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Thread: PowerMac G4 proccessor upgrade questions

  1. #1
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    Default PowerMac G4 proccessor upgrade questions

    Too make a long story short... I am trying to buy a PowerMac desktop, but I can't afford a state-of-the-art PowerMac G5. As an alternative, I may buy an old PowerMac G4 from a family friend, for $200 (it's average used value on eBay).

    It is basically an early PowerMac G4, with a graphite case and a 400MHz G4 proccessor. It uses a sawtooth motherboard (I am assuming, anyway - all 400MHz graphite PowerMacs have them). Because the system is dead slow with it's current CPU, I have been looking into replacing it with a newer one. I was suprised to find out that I could actually upgrade it all the way to a dual 1.8GHz G4, signifigantly faster then it's old CPU, and good enough to run any Mac application to date.

    However, I am a little worried that such a powerful CPU will be bottlenecked (limited) by the other components. I am most worried about the RAM bus, which is only 100MHz, very slow for such a fast proccessor. I want to know if 1.8GHz is unneccesary overkill for such a system, if I would get better value in cheaper CPU upgrade.

    If I can indeed put this CPU in this sytem, and get the full advantage from the nice proccessor, I could turn this system into an extremley fast computer (with upgrades other then the CPU, of course) for half the price of a new G5.

  2. #2
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    xXdaveXx,

    welcome to MacGurus Tech Forums!

    Check if it is A Sawtooth (AGP slot) not a Yikes (PCI slots only).

    I think the speed gain should be great, the 100MHz bus should not be an issue.

    Wait for a detailed answer from guys, using an upgrade in a Sawtooth.

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  3. #3
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    Dear xXDaveXx,

    I am personally writing this reply to you from an old PowerMac G4 AGP graphics (Sawtooth) with an upgraded CPU from GigaDesigns, bearing these basic specs:
    • Clock speed: 1.4 GHz - Single Processor
    • L1 cache: 32 KB.
    • L2 cache: 256 KB.
    • L3 cache: 2MB.
    • G4 CPU series by Motorola code named Apollo MPC7455A
    • Front System Bus clocking at 100MHz maximum.

    Such CPU is capable to operate on machines with a Front System Bus clocking up to 167MHz (as per FreeScale's product's facts page).
    My old Sawtooth runs happly with such upgrade and in almost 1 year's daily operations has never given' me a problem.

    Today the old Apollo 7455 processor series is no longer available. All major CPU upgrading vendors will provide you with the more recent 7447 series of Motorola's G4 CPU.
    However, such new CPU does not carry L3 cache on board, but it's capable to run at a higher frequency (which probably compensates for the lack of L3 cache), and, above all, runs much cooler than the previous 7455s.

    My suggestion is to look comfortably at the recent CPU upgrade offerings with the knowledge that the clocking speed of your Front System Bus is NOT a limiting factor.

    Check this User Reports Database on CPU Upgrades, for indipendent users' opinions over the different kinds of CPU upgrades offering.
    You will probably find out from such Data Base that GigaDesigns bears one of the most reliable records and, we can assure you, provides good after sales support.

    With reference to other questions, like:
    • What kind of CPU upgrade should I be looking for: Single or Dual Processor?
    • What kind of clocking speed should I be looking for?
    • What other upgrades should I consider?

    It all depends on the kind of applications you would like to use with your Mac and what kind of budget do you have in mind/available.

    Said that, consider that:
    • RAM expansion should be one of the first upgrades you should be looking for, even before a CPU upgrade. And make sure it's the propper kind and of good quality, otherwise you risk having all sorts of issues with the new CPU and the new OS.
    • MacGurus online store offers pretty good quality upgrades at reasonable prices. I have tested them in the past and I have been happy with them. (Although I am a MacGurus Moderator, I accrue absolute NOTHING from any sale MacGurus Store may or not do. I am NOT paid by MacGurus and I write on these forums on a voluntary basis)
    • Your friend's Sawtooth is a good machine which offers you a wide spectrum of possible upgrades.
    • If properly upgraded such machine can still provide you many, many hours of happy computing at a very similar performance a modern PowerMac G5 machine can provide.


