View Full Version : All @ once or piece by piece?

02-18-2001, 07:49 AM
Dear Gurus,

RE: Power Mac 9500/200, 96Mb of interleaved RAM, 64KL1, 512KL2 cache, PPC604e processor

I was through this way a while back (January 14) seeking 9500 advice, need to stop back in. I upgraded my OS from 7.6.1 to 8.6. Machine is stable. Now comes the hardware.
I have 128Mb RAM to install (2-64Mb DIMMs), an XLR8 MACh G3 500MHz CarrierZIF, and an Audiomedia III PCI card. I was wondering if you could offer, from a trouble-shooting point of view, advice on the best way to proceed? Should I do a shotgun approach, install all the hardware at once or a more cautious stepwise installation?


02-18-2001, 10:36 AM

I heartily recommend stepwise installation. The last time I had the cover off on my PTP and didn't follow my own advice, stepwise, I wished I had. There is a great temptation, with new toys, to shotgun it. Unfortunately, if something is wrong, where is the problem? Difficult to troubleshoot after the shotgun approach. But also difficult to resist the shotgun approach.

Me, I would work on the ram first. Go here http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mbppc9500.html where there is a discussion about which slots and which sizes to install the ram. You have twelve ram slots. What that page suggests is to take your largest matched pairs (in your case the new 64MB DIMMs) and put them in A6/B6. Next is your existing ram, the next two largest matched pairs in A5/B5. Be sure to mark this pair as matched. Don't mix them up with whatever else you have. They worked fine together before, so when you move them, pair them again in A5/B5. Keep pairing up with A4/B4, A3/B3, etc. making sure you re-pair as they were paired before.

Now run the machine. If everything appears OK, check About this Mac that all of the ram is recognized and Apple System Profiler for the ram and slot info. Then run xlr8's PowerControl, the memory test, and PowerFrax, both at the same time and overnight. Some caveats, With OS8.6, PowerControl may not give a correct diagram of where your memory is located (I don't have a 9500) and may not correctly total the amount of ram. Also, in the Energy Saver control panel, set never for all three of the settings. You don't want things going to sleep during these tests.

Next would be the G3. Bear in mind, ram that works just fine with the old processor, may expose a weakness with a very fast G3/G4. And last the Audiomedia card. That card may need to be installed in a particular PCI slot. Check the docs.

I have glossed over the last two stepwise installs. We can get more detailed if you encounter trouble. Someone else may have a good reason for installing the G3 first. Pretty sure all of us would do the audio card last. My two cents. k

[This message has been edited by kaye (edited 18 February 2001).]

02-18-2001, 02:37 PM
I entirely agree with K's methodology and steps. The only reason I would change the steps is if I was doubtful of my current RAM integrity. I know what I buy, and I buy only over-rated parts so when I DO upgrade I am in the clear. If you are not sure of the RAM quality or speed (there are a ton of threads here about this), you might want to install the G3 software then the card and get that facet of the upgrade running first. After that, the RAM install would be a piece of cake. Some would agree that a G3 card is a great way to weed out sub-standard RAM and this method might help you out.

Either way, do the Audio card last. You should wait and see what the consensus comes in as, though. We all have our motives for our actions. Take care, and let us know how it goes, Emory.

02-18-2001, 03:58 PM
at the risk of leaping ahead prematurely, make sure that you have the latest drivers and firmware for your audio card before you install, and make sure that you are using at least revision 1.4.3 of the MAChSpeed Control software for the XLR8 board.

02-20-2001, 08:46 AM
you might find it necessary to juggle the audio card around. i have an S900 (9500 board) and i had to play with about 2 or 3 placements for my MOTU audio card before it settled in nicely. you'll know. the audio apps you are using will freeze up. it's an odd thing. i don't know why the card prefers one slot over another. it has nothing to do with a busmaster slot because it never resided in one.

anyway, that's why it's good to have everything else out of the way. and when they suggest burning things in a little they mean for a few days of regular/intense work. not just an hour. you'll be glad you did.

02-28-2001, 10:51 PM
Finally opened the case on the 9500, figured I'd better get inside before the warranty expired on all my new parts. All is well, I survived the dust storm. But a few questions...
I have the motherboard out and figured while I have the access, replacing the battery would be a good idea. Should I get another Tadrian TL2150 3.6 Volt High Energy Lithium Battery? Is there a worthwhile equivalent at my handy-local Radio Shack store?
I am doing the step by step method. Do I have to press the CUDA button after installing the RAM?

02-28-2001, 11:21 PM
Good call on the opening. Ummm, you have the mobo out? I know I am not a Guru on the 9500's, but do you really need the mobo out?

Yes, RadioShack has an equivalent item. As would the local Star-Trek-Junkies-Computer-Shop. As per Louie a few days ago, and I quote:

"Go to Radio Shack for p/n 23-026, 3.6 v, 850 mAh, Lithium, about $10."

You should not need to "Cuda" the machine. But it can't hurt. Cuda after the processor install, of course. And I usually Cuda when I swap (or swop) PCI cards, but I view that as more of a safety margin than a guideline.

03-02-2001, 02:35 PM
dear Chums- after waves of anxiety, got memory installed, battery replaced, mobo reinstalled & LO! everything works. Memory shows up in ASP, so now it's time to XLR8, pedal to the metal.
But first- an instruction-reading interlude, the 90+ page XLR8 manual. Plus, have to run out this afternoon and snap photos of Dave Matthews Band ticket buying frenzy here in Charlottesville...

03-02-2001, 04:50 PM
great band!