This page contains all the info I have gathered on Vimage's G3 upgrade for the 6400
Return to The 6400 Zone Home page
970 W. 190th Street, Suite 480
Torrance, CA 90502
(877) 4-VIMAGE, or (877) 484-6243
My Vimage G3/240 review
My Vimage G3/320 review
FLASH 11/06/2002: Unfortunately, since Vimage is no longer in business, their domain name has been reissued and it now points to adult content! Please be aware of this. I am removing all the Vimage web site links I can find. If anyone finds a link still active please email me ASAP! Thank you.
Just Updated 7/7/98
G3 card that fits in the L2 cache slot ?: Is it possible? can it be true? I just read this on Accelerate Your Mac 7/3/98 and was thinking to myself that maybe this is the ticket for us. Interware is advertising a G3 upgrade for Apples 4400 which will also work in Motorola's StarMax 3000/4000 series. The card has a 240 Mhz G3 CPU, 512K of backside cache running at 120mhz with a 40mhz bus. MacGurus has told me in the past that a StarMax L2 cache will work in a 6400 so maybe this G3 L2 slot card will too! Lets not get our hopes up to much yet as this could be Vaporware and not amount to anything. Here is a link to Interware's site (In Japanese) and a JPEG picture of the card. Interestingly the english version of the website is the same as VIMAGE's and the G3 L2 slot card is not advertised.
The only problem I see is that the card stands rather tall and may not fit due to the way the mother board mounts in the 6400. A 90 degree passthru adapter similar to what's used on the PCI bus may do the trick but one of the PCI slots will probably be blocked. I was asking for a PCI G3 card anyway which would have used up one of the PCI slots so I don't see this as a problem. In fact if the G3 L2 slot card fits the correct way we will be able to keep both PCI slots :)
Just Updated 7/10/98
More Interware Info: This letter was posted on Accelerate Your Mac on 7/8/98 and Mike said it was OK to post it here. Thanks Mike.
" Hi, Mike!
The following is additional information about the future products of Interware Co.
Mr. Toshi Shimizu, who is managing one of the best Mac WEB site in Japan (http://www01.u-page.so-net.ne.jp/da2/s-toshi/), kindly sent me the mail about new projects of Interware Co. He has several highly reliable sources and he is pretty sure about this story. Interware Co, which recently announced the G3 card for Tanzania motherboard, is also developing the G3 cards accelerating other Macs.
The Vimage Corp (http://www.VimageCorp.com) is a USA branch of Interware Co and we can buy their oriental-flavored stuffs in USA.
1) G3 for Alchemy & Gazelle
Available from October ? Completion of test board: end of July Debug will start from August Compatible to PM5400,5500,6400,6500, (20th Anniversary Mac?)
2) G3 for Nubus PowerMac with video function
This card has video chip on its own. This company is also famous as a video card vendor in Japan. So, we can expect good video acceleration, too. However, this project will start after the completion of 1) card.
3) G3 for PowerMac G3 (ZIF)
Along with Mactell & PowerLogix, they are also developing the ZIF up-grade card and expected to announce by end of the year.
4) G3 for PB2400
Although this might be less important for USA market, they almost done the test board for PB2400 and will start debugging from August.
Thank you, bye!
And this letter comes from Mr. Paraso. Thanks
Yesterday (7-8-98) I emailed Vimage (the USA brach of Interware) and
Will the 4400 G3 upgrade work in a Performa 6400 or a Powermac 6500? It not, why? Don't they use the same type of cache? Also is it possible you will be developing a upgrade card for the 6400/6500 in the future? I hope you can answer my questions. Thank you.
Then this morning I got this reply from them:
Dear Mr. Paraso:
Thank you for your inquiry.
Unfortunately, the 4400 G3 upgrade won't work with a Performa 6400 or a PowerMac 6500, because it uses a different motherboard from the latter two machines.
Having said that, we're planning to announce an upgrade that *is* compatible with both machines in about two months. Keep an eye on our web site for
As you can see it looks like we may finally get our dream of a G3 for the 6400. I sure hope this is not a hoax!
Just Updated 7/11/98
VIMAGE's reply to my G3 Plea: Here is a letter I got from Dave Friedman of VIMAGE in response to the Plea for a G3 upgrade for our 6400's.
Thanks for your note.
We're pretty close to making an announcement that I think will make you very happy. Keep an eye on our home page (www.vimagestore.com) for more details, probably around the end of this month.
Corporate Relations Coordinator
Here is a reply Pete Plank got from VIMAGE: Get your credit cards ready! Looks like this thing is really going to happen.
Dear Mr. Plank:
Thanks very much for your really nice letter. It's always great to hear from someone who's as enthusiastic about our work as we. If you're interested in preordering, we'd be delighted to do that for you. You can reach us toll-free at 1-877-4VIMAGE. We hope to hear again from you soon.
Corporate Relations Coordinator
Just Updated 7/13/98
More VIMAGE news: Here is a press release from VIMAGE on their new G3 upgrade for the 4400. They had a booth at the New York Mac Expo and were showing it off to everyone. I have heard they are also working on a 300Mhz version! They finally added this L2 slot G3 to the English version of their web site and a full page ad for their other G3 upgrades can be found in the latest MacWorld. This is going to happen for us, I can feel it!
Just Updated 7/17/98
More VIMAGE updates: Here are some specs and prices I got from their web site. I assume the 6400/6500 version will be similar but have different release dates.
|G3 240Mhz||512k at 117Mhz||$599||end of August|
|G3 300Mhz||1M at 150Mhz||not priced||October ?|
Also check out the MacBench scores they have listed. The 240mhz version is at 749% and the 300Mhz version is at 1039%. Did you ever think your 6400 would go that fast :)
Just Updated 7/23/98
Another picture of Vimage's Vpower 4400: This picture was found on Starmax.net and was taken at the last Mac Expo. It is a picture of the G3 240Mhz in an Apple 4400.
