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Thread: Modest upgrade path for7600 to G3

  1. #1
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    Before school starts, I thought I'd upgrade my daughter's 7600/132 with an xlr8 G3 card. I'm not looking to do any more to this machine beyond that, however, I'm a little confused as to which card I should get, and also if there will be any issues with installed ram:

    Memory overview
    Disk cache: 7.50 MB
    Virtual memory: is off
    Built-in memory: 240 MB
    Location Size Memory type
    B4 8 MB DIMM
    A4 8 MB DIMM
    B3 32 MB DIMM
    B2 64 MB DIMM
    A1 128 MB DIMM
    External L2 cache: 256K

    Any guidance would be much appreciated. -g

  2. #2
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    I'd recommend the MACh G3 ZIF 500MHz.

    Most bang for the buck; you'll be very impressed with the responsiveness of her new Mac. No compatibility issues at all.

    If budget is a major concern, lower MHz versions run great too. I run a G3 400 and love it.

  3. #3
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    the G3 400 card the guru's sell for 200 bucks would be a good choice , also don't forget that you might need to upgrade the video card as well to avoid "aftifacting"(is that a word??) And yes you might have ram issues with such a mix of sizes and i am assuming speeds?

  4. #4
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    If you need a cheap PCI video upgrade - get the ix3D from OWC - it is only $40! It is not all that fast - but proabably a little faster than your stock video and it has 8MB of VRAM - so you can run at 1600x1200x32!

    A nice fast SCSI hardware could also make a big difference, but maybe you should save that for next year?-)

    ------------------
    Life in the fast lane leads to:
    The Resteraunt At The End Of The Universe

  5. #5
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    Sounds good..
    The video card supports millions of colors; I assume that would make it compatible. (?) Or should I open the case and check the card- ASP doesn't say what it is.
    As for the ram- how would I check the speed?

    [This message has been edited by gmidd (edited 21 August 2001).]

    [This message has been edited by gmidd (edited 21 August 2001).]

  6. #6
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    gmidd, not to contradict tm311's valuable input, but maybe expand a bit........

    On some macs, there is some video artifacting with those cards (the best damn CPU upgrade you can buy).....but if you read VERY CAREFULLY the xlr8 install page here on MacGuru's site, you can resolve that by pulling one of the extensions out of your system folder (can't remember which one). It was a bit of a problem on Catalyst based MOBO's and variants, and maybe some other macs......... MTR, Magician or Las Vegas may be able to be more specific, but so far as I know it doesn't really REQUIRE you get a new video card. Your machine may be unaffected. My PowerTower Pro doesn't have artifacting at all.

    The possible RAM issue is more a function of the quality of the build of the memory. Cheap memory is often cheap for a reason, and if there's some in your machine, the faster clocks speeds could help you "flush out" the cheaper built stuff. If you've purchased some from the MacGurus, it shouldn't be too much of an issue.

    As has been said, put a 500Mhz g3 or even a 400 Mhz in that machine, and things will happen WAY faster. I too have the g3 400, and it's been rock solid and lickity split fast, and was truely plug and play.

    Best regards to all,

    C8

    [This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 21 August 2001).]

  7. #7
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    I'd do a wait and see here. I very rarely run into video problems with processor upgrades. It's usually due to inferior memory in the video card or onboard video. If, after you've installed the processor upgrade and you experience video artifacts, come back. I'm sure we can figure out and solve the problem at that time.

  8. #8
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    well i did say he MIGHT need to replace......i just thru that in so he didn't blow the whole wad ona faster card only to be "surprised " if he then got "artifacting". I replaced my cpu on a 7500 with a xlr8 g3 400 and DID get artifacting.

  9. #9
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    gotcha TM.....

    I too had artifacting on a PowerCurve 120. At the time, in the Gurus xlr8 tech pages, there was mention of a conflict with the xlr8 software and the video extension. In that machine, (a Catalyst variant, same architecture base as the 7200) the fix was to just yank the extension and it fixed it.

    I KNOW for a fact that Louie knows the exact scoop on this, or Mag or Kaye for that matter. Louie, what was the cure for that problem?
    ....and sorry if my edit sent you duplicates.....my first use of the this feature Louie

    c8



    [This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 21 August 2001).]

  10. #10
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    Let me know if you got dupes Louie.......

    c8

    Batsignal invoked to Louie!

  11. #11
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    Now that you mention it, I did read something the other day in the xlr8 pages about the extention in question..
    Sounds like either of those cards 'll do the trick-

    The 128 stick is the only fairly new ram in that machine. I don't know what the stock config was. When I put the 128 in, I had problems 'til I found the right slot for it; it didn't want to work in certain slots. At the time, I didn't want do the interleaving thing- too expensive.
    Thanks, folks, for the clarifications.
    g

  12. #12
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    I got the artifacts on my 8500/XLR8 G3 400 w/ stock 4MB VRAM. The solution was to disable all the hardware related video extensions and switch from thousands to millions of colors. Haven't noticed any system slowdown and no more funny lines.

    ------------------
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    I still have most of it left!

  13. #13
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    Crazy Eight called me out of my sick bed to lend my dignity to this thread (yes, I got a duplicate Bat Signal)

    All that I see in this thread is basically good advice, although I see a couple of things that may need some extra clarifcation.

    First, the XLR8 Carrier/Carrier MPE card is the way to go( I know the Carrier is, but have never tried the Carrier MPE in a 7600). The best speed/cost combo has been the 466, however, they may be gane now. I would get the fastest CPU that you can afford. Since the price of the fast G3s have come way down in recent months, try to go for the 500.

