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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.
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.
First user reports on Newers L2 G3: Zach just got Newers 300/200 L2 G3 for his 6400 and has sent me some info over the past few days on its performance. Sounds good so far. Thanks Zach
[I got one of the first batch of NewerTech MAXpowr G3-L2 300/200 cards (MacConnection $549). I installed it this morning into my 6400/200. The software driver is an extension called MAXpowr G3 L2B (version 1.0) which loads first on boot. The heat sink faces away from the RAM, which means toward the PCI cards, so I switched the order of my PCI cards to provide more clearance for the heat sink which otherwise would have just touched the edge of my ATI XClaim GA (not a typo, just an old ATI card). Everything seems fine and faster. I don't have a good feel for it yet. The fan may be a little louder than usual, or it could be my imagination. Feel free to e-mail me any additional questions.
It Single boots. It works fine with the ATI XClaim GA. Vimage still says theirs does not.
I ran MacBench 5.0 and scored 1002 on the processor compared with
1000 for a Power Macintosh G3/300. That seems reasonable. I've
got the same amount of L2 cache (1 MB) but running at 200 MHz
instead of 150, but my system bus speed is 40 MHz instead of 66
Of course now I wish my disk, graphics, etc. were faster. That'll have to wait for the G4 machines I suppose.
It's been running continuously for 72 hours and no problems yet. Keeping my fingers crossed...]
I'm not sure if the heat sink facing the PCI cards will be a problem or not. I have emailed Newer for more info and a test unit to try. Zach later wrote that its been a week and no issues at all. GOOD!
3DFX releases Voodoo 3 drivers!: While ATI may be having issues 3DFX is taking advantage of it. it didn't take long for them to get the Voodoo3 drivers out. only a few weeks ago did they release the Voodoo2 drivers for the Mac. Click here to get them.
I found this info on Accelerate Your Mac:
[NOTE: A 6500 owner commented the PC Voodoo3 w/Dev. Drivers are not working properly. This may be the same issue as seen with the Orion cards so I caution owners of 44/54/64/6500 macs (and starmax owners) to wait until the Mactell cards are released.]
and then later saw this:
[Tip for Onboard Video/One Monitor Users: Nathan Aschbacher sent a tip for 6500 and other onboard video Macs (beige G3s included) that are using a mac-to-vga adapter. Remember to remove any Mac/VGA adapter from the onboard video port when you switch over to the Voodoo3, otherwise the mac thinks the old port still has a monitor connected to it. Thanks for sending the tip Nathan! [The 6500 owner that reported problems before said this tip solved it]
and yet another update:
This is a further update as to how the Voodoo 3 is coming along in my 6500. After removing the VGA connector, I couldn't run my Mac for more than 15 minutes. Usually, after 5 to 10 minutes, it'll just freeze. My fix for this was to zap the PRAM, rebuild the desktop, and put the ATI drivers into the extensions disabled folder. There seems to be no more freezes even after 2 hours of normal use. I also managed to play UNREAL for just over 2 hours without a problem. Really seems to be working out super now. Thanks for all your input and help! :) Regards,
Tiong Chen "]
This means the Voodoo3 cards from 3DFX work on the 6500 so they probably work on the 6400 as well. Looks like it fits in the case too which could mean my Voodoo2 card will also fit. I had mentioned before that I wasn't sure if it would and installed it in my PCI chassi. The one thing to remember as noted above that the Voodoo3 is a full blown 2D/3D card so it requires its own monitor because it has no pass thru port like the previous Voodoo cards. Since the 6400 has no on board video acceleration and the 6500 only has the old Rage II, I don't think it will hurt many people to move their monitor to the Voodoo3 card for lightning performance. The only problem is for those of you that still use Apples TV/video system which relies on a monitor being plugged into the stock port. You will need 2 monitors in this case or have to swap the cable and reboot to get the best of each world.
On a side note, once ATI gets their act together and get their Rage128 cards out and compatible with the 6400 then their VR cards are a good substitiute for both the onboard TV/video and a Voodoo2 card. Yes the Voodoo3 is faster but I find the Voodoo2 very nice at this time and the Rage128 is on on par or slightly faster then a Voodoo2. Depends on what games your playing :) I may be getting a Voodoo3 to try out for myself though.
