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Thread: Sonnet G4 1GHz in Beige saga

  1. #1
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    So I get this Sonnet G4 1 GHz and AltiVec Fractal quits in OS 9.2, freezes in 10.3.1, and I've tried to find out what is the safest and best way to enable L3 cache (feels like it is off/disabled, for safety).

    I've got CHUD Performance and Benchmarking, and there are some other tools in the Developer folder to test and monitor threads, memory, cpu, cache, etc.

    Sonnet hasn't got a clue that people are even running 10.3.x on Beige with their cards it sounded like when I spoke to someone.

    Ryan has XPF 3.0a10 now to help w/ 10.3.2 on Beige and some other nice fixes (a great lawyer/programmer with talent).

    Skidmarks GT, Spin Control, Thread Viewer, ObjectAlloc, MallocDebug, and CacheBasher. Seems CacheBasher would be good test.

    Xbench freezes on the CPU test portion, wanted to see if I could use the above or Activity Monitor to sample and collect what happens.

    I loaded up 8-9 QT movies, set to loop and take half the screen, all playing away in the background. Loaded the performance tools (all the above), two mail clients, two browsers... and got two programs to "not responding" eventually.

    The RAM "checks out" okay, all Crucial and has been rock solid. But never know... got to enable Console and watch the log for awhile I guess... anything is possible with 7455 in a Beige.

    [This message was edited by TZ on Sat December 20, 2003 PT at 8:17.]

    [This message was edited by TZ on Sat January 03, 2004 PT at 16:20.]

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    Sonnet Tune-Up installs stuff that interfered with XPF I think. PL CPU Director works. And "Reggie SE" to confirm - as well as L2/L3 showing up properly in System Profiler.

    Now to see if Xbench crashes ;(

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    Wow, a G4-1GHz in a Beige. Sounds like you are working your way thru it w/o Sonnet's help. k

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    Xbench still crashes

    CINEBENCH 2003 runs fine. They had this note about getting a G5 optimized version: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> CINEBENCH 2003 G5 is a technology study. MAXON has optimized crucial parts of the render engine for the G5 with the support of Apple, which now reaches speed increases of approximately 20%. Further improvements are expected once an optimized compiler with G5 support is available, which shall produce efficient and reliable G5 code.

    We expect new compilers and tools to be released during the first quarter of 2004, allowing us to deliver production quality G5-optimization for CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D. www.maxon.net <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This cpu can conflict with some PCI cards (now they tell me!) and someone was kind enough to send a partial list of what they learned:

    Sonnet Tempo, SIIG, ATTO UL2 and some others. I can understand after hanging around for a couple years, that everything and anything can conflict with something else - even if it seems a stretch - firmware is always a potential place for bugs to hide! (Disk drives, OS, computer, PCI cards) and I suppose that there is firmware on the cpu, too?

    A "work in progress" with moving parts (Panther, ATTO 3.0 drivers, etc) as well as a new kernel for the OS, and new compiler code.

    CINEBENCH 2003 v1
    **************************************
    Processor : Beige
    MHz : 1002
    Number of CPUs : 1
    Operating System : 10.3.2
    Graphics Card : Radeon
    *****************************************
    Rendering (Single CPU): 70 CB-CPU

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    Results for CINEBENCH 2003 that I tested back in March for various computers (including PTP G4-800) and various OSes. k

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    Just to report that this cpu is running fine. Whatever problems I created, yes, *I* created, from using Sonnet Tuneup etc, are behind me. In part due to the fast work of Ryan on XPostFacto, as the 3.0a10 version made a world of difference, and PowrLogix CPU Director 1.3f1 is all that was needed.

    AltiVec Fractal Demo runs fine. I have to say I haven't yet had nerve enough to even try Xbench though. I know it runs, and a huge 300% jump in Xbench CPU score to 101. GraphicConverter is so much faster cropping, resizing, saving or just the (lack) of time to calculate new file size. Even VersionTacker, a slow web site to load, is now quick, even when loading 20 pages at once.

    I think Sonnet could sell a lot of these if: they were faster to test and get Panther support, and dropped the price (I paid $400 which I feel is great, after coupons etc).

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    I decided to try BTV - hasn't been updated in a year or more, doesn't work well most of the time, but works better now than it did on my B&W. However, iChat I guess has put a nail in that coffin.