More Vimage info: I found this posted on MacsOnly 7/22/98
G3 CPU Card for PowerMac 4400 and StarMax 3000/4000: According to David Friedman, Vimage Corporate Relations Coordinator, "At the end of August, Vimage will start shipping the Vpower PM 4400 G3/240, enabling these owners to breathe new life into their computers. With its old CPU soldered onto the motherboard, how can the PM 4400 possibly be upgradeable? The answer lies in the innovative solution designed by our engineers back in Japan: the Vpower PM 4400 G3/240 card plugs right into the computer's Level 2 cache slot. No sloppy workarounds, no "unnatural" CPU modifications to cause system instability." The G3/240 costs $599. Vimage is currently shipping G3 CPU cards in 233, 266 and 300 Mhz speeds for PowerMac 7300-9650's and UMAX S900-910's and a 233 and 266 Mhz version for the PowerBook 1400.
David Friedman has written to me in the past saying that they are working on a 6400/6500 version too! For more info, visit my Vimage Info page. Still preying to the Apple GOD for it :)
Just Updated 7/25/98
More Vimage info: Accelerate Your Mac has just posted the Q&A's from his conversation with Vimage. Click here to read it at his site.
I have requested to review the 6400 G3 upgrade when one is available and they are forwarding my request to the appropriate people. Hope they agree to it!
Just Updated 7/29/98
This is another good news / bad news report
First the good news!
Vimage's FAQ page: Thanks to Pete Plank, I just learned that Vimage has a FAQ page posted and the very first FAQ is on the availability of the 6400 G3 upgrade. They say to watch for an announcement by the end of July!
Vpower Manual: Here is a link to Vimage's support page where you can download their Vpower manual. This is NOT the PM 4400 manual for the L2 cache G3. It's only for the regular daughter card CPU upgrade. I thought you might want to read it anyway :)
Now for some bad news!
6500 users may not get an upgrade?: The FAQ mentions nothing about the availability of the 6500 version but I still think an upgrade is coming as I have some letters posted that say they are working on both a 6400 / 6500 version. Whether it will be the same or 2 different versions is still a mystery. BUT here is a letter posted on Accelerate Your Mac 7/28/98 that contradicts these previous letters (even one written by David Friedman?) that states Vimage is not "aware" of any 6500 version at this time.
Mel Francis sent a copy of a response from Vimage that indicates there may be no 6500/20th upgrade in the works, at least at this time.
Dear Mr. Francis:
I'm afraid we're not aware at this time of any plans to introduce any upgrades for 6500 machines. Please check back with us from time to time by e-mail and/or at our website (www.vimagestore.com). Meanwhile, please let me know if there's anything else with which I can try to help you.
I just read the previous letter I mentioned above and the person asked about the 4400, 6400, and 6500 in one sentence. So when David said an upgrade will be out for "both" of them, he could have been referring to the 4400 and 6400 only? 6400 users wanting to upgrade to 6500's and wishing to yet upgrade again to a G3 may want to wait for confirmation on a G3 upgrade for the 6500 before investing any money in it! And until further notice I will refrain from classing the 6500 with the 6400 on this L2 G3 card.
7200 users will not get an upgrade at all: the FAQ clearly states that due to design differences on the 7200, the L2 cache G3 will not work. BUMMER!
Just Updated 8/2/98
Vimage announces G3 upgrade for 5400/6400 macs!: Just when I thought it was slow! Guess what? Go ahead, guess! Vimage just announced on their web site the G3 upgrade for the 5400/6400! Here is the notice.
New Product Alert!
The ground-breaking Vimage Corporation--the world's first company to offer a G3 upgrade path for the Power Mac 4400 and compatibles--is proud to announce we've done it again! We'll be offering the world's first G3 upgrade card for the Power Macintosh 54xx/64xx computers. Compatible machines also include the UMAX Apus 2000 and 3000 series, and the SuperMac C500/Microbook Power 603e series. For further details as they develop, keep an eye on this space over the next week or two.
This makes it official. We will get a G3 upgrade for the 6400! YIPPEE :) I will be ending my petition now and send in the names I've collected to Vimage so that they may email all of you about further developments (if they wish to). Thanks to all that sent in your names. Now its just a matter of when, not "how".
Just Updated 8/6/98
G3 upgrade for 6400 as shown in Japan: Accelerate Your Mac 8/5/98 has posted more info on Vimage's upgrade for the 6400. Just so everyone knows, Vimage is only the US distributor for Interware (the actual company that makes the cards) Here is what's posted on Accelerate Your Macs site, Thanks Mike. (The links are to Japanese sites but you can still read and understand the benchmarks)
Interware (Vimage) 54/64xx G3 Upgrade: From Mac Treasure Tracing Club:
" INTERWERE company announced a new product to Japan.
The name is "BOOSTER 64 54 G3 240". http://www.iijnet.or.jp/Interware/products/Booster64_54.html This is a product using it with Performa64xx and 54xx. Release day seems to be September 24. A price is unsettled.
There are bench data here. http://www.iijnet.or.jp/Interware/products/Booster64_54Graph.html
There is an image here. http://www.interware.co.jp/products/jpeg/card/640/Booster64_54_2.jpeg "
This is the product Vimage Corp will be marketing (noted earlier this week).
