Info & Help banner bar

Sonnet Info

Sonnets 225/240 G3 for 6400

This page contains all the info I have gathered on Sonnets G3 upgrade for the 6400
Return to The 6400 Zone Home page

Sonnet Technologies, Inc.
18004 Sky Park Circle
Irvine, CA. 92614-6428

Voice (949) 261-2800 Fax (949) 261-2461
email: sales@sonnettech.com

My Sonnet G3 review
Review of Sonnet 400/1M by Craig


Sonnet announced G3 upgrades for the 6400!: Its about time another vendor gets a G3 upgrade for our computers made. Sonnet just announced the below configurations for all 64xx/65xx and others built on the same mother boards. Newer had announced a 4400 version awhile back but didn't expand into the 6400 world. Sonnets pricing is very aggresive compared to Vimages also.

G3/240 512k cache for $399
G3/300 512k cache for $499
G3/300 1M cache for $599

Click here to get a PDF document of the press release from Sonnet. These prices are all lower than Vimages and from rumors of Vimages next release (the G3/320Mhz card) from MacWorld Expo, it will run around $1399! Thats awfully high even for a copper based G3. I've seen 400Mhz G3's for less than that. Vimage my have to reduce their pricing or get cut out of the market.

On the other hand, Vimage is getting a reputation for being more compatible with other devices than the other G3 card vendors. Remember both Sonnet and Newer had problems with their PDS versions and Vimage is one of the only cards that is compatible with all SCSI cards.

Sonnet says they should have their cards out by next month. I will be starting a new page for info on Sonnets cards as I recieve it.

I have asked MacCPU for a card to review when they get them. I will keep you all posted.

Just Updated 1/21/1999

I received this letter from D. Lawson on compatibility issues with Sonnets new G3 cards for the 6400. Here is his letter. Thanks.

Just Updated 2/6/1999

Sonnet ships 20th Anniversary Mac, 5x00, 6x00 G3 upgrades: Ryan emailed me this clip from MacCentral. Looks like their shipping and hopefully I recieve my eval card soon :) Thanks Ryan.

Sonnet's G3 upgrades and the Virtual PlayStation: Sonnet sent me a press release on compatibility with Connectix's Virtual PlatStation and their G3 upgrades. It doesn't mention the 6400 cards but I can assume that the issues will be about the same. The 240Mhz card will probably play slow and the 300Mhz/1M cache card will be much better. I ordered the Virtual Playstation and if I have both at the same time you can bet I will test them :)

Just Updated 2/9/1999

Sonnet releases 225/240 G3 for the 6400/6500!: Sonnet has started selling its $399 225/240Mhz G3 upgrade for the 6400/6500 and all others based on the same mother boards. The faster 300Mhz cards are not out yet. MacCPU has posted a short review on the card with comparisons to Vimages 225/240 G3 upgrade. The only thing I want to mention is that in the review they are using a 20th Aniversary Mac which may need more cooling than the 6400/6500 so this is why they used the fan on the Vimage card. With the fan on it covers one RAM slot which reduces the total amount of RAM you can install. I emailed them about this and they said that they only used the fan because they were selling the Vimage card to TAM owners before Vimage OK'ed it so they wanted to make sure it would work. The TAM is a very tight enclosure which has different cooling needs. As far as I know the fan is not needed but No one has confirmed this with me yet.

Just Updated 2/14/1999

Sonnets L2/G3 heatsink does face the RAM chips: Wes emailed about the heatsink on the G3 card resting on the RAM chips and that the manual says it should face away from them. Sonnet sent him a reply saying that the manual is wrong and that the heatsink does face the RAM chips. They did not mention about his saying the heasink touches the RAM chips though? I will have to see when I do my tests if this will cause any issues?

Questions and reply from Sonnet on 6400 G3 cards: Tom Legare sent a couple questions and sent me Sonnets reply. Thanks Tom.

I just found out that both Sonnets 300/1M card and my Virtual PlayStation order have been sent out and should arrive shortly. I will be testing both together of course :)

Just Updated 2/19/1999

My initial test results of Sonnets G3 upgrades: Well I got the cards in the mail on Tuesday and boy was I giddy! Not only did they send the 300/1M but I recieved all 3 for testing :) I immediately installed the 300/1M in my overstuffed 6400/220 and the 300/512k in the 6400/180. It seems they have revised the installation manual as it now reads that the heatsink does face the RAM chips and it may touch larger capacity DIMMS (ones with chips on both sides of the RAM card). Sure enough on both my systems it touches the bottom of the RAM card closest to it and has a 1/8" gap at the top (this was on a 64M and 32M DIMM). The manual says this will not affect anything and for now it seems correct. The next thing I noticed is that it doesn't reboot when the extension is reached! This is great as the Vimage card wastes a lot of time performing this soft reboot as my tests showed. At the time Vimage was the only player in town but if Sonnets cards are less expensive and reduce startup time then I think we have a winner!

Just Updated 2/23/1999

Sonnet news letter: Sonnet sent me a news letter on their L2/G3 upgrades stating that the 240Mhz card has been discontinued and a 250Mhz card with the same price will replace it :) also the same cards for the 6400/6500 will now work in a 4400 or StarMax. They made a change that allows this to work and will reduce the cost of producing these cards as they don't need to make 2 versions. I'm pretty sure the orignal cards Sonnet shipped won't work with the 4400 as they needed to make a change on the card to make it work so Don't try it if you already own one. Doesn't it just keep getting better :)

More info on Sonnets cards from a reader: John sent me some links to a review on Sonnets and Vimages L2/G3 cards plus a Q&A list the reviewer did with Sonnet. Thanks John.

It seems that Sonnet is shipping COPPER based G3 cards for the 6400 but says the low temp readings are due to the heatsink? I say NO! Copper CPU's are the reason for the low temps. All the temp readings I have ever seen for any silicon based G3 has always been around 60C to 100C but Sonnets are coming in around 23C to 45C. This falls right in with the temps I have seen for any copper based G3 CPU. They can't claim the heatsink did it as PowerLogix and the rest have used massive heatsinks on their PCI G3 upgrades and they never had a 30C reading for a non-copper CPU. I'm affraid that Sonnet is up to something and we may get hurt in the end. Vimage had warned about using non-copper G3's in a 6400 and it seems that Sonnet listened. I only hope that Sonnet will not go back to silicon as they said may happen but still keep the prices low.

I emailed both Sonnet and Newer on their cards being copper or not and have not heard from them yet. If your in the market for these 300Mhz cards then buy them now before any changes are made.

Also if you read closely the new 250Mhz card will only run at 240Mhz still on the 6400. It was designed to run at 250Mhz in any Mac with a 50Mhz bus like the 6500. You know this is getting confusing. All of these companies need to advertise speeds for both 40Mhz and 50Mhz systems! Vimage and Sonnet have advertised their 240 as a 240/225 to some extent but not well enough I think. Most of the cards are advertised with the 40Mhz bus in mind and its a "buyer beware" with the 6500! All this still leaves the question about Sonnets 300Mhz cards? I have asked for these answers but am still waiting:(

Just Updated 2/26/1999

Answers to my questions to Sonnet: Sonnet has replied to my questions so here they are.