    Found I could buy Adaptec 29160 from Amazon for $209 (Mac version) so that's on its way. More reliable and useful than FW drives (bootable, FW isn't). Should give me an idea of what a Beige is capable of now.

    Altivec Fractal doesn't work in OS 9.2.2 though. But I don't use OS 9... but frustrating. could it be the ATTO PSC? Sonnet won't really say. (Becoming common?)

    Would a 10/100 ethernet make a (slight) difference. In file-sharing, yes, but on DSL?

    I didn't want to go with G3/867 or an IDE controller. Or use SATA controller and not be able to connect to LVD drives internal and external. There just aren't enough PCI slots to have "everything."

    If only there were 512MB DRAMs and a way to clock the fsb up to 167 instead of 67 MHz, right?

    I saw Pioneer DVR-106 4x DVD -/+ R/RW, CD-R/RW 'SuperDrive' $137. So I put one on my "shopping list." Now I'll find out what that's about

    ... are upgrades ever really over? nothing left to do?


    [This message was edited by TZ on Mon December 22, 2003 PT at 16:18.]

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    Sonnet installs two files in OS 9, "Sonnet Processor Upgrade" that seems to enable L2/L3 cache properly, and "Sonnet Procssor Enabler" that, if I disable it, cache still functions, and Altivec Fractal will then run properly. Enable it again, AFD crashes.

    I need to pull apart Sonnet Tuneup package, see what it installs, and remove all of it so I can cure the Xbench crashes if possible.

    Last night, I even removed and reinstalled (but only after trying to see if it would fit and work in B&W... I had dreams of G4/1000 in my B&W keep me burning midnight oil

    I really doubt it is the cpu itself but why else would I have trouble? What else is on the Sonnet board? firmware? fans. some interface which also handles memory. (all the pins and board look good)

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    Booted from Mac OS 9.2.1 CD. AFD runs okay. Booted from native ATA drive/bus and none of the SCSI drives (Maxtor Atlas latest series) showered or mounted, but AFD runs fine also.

    I had been using ATTO PSC. Replaced with 29160 hoping that would cure/change/eliminate PCI problem(s).

    The 10.3.x system on the ATA had been "cloned" to the SCSI drives but otherwise seemed fine - but I had to use XPF 3 "helper" to boot, using the ATA drive for the "bootstrap." Been wanting to do a clean 10.3.2+ install to SCSI but waiting for XPF 3.0a11+ or 10.3.3.

    Put in an order for Sonnet Trio and Hitachi 7K250 along with FW case for backup using a couple older ATA drives.

    And Panther + Beige = trouble.
    - If I didn't know better, I'd say it was made hard to install almost 'deliberate.' It is not easy, and the more I used XPF3, well, I tried to uninstall/reinstall XPF (created a mess), then tried to run the 10.3.2 update which ended in "Errors" and was unable to boot or do anything at all, until I erased and wiped the Atlas drive I had been using for OS X. Which is what got me into a corner and forced to rely on ATA alone.

    I was about to install Jaguar on one of the (SCSI) drives 'just to see' but never got there.

    I think XPF and Panther are still very much "alpha" even though some success and it was/is rewarding. I had MANY of the same problems and issues and others in the end, the more I experimented; like I was digging myself into a deep dark hole in the process making it ever harder.

    Every crash or freeze in Panther would leave my system in trouble and kept getting the dreaded circle with "X" through it, and thinking it was a bad cpu for sure L2/L3 cache and heat had taken their toll living on borrowed time... maybe not. I am running 10.3.2 but on the slow native ATA bus for now... we'll see.

    In the end, found that the Sonnet G4 1.0 does work, my troubles are/were "software."

    ...sorry for rambling...