I checked out the picture and graphs and It looks pretty darn good! I now know why it took them longer to make the 6400 version from the 4400 version. If you look at both you will see that the 6400 one is much shorter so that it fits in the case better. I had remarked earlier that the 4400 version looked to tall to fit and would need an adapter. Also looking closely at the G3 chip you will see that its an IBM PPC750 at 233Mhz. Interware must have bumped it up slightly to 240Mhz as that's what is listed on the links above. The bench mark data was taken with Nortin 3.5.3 and looks like the first graph is CPU, the second I can't tell and the third being FPU. If any one can clarify this please let me know. From the graph it looks as if the 240 G3 will be 4x faster in CPU and 2x as fast in FPU!
8/17/98 I have received confirmation that the second graph is for graphics speed.
Just Updated 8/7/98
Specs on the 6400 G3 upgrade: I found these numbers surfing Interwares web site. PowerPC G3(750) 240Mhz, 512k backside cache at 120Mhz, 40Mhz bus. I also found another picture of the 6400 version with a heatsink on. The dimensions as I suspected are almost exactly half the height of the 4400 G3. 4400 being 117.1mm(W) x 70.1mm(D) and the 6400 being 117.1mm(W) x 38.0(D). So the 6400 version is smaller and this is probably why it took them a little longer to make.
My opinion on why there is no G3 upgrade for the 6500 yet: Since the announcement of the 4400 G3, many have asked if there would be one for other Macs? Vimage has just announced a G3 for the 5400/6400 but not the 5500/6500. Why? I have a theory and its all because of the 6500's BUS speed. All of the current CPU cards allow you to change the CPU speed by changing the BUS speed OR the clock multiplier. The clock multiplier is the ratio of CPU speed to BUS speed. Most people have found that its much more stable to increase the multiplier and leave the BUS alone (or make small changes to it). The BUS speed in Vimages G3 is not changed when you up the CPU speed so the 6400 can have a 300Mhz CPU with a 40Mhz BUS. This is how all mother boards are made. You change the multiplier and this makes the CPU go faster while leaving the BUS alone. This is how I changed my 6400/200 to a 6400/220. The BUS is still 40Mhz but the multiplier changed from 5x to 5.5x.
Now assume the multiplier stays the same but the BUS speed changes. Lets look at the 6400 G3. A 240MhzCPU divided by 40MhzBUS = 6 (this is our multiplier on the 240Mhz card). 6 x 50MhzBUS (6500) = 300Mhz, so the 240Mhz G3 for a 6400 will become a 300Mhz just by inserting it in the 6500. Since Interware does not even have any 300Mhz versions out yet, I'm assuming they don't have enough 300Mhz G3 chips to make them with. So this is not possible.
Go one step further. 300MhzCPU divided by 40MhzBUS = 7.5 (this is our multiplier on the 300Mhz card). 7.5 x 50MhzBUS (6500) = 375Mhz! (NOT POSSIBLE WITH TODAYS G3 chips!) So due to the faster BUS you need a G3 chip capable of running at 300Mhz to be compatible with the configuration they have now or they need to make another card with a lower multiplier, say a 5x multiplier. This would give you a 250Mhz G3. So they actually do need to make a new card for the 6500, as they did not include a variable resistor to make these changes on the fly.
Just Updated 8/17/98
More Vimage news: StarMax.net has a review of the vPower G3 upgrade for the 4400 and Starmax. Sounds very impressive!
Just Updated 8/21/98
Vimage spec page for the PF 54xx/64xx G3 upgrade: Vimage has just posted a spec page with info on the 6400 L2 cache G3 upgrade card with an announced selling date of October 10th! YES!!!!!!!! They have a NOTE which states not to move the system with the card installed. I will email them to find out more about this.
Just Updated 8/26/98
Vimage info: Check out page 33 of the October 98 MacWorld. There is a Vimage ad and it shows the 5400/6400 G3 from $599 availible in October. Just like they announced! It also shows their other products. Visit my Vimage Info page for more details.
Just Updated 8/27/98
Vimage Info: Now that you've seen the Vimage ad in the new MacWorld, what do you think of the Japanese cartoon on page 32? I think its pretty funny and a fresh new way of advertising Mac products. If you haven't seen it yet, the scene is on a baseball field and the batter is feeling, well, slow and this girl slaps some sense in to him and he upgrades to Vpower! Guess what's next? He hits a grand slam! This is some nice in-your-face advertising that Power Computing used to do.I like it! Check out my Vimage Info page for more details.
The following links were sent to me from Joe DelPopolo who found them on the TecsysC web site. All these sites are in Japanese but you can pretty much find what your looking for. Thanks Joe!
This page shows a clear picture of the card in a 5400. It will mount in the same way for 6400's. It also compares the size of the G3 card to a real L2 cache card. They are practically the same!
This page shows the 54xx/64xx G3 upgrade with some Icon images of the software needed. It also shows the top view of the card in a 5400 or 6400 (I can't tell which but the heatsink is very close to the RAM chips and this maybe why they don't want you to transport the computer with the card installed. Can you imagine starting up you Mac with the heatsink resting against the RAM chips. YIKKES!) Looking at this picture makes it look like the fan will be impossible to fit. scroll to the right and then down when page has finished loading to see the pictures
This page shows some MacBench5 scores as well as some other candid shots of the G3 cards and other misc pictures.
What will happen with the 603e chip with the G3 installed?: I have been asked this question a lot and I don't have a definite answer but I do have a theory. The chip will not be removed as some are wondering but it will remain in place in an idle state. How idle this will be I can't answer. I suspect it will either be completely unused or it will be used until an extension is reached that kicks in the G3 chip. Since I don't know exactly how the a CPU on a L2 cache card can be made I can't figure out just how it is bypassing the main CPU. In any case the 603e chip will not be used for anything once the computer is running.
