Power Macintosh 9500 Upgrading

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Hey guys, My current project machine is a PM 9500 that I got off ebay for $30. It came with a orangepc (i miss those guys) usb 2.0/firewire card, a powerlogix g4/800, ~1.4 gigs of ram, two hard drives totaling 11 gigs, and a ton of awesome software from the era. I feel that I have a pretty good basis already, but I want to upgrade this machine a bit. I want to give it ATA support, so I was looking at the Sonnet Tempo 66 and the 133 versions... is there any advantage with going with the 133 (other than slight speed boost) or should I save the $20 extra and put that towards a replacement IDE Combo drive? also, does where the graphics card is located matter on it? what slot would be best? I also plan to do the resistor mod so that the motherboard will not use its cash, but use the much faster cache on the upgrade... is there anything I'm missing? (other than a graphics card upgrade that will happen eventually)

Thanks for your patience,

Contradude

P.S. I plan on using this as a dual boot 10.4/9.2 system.

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tmtomh's picture
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Re: Power Macintosh 9500 Upgrading

Contradude wrote:

I also plan to do the resistor mod so that the motherboard will not use its cash, but use the much faster cache on the upgrade... P.S. I plan on using this as a dual boot 10.4/9.2 system.

First off, fantastic buy - $30 for a machine with all those add-ons and specs is great!

A couple of notes:

- AFAIK you don't need to do the resistor mod. The machine will use the G4/800 card's L2 cache, and the original L2 cache will be "demoted" to an L3 cache. As long as the computer is stable and doesn't crash, there's no need to disable the original L2 motherboard cache.

- Enabling the L2 cache under OS X is a very hit-or-miss proposition. XPostFacto can do it, but sometimes it prevents the machine from booting. Other times downloadable cache enablers from Sonnet or Powerlogix will do the trick. But sometimes nothing will work, and you're stuck with a great machine that, via XPostFacto, can run Tiger, but with the serious speed hit of being cache-less. Even with the cache, you may find that the relatively slow system bus and RAM of the 9500 will always make OS X relatively slow, while OS 9 will absolutely fly in contrast.

Best,
Matt

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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As for the L2 Cache, see here

As for the L2 Cache, see here:

http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/l2cache.html

I've always put the video card in the first PCI slot next to the processor, and then the SCSI or ATA controller card in the second slot, USB, Firewire, ethernet, etc. after that. I believe this arrangement follows the priorities found in the firmware device tree, or something like that.

Speed gains between ATA66 and 133 on that system are supposedly negligible. The pipes are only so big, to use the metaphor. If you're shooting for as high as OS 10.4, though, isn't there a lack of "support" (whatever that means) for ATA66 after Jaguar, or something to that effect? I think I remember reading that at Sonnet's website. Of course, lack of support doesn't mean it won't work. My SCSI cards lost "support" early on with OS X, but they still work fine as a storage bus in my G4's, and some will boot to X, and some won't, depending on the machine, I've found.

800mhz G4 and 1.4Gigs of RAM for $30 is pretty cool. The prices have really fallen on eBay during the past year for those PCI Mac G4 processors. I should have sold my 450mhz G4 a year ago when they were still getting as much as a $100. Now I see them selling for under $40 sometimes. But that whole system for $30 is a definite score. Personally, I'd rather have a 9600. The 9500/8500 case drove me nuts. As long as you're not planning to go in and out of it a lot after you get it stable, it shouldn't be that big a deal, I guess. Comparing the case to the 9600 for accessability is like night and day.

I'd like to hear how successful you are at getting 10.4 to work on that machine, and with the different peripherals. What's the video card that you've got to put in it? Might as well go with a Radeon 7000.

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slots, 10.4

On the six-slot Macs the thing is to balance the data flow across the pair of PCI banks. I start with the largest data 'user' on the primary (first) bank (the trio of slots closest to the CPU), then put the next highest data 'user' in the second bank, then back to the first, and so on. I've put that first card in the very closest-to-the-CPU slot, though I'm not sure that matters much.

I use 10.4.x on my home server in a 9600/G3/400 with 1GiB of RAM, the user interface is not super snappy, but for a server works fine. The cache is not enabled, just never got around to finding a SW that worked without fubaring the machine. SW _is_ out there though, and worth finding if you're going to use this as a desktop.

I've got an old ATI card of some sort (Rage 128 pro?, out of a B&W IIRC), fast enough for a server, but I'd not want to use that everyday. As suggested, a 7000 is a good choice. The Mac-Edition Radeon 32MB cards are quite good too, just about as fast as the 7000, and without the PC-to-Mac ROM-flashing dramatics of a wintel-ROMed 7000.

Heh, yeah, my 9600 replaced a 9500, wow, what a difference access-wise!!

dan k

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Bolle's picture
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the 9500 ahs two PCI controll

the 9500 has two PCI controllers that share the 6 PCi slots and other things.
the controller taht controls the upper 3 slots also controls something else on the mobo (dunno remember exactly what it was) and the second controller only controls the lower 3 slots and nothing else.
so you would be best to stick the card you want to get the most performance from into slot D2 ie the 4th slot counting from above.