[I have been reading about Newers 300Mhz cards only running at 250Mhz in a 6500 and I was wondering if your 300Mhz cards do the same? Vimages 320Mhz card runs at 325Mhz in a 6500 for comparison. I have been getting a lot of readers asking this question.
 
Sonnet's Crescendo G3/L2 300MHz cards run at 300MHz in every machine. In 40MHz bus machines they run at 7.5x bus = 300MHz. In 50MHz bus machines they run at 6x bus = 300MHz.
-Joy]

The last question is good news for 6500 owners as the card will be 300Mhz in any system its installed into. Joy did mention that Power Logix's cache utility would not work but I have had readers state it does. Use it with caution though as her arguments are true in that with summer heat coming and usage over time will diminish the tolarance the CPU and cache will have for heat. Also it seems that only the 300Mhz cards use copper and the 240/250 card uses silicon (NOTE: both actually use silicon as silicon is what all CPU's are designed on. Copper is replacing Aluminum which is the standard metal for conductive lines in a chip. Motorola and IBM have made a new process to get copper to adhere to the silicon where only aluminum could before. So when you hear someone mention silicon remember that they are refering to a chip made with aluminum and not copper. I just thought you might like to get some of my semiconductor knowledge :)

MacCPU update review for Sonnets 300Mhz cards: John sent me a link to MacCPU's new review of Sonnets faster cards. they did some temp tests which seem to confirm my opinion that the cool running CPU's are not all because of the heat sink but in fact the copper CPU is really the major reason. Thanks, John.

Just Updated 3/6/1999

Sonnets 300/1M G3 and ATI's rage Pro on a 6400!: James sent word that this combo is great for CVGS. thanks for the info James. Click here to read more on CVGS on the 6400.

Here's an update he just sent me on a question I asked him. Thanks

No lines or weird graphics noted with the two games I tried. The tech also agreed with the statement that 512 cache would not work. I checked out the Mac's Only web page, and found a better list of games that had been tested. Most on "real" G3's and iMacs. However there were several upgrade macs, but no 6400's. It is probably safe to assume that the 6400 is the very lowest platform that can support the game station effectively. I will send you an update when the ATI 128 VR card is installed. BTW ATI is posting a rebate of $50.00 to owners of the older cards. The price drops below 200.00 !!!! :-)

Later,
DrJIM]

Another review of Sonnets cards but not so good:( John sent me this link to MacSpeedZones review of Sonnets cards and they found somthing quite disturbing! Thanks for the link John.

It seems that Sonnet is aware of a problem were the card may crash during boot and might be connected to having serial devices? I will admit that I had some boot crashes during the 1st boot after the install of each but none after that, and I boot my 6400 a few times each day. Although I don't keep my Epson printer turned on until I need it, I do have a GV modem on all the time. On a side note, I did try loading the Cresendo extension 1st and this caused all sorts of crashes during boot? I don't think their theory of compatibilty with the Geo is correct as mine worked flawlessly once I removed RamDoubler (which is known to cause problems with the Geo modem)

Just Updated 3/12/1999

Latest Sonnet Cresendo update: here is a letter I recieved from Sonnet on an update for the Crescendo extension which is supposed to solve a conflict with serial port devices at boot with L2/G3 cards.

Just Updated 3/19/1999

Sonnet announces 400Mhz L2/G3 card: Here is a press release from Sonnet on their new 400Mhz/1M G3 card for 6500's and other based on the same mother board. it states its for the 50Mhz bus systems but I was wondering if it would work on our 6400's? I read at Accelerate Your Mac that the current line of G3 CPU's can only have a 8x bus/CPU ratio which means on a 6400 it would only run at 320Mhz! Quite a differance and not worth it if true! At just under $1000 it will be competition for Newer's soon to be released 400Mhz card.

Letter from a satisfied Sonnet L2/G3 user: Here is a letter Mike sent on his experiences with Sonnets L2/G3 cards. Thanks Mike.

Issues with the Sonnet G3 and the Geo modem: By now many of you may have heard about people having issues with their new Sonnet L2/G3 and the internal geo modem. As I stated in my review, my Geo modem does work with both Sonnets and Vimages G3 cards but there might be some combination of things going on in other systems causing it not to work. Until recently most peoples complaints I have read about never stated what exactly was happening and that the 2 just didn't work together. Most of these complaints were from 6500 or TAM users but Jose has emailed to let me know that he has an issue on his 6400's Geo modem with Sonnets G3 card. Thanks for the info Jose. Below is a letter from Jose with a reply from me and then another reply from him.

<< Version 3.1.3 is the latest to my knowledge. I use AOL 4 also and I get connection problems even with my external 33.6 GV modem so I wonder if your problems and mine are somewhat related to AOL and not the Sonnet G3. Have you tried removing it to see if your connections get better? So its not really crashing but it just doesnt detect a phone line connection, right?

Tom >>

[Hello Tom,
Yes, my modem problem lies in it's inability to detect the phone line connection. But it did crash the next time I logged on after writing you. It froze up somewhere between "connecting to the network" and "checking the password." Next time I'd better knock on my windowsill (LOL).
My connections to AOL have rarely been 28.8K on my 28.8 Geoport. Usually, I get connected at 26.4K , but have been on at a dismal 19.2K. About a year ago, I had some miraculous connections at 32.6K, but, of course, AOL had to change that AOLNet number!
But, the Sonnet G3 card is the latest addition to my system and that's when all the troubles began: connecting to AOL , starting up the computer, and doing the PRAM- rebuild desktop combo. I have "reseated" the Sonnet card as suggested in their brief troubleshooting guide, but the problems persist. I have also written to Sonnet support, but they have yet to get back to me.
You have a great site. I read about the 6400 to 6500 motherboard upgrade and am wondering if there's anyway of just swapping VRAM. I would love to have even just thousands of colors (let alone millions) at 832 x 624 with my 6400!!
Maybe my modem problems will fade if I eventually pick up a PCI-USB card (Entrega's 4 USB port upgrade) and Best Data's SmartOne 56K v.90 USB modem. Thankfully, the Mac catalogs supply whatever CompUSA continuously fails to stock & deliver.

Well, take care. I've passed along your website to several others who could benefit from the info you've gathered.

Jose Nacario]

Another letter on a Geo modem issue with Sonnts G3: Ralph replyed to a message of mine giving me some info on what is happening to him. Thanks Ralph.

Issues with Sonnets L2/G3 in general: To date the only complaints I'm getting are either startup crashes or issues with the Geo modem. Sonnet had released an update to their Crescendo extension to fix the startup crash and this may also fix issues with the Geo modem? If you are experiencing either of these issue, it has been found that if you rename the extension with a "Z" or "~" to get it to boot towards the end of the extensions that these problems will be drastically reduced. I have started getting some startup crashes with the 1.3.4 update of their extension that I was not having during the review with v1.3.2 but adding the "Z" to the front of the name has fixed this problem for me. Please let me know if you are having any issues with your Sonnet L2/G2 card so I can find out if there are any more problems.