Just Updated 8/31/98
Reply from Vimage about special NOTE not to transport your 6400 with the G3 installed: I emailed Vimage about why this is stated in their 54xx/64xx spec page and here is their reply.
"Hi, Tom. Nice to hear from you again.
It should actually have read, "Please do not ship with the card installed." (I'll try and make the change on our web page today.)
If you ship your computer, heaven only knows how it'll get knocked about. Therefore, we make this recommendation as a safety precaution against a sharp impact's dislodging the card and damaging it and/or your machine.
I'm afraid I don't yet have a price, but hope to soon.
Meanwhile, please let me know if there's anything else with which I can help you.
So it seems this is just a precaution incase something were to happen, they told you so! The price is posted on their site now and its $599 for the 240Mhz G3 card.
Vimage has not set a date for taking preorders yet: I just received this letter from a reader who asked Vimage if he could preorder at this time. It looks like we'll have to wait a bit.
"I just spoke to a fellow at Vimage named Chris and he said that they probably won't be taking pre-orders on the 6400 G3 card until the end of Sept. (no firm date)."
Just Updated 9/7/98
More Vimage info: I got a reply from Vimage on why there is a fan shown in some pictures mentioned in Just Updates 8/xx/98 for use with the 6400 G3 card.
"Hi, Tom. Good to hear from you, and I hope you can forgive this tardy reply. The answer to your question is that the fan is for clones. An Apple machine wouldn't use the fan.
Please let me know of anything else with which I can help you.
I'm not sure why only clones based on the 6400's mother board will use the fan and I requested more details. Stay tuned!
Just Updated 9/10/98
Vimage ships 4400 G3 card: Here is a press release from Vimage about their 4400 G3 card. It's just a matter of time before the 6400 G3 ships!
Just Updated 9/14/98
More Vimage info: Did you all check out the article on CPU cards in the Oct 98' issue of MacHome page 14? The last 2 paragraphs are on Vimage and they mention the 6400 upgrade! The word is getting out and soon we'll all be in dream land :)
Vpower compatibility page from Vimage: This page has results from tests performed by Vimage with their PowerMac CPU G3 upgrade card and various PCI graphic and SCSI accelerator cards. They also test some other PCI cards for compatibility. Since this is not the same type of G3 upgrade as the 6400 will use take this info with a grain of salt. It looks promising and I hope our compatibility will be similar if not better.
Vimage Pre ordering info: I requested info on preordering and here is the response I got.
"Hi, Tom. Nice to hear from you again.
For now, you can put your name onto a reservation list, though. That'll enable you to place your order as soon as we're ready to start taking them. Ordering early, in turn, will guarantee that you get a card from the first shipment (we've got *lots* of people interested in it).
Please let me know how I can further assist you.
I guess if you want to get on the reservation list, contact Vimage. Check out my Vimage Info page previous info.
10/16/98 Vimage Vpower PF G3/240 ships!: Vimage's 6400 G3 card is shipping now. I ordered mine on 10/8/98 and it just arrived on 10/14/98. I heard that they were stuck in customs for awhile but it seems that they're out now! The price seems to have dropped too. I got mine for $549 where the ads still show it at $599. Doesn't bother me :) I haven't installed it yet, but I will get to it and will be writting a full review over the next few days. There are a few things you should know before purchasing one.
Compatibility. It seems that they have a few compatibility issues after all. The manual lists several including some PCI graphics cards. They have a web site that lists more compatibility issues. Here is what's listed in the manual:
These are some pretty hefty compatibility issues. I would say that most people still have their internal Geo modems and many still use OS 7.x.x. The manual does state that OS 8.1 is recommended for optimum performance. I hope OS 8.5 has no problems? I have the Xclaim VR card so maybe I'll see what they mean by "strange screen effects". I think these issues will deter some people from buying it or maybe it will just push them in to upgrading their OS? I'll have more when I'm done with the review.
Just Updated 10/20/98
Vimage update: I have tried the card in my 6400/180 for 2 days now and its running great! I haven't found any errors that I can contribute to the card. My computer did freeze twice while switching screen color resolutions but I can't get it to repeat. Until I know the G3 caused it I'll pass on this problem. Just to let everyone know my 6400/180 has OS 8.1 with stock graphics and the Geo modem. Online does work! I can't tell if its much faster online as my connections are down to 19.5 because I still do not have a good phone line installed. Thats another story! the rest of the computer has become very snappy! The Finder and graphics display have really improved. Infact I bought the game Unreal and it plays very well on here with NO hardware acceleration. I know that it will look better on an accelerated graphics card but for those that don't have one the G3 really does a good job. I'll also test it with OS 8.5 as soo as I can get to it.
G3 card and Geo problems with OS 8.5: Here is some info I found on MacFixIt 10/19/98 about Macs upgraded with G3 cards having problems installing OS 8.5 and bad news for Geo modem owners wanting OS 8.5.
"G3 cards prevent OS 8.5 installation? We've gotten several reports that some (not all!) Macs with G3 upgrade cards have trouble installing Mac OS 8.5 (this is similar to a problem we reported with Mac OS 8.0 and 604 upgrade cards). One work-around is to temporarily return your computer's original CPU card and then do the software upgrade.
No support for internal GeoPort modems? Apple Tech Support told Gedeon Maheux that the reason he could not get his Performa 6400 internal modem to work under Mac OS 8.5 is that Mac OS 8.5 does not include support for internal GeoPort modems. Even reinstalling the old modem software from Mac OS 7.6 did not work-around this problem. I have not had other confirmation of this."