  10. #10
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    Well, I happened to pick up a Sonnet G4/1GHz ZIF
    upgrade at the MacWorld Expo yesterday ($399) &
    I thought I'd check this forum before taking the plunge into terra incognito. After reading over saga in this thread, I'm glad to have been given the heads-up on some of the potential conflicts.
    My first concern is whether or not I might expect there might be a problem with the Sonnet Tempo Trio card that I have installed, since it was suggested that PCI cards like the Sonnet Tempo & others may be the reason for certain types of conflict. Can anyone give me an idea of what I might expect in this regard? I'm running OS 9.2.2 & 10.2.8 very stably with a PL G3/800 upgrade & 576 MB of RAM. I also have an Ultimate Rez video card supporting a 15" Viewsonic flatscreen display. Because of the problems I heard that XPostFacto has supporting the built-in
    video card on a Beige G3/G4 that may potentially be a candidate for Panther, I've held off on installing it for now. Basically, I just want to have Jaguar & Classic running stably with the new Sonnet G4/1GHz CPU without having to go through a major saga or ordeal. Does anyone have any pertinent words o' wisdom to impart before I go ahead & take the plunge? If I can get the Altivec to work w/o any software hassles, I'll be a very happy camper.

  11. #11
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    Sonnet G4/1GHz in a Beige saga

    Well, I happened to pick up a Sonnet G4/1GHz ZIF upgrade at the MacWorld Expo yesterday ($399) & I thought I'd check this forum before taking the plunge into terra incognito.

    $399? That is a good sign.

    After reading over saga in this thread, I'm glad to have been given the heads-up on some of the potential conflicts.

    I found that the Sonnet library, the one that gets installed in OS 9.2.2 loose in the system folder, is what gives me/it trouble.

    My first concern is whether or not I might expect there might be a problem with the Sonnet Tempo Trio card that I have installed, since it was suggested that PCI cards like the Sonnet Tempo & others may be the reason for certain types of conflict.

    Just bought a Trio myself, to use 160GB Hitachi (fast, quiet, 55MB/sec) along with new 'Gurus FW drive - the cable alone normally sells for $29, it is that good.

    &gt;&gt;&gt; PL G3/800 upgrade & 576 MB of RAM.

    Sounds good. I'd continue in that until more updates for Panther are ready. I would recommend 768MB - Panther runs smoother than Jag ever did on my system - when it does!

    I am still doing the "PCI card dance" but I don't have Jaguar on this, and while I could install Panther, I couldn't boot from Jag CD. Before the Sonnet upgrade I never had trouble with Jaguar. But that may be the OWC "fully bootable" Pioneer A06 "SuperDrive model" I added at the same time.

    One thing, or change, at a time, be sure that works before moving on to a 2nd item, even if it is adding TWO RAM chips, do one at a time!

    Looking back, a G4MDD-1.25DP would have been preferable! except, this Beige is whisper quiet, as is the Hitachi 7K250.

    There is a problem on the Sonnet Trio with drives larger than 200GB (199) AND, there is a problem with OS 9.2.2 being able to boot from a partition which extends beyond 195GB, so 180GB is a good theoretical limit, don't know if that will cramp your style or not.

    I would replace the battery or have a spare - just good, sensible and these are 6 yr olds at this point - '98-era machines.

    But, are you saying that the G3/800 wasn't what you hoped it would be? falls short of 'expectations?' If you get $150 for it, you really will come out ahead in the end.

    &gt;&gt;&gt; Ultimate Rez -

    ATI has a new Radeon 9xxx PCI video card coming - sounds like they're going to sell thousands of these to us Beige/B&W owners - AND, there will be some used Radeons on the market as folks upgrade - IF - they are better and you do notice how much better OS X runs when it can off-load from the cpu to video cards like Radeon.

    &gt;&gt;&gt; Jaguar & Classic running stable -

    Sonnet TuneUp 1.27 (current) does work with Panther, but it installs drivers for 7300-9600 that don't. Also, XPF 3.0a11 will help. If you use Sonnet Tuneup, just reinstall XPF 3.0a10 or later. PL-CPU Director 1.3f1 just let's you see and make sure (but System Profiler should show the L2 and L3 settings also).

    &gt;&gt;&gt; Altivec to work -

    Sonnet wants me to RMA - I hate giving it up for even two weeks, you have to pry it off my cold dead hands! mine is a fluke. I have the feeling Amazon sent an "open box return" or something. Sonnet hasn't seen or heard of problems I've had.

    With G4 7457's now @ 1.4GHz for the Cube and others, it sure would be nice if they had that for the B&W.

    What amazes me, is the difference in the B&W and Beige. That 33 MHz bus difference matters a lot! My B&W is 'only' G4/500 but I think it is a 'horse race' as to which, G4/1000 or /500 - in part because the B&W has SCSI and SCSI RAID and has disk I/O of 65-100MB/sec.

