View Full Version : Exceeded capability?

12-13-2001, 02:40 PM
I added a Western Digital Firewire PCI card to my P6400 with a SonnetL2 300 upgrade, 104M RAM and can't seem to get more than about 20 seconds transferred from DV camera (using Premiere 5.1 that came with card) before pixels start dropping and the whole thing comes to a stop. The W/D people suggested that I disconnect my cable modem connection first, but that didn't help. Have I simply exceeded the capabilities of the processor, or could there be another problem?


01-21-2002, 09:19 PM
Most likely you have exceeded the capabilities of the PCI bus. You may be better off with an Ultra Narrow SCSI card and a pair of 18GB Narrow Cudas run in a RAID-0 setup with softRAID. This may not work either... and it can be expensive.

You might be able to slow the IDE/ATA card down to the ATA/3 spec (about 16MB/s) - it may work at ATA/33 speeds too - 33MB/s -

GL, if you havent already found a solution.

To boldly go where no english professor has gone before! -)

02-01-2002, 08:12 AM
Thanks for the reply.

A fellow here in town suggested that the Western Digital card is passing data along faster than the PCI bus can handle it. He said that the Orange Micro FW/USB card is designed to somehow know how fast to pass data. I hate to have to buy another card if, as your reply suggests I can adjust the one I have.

I don't' have the technical experience to know how to slow the card down. Can you describe the process or direct me to a procedure?

02-01-2002, 02:59 PM
I do not know if there are any ways to slow down an ATA/IDE card. It is possible. I do know you CAN turn down the speed of a SCSI card - usually by the supplied software. An UltraNarrow SCSI card only has a sustained max throughput of 20MB/s - so I would think that should be fine for your computer. The next setup up would be an LVD Ultra2 SCSI - 80MB/s - so that is probably overkill.

I think Sonnet has a utility that helps users with audio stuttering issues. This may work for your card.

The FW/USB from orange Micro has much less throughput than an ATA/33 - inpractice anyway. Firewire runs at 400Mbps or 50MB/s. USB is 12Mbps or 1.5MB/s. The thing is most Firewire drives will max out at 25MB/s and many more will only hit about 15MB/s - so its much less of a strain on your PCI bus. However Firewire is not well supported pre Mac OS 9 -and even in 9.1/9.2 support is not all that good. In system 10.1 its much better, but still not perfect. Also with a combo card you can run into more issues. Those new Macs are looking pretty good - I would think -
You can get a G4/800 for $1599! http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

02-01-2002, 10:02 PM
The Sonnet utility is for their ATA100 Tempo controller, not Sonnet's accelerators. The utility won't install on my Sonnet Tempo Ultra ATA66. It's likely not going to be useful to macdrummer's situation.

02-04-2002, 11:32 AM
Thanks for your responses. I think I will buy a new box and let this old one work in it's own comfort zone.

02-08-2002, 04:30 PM
Is a SonnetL2 300 a cpu upgrade or an ide card?
You need a G3 upgrade or you're SOL before you get out of the gate.

The bus speed might be it...50mhz minimum according to OrangeMicro's site.
They may be a touch pessimistic, however...CYA is every vendor's motto.
What's a 6500 supposed to have?

If you have a G3 then I'd guess the throughput is NOT what it needs to be.
If the bus is below 50 then the bus speed is probably the culprit...although slow hard drives could be it as well. You need a SUSTAINED throughput of nearly 5 Megabytes/sec to upload the DV stuff. Your Ram seems a bit low as well.

Turn everything off: VM, FileSharing, modems, etc. You might just get by with a 45mhz bus. Premiere may be a negative player in this. iMovie may be a lighter load for getting the DV on the hard drive. Realize an Hour of DV takes over 12 Gig of disk space.

02-08-2002, 05:26 PM

Thanks for your response.

The Sonnet card is a 300 MHz G3 upgrade that plugs into the L2 cache slot in the Performa 6400. The bus speed is 40MHz. I have maximum RAM now of 136M and a 7200 RPM 20G IDE drive. So far, the discussions lead me to believe that bus speed is the issue and that while CD-RWs and other storage work just fine through this firewire interface, DV is more demanding. I think a new G4 of some kind is going to be the solution. Now all I have to do is save some cash.
Thanks again for your ideas.