It seems easy enough to fix the install problem if it happens with Vimages G3 card. Either hold the "x" key during boot before the install or remove the Vimage Extension and control panel to disable the card and your stock 603e chip will take over. the Geo modem problem is more serious! I only hope this is a fluke and that Apples respons mean that they didn't ship Apple Telecom software with OS 8.5 and not that it won't work at all. That would be very bad news to a lot of 6400 users! I should find out for my self shortly.
Just Updated 10/24/98
Vimage update: sorry for all the delays in getting info out. I am very busy with this review plus my new job and house. I'll have the review out as soon as possible. thanks for being patient. By the way all of this is being written on the 6400 with the G3 and the Geo so as you can tell its working.
Here is a letter I sent to Mike Breeden of Accelerate Your Mac and posted on Apples 6400 forum. It has some great news for all of you wondering if Vimages G3, OS 8.5 and the Geo modem are all compatible. Let me just simply say YES!
I just thought I'd give you an update on how my 6400/G3 is going. Just to set everyones mind at ease, My 6400 is running with OS 8.5, the geo modem and the G3 card with no problems so far! So contrary to what some others may have experienced, they are compatible. I think the problem lies more with the clean install of OS 8.5 itself. With the clean install you get no telecom files for the geo to run and just moving them back to the new system folder doesn't seem to help. I did a dirty install (not recommended but I was pressed for time and have backups) and it all worked with out a hicup. I think that the telecom software must install a bit of code into the system file which is not present after the clean install. The fix would be to reinstall the Apple telecom software. Apple says you need version 3.1 or later for OS 8.5 compatibility. They have 3.1.1 on there site but you need a previous version to update it with. This means starting from 2.3.3, then 3.0, then 3.1.1 all available from their site. If you have OS 7.6.x or 8.x CD's then you can just install the latest from those CD's (OS 8.x has a newer version then what Apple has posted, v3.1.3). I don't know why Apple did not bundle the telecom software on the OS 8.5 CD? Maybe this is their way of phasing out the Geo modem. By the way 6400 owners with G3 upgrades should not have the OS upgrade problems that other Macs upgraded with G3's are having since when you do the recommended install (booting from the CD), your G3 chip gets disabled since the Vpower Extension and Control panel are not loaded. This lets the installer know for sure that your 6400 is a 6400 and not some hybrid system.The only draw back would be that when OS X comes out the installer will not see any G3 chip and since Apple hasn't said anything about older systems working, it might not install.
The Vimage G3 card is running great to. MacBench 4 CPU=700%, FPU=750% (LibMoto installed), and disk=260% (SD 8.1.1 installed). The stock IDE HD is really slowing this chip down. I hope to get better performance from my other 6400 with the Maxtor 5.7G IDE drive. It scores 315% without the G3 chip! I also ran Powerlogix Speedmeter and got a temp of 75c at boot and it never went higher than 79c. This sounds normal to other readings I have been seeing on your site but I don't know if its high or not. My computers fan really spins up to cool itself down when the G3 is running so it thinks its hot. BUT this fan speeds up slightly when CD's are installed and during other times to so it may be more of a power supply problem. My other 6400 with everything connected to it doesn't ever do this.
OS 8.5 did not make much of a noticable difference in speed once the G3 chip is running. With the G3 disabled (this would be comparable to a stock 6400/180 no L2 cache and 48M ram) OS 8.5 seemed to run real SLOW. going thru the Mac OS setup assistant was a pain. Everytime I clicked to the next setting, it would take up to 20sec before the window changed. I thought the computer locked up many times but I just waited and it eventually would give me control again.
Also Unreal did not lock up on me in the same location as before so either it was a fluke or OS 8.5 fixed it!
I'm still testing and will have the review out soon.
Just Updated 10/25/98
Trick on getting the Vpower G3 to run while booting from a CD: Pete sends along this nifty trick to keep your G3 card running and booting from a CD. Thanks Pete.
I figured you might be interested in a cool trick I learned on the Vimage
card ... you can install OS 8.5, or your OS of choice, with the G3 active.
Here's how you do it:
Put the MacOS 8.5 CD-ROM in the drive. Let the computer boot normally, but don't press the 'C" key at the happy Mac icon. Instead, let the machine boot until it hits the Vimage extension. The second time you see the happy Mac icon, press and hold the 'C' key to boot from the CD-ROM. OS 8.5 will install normally, but much, much faster than with the stock 603e chip. The only caveat is that the backside cache won't be enabled, but then if you install using the 603e chip you don't have any cache either.
Just Updated 10/29/98
Vimage Update: I email David Friedman of Vimage with some questions on the Vpower PF G3. Below are my questions with his reply. Thanks David!
The PF Vpower G3 is running very well! I love it! I do have a few questions though.
[I shall answer your questions in the order in which you present them.]
1. What does selecting more compatible mode do in the control panel? I tried it and Speedmeter from PowerLogix still reports a 240Mhz G3 with 120Mhz BS cache. I though that the cache might slow down but it doesn't seem so.
[Compatible mode is a little slower than "Faster" mode. In Compatible mode, the CPU writes data simultaneously to the backside cache and also to the main RAM. This takes a little more time because of the wait involved while it finishes writing to the main memory via the slower bus on the computer's logic board. In "Faster" mode, it's a serial, rather than a parallel, process: data are written to the backside cache first, and then from there to the main memory. Since the CPU moves on with its business as soon as it's finished writing to the backside cache, it isn't stuck waiting for the write to the main RAM.]
