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The 6400 Zone is created to help you gain access to useful software updates and great shareware programs that add functionality to your system. It is also a one stop road map to other informative sites for answering your questions. Most of the info here is geared towards the 6400, but it is useful for all PCI Performa models and even the 6500 and all-in-one Macs based on the same. It's even useful to other MAC systems. I will be referring to my 6400/200 clocked to 220Mhz as just 6400/220, OK.
I will keep it updated as often as I can but I don't have much free time to work on it, so I suggest you check back at least once a week. That should be sufficient. If you don't see something you would like to see here or have your own software / web site that would benefit the MAC community, please write to me at TMK12v@aol.com and I will check it out.
My Vimage Info page on Vimage's G3 upgrade for the 6400
My Vimage Compatibility page
My Vimage User Letters page
My Vimage install review
My Sonnet Tech Info page on Sonnet's G3 upgrade for the 6400
My Sonnet User Letters page
My Newer Tech Info page on Newer's G3 upgrade for the 6400
Just Updated 2/xx/1999
Answers to my questions to Sonnet: Sonnet has replied to my questions so here they are.
You had questions for Sonnet on our L2 cache slot upgrade card a while back. Here are the responses from engineering that I finally obtained.
1. Are there any compatibility issues with other cards like PCI graphics or SCSI cards that you may have found in beta testing?
Sonnet has found no incompatibilities. Users have reported none.
2. What OS versions will work with them and will VM work with them?
OS 7.5.3 - 8.5.1 with or without VM
3. Does the Geo modem work with it?
We have not tested it and have no reason to believe it does not work. We have never had problems reported with the Geo modem with any previous Crescendo G3 cards, so testing it is not high on our checklist for this model. Out of curiosity, why do you ask? (I replyed to them saying that Vimage had stated the Geo modem did not work with their 240/G3 unless you had OS 8.0 or higher and had to used the latest Apple Telecom software. I am running my geo with OS 8.5.1 and Sonnets cards don't seem to have a problem with this OS - Tom)
4. Is the CPU a Copper based G3?
Yes and no. IBM and Motorola first generation, is not copper. This G3 ranged from 220-300 MHz. The Sonnet 240 Mhz product uses this part.
IBM and Motorola are now producing lower-power, lower temperature, second-generation G3s, from 300-400 MHz. To achieve lower power and higher speed with these lower core voltage parts, IBM happened to use copper Motorola did not. Copper itself is a process detail. The power dissipation of the part and heat sink design are all that matter. Sonnet has designed the cooling system of the Crescendo G3 L2 to use either IBM (copper) or Motorola (not copper) 2nd generation G3 parts. Sonnet's current production is using IBM copper parts, but we have qualified both IBM and Motorola processors.
5. Can the L2 cache speed be adjusted with software like Power Logix's G3 Cache Utility?
No. As soon as we heard about this product we put defenses against it in our software. The PowerLogix utility does not work in the Sonnet Crescendo G3 L2 product. The more they try to make it work, the more defenses we will put in. We see this product as a potential support nightmare. When introduced, we tested the PowerLogix utility and 1/3 of the time it would set the cache ratio to 3:2 and crash within 10 minutes. All Sonnet upgrades are conservatively built to run well within engineering design specifications for speed, temperature, and power consumption as specified by Motorola, IBM, and SRAM manufacturers. In general, as temperature increases, the top speed of a processor or SRAM decreases. Imagine starting your machine with a cache utility set to run at 200 Mhz (3:2) instead of 150 (2:1), (200 MHz is 33% above rated speed!) and as the machine warms up, your system starts crashing? Or even worse, you lost data integrity before losing system integrity, which means that you do not crash, but your accounting entry, spreadsheet, engineering calculation, disk directory, etc., just gives you a bad result? Would you blame the Power Logix software, or the Sonnet Crescendo G3 or would you fault the Apple Macintosh? Who would you call, a reseller, Apple, Sonnet, or PowerLogix for technical support?
Furthermore, the same arguments apply to speed jumper switches that some manufacturers use. According to the top PowerPC design engineers at IBM, high-end processor speed and cache margins degrades slightly over time. This degradation is limited, well-characterized, and allow for in the speed designation on the PowerPC 750 (G3) processors. A processor or cache pushed above manufacturers' specifications may work today, but may not work reliably in six months--long after the switch setting or utility may be forgotten.
6. I heard that the heatsink may rest on the RAM chips or a 64M DIMM. Is this true and will it affect anything if so?
The Crescendo heatsink may just touch the top of tall RAM chips on older DIMM modules and will not cause any problems. Due to the small profile of the cache slot, Sonnet selected the tallest heatsink that would fit the available space for most efficient heat dissipation and cooler operation.
Hope all this helps.
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.