    Let us know what you have in mind, so that we can advise you better and walk you through your upgrading programme.

    All the best.

    Ciao.
    Costa
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    Yes, this model does have an AGP slot, so I can assume it has a Sawtooth motherboard.

    My biggest question here is if the CPU will be limited by the other system components, like the slow RAM or the ancient logic board. If it is, it is not worthwhile for me to buy such an expensive CPU for it. I understand that the RAM speed will forever slow it down, but if it will really cripple the advantage I will get from the CPU....

  5. #5
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    xXDaveXx,

    this is a tricky area. You really need to define what it is you want to do with the machine. By the time you've got the Sawtooth for $200, slapped a big dual Giga upgrade in it, along with a SATA host and a couple of big drives, and at least a GB of top-notch RAM, you're looking at well over $1000. That is for sure cheaper than even a Refurb 1.8 G5 ($1300, although they have some drive I/O issues too), but we haven't even talked about optical drives and video cards yet. So much depends on what you intend to use the Mac for.

    biggles.
    "illegitimis non carborundum"

  6. #6
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    And have you seen the new G5 imacs?

    http://www.apple.com/imac/specs.html

    Hard to beat for the money.

    Having said that, I am very happy with my Giga SP 1.4 in a Cube (same bus/memory speed as your sawtooth), along with an ATI 9200 for video. Better then I expected, and plenty fast for general use.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  7. #7
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    Dear xXDaveXx,

    Quote Originally Posted by xXDaveXx
    My biggest question here is if the CPU will be limited by the other system components, like the slow RAM or the ancient logic board. If it is, it is not worthwhile for me to buy such an expensive CPU for it. I understand that the RAM speed will forever slow it down, but if it will really cripple the advantage I will get from the CPU....
    O.k., here is a list of the main components inside your Sawtooth which could hamper your overall performance:
    • The AGP slot is oly 2x and not every bran new graphic card out there is backward compatible to such slow, old port (many require AGP 4x minimum).
    • The internal Power Supply is capable, at best, of up to 237W (Rev. 2 AGPs), otherwise it would be 208W, which can be insufficient to power some modern graphic cards (e.g.: the ATI RADEON 9800 Pro Mac Edition).
    • The USB ports provided are still the 1.1 revision - capable of 12 Mbps throughput maximum - good only for "simple" peripherals like printers, scanners, keyboards, mouse, etc., but too slow for external storage devices.
    • The FireWire bus provided is still the "first generation" specification capable of 400Mbps throughput; better than the USB ports - you can safely use external storage devices with it - but not as performing like the FW800 recent protocol.

    The above are all motherboard limitations which you can:
    1. Overcome with proper upgrades (most pretty easy, except for the PS unit which may need some mods); however, the overall bill will tend to raise...
    2. Detect easelly in your day-to-day work with the machine.

    The Front System Bus maximum clock frequency is a limitation which you will hardly detect, unless you compare some applications' performance with the upgraded G4 against a new PowerMac G5 (e.g.: PhotoShop and FCP).
    Another obvious motherboard limitation between the old G4 and the new PowerMac G5s is the PCI bus:
    • The old G4 bears a PCI bus clocking at 33MHz with a band width of 64-bits, for a total maximum data throughput of 264 MB/sec.
    • The new G5 bears the modern PCI-X specification bus, which, as per Apple Developer Notes, "... Some configurations of the Power Mac G5 support three PCI-X slots that interface to the HyperTransport bus via the PCI-X bridge. One slot runs at a maximum of 133 MHz and two slots run at a maximum of 100 MHz. The 133 MHz slot can support a maximum burst bandwidth of 1064 MBps, based on 64 bits times 133 MHz. The two 100 MHz slots can support a combined bandwidth of 800 MBps ..."