2. I tried Powerlogix G3 utility to chage the speed of the backside cache from 2:1 to 3:2 and The finder freezes as it loads. This may be a RAM speed issue and I will try again on my system with the EDO ram in it.
[I'm not prepared to speak to the compatibility of competitor Powerlogix's software with our cards, but I do know that our cards aren't designed to have their bs cache speeds adjusted; I wonder if this has something to do with the roots of the crash?]
3. Is there going to be a 300Mhz version? the manual has this printed on it and many people are wondering.
[We'll be making an exciting announcement in this vein in the next week or two.]
4. So far OS 8.5 and the Geo modem run great with the G3. Just thought I'd let you know :)
[Thanks. :-) ]
5. Why does the system have to reboot once the Vpower extension is reached? couldn't it just continue from there but with more speed?
Dave needs to get more info on this before he can make a comment. Stay tuned.
6. What does the 603e chip do once the G3 has started? is it working on anything, shut off completely, or some happy medium?
[It just sits there and sleeps, like a happy, hibernating bear. It doesn't work on anything. (No parallel processing, if that's what you're driving at.) ]
7. How hot should the G3 get? Speedmeter reports that it is 79 degrees C and my internal power supply fan keeps speeding up once the G3 extension is enabled. It never gets hotter than 79 but my computers fan sure doesn't like it!
[I'm not sure by what you mean when you say your "computer's fan doesn't like it." I could find out what the optimal temperature is, but it might take a few days.]
I have moved the G3 to my other 6400 since this message and it doesn't speed the power supply fan up at all like my other 6400 did. I may have a bad power supply which can't take the extra internal heat. I had this same problem trying an Apple DOS card in it. I had sent the DOS card back thinking it was causing the problem. David will get back to me on this.
8. I heard Dave Sisler saw my picture in the old Flemming JR high year book. So how bad do I look? hehehe.
[When I posed this question to Dave, his face went all red, as if he were stifling a great gale of laughter. :-) Interpret that as you wish. :-) :-) ]
It turns out that Dave Sisler (International Marketing & Sales at Vimage) and I went to the same schools when we were younger and only a few years apart at that. What a small world we live in!
[Let me know if there's anything with which I can help you.
Also, if you look in the December issue of MacWorld, they have an ad with the price of the Vpower PF G3 at $499 now!
Just Updated 11/5/98
G3 for 6500 and TAM's?: I have recieved a few emails from people trying the 6400 G3 on a TAM (Twentieth Anniversary Mac which has the same motherboard as a 6500) and it seems to work but a bit slower, only 225Mhz. Also there is that Japanese web site http://www.cup.com/cbox/tamg3.html with the review of a G3 accelerated TAM. This is the same card that is used in the 6400 and they installed the heatsink with the fan mounted to help cool it down. Must not be enough cooling in the TAM? Anyway this means it should work on 6500/5500's as well. I have several people, my self included, recieved letters from Vimage on this topic stating that they can't say anything now but to watch for some announcment in the next few weeks on more compatible systems. I believe they will announce not only 6500/TAM but also the 6360! All of these systems are very similar and it should be very easy to get the card to run on all of them.
MacCPU has already announced a G3 upgrade for the TAM. It is from Interware where Vimage gets their cards from. I bet its the Vpower PF G3 as they list it as a 225Mhz upgrade which is exactly what was reported to me will happen when the 240Mhz G3 card is inserted in a TAM
Also (for those of you that already recieved your 6400 G3 you'll know what I'm talking about) the 6400 G3's manual has 240Mhz and 300Mhz models written on the cover which would mean that a 300Mhz card will be introduced? One reader told me that Vimage told him it was a misprint but I feel that it's not! I contacted Vimage and they could not tell me anything but then they didn't flat out tell me it was a mistake either!
Just Updated 11/25/98
CU-See-Me and the G3 card might not be compatible?: I have noticed an issue with ATI's VR card running CU-See-Me with the G3. When I try to configure the video in CU-See-Me, my 6400 locks up often when the G3 is enabled. Sometimes so bad that doing the CTRL-Apple-PowerKey will only turn off my monitor but the computer keeps running and I have to hit the reset button on the back. If I disable the Vpower extension so my 603e chip runs and the G3 sits idle, I don't have these lockups. I tried selecting More Compatible in the Vpower control panel and so far it seems to have helped. I haven't tried configuring the video from ATI's software yet so I don't know for sure if its the ATI card or CU-See-Me software causing the problem? I am running ATI's latest universal driver version 3.3. I'll report back when I find out more.
Just Updated 11/29/98
Great price on Vimage's PF G3/240 for the 6400: Keith just found a great deal from OtherWorld Computing. Thanks Keith
[Just wanted to let you know that Other World Computing has the Vimage G3 cards for $469 (plus free shipping!). I saw this referenced at www.deal-mac.com. Also, CompUSA has the 6.8 gig Maxtor DiamonMax for only $99 after $30 rebate. What a deal!
Just Updated 12/6/98
6500 G3 plus faster 6400 G3!: The Vimage Corporation announced 12/4/98 that it will start shipping a 325-MHz upgrade for the 55xx,65xx, and Twentieth Anniversary Macintoshes (TAM) by February 1999. The Vpower 5x/6x will sell for less than $1,500, and also work with the 54/64xx machines, running at 320 MHz.
When I read this I was very overwhelmed! You could here a big YEAH! down the hall. 320Mhz for the 6400 and 325 for the 6500 is very fast. This is faster than almost all currently shipping Macs. I don't know what the exact price is yet and have asked for more info. I sure hope "less than $1500" does not mean $1499 as that is very high for even this speed CPU. Stay tuned for more info.
