Most powerful 68k

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Hi all!
I wanted to know what the most powerful/fast 68k Mac was? I want to set up a emulator of the most efficient 68k Mac but I am not sure which machine I would base it on...
Thanx for the help
Smile

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catmistake's picture
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Quadra 840AV -- no contest

-takes 128MB of RAM... the only other 68K I know that takes that much is the SE/30, but that's only a 68030 @ 16MHz... the 840AV is an 040 @ 40MHz

[Macintosh Quadra 840AV]
Codename: "Quadra 1000, Cyclone"
Introduced: July 1993
Discontinued: July 1994
Processor: Motorola 68040
Processor Speed: 40 MHz
Cache: 8 k L1
System Bus: 40 MHz
Hard Drive Size: 230 MB - 1 GB
Media: CD-ROM 2x, 1.44 MB Floppy
Weight and Dimensions (US): 25.3 lbs., 14" H x 7.7" W x 15.75" D
Weight and Dimensions (Metric): 11.5 kg., 35.6 cm H x 19.6 cm W x 40 cm D
Original Mac OS: Mac OS 7.1 (System Enabler 088 v1.0)
Maximum Mac OS: Mac OS 8.1
Machine ID: 78
Logicboard RAM: 0 MB
Maximum RAM: 128 MB
Number of Sockets: 4 - 72 pin SIMMs
Minimum RAM Speed: 60 ns
Graphics Card: None
Video Memory: 1 - 4 MB (four sockets)
Built-in Display: None
Display Connection: DB-15
Slots: 3 Nubus
Hard Drive Bus: SCSI
Modem: None
PRAM: 3.6v Lithium
Max Watts: 200 Watts
ADB: 1
Serial: 2
SCSI: DB-25
USB: None
FireWire: None
Ethernet: AAUI-15
Sound In: stereo 16 bit
Sound Out: stereo 16 bit
History: The Quadra 840AV was the first 68040 Mac to break the 33 MHz barrier. Based on the 40 MHz 68040 processor, and housed in a Quadra 800-style case, the 840AV included AV features similar to its younger sibling, the 660AV. However, it's 3210 DSP ran at a faster 66 MHz. It also included one Geoport, and sold for $3,550 U.S., which was inexpensive for what was, at the time, the fastest Mac ever.
Created by Mactracker, Copyright 2001 - 2005 Ian Page
http://www.mactracker.ca

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Details

Thanks for that information, I have MacTracker, but sometime having the advice of the hands on users can sometimes reveal more details Wink and also experience can yeild problems and stuff...
Thanx

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Q950 - 16 slots x 16MB simms = 256MB . . .

plus it's roughly the same overall speed as a Q840AV, but them's beside the point.

"louis" wrote:

I wanted to know what the most powerful/fast 68k Mac was? I want to set up a emulator of the most efficient 68k Mac but I am not sure which machine I would base it on...

Sooo . . . huh? What exactly are you up to anyhow? Can you be a bit more descriptive about your goal?

An emulated most-efficient 68K Mac may not be the fastest emulated 68K Mac. For example (and a completely made up one at that), running a certain application an emulated IIci might be faster than an emulated Q840AV.

Having said that, I really have no idea how emulation works, so I await actual expert testimony. I'm just interested in learning more.
Cool Mac

dan k

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Which emulator are you runnin

Which emulator are you running?

Basilisk II recommends against certain ROM files: The Q700 and Q900 being on the no-no list, but that's due to bugs, not performance.

Dankephoto is right: the emulation is only using the ROM file, and has no access to the gains or limitations of the hardware it was originally from. Access to FPU, type of CPU are all software selectable.

If you want speed, try running the JIT version of Basilisk II, but be warned it's less stable - at least under Windows.

Using the 68K version of Norton Utilities System Info, I obtained these results:

Test System:
AMD Athlon 1.6GHz, 256MB RAM, Windows 98.

Norton System Info rating:
Reference:
Quadra 840av - 148
PowerMac 8100 - 330

JIT Basilisk II - 1478
Regular Basilisk II - 487

The Basilisk benchmarks are a bit misleading, and 'real world' use is not 4x faster than an 8100, but it was fast enough to make Escape Velocity more playable...and crashy, unfortunately.

