Sonnet Technologies, the company that specializes in processor upgrade cards for Macs, has announced Mac OS X compatibility for several of their products.
The next generation operating system, released on March 24, supported only “native” G3 and G4 systems, per Apple’s official specs. Sonnet’s announcement covers a much wider array of upgraded Macintosh and compatible models, plus a program to support customers of Newer Technology’s processor upgrades, according to company spokesperson Joy Hsu.
Last month, the folks at Sonnet said they were “committed” to providing broad support for Mac OS X. Company officials added that while Apple has officially dropped support for pre-G3 systems, they were “preparing to deliver the future to many of these loyal users.”
Effective immediately, the Sonnet Encore/ZIF and Encore/ST G3/G4 processor upgrade product lines are completely Mac OS X compatible in all Power Mac G3 and G4 desktops and minitowers, she said. Those who are running a Sonnet Encore G4 upgrade in a beige Power Mac G3 will need a software update, which is now available free from
Sonnet’s download site.
Last December, Newer Technology, which also made Mac processor upgrade cards, went out of business. In January, Sonnet announced that they had hired “all key engineering personnel” of Newer effectively doubling its engineering and development team. Hsu said that the “entire remaining team (from Newer), including former vice president of engineering, Darryl Hinshaw, as well as hardware, software and testing engineers will be joining Sonnet.”
Newer Technology MaxPower ZIF users will require a software update to attain full compatibility and performance with OS X. Sonnet is developing these MaxPower OS X solutions, and expects to have them posted by the end of next month. The MaxPower ZIF software will carry a download fee of US$29.95.
Sonnet will also offer OS X compatibility solutions for Mac platforms that Apple isn’t officially supporting. According to Hsu, by the end of May, Sonnet Crescendo/PCI G3 and G4 owners will be able to download an installer to run OS X on any of the following models: Power Macintosh 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8600, 9500, 9600, PowerTower Pro, Power Wave, UMAX J700, S900. OS X’s compatibility in these machines will match that in Power Mac G3s, she added. The solution will be accessible from the Sonnet Web site for a $29.95 download fee.
And for this same set of PCI Power Macs, Sonnet has announced an equivalent OS X compatibility solution for users of Newer’s MaxPower G3 and G4 PCI upgrade cards. Scheduled for a June release, the MaxPower PCI compatibility package will have a download fee of $69.95. This solution will allow former Newer Tech customers using Power Macintosh 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8600, 9500, 9600, PowerTower Pro, PowerWave, UMAX J700, or S900 systems to gain the same full OS X compatibility developed for Sonnet’s own installed base, Hsu said.
“For years, Newer Tech sold reliable processor upgrade products,” Robert Farnsworth, Sonnet president and CEO, said in a statement. “By investing the resources to open the OS X door to former Newer Tech customers, Sonnet invites them to become our customers.”
He added that Sonnet completes its OS X support by announcing compatibility for all Tempo ATA and Tango Firewire/USB cards. Tempo RAID and Tango cards don’t require any updates. Tempo Ultra ATA66 requires firmware version 3.08 or greater, which can be checked with the
Sonnet Tempo ATA66 ROM Update utility found online.