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Thread: Upgrade for PowerMac 7300

  1. #1
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    I keep reading and searching for posts about upgrading a PoweMac 7300, but can never find one that speaks directly to me, my system, my needs, etc.

    Here is what I have: PowerMac 7300/180, Mac OS 9.1, 176MB RAM, a Belkin 2-port USB card in one of the PCI slots (no devices yet), and everything else is stock.

    I would like to do the following:

    1. Add a hard drive (hopefully something close to 20 GB...)
    2. Upgrade the processor to a G3 or G4.

    Adding a hard drive is my biggest priority. I would appreciate any advice I could get on which makes and models I can choose from (I keep seeing Seagate as a popular choice), whether I should go internal or external, SCSI or USB, etc.

    As far as the processor goes, I would like a significant system speed boost without too much trouble (I've read too many nasty accounts of troublesome and difficult installs!). If you do not think I should upgrade the processor, please tell me. If you have a great upgrade idea for me, especially one that is relatively trouble-free, please do let me know.

    Thanks for your time - I look forward to reading the responses!

    Tom

  2. #2
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    this is easy....go to the xlr8 page and look atthe deals on the G3 processors...buy the fastest one you can afford. As for the HD....go to the Vintage Mac page and search for 7500 and seagate.....you should come up with a ton of reading...then you can decide if you want to add a scsi accelerator card like the Miles Bluenote or Miles UW2 card....especially search for "rebecca" to find this topic discussed in much detail.

  3. #3
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    Yup.. easy upgrade - I've done two of them in my lab

    (1) XLR8 G3 or G4 upgrade card - Carrier MP - I've got a G3/400 and G3/500 running in what were 7300/200 machines
    (2) Miles2 SCSI card and a Seagate LVD drive - will work like a charm
    I'm running 9.1 on both my 7300's that are running as my ASIP / FMPro / Retrospect back up servers.. solid upgrades...

    not difficult at all to upgrade (case is easy to open).

    Chris

  4. #4
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    Just did that on a 7300/200.

    Grab the CarrierMPe Zif $119
    G3 Zif 450 mhz
    Apple OEM 2940U2B $79.95
    9GB Ultra160 drive or 18GB (if 18, you'll need to partition)
    Cables and terminator (Miles bundle from Specials also)

    The disk drive part is the costliest but you can keep it and why have 400 mhz G3 and not have 40MB/s U2 performance.

    Last, I'd add at least 2 64MB DIMMs, either the EDO from MacGurus, or FPM. I'd avoid 128MB DIMMs from anyone else (OWC has them on sale for peanuts).

    The forums and research reports section of www.xlr8yourmac.com is really helpful. Also, look at "Bam_Bam's Page" here for an idea of what can be done.

    When you add G3, you have to be more careful about RAM speed etc (60 ns or faster), more trouble if its a G4 (but might want to as it does help some apps and OS X in general).

    Finally, you probably NEED a video card if you don't now use one. The Radeon VE when it comes out $129 or Radeon $199 unit really do make a difference and avoid some 'artifacts' that affect monitors when there is a cpu upgrade, besides a better (and larger, faster) experiece.

    You could end up spending say $750 on all that. A G4/466 ref'd at Apple Store specials is $1199 right now. But then I think there is something to be said for upgrading just for fun of it. You won't be able to install 9.2.1 -

    You could do the ATA/133 Sonnet PCI card and 40GB Maxtor or something for less than SCSI and still have very good performance and save $200 or more. Enough to justify the Radeon.

    Oh, and the XLR8 USB mouse has a nice fit and feel, and maybe USB k/b like Apple Pro - or stick with ADB Extended.

    Sounds like you probably can get what you need off the net rather than one of those useful and handy but never current upgrade, repair, sad mac, books - still nice to have when you want to read or when the 'puter just won't cooperate (hopefully avoided but there will always be some).

    Gregory

  5. #5
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    I bought a 7300 for my Dad. I plugged in a 400mhz XLR8 MachCarrier card into it and along with the control panel install and a cuda reset was up and running. Nothing else to do. Works like a charm.

    A great machine to upgrade in stages. I agree with Gregory that the 2940U2B and a 'Cuda or a 10k Cheetah is the way to go along with a future graphics card.

    Rick

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    i did run into one problem, the PCI slots were feeling "loose" and the clip on top to hold PCI cards in didn't even touch the USB card (too short) so had to put some foam padding (thin piece from crucial ram box), to make sure that cable weight etc didn't pull up on the card and loosen it. My only wish, that it used screws (and another slot).

    Might be a good time to pop a new battery in just for safety's sake.

    The Zif because you may get a handy-me-down zif from another machine, IBM might actually have a 700 mhz G3 for upgraders someday (talk of 20x multiplier).

    I have some extra drives I ought to unload in the 4$ale forum (10k Cheetah, some 9, 15 and 40 GB Deskstar models, 22GXP, 75GXP, 60GXP - all 7200 rpm). The Cheetah can go in an external case with cable and terminator.) Also have a ton of internal cabling. FoxConn, Granite (2 or 4 drive), twisted pair TPE, and the GD Term unit. Even a OEM Rage 128 w/ DVD.