Letter from MacCPU on why they say the Geo will not work with Sonnets G3's: I just received this today and thought you all might be interested in it. It sems that MacCPU may not have had much issues with the Geo modem themselves but just read about many issues mostly with TAM's and decided to be safe and say the Geo doesn't work with any G3 upgrade! Although I respect there reasoning for probably not wanting to deal with people wanting refunds, but it does seem to give a the wrong impression.

Just Updated 3/26/1999

More Sonnet/Geo issues arising: I have recieved a few more letters from Sonnet G3 users stating that they are having problems with their Geo modems. Please let me know if you're having issues and which version Crescendo extension you have. I have found a few things you can try to help stablize your system. Add a Z to the front of the crescendo extension (zCrescnedo) to make it load later. Also make sure you have Apple Telecom 3.1.3 as its the newest version for the Geo modem. Another thing to try is to re-rebuild the desktop as the Crescendo installer forces a rebuild but this rebuild does not always perfrom correctly and leaves some generic icons. This may cause problems with other Apps in the future.

This one is from Accelerate Your Mac

I actually found the 1.3.4 extension to cause more startup crashes on my 6400 too and went back to the 1.3.2 version with the Z on the front and it has worked for a week with no startup crashes so far. The Geo is still running strong to. "knock on wood" :)

Just Updated 4/2/1999

More info on Sonnet/Geo issues: From the emails I have gotten about this issue, it seems that OS 8.1 may be the problem? Most people that wrote me had OS 8.1 running. They did have Telecom 3.1.3 too which is good. Also one person said reverting to the older 1.3.2 version of the Crescendo extension helped until he ran Remote Access. So if any of you are having this issue I will gladly send out the earlier 1.3.2 version of the extension. I will have it named zCrescendo which seems to help out also. I wrote Sonnet with this info and we'll see what happens. I was told by Sonnet that the 1.3.4 version was mainly to fix a serial port issue on TAM systems.

Laserwriter issues with Sonnets G3?: I found this on Apples 6400 forums. Tom is having printing trouble with a Laserwriter 300 unless VM is turned on. Has anyone else had this problem?

Just Updated 4/12/1999

Some opinions of mine on the L2/G3 upgrades: For awhile now I have been wondering why Vimage does a double boot and Sonnet does not? I think I might know but not 100% positive. Vimage's card is very stable as long as it gets past the second boot. The problem here seems to be the ability of your graphics card to re-sync fast enough on the second boot for the CPU to recognize it. I had run some tests by making Vimage's extension load before Speed doubler by putting a space before the V and found that on a few occasions my monitor on the ATI card would remain black on the second boot but the computer keeps booting. This has been the most common problem with Vimage's cards with third party PCI video cards. Maybe if Vimage could give more wait time in the middle of the boots that video cards could sync faster and work. Now Sonnet appears to be 100% compatible with all video cards and it doesn't double boot. BUT it is having stability problems during boot. People are finding that it will crash sometimes right at the extension or a few extensions past it or just before the finder loads. And then some Geo modem owners report instability and crashes using the modem. I feel that Vimage programmed in the double boot to make it more stable when running but a side affect was incompatibility with video cards and Sonnet does one boot to work with video cards but paid the price with stability!

I gave this info to Vimage and they are going to look into it. I am going to see if there is some way to make the Vpower extension load a little later which might give more time for the monitor to sync? As for the Sonnet card I have found that making the extension load later helps stability but I am still getting a boot crash at the finder every now and then. I think the Apple Menu Options pref file is getting corrupted because trashing it helped my startup crashes so toss it out if you have this problem. I also just moved the Crescendo extension to the control panels folder and made it load at the very end. This way every startup driver is launched before the G3 kicks on and hopefully this will stop the crashes?

On a side note with Apple Menu Options. I was having shutdown freezes for a day until I did the remove extensions until you find the problem one and found removing the Apple Menu Options control panel allowed my computer to shutdown fine. I trashed the prefs and then everything was fine. Maybe the Sonnet G3 is somehow corrupting this control panels pref files which is causing all these other problems?

Just Updated 4/17/1999

Sonnet updates Crescendo extension but didn't post it: I received word from a Sonnet G3 user that he got version 1.3.5 of the Crescendo extension. I checked Sonnets web site and they still have 1.3.4 posted. I emailed to find out what changed and here is their reply.

Just Updated 4/23/1999

Another possible reason for why Sonnets cards are unstable?: Jordan writes to let us know that his 6400 with Sonnets 300/1M card does not crash during boot but will crash some time later after use. He thinks its possible that the Heatsink is overheating the RAM chips they sit next too. The heatsink does touch large RAM chips like 64M DIMMS so this may be possible? Thanks Jordan.

And still more stability fixes: Mike says that his issues with Sonnets card was resolved by removing the AppleVision extenion (the one at the end of the list with a degree symbol in front). This extension is supposed to only be needed for Apple Vision monitors, ColorSync monitors, or flat panel monitors. It gives more settings options like geometry settings. Try removing it if your having issues and don't have one of these types of moniors. Thanks Mike.

Just Updated 4/30/1999

Sonnet reply to question on Mac OS X compatibility: Philip email Sonnet and asked if their G3 upgrade cards would work with Apples newest OS, OS X and here is Sonnets reply. Thanks Philip

I don't quite understand if they mean it will work but will be difficult for us to figure it out or their having difficuties getting it to work at all? At least their testing :)

Just Updated 5/29/1999

Flash: Sonnet has a beta driver released v1.3.6b2 for their L2 G3 cards to make them OS 8.6 compatible. Donato just informed me that its posted on their site and I downloaded it and will see how it works! Its about time :)

Just Updated 6/3/1999

Update - Sonnets OS 8.6 driver is out!: Sonnet just posted the final 1.3.6 version on there web site. Go and get it :)

Just Updated 6/5/1999

Sonnet crashes to much for me now!: Since updating to OS 8.6 I have had many boot crashes with Sonnets card that I cannot stand it any more! In just the past few days it took 2-3 boots before it made it all the way each time I wanted to use the computer. I had it so I removed Sonnets card and put in Vimges G3 and placed Sonnets card in my backup 6400. So far no crashes with Vimages :) Sonet really needs to find out why their card is so unstable or they are going to loose new customers.

Just Updated 6/11/1999

Possible Solution to the boot crashing with Sonnets G3: I posted a letter from Anton on my previous update where he had mentioned that turning off Speculative Address may cure the crashes? But he could not find a way to have Power Logix's G3 cache profiler (this is the utility that can deactivate it) boot before the Crescendo extension to be effective. Well I found away and it seems more stable now. Click here to read how I did it.