Reader letter on Sonnets G3: Travis sent me this letter to let me know how his 300/512k G3 is running. Thanks, Travis.
I will do some more tests, my keyboard and mouse are shot, and Mac Amp Lite 1.5 crashed my hard drive stone cold, I am busy rectifying the situation. The 2 most important things I have observed is that with Sonnet G3 300/512, are 35 degrees Celcius is as hot as the card gets, frame rates in Nanosaurs opening screen went from 22fps to 52fps and in Encoding mp3's with Mpeckers' encoder the rates went from 25fps to 75-65. A great upgrade for 500 bucks, The Benchmarks all beat the Rev. A Imac as well not bad.
By the way, my 300/512k only gets 35c degrees also.
Update on 6500 56k modem for 6400's: I want to say sorry to KIWI for not giving them the benefit of the doubt on there supposed price increase:) I just saw in the latest MacWorld that the price has dropped to $79 and did not go up as a reader had told me it would. This is good news for anyone wanting one of these modems. Click here for more info on using a 6500 56k modem in your 6400.
Macs Only CVGS review: Here is a link to Macs Only review of Connectix's Virtual GameStation.
Press release on Newer's L2/G3: Jordan sent me this link to Newer's press release. Thanks Jordan
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 :)
Mac Equpment for sale: Ryan wants to sell his 4G EIDE HD. Click here for more info plus other Mac stuff for sale.
Apples TIL link not working: I have a link to Apple TIL 24813 towards the bottom of this page about Mac OS errors but doesn't seem to work anymore. If any of you can find the link for me before I do I would appreciate it :)
My 6400's won't sleep?: while testing Sonnets cards I tried the sleep feature but neither 6400 will sleep. Click here to find out more info on this.
Ram Doubler on the 6400: I was running some tests with Sonnets G3 cards and started having some strange crashes. Real PC and AOL would crash when they seemed to need more ram. I remember I just installed Ram Doubler so I disabled it and turned on VM and the problem went away. The curious thing is that my other 6400 has been running with Ram Doubler ever since I had the slow down with VM and it runs great. The only real difference between the 2 is the modem. the 6400 with the trouble has the Geo modem and Connectix says it is known to cause problems with Ram Doubler installed. I had used the 2 together before but I guess with some new extensions it now crashes :( Just thought I'd let you all know. Your mileage will very.
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 :)
I'd like to update you on new developments with the Crescendo G3 L2/PCI upgrade card that you are reviewing.
1. All three cards are now also compatible with the Power Mac 4400, and the Star Max clones.
2. The low-end 240Mhz speed is sold out. We have replaced it with a 250Mhz card, at the same low price of $399.
Not only does our card now run in more models, but it's just the
one card for all the compatible models. Also, we offer a faster
speed for our low-end card, but have kept the price at $399.
Thank you. - Joy Hsu]
Letter from a Sonnet L2/G3 user: Keith sent me some info on his experiences with his 300/512k G3 upgrade. Thanks Keith. I also just created a Sonnet Users Letter page to keep all this info. I've moved the info Wes sent me to this page.
[I saw your sonnet G3 6400 page and wanted to share with you my
exp with their 300/512k. They advertised macbench 4.0 scores of
930. I could only get 903 out of it with a stripped down startup
set. With normal startup set I get an 846. I also tried bumping
the cache speed to 200mhz and got a 920 out of it but it was unstable
for long term use. I ran macbench 5.0 and got a 761 ? The good
news is that my temp is only 27 degrees after running for 48 hours.
I removed speedoubler and stability is solid, I was having problems
but I was trying to run it at 200mhz at the same time so that
may be part to blame.
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.
[Found a few links you might want to check out:
Interesting to note that the reviewer in the above link found little performance difference between Sonnet's 300 G3 cards with either 512K or 1MB cache (although he wasn't sure his benchmarks adequately tested benefits of backside cache) - might be something for upgraders to think about since the price difference between the 2 cards is $100.
This site also has a review of the Vimage 240 MHz card:
[One more link on Maccentral.com:
This is done by the same guy doing the reviews I just sent you links to. However, this link has some discussion with someone from Sonnet that proves interesting reading. The thing that jumped out at me was the statement that the Sonnet upgrade cards are currently COPPER!?!?!? The person from Sonnet says that it's their heatsink, and not copper vs. silicon that is the reason the card runs so 'cool', but he also hinted that they may use silicon in the future. This is curious to me, because I wonder if Vimages statements (which he dismisses) that you need copper will be proven if Sonnet starts making their 300 MHz cards with silicon instead of copper -- also makes me wonder if I should grab the 300 MHz Sonnet card before they make the switch.
If you get any further insight in this area, I'd be interested in seeing it on your site.