    Gregory

  7. #7
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    I did mention I was a novice, right?

    Thanks for the great initial response! Good to see so much agreement about which course to chart. I will definately be adding some more RAM (so cheap these days!) and appreciate the tip about replacing the battery while I have the hood up....

    Anyway, back to my two major concerns:

    1. Accelerator:

    Other World Computing has the following for $329.00: XLR8 ZIF Carrier w/XLR8 MACh G3 ZIF 500MHz 10x 1MB Cache Processor. Is this all I need to buy? (I'm still a bit confused about adapters, motherboards, daughterboards, ZIF, sockets, etc.)

    Also, dollar for dollar, the G3/500 seems like a better choice than the G4 /400 or G4/500, right? (Plus, if I understand the concept correctly, I can trade-in and upgrade the CPU on these, eh?)

    2. Hard Drive:

    How would this combo work:

    a. Apple/Adaptec AHA-2940U2B LVD U2 Single-Channel SCSI PCI Card
    b. 18.2GB Cheetah 18LP 10,000RPM 5.2ms Ultra2 SCSI 80 to Narrow 50Pin, Low Profile 1" High

    Again, this is all I would need, right? No extra cables or connectors? I assume everything I would need would come with the PCI card and drive.....

    I would prefer to mount this drive internally - will this drive fit (I think the 7330 has room for a second drive) and will heat be an issue?

    ANyway, that's enough for now. You guys have given me great information already. I appreciate your patience - this is almost as tricky as learnign a new language, but I think I'm learning alot!

    Tom

  8. #8
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    Thomas,

    Carrier MPe and not the earlier model. G3's can be over clocked 50-100 mhz (jumper pin is all).

    Avoid the 80-pin drives. Most scsi cards don't come with the cable and terminator included unless you get one that specifically does like Miles2 (or take a look at what I put up on the Misc For Sale fora

    2940U2B is LVD 68-pin so stay with 68-pin drives. You could use two bays, and while heat is somewhat an issue, fit is also. No need for adapting to 50 pin and 80-pin SCA are not a good reliable path - they are meant for hot-swapping in special server drive racks.

    ...and you might actually want to look through the Mac bookstore on Amazon for Mac upgrade bible etc to have and to break down all the jargon - or just keep asking.

    Gregory

  9. #9
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    The OWC 500Mhz G3/CarrierZIF combo is excellent IMHO, can't beat it. I'm running mine in my 8600/200 at 550Mhz! I bought mine last June for $360. $330 is a great price. Pick up some Arctic Silver thermal compound for that, I'd recommend getting it from www.1coolpc.com

    Sorry to pull away from the Gurus,
    but the OWC 128MB DIMMs are great IMHO, most overclocking tolerant DIMMs I have ever purchased. As mentioned, they're selling for peanuts now, if you go the OWC route get the DIMMs which have the part number TPDIMMV5128 , not the others which use converted parts.

    Storage, the Adaptec 2940U2B is probably a great way to go if you want the most speed. I bought the VST Ultratek/66 PCI for $79, and a 46GB IBM ATA drive for $150 last February, most storage for the buck I could find. The only problem I have with the combo are the low read/write speeds (23MB reads, 13MB writes). If I had SCSI in my 8600 the speeds would probably be a bit more robust.

    I would also seriously consider a video upgrade. Defunct 3dfx's Voodoo5 PCIs are running around $79-99, excellent bargain for a high end video card that was just $330 last year. If you are only going to run OS9.x and earlier, the Voodoo5 provides some serious 2d and 3d power for games. If you want to try running unsupported OSX, currently, the ATI Radeon PCI is your only choice. One nitpick I have with the Voodoo cards is that they don't support any OpenGL version later than 1.2.1. Another point for the Radeon.

    Good luck with your upgrades!

  10. #10
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    I sure am getting lots of options!

    1. Do I NEED a SCSI/PCI card to connect a second (internal) hard drive? I thought maybe there already was a drive cable inside just for this purpose. One vendor, who had a 9.1 GB Seagate (for $41.00) told me I might not need a SCSI/PCI card becasue the adapter that comes with this particular drive may be long enough (but in some Mac's the drive cable is NOT long enough?)

    2. Or do you recomend a SCSI/PCI card beacuse its faster, or easier, or ????

    3. I've been leaning towards Internal SCSI, but I should point out this: I do have a Belkin 2-port USB PCI card installed - what are the pros and cons of going with an EXTERNAL USB hard drive instead of INTERNAL SCSI? Faster? Slower? More/Less expensive? More/Less reliable?

    Thanks again for all the of the excellent (and patient) help!

    Tom

    p.s. I am sure you all have figured this out by now, but quite the rookie. If in doubt, SPELL IT OUT, please! (Details are very helpful - you will not offend me by explaining things that are elementary or second-nature to you!)

  11. #11
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    No Thomas. You do not need a SCSI PCI card unless you have a need for faster access than your built-in 5MHz SCSI2. The PCI card also is not easier. It's much faster though.