    About such PCI bus limitation, there's nothing you can do about it, other than buying the G5 machine.

    However, keep in mind that in the next 8-10 months time we will see the new PowerMacs line based on INTEL processors and architecture. INTEL is currently sporting the PCI-EXPRESS protocol on its own motherboards AND the new line of Controller Chips which are far, far superior to anything the PowerMac G5s are currently carrying (for goodness sake, INTEL invented the bloody things....).

    You may even want to consider a "conservative" (i.e. limited) upgrading programme on your Sawtooth, while waiting for the new Apple products next year.

    A new CPU inside your Sawtooth will NOT be crippled by the slow RAM bus, due to the following reason:
    Even if you have a FSB running at, say 133MHz, that is no guarantee that your internal Memory Controller will always use it at such maximum speed. It dependss on the kind of task and the amount of data the Memory Controller is handling at any given moment; in fact, it is a prerogative of the Memory Controller to adjust the FSB clocking speed according to the tasks it has at hand. One moment it may use it at full speed (133 MHz), the next moment it may well slow it down as much as 100 or even 66 MHz, without you knowing anything about it.
    The CPU is thus not affected by such behaviour.

    It really all depends on what you need your Sawtooth for. If you let us know that, we may be able to advise you on what could be your best move.

    Let us know.

    Ciao.
    Costa
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  8. #8
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    Ciao! Costa!

    xXDaveXx, Costa's one of the real Guru's around here. He tends to bugger off for months at a time and then then turns in a "tour de force" (sorry Costa, don't know the Italian for that) like that last post.

    You can upgrade your Sawtooth and make it a very capable machine, but only you can do the cost/benefit analysis. I would suggest that you don't dismiss the G5 option out of hand. The older G4's will nickel-and-dime you to death unless you have defined performance criteria which are unlikely to change and which the upgraded G4 can satisfy.

    biggles.
    "illegitimis non carborundum"

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    Cool

    Amen to the last couple of posts as one who benefited from advice and support from all the authors replying in this thread. Dram and CPU's for a Sawtooth won't do you much good in another machine, but other components you might be considering would (Hard drives, SATA controller cards for examples)if you should choose to upgrade to a G5 after experimenting with the G4. The expense of upgrading this machine was worth it for me if only for the education. But I will say the performance improvement has been ENORMOUS!! The Sawtooth is a good machine.
    CB
    It's a nice nose! I like it! It's chewy!!

  10. #10
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    I noticied a disclaimer on the proccessor upgrades page:


    *Note:If you are upgrading an early AGP Graphics G4 model you will need to determine if your system is dual compatible. You must have a Uni-N revision of 7, or greater, for your system to utilize both processors. To determine your uni-N please follow the directions under the correct section below. For OSX users, download This Utility to determine your Uni-N Revision. For OS9 users go to Giga Instructions page to determine your AGPs ability to accept Dual CPU upgrades.
    Is my PowerMac considered an early AGP graphics model? It may or may not be, I have no idea when this system was bought.

    I suspect it is a later model, bought when the 400MHz, 450MHz, and 500MHz PowerMacs were sold. Because the computer was bought primeraly for office work, and the person who bought it happens to be faily cheap when buying electronics, the only instance where the 400MHz PowerMac is the cheapest is during the reign of the 400MHz, 450Mhz, and 500MHz PowerMacs. Because that series is later generation, I cannot assume, but guess that it uses a newer uni-N.

    I do not have direct access to the machine, because I have not bought it yet, but I will try to test it before I buy it - though, chances are, it wont effect my final decision to buy it. If it doesn't take a dual CPU, I will opt for a cheaper 1.8GHz single CPU I was considering already.

  11. #11
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    Default Old PowerMac G4 AGP - Still a capable "beast" today!

    Dear xXDaveXx,

    may I call you just "Dave" - doing witout those darn "Xxs" each time that tend to jam my fingers on the keyboard? You won't get upset by it?