    Some but not all Power Macs with onboard video are sucepible to video artifacts when upgraded to G3s. You may be lucky and not "have" to have a video card. It's best to have four modules of 60 ns VRAM, but it's hard find. With all due respect to C8, The 7600 is not a Catalyst-based machine and therefore does not reguire you to disabled the 7200 Graphics Accellerator Extension since it's not used with your machine. Your onboard video uses Builtin Graphics Acellerator (for 73/75/76/8500s) and may or may not work fine. The 7200 version is definitely a problem. If you must disabled the accellerator extension, your 2D screen draws and scrolling will be quite slow and you will probably want a video card.

    If you want or need a video card, I personally would look for a used ATI Orion which is much more modern and capable and uses Apple's Open GL 1.1.3 drivers. They can be found on eBay for about $100. The old ix Micro cards are long in the tooth and they will never have updated divers and can't do Open GL. I have also seen them do funny things under OS 9.x at certain resolutions.

    Your current RAM is not interleaved. First, you should be sure that it is all 60ns stuff and I would run RAM tests on it be be sure it is all good. Then I would buy enough modules so that it can interleave.

    Even with a fast G3, good RAM (and a video card?), if you still have the Apple- issue hard drive, that is a performance bottleneck. At best, it provides a data transfer rate of about 8 MB/s. The least expensive upgrade in that area is an 18 GB Seagate Barracuda Ultra SCSI(50-pin, Fast-20) drive and an Initio Miles BlueNote PCI SCSI Host Adapter. That combo will give you about 18 MB/sec. There will be some that will say that UltraNarrow is dead. I'll been hearing that for a long time, but it's not dead yet. If you want something faster, get a Miles U2W card and a LVD Barracuda or Cheetah. Those combos give better than 30-35 MB/sec.

    There is another drive choice that I don't personally recommemd because I have no experience with them. A PCI card that is a host for ATA drives. Some will argue that the are less expensive and that depends on how you measure it. The drive waranties are 3 years instead of 5 and they have not done well with Audio/Video in the past.

    Having good RAM is the most import aspect. This will affect both the operation of the G3 card and the onboard video.



    [This message has been edited by Louie (edited 22 August 2001).]

  14. #14
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    Thanks Loiue, sorry for getting you out of bed......my Catalyst mention was regards my PowerCurve/artifacts experience........... and it is true that my use of syntax in the english language.......well, it sucks.....

    Hope you're feeling better....

    C8

  15. #15
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    Thank you all for this highly informative thread..

    So to summarize: most likely no problem plug 'n play with xlr8 G3 card, though ram module speed differences could pose problem- and slow stock scsi drives might be a bottleneck in an otherwise fast system....video artifacting might occur but in that case check for extensions to disable.
    Should I bother to test ram speeds, or can I find out by looking at numbers on the mem modules? Or is there a utility I should download for this purpose?

    On a lighter note: I just opened the box containing my new Quicksilver 733!!!!!!!!!!

  16. #16
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    If you just received a new Silver Bullet, you will surely be distracted from the 7600 upgrade for a while. Have fun!

    Your summary is very good. Definitely pull the RAM to be sure that all modules have a 6, -6, 60 or -60 printed on them at the end of the number scheme. XLR8 has an excellent RAM tester, Power Control. Go here: ftp://ftp.macgurus.com/xlr8_stuff/po...rol_powerfrax/ to get it. It it can go all night with no errors, that's a very good sign. The RAM will be stressed much more after you go to the G3, so run it again then. I don't want to be an alarmist, but you comment about the new 128 MB module giving you a hard time is of some concern. Some less than honororable vendors dumped some very flakey stuff on the market a couple of months ago. If you have errors during the RAM test, give us the exact markings from the module and we can tell you what you have. All your RAM should be 5v, 60 ns, 2k refresh rate (4k, 2k per side for the 12b MB module) and should be either 16244 (buffered/not dampered) or 162244 (buffered and dampered).


    [This message has been edited by Louie (edited 23 August 2001).]

  17. #17
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    Louie, thanks for the link and info on reading the numbers. I'll run some tests and take a close look at the modules, and then report back with the findings...

    Yes, it's very distracting looking at this brandy- new hunk a' raw speed + power..I don wanna even untie the bow yet! -g

  18. #18
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    I just recently did an extensive upgrade on my 7600, including the XLR8 MachCarrier 466, The Seagate Barracuda w/Miles Bluenote Card (the one that Louie suggested), and the ATI Radeon Video card. All of these together amounted to quite a bit of performance boost for my aging system. Now it feels brand new!

    I found little artifacting after the G3 upgrade using my on-board video, but you might find a different scenario. I upgraded to the ATI Radeon video card mostly for the speed it gives the graphic programs I work with, but it also makes scrolling zippy - something I didnt' really think would make a difference, but it really does. At one point my card wasn't seated right and it seemed everything moved at the speed of a slug.

    The RAM issue is a sticky one - I got into all kinds of trouble buying unmatched pairs, and different brands performed differently. However, I have also overclocked my 466 to 486, and I think that taxes the memory a bit. You would be safe to make sure you have matching pairs for interleaving, and use the specs that Louie mentioned to make sure you've got good stuff.

    Good luck with your upgrade - your daughter won't be unhappy with any and all of these suggested upgrades.

    Rebecca

  19. #19
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    Thanks Rebecca,
    Right now I'm checkin' out the ram with PowerControl-so generously supplied by Macgurus via their ftp server. So far so good; 0 errors in a 12 hour test. I'm also going to take a closer look at the drives, find out what speed etc.
    I'll be takin' my time on this potential upgrade- she'll use the Yose while I'll fiddle around with the 7600 and get my new Silver Bullet up and running...-g

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