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Basilisk II and real 68k

On the one hand I am wanting to run Basilisk II on my iBook G4 so I have still the possibility to run older OS sessions when I am on travel. I need to get the ROM image but I have a choice of machines, SE/30 is my usual home 68k Mac but I also have some II's (ci-si-cx), a LC 475 and a 7300/200 PPC I want to run OS 7.5.5.

On the other, I thought of investing in a really top notch 68k Mac that is why my question may have seemed confused Wink

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A Quadra 950 is actualy faste

A Quadra 950 is actualy faster than 840av, even though it has a sligtly slower processor. The thing is that it has special video circuitry (that's why those m68k *NIX guys have trouble with video output), plus it has an improved SCSI controller that is not only faster, but supports internal and external buses independently, allowing you to hook up to 14 devices (7 internal, 7 external). Add 5 NuBus slots and it's 16 RAM slots (though getting 30-pin SIMMs is rather hard these days) and you've got yourself an ultimate 68k Mac. And it looks cool too! Cool

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Is this true?

Do you know this from personal experience? Or are there benchmarks somewhere?

I think the "improved" scsi controller you mention is the fact that it had 2 busses, one was fast-scsi @ 10MB/s and one was narrow-scsi @ 5MB/s... I really don't think the scsi was "faster" than the 840av's scsi, as that probably had the fast-scsi also, being that the 840av was realeased better than a year after the 950...

Also, I don't see how 5 NuBus slots could have anything to do with speed... 5 slots all share the same bus...

Further, getting 30-pin SIMMs aren't so difficult if you know where to look... what is difficult is making sure you are getting the right kind, right size... as sellers are sometimes deliberately ambiguous because they just want to get rid of them.

I think there is probably more than one interpretation of "faster." Certainly, double the RAM is something to take into consideration.... But I'd love to see a real-world Pepsi challenge between the two...

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Toss-up

Yeah, I think it's far from clear-cut, too. In addition to the 840AV's CPU speed advantage over the 950, its use of 72-pin SIMMs instead of 30-pin SIMMs has got to make a difference, yes? I can't imagine the memory controller in the 840AV wouldn't be faster and more advanced.

So I'd say an 840AV with maxxed-out RAM and a nice NuBus video card would be faster than a 950.

Also, isn't it only the AWS95 version of the 950 that has the special fast SCSI card with accelerated video?

Matt

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bus speed

the SCSI question is moot when you consider that either machine could be equalized by adding a NuBus SCSI card, thus putting the bottle neck at the bus speed of the NuBus.

There are so many upgrade options, like adding a 601 card to the 950 or the NuBus cards for improved sound/video/SCSI/etc. This question should really be addressed with two parallel assumptions:
1) Both machines (or an machine for that matter) is in stock condition with the singular exception of maxed-out RAM, but no 'cards' or CPU upgrades. Just the sheer strength of the mobos original design.
2) For any two machines that have been pushed to the extent of their design limit by the addition of daughter cards, sound cards, CPU upgrades, and even clock chipping or bus speed tweaking and these mods must exist in the realm of reality (no theoretical hacks like me saying that I *could* put a G3 upgrade card in a 950 *if* I remapped the pin connectors to accept a Crssendo upgrade card).

Tha being said, I think a stock 840AV would be a better machine than a 950, but the addition of a 601 card, a good SCSI card and some A/V cards (such as a PAS16 and VVS) would tip the table in favor of 950 over an 840AV with comparable upgrades (but I would question why add the A/V cards to a machine that already has them).

The whole question of better needs to be boxed in a little as well. Is better faster or is better more robust or what? Maybe the 840 AV is faster (stock), but the 950 is more robust, aka powerful (stock).

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Personally...

If it comes to which 68K Mac is probably the "best overall", I'd actually pick the Quadra 650 or 800. The justification being that they have a high memory ceiling (136MB with four 32MB 72 pin SIMMs + 8MB onboard) and they're *almost* as fast as the 950 or 840ZV, but they lack the hardware gotchyas of either of those two.

