9600 upgrade questions, Nitro/Tsunami vs Mach V/Kansas motherboard, MachCarrier Zif vs Normal upgrade, Full PCI slots, etc

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AG-Wolf's picture
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Alright I've finally gotten a 9600 in my posession. I realise it will never be completely as powerful as a true g3/g4, but I still wish to upgrade it as much as possible (sorry apple, I dig the beige beast tower, none of the fruity industrial design crap of the last 8 years). I have some questions that I can't seem to track down answers to.

-- 1) Mine is a 200mhz model, and therefore apparently is incapable of accepting a faster 604e upgrade, due to a voltage difference. The faster 604 card, 300 or 350mhz, are for the "Mach V" motherboards, mine is the Nitro or Tsunami board (I've read two different things). My main question on this is if there's any significant difference between the two other than the processor speeds and the soldered 512k L2 50mhz cache in the 200mhz model and the inline 1mb L2 100mhz cache in the 300/350mhz models. I could look for a Mach V/Kansas board but don't want to bother if it isn't necessary; though there IS one on ebay that still has a day left.

-- 2) It appears that the fastest upgrade available is the 1ghz G4 from Sonnet (or similar from competitors). I know the 1Ghz is achieved by the processor having its own internal faster bus, as opposed to multiplying off the 9600's default 50mhz bus. My next question is whether either the 200mhz motherboard or the Kansas motherboard would make any difference, OTHER Than the soldered 512k L2 Cache of the 200mhz board, which this website gives instructions on how to physically disable:
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/l2cache.html
Because you can't swap 604e CPU daughter cards between the slower and faster boards, does that mean any of the G3/G4 upgrade cards will run into difficulty on one or the other as well?

-- 3) I've seen two different types of upgrade cards... straightforward daughtercards with the G3/G4 chip right on it, and I've seen ones that have a ZIF slot which accepts the same ZIF upgrade processors as the Beige and B&W G3's. Both the normal PCI-Mac upgrade cards, and the Beige/B&W G3 ZIF upgrades cap out at 1ghz G4... is ther e any particular difference between these two, as far as performance or compatibility are concerned?

-- 3a) and regardless of which route I eventually follow, I've noticed a couple sites making mention of incompatibilities when all 6 PCI slots are occupied. I plan on using up to 5 or all 6 slots myself, so does anyone know what upgrade I should pursue then? Sonnet's site says "Fully compatible with Power Macintosh 95/9600 series computers with lower PCI slots occupied" about their 1Ghz G4 card... and where-ever I found them being sold, the MachCarrier ZIF card had a special version when using all 6 PCI slots.

RIght now I'm going for speed... I will worry about Firewire, USB(2), ATA, additional video, matching RAM, an Orange Micro windows compatibility card I was eyeing somewhere, CDR(W), DVD(R/RW) etc etc, once I start getting this other stuff figured out.

I definitely appreciate any feedback people can offer Smile

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Jon's picture
Jon
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Brand wise, XLR8 has the MACh

Brand wise, XLR8 has the MACh CarrierZIF SSE (Six Slot Expansion) for those. I've got a ZIF carrier card, but I'm not 100% sre which it is. I'm thinking it's the original CarrierZIF, but the sticker says MACh Speed and "XLR25 R1.1". If you end up not finding anything else I'd be pretty easy to convince to part with it. Wink

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I think you answered all your

I think you answered all your own questions.

The biggest advantage of the Kansas/Mach V board is the difference in L2 cache. Aside from that, there is little difference. The ROM on the Kansas board is slightly different as well. AFAIK, it supports speculative processing (required for G3 compatibility) whereas the earlier board's ROM does not. All the upgrade manufacturers have worked around that in various fashions, but you still might see some stability and data integrity advantages with the Kansas ROM.

Some of the six slot Macs had trouble with processor upgrades causing bugs in the operation of the lower three PCI cards. The upgrade manufacturers discovered this only after they had products on the market. So some of them released versions specfically for the six slot Macs and called them "Six Slot Enabled (SSE)" or some such marketing nonsense. More recently, manufacturers have dropped the special taglines used for these cards and any recent upgrade should work in any Mac (provided they are physically compatible, of course). Similarly, any CPU upgrade will work in any version of the 9600/9500 motherboard without any need to worry about the L2 cache differences with the Kansas board. Furthermore, there is no performance benefit to using a Kansas board with an upgrade over a Tsunami-derived board with an upgrade.