UPDATE: It is still crashing but no where near as much as it used to. I run OS 8.5 and 8.6 on the same computer and when I switch OS's is when it seems to crash now. After another boot it gets stable again.

Just Updated 6/24/1999

Speculative Addressing issue with Sonnets G3 cards update: Joey of www.joecard.com has made a little extension named Rom Fixer that will disable Speculative Addressing like how Power Logix's G3 Cache Profiler does. The main difference is that his extension needs no control panel but you can't turn on Dynamic Power Managment like with the G3 cache control. You still need to due the hack to the Crescendo extension that I posted before to get Joey's fix to work also. Thanks Joey.

I have checked the Vimage card and they already turned off Speculative Addressing so only Sonnets cards need it. I tried his Rom Fixer with the hack to the Crescendo extension and it does disable the Speculative Addressing and booted fine.

Letter from a Sonnet user that tried the Power Logix trick: Mark sends word that the Hack worked for his 5400 stability issues with Sonnets G3 as well. Thanks for the info Mark.

Just Updated 7/2/1999

UPDATE on the Crescendo hack: Carl emailed to give me info on his tests with my Crescendo extension hack to fix Sonnets G3. Thanks Carl.

He later emailed me the names of the pref files he had to trash.

I checked all of these and they all are of type "APPC". On my Hack info page I tell you to make the Crescendo extension type "scri" to get it to load before the other extensions. I wonder if "APPC" even loads before "scri"? I will try and see what happens.

UPDATE: I just tried it and changing the type to "APPC" did not make them load early. I suppose those few items load early or have their pref files changed early for some other reason? Maybe they were just corrupted from past use?

Reply from Sonnet on Hack: Anton wrote Sonnet on the topics the Hack fixes and here is their reply. It seems they don't think these are a problem. Tell that to me and the others that get more stable systems with the Hack. Thanks Anton. I will email Joey and see what he thinks too.

Just Updated 7/10/1999

A real problem found with Sonnets G3: Most of us have been having the startup crashes or random freezes with Sonnets G3 but now it seems there is a repeatable problem with Sonnets cards and some sound apps. Peter wrote to Sonnet with some issues he was having and Sonnet told him to return the card as they are aware of these issues! I wonder when they were going to tell us? Thanks Peter. Peter would like to hear from anyone else who is having similar issues and so would I. Thanks

Just Updated 7/23/1999

Sonnet releases 10x G3 upgrades: Here is a press release from Sonnet on their new line of G3's that utilize a 10x Bus to CPU ratio. This allows a 40Mhz system to run a 400Mhz CPU! right now its only for PCI and Nubus Macs but hopefully they will make a L2/G3 like this for us :)

Sonnets Crescendo v1.3.7 update: So far this extension is working great on my 6400. I am very pleased with it. I haven't had one boot crash I can relate to this extension. I did have one or two but I was trying to install OS X so I don't think I can blame the G3 for those. Now that I have your attention, I'll have more on OS X in a bit. Its not good news so far though :(

8/7/1999 Issues with Sonnets G3's and Ram Doubler?: Boy it just doesn't stop with Sonnet! I got this info from MacFixIt. The G3's they are refering to are for PCI versions and not L2 G3's but maybe this info will help some of you.

9/17/1999 Sonnet announces 500Mhz L2 G3!: Looks like the G3 vendors are really going to use the new 10x CPUs for us too. Power Logix first announced the 400Mhz G3 for the 6400 and now Sonnet announces the first 500Mhz G3 for the 6500. The price is high considering a new G4 is only $600 more but for those that want a really fast 6500, now is your chance. It will most likely only run at 400Mhz in the 6400 due to our slower bus speed so I wouldn't consider it to 6400 owners.

10/14/1999 Sonnet G3 upgrade and OS 9 compatibility: Justin writes that he tested a beta version of OS 9 with his Sonnnet G3 and they worked. Thanks Justin.

Here is a letter from Robert with a reply from Sonnet on this matter.

I'm not sure why the G3 vendors don't get a copy of OS 9 before it ships but this happened with OS 8.6 also and we all had to wait until upgraded drivers came out. So far it looks like at least Sonnets will run and I hope they all will when the final version of OS 9 ships.

10/24/1999 Sonnet and OS 9: They just sent out a press release stating all of their current G3 product line is OS 9 compatible. This is great news. No more worrying for Sonnet users :) If you have the current 1.3.7 version of the Crecsendo driver your fine.

Possible fix for Sonnet boot crashes?: Kanji snet me some info on a possible fix for Sonnets boot crashing? It is from an extension called ROAM which loads your ROM into RAM like the new iMacs and G3/4's. Let me know if you try it and it works. Thanks Kanji.

11/4/1999 Update on using ROAM to alleviate Sonnets boot crashing: Bill writes that he has been using ROAM for awhile and it did cure his boot crashes. Thanks Bill. Click here to read more on ROAM.

12/10/1999 Fixing a hot Sonnet G3 with a screw driver: Fred send word that his heatsink was not on all the way which doubled his CPU temp readings! Thanks for the info Fred.

12/17/1999 Sonnet beta Crescendo 1.4.1b1 driver: Bill was the first to let me know that Sonnet has posted a beta version of the Crescendo driver for greater OS 9 compatibility with Nubus systems and fixes for the startup crashes the L2 G3 systems have! Thanks Bill. Click here to download it and please let me know if they disabled Speculative Addressing?

Several people have written to let me know that it seems to have fixed the startup crash but one person was still getting bad stability in sound apps. Sigh :( Its too soon to tell if the startup crash is really fixed but so far so good. Here is a sample of the emails I got. Thanks.

[Tom,
Yes I've tried Sonnets beta extension 1.4.1b1 and since I have installed it I haven't had any startup freezes. (keeping fingers crossed) I do have the extension starting first and am also running PowerLogix G3/G4 profiler ,to disable Speculative Access, and ROAM. This combo worked well before the update but I still had crashes on startup. (albeit far fewer than originally when I couldn't make it to the finder at all).
I'm going to ask sonnet if they plan to disable Speculative Access in this version of their extension so I can ditch G3/G4 Profiler.
Mano]

Also I hear the Sonnet Clocker still works so Sonnet hasn't made to drastic of a change.

1/8/2000 Sonnet revs 400Mhz card: Here is a letter I found on Accelerate Your Macs web site. It states that Sonnet has found a problem with their 400Mhz cards and is replacing them. If you have one I suggest you give Sonnet a call.

I later found a comment from the same reader which says it did not fix the issue with his Voodoo3 card not working though :(

Sonnet released the final 1.4.1 Crescendo driver: Over the holiday Sonnet posted the final 1.4.1 version of their Crescendo G3 driver. As before, let me know how it runs.

Here is a letter from a Sonnet user that also says the Sonnet Clocker still works with it. Thanks. He also says that Speculative Addressing is still on? Oh well :(

1/29/2000 Sonnet 400Mhz L2 G3 for the 6400!: I was surfing through Sonnets web site the other day and noticed a few discrepencies with their ads. Here is a letter I wrote to them and check out the great reply!