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ahh... that was what I was th

ahh... that was what I was thinking too... I remembered hearing this vaguely. Thanks for all of the info guys! I think I'll grab a tempo 133. as far as the graphics card, I could get a mac radeon 7000 for $35 or a pc radeon 9250, do the resistor mod and flash it. I think I'll grab a 9250 Wink

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as far as the 9600 case, isn'

as far as the 9600 case, isn't that like a beige g3 case? If I can find a 9600 local, I'll grab one and switch components over.

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re: two controllers

Dang, Bolle remembered it correctly, I forgot all the I/O is also on the upper trio of slots' Bandit PCI controller. Still, do the alternating thing, highest bandwidth user in the 4th slot (as Bolle suggests) then next greediest PCI card in slot 1, then slot 5, then slot 2, etc.

There is an official Apple devnote on this exact subject . . . but dang if I can find it just now.

Here's what's hangin' off the first Bandit PCI bridge:

Quote:

Grand Central I/O System IC 2
The Grand Central custom IC provides an interface between the standard Macintosh I/O
devices and the PCI bus. The Grand Central IC performs the following functions:
* support for the Cuda IC (the VIA registers)
* central system interrupt collection
* support for descriptor-based DMA for I/O devices
* floppy disk interface (SWIM III)
The Grand Central IC contains a DMA controller. It provides DBDMA support for all
I/O transfers, including transfers through its internal I/O controllers as well as transfers
through the Curio IC for other I/O devices.
The SWIM III floppy disk drive controller in the Grand Central IC is an extension of
the SWIM II design used in earlier Macintosh models. The SWIM III controller
supports DMA data transfers and does not require disabling of interrupts during floppy
disk accesses.
The Grand Central IC provides bus interfaces for the following I/O devices:
* Curio multipurpose I/O IC
* Cuda ADB controller IC
* AWAC sound input and output IC
* MESH controller IC for fast internal SCSI devices
The Grand Central IC also provides a 16-bit bus to other devices, including the
nonvolatile parameter RAM.
The Grand Central IC is connected to the PCI bus and uses the 33 MHz PCI bus clock.

dan k

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very interesting

Wow. This has become an interesting discussion. So here's a quick snapshot I just took of my Powermac 9600 motherboard's PCI slots. It's the first generation 9600 "Kansas" motherboard. Is there a difference on this issue between the 9600 and the 9500?

The PCI slots are labeled, left to right, F2, E2, D2, C1, B1, A1.

The two square chips right below them are designated U15 and U13.

Now, where would you suggest placing each of the different cards from a typical set like this:

Video card, ATA or SCSI controller, USB card (or firewire or combo), 10/100 ethernet card, and how about some type of AV input card?

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depends on what is most impor

depends on what is most important to you...

iof you want to install OSX and want a responsive GUI id go for

-gfx in D2
-ATA in A1

where you put the rest shouldnt be too important.

on my 9600 i got it this way:

A1 SCSI
B1 wifi
C1 USB
D2 gfx
E2 firewire
F2 is empty because i got 2 HDDs in the bottom drive carrier which blocks the lower slot.

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I'm getting it, I think

Even though A1 is closer to the processor, D2 is the first choice instead of A1 for the most intensive card because the upper PCI controller running A1 already has some other motherboard tasks to perform at the same time, while the lower controller for D2 is free and clear of any pre-existing secondary tasks. Then after you've got D2 filled, the second most intensive card goes into A1 because the lower controller is now flooding with D2's tasks, and then after that, you go back and forth from there filling the remainder slots. In other words, you're trying to spread the love evenly between the two PCI controllers. D2 and A1 are the first two choices because they are closest to the main processor on their respective controller buses, is that correct?

Bolle's picture
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^yep... that´s how it´s sup

^yep... that´s how it´s supposed to be.

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I love getting these conversa

I love getting these conversations started, unfortunately this project is on hold for me until I get economic stimulus check in account. at that point I will be able to get IDE controller so that I can put a decent dvd drive in so that it will actually install OSX for me instead of give me a ton of I/O errors while using media that I've installed 10.3 (and my 10.4 cds too) on a ton of machines. thanks for the tip on placement.

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I just finished my OS 10.4.11

I just finished my OS 10.4.11 install. It runs great on this system, hardly any laginess at all, although the UI is a bit jumpy... I think I'm going to get either a radeon 9250 or radeon 7000 and put it on the second bus by itself (pci extreme). The install was as easy as loadup xpostfacto, enable l2 and start installing. as far as hardware, the only things I've done to it since I bought it was switch over to IDE (through a sonnet tempo 100) and pull out all of the scsi peripherals. This is a really great machine, although the case has me jonesin' for either a s900/910 or a 9600. I'm listening to streaming music through my USB apple speakers via iTunes as I post this. Thank you so much for the help everyone.

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davintosh's picture
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Yup;

The 9600 and the beige G3 minitowers used the same case. Beautiful design by comparison to the nightmare that was the 9500. And the 8100's fall into that same category.

[i]edit[/i - ]Wow: How'd this comment end up in this thread? I coulda swore I was in the 9500 logic board thread... http://www.applefritter.com/node/22981

Color me puzzled.

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