I would avoid the ZIF carrier cards unless you plan to top out at 500 MHz. I've also wondered if it would be possible to use a high speed (say, a PowerLogix 1.0 or 1.1 GHz G3) ZIF intended for a Power Mac G3 with a ZIF carrier card, but I've never heard of anyone actually doing it. And that's a lot of money to spend on a whim for me, so I've never done it myself. It used to be that the G3 ZIFs would top out at 10x the bus speed on the carrier (500 MHz max) or 9x the bus speed for G4s (450 MHz), but it could be different now...

You could always do a motherboard replacement with your 9600 to get something newer. A GigE G4 motherboard ought to fit nicely. Of course, you'll lose some of your expandability...

The fact of the matter is that even though the 9600 is so darn expandable, it's just plum slow compared to a real G3 or G4. I've OC'ed my 9600/350 to 400 MHz, and it benchmarks and subjectively feels about the same as a Rev A G3. I've also put a G3 ZIF (400 MHz) into a 9500, and it hardly feels like a G3. It's faster than the 9600, but it's nowhere near as fast as a real G3 @ 400 MHz. That 50 MHz bus is a real killer.

Peace,
Drew

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alk
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If you are looking for a spee

If you are looking for a speed demon of a Mac in Old World style, consider picking up a PowerCenter or PowerCenter Pro. You can easily overclock these to 66 MHz bus speed, and then they will really give a more modern Mac a run for it's money.

Old 68k MLA Thread On The Subject

Peacek
Drew

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Here's another thread for you

Here's another thread for you:
http://www.applefritter.com/node/20683
I detail my maxed out 9600 near the bottom. I'm using a Sonnet 450mhz G4 and a SCSI HD setup and the machine flies quite nicely.

You can tell the difference between the SSE Daystar ZIF carrier and their regular ZIF carrier by the arrangement of the components on the card--study the pictures at their site. I've had a couple ZIF carriers before, but the market in used ZIF's have been pretty resilient against price drops, so I sold them and got the Sonnet which I'm very happy with.

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9600...

Hello my friend.
I have owned several different 9600's.
Both standard and Mach V's.
Awesome machines in their time.
i played the upgrade game with RAM,XLR8 processors,Video Cards,SCSI RAID, etc.
Unless you have piles of mony to throw away,
IT IS NOT WORTH IT .
Even a G3 is dated these days.
Granted these were well made and powerfull machines.
I am happy to help if you really want to persue this,
But I would suggest nothing less than a G4, these days and they are getting long in the tooth also..
Lots of 9600 parts in the closet..
Regards,
Dave

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A big thanks to everyone who

A big thanks to everyone who offered input (of course don't let this post stop anything further)... I'm fully aware that even a maxed 9600 won't compare to current Macs... but the thing is, I don't LIKE the current Macs. There's no allure, I loathe OS X. With a maxed 9600, I'll be able to USE OS X when necessary, but not rely on it (considering 90% of all my Mac activities are in OS 9 anyway). My little PC is still, and will always be, my main computer at this point, the 9600 would just be a novelty. (much akin to my Color Classic which is essentially going to be my music machine and TV whenever I get my butt in gear and go to college... it's perfect for a dorm room, plug it into a stereo and the cable line and you're good Tongue )

At any rate, it seems that the only benefit of going to a Mach V board with the 350 604e would just be the satisfaction of knowing the machine is a 350mhz 604e... but that was only cool ten years ago. So unless I'm running only the 604 chip, it's relatively pointless outside of the speculative accessing in the G3/G4 chip and potentially improved compatibility.

Although spending any money on this at all is essentially a lost cause, I think i'll just take the risk and not bother with the Mach V board.. it will leave me more money to waste on other things, and I may not even have any compatibility issues. If anyone has parts they think may help me in my endeavor, by all means please drop me a note Smile I might shoot Macaholic there a PM too, if that "Lots of 9600 parts in the closet.." comment was alluding to anything Tongue

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Hello

Hello again.
I pride myself as being one of the last users to migrate to OSX.
OS9 did everything I needed and more.
A mature and remarkable OS.
Dang it took me years to even embrace OS9.
Yep, I am very reluctant to change and will always be that way.
That being said, my toys are now a Pismo, an iMac 600, and a hot rodded Sawtooth.
All running OSX 10.3.9. I seldom boot to OS9 anymore.
Still way behind current machines, like a macbook Pro.
IMHO OS10.1 was a mess, I like Panther and Tiger now that I can navigate and modify it.
I do have 9600 motherboards, powersupplys, case parts, Kansas processors,PCI cards for USB/Firewire,SCSI...
Get a dual boot G4...
Don't look back...