Is this great news or what! Finally a 400Mhz card for the 6400. Newer had announced one but cancelled production but now Sonnet has it. One thing I do wonder is that the 500Mhz card for the 6500 and the 400Mhz card for the 6400 should have the same CPU with 10X bus ratio so would a 400Mhz card run 500Mhz in a 6500? Would save some money :) Maybe the Sonnet Clocker app could make it work? If anyone tries please let me know.

Newer Guage Pro issue with Sonnet L2 G3's and info on Newers G3: Ric sent me some info concerning Newers new Guage Pro utility when used to see info on Sonnets L2 G3. He got a very interesting reply. Thanks Ric.

If you notice the highlighted area I made you will see that Newer mentions that some L2 G3's switch CPU's (from stock to G3) when a driver is loaded in the extension folder. From this I get that Newers does not switch CPU's and must boot directly to the G3 from the beginning? I reported some time ago that another company named www.joecard.com was working on a L2 G3 that did just this but they stopped work on it. Well it seems Newer has done it and this must be why their L2 G3 is most compatible with video cards and sound apps. Vimage attempted this by doing the soft reboot once the extension was reached to try and get all the extensions to see a G3 CPU but video some video cards did not like this softboot.

Here is another letter I found on MacFixIt's site that further confirms that Sonnets L2 G3 does not update all parts of the 6400 when it boots to let it know it has a G3 instead of a 603e CPU. I also noticed this when I tried Linux on my 6400. The CPU info in Linux reported a 603e CPU with a 300Mhz speed.

2/18/2000 Confirmation that tightening the heatsink on the Sonnet G3 makes it cooler: I had been told by a previous reader that Sonnets heatsink on their G3's are not as snug as they could be which causes the temps to be hotter then they should be. Well, Greg just wrote to let me know that he found the same thing. Thanks Greg. Lets all go snug up our heatsinks :)

Sonnet L2 G3 CPU temps: I received this email yesturday from a reader who asked Sonnet what is the range of temps we should expect from their G3 upgrades. Thanks

I believe the 30 - 65 degree range is for the copper G3's and the 75 - 85 degrees is for the non-copper G3's. These corrospond to what everyone has been reporting.

3/11/2000 Sonnet L2 G3 400Mhz card user letter: Steve sent me this letter just to say that is is well with his new upgrade :) Thanks Steve. To answer his question on getting max performance I would say that no CPU upgrade on any computer (Mac or PC) can get the full benefit unless it also has the newer sub systems structure from the systems they were designed to run on originally. That said you still get a great bang for the buck with a CPU upgrade :)

The G3 400 and the Voodoo3 would feel much faster on a 100Mhz mother board such as the B&W G3 but these on a 6400 gives you the fastest 6400 on the block!

4/8/2000 New Sonnet L2 G3 temps?: I have had several people write asking me about the temps of their Sonnet L2 G3's. They are reporting higher temps then I posted in my reviews. Two things can be going on here. I heard the new heatsink is smaller so it no longer touches the nearest RAM chips. This will increase heat. Also Sonnet told me awhile back that they might use non-copper G3 CPU's if their heatsink could handle it. This to would explain higher temps. But to set you all at ease, I wouldn't worry unless the temp readings were over 100C degrees as they were built to withstand very high temps. Even higher then 100C but I don't know of any running this hot except for maybe in a PowerBook?

4/14/2000 Sonnet releases Crescendo 1.4.3: I just noticed on Sonnets web site that they now have the Crescendo 1.4.3 installer posted! If you install it please let me know how it goes. Thanks.

Tiong wrote me with some info on the new installer. Thanks Tiong.

Christopher wrote to let me know that you should remove the older driver before installing the new one because Sonnet changed the name and it doesn't delete the older driver. Thanks Christopher.

Mark found that he still needed to change the file type to "scri" to make it load first to fix a conflict with SpeedDoubler. It seems that if SD loads first the system will crash. Thanks Mark.

4/20/2000 Sonnet releases Crescendo 1.4.4 installer: Sonnet just posted their latest G3/G4 drivers for download. Tiong sent me some info he got from the ReadMe file on the changes made since 1.4.2. Thanks Tiong.

I don't know what was changed from 1.4.3 to 1.4.4? I guess I can remove the 1.4.2 installer I had posted :)

4/29/2000 Info on Sonnets new Crescendo update: Tiong sent me info on Sonnets new 1.4.4 drivers. Thanks Tiong.

6/4/2000 Interesting fix to get Sonnets G3 card and ATI's Rage128 running smooth together?: Marcus wrote me with this very interesting fix. Before this he had to ZAP the PRAM to get them to work on every boot! Thanks Marcus.

6/17/2000 Interesting fix for a Sonnet G3 issue?:Eric was having freezes with his 6500 and a Sonnet G3 and found that inserting a set of headphones fixes it?Thanks Eric.

There was one other person that wrote to me awhile ago with this same problem. If that person could write me back I would appreciate any help on this matter :)

9/22/2000 Sonnet 1.4.5 Crescendo updater: I don't know if any of you are aware but Sonnet has updated their G3 driver to 1.4.5. The description of what was changed is below. Mostly sounds like added features for the new 7200 G3 but maybe some other mods where made? Please let me know if it has changed anything for you. Thanks

[Description: This unified installer software is required with Crescendo G3/G4 and Encore G4 processor upgrade cards. It must be installed as part of the upgrade process. Version 1.4.5 adds enhanced capabilities for Sonnet upgrades, including the Fortissimo Crescendo G3/NuBus products]

10/6/2000 Sonnet Crescendo 1.4.5 drivers fixes freeze problem: Eric had sent some info awhile ago on an issue when playing some games that the system would appear locked but if you plugged and unplugged some headphones, everything would run again. Well now he says that the 1.4.5 driver fixes whatever caused the problem! Thanks Eric.

[Hi Tom, I was the original person who told you about using the headphone pluggin to unfreeze an L2 sonnet upgrade. I recently got the sonnet driver 1.4.5. I have had it for a couple days now and the freezing has stopped. It seems sonnet has finally fixed the sound problem. I knew they would get it sooner or later. Just wanted to let you know. Eric]

On a sad note, Jen says that the 1.4.5 version breaks the Sonnet Clocker app :( DOH!

Sonnet says they are not compatible with QT in OS 8.6 and up?: I found this info on MacsOnly web site. It appears that Sonnet has found an issue with QT that causes problems with their G3 upgrades and that Apple needs to fix it? I'm not sure if this is true but it may explain issues people have been having with sound apps and Sonnets L2 G3 cards. OS 8.5.1 is not affected.

