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:
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