    In case you want to "see" with your own eyes what a conservatively upgraded old Sawtooth can do, read through this G4 Tower (Sawtooth) Media Center article; you may find it 'illuminating"....

    Moreover, at the darn office I have an AMD PeeCee running at 1.7GHz, with a Front System Bus clocking at 167MHz, employing DDR SDRAM, with 80GB internal UltraATA hard disk, etc....
    Well, would you believe that my upgraded Sawtooth is FASTER than my more modern PC when it comes down to some functions?! I can render a filter in PhotoShop more quickley on my old Mac at home than with my PC at the office! And they both employ the same graphic card (ATI RADEON 8500 with 64MB VRAM).

    Hope that will help you in making your decision.

    Ciao.


    P.S.: Ciao Biggels! Yeah... sometimes I'm really hopeless...But I'm always back sooner or later...
    OSX Rules!
    Last edited by Costa; 10-13-2005 at 11:43 PM. Reason: Forgot to add something...
    Costa
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    Sorry to ressurect this old thread, but it's far easier then creating a new one.

    I am coming closer and closer to attempting an upgrade on an old PowerMac. To me, it seems more cost-effective then a new PowerMac G5, cheaper and geekier then an new iMac Intel, and much higher performance then a Mac mini or my current PowerBook G4.

    If I were to upgrade an old PowerMac, I would go all-out, with 2 (eventually 3) 512MB sticks of RAM, an ATI 9600 Pro 256MB, dual 1.8GHz G4, and a USB 2.0 PCI expansion card. I severley doubt a 208 watt PSU, or even a 237 watt PSU, can power all that. If it is possible to fit a newer, more powerful power supply in the PowerMac G4 AGP, it would definetley help.

    Currently, it is looking like a full barrage of upgrades consisting of (approx. prices):
    • GigaDesigns Dual 1.8GHz G4 - $450
    • 2x 512MB PC100 RAM - $100
    • ATI 9800 Pro 256MB - $220
    • PCI USB 2.0 Controller - $10
    • 250GB 7200RPM SATA-150 HDD - $100


    Will set me back around $1000. The competing iMac Intel is $1500 with a 1.8GHz ICD, 250GB 7200RPM, 1GB RAM, and a 128MB X1600. A Price difference of $500, enough to buy a nice monitor and keyboard/mouse, although I already have those.

    It would seem pointless even then, but here is why I would like to go ahead anyway: I don't like the iMac, I would love for the chance to take apart and revamp an old PowerMac for a good purpose, and geek status. Last being, admittedly, the most important

  13. #13
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    Hello........Dave........


    Those new IntelMacs have three downsides anyway.

    1. No Classic at all!
    If you are using Classic apps and you don't want to upgrade them (like PhotoShop 6 is running in Classic within OSX) those IntelMacs are a no go for ya.

    2. If you are using PCI cards!
    Like SCSI or Audio cards you have to wait till the Intel Power Macs but, then you have to buy new cards cuz they will have PCIe only.

    3. Some apps are not working on the InteMacs (Rosetta).
    All apps which are optimized for G4s G5s (Altivec) are running slower, for some apps this is a no go like Logic, Cubase, FinalCut, Premiere and Motion. Also some developer will not support the new IntelMacs (or once there is a base installed) like Avid.


    Best regards

    Nicolas
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  14. #14
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    Default Sawtooth Power upgrade

    Dave,
    I've been lurking on this thread - as I do often, especially now that I'm upping to a Giga 1.8, but enough waffling and to wit: I successfully upgraded my Sawtooth's power supply with a regular ol' $30 ATX 300W PSU; with a little rewiring, it works great (I can't seem to find the links to the wiring diagrams now, but a simple Googling should do it); it was a matter of re-routing two wires in the bundle, and - if I do say so myself - the self-feeling of "geek-status" is rewarding.
    I'd be glad to be of help if you go this route.
    Good luck.
    TerryR

  15. #15
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    xXdaveXx,

    I have a G4 Digital Audio that I have taken through a number of upgrades, some of which are ongoing. It certainly offers more opportunities to mess around than an iMac, though some USB or Firewire items are available that would work with the iMac. I must confess that I simply don't care for the restrictions of the iMac, though some of the newer G5 ones I have seen are very good machines. The cautions about the new Intel machines are certainly right on point, but should be smoothed out as the year progresses and the software vendors get their universal binary versions out. At that point the true power of the Intel machines should be nice.

