don't want to be pulling up FrontRow/WMC/whatever in the middle of a game! Speaking of media frontends, this probably isn't the thread for it, but what's a good one to use? I tried both Boxee and Plex some months back and found them both promising but unstable; I gather that they've come a long way since. I hear good things about XBMC too.
  9. It's built! Haven't gotten Leopard on there yet, just the Windows 7 RC so far. Going to try Mythbuntu next and Leopard last. (Following Zaap's advice on drive partitioning; I've put Windows on the bulk of one of the 1TB drives, with 200GB left over for Mythbuntu, and will use the other drive entirely for OSX.) An FYI on the hardware configuration: doubt it impacts anybody since the things are no longer sold AFAIK, but the Remote Wonder II isn't supported in Vista/Win7. I could get a new remote, but since I own a Wii I think I'll set up one of those remotes instead. To start with, I'll probably just use it like an Apple Remote and not use it as a pointing device, but later on down the line I'll probably get a new "sensor" bar. It looks like the Nextronics Sensor Bar HD is the one to get; I'd rather have a USB bar than a wireless one (it'll be sitting in front of a TV with a USB slot anyway, and there's no sense wasting batteries). I hear this one's designed mainly for really big TV's and mine's only 32", but the reviewers seem to agree with the makers' claim that it significantly reduces jitter. Aside from that, I've been looking for arcade sticks to use with MAME (and maybe buy me a copy of Street Fighter 4 -- probably through Impulse since it has the least nasty DRM). The Mad Catz Fight Stick TE looks gorgeous but is WAY out of my price range; the standard Fight Stick is a little more reasonable but still more than I want to pay. (And ideally I'd like a wireless stick; I'm a casual player and more concerned with keeping cables off my living room floor than maintaining split-second precision.) Given all these constraints, the Wii Fighting Stick seems like the best option for a good mid-range wireless (or rather wired-to-Wii remote) joystick. The Street Fighter IV FightPad is an appealing gamepad option, wouldn't be bad for MAME and would be great for Genesis/Saturn emulation. I've heard some people report problems getting PS3 controllers to work on non-VIA chipsets, though. Anyway, food for thought. Maybe once I get those rebate checks...
  10. ZipZoomFly had a few more good deals, so I put some orders in. What I've ordered: MB: Gigabyte GA-EP43-UD3L HD: Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000.B Optical: Sony Optiarc AD-7241S-0B RAM: 4GB Corsair 1066 So, still to buy: Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-450VX ($60 after rebate @ NewEgg or Amazon) CPU: Pentium E6300 ($84) BT: Cirago BTA-3210 ($15 + $6 shipping @ NewEgg or $18 @ Amazon) And thanks for the advice on keyboards, though it turns out the Apple BT keyboard and mouse are mine after all, so I'll be sticking with those for now. (Some edits to account for price changes.) Final edit: all ordered. (Went with Amazon over NewEgg on the PS and Bluetooth adapter, the latter because it was cheaper and the former because they have a better return policy than NewEgg.)
  11. Good to know. I've never bought G.SKILL before and RAM quality's something I'm cautious about, partly because RAM failure is a lot harder to diagnose than, say, hard drive failure. But if it's getting good reviews around here, that's good enough for me. Ah, good to know -- knew the hard drive on that list was OEM and wanted to make sure I didn't order a drive with no cables. Jeez! There are a slew of OEM Samsung drives for under $30 that are reviewed as being pretty decent, so I'm not worried about finding a good one at a decent price, but that was a retail package and looked pretty solid. I've eyeballed Blu-Ray drives a couple times -- there are a couple from major brands (like Sony) for under $100, but all my research on the format indicates it's just not worth buying right now even at that price. In addition to lack of support under OSX, it's poorly supported under Windows (and apparently can't be run from Media Center) and getting it to run under Linux is predictably complicated. All that and I don't think my video card could even output the video due to HDCP requirements. So once again, DRM makes it unattractive for me to shell out $100, plus $30 per movie, for a product I would genuinely like to buy -- but of course it's worth it since it's made it absolutely impossible for anyone to download HD movies illegally on the Internet. Okay, end rant. Another question: turns out that BT keyboard and mouse I have are actually my roommate's, so I'm in the market for a good wireless keyboard and pointer. Any suggestions? Trackballs are presumably more desirable than mice since they'd be easier just to use on the arm of a couch or wherever. (Plus, if I wanted to, say, set up MAME and play Centipede, I've got a trackball.) The Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman looks like a promising option. The DSI FK-760 and Adesso Mini look nicely compact, but maybe a little TOO much so -- I don't really like the squashed-together arrow keys. (I have a pretty similar IR keyboard already; it's a bit janky but DOES mean I don't need to get a replacement wireless kit right away.) Guess I should probably go to Fry's and look around -- input devices are something you generally want to actually see in front of you before buying.