(I.E.: They're reasonably small and compact, take easy-to-scrounge RAM, unlike the 950, and they don't have the weird DSP hardware and "funny" video system of the 840AV. Which isn't an issue if you want to use an 840AV for what it was built for, mind you, but its presence makes those machines less useful for alternative OSes.)

Anyway.

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The cube ancestor?

Which is the one that is a cube shape? (Excuse my ignoranse Wink) I had memory that it was a Quadra... What is that like?

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Not exactly a cube

Aside from the NeXT Cube - which was 68k-based but not a Mac, of course - the only 68k cube-like form factor I can think of is the IIcx/IIci/Quadra 700. But it's not a cube - it's 12" high (or wide, on its side), 5.5" wide (or high, on its side), and about 14" deep.

If you put two of them side by side (or one on top of the other), you'd get something nearly cubic.

At any rate, the Q700 is the same generation as the Q900/950. It uses 30-pin SIMMs and has a 25MHz '040 CPU. So it's slower than the other Quadras that have been discussed here.

On the other hand, it's got a great form-factor, one of my personal favorites. I have one into which I've transplanted a Q800 mobo, giving me 72-pin SIMM RAM capability and a faster, 33MHz CPU. It's great, virtually the fastest A/UX machine there is. (An AWS95 would have slightly faster SCSI throughput, but that's it - an 840AV isn't supported by A/UX.)

Matt

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Testing ROM image...

"Matt" wrote:

If you put two of them side by side (or one on top of the other), you'd get something nearly cubic.

Smile

Funny it must have been a tricked picutre I saw somewhere... But there is an idea for a hardware hack...

Coming back to the emulator side of things, I tested a ROM image last night without success Sad I tried to get the ROM from my SE/30 but when I tried it out in Basilisk it doesn't recognise the ROM. I checked the ROM size and it is 256k is that normal? I thought it should be 512k?!?

This is how I proceeded:

    1 booted SE/30 extensions off
    2 ran CopyROM and saved ROM on Floppy
    3 placed floppy in OSX Mac
    4 Chose ROM in Basilisk prefs
Maybe I did something wrong...

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32 Bit Clean

BasiliskII requires a ROM from a "32 bit clean" Mac II series machine. Which rules out the SE/30. This limitation is really poorly documented. You can *sort* of deduce it from the "tech" notes:

Quote:

Basilisk II can emulate two kind of Macs, depending on the ROM being used:

1. A Mac Classic
2. A Mac II series computer ("Mac II series" here means all 68020/30/40 based Macs with 32-bit clean ROMs (this excludes the original Mac II, the IIx/IIcx and the SE/030), except PowerBooks; in the following, "Mac II" is used as an abbreviation of "Mac II series computer", as defined above)

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Re: Testing ROM image...

louis wrote:
"Matt" wrote:

If you put two of them side by side (or one on top of the other), you'd get something nearly cubic.

Smile

Funny it must have been a tricked picutre I saw somewhere... But there is an idea for a hardware hack...

You're probably thinking of one of Danamania's vhacks. She has one where she took a Q700 (or perhaps IIci/IIcx) and Photoshopped it into a little cube-shaped beige box. I think she named it the Quadra 400 or something.

louis wrote:

Coming back to the emulator side of things, I tested a ROM image last night without success Sad I tried to get the ROM from my SE/30 but when I tried it out in Basilisk it doesn't recognise the ROM. I checked the ROM size and it is 256k is that normal? I thought it should be 512k?!?

It is relatively easy to obtain ROMs on the internet. And as others have said, get one from a 32-bit clean Mac. Non-AV Quadras are some of the most popular to use in this regard.

Matt

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Fastest 68K Mac? Try an upgraded model.

The Quadra 840AV is the fastest stock 68K Mac Apple made. It is followed by the Quadra 800 and then the Quadra 950. The Quadra 800 often edges out the Quadra 950 due to a faster system controller. The Quadra 840AV has a faster processor and uses an even more advanced system controller than what is found on the Quadra 800.

The Quadra 950 is the most expandable 68K Mac with five Nubus slots (the IIfx had six but no onboard video), two onboard SCSI channels, onboard Ethernet, and supported up to 256 MB of RAM. The case is a full sized tower, though there are only two 5.25" bays on the front (one used by the floppy). With some special mounts, it wouldn't surprise me if an additional 6 hard drives could fit into the case.