    The G4/1000, any G4 actually, will result in memory thruput that is faster, stable and 'flat' rather than the G3's dips and slow-downs so you will see 93-94MB/sec memory performance (164MB on B&W).

    If I left something out, or learn something new, I'll update the thread.

  12. #12
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    To TZ: First of all, thanks a LOT for your very detailed & insightful response. Right on! Your thorough & systematic rundown of the issues involved goes a long way towards developing a better technical understanding of operations like this. Your kind of persistence leads to good science.

    I'm happy to report that the upgrade was a complete success. I'm now up & running @ 1.002 GHz & it's screaming fast! With the 2 fans running on the G4 card it's a a bit noisier than it was before, but it's a rather soft & almost calming noise, so it's no problem. The only real problem I had during the procedure was that I wasn't able to install the Encore software in OS 9 (it'd just hung up my system) until I booted up
    with just the base set of Extensions. I found that this was true for both partitions that I tried to install it on. Otherwise, things went pretty smoothly overall.

    I'll probably max the RAM out to 768 MB as you suggested now that I'll be using OS X (and hopefully Panther!) more due to the fact that Altivec has been enabled on the G4. While it's not a G4MDD-1.25DP, it certainly justifies every upgrade that I've ever made to this machine as it's still going strong, boldly going beyond all previous expectations that I've had for this machine since buying it new back in 1998. BTW, thanks for your suggestion to replace the P-RAM
    battery, which I actually had to do earlier this year.

    As for the G3/800, I really can't say that it fell short of my expectatons. Actually, it was pretty damn fast when you consider that the Processor test score using MacBench rated it as only about 11% slower than the Sonnet G4/1GHz, FWIW. In fact, the Floating Point text rated it @ more than 20% faster the than the G4/1GHz! Have you any ideas about why that might be, or what that means? I was thinking about selling it for about $150-175 in exchange for a G3/450 ZIF that a friend of mine has, but now I'm thinking of keeping it to upgrade a Beige G3/333 @ work.

    The new Radeon 9xxx PCI cards that are coming out sound very tempting, although your suggestion to look for a used Radeon is perhaps a more likely scenerio for me, especially since I'm not really into gaming. If Panther turns out to run well
    enough on this machine, a better video card makes a lot of sense, considering how much I've already invested in upgrading this Mac.

    Speaking of Panther, the last I heard XpostFacto still has problems supporting the built-in video card on these Beige machines. What can I expect if I installed Panther on a separate partition with my current set-up using the Ultimate Rez card? Will the Sony 17" CRT connected to the built-in video port simply fail to support any video? Also, should I be able to boot up a Firewire drive with Panther installed on it?

    Anyway, thanks again for all your input. I'm just glad that my waiting until '04 to finally upgrade to a G4 worked out so well.

    [This message was edited by LVX on Sun January 11, 2004 PT at 13:06.]

    [This message was edited by LVX on Sun January 11, 2004 PT at 13:07.]

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    I'd hold off on XPF - a new v. 3.0a11 is due in the next week, Ryan was busy demoing and at the OWC booth at the show. I ran Jaguar for awhile (email and light web) with built-in video on 19" (but one that has more bandwidth than the average monitor, ~200MHz, you can find 21-22" monitors with 250-350 MHz bandwidth which helps. But I wouldn't use the Rez, not with Panther. Writing a video driver wasn't "part of the deal" - it was to modify the boot process so that a Beige can boot the 10.3 Install CD, add some support files. XPF has grown in scope due to the needs and challenges.

    The first time a system boots up, after clearing nvram is always tricky until you reset the startup volume/system, which updates nvram and tells the system where. I always hold down the shift key.

    The README that came with the G4 has "known issues" but doesn't say exactly what, saying certain 256MB DIMMs and certain hard drive models have been reported to be incompatible under OS X in certain beige PMac G3s. This is not a Sonnet issue. One word: lame. Especially when you see the lengths of troubleshooting users provide and give. Even Adaptec has a lot of Q&A on Mac issues. ATTO has a broad outline of troubleshooting steps to take.

    Glad I could be of some assistance.

    [This message was edited by TZ on Sat January 10, 2004 PT at 17:17.]

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