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Hot off the Press -
Product News and Commentary

Sonnet Debuts Sonata SD, Back to the Future   May 28, 2004 – TEE News

Sonnet Technologies of Irvine CA., announced a new Sonata SD PCI graphics card, designed specifically to drive a second (or third) display; and is compatible with virtually all Macintosh and Mac-compatible computers with PCI slots, and almost every analog monitor. Sounds fine so far.

Sonnet says that the Sonata SD is the only universal solution for G5s, PowerCenters, and dozens of models in between. It must be a technological break-through to be so “universal?

The press release continues to state: “While the Sonata SD works flawlessly with most Mac operating systems, it offers a unique Screen Doubler feature for users of System 7.5.3 through Mac OS 9.2.2. This is a panning mode feature that provides a virtual desktop up to four times larger than the display connected to the Sonata SD card. Accessing this additional desktop workspace is as simple as moving the mouse cursor to the edge of the display – no clicking or dragging necessary. With this feature, even a small display can be used to manage a large number of pallets, tool bars, and windows.”

Well by this time we were both jived and perplexed, there was a lot of talk and very little substance. Something didn’t smell right. Sonnet further stated that the list of Macs that this was compatible with was nearly everything Apple or any “Cloner” ever made. Price would be USD $99.95.

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Compatible Macintosh models include:
- Power Macintosh Series 4400, through 9600
- Macintosh Server G3, G4
- Power Macintosh G3 All-in-one, Blue & White,    etc.
- Power Mac G4 (all models except Cube)
- Power Mac G5
- Xserve G5
- Performa® Series 54xx,through 6420
- Workgroup Server 7250, 7350, 8550, 9650
- Daystar Genesis and Millennium Series
- Mactell XB-Pro
- Everything Power Computing ever made.
- StarMax 3000, 3000 Minitower, etc. etc.
- Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh
- UMAX C500, C600, C600X, J700, S900

And here's the bad news, this technological PCI Graphics Card marvel only has 16MB of video RAM, a feeble Memory clock of 166 MHz, 64-bit data path to the graphic processor and a Maximum pixel clock of 230 MHz!

Good grief, it’s 1997 all over again, Back to the Future! You can find nearly new ATI Radeon 7000’s with 32 or 64 MB Video RAM on eBAY for less than $99 and ATI Rage 128’s for $50 shipped! The ATI Radeon, which came out four years ago is far superior to the Sonata SD and the ATI Rage 128 has better specs too.

Something is wrong over at Sonnet Technology; they seem to have gone very out of step during the last few years with high prices and yesterdays technology. Lets hope that this isn’t a bad omen of a declining Mac market.

Doesn't Sonata mean, going to sleep? Z zzzz



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