View Full Version : OS X & 9500 G4/450/225SSE?

03-15-2002, 05:49 PM
I've got a 9500 with the XLr8 g4/450/225 SSE card....will I be able to install OS X and run it reliably?...what are the gotcha's?...I've not found any reliable information about doing this.
I'd like to find out, since a new version of Cubase is coming out that is OS X only.


03-15-2002, 06:36 PM
I know that I have seen some reports of people with a 9600 here and www.xlr8yourmac.com (http://www.xlr8yourmac.com)) but it may mean temporarily bringing it back closer to original spec.

Considering that some QS/933 users on Apple Discussion for QS2002, Install & Setup report problems with 10.1.3 there seem to be a 'few' gotchas even in unexpected places.

I was surprised to find doing a google lookup that stuff I posted to MacIntouch Reader Reports ends up there. have you tried Google.com on 95/9600? (long shots can be bullseye sometimes.


[This message has been edited by Gregory (edited 15 March 2002).]

03-18-2002, 02:18 PM
I run OSX.1.3 on my daily-drive G3 laptop, but reverted my 9500s to 8.6 and 9.1. It was simply not worth it to pretend that a 9500 is suitable for OSX. My Beige G3-266/384M runs OSX.1 more dependably and as swiftly as my 9500 G3-400/1.5G.

YMMV. I have supported G3 machines to play with OSX. Additionally, My 9500s are dedicated machines for semi-pro audio recording and digital CD mastering. My 9500s have LVD RAID-0 and 8-channel analog IO, neither of which are mature enough in OSX for my purposes. This week I'm testing Peak DV software on OSX with my SPDIF PCI card, but if it's satisfactory that'll be used on my Beige box, not one of my 9500s.

I don't think it's frugal to put money into a 9500/9600 to run OSX. Consider that one slot must be used for video, and many of us use one slot for a FireWire/USB card. This leaves the four slots open for true expansion. Well, after AGP video and built-in FireWire/USB, newer G4 machines with official OSX support offer 3 or 4 PCI slots and full OSX compatability. Do the math.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of hardware hacking and long-lived legacy computers. My 9500 covers are rarely used, let alone screwed down. I'll use my 9500s for a long time to come. I simply found 9500s to be unacceptably unreliable for OSX


my free 9500 is nickel-and-diming me to death!

03-18-2002, 07:05 PM
I think the KEY term is 'run it reliably'. X definately has a good potentialy to be SUPER STABLE, but with any OS (Unix, Linux, Irix, NT, etc...) it is heavily dependent on drivers and hardware. Any problems with hardware and drivers for that hardware can cause the system to crash. I did try running X on my YosemiteG3/500 with a V3 card (2nd video). I was finally able to 'trick' 10.1 into using the card, but it did not stand up to my crash tests and it was not fast at all. It crashed when I tried to sleep it, it crashed when I changed the resolutions and it crashed when I moved windows around. I do know more about X now, so it probably wont crash as much, but it was still a pain.

Still X has some very attractive features - esp when softRAID for X comes out. The I/O on X is DAMN FAST http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Even without RAIDs you can get some great speeds - probably from 2 to 5x faster with the same hardware. Its also hard to bog X down with large file I/O. You can also run just about ANYTHING off of X - apache, FTP, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, PHP, etc... Its very easy to run for a Unix box and you can get 'GUI enhancers' that make it more Mac like. Things like Apache are easy to startup (like the old websharing) but others are not. I would not use a vintage Mac as a main system or a mission critical system. Of course I do not know anyone using 8 year old hardware for anything mission critical.

X also supports USB and Firewire much better - but then I havent run X with a PCI upgraded USB or FW card. The new Macs are truely better than any old 6-Slot system. The AGP video slots will often have cards with 32, 64 and 128MB VRAM (DDR) and can run dual displays. The GF-4Ti should be able to run two Apple Cinema displays http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Built-in FW, USB and 1000BaseT means you will not need cards for it. I have an AGP and PCI video in my QS/867 and one PCI 2930Adaptec but I havent connected any SCSI stuff - all my peripherials are going FW - 80GB backup drive, 12x10x32x burner, 20GB portable, etc...

A/V support via PCI cards for X is not so good. It looks like Apple is encouraging companies to develop USB and FW solutions. I get the feeling that the PCI spec for X is not what it should be... but then X is only one year old so its doing very well so far.