  12. My recollection in setting up my Mac Pro is that Mac/Linux did all right but Windows rendered Linux unbootable. (I blogged about it at the time but my site appears to be down ATM, so this is just to the best of my memory.) Don't remember how I ultimately got it working; I DO know that rEFIt has never worked quite right with that triple boot (selecting Windows or Linux actually boots whichever of the two was booted more recently). I'd probably start with the OSX installation and add the others later just as a matter of availability -- figure I'll probably buy one hard drive to start with and add more as I save up a bit of money. Pretty sure Linux can do GUID but I don't remember if I set it up that way or not -- again, I blogged details but it was nearly two years ago and my site's not available for me to refresh my memory at the moment. Anyway, here's the current, revised hardware list: Power Supply: Corsair CMPSU-450VX ($55 after rebate) MB: Gigabyte GA-EP43-UD3L ($80) HD: Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000.B ($67 after rebate) Optical: HP 1170i ($32) CPU: Pentium E6300 ($88) RAM: 4GB Corsair ($47) BT: Cirago BTA-3210 ($15) Cables: OKGear GC18AUBM12 SATA ($2) Not sure when I'll start buying -- next couple weeks anyway, I think.
  13. Actually, Linux DOES support writing to NTFS now. (I want to say it's kernel-level and worked out of the box on my Ubuntu installation, but I won't swear by that; it's been a long time since I first set it up. At any rate, it works, and I've never had any issues with stability or data corruption.) Course, that still doesn't help with the OSX side of things. Keeping the media on the Mac drive and using MacDrive to access it from Windows is starting to sound like the best solution. I hear good things about MacDrive overall; anybody have any complaints? Given that I'm a bit budget-conscious at the moment, would Paragon be a better choice? Or go the opposite route and keep media on the Windows drive and use MacFuse/NTFS-3G? Any particular reason for putting Linux and Windows on the same drive rather than, say, Linux and OSX (as I might want to do if I were storing my media on the Windows drive)? Trickier with partitioning, that kind of thing? (I've always preferred putting each OS on its own drive anyway, but...yeah, budget-conscious right now.) BTW, Deactivated now, but WD's got the WD6400AACS and WD6400AAKS for roughly that same price. As far as Hitachi, zipzoomfly.com has a 1TB for $67 with rebate for the next week and a half or so. I usually go WD but I've been hearing good things about Hitachi's drives. (I've certainly had good luck with their other electronics.)
  14. Another I've-been-out-of-the-game-a-long-time power question: adding a few extra drives later on down the line wouldn't have a real impact on power consumption, right? It would pretty much take a much faster CPU or GPU before I'd need more wattage? And a question that's not strictly hardware related: what's the best configuration if I wanted to turn it into a multiboot (say, OSX, Mythbuntu, Windows 7, as I suggested earlier) but wanted to be able to access my media files from any of the OS's? In the old days it would have been 1 boot drive for each OS and a separate FAT32 media drive since that was about the only FS that all the OS's could mount read-write. Is that still the case? I know Linux can mount both HFS and NTFS as RW (though last I checked HFS+ support was unstable so you had to turn off journaling). OSX still can't mount NTFS with write access, right? And I remember third-party ext2 support (and therefore ext3 without journaling) for both OSX and Windows. Not sure if I ever tried it on OSX but I remember it pretty much sucked on Windows. Has any of that changed? Is there good, stable ext2 or 3 support for Windows and OSX? NTFS RW support for OSX? (I found a package called NTFS-3G; any good?) HFS support for Windows? Whether I'd have a separate dedicated media drive or one drive as OS and media and the others as OS only, any of those would be okay options, and certainly an improvement over FAT32. (I can definitely see the 4GB file size cap becoming a problem with 720p movies.)
  15. Thanks for the advice; thought the PS seemed overkill but I've been out of the game so long I didn't know for sure. (Last PC I built was an Athlon XP; it's been awhile.) I'd been reading reviews at silentpcreview.com and by their standards this one was cheap, but looking down the list a bit there's the CMPSU-450VX for $55 after rebate, the FSP400-60GLN for $50, and a bunch of models NewEgg doesn't have but which probably have near matches for around that price. Any specific recommendations? Good call on backing down to a Pentium; I'd been considering that too but wasn't sure on compatibility. Ditto on the BT, and good advice on the drives. (EDIT to add: your concern on the video card DOES give me pause as I wouldn't want to buy a new one; the fact that I've got a decent one just lying around is part of why I'm considering this project in the first place. But I'm a little confused on this -- I know you have to buy a Mac-specific video card if you want it to run in OSX, but I don't really understand why a Mac-specific video card wouldn't run on OSX if it were sitting in a third-party MB. Any further explanation or a link to one would be appreciated.) I actually HAVEN'T had great luck with the Remote Wonder II and OSX; it has a tendency to cut out and require me to unplug it and plug it back in. But that's on an old G4 Mini, too. If it still gave me trouble on this machine I'd probably either buy a cheap IR adapter and use an Apple remote or set it up with a Wii remote. This is the part where I'm going to have a learning curve; all the patch names are meaningless to me. I've gotten some recommendations to emulate EFI through a USB dongle or flash drive, too. I'm a quick learner but haven't had a whole lot of free time for projects like this lately; mostly just something I've been reading up on on my lunch break. Thanks again for the help. Still debating whether to build or just buy my roommate's Mini. Think I'll go put the tower case next to my TV just to see how it looks. (Need to find the bay covers because that old floppy drive I've got in it right now simply will not do.)