    You will have to be careful about what your hard disk plans are as there are some potential complications in dealing with SATA drive controllers. You will need a boot drive. That's obvious, but which one may not be. I am preparing to use a boot drive on the native (on the logic board) controller as the bootable SATA controller I have been using does not play well with my Digital Audio. Other people do not seem to have experienced the problems that I have encountered, but my remain unresolved. The remainder of the presently available Mac compatible SATA controllers are not bootable and so you will need to have a PATA (ATA) drive. You will need to buy another hard drive (7200 RPM). Ask lots of questions about SATA controllers. I am going to be asking some myself as the one I have isn't doing what I expect of it.

    I noticed the price you listed for RAM. Don't buy cheap RAM. You'll regret it. Most 512 MB RAM suitable for the machine you are considering are actually PC133 RAM that is backwards compatible. It runs around $120-$130 per 512 MB DIMM for good RAM.

    You can get a decent DVD burner for not a lot of money, but it is one more thing you need to get. Pioneers are running $50 or so depending upon where you look for a bare drive. There are occasionally some bundles that include Toast that can be useful.

    The other thing to think about before jumping into upgrading an older machine is that if anything goes wrong with it the parts can be pricey and availability uncertain.

    Then there is the matter of the value of it. If you intend to keep it, this may not be much of an issue, but if you intend to sell it to get a new machine you may wish to consider this factor.

    Good luck with you decision

  16. #16
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by RBR
    xXdaveXx,

    I have a G4 Digital Audio that I have taken through a number of upgrades, some of which are ongoing. It certainly offers more opportunities to mess around than an iMac, though some USB or Firewire items are available that would work with the iMac. I must confess that I simply don't care for the restrictions of the iMac, though some of the newer G5 ones I have seen are very good machines. The cautions about the new Intel machines are certainly right on point, but should be smoothed out as the year progresses and the software vendors get their universal binary versions out. At that point the true power of the Intel machines should be nice.

    You will have to be careful about what your hard disk plans are as there are some potential complications in dealing with SATA drive controllers. You will need a boot drive. That's obvious, but which one may not be. I am preparing to use a boot drive on the native (on the logic board) controller as the bootable SATA controller I have been using does not play well with my Digital Audio. Other people do not seem to have experienced the problems that I have encountered, but my remain unresolved. The remainder of the presently available Mac compatible SATA controllers are not bootable and so you will need to have a PATA (ATA) drive. You will need to buy another hard drive (7200 RPM). Ask lots of questions about SATA controllers. I am going to be asking some myself as the one I have isn't doing what I expect of it.

    I noticed the price you listed for RAM. Don't buy cheap RAM. You'll regret it. Most 512 MB RAM suitable for the machine you are considering are actually PC133 RAM that is backwards compatible. It runs around $120-$130 per 512 MB DIMM for good RAM.

    You can get a decent DVD burner for not a lot of money, but it is one more thing you need to get. Pioneers are running $50 or so depending upon where you look for a bare drive. There are occasionally some bundles that include Toast that can be useful.

    The other thing to think about before jumping into upgrading an older machine is that if anything goes wrong with it the parts can be pricey and availability uncertain.

    Then there is the matter of the value of it. If you intend to keep it, this may not be much of an issue, but if you intend to sell it to get a new machine you may wish to consider this factor.