    If all you need is more drive space, you can go with any Narrow 3" SCSI drive. MacGurus has an exceptional Seagate 18.4GB Narrow drive, the ST318417N for $199.99. You might be able to find drives cheaper, but none as reliable as this for such a good price. Don't be fooled by those selling 80 pin drives with adaptors. Those are not designed to work on your computer and they would likely become more of a headache then they're worth.

    Your computer already has a place to install the drive under your current drive if you haven't installed a Zip or Jaz drive there previously. You can also opt to install the drive in an external case. MacGurus would be glad to help you put one together.

  12. #12
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    Thanks, lasvegas - that may be the most helpful and direct suggestion yet.

    I'm not exactly a "poweruser" so maybe faster acces time via a SCSI/PCI card is not needed.

    But I'm curious - how much faster would using one of those SCSI/PCI cards be, and how would I notice it? What tasks would be speedier? Most importanly, what are the headaches? (I could intall it without the SCSI/PCI card at first, and later add it if I changed my mind, right?)

    I have experienced the difference having more RAM can have on system performance - would I similarly notice a system improvement with a faster hard drive?

    Thanks!

    Tom

    p.s. Hopefully other folks are getting as much of an educaton out of this topic as I am - I am really getting more and more interested in my computer (computers in general) from this great upgrade advice!

  13. #13
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    I am sitting here using a 7300/200 and when I boot from the 2940U2B it really makes a huge (4x) difference on 10k Cheetah (an Atlas 10k III $202 or even an UltraStar 36LZX $169 would also be good choices). The difference between 10MB/s and 40MB/s just makes the 7300 feel as responsive as a G3 upgrade.

    Writing to disk, launching apps, etc.

    GaugePro reports memory as 30MB/s so actually memory is slowing me down. A G3/450 ($189 right now) would kick that up - you don't have to be a power user to justify SCSI or PCI IDE. Browsing the web or coping files (backups), and installing software all go quicker.

    Gregory

  14. #14
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    Gregory's right! A MilesU2W would give you from 20MHz (4x) to 40MHz (8x) speed, depending on the drive(s) attached. No. You should not attempt to use a narrow drive on this card. It would simply drop the speed of the card to that of the slower drive (probably about 10MHz and half the data width).

    This card is designed to support the Wide LVD drives. It also requires external termination (on the end of the cable) and a much higher quality cable. Trying to take shortcuts or skimping on any of the above is where the headaches come in.

  15. #15
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    One thing I noticed was that 2940U2B sits high enough that the connector on top of the card is too high to close the PCI bay cover or gate w/o some serious minor modification, or dispensing with the cover all together. ATTO UL3S is just that much shorter so it fits and just fits - like it was designed to do so.

    Good luck.

    Gregory

  16. #16
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    I think I have narrowed down my hard drive upgrade options:

    Option A:

    1. Seagate Barracuda (ST318417N) 18GB 8-bit Narrow ($199.99)

    Option B:

    1. Seagate Barracuda (ST318437LW) 18GB Ultra 160 ($189.99)
    2. Miles2 A100U2W w/ LVD Cable & SoftRAID 2.1 ($184.99)

    Storage space is my primary concern, speed being secondary. None-the-less, I am leaning towards Option B.

    Option A is least expensive and easiest to install.
    Option B is more expensive, a bit more difficult to install, but much faster performance. (And once I have the Miles2, I am able to upgrade to bigger and better drives (like faster CHeetahs) somewhere down the road).

    (I have left out combinations including the Adaptec 2940U2B and the ATTO UL3S intentionally - based on your reports of the 2940U2B not fitting perfectly (love the price, though!) and the big pricetag on the ATTO UL3S).

    I would love to hear you compare/contrast between these two systems (only). But, If I have overlookd some other KILER deal or combination, steer me back on path!

    Tom

  17. #17
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    I just finished putting Atlas 10k II on U2B, 7300 G3/450 and it really moves. So I'd go with a 10k drive. I like the Atlas w/ its 8MB cache over anything but a 2G X15. Option B only with the Atlas 10k III. They are faster and quieter and $202. Unless you want RAID (one way to create 34GB out of 2 18GB units and increase performance), Drive Setup 2.0.7 (its in the 9.2.1 updater) does just fine on single drives. But a bargin in the Miles2 bundle worth having.

    Also, newer drives tend to have reduced the noise and heat quite a bit.

    Going back to 10MB/s or even 20MB? Never.

    Gregory

  18. #18
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    Givin the funds, I would also go with option B. Just the speed improvement is worth it alone.

  19. #19
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    The Maxtor Atlas 10k III looks like a sweet unit. The fit was fine? Did it come with everything needed to install (interface, adapters, mounting hardware, etc.)?

    I would use the Adaptec 2940U2B, but am not thrilled about the not-so-perfect fit you described. And the Miles2 seems only to get high praise.....

    So, I guess I have Option C:

    1. Maxtor Atlas 10k III 18.4 GB
    2. Miles2 A100U2W w/ LVD Cable & SoftRAID 2.1

  20. #20
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    I think option B is your best choice as well....the Miles card will also function very well in the OSX enviroment, which IMNSHO is a major concern with every piece of equipment you buy.

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