The Quadra 950 did have an interesting variant called the Work Group Server 95. That machine was a Quadra 950 with a 128 KB L2 cache card (expandable to 512 KB) and a special SCSI controller on a PDS card. This configuration should be faster than a Quadra 800 and possibly a Quadra 840AV in some tasks.

When going beyond stock configurations things can get interesting. I've seen some 100/50 Mhz 68040 upgrade cards advertised for Centris 650's, Quadra 610's, Quadra 700's and Quadra 900. Combine that with a 128 KB cache card, a nice SCSI disk array and a Thunder IVGX graphics card to get the fastest 68K Mac. That is if no overclocking is involved.

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OK I got a IIci running for t

OK I got a IIci running for the moment but it is a little slow, I think I will test my all new Quadra 900 ROM image and see how that goes... I must say that I got Basilisk II running better on my PC than on the iBook G4 Sad

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more than 6 drives...

Kevin_G wrote wrote:

The Quadra 950 is the most expandable 68K Mac with five Nubus slots (the IIfx had six but no onboard video), two onboard SCSI channels, onboard Ethernet, and supported up to 256 MB of RAM. The case is a full sized tower, though there are only two 5.25" bays on the front (one used by the floppy). With some special mounts, it wouldn't surprise me if an additional 6 hard drives could fit into the case.

You actually have 11.5 good inches of room behind any given CD-ROM installed in the face of the 950. I have drafted a template for a drive bracket that is 11" long. I figured (via actually placing drives in there) that I can set up to 10 one inch drives (need room for spacers) and stand them all in that space. I will be getting with a friend in the next week or three to cut the bracket from the template I have drawn. If it works right the first time, I should be able to put up to 10 drives in that space.

I have allowed room for a fan to compensate for the extra heat. I have also factored in the fact that the wires will need room.

I have two different cases on hand, on of these cases is the original (has the signatures on the inside), the other is a later model and has a internal cutout that looks like it could take two 3.5" drives (but an external bezel is needed). I am thinking a bracket there would hold the floppy and free up room for an extra CD.

I will post pictures in a new thread once I have the bracket in hand.

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Re: Fastest 68K Mac? Try an upgraded model.

Kevin_G wrote:

The Quadra 950 is the most expandable 68K Mac with five Nubus slots (the IIfx had six but no onboard video), two onboard SCSI channels, onboard Ethernet, and supported up to 256 MB of RAM. The case is a full sized tower, though there are only two 5.25" bays on the front (one used by the floppy). With some special mounts, it wouldn't surprise me if an additional 6 hard drives could fit into the case.

The Quadra 950 did have an interesting variant called the Work Group Server 95. That machine was a Quadra 950 with a 128 KB L2 cache card (expandable to 512 KB) and a special SCSI controller on a PDS card. This configuration should be faster than a Quadra 800 and possibly a Quadra 840AV in some tasks."

bmacsys wrote:

The AWS 95's had an option for the "5 drive carrier". They can be used in either a 950 or the AWS 95. They sometimes pop up on eBay. The bummer about the AWS 95 and the PDS card was that it only works if you are running A/UX. You can't boot with the drives attached to the card if you are running System 7 or OS 7.5 - 8.1 I heard the cache still works on the card with the Mac OS running. Can anyone confirm this?

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Disk access speed and sustain

Disk access speed and sustain write speed etc is faster in the quadra 950 than the 840av.

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80MHz Color Classic

Well, it's actually an overclocked LC575 board inside a CC, with the VGA modification. "But wait, there's more"...It also has a huge 128MB 72pin SIMM for a grand total of 132MB RAM! Farallon EtherWave commslot, 640MB MO drive, and a Lapis LC 2421 (I need drivers for this card!! HELP!!). And yes, Apple Adjustable Keyboard Smile
It currently runs OS 8.1, (I plan on installing NetBSD 2.0).