[ Sonnet G3 CPU Card Problem: Steve Seiden posted to Apple's Knowledge Base Discussion forum. He simply requested that Apple fix a problem with QuickTime in Mac OS 8.6-9.0.4 that causes crashes with Sonnet G3 CPU upgrade cards, i.e. according to Sonnet. Apple replied "Your post has been removed from the PowerBook discussion forum. ... This area is intended to address technical issues. Discussions of Apple policies and procedures, speculations about future Apple decisions, questions about unreleased products, and issues with repair procedures are not appropriate." Of course, Steve clearly had raised a technical issue that deserves a reply. However, since this is a known issue to Sonnet it seems that they should be clearly informing customers before they buy that Sonnet's G3 CPU cards do no work with Mac OS 8.6-9.0.4 and QuickTime regardless of whether or not Sonnet believes that the crashes result from a bug in the Mac OS. After a complaint Sonnet does advise that the customer downgrade to Mac OS 8.5.1 according to a note posted on MacFixIt.]

10/20/2000 Update on QT issues with Sonnet L2 G3: In my past just Update I posted some info found on MacfixIt's web site from a user who was told by Sonnet to downgrade from OS 8.6 to 8.5.1 to fix QT issues with their G3 upgrade. Ken just sent the opposite info? He states Sonnet told him that OS 8.0/8.1 had issues with their G3's and to upgrade to OS 8.5. At least they agree OS 8.5.x is good! I don't know if Sonnet is just making excuses or that both people are correct and only OS 8.5.x is recommend for QT compatibility? Very strange. Thanks Ken.

[I read you most recent update on the issue of Sonnet G3L2 and Quicktime. I have not had this problem except when I was running MacOS 8.1. At that time, I had been communicating with Sonnet tech support and they told me that QT movies caused crashes with the G3L2 cards and MacOS 8.0/8.1. Since then I have been through MacOS 8.5.1 and currently 8.6 and have not had any QT problems. (Currently using QT 4.1 but had no problems with QT 3).
Ken]

11/3/2000 Sonnet L2 G3 in a PowerBase minitower: Sonnet had never actually advertised this setup but rather listed only PowerBase or PowerBase (desktop). Frank emailed Sonnet and they replied that it will work in the PB minitower. Thanks Frank. For those of you that don't know, the PowerBase was built by PowerComputing when clones where allowed. It is based on the 6400 motherboard but has 3 PCI slots instead of 2.

He also clocked his mother board to 45Mhz by replacing the MB crystal. He'll see if the Sonnet 400Mhz G3 card works as a 450! Thanks, we'll be waiting :)

Crescendo 1.4.5 may cause freezes: Ken is the first person to tell me that once he updated to the 1.4.5 version of the Sonnet Crescendo driver, his startup freezes returned. Downgrading to the 1.4.1 driver fixed it. Thanks Ken. There are versions in between these 2 so it's not necessary to revert all way to 1.4.1.

[I recently installed the Sonnet Crescendo 1.4.5 extension to replace v. 1.4.1. Oh boy: now those nasty startup freezes are back again! I had been 100% free of them ever since v.1.4.1 was released. Not only freezes, but I have also had occasional restarts when the Crescendo extension loads (which is then usually followed by a freeze on the subsequent start). I guess I am going back to 1.4.1.
Ken]

12/30/2000 Sonnet L2 G3 works with OS 9.1 GM!: McKinney wrote to let me know that his 6400 with Sonnets 300Mhz G3 runs great with OS 9.1. Thanks McKinney. He also notes much improved CPU performance if you have a USB card installed.

[Just wanted to let you know I installed OS 9.1 GM on my Sonnet upgraded 6400. I have all extensions turned on and my third party extensions. One big improvement I noticed right away was the USB performance. With 9.0.4 when the USB extensions were on it hampered performance. I ran Macbench 5.0 after installing OS 9.1 and it scored 1021 on the processor compared to 846 with 9.0.4 with the same extension set. It replaces the ATI extensions too and I am running the Orion card. I have not tested for any improvements there but I will let you know.

I have the Sonnet 300mhz/1mb overclocked to 320 (it's been running overclocked for a year now with absolutely no problems and never over 50 c). Without the usb extensions the Macbench with OS 9.0.4 was 1039.

Happy Holidays
McKinney]

I posted Sonnets 1.4.2 through 1.4.5 drivers on my site: Last update I asked for the 1.4.4 drivers so I could post them on my site. I got an overwhelming response and was given all the drivers from 1.4.2 through 1.4.5! Thanks everyone.

I had asked for the drivers because some people are having trouble again with the latest 1.4.5 driver needing to be placed last again instead of first as Sonnet has it defaulted to do. I figured I might as well post them all so you can try and see which is the most stable on your system. I also placed a link to them in my side bar.

4/21/2001 Sonnet Crescendo driver 1.4.6 coming soon?: I found this on MacFixIt's web site. It seems that you will need version 1.4.6 for nubus Macs to run with VirtualPC 4.0.2.

[Sonnet 1.4.6 coming soon Bruce notes that the Read Me also says that Sonnet software 1.4.6 is needed to use VPC 4.0.2 with Sonnet G3 cards for NuBus machines. However, this software is not yet available. Sonnet told Bruce: "Our QA dept just downloaded a copy of 4.02 and we're going to hammer on it the next few days so hopefully 1.4.6 will be available RSN (real soon now)."]

5/5/2001 Issues with Sonnet G3 upgrades: Tim sends word that you should be carefull when ordering a Sonnet L2 G3 upgrade as you might be sent the wrong version!

[Hi Tom
I just looked at the box again and it is marked:

Compatible Models: Power Macintosh 4400, 5400, 5500, 6400, 6500, 7220

But, then I looked at the sticker on the side of the box and it says Power Mac 4400, 7220 So, now the mystery is solved - they sent the wrong processor.
Thanks
Tim]

Here is a reply Sonnet sent Tim on the issue.

[Tim,
First thing to check:

Please check the part number of the card you have (look at the label on the end of the box) and make sure it begins with BG3. If it does NOT begin with BG3, then you have the incorrect card, and need to exchange it with your dealer. If it DOES begin with BG3, please make sure the card is fully seated in the L2 cache slot (it will fit very tightly if it's fully seated). If you have any other PCI cards installed, or external SCSI devices attached, please remove them for the time being and see if it makes a difference.

Since our card requires our software to load to be operational, it shouldn't be able to interfere with the boot process since it's your original motherboard processor that is starting up the machine. Unless it's the wrong card. The B4G3 card works differently and so it can stop boot up if it's in the wrong machine.

If that's not it, email me back.
--
Neal]

Below are the part numbers that are compatible with each Mac.

Part # BG3*
Power Macintosh 4400, 5400, 5500, 6400, 6500, 7220
Performa 54xx, 6360, 64xx
20th Anniversary Macintosh (TAM)
PowerBase Desktop, Minitower
UMAX C500, C600, C600X

Part # B4G3*
Power Macintosh 4400, 7220
StarMax 3000, 4000, 5000, 5500

Notice how the 4400 and 7220 are listed in both sections? Sonnet has designed their card that works on the 6400 to also work on the 4400. But the same is not true the other way around. The cards for the 4400 only will not work on the 6400. Now is that confusing or what?

