XLR8 and Sonnet, manufacturers of accelerator cards for Mac systems, both love Mac OS X and have “pledged their support” for the next generation operating system.
With XLR8 power users can upgrade to G4 today with the MACh Speed G4 ZIF MPe install and run Mac OS X straight out of the box with no further software required, according to Chris Cooksey, XLR8’s director of engineering. At a later date users will be able to step up to multi-processing using the recently announced MACh Velocity G4 MPe 66 upgrade (for beige G3 systems), he added. All XLR8 upgrades will install and run under OS X in machines that are officially supported by Apple.
“Mac OS X automatically enables the backside cache at 2:1,” Cooksey said. “All XLR8 cards support 2:1 caches. We are one of the few vendors that have done this universally, so customers can rest-assured that their upgrade will get the maximum performance even without additional software. Users with MACh Speed G4 ZIF MPe upgrades will therefore be able to take advantage of the power of Mac OS X today.”
XLR8 promises that a new MACh OS X control panel will be released shortly that will enable the user to manipulate the cache and view system statistics. The latest version of the MACh control panel (MSC 2.0) with its’ new graphical interface offers an indication of what the new control panel will look like. Version 2.0 now ships standard with all XLR8 upgrades.
The XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 MPe card has been designed to work under Mac OS X and to take advantage of the embedded support for multiprocessing, Cooksey said. Today the XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 MPe card will install and boot under Mac OS X. However, in both the native OS X environment and the classic environment at this point in time only one of the processors (the one in the lift socket) will function.
“XLR8 is committed to Mac OS X and has developed the XLR8 MACh Velocity G4 MPe on the basis of the new operating system; part of this commitment involves creating a whole new driver to do OS X justice,” Jack Kolk, general manager of XLR8, said. “We will therefore release our MACh control panel for OS X in the second quarter.”
Meanwhile, the folks at Sonnet say they’re “committed” to providing broad support for Mac OS X. Company officials add that while Apple has officially dropped support for pre-G3 systems, they’re “preparing to deliver the future to many of these loyal users.”
According to an OS X compatibility statement, in the coming weeks Sonnet will provide an OS X upgrade path for users of popular PCI platforms like the Power Mac 7500, 8600, and the 9600. They also have plans to expand this reach to other Power Mac and Performa users, according to Sonnet reps.