Dave

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I have an 8600 (had it a mont

I have an 8600 (had it a month so far, wish I had it 5 years ago instead of my 8500)and those cases are nice and expandable. Mine is the 300 604e and its speedy for what it is, has a videovision PCI + SP card and an ATA/66 Acard IDE card. Boots to OS 7.61 on a 4GB IDE drive and has a 40GB IDE drive for video.I am still using the 24x SCSI cdrom and have 2 empty bays for SCSI deviced (using the bottom mount for the IDE drives).

My 8500 has the same ATA/66 acard card with a 48X IDE cdrom, 2x 10GB IDE HDs and a Sonnet g3-400/1MB cache processor along with an Ultimate Rez 8MB video card. I have not benchmarked the 2 systems but the 8500 seems quite a bit faster running OS 9.1(8600 has 640MB RAM, 8500 has 704MB).

Adding ATA drives and a decent video card along with a G3 with 1MB cache makes the PCI macs fly, but with the money you spent a B&W would make more sense. I upgraded the 8500 back in 2001 when a B&W was much more expensive. These days a B&W would probably be cheaper then scrounging the upgrades to the 9600, faster too and easier to upgrade RAM. I would like a 9600 myself just incase I ever get an AVID media composer cardset since its the only machine all those cards would fit in, besides that I don't see the need for 6 slot Mac these days (I lusted after one 5 years ago).

I did just spend $20 to get a g3-450 for my Beige g3 MT (currently with a 1MB g3-300 Ziff) so I understand the fun of upgrading what you have. The Macs are just for fun, I have an Athlon as my main machine (which itself is 6 years old now and needs replaced sooner or later).

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Re: A big thanks to everyone who

AG-Wolf wrote:

... I'm fully aware that even a maxed 9600 won't compare to current Macs... but the thing is, I don't LIKE the current Macs. There's no allure, I loathe OS X. With a maxed 9600, I'll be able to USE OS X when necessary, but not rely on it (considering 90% of all my Mac activities are in OS 9 anyway).

A DA G4 motherboard gives you four PCI slots and AGP, and will take CPU upgrades as high as a dual 2GHz G4. Buck for MHz, the upgrades are a lot cheaper than ZIFs.

And it boots into OS 9.

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Re: A big thanks to everyone who

AG-Wolf wrote:

I loathe OS X.

An interesting position. Please elucidate. What do you find loathsome? I don't care for the dock. I miss the old Apple menu. Otherwise, X is just faster, more powerful in so many ways. How do you tolerate the OS9 online browsers?

There should be a name for an Apple luddite. Appluddite maybe. It need not be a derogatory name. Could be a badge of honor.

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A Classic Apple Enthusiast?

A Classic Apple Enthusiast? A masochistic web user? Wink

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A [url=http://www.ppcmla.com/

A PPCMLA or 68kMLA member? Tongue

Peace,
Drew

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The OS 9 brower situation is

The OS 9 brower situation is NOT a detriment of OS 9. Rather, it is a reflection of the developer community's attitude that OS 9 is dead. It is no reflection on the capability of the OS.

Personally, I find the OS X Finder to be a stinking pile of pooh. I like the dock even less. And don't get me started on the waste of space and resources called Dashboard!

Can you name a single _functional_ improvement over the OS 9 Finder? Spotlight is interesting, but it's hardly an improvement over the Sherlock in OS 8.5 especially considering that Sherlock had "find by content" ages ago. Column view can sometimes be useful in OS X, but it violates the concept of a spatial Finder (and was duplicated way back in the day by Greg Landwebber's "Greg's Browser" - okay, not technically part of the Finder, and a blatant ripoff of NeXTStep).

I use OS X, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I just happen to tolerate it more than Windows. If OS 9 had modern browsers, I'd be booting OS 9 full time.

If OS X kept the Platinum interface, I would love it. I love the BSD base, and I love the modern features like protected memory, etc. It's the UI that sucks.

-
Drew

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Enjoy!

If it isn't your main machine, then enjoy the thing. I go back and forth between OS9 and OS X. I'm currently using OS 9 for most word-processing/productivity, and OS X for email/websurfing.

The more I use OS X, the more I think, "I really wonder if what I need is an 'Internet Appliance.'" It works great, but I have no curiousity to spend any extra time with it.

The old macs rock...I tend to anthropomorphize them...see them as members of the family...why, I don't know.