7/21/2001 Sonnet releases update to Crescendo: Sonnet just released the 1.4.6 update to their Crescendo extension for their G3/G4 upgrades. I don't know exactly what all this fixes but it is mainly for the G4 Altivec issues they had. If this helps or breaks anyones L2 G3, please email me. Thanks

8/4/2001 Initial reports on Sonnet 1.4.6 Crescendo update: Walter is the first person to write that all is well on his Mac with this latest update. On the other hand, Gregory writes that the 1.4.6 extension causes system crashes and the serial ports to not work! I suggested he try the 1.4.5 version and see what happens. Thanks guys.

[I'm running the new Crescendo on two of my 6400's and have no problems so far.
Walter]

[Temps, etc. Sonnet Crescendo 400/1mb. Running 24/7 and used mostly for wp and www, Metronome reports temp @ ±40-43. Occasional startup crashes when the crescendo 1.4.6 extension loads. Serial ports do not work. Gregory]

8/18/2001 Sonnet users may still need some of the hacks I posted to fix stability issues: I posted a bunch of hacks when Sonnet first started selling their L2 G3's to help reduce stability issues that affected the early Crescendo drivers. Well it seems that these hacks are still needed :( I was sent this letter from a reader of who had to try several hacks before his system became stable.

[I bought and installed the Sonnet G3 400 Mhz/512k cache card,, ever since I installed it, the time from the happy Mac icon to the first extension picture has increased to almost double. Also I noticed my system kind of started to lag alot. Like when I convert some Mp3 files to wave for example, the process seems to stop many times for about 10-20 seconds and then return back to normal. I used the PCI timing update and it had no effect and it was as if it was making it worse. Then I decided to remove the math libmoto extension and the PCI timing extension and decided to make the g3 extension load first. No matter what I did, the sped doubler extension always starts first. Finally, I opened resedit, and changed the thing in the extension from an INIT to "scri", and then changed its name by adding two spaces before its name. Then went to the "EM extension" and made sure it had only one space in its beginning. and restarted the machine, I didn't get any more system freezing or lags since then. I don't know what was it specifically that I did that fixed my problem. It seems that if the EM extension loaded first, it will load the speed double extension and then the sonnet extension, I just reversed the whole thing, and hopping it will go normal for the next few days.]

I had trouble with Connectix's SpeedDoubler as well and also had to force the Crescendo to boot before the SD extension. This may have been the real cause the his case?

9/14/2001 Sonnet brought back the 500Mhz card because of you guys!: Chris wrote to Sonnet, after reading my last post, to find out why the 500Mhz card is in production again? It turns out that Sonnet has received so many requests for this card that they decided to produce it again! You can all thank yourselves for this :)

[Dear Chris, Thank you for your recent e-mail and for your interest in Sonnet products. Due to requests from our customers we decided to start producing it again Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. regards,
_._._._._._._._._._._._._._
Jose Jaramillo
Sonnet Technologies
Int'l Sales Executive
Canada and Latin America
949-587-3543
949-457-6350]

10/5/2001 5400/5500 may not be able to use Sonnets L3 G3 without some modification: Stuart has found a hardware issue with installing a L2 G3 card in a 5400/5500 without removing some little piece of plastic. Thanks Stuart.

[A few days ago I raised the question as to why Sonnet, in selling one of their G3/L2 cards on eBay specifically exclude 5400 machines from the compatibility list.

I may not have found their reason, but I've found one!

My 6500's monitor failed this morning, so I transferred first its HD, then later its logicboard and G3 card to a 5500. Problem! The logic board with G3 card installed would not physically fit, the blockage being a small plastic fastener that protruded from the metal chassis above the logic board space by about 4mm and which blocked the top of the G3 card and stopped the whole assembly being slid fully home. Cutting off the plastic solved the problem, and I'm sending this from the 5500/G3.
But surely I can't be the first to encounter this issue?
Stuart]

Now Sonnets web site does not mention this and they do sell their upgrades to 5400/5500 owners. The manual I have that came with my Sonnet G3 upgrade shows instructions for 5400/5500's and does not mention this either. Can anyone with a 5400 or 5500 and a Sonnet L2 G3 verify this issue? Thanks

General info from Sonnet about the 603e CPU and the Avid Cinema card: Chris wrote to sonnet about these topics and he sent me their replies. Thanks Chris.

[I was on keeping it in fact because I may have to boot without the G3 on for video editing (never manage to make working avid cinema and G3 together). Out of subject : we are waiting for higher L2 upgrades anyway !!! why not apply your fortissimo technology to L2 ??? ;-)) Chris
"Actually Avid Cinema won't work on any G3 upgraded or regular G3 machine. It's a flaw in the Avid stuff. It doesn't like the G3 processing environment apparently. Avid has no intention of ever fixing this so they've told us. We need to put this on our website one of these days. Most folks do what you do and that is turn off our card when doing the Avid stuff.

I doubt you'll see Fortissimo appear in the G3/L2 machines. To get faster than 500Mhz requires using the new PPC7450 chips and those are bigger and hotter than the PPC7400 chips we use now. There is simply no space for the bigger heat sink we'd need to use.
Sorry,
--
Neal
Sonnet Customer Service"
----------------------------------------

I want to know if my thoughts are correct. i use a G3/500 Sonnet Upgrade for 4 months now and i am very happy with it. there is absolutely NO trouble. but i noticed that the 603 processor's fan still continue to work. is it dangerous for the 603 processor to be removed to place it upon the Sonnet card with an appropriate self made support part ?
Thanks
Chris
" Leave the fan working the way it is. Your machine still boots off the original 603e chip and then it switches to the G3 processor. The 603e still operates but at a very low level. It sort of acts like a traffic cop and it routes instructions to the new processor. So keep the fan going.
--
Neal
Sonnet Customer Service"]

12/22/2001 Sonnet posts Crescendo 1.4.7 update: JJ noticed that Sonnet released version 1.4.7 of their G3 upgrade drivers. He notes it feels faster to him! Thanks JJ.

1/19/2002 Sonnet is using lower speed CPU's and clocking them up!: I have read on the web and received a few letters about this. It seems Sonnet has released a few G3 upgrade with CPU's marked slower then Sonnets advertised speed but clocked up as to hide the fact. From what I have read it goes something like this

  • 266Mhz CPU's used on 300Mhz products
  • 333Mhz CPU's used on 400Mhz products
  • 466Mhz CPU's used on 500Mhz products

You will see the correct speed with any utility as Sonnet has clocked them up to the advertised speed so the only way to check is to remove the heatsink and read the label on the CPU itself. But of course this will void your warranty :( The issue was first brought up to OtherWorldComputing and they checked their inventory and found the some of theirs to have this issue! They have since stopped selling Sonnet G3 upgrades for the moment.