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Overclocking Quadra 950 might win

I have a Quadra 950 with an 80MHz DayStar PowerPro, with RAM expansion. It has 4 72 pin RAM slots, which can each hold a 32MB DIMM, possibly larger. The memory is available in both PPC and 68k mode, and can even be interleaved. It brings the number of RAM slots to 20 and allows for at least 384MB total RAM. The board is based on the 601 (not 601+). Is this a collectable yet?

Anyway, The Quadra 840 has some limitations with overclocking due to its serial ports. Since the Quadra 950 has a special chip that controls serial ports, it is plausible that a Quadra 950, with the appropriate 40MHz 68040, could be made to run faster. Stock, an 840 is supposed to make it to 48MHz, while a Quadra 950 can go a little past 46MHz. As a side note, my PowerPro supposedly will not work in any machine other than 25MHz or 33MHz.

Oh and there are even 50MHz 68040s out there, used on the Sonnet QuadDoubler. Maybe with some watercooling it can make it to 66MHz.

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Think Honda Civic And Drift Racing

While not truly the most powerful 68k Mac in raw form, I had the Macintosh equivalent to one of those little souped-up rice burners that you see flying down your city's streets. You know the type. Well, what I had was a IIci with the Daystar 040 Turbo Board, I believe running the 40 MHZ chip (Funnyman owns it now... could you verify that speed?). At any rate, while it wasn't maxed out in RAM, it would boot obscenely fast with System 6; I made a special floppy once just to see how it'd handle.
Again, not the most powerful out of the box, and even after upgrading, but wicked fast nonetheless thanks to good ol' System 6.

Rob

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Ah, upgraded old school 68k macs

I've had a few of them over the years. I had a IIci with the 40 mhz Sonnett Presto card - ran 8.1 very nicely. Ended up giving it to a friend in Tampa, then got another one (with original packaging - ended up with another fritter here) after moving here. Lots of fun. I really liked the Quadra 650, had one with the Apple PowerPC card - ran very nicely. Though, the greatest old school fun was the pair of Quadra 950's I was given while working at AOL. I don't remember what ever happened to them. But, boy were they cool. For the huge, sturdy, fast 68k experience, I can safely recommend the Q950. Just make sure it's got lots of RAM before you get it. Mine had 128 and 256 in them IIRC, I've never seen 7.6.1 so responsive in my life.

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"I've seen some 100/50 Mhz 68

"I've seen some 100/50 Mhz 68040 upgrade cards advertised for Centris 650's, Quadra 610's, Quadra 700's and Quadra 900."

guhh - wha? 100Mhz 68040? Who makes it and where can you get one!

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You speak of the Sonnet QuadDoubler

Its 50MHz. And that particular upgrade only works in 25MHz machines. That is the Sonnet QuadDoubler I mentioned.

Chris P

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rice rockets

Well, if we're going to get silly, how about a Quadra 950 with 5 Radius Rockets and RocketShare?

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astro_rob, that iici is runni

astro_rob, that iici is running at 40mhz, i even use it to digitize video with a video spigot i bought a while ago.

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There You Have It...

FunnymanSE30 wrote...

Quote:

astro_rob, that iici is running at 40mhz, i even use it to digitize video with a video spigot i bought a while ago.

Thanks, Funnyman. That was a pretty cool machine!

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The Obvious Winner

Clearly, it seems to me that makillik's Mac is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most powerful 68K Apple out there. And this from a 68LC040. The wonders never cease...

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humm are these for real

humm are these for real

http://www.micromac.com/

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Rockets, definitely

Yes 5 rockets would be cool, BUT, I can think of about 3 NuBus cards other than that I would also want to use, plus my DayStar 80MHz takes up a NuBus slot. I hear that the Rockets werent totally stable or bug free.

As a side note, with the 601 card with about 64MB on the card and 136MB on the board, the computer wasnt really "faster" while in PPC mode than it was in 040 mode.

Chris P

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Overclocked 840av

My 840av is overclocked to 50MHz with no bus or port problems. Check the Output Enablers data base and you'll find the 840av overclocks very nicely with a lot of 46-50MHz boxen.
Cheers...

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132 or 136 MiB

There were some Macs that have 4 or 8 MiB on the mobo in addition to accepting 128 more.