Anyway, you should be able to pick up a G3 PCI processor at a decent price. RAM is tough, because I hate buying cheap stuff that might later cause random errors. I've been stocking up on 128mb sticks from OWC. Everything else is second hand...it may also be worthwhile buying an ATA or SATA card, for larger and cheaper harddrives.

The one thing you can do with a 200Mhz 9600 you couldn't do with the other mobo 9600 is you can run BeOS on the one you got...if you are BeOS-curious.

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At this point in time, it wou

At this point in time, it would be a much cheaper and better performing solution if you just bought a B&W G3 machine. That's from a purely practical perspective. I have about 2 dozen Macs and love tinkering with them. I do it just to keep my mind occupied in my off hours. There does come a point, though, when you have to weigh whether upgrading that old machine is worth the money when newer, more capable machines are available for the same money or frequently less. Buying a new CPU upgrade is going to be expensive. It's going to be at least $200-$300 for a beige Powermac G4 upgrade. You can get an early G4 tower with faster bus, better video, more memory, bigger and more standardized hard drive, faster ethernet, wireless compatability, USB, Firewire, etc, etc in that price range these days.

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I'm really greatful this has

I'm really greatful this has garnered so many replies; you guys have offered some good insight.

But as far as the "it would be cheaper if you--" comments go, I know this is not practical, I know this is a waste of money, I know there are other far more powerful and cheaper machines out there (I have an AGP Graphite G4 machine literally sitting on TOP of the 9600 as I type this, which I got for free no less)... but doing all of these things is just fun for me. I've always liked just toying around with the older macs, so it's really just a hobby. My main computer is a simple 2ghz WinXP machine, so the 9600 is just a work in progress. Like I said before, I finally finished my Color Classic, and my next project was either a totally overhauled 9600 or a totally overhauled Quadra 840. The 9600 happened to come easier.

I do appreciate the concern and input, but I just do some weird stuff every now and then Tongue
---------

I will also have more questions to come, but my time is occupied by other things for a little while right now.

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here's a thought

that 9600 is beautiful just the way it is. It'd be much more challenging (and therefore rewarding) to make it the best it can be without mucking with the hardware. I myself have been waiting for years for ZIF prices to fall... and waiting ... and waiting... and waiting... darnit! When are they going to get cheap??

I think... if you like the case so much (it isn't the guts... if you're willing to swap mobos and processors)... use it. Get a G4 mini off ebay, rip off the case... fill that 9600 case with hard drives and make it hunt. Or make it a mini cluster. That would be money well spent... and not simply burned, like if you bought a 1Ghz upgrade for it (P.T. Barnum was expecting you, though).

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9600 post

I'll jump back in haha.
The 9600 was an incredible machine in it's time.
http://www.macgurus.com/products/motherboards/mbppc9600.php
Very refined / mature OS 9 and the best tower design .
I never liked the original G3 towers or desktops.
Many people love them and their upgradability.
Personally, I have learned memory & bus on those machines is the bottlenck.
Even wih SCSI RAIDS, ATI , Firewire, etc.
Actually I remember that the Mach 5 machines with faster processors had slower memory throughput.
I also loathed OSX as a memory hog with tons of fat for years.
I now have a basic understanding of the OS and can customize and optimize the system for my needs.
Just like OS9 .

Best Regards,

Dave

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Well...

I know what you are saying. I didn't mean to imply that you shouldn't do it if you really wanted to, just for some people the outlay of buying new parts for an old machine may not be worth it. There are plenty of G3 and G4 accelerators produced over the years that can get your CPU benchmarks into the stratosphere and many of them are relatively cheap today. I got a 250mhz G3 Newertech board for $10 not long ago. I plan to put it in my 9500/200 and hand that CPU board down to my 7600/132. The six PCI slots is also something no G3 Mac can boast. If you have need of a lot of extra gadgets attached to your Mac, the 9500/9600 boards are the best. I would personally love to have a Mach V, though, as the CPU's in those DO give the beige G3 a good run in benchmarks.

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Darn double posts.

Darn double posts.

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Re: Well...

Frankenmacer wrote:

The six PCI slots is also something no G3 Mac can boast. If you have need of a lot of extra gadgets attached to your Mac, the 9500/9600 boards are the best.

Yes but... one is taken up for video. If you're adding an ATA controller as well, you're better off with a Digital Audio G4.

Unless you want to run MacOS 7.6.1 Smile

I'm not knocking you doing this for sh!ts and giggles, just from a strictly practical viewpoint.

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