Sonnet has commented to a few people on this. One response was that they are using high temp tolerant CPU's from IBM which can handle the over clocking and another response was that a few bad cards got through and it was not supposed to happen. Well I think more then a few got through and they are not bad but blatantly misrepresented! I mean how can a run of L2 G3's, PCI G3's and ZIF G3's all have a bad run? And each at different CPU speeds? I hope to have more soon but I suggest that if your card is out of warranty already that you check to make sure you got what you paid for. I would like to hear from anyone that got the wrong CPU on their upgrade. Thanks

By the way, the user who informed me that the L2 G3 upgrade was affected said he used the Sonnet Clocker to reduce the CPU speed from 400Mhz to 300Mhz (CPU was marked 333) and now his Mac runs very stable. Maybe all the issues people are having are related to these cards? If you are having serious stability issues and your card runs hotter then 40C, I would verify the CPU speed.

UPDATE 1/19/2002: I found more info on this issue at Accelerate Your Mac's web site. I also found a response from Sonnet on MacMinute's web site. Basically Sonnet feels they have every right to do this as they have chosen chips that where either marked slower to be sold to another company for a cheaper price or they are high temp chips and can handle the stress. OWC has stopped selling any Sonnet 500Mhz upgrade for the time being. I am not sure how far reaching this is? I mostly hear about the 500Mhz cards being 466 but one reader told me he had a 400Mhz L2 G3 that was marked 333 and I see on the links above a 450Mhz card marked 333. Yikes!

If you want to remove your heat sink to check, you will need some heatsink compound to replace it when complete. The compound can be found at Radio Shack and many other electronic stores. The heatsink itself is screwed onto the card in the four corners. Take care removing it and do not place to much heatsink compound back on as it will conduct electricity so keep the stuff off any circuitry!

2/9/2002 Sonnets response to the issue on CPU's being marked differently then what they tell you: Here is a link to Sonnets info on why they are selling CPU's with lower or higher MHz readings then what their packaging states. Basically they state a few different reasons why this may be the case.

  1. The CPU was marked rescreened by IBM to a lower CPU for sale to a company that wanted slower chips but then backed out of the deal. Sonnet is merely running the CPU at the original spec'ed speed but did not re-rescreen the MHz reading on the CPU.
  2. The CPU can handle a lot more heat then normally found in our Macs so they could over clock the CPU which reduces its heat tolerance as long as they keep it within the heat tolerance it can expect to see in your Mac.
  3. They downclocked higher MHz marked CPU's that had low temp tolerances to give them better heat tolerance in some notebook applications.

IBM (post found on Accelerate Your Macs web site) has mentioned that this practice is known to exist and did not say its bad in anyway. They did not say its perfectly fine either. They only mentioned that its a practice that has been going on for some time and as long as Sonnet or any other company doing this keeps the temps in a stable range, then the CPU's should run fine for a long time. They do have a 3 year warranty so they must trust their products somewhat :)

9/1/2002 Sonnet Crescendo extension updated: Sonnet just released version 2.0 of their Crescendo G3 driver. The only thing that sticks out as being updated is OSX support for their ZIF upgrades. I highly doubt that this will help the few people that have upgraded their 6500's to OSX but maybe its worth a try to get the L2 G3 running?

11/2/2002 Remove Sonnet G3 card when installing new IDE hard drives?: I don't know how serious this issue is but Ben has found that with his Sonnet G3 card installed, he was unable see his new HD to be able to initialize it and use it. Thanks for the info Ben.

[I really enjoy your site. Keep up the good work. I made use of the take apart manual to install a larger IDE hard drive in place of the existing drive. The instructions were very helpful, and the job went off almost without a hitch. I did have one problem though. I will warn others with a Sonnet G3 card that the hard drive won't mount correctly unless you remove the Sonnet card prior to installing the drive, format the drive, and install the Sonnet drivers. Reinstall the Sonnet card after you've done this, and the drive will mount. It took me awhile to figure out that this was the problem and that the drive was fine.

-Ben]

Like I said, I don't know how serious this problem is as I have not heard of this issue before. But, I have heard from 6400/6500 owners having trouble installing a new IDE HD where it just would not show up on the desktop so you could not use it. I have no idea if these where related to having a G3 card installed but this is good tip to remember when its time to upgrade that HD.

12/16/2002 Sonnet updates drivers and lowers prices: Robert notified me that Sonnet Tech has updated the driver to 2.0.2 and lowered their prices on L2 G3's and are discontinuing the 400/512k version. Thanks Robert.

[Prices were reduced Nov. 1.

400/512 $179.95 has been discontinued and is available at Sonnet web store "specials" while supplies last. http://store.sonnettech.com/sonnetstore/default.tmpl
400/1M $199.95
500/1M $249.95

The 500/1M has 250MHz cache. It runs at 400/200 in 40MHz bus machines. Software is now version 2.0.2.]

2/5/2003 Sonnets 2.0.2 Crescendo driver causes bootup problems with a 6500: Stone had no issues with his Sonnet G3 until he upgraded the drivers to version 2.0.2. Then it wouldn't boot anymore! Reverting to an older driver worked fine. Thanks for the info Stone.

[I decided to finally upgrade my 6500/ G3 400 up to 9.2.2. Before I upgraded though, I decided to upgrade the software of the Sonnet upgrade card to the most recent 2.0.2 (or something like that). Big Mistake! While the computer worked flawlessly before, now it won't load up past the sonnet extension, and I get a bomb with either an error type 10, or a bus error message. Also, no matter what I do, I can't get the sonnet extension to load first anymore. It actually loads second now, after what looks like an ethernet extension, but I am not sure. (Yes, I changed the name of sonnet to several things to try to get this work, to no avail).

So now, I wold just be happy to downgrade the extension back to whatever it was before, which I don't remember, but it was lower than 2.0.2. Does anyone have the extension they could send me, or know where to get it? Thanks!

Stone]

Later he wrote:

[Well, after I wrote my message, I looked at sonnet's website again, and there is a software archive, where I found old drivers. I downgraded to 2.0 (I had been at 1.4.7 before all the trouble), and everything works like a charm again. So apparently, it was indeed the 2.0.2 drivers that were causing all the troubles. I didn't even bother to change types in resedit. Now that it works again, I'll just leave it alone

Stone]

I actually have some of Sonnets older drivers posted as well.

12/22/2003 Latest Sonnet L2 G3 drivers working fine: Sometimes when Sonnet releases a new driver for their G3 cards it may cause issues for us 6400/6500 owners with the L2 G3 card installed. Mike sends word that the latest version is working fine on his system. Thanks Mike.

[I got a new Sonnet G3 card for my 6400 last month. Newest extension for them is now 2.0.3 and I have had no real problems at all. Mine is pretty much stock with 132 megs RAM At first it seemed as if my OS 9.1 was starting to use excessive RAM (93 megs one time) but I turned on Virtual Memory for the first time in 2 years and set it to 160 megs and everything has been great.
Just checked now and OS is using 43 megs
Mike]

Clocking Sonnets G3 cards!11/4/1999

I moved this info to its own page.


Return to The 6400 Zone Home page

If any of the links do not work properly, please send an email to me the Site Master
This page last updated 5/1/2004