Links to Accelerate Your Macs info on 3DFX info: Mike asked me to post some links to his site which has probably the best info on 3DFX and the Mac.
The Voodoo3 seems to be slightly faster then the Rage 128 Orion from ATI and it does work on the 6500 and possibly 6400. Since its so cheap this may be a good substitute for those waiting on ATI. To get Rave to work you'l lneed to download the Voodoo2 drivers from 3DFX and only place the Rave extension in your extensions folder. Also here is a link to a petition he has started to make Apple more aware of how many people would like 3DFX products on their Macs. Specially iMacs!
His main site is xlr8yourmac.com which tracks, as if you can't tell, anything that has to do with speeding up that old Mac, or a new Mac :)
Speeding up the Geo modem?: Henrik sent me this info on changing your init string to get the Geo modem to transfer data faster. I'll ave to try it and see what happens. Thanks Henrik.
[It's about hacking a modem script for your internal geport modem.
I tried it and it works. When loading pages I get speeds up to
6.5k/s. Download speed is the same.
Farallon admits their 2.0 driver for the Comm II slot 10/100 ethernet card is incompatible with OS 8.6: I just got this from Carl who recieved an email from Farallon stating that they are aware of the issue and working on a fix. Thanks Carl. Click here to read what the problem is.
I switched back to 1.1 of the Farallon driver and all is well. :-) I received this reply from Farallon regarding the 2.0 driver:
Thank you for writing into Farallon Tech Support. Thank you for all the infor that you supplied. We are working on a fix, When we have it ready it will be placed on our web site and also let our customers & user now.
Farallon Tech Support>>]
Another satisfied 6400/6500 mother board swapper: Howard just swapped his 6400/180 mother board for a 6500/225 mother board from AllMac. He is very pleased with the results. Thanks Howard. Click here to read Tom Legare's review for swapping a 6400 mother board with a 6500.
[Attached are 4 MacBench Version 5 Results files. The actual files
contain more details about my configuration, so they are more
valuable than words, however, I can send you a snapshot if preferred.
Basically, I had a 6400/180/104MB RAM/512K L2 and went to a 6500/225/128/512 Both cases include a 4-5 MB RAM Disk, LibMoto and all my extensions. I have compared results with and without Virtual Memory. I can see and feel the performance improvement, and the video/graphics are also much nicer.
ASP still does not recognize the 512K cache, however Cache-22 does. All processor speed software recognize the 225 processor and the 50Mhz bus speed (ASP, Metronome, SpeedMeter, Gauges and TatleTech which also misreads the L2 Cache size).
I believe the board is refurbished. However, it includes a 1 year AllMac Warranty which is as good as the new parts warranty. I had good vibes working with AllMac. They were knowledgable of the hardware.
Sure, I could have gone for the 250Mhz or faster board, but the price to performance was not worth my while ($50 more for the 250 and the 275 and 300's were significantly more than that since most people repair instead of replace those boards). I am going to enjoy this modest but nicely noticable improvement for the next few months and than consider my next option, whether it be a new machine or a 400Mhz or possibly 500Mhz G3 card (10x clock multiplier) Powerlogix is now entering the L2-G3 game - competition is good for the consumer ;)
BTW my total cost for the swap was $300 including a 32 FPM to 64 EDO DIMM swap and oneway FedEx 2-Day shipping. I am going to send the 6400/180 back via USPS Mail, which should be about $5.
Initially, my Apple Video Card was not recognized. Zapping PRAM solved this Also, the DragLib extension gave me much grief and forced restarts until I removed it from the Extensions folder. Pain in the neck to diagnose because the extension seemed correct (replaced from backup). I could not determine what software required it either. It was old (1995) so I removed it and crossed my fingers.
