View Full Version : Various Upgrade Questions

11-27-2000, 02:41 PM
I am interested in upgrading my beige G3/266 with a SCSI accelerater card (probably the Miles2) and a CD Recorder (most likely a Plextor or--less likely--a Yamaha). I have a few questions regarding doing so, though.

1) (For the SCSI accelerater) What is the likelihood that a replacement technology to PCI buses will be included in Macintoshes--rendering my Miles2 upgrade obsolete in a new Macintosh I may wish to purchase? That is, how long are PCI expansion slots likely to be in use?

2) In the audio industry, the Plextor 8/20 has been renowned for the high quality audio discs (low block error rates) it produces. As the 8/20 is not longer available, I am interested in knowing how the newer 12X plextor drives compare to the 8/20's quality.

3) And though being on the stock G3 SCSI bus would perhaps "slow down" the plextor's more modern SCSI implementation, is there any other problem with incorporating it on the stock bus? (It would be on the bus with a zip and jaz drive).

Thanks for your assistance,

P.S. The accelerater card is not intended to accomodate the CD recorder; I wish to have a faster storage/retrieval system for my hard drive(s).

[This message has been edited by Grant (edited 27 November 2000).]

11-27-2000, 04:19 PM
Grant, I wil try to be brief, but I like details...so here goes.

1) There are plain and simple, too many technologies and companies that depend on PCI for the future. It will not be railroaded into oblivion like ADB or serial ports, rest assured. AGP is designed for an Advanced Graphics Protocol. While we may see some bastard step-child of it blossoming in the near future, I think PCI will be here for a great many years to come. I hope so....I have too much invested in it already.

2) I dunno. I wanna hear about them, too so I can get rid of my Yamaha. I fried 2 warranty-replacement Yamaha burners from firmware flashes. If their own SW does that...sheesh!!

3) Your stock SCSI bus is 5MB/sec. A 12x burner shovels 650MB of info onto a disc in 6 minutes. That's 1.6 MB/sec. And a 32x reader will pull about 4.8MB/sec off of the disc. Mind you, that is sustained transfer rates. The peak for a read on the 12/10/32 Plextor is 20MB/sec, hence the Ultra classification. But with a 50-pin SCSI connection, methinks Plextor is almost counting on people putting them into all sorts of machines. Like yours and mine.

For more infoon the burner, check out http://www.plextor.com/english/products/12_10_32S.html
and Apple's support site for info on your machine.

Take care!!

"The first step in attaining knowledge is admitting you know nothing."

11-27-2000, 08:53 PM
Hey G,

I believe your beige G3 has 64-bit PCI slots as opposed to the PowerMac's 32-bit slots. If this is the case, and your interested in the longevity of your purchase, I would consider the newer ATTO UL3 SCSI hosts rather than the Miles2. These cards utilize the bandwidth of the 64-bit slot. The future of PCI is all at least 64-bit.

11-27-2000, 09:01 PM

But would my 32 bit Miles2 card still be able to be plugged into a (64+ bit) PCI bus of tomorrow (simply with slower performance)?

I mean, if a Miles2 is going to fit my needs for the next ten years and PCI busses remain in use for ten years, ableit, perhaps, 256 bit (or whatever), I should still be able to use my Miles2, right?


(thanks to everyone so far...)

11-27-2000, 09:33 PM
32 bit cards work in 64 bit buses of today, so all likelihood will be that they will do so for a while. And as far as 128 bits? Well, that'll be a few years in and of itself. I mean, PC mobo's are still all 64-bit. They haven't even gotten to adressing ANYTHING at 128. So for PCI bus bandwidth to quadruple would take literally years. 10 years ago computer still had 32-bit main buses. And PCI specs change rather slowly. It took years for them to go from 2.1 to 2.2 standards. I would still contemplate the ATTO purchase, but I do love my Miles2. Whichever solution you choose, you will get a huge boost in performance and I would personally worry about SCSI standards skyrocketing. The card will last a long time, but the drives should be at Ultra1280 in a handful of years. Best of luck!!

