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Thread: Testing System Stability

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Hello All,
    My question this week is a fairly simple one, I would say. I was wondering what are some of the more successful and revealing tests one can run on a system to make sure it's reasonably stable.
    I have a Beige G3 and have made several changes on it - each one has really taken its toll on the system's stability. I am about to install an XLR8 G4, add some more RAM, and update the ROM Module to Rev. C. I'd like to perform system tests along each stage of this process so when I discover issues - And I know I will discover issues - I'll know which modification most likely taxed the system the most.
    Thanks a lot!
    -Christopher

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    Peoples Republic of Lawrence, KS, US
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    Hi Christopher,

    You are right on about doing one upgrade at a time......... I found this out the hard way when doing my first big machine buildup. It took me a couple of days to sort out what should have been 2 to 3 hours of tinkering.

    Actually, there is some xlr8 utilities that work great for this.

    Use PowerFrac to generate fractals, and then run an overnight memory test in PowerControl. Both of these are included in your package, or they can be pulled from our ftp site.

    Fractal generation is pretty CPU intensive, and when combined with the RAM test over a period of 8-12 hours, taxes the system pretty well.

    PowerControl will let you know how many, if any, errors occur during the test. Turn sleep function off before running the test...... you can just dim your monitor to prevent burn in.

    regards,

    8's

    [This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 04 April 2002).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    While you should not have any trouble with the RAM upgrade, you probably want to run DIMM First Aid to find out what the RAM is reported to be, 8 nanosecond, 10 nanosecond. All PC133 should be 7.0-7.5 ns and probably would be fully backward to PC100 and maybe PC66. but PC66 only requires 10 nanosecond and if you get a G4/500 in there that could tax the memory subsystem. A G4 will push memory 60% faster than a G3. ie, in my B&W GaugePro would report 99MB/s on startup and fall off from there to as low as 86MB/s but with G4 it has settled down to a flat 165MB/s. And it really helps, and helps OS X.

    I would guess that bus speed and finding that 'sweet spot' for RAM, CPU, L2, BUS is where the trial and error comes in. A search on the cpu upgrade database over at Mike's www.xlr8yourmac.com on beige etc should help avoid or find other's that followed similar upgrade route.

    Gregory

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    17

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    Where do you even GET a Rev C ROM anymore?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Thanks for the advice!

    I found the PowerFrac tool, but I couldn't find the PowerControl you were talking about, Crazyeights, My system survived the fractal portion, though. I haven't used TechTools much, but I know that it has a memory test of sorts. But I'm sure that just tests the memory; it probably doesn't tax the system to the degree you're talking about.

    As far as the Rev C ROM is concerned, it took me a bit of time and a big risk. I noticed on eBay that some vendor came upon like four or five modules and was selling all of them individually and about a week apart in order to maximize profits. Naturally, each one reached at least $125. I bid on a couple of them, but never bid that high. I eventually got fed up and tried a ridiculous search on Google for something like "Beige G3 Rev C ROM" and got a whole lot of hits for entirely unrelated topics. However, by about the fifth page or so I found a listing for some unknown Mac parts shop in the Midwest selling the Module for $75.00. It’s still an inflated price, but they could’ve gotten $50 more for it on eBay. You can check them out, although I’m pretty sure it was a one-time deal (www.midwestmac.com). Their web site could use a little work, especially when you consider they're in the computer business, and I wasn't sure I could trust the "secure transaction," but so far nothing unexpected has been charged to my card!

    Best of luck to you, NDP.
    -AR

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