You can check out a legacy support site at OWC http://eshop.macsales.com/OSXCenter/XPostFacto/
Even on supported systems I install X on its own 5GB (or greater) partition. X runs fairly well on my G3/400Mhz Pismo (384MB RAM, 3GB partition x2). The main thing is you will need a RAGE128 PCI or newer to run video well. The old ixMicro cards might work OK if you run at small resolution (1024x768 or smaller).

You might be better off installing YellowDog Linux - That probably will have more support for your system. Hopefully I will get a chance to experiment with X on legacy Macs.

The Cost Of Freedom:
Every bit of energy.
Every ounce of courage.
Every drop of blood.

03-19-2002, 04:02 PM
Thanks for the input...
Until I hear more about the law suit some Leagacy platform users are bringing to Apple, I'll resign myself to accept the fact that my 9500 has reached it's performance peak...
Steinberg is isolating older platforms by releasing CUBASE SX for OS X, although they plan to realease a final rev. of VST/32 that will include "SYSTEM LINK" and I suppose, clean up the bugs...I think they are smoking the same 'crack' that Steve Jobs is smoking by isolating so many users with this OS move...

Keep the Mic's open!...And don't buy into the 24bit/96KHz hype!!!!


03-21-2002, 09:01 PM
I'd like to know more about this lawsuit.

I have a beige G3, and while I don't really expect OS X to support the onboard Rage II (bleh - what were they smoking?) - I don't really know if OS X supports the Rage128 PCI card I have in it. My machine is awfully slow, so I have a hard time accepting that this is accelerated video I'm looking at. But I've never read whether this configuration is specifically supported with accelerated video on X or not. Can someone answer that?

03-21-2002, 11:52 PM

From what I've read the lawsuite was brought in southern Calif courts as a class action against Apple for not supporting the Beige properly. I have heard nothing since the initial announcement of the filing.

That said, the Beige really has a bunch of issues when installing OSX. It's really finicky about what's stuck in the PCI slots, from scsi, graphics to FW/USB cards folks have had problems. It really hasn't been a good upgrade for a lot of people. The are a whole bunch of folks though who have had decent experiences with X in their Beiges.

I just had a long session this weekend intalling OSX in a 'trash' box 8500. I bought this 8500 on eBay as an essentially empty box with a mobo. I installed all the junk stuff I have collected after years of 9500 and 8600 upgrading. Nothing was stock and it took me hours of fiddling to figure out where the incompatibilities were.

It runs great. Has a XLR8 500 G3 in it and Guru ram, an old Ricoh burner, gen1 Cheetah. Had a 9500 graphics card, that was totally incompat, also a Initio Miles UW card, again, Initio hates unsupported macs and OSX. Had to lose the Initio.

I have had this 8500 crunching numbers and surfing for 3 days now. I like it and it's definately usable. Going to install it in my shop at work to run a calendar program for appointments via Timbuktu off my office Quicksilver. The atmosphere in the shop is knarly, I wouldn't want to run anything expensive or delicate there. A 8500 is neither.

Wish I had some advice for you on your other post about X on your Beige. A Dual G4 and maxed out ram will make your old but good Beige kick butt again. Do your research on the PCI cards installed and leave them mostly out when you do the install adding them later is about all I could add.

As far as how well older computers handle OSX it really comes down to what OSX really is, a mainframe OS. We are only now getting to the capabilities in a desktop computer that is able to run Unix and a real GUI this way. Todays NEW Macs are really minimum hardware for X. Running it on older stuff is possible but never going to be fast or compatible with the goals of Apple and the developers who part with so much hard earned cash of their own to invent all new shit to put in tomorrows Macs.

There is no return on their investment in older Macs. Old macs won't run the apps that software developers are coming out with and they're below minimums for supporting the hardware that developers are coming out with. Catch 22. If you want a whole new world where do you draw the line on hardware.Look at how many times PCs came out as "Winders 95 or later" or 'NT and 2000 only" Same thing.

Todays Macs with their Uni-N memory controller really snort fire compared to either of the G3 models. You will not believe the difference in performance between a G3 and a Quicksilver G4 mhz not withstanding. I'm proud of how well my 8500 runs OSX, but if I have real work to do I'll take the G4 anyday.


03-22-2002, 12:51 PM
Some info about the lawsuit http://www.macslash.com/articles/02/02/01/0630244.shtml and http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/0201/31.g3osx.php k