11-27-2000, 09:52 PM
The beige G3 is PCI 2.1 compliant but is 32 bit. 64 bit PCI busses came later.

11-27-2000, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the clarification Louie.

So Grant, all your options are open. 32-bit cards fit in 64-bit slots and 64-bit cards fit in 32-bit slots. The ATTO cards cost more now but will perform better in a later machine. The Miles2 costs less now and actually cranks out better performance numbers in 32-bit PCI machines.

I went through this thought process not too long ago and decided to get the ATTO (believing that I was doing the best thing for 2-3 years down the road when I migrate upward from my 9600). It only stings a little bit when one Guru after another after another spanks me with the performance of their Miles2 cards http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

11-28-2000, 02:15 AM

You probably remember I purchased an ATTO UL3D for my S900 to compare with the Miles2. It only stung a little bit when I spanked myself. Worse yet, I couldn't fit the UL3D in slot one because of the ethernet slot (for the E100 card) being inline with the PCI slot. It worked fine in slot 2 (which is also controlled by the same single Bandit chip). Not up to the Miles2 tho.

Got to find a new home for this UL3D. I can cross off Beige G3 now. k

11-28-2000, 09:12 AM
ATTO UL3D are very, very weird in beige G3.

one thing I will strongly recommend: do not run OSXb on a beige G3 if you want to use an ATTO UL3D on it anytime in the future.

something happens. It's a ROM thing, and low-level. The only SCSI board that wants to run without hassle on this beige G3 since we installed OSXb on it is a 2940U2B. And that card delivers only 30MB/sec sustained reads and writes where a Miles2 delivers 40MB/sec. Since we like to use the beige G3 to test with arrays, this problem with ATTO cards is a major inconvenience.

ATTO has confirmed that firmware 1.6.2 for the UL3D is incompatible with the beige G3, and we have run version 1.5 on ours in the past successfully. No longer. We can run OSXb on this machine with a 2940U2B, and that's about it. OS9.04 will run, but only off the 2940U2B. Regardless of what firmware revision is loaded on an ATTO card, attempts to flash them from a beige G3 result in zeroing them out. The flasher utility reports firmware 0.0.0.

You can update all you like. The cards still report firmware 0.0.0.

Gotta shuffle daughtercards around in the basement and get miss bam back up and running. Hopefully we can rescue these three ATTO UL3D we got laying around now.

Friggin' pain in the butt!


11-30-2000, 09:17 PM
As far as how good the Plextor drives are? I was looking at ArsTechnica and : http://www.storagereview.com/welcome.pl/articles/200011/20001130PX-W1210TS_1.html

Ask and ye shall receive!! Granted, this is a PC-based site, but the hardware reviews are usually fairly top-notch. Here's a quick note from the conclusion....guess what I am giving myself for Xmas...MacGurus here I come!!

"If your interface of choice is SCSI, the 12/10/32S is the burner to get today." - If that ain't a good review, I dunno what is.

12-01-2000, 02:49 AM
we should have these mechanisms on the shelf shortly.

12-01-2000, 03:13 AM
Excellent link, Dogstarman. I only breezed through it so far because I am working on a project against a deadline. But thanks.

Another one of my big questions with these Plextor 12X recorders is regarding compatibility. Adaptec Jam does not appear to support the 12X plextor recorders. The lastest version of Toast, however, does. Is anyone using a Plextor 12X mechanism (whether in a Plextor case or other) with Adaptec Jam?

And come to think of it, rather than pay for new software along with a new CD recorder, does anyone know a workaround that allows Toast 3.5.x to "see" the Plextor 12X recorders? A different recorder's plug-in? A hack?


12-01-2000, 04:11 AM
Go to the Plextor site. They have some Toast drivers/patch for the newer Plextor burners. You put the patch inside the Toast folder. Also works for Adaptec Jam.

12-01-2000, 01:49 PM
Have you updated to Jam 2.6? It uses the Toast 4.1.2 Reader. Intech also supports Toast and Jam.