    Good luck with you decision

    I agree with everything said here though I think I would pass on a sawtooth machine and go for a Digital Audio 466. I think they are selling for approximately $400-350 on ebay right now. I got mine in Nov. 2004 for $385. The reason to get one of these machines are faster bus speed (133MHz), faster memory, and guaranteed dual processor compatability. In fact, there is imho little reason to buy anything more recent in the G4 line because very little changed in G4 desktop architechture until the FW800 Mirrored Drive Door machines. What did change, apart from OS9 bootability, was imho relatively insignificant. Sure you got LBA48 large drive support but an ATA or SATA card will give you that.

    In my case I immediately replaced the 466MHz G4 with a GigaDesigns Dual 1.2GHz upgrade. I also added a Radeon 9800, and a Seritek 4 port SATA card. I have 4 200GB SATA drives. Two are used in a RAID 0 strip created with SoftRaid and the other two are a setup as two 98GB RAID 1 mirrors. One has 10.3.9 installed and the other has 10.4.4 installed. Both are bootable. Everything is backed up periodically to two 200GB FW drives.

  17. #17
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    marcush,

    A couple of things.

    First, I very much agree that the Digital Audio is a better starting point than a Sawtooth. I have not recently priced them on eBay, but the prices you mention would be very good as a starting point to build a machine.

    That said, I do have a Gigabit Ethernet box that is about to get the GigaDesigns 1.33 GHz CPU out of my Digital Audio as the Giga 1.8 dual for it just showed up. :-)

    Now on to my situation. Just what drives are you using with your SATA controllers? I am using a FirmTek 2+2 and an Hitachi 500 GB installed in one of their 2 bay external cases. So far, it has not performed as I expected it to. From a cold start I can boot only to the native ATA drive even though the external SATA Hitachi was the boot drive on shut down. After the startup I can reboot and get to the SATA Hitachi, but the ATA on the native controller disappears. All this is with Tiger.

    I recently installed Panther on another drive on the native controller for the purpose of getting the update packages to burn to a CD to send to someone without a broadband connection who is installing Panther. The system would not reboot to the native drive. I had to shut the system down and do a cold start to get to the drive on the native controller.

    So far, I have not been able to get a solution out of FirmTek. I do not know if it is a problem with the particular controller I have or whether "they are all that way". I also do not know if it is a problem with the FirmTek controller and the Hitachi drive in some way (I do not yet have another SATA drive to swap out to test this possibility. The only other SATA drive I have is attached to a DVR and is "busy" at the present time or I would use it to experiment.) I have spoken with tech support at Hitachi and they indicate that the drive is not one of the SSC enabled drives, though it is a NCQ drive.

    I would appreciate any details of your installation and experience with the SATA drives and controllers as I am about at the point of abandoning the FirmTek controller.

    Cheers,

    Rick

  18. #18
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    RBR,

    I don't mean to interrupt the thread but when you contacted FirmTek, did they email you three files and instructions on how to use them (very important)?

    I have a SeriTek/1VE4 and they sent these and instructions:
    1. FSCApp.img
    2. SeriTek1S2_512.img
    3. SeriTek1VE4_512.img

    Yeah, they included SeriTek1S2_512.img and the instructions tell why you may need that. I have forgotten the order of doing the files.

    OK, just found the instructions:

    "Subject: Re: SeriTek/1VE4

    Hi Kaye,

    The latest & greatest firmware is 5.1.2. Some 4-channel controllers could be using the 5.1.1
    The changes between 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 are rather cosmetic - but it's important to note, if you already have an older controller (1S2, for instance), please upgrade it first to 5.1.2.

    The procedure normally would be (if you have 1S2 or ever had 1S2 in your machine - MacOS-X DOES remember old installations, so an old firmware could be still in the system cache even if you do not have the card installed at the moment!)

    1) running FSCApp_Tiger or FSCApp_Panther (depending on what OS you have) on empty machine (no SeriTek there)
    2) putting SeriTek/1S2 inside and upgrading the SeriTek/1S2 to 5.1.2
    3) running FSCApp again, switching the machine off, removing SeriTek/1S2 and installing 1VE4
    4) switching the machine on, upgrading 1VE4, running FSCApp (the third time!), re-starting the machine.

