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WWDC extension; Radeon HD 3870; MacBook Air EVDO hack

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Apple has extended the early registration discount period for its upcoming developers conference. Meanwhile, ATI is reported to be prepping the release of its Radeon HD 3870 for all-generation Mac Pros. And one MacBook Air owner has installed a stripped-down Verizon USB727 Aircard for dongle-less EVDO connectivity.

WWDC early registration extended

In traditional fashion, Apple on Tuesday extended the early registration deadline for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) set to take place during the second week of June.

Attendees who register before May 9th can still save up to $300, the company said. A standard E-Ticket to the week-long conference fetches $1295.00, while an E-Ticket 5*Pack is priced at $5180.00, which is the equivalent to getting the 5th ticket free.

Individuals seeking to enroll as Apple Developer Connection (ADC) members for the first time are also offered package deals that include entry to WWDC and a one-year enrollment as either a Select ADC ($1694.00) member or a Premier ADC (3,499.00) member.

Select ADC members get access to the ADC Software Seeding Program, Mac OS X and Xcode Tools, 2 Technical Support Incidents, and 1 ADC Hardware Discount. Premier members get access to the ADC Software Seeding Program, Mac OS X and Xcode Tools, 8 Technical Support Incidents, and 10 ADC Hardware Discounts.

Radeon HD 3870 for Mac Pro

Both Xlr8YourMac and Bare Feats are reporting that ATI's Radeon HD 3870 graphics card will be available sometime next month for both current and legacy Mac Pros.

The card is said to include 512MB of DDR4 video memory, support for dual-booting into Windows, and also support CrossFire mode when running under Windows.

Though performance and pricing have yet to be determined, both are expected to fall in line with that of Nvidia's recently released $279 GeForce 8800 GT upgrade card for first-generation Mac Pro systems.

The Radeon HD 3870 is expected to be sold as a standalone retail product and won't necessarily be made available as a build-to-order option through Apple's online store.

MacBook Air EVDO hack

MacNN reports on a courageous move by MacBook Air owner Jordan Bunnell, who recently disassembled his ultra-thin notebook in order to install a stripped-down Verizon USB727 Aircard for dongle-less EVDO connectivity.

Bunnell replaced the internal Airport card, located underneath the left-hand palm rest area, with the components inside the 727. To complete the operation, he also had to file away three screw mounts for the card to fit, as well as removing the USB connector to solder leads to the computer's USB port.

Bunnell also took the antenna connector port from a defective Airport card in order to boost signal strength, since replacing the bottom case would trap the wireless signal.


"I consistently get about 1,400-1,700Kbps vs. 1,800-2,000 when it was external," Bunnell said following of the finalized modification. "The hardest hit was the upload, I would get around 500Kbps, now I'm closer to 380Kbps."

AppleInsider notes that users interested in this modification should be advised that opening up a non-consumer serviceable computer will void its warranty.
post #2 of 14
Well, take out the USB port and the airport card (won't be able to use ANY cd/dvd drive now) and it just kinda seems like a big iphone without networking.
Not that there's anything wrong with that
post #3 of 14
A plethora of graphics card choices all of a sudden. Cool.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFatWookie View Post

A plethora of graphics card choices all of a sudden. Cool.

Given the Leopard rebuild issues with the 8800GT and the documented performance issues with pro apps, I am returning my GT and waiting for the Radeon to come out.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

Well, take out the USB port and the airport card (won't be able to use ANY cd/dvd drive now) and it just kinda seems like a big iphone without networking.
Not that there's anything wrong with that

Does it really eliminate the USB port? What I saw was that only the power pins of the USB port were used. Maybe it's enough to make the Apple powered optical drive not work, though the data pins should still be fine, you can hook up a powered optical drive.
post #6 of 14
If the 3870 story is accurate, what is ATI/AMD thinking by not announcing their intentions? There are probably a bunch of people that have ordered the 8800GT upgrade already, especially for 1st gen Mac Pros that might have been a potential sale had they known about these plans.

-kpluck

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post #7 of 14
I am burned child with respect to 3G modems. Not wanting to believe that certain ExpressCard 3G modems can put your MBP temporarily out of operation because the MBP's internal electronics are not shielded against the 3G radio waves.

My MBP had various stuff crashing with the card inserted and broadcasting, even after removal of the card and restart, no sound would come out of headphone jack (which sits just next to the ExpressCard slot). Only an extended period with the battery removed restored its functionality.
post #8 of 14
Hmm. What are the rebuild issues? I was not aware of any compatability issues with Leopard and the 8800GT? I was considering the 8800GT card for my son's 2007 Mac Pro after the 2nd Gen ATI 1900XL crapped out on us this week with heat issues that were supposedly fix from the 1st Gen card. He plays WoW on the Mac side and Counter Strike on the Windows Vista side and the stock 7300 just can't cut it. I am very leary about the the new ATI/AMD choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

Given the Leopard rebuild issues with the 8800GT and the documented performance issues with pro apps, I am returning my GT and waiting for the Radeon to come out.
post #9 of 14
I wonder what the 3870's price will be, since the 8800GT is a better card.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

I wonder what the 3870's price will be, since the 8800GT is a better card.

I should add, though, that the 3870 might be a better card for some people. It has a two-slot cooler that will be quieter than the 8800GT, and Crossfire works on Intel motherboards. Obviously OS X will never, ever support Crossfire, but it should work in Windows (unless the Mac Pro's EFI specifically prevents it).
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

I should add, though, that the 3870 might be a better card for some people. It has a two-slot cooler that will be quieter than the 8800GT, and Crossfire works on Intel motherboards. Obviously OS X will never, ever support Crossfire, but it should work in Windows (unless the Mac Pro's EFI specifically prevents it).

There's more too. The 8800 isn't that great for people that use Apple pro apps and presumably core image / core video work. The "lesser" cards already available on the Mac Pro are actually faster at Pro App work, even the old 1900 is faster at some things. So if you're into gaming, 8800 is the faster gaming card, but pro use, this new ATI might be better. We'd need to see the benchmarks though to be certain.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

There's more too. The 8800 isn't that great for people that use Apple pro apps and presumably core image / core video work. The "lesser" cards already available on the Mac Pro are actually faster at Pro App work, even the old 1900 is faster at some things. So if you're into gaming, 8800 is the faster gaming card, but pro use, this new ATI might be better. We'd need to see the benchmarks though to be certain.

That's obviously a driver issue. Does the Quadro card have similar problems? I assume there would be serious complaining if it did.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

That's obviously a driver issue. Does the Quadro card have similar problems? I assume there would be serious complaining if it did.

I didn't really look at that column, but yes, the Quadro is in similar shape.

http://www.barefeats.com/harper10.html

As to the cause, I suppose it could be a driver issue. But given some of the differences in the numbers, I wonder if there may be architectural differences in how efficiently the GPU can be used this way.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I didn't really look at that column, but yes, the Quadro is in similar shape.

http://www.barefeats.com/harper10.html

As to the cause, I suppose it could be a driver issue. But given some of the differences in the numbers, I wonder if there may be architectural differences in how efficiently the GPU can be used this way.

I could believe that Core Video -type stuff might run better on a 3870 than an 8800 because of architectural differences, as the cards aren't that different in overall non-Mac performance, but there's no way the 2600 is faster than the 8800 in hardware. That's a software failing on Nvidia's or Apple's part.
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