What should I invest in enhancing to speed up an Apple IIgs ROM 3?

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What should I invest in enhancing to speed up an Apple IIgs ROM 3?

Hi AppleFritter Members,
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The Apple IIgs ROM 3 whose speed I'd like to increase currently has the following Processor, RAM, and Hard Drive Specifications:
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(1) Processor Speed: 2.8 MHz (nothing unusual there);
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(2) RAM: 5 MB (1 MB of Built-In RAM plus a 4 MB RAM Expansion Card); and
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(3) Hard Drive: SCSI-Based External 20 MB Hard Drive.
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I've listened to many people's explanations regarding Current-Day Macs of the interplay between the Processor Speed, the RAM, and whether or not a sufficient amount of free internal Hard Drive space has remained allocated - usually 20% Hard Drive Free Space has been recommended to optimize that speed variable.
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But I'm thinking that maybe the Apple IIgs ROM 3 is not just Quantitatively, but also Qualitatively, different from Current-Day Macs in how these 3 key specifications affect the speed of its functioning.
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My understanding is that the Maximum amount of RAM supported by the Apple IIgs ROM 3 is 8 MB. As mentioned, this Apple IIgs ROM 3 currently has a total of 5 MB of RAM.
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And I've read that a Transwarp or other brand Processor Accelerator Card would increase the Apple IIgs ROM 3's Processing Speed from its Native Maximum of 2.8 MHz, to something like 6 MHz to 8 MHz.
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Especially given how rare and expensive a Transwarp Card has seemed to be, but that an 8 MB RAM Expansion Card (wouldn't it actually be, at most, a 7 MB Card for a ROM 3, because the ROM 3 already has 1 MB of its 8 MB Maximum that it supports built onto its Circuit Board?) also seems somewhat rare, and as though it would cost a few hundred dollars, I need, if possible, to make an informed purchase decision (especially if I can afford to increase only one of these Key Specifications).
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I'd like my Apple IIgs ROM 3's 6.0.1 GS/OS Operating System to boot up in a flash. I'd like my 5.25" and 3.5" Apple Floppy Disk Drives to transfer their data onto the Apple IIgs ROM 3 much faster than they do. I'd like the GS/OS operating environment to move faster in its responsiveness -- so that, say, a drop-down menu or a window will open much faster than it currently does.
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Given that I already have 5 MB of the possible 8 MB Maximum RAM supported by the Apple IIgs ROM 3, would increasing the RAM by the last 3 MB create a substantial speed increase? Or is it all about getting a Transwarp Card? Or, realistically, are both needed? (Or, assuming that my externally-connected SCSI-Based 20 MB Hard Drive has 20% of its space consistently free, would upgrading any aspect of this Hard Drive potentially create a substantial speed increase?)
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Thanks - I appreciate any advice regarding this question that you all may be able to reply with!

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Re: What should I invest in enhancing to speed up an Apple ...

Don't bother with upgrading the RAM, 5 megs is plenty. (Unlike modern computers, adding more RAM won't really make things faster, because GS/OS has no concept of swap space, other than huge programs that can unload components of themselves, and reload them from disk as needed. But, 5 megs is usually enough even for those huge programs, and booting, as long as you've got 2 megs, you've got plenty. Remember, GS/OS is single-tasking, unless you use something like The Manager or Switch-It. (Don't.)) But, you can get a new 8 meg RAM card for $180, so it's cheaper than you think.

However, the two areas where you do need help are CPU and storage.

A Transwarp GS or ZipGSX are the two ways to go for CPU. Generally, the Transwarp overclocks better, but the Zip is a smaller, lower power consumption card that requires less airflow, and also blocks less airflow. My ROM 3 (well, it'll soon be a ROM 01, because I've had too many ROM 3s crap out, and I'm out of good motherboards) has a 12.5 MHz, 64k cache ZipGSX in it. No, they're not cheap at all, and you could get a netbook capable of emulating a IIGS at 100+ MHz for this kind of money, or even a full-blown laptop capable of doing it at 200+ MHz. But if you wanted to emulate, you wouldn't have posted this thread. Wink

Storage, however, is cheaper to fix. You've basically got one option, if you want a card you can buy right now - the Focus. It takes a CF card, so it's an SSD for your Apple II. Other options that aren't readily available right now are the MicroDrive and MicroDrive Turbo (their seller is on hiatus), and the CFFA3000 (still in beta, but you can preorder now - I have one of the KFest beta cards for my Taiwanese //e clone). But, the Focus is the cheapest of the three options, too, IIRC, it's about $100.

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Re: What should I invest in enhancing to speed up an Apple ...

Everything said above is correct.

But with SCSI for a storage device, of about 500meg and less a Ramfast SCSI card is faster in the boot up. With larger drives you start to lose that advantage.

To increase again the speed of boot up, less partitions and active partitions on the disk top. Less things in the OS. Means less NDAs, CDEVs, Inits, finder extras, and even the Rsounds. But with stripping down the OS you lose any personality, and useful functions.

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Re: What should I invest in enhancing to speed up an Apple ...

Hi AppleFritter Members,
My understanding is that the Maximum amount of RAM supported by the Apple IIgs ROM 3 is 8 MB. As mentioned, this Apple IIgs ROM 3 currently has a total of 5 MB of RAM.

You'll probably never use 5 megs. On the GS, you would have to use an application that actually loads that much data into memory. Unless you plan on editing huge files, working with big (for the GS) databases, or doing tons of image manipulation, it is pretty hard to use up that memory. And, it won't make the machine faster in most cases - it will simply permit loading bigger data sets.


I'd like my Apple IIgs ROM 3's 6.0.1 GS/OS Operating System to boot up in a flash. I'd like my 5.25" and 3.5" Apple Floppy Disk Drives to transfer their data onto the Apple IIgs ROM 3 much faster than they do. I'd like the GS/OS operating environment to move faster in its responsiveness -- so that, say, a drop-down menu or a window will open much faster than it currently does.

For the system to load up quickly, you want one of the disk interfaces that will let you use a compact flash or thumb drive. I don't know what you consider to be a flash, but you will still have to wait for the system to load. An accelerator will help to speed that up further. Responsiveness of GS/OS will improve most with an accelerator.

If you want floppy disks to load faster, then you need a disk emulator, like the CFFA3000 or iDisk. Nothing is going to speed up actual floppy disks to any significant degree.

If speed is your main objective, nothing you do to the GS will ever make it faster than running Sweet 16 on a modern Mac.

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