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 bull! 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 2/19/1999
Newer Tech announces G3 upgrade for the 6400!: Just when you thought 2 vendors was enough. Newer sent a press release on 3 new G3 upgrades for the 6400 family of Macs. I found this at MacInTouch 2/16/1999.6
[Yesterday we noted price cuts on G3 CPU upgrades from Sonnet and PowerLogix, and Newer Technology has announced a series of G3 upgrades for the cache slot of Power Mac 5400-6500, TAM and clone systems that were not designed for upgrades. The company claims it will ship the products in "late March," starting at $399 for a 300/512K/150 configuration. (Vimage pioneered cache-slot upgrade, and other companies, such as Sonnet and MacCPU, also are shipping upgrades for these systems currently.)]
They are also selling a 300/1M and a 400/1M upgrade! The 400Mhz card will run around $1100. Thats $200 less then what Vimage announced for its soon to be released 320Mhz card. I asked Newer if I could review their cards and they said as soon as they get some evaluation units then they will send them to me. It will be my pleasure to test the 400Mhz card :) Click here to visit my Newer Info page. I already had some info gathered when this was rumored a few months ago.
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! Click here for more info.
Connectix's Virtual GameStation on a G3 excellerated 6400: I know a lot of you were waiting to hear this as well I was. I just recieved my order for the VGS and loaded it right on on my 6400 with Sonnets 300/1M G3 and ATI's VR Rage II card. Connectix has advertised since day one that this program was not intended to run on non Apple bread G3 Macs as it highly utilizes the sub systems (IE: mother board) and that all non Apple systems had just too slow a sub system. Apples G3's are the only Macs to have a 66Mhz bus or higher and all the rest have 50Mz or lower. The 6400 has a slow 40Mz bus in comparison so I was somewhat skeptical if it would be playable at all. Some of you may say that the new B&W G3 is using a PCI graphics card too and not running on te 100Mhz bus but remember that the ATI Rage128 card is running in Apples special 66Mhz PCI slot.
Well I do have a PB G3 which Connectix says it will run on also so if it didn't work on my 6400 it wouldn't be a total loss for me. I picked the 6400 I installed the 300/1M G3 in just to see what would be the best performance I could et would look like. People with Rage Pro's or the soon to be released Rage128 should see even better performance.
I didn't have much time to test as I had to leave town for personal reasons but I did go out and rent Disney's A Bugs Life game (of course!) and loaded it up. The movies scenes played real smooth and the game did for the most part. There were a few times it slowed down when I ran into walls (I guess I need to be more carefull). The only dissapointment was that the screen was full of artifacts. they looked like interfearance lines that the emulator was not quite printing graphics in the correct places. It didn't hinder game play just the overall look of it. Movie selections showed perfectly so this may be due to 3D rendering techniques? I'm sure with a few updates that Connectix can clear this up. They did mention that there will be some problems with some games and that it will take time to get all the bugs out. I can wait :)
I will also try it with the 300/512k and both Vimages and Sonnets 240/512k G3 cards for comparison.
Go visit Mac's Only Connectix VGS Watch page that has many titles listed with ratings on compatibility and also visit Connectix's Recommended Games page. It doesn't show a ratings but does show many titles that they tested as being compatible.
PCI-IDE questions and answers: I emailed ProMax, the makes of Turbomax, a few questions on this card. It seems that they know the card will run on other systems besides the ones they mention but they only qualify the 8500-G3 systems as working with the high demands of video capture. Click here for more info on the TurboMax.
[>Hello. I have been following discussions on the web about this
>had a few questions.
>I noticed on your site that you have these certain drives listed
>*Maxtor 13.6, 17.2, latest Quantum, and IBM 16.8 GB drives.
>Are these the only drives that you know for sure will work? Will smaller
>Maxtor drives like the 10G or 5.7G drives work?
This is what we have test up to this moment, i'm very sure that most EIDE drives will work.
>I have been reading that you must initialize any drive once put
on the PCI
>card even if it was already initialized and has been used for some time.
>Is this due to the fact that the card makes IDE drives look like SCSI and
>the Mac OS wants to put a SCSI driver on them?
That is correct.
>I noticed that people are installing this card on other Macs
then the few
>you mentioned. Are you going to qualify the card for other systems or will it
>remain "buy at your own risk"?
I can probably say the TurboMAX will work in all PCI computers, all depends on getting correct size cable, also for the moment we only have aprove this machines for Video, but for storage all sure work. you only has to tell us what computer and in what posiccion you will install this and we will get you the correct cable size
>On the 8500/9500 RAID setup you only show a 4MB/s increase in
>the 8600-G3 systems get the full 24MB/s? Is this due to the faster CPU's in
>those systems? Would a G3 upgraded 8500/9500 see the same 24MB/s as a real G3?
We are working to support all this.
