Hump Wiggles – I got the FireGL V5200 Softmod to work!

Again, don’t just read this blog because you have a MacBook Pro Core Duo and you want to make it act like a FireGL V5200, read it because you care.  Seriously, I got the ATI Moiblity X1600 to softmod into the FireGL Mobility V5200 following a myriad of somewhat unintelligible instructions from the internet (I think I get points for reading both Chinese and Italian posts which referenced this mod).

The driver I ended up using was from the actual AMD/ATI official site but it was an older version, 8.353.1.1000 to be exact – from 5/8/2007.  There is a chance that the newer ones will work but you have to do a patch using RivaTuner 2.11 using one of the patch scripts I found and my concern was that the older scripts would somehow not work with the newer drivers.  So yeah, you run the copy/pasted patch script on the driver you downloaded and you modify one of the setup files within the installation to allow the “MacBook Pro Mobility V5200” to appear as an option and actually talk to the correct address in the system.  From there you should run “Driver Sweeper”, uninstall all existing video drivers, and reboot and hopefully it goes to a safe mode VGA driver.  At this point you’ll try and install the thing.  It worked on my 3rd or 4th try finally using the new ATI driver, so go figure.

The good news is SolidWorks runs a whole lot better with the FireGL driver and the Instant 3D stuff works as well, Window XP’s video is a whole lot snappier.  Now if only I had that older Broadcom Chipset so my signal strength in XP would come back..

Big drives & faster weefee

My first generation (Rev. A) MacBook Pro (Core Duo 2.0 GHz Intel 32 bit Yonah) has starting to slow a little.  The 100GB hard disk is full and I can’t add any more RAM (2GB’s maxed out) but swapping in a bigger faster 7200 RPM laptop HD drive (say like a Seagate Momentus 7200.3 320 GB) and upgrading the mini-PCI wireless LAN card to 802.11n will get me by.  As I recall, Apple took about a year and a half to upgrade to the Core 2 Duo chipset with 64 bit capabilities and even then Leopard didn’t come out until Fall 2007.  I was an early adopter and I’ve been pretty happy with this machine.  So now I’m looking to either stay with OS X 10.4.11 or possibly go the whole hog to 10.5.5, either way I’ll need XP Pro SP3 for CAD software using either BootCamp or rEFIt as a bootloader.

In Leopard with Time Machine data backups should be seamless, my only concern now is application compatibility and system stability.  Z’s white MacBook 2.2 Core 2 Duo came loaded with Leopard 10.5.1 and seems to have stabilized in 10.5.4 (though I think it does need more RAM).  From what I’ve read, somewhat like Vista, Leopard has a basic “footprint” of 512MB, so really 2GB is the minimum you need in practice with multiple applications running.  Tiger apparently has something like a 128MB starting point.

I took my first 3D rendering class in SolidWorks today at NYU.  It seems pretty cool.  NYU sells an educational copy that should work under XP and the MacBook Pro supposedly works alright with it.  We’re going back to Jimmy’s No. 43, I’m excited.