Can't wait for the 325Mhz for your 6500. How about a 225Mhz for $499: Tom Legare sends word of a web site that has posted a review from a person that installed the Vpower PF G3/240 meant for the 6400 in his 6500. Thanks Tom.
Check out the following site. A guy put in a Vimage upgrade in a 6500/250 and it's working great. Good news for folks like me who upgraded their 6400's to 6500's via a logic board swap.
As always, keep up the great work!
Just Updated 12/18/98
More Vimage Compatibility updates: Edwin sends info that his TwinTurbo 128M4 and an M2 card failed to run with the Vimage G3. This has been mentioned several times buy others yet one person wrote to tell me the 128M8 card worked. So maybe only the M8 card will work and not any other version?
Vimage announces 6500 and 6360 compatibility!: Vimage is announcing that its $499 PF G3/240 processor upgrade is compatible with Power Mac 55xx and 65xx computers, as well as the Performa 6360 and the 5400, 5410, 5420, 5430, 5440, 6400, 6410 and 6420 series. Here is a part of there announcement.
["Because the 55xx and 65xx machines are built around a different logic board from their 54xx/64xx cousins (the Gazelle board, as opposed to the Alchemy board), they run at 225 MHz, rather than the 240 MHz speed that they deliver for 54xx/64xx. Fortunately, this speed offers a significant improvement over the performance of stock 55/65xx machines: CPU performance at a level of just about double that of the stock machines." ]
The 6500 may run at only 225Mhz but the 6360 will run at the full 240Mhz because it has the same logic board as the 6400. The 225Mhz is still better than the stock 6500's CPU so don't let the low Mhz number fool you. I would appreciate being sent any MacBench scores from 6360 or 6500 owners with the G3 installed.
Just Updated 1/14/1999
320Mhz copper based G3 for the 6400: Vimage told me they should have their cards out by next month too and have released this FAQ about their cards in comparison to others. It is pretty interesting! It will be very interesting to see what happens with prices now that there are 2 companies selling upgrades for the 6400.
Just Updated 1/31/1999
RamDoubler and Vimage G3 are compatible: I have recieved many letters from Vimage G3 users who also have RamDoubler and OS 8.5.1 running on their 6400's with no issues [previously on my home page I reported that I could not get RD working and thought it may be due to the G3 card]. I am starting to wonder if it is the ATI Rage II card causing the problem in conjunction with something else. My stock monitor did not blank out but the one on the VR card did? It seems I need to do some more testing. I have been able to run RamDoubler in the past with the ATI card but I didn't have OS 8.5.1 installed and I can't remember if I had the G3 installed at the time.
Update: Well not really but I haven't posted this page yet so I thought I'd add this in. I just reinstalled RamDoubler 8.0.1 and it is working! I don't know what happened the first time but it works now. The only things different are that I renamed the Vpower Extension by adding a space before the V to make it load before Speed Doubler and I moved the Vpower Control panel to the extensions folder and added a space before it too. This way both the extension and control panel launch before anything ensuring the fastest possible boot time. I did make an alias of the control panel and put that back in the Control Panels folder to access it. Also when I did the Ram Doubler install I had changed my main monitor to the one on the stock port. If you remember I had said that the stock port monitor remaind visible and only the one on the VR card went black. Maybe this did it but I'm not sure. All I know is its working now and better than VM. I don't seem to have the slow window redraws anymore just as the other 6400/G3 RamDoubler users have said. I even have it set to 204M!
Just Updated 2/26/1999
Cooling the Vimage G3: Rick sends some info on how to cool Vimages L2/G3 240Mhz card. I think someone else also sent me similar info but here it is again. Thanks Rick.
[Just a note.
My initial temps for my 6400/200 w/8MB Rage Pro upgraded with Vimage 240 MHz G3 were reported as high as 79-80 deg C.
I decided to put the fan that comes attached to the other heatsink on the edge of the G3 card, blowing across the heatsink. The airflow from the fan is then split across both sides of the card. I used some super sticky double sided foam tape designed to mount fog lights to plastic car bumpers without drilling holes (had some laying around). I just used a little bit of tape at the corners of the fan, just enough to cover the edge of the G3 board/heatsink. This seems solid enough for home use, I don't think it will fall off or come loose on its own.
Good news is the Processor Temp is now reported as 53-55 deg C!!!
I feel much more comfortable with this temp. It seems very stable in temp and doesn't fluctuate nearly as much as the G3 without the fan.
Just to let you all know, I haven't had any trouble with my Vimage 240 card running at 80C but cooler is always better :)
Just Updated 3/2/1999
More on cooling the Vimage G3: I tried placing the fan on my Vimage G3 and after several hours of use the CPU is only at 59C degrees. Not bad! I didn't use tape though and wrapped it with wire around the heatsink. Use thin insulated wire to do this so you don't short anything. I will have a picture when it gets developed.
Also Sonnet has commented on its use of LibMoto to get faster FPU scores then Vimage's G3. Well LibMoto is a free download from Motorola so for all you Vimage users that don't have it yet can now get it :)
3/12/1999 Picture of Vimage G3 with fan: Here is the picture I told you I would get. Tha fan fits nicely on top but may get in the way if you have 2 PCI cards? Its not needed but I wanted to see how it would affect the temps. It did bring down the temps to around 59c from a high of 89c which is nice. Still try this at your own risk. If the fan were to fall off who knows what might happen?
Just Updated 4/2/1999
Vimage updates their 6400 Vpower extension: This update is just a minor bug release for a clone sold outside the US. I tried it and it made no noticable difference on mine.
[* Vpower PF G3 (v1.0.2).img (98K, web-posted on 24 March 1999) This is the latest driver software for the Vpower G3/240 card. It fixes a compatibility issue that a small number of Apus 2000/160 machines (a brand sold only outside of the US) have had with the card.]