Color Classic upgraded to a 5400!:In this day-in-age of upgrades it seems that even the oldest of old systems can be upgraded. Ok, well not the oldest :) Stuart Bell read about this on some Japanese web sites and now is going to try it on his Color Classic. He came across of 5400 mother board and is on his way to a fast CC :) Thanks for the info Stuart.
[For fitting, look at this amazing site - it's all been done before
by lots of people in Japan:
Stuart Bell, working in a Wintel-free zone.]
[5400 board arrived today. :-)
First thing will be to test it out in my 6500. Carefully! Then will hack the CC case to allow the board (4cm longer than the CC's) to fit inside the case properly.
The above two should be done tonight.
I then await a friend (Unix/elctronics guru who built his first computer from component level!) to help with the electronics re-working.
Target date for that phase is Easter.
Will ley you know when it's done, and hopefully document it on a web page, for which I'll offer a link (both ways).
Then, I might think about a G3 upgrade for my 6500, and put it temporarily in the 5400/CC, just to be able to benchmark a ColorClassic/G3!
Stuart Bell, working in a Wintel-free zone.]
Mac Equipment for sale: I sold my 1.6G HD. Thanks to all that inquired. Click here to see what else id for sale.
Just Updated 2/14/1999
Mac OS: Out Of Memory Errors And Corrupted Finder Preferences: Here is TIL 24813 that Apple just posted on a bandaid for curing these types of errors. I only hope they can really solve these issues with some OS release!
[My computer occasionally freezes and the Finder unexpectedly quits with a type 10, 11, 2, or 3 error. I have been told that it may be related to my Finder preferences file. Can you explain?]
Just Updated 1/14/1999
Email address request: Jeff, I have recieved a request from Eric who would like your email address. I have deleted it already and no longer have it, Thanks
[I'm wondering if you have Jeff's email address so I can find
about fixing the sound problem on my 6500?
"6400's volume not as loud as it used to be?-"
amazon.com, books and more 7/2/98
I found a great way to earn some money while getting great deals to you on Macintosh books and software plus they have all kinds of other books, music, and more. Please click on the amazon.com link on the top of this page whenever you feel like purchasing something to help sponsor this site. If you're unsure of what you want and wish to get a list of Mac related items, just type Macintosh in the search field on their home page and you will be presented with many choices to select.
Link to my site that gets rid of AOL's ads! 9/16/98
Jeff did some digging in to the new code that displays the frames
on my site with AOL ads and found a link that can be used which
will not show those annoying ads. Here is the address. http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/TMK12v/home.html
Thanks Jeff, for sending this info. PS don't let AOL find out :)
Current Problems with my System
System won't sleep 2/26/1999
I don't know if Sonnets L2/G3 cards are causing this problem but neither of my 6400's will sleep now. The monitors will sleep but the HD just spins down and then right back up and the fan never slows at all. I'm using OS 8.5.1 and have a 300/512k and 300/1M G3 card installed. I know the sleep function used to work but I haven't tried it in awhile. If any of you have this problem or if your system will sleep with Sonnets cards then please email me the details. Thanks.
Type 10 error while printing GIF from AOL 10/14/97
I just tried to print a gif file from AOL 3.0 and AOL crashes with a type 10. I have the Epson stylus 600, background printing turned on, OS 8.0, and I was not logged on at the time. If any of you have had this problem and fixed it, please email me the details.
Update 10/31/97: I have been in contact with another person having a similar problem but he was not running OS 8.0. This tells me the problem is more likely AOL's and not Apples.
Update 6/9/98: Thought I forgot about this did ya? Well I just tried it again and even with Epsons newest printer drivers I still got a type 10 error. This definitely leads me to believe that AOL 3.0.x is the problem as my entire system has pretty much been changed since my last update. I have not had a problem printing when online.
Update 1/1/1999: Since I have the newer Epson 700 printer and no longer use the 600 I may never know if ths problem was fixed? I will attempt to test the 700 for this problem and will note it here.
[ Home ]_[ Updates & Upgrades ]_ [ Info & Help ]_[ Magazines ]_[ 6400 Info ]
[ My Reviews ]_[Readers Reviews]_[My OS reviews]_[6400 Clocking Info]
[Reader Reqests]_[Mac Equipment for Sale]_[Geo Modem Info]
I use a Performa 6400/180 OS 8.5.1, Performa 6400/200 OS 8.5.1, PowerBook G3/233 OS 8.5.1, and a PowerBook DUO 270c OS 7.5.5. All of the software updates posted here are currently running on one or the other with minimal problems. If I do encounter a problem, I will post it for all to read and respond to. If you are having any problems and would like help just email me and if I can answer it I will, or I will post it here for others to read and respond to.
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This page last updated 2/23/1999