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Symbolics MacIvory III

I would prefer one Symbolics MacIvory III boardset to five Rockets, but then the only 68k processor would be the host machine's original one. The MacIvory is a 48-bit* Lisp machine shrunk down to a set of NuBus boards which use a Mac as a front-end processor, so it probably doesn't count. The Mac would run MacOS and the support software for the MacIvory, but Symbolics Genera would run on the MacIvory boards. The point is moot, anyway, since the MacIvory III cannot be had for love nor money these days. Also, Symbolics wants $5K to license Genera. If only Paul Graham and Peter Siebel hadn't stirred up a whole new generation of Lisp nerds... Well, that is a good thing in other respects.

*several bits get used for tags

To add my bit to the 840av vs. 950 debate:

I use a 950 with a 128k cache card and 64 MB RAM. It seems much more responsive than the 840av I used to have, despite the fact that the 840av had twice as much RAM. The apps I use are heavily file-I/O bound. If I had put a JackHammer or a similar fast SCSI board in the 840av, things might have been different.

There are some applications which run better on the 950 than on my PowerBook G3 "Pismo" under Classic, but I guess Classic emulates a 68020, so I shouldn't be too surprised.

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Re: more than 6 drives...

Kevin_G wrote:

With some special mounts, it wouldn't surprise me if an additional 6 hard drives could fit into the case.

There is actually a factory bracket for just such a task. It's actually very nice, with push button id selectors. I'll try to get a pic of it, but it might be a while, as my 9150 is stranded in storage.

doug-doug the mighty wrote:

I have two different cases on hand, on of these cases is the original (has the signatures on the inside), the other is a later model and has a internal cutout that looks like it could take two 3.5" drives (but an external bezel is needed). I am thinking a bracket there would hold the floppy and free up room for an extra CD.

If the cutout you are refering to is the one I'm thinking of it's where the floppy was moved to on the wgs 9150, which is the only ppc machine to use the Quadra 9x0 case. The 9150/120 is also the fastest nubus Mac sold in North America, and has the most nubus slots of any ppc Mac, 4 of them to be exact.

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forgot to mention...

The floppy was relocated on the 9150 to make room for a SCSI tape drive.

P.S. In my book the 950 wins the coolest 68k contest because you can start it like a car.

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Schweeeet! *drools* How are

Schweeeet! *drools* How are you running a '040 at 80MHz though??? I've never heard of anyone going beyond 50MHz, and your serial ports are going to die around 45MHz too.

I love using NetBSD on my Mystic CC. Watching xscreensaver is a hoot.

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A Sonnet Quaddoubler will do

A Sonnet Quaddoubler will do that. It will take it to 100 mhz

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Sonnet Quaddoubler

No, it won't.

The Quaddoubler is a 50MHz '040.

The 100 MHz figure quoted by Sonnet, as well as the 80MHz in the 80/40MHz Quadra 840 is a bit of Apple jiggerypokery to try and compete with faster MHz CPUs at the time. They're really the *lower* figure.

The 'doubling' Sonnet refers to is of a low-end Centris' CPU as reference.

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I have a Newertech 68040/50 w

I have a Newertech 68040/50 with 128K cache, it completely blows away an 840AV in benchmarks. As far as I know it is the fastest 68K available.

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Re: Most powerful 68k

One thing you are all forgetting is that the 40 MHz Mac IIfx could boot up into System 6. System 6, remember, was written entirely in 68000 assembler code. Plus the IIfx has special custom chips for the floppy controller and mouse controller, so your mouse cursor never lagged, and disk operations did not slow down the machine at all.

The end result is that on System 6, the IIfx simply has the fastest experience possible of any version of Mac OS on any system. With the possible exception of a IIci with a fast Daystar 68040 accelerator card booted into System 6, which I've heard is possible. But you still don't have the coprocessors.

One interesting thing was the Dash 30fx, a third-party overclocked IIfx that some third party guys put together. They could overclock em up to 60mhz evidently. Damn that's crazy!

Just don't hope you heard the clang of death if you turn yours on... man I would die if I heard THIS sound out of one of my old macs...

I do have a Quadra 950 with a NuBus RAM-disk card. Ancient SSD!! It screams.