Thousands of colors is very nice. The screen is much sharper. I tested the board by playing the Star Wars QT version 3 25 MB 480-pixel movie preview. It did not skip frames at all (and the thousands of colors looked great without having to drop my resolution down at all). Also, I can now watch TV fromt eh TV/Video system at 1024x768 and thousands of colors (vs 832x624 max resolution and 256 colors or 800x600 and thousands).
BTW. I am going to send info about your web site to AllMac as well.
Brain sends more info on Linux with a G3 accelerated 6400: last time I noted some issues I noted some issues I had with running Linux on my 6400's Brain wrote to help with some and correct others. One was that I said you had to boot all the way to the Mac before switching. This is not true and you can use the BootX extension but in order for your G3 to be recognized you have to make the G3 extension load before the BootX extension. Since BootX was designed to load very early then you need to do my Hack to get Sonnets Crescendo extension to load even earlier. For Vimages just add a space at the front of the name. Thanks for the info Brian.
[--That's great that it works with the Sonnet! The crashiness
may just be Linux though. Did you use the X-based installer. Enlightenment
in Gnome is very tempermental. I have switched to Window Maker.
It is much more stable.
-I suppose you are running with no video driver then? Isn't it really slow? Screen redraw is awful without using the frame buffer driver. If you decide to try it, there is a list of all the res and depth settings at the LinuxPPC site. the mclk value becomes important when you use the frame buffer. If you don't supply it , the screen will have millions of artifacts.
--You can use the bootx extension with the vimage card actually. I just find it annoying to have to kill it every time I want into MacOS fast.
--I had to reinstall quite a few times myself. Sounds, like your up running though. -brian]
[Wow, lots of problems eh? Linux is no Mac OS... Anyway you can
change the swap partition using chmod.Try the <http://www.geocrawler.com/lists/3/Linux/> list. do a search for swap in Linux PPC users. You shouldn't
have to reinstall. This might also help though it is particularly
for Jaz installs. <http://www.vmug.com/linuxppc/>
The fb kernel is for ATI cards, are you using something else? IX cards should also work, but the arg is ttyfb.
In 8.6, you will have video problems if you use the extension see
Even though it runs fine using no video driver. I don't know why KDE won't run. Try creating a new user account in KDE and booting into that. -Brian]
[Ok, well the kernel that works flawlessly with your builtin video
(ATI Rage II 1mb correct?) is called vmlinux_fb and can be found
Once you get and unstuff the file, place it in your linux kernels folder in the Mac system folder. In boot X select the vmlinux_fb in the kernel menu. Then, before you boot enter the proper arguments for your color depth and resolution. These setting should match your MacOS settings. The detail of these arguments are in this file
For your setup it should be video=atyfb etc. Select the number for 800x600 and 16 bit. also place the clock speed with the mclk value of 72(for rage II) Setting this will remove all screen artifacts. This is NOT the refresh rate which is specified with vmode! This is the clock speed of the rage chip. Good Luck
Sonnet cuts prices on G3 upgrades: Here is a list from Other World of their new Sonnet L2 G3 prices. They're getting cheap! Thanks David.
[Today's deal-Mac (www.deal-mac.com) reports that Other World
Computing cut its prices on the Sonnet L2-cache variety G3 upgrade
cards. Prices are now as follows:
G3 250/125 512K - $245
G3 300/150 512K - $295
G3 300/150 1 MB - $385
G3 400/200 1 MB - $585
Things are looking up. :-) Other World's address is www.owcomputing.com, by the way.]
More info on the Sound issue with Sonnets G3: Egan who is a professional sound recorder sent along some interesting info. Most of it is beyond me as I'm not into digital recording but I hope it helps those of you that are. Thanks Egan. Click here to read a text version of his letters. They are pretty long but pack a lot of info. Click here to read previously noted issues.
I emailed about the Sound quality issue he noted about lowering the system volume actually decreases the quality and not just lowering the volume and here is his reply (also added to the text info)
[> I had no idea that lowering the system volume actually lowers
> How weird? I'll definitly post that. Is that with all Macs?