    NB: please do not connect any drive to the controllers which are to be flashed.

    If SeriTek/1VE4 is the first our controller in your machine ever, just put it inside (no drives), turn the machine on, run the firmware upgrade and afterwards, than re-start the machine."

    The file for your 2+2 would be different of course and the versions I have for the files were emailed August, 2005. k

  19. #19
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    Default Firmware

    Hello kaye,

    Thanks for jumping in. I appreciate all input.

    I got the three files from FirmTek and installed the updated firmware. As best as I can recall, I followed the instructions. In any event ASP shows Firmware version 5.1.2.

    Both from the notes and from subsequent communication with FirmTek it appears that the changes between 5.1.2 are, for the most part, simply cleaning up some language or as they put it "cosmetic".

    My understanding, subject to being flat out wrong, is that the 2+2 and the 4 internal/external PCI cards are identical except for the physical location of the ports. My understanding is that they use the same firmware also.

    What drives and so on are you using? If there is a combination that will work I would like to find it.

    Here is my machine at the moment:

    Digital Audio (originally a 733 MHz)

    >Giga 1.33 GHz CPU

    >1.5 GB Crucial RAM (CL-2)

    >4600ti Graphics card (an ATI 9800 ME is about to go back in as it has been returned after a bad fan problem)

    >ACARD 6880M controller (configured for striped/RAID0) and 2x250 GB WD drives mounted internally for video files only

    >Seagate 120 GB (.7) drive attached to the native ATA controller (with OS 10.4.4 installed)

    >Granite Digital FW 800 PCI card

    >FirmTek SeriTek/1VE2+2 Internal/External SATA controller with Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 500GB Serial ATA II 7200RPM Hard Drive w/16MB Buffer in a FirmTek/SeriTek1EN2 external enclosure.

    >Pioneer DVR-109 optical drive

    >EyeTV 200 (firewire) external tuner/analog-digital converter

    >Granite Digital FW 800 enclosures for 250 GB WD HD and another optical drive which are only turned on when in actual use

    >Apple Airport card is installed

    >ViewSonic 17" monitor

    Everything is run off of a UPS with conditioned power/automatic voltage regulation.

    I have a Maxtor Maxline III 300 GB 16 MB cache drive that is attached to one of the Time-Warner Cable/Scientific Atlanta DVR boxes that I am trying to clear off of recordings so that I can try it with the FirmTek Controller, but I am otherwise without other SATA drives to try at the moment.

    I would certainly appreciate knowing what combination of equipment works for you and any suggestions you might care to make.

    Cheers,

    Rick

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    RBR,
    My understanding, subject to being flat out wrong, is that the 2+2 and the 4 internal/external PCI cards are identical except for the physical location of the ports. My understanding is that they use the same firmware also.
    I did not know that since the file I received is clearly labeled SeriTek1VE4_512.img. I would not assume that the firmware for my card is the same as your card even with the same version number. You never had a SeriTek/1S2 in your DA? One of my SeriTeks purchased last year had firmware 5.1.0 or earlier so the firmware update was more than cosmetic for me. My latest card already had 5.1.2 on it.

    My G5, in my sig, has a UL4D in the 133MHz PCI-X slot and 2 SeriTek/1VE4's in the 100MHz PCI-X slots. I have 4x Raptor 74GB and 2x Raptor 150GB, three of the 74's on one card and one 74 and two 150's on the other card. The Raptor 74's are in a Gurus 4-bay Burly. The 150's are in a SeriTek/1EN2 External Two-Bay Serial ATA Enclosure only because I need some foot space under my desk.

    I don't see anything specific to your DA's configuration except you have a lotta drives. Have you done an Open Firmware reset? If no change after that, then you might try reducing the number of attached drives to see if that at least makes the SeriTek drives work. k

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