I have a Color Classic with the original motherboard and 10MB RAM and 2GB HD that runs system 7.6.1.
The system performance is slow but working. The main problem is in web browsing.
I have Ethernet card installed and use iCab 2.99 and Netscape 4 and the browsing is virtually impossible - it takes forever to download even simple websites like this website. I have the CSS option disabled but it doesn't help.
My questions are:
1. Should I expect better performance with system 7.55? 7.1? 7.0?
2. What if I increase the virtual memory size?
3. Is it related to my high-demanding browsers and I should try something else?
4. Will a motherboard replacement to LC575 or Sonnet Presto Plus be a real improvement (if I will upgrade this machine, I'd rather not modify the internal electronics)?
1. System 7.5.5, IIRC, has better TCP/IP.
Tyler Sable has a good writeup on installing a clean, optimized 7.5.5 system.
2. Won't make a real difference. Pre-PPC VM was a poor performer, especially on an 030 bus.
3. You might get better speed, but less compatibility and more crashes, with a very old browser. Text only, but Mosaic might be a fair trade-off.
Your biggest hurdle is you're trying to do with a 16MHz 68030 something that can be slow even on a beige G3. You will see a small improvement from a 575 upgrade, but not much.
I thought Netscape was pretty bad on my Quadra 650, which benchmarks something like 5 times faster.
About the only real option for the original CPU is a text-only web browser like WannaBe. To quote V.I.N.CENT " A pint cannot hold a quart; if it holds a pint it is doing the best it can." A Color Classic is basically less then twice as fast as the original 1984 Macintosh. Set your expectations accordingly.
An upgrade to a 575 MLB gets you a number of things besides the much faster CPU, not least is the ability to use far more RAM (up to 128MB IIRC.) Also, a 575 can use up to Mac OS v8.1, giving you more available apps and better network performance.
So if you want to get the most out of the Color Classic box, a logic board upgrade is the only real 'solution'. Add some RAM and a faster HD (pretty much _anything_ is faster the a CC's original HD!) and basic web surfing might become faintly tolerable, given time and patience.
However, as mentioned, you must learn to appreciate the serene and relaxing experience what comes with using vintage computers. Nothing will work speedy-up-magic with hardware this old.
Personally, I would keep the Colour Classic stock and buy another computer for anything that isn't specifically made for geriatric System 7 computers.
Even the most out-there motherboard upgrade with the Quadra 630 edge connector and Power Macintosh 5500/6500 motherboard and 500MHz G3 upgrade isn't going to be half as good as browsing the web with a $200 800MHz or so G4 tower. These days, CC mods are not for the faint or heart or the light of wallet-- if you're actually trying to get something done with a computer, it's a losing proposition. Not that they aren't perfectly charming machines, but I've got to call a spade a spade.
Have you tried allocating more ram to the browser? If you can, see if that makes a difference. Other that that, you may want to head off the eBay and see if you source up a copy of RamDoubler. That might help to get you more RAM. And it's much better than Virtual Memory. You can also try upgrading the harddrive to a faster drive. But this would only make more sense should you need to use virtual memory. At least, get one with a faster access time (seek time). Last thing you can do is try to browse on as little System Extensions as possible. Extensions eat up RAM and performance. That should alleviate more speed bottlenecks.
I'll take all your comments and try all the suggestions you made.
If you want to browse, a standard CC will be a disappointment. A Mystic (575 l/b) with, say 32Mb or 64Mb and a full 68040 processor, perhaps clocked to 40MHz, will be several times faster, but still slow by modern standards. Sometime I'll do some benchmarks. But then there's the screen size. . . .