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 4/23/1999
Vimage ships 320/325 L2/G3: I just recieved Vimages 320/325 G3 upgrade card for review! I installed it in the 6400/180 with the Geo modem and it runs fine (so does the modem). Initial findings are that its FAST! On a 6400 it runs at 320Mhz and has 1M L2 cache. It is a copper G3 so the temps are low but not as low as Sonnets. The heat sink is the same size as the 240 G3's and the temp stabalized around 51C. This is higher then Sonnets 30C but lower then Vimages 240 G3's 80C. It uses the same extenion that shipped with their 240 G3 so all the compatibilities and incompatibilities should be the same. The double boot still exists too. expect a review shortly.
Update: well not exactly as I havn't posted this yet but I just had something strange happen? This is the second boot with The 320 G3 installed and it failed to start the cache. I had a big red X thru the icon. I turned off all the extensions except for OS 8.5.1 and the Vpower stuff and then it worked. OK I have a conflict now. I traced it to SpeedDoubler 8.1.2. I re-enabled all my extensions except SD and it worked. This is funny as I never had this conflict with the 240 G3! I tried reinstalling both SD and the Vpower extension but it still would not work. I then tried adding a space in front of the Vpower extension to get it to load before SD and then it worked. I don't know why but everything was fine on the initial boot but now it conflicts with SD? If you find this problem on your computer then try adding a space in front of the Vpower Extension.
Just Updated 5/14/1999
Fix for Vimages L2 G3's running on OS 8.6!: I have been sent word from several readers that there is a fix on Vimages G3's by using the beta drivers for the Japanese version. For those that don't know, Interware is a Japanese company which makes the Vpower and Vimage is a US distributor. Vimage is still testing for compatibility before they release the US version which should be around May 21st. Until then you can use the beta drivers. Here is a letter from Pete that tells about it. Thanks to all who informed me.
Despite Vimage dragging their heels on a fix for OS 8.6, their parent company Interware of Japan, released an 8.6 update as early as last week. It's available on their webpage at:
I'm running it right now, and it works!
After running the updater (or before), make sure that you remove the old Vpower Extension and Control Panel from your system folder, as the new ones will be labeled "Booster" (this is what Interware calls the Vpower in Japan).
I'm running Vimage 320Mhz G3 with OS 8.6 right now and it runs great! I even thing the new nanokernal sped things up a bit as I hear the HD still loading data when windows are being drawn. before I used to here gaps in the HD as windows were drawn. On a side note, I noticed the Booster control panel has options for Faster, More Compatible, and None. It seems they have added a choice to turn the cache off completely? I tried it and sure enough according to Speedmeter the cache was disabled. This might be a choice added for even further compatibility with certain apps or timing issues with older stuff? The cool part is you can disable and enable the cache without restarting! Just change your choice and its an instant boost :)
5/27/1999 Vimage has their 8.6 update out: Vimage has posted their version of the Vpower extension update for OS 8.6 compatibility. It is the exact same extension that the Japanese site had but with the English naming. Last time I checked it was still listed as beta but that may have changed by now?
Just Updated 5/29/1999
Word from Vimage on availability of 320/325 G3: I emailed Vimage yesturay to see what was going on with their 320/325 G3 upgrade for the 6400 and I was right that they are shipping. I wish they would have announced somthing!
Dave is on vacation and I am answering his e-mail for him.
The PF 320/325 with copper based CPU and 1MB backside cache has been shipping for a couple weeks. The price is $499 and they are in stock.
Tell the people that have not got a reply yet that we are sorry for the delay, we are getting a great response to our new products and aggressive new prices.
Contact me with any future questions.
Marketing and Sales Coordinator
Just Updated 8/7/1999
Vimage no longer to sell retail or to distributors?: I have read this on a few web sites and just recieved word from Vimage themselves. It seems that they are no longer going to sell to the general public or to retailers and just do OEM equipment! I have no idea what this means for their line of L2 G3 upgrades as there is no Mac made these days tat requires a L2 G3 to be OEM'ed. I fear the worst and that they may no longer distribute their L2 G3 which leaves Sonnets, Newers, and Power Logix's G3's.
One of my contacts has left Vimage already and I emailed the other to find out what is going on. I hope to have more info soon. Vimage pioneered the L2 G3 industry by distributing Interwares products in the US. Interware was the first company to design a L2 G3 and to this day is the most stable L2 G3 out there as far as I'm concerned.
11/12/1999 Vimage L2 G3 not dead in Japan: Well Vimage may not be selling L2 G3 upgardes anymore but their parent company Interware is. Interware is the Japanese company that actually makes the G3 card and Vimage was the US distributor. I found a link to a final release of the 1.1.0 driver for both the 240/320Mhz G3's. The link is below.
Also Jordan sent me a link to a page on their site for a 400Mhz L2 G3 for all configurations of 6400/6500! Thanks Jordan. It is all in Japanese but you can make out most of the links as they are in english as displayed at the bottom of most browsers. Below is the link.
If anyon can read Japanese and get me a mailing address or an email address I would really appreciate it. Maybe we can buy direct from Japan? It will probably be more expensive but worth a shot!
12/30/2000 Interware (makers of Vimages G3's) out of business!: I found this on MacsOnly web site. I hope its not true as they are the only Japanese G3 vendor I know of!
It's been confirmed. I just saw another post on MacsOnly website stating that Interware has gone out of business :(
To us, we'll remember them as the pioneers of L2 G3 technology. Goodbye Interware/Vimage, we'll miss you!
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