Yes ALL Mac's! Even-say you have an alert, a sexy female vioce.....it will sound Aweful & Cracking if you simply lower the main volume on it. (I Know- Most people go Wierd, must be corrupt or something) All Mac's...... a Warning would be nice huh? ;-)]
So anyone wanting the best sound out better turn up the volume and then lower it in all other apps and games or get a set of external speakers and plug them into the front headphone port and use thhe volume knob on the speakers. don't use the back port as it cuts out all low end bass which is passed only to the internal speaker. the headphone jack on the 6400 passes the full range of audio. for a system that was advertised as an audio/video system with certian setups, it sure is a pesty little Mac :)
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.
[Doublers and G3 upgrades In reply to my posting regarding a keyboard input problem linked to RAM Doubler on my G3-upgraded Power Mac 7500, Neal McAuley (of Sonnet Technologies) said that Sonnet was aware of a problem (the exact symptoms were not described) with both RAM Doubler and Speed Doubler on G3-upgraded Macs. They found that reinstalling the Doubler software after installing the G3 upgrade fixes the glitch.]
Mac Equipment for sale updated: I have made some more additions to my list. click here to go check it out.
Another BlackFire IDE-SCSI adaptor user: Bill sends word that he got one of BlackFires IDE to SCSI adaptor and it is working fine for him in an external SCSI case. Thanks Bill. Click here to read more on IDE to SCSI adaptors.
I bought one of the IDSC20 cards from Blackfire. It arrived in about a week via AirMail and cost about US$70, including shipping. I notice Blackfire is now listing bulk prices- pretty cheap, too for large quantities. Interestingly enough, there is a US distributor of these cards, but he won't sell other than to manufacturers for OEM applications.
I used the card to install my original 2.4 Gig drive from my 6400 into an old Apple 20SC box. Since this box has plenty of room, there was no rpoblem with clearance, although I did have to get a bit creative with mounting the drive to the sled (I offset it so it is off center). I reinitialized the drive, formatted it, and everything works fine.
I wonder if anybody has used one of these to convert a Zip 250 Internal ATAPI drive or one of the inexpensive ATAPI tape backup units to SCSI. Would drivers be a problem in such case (probably not for the Zip, but who knows for the Tape drives)? Blackfire says the IDSC 20 has been used to convert tape drives to SCSI, but not on a Mac.
I enjoy your website- lots of good info about the much maligned 6400.Keep up the good work.
Just Updated 8/1/1999
ATI response to Rage128 and 6400 issue: I found this on Accelerate Your Mac. It seems that ATI had it working at one time but did not check again when some last minute changes were made. The good news is that it can work and they just need to update the drivers.
[ATI Responds to Rage128 Compatibility Issues: As promised earlier
today - here is ATI's reply to my question on the issues noted
It looks like the common denominator is a 603e processor. At headquarters, they are working on a fix. I should know more sometime next week.
QA _did_ test some of these models successfully, but apparently they didn't retest after some of the latest changes. So the good news is that there doesn't appear to be any hardware incompatibility. Ray Swartz
ATI Research, "]
I got this from MacInTouch. I hope its to make the drivers work with ALL systems.
[Another reader notes that he was told by an ATI sales representative that delivery of the XclaimVR 128 card has now slipped to September, and wonders if there are any similar cards from alternative vendors that are shipping now. ]
Linux on a G3 upgraded 6400 works!: Brian tried LinuxPPC R5 (also known as 1999) and he says it works great.
[LinuxPPC R5 works great with Vimage! Just boot into Linux after
booting all the way into Mac OS. Linux then soft boots and the
G3 remains in charge! Works great! Now I've got Real PC, LinuxPPC
and Mac OS! There is info on getting MKlinux to work with Vimage
at the powerlogix site. (G3 Cache Profiler info)
I also got LinuxPPC 1999 running with both Sonnets and Vimages G3's. But for those of you that think Vimages software is garbage compared to Sonnets check this out. Here are some findings of mine using both:
Vimages 320/1M G3
Sonnets 300/512k G3
Linux does not recover from a CPU crash and I mean a hard crash where not even the keyboard shortcut would reboot it. I had to press the reset button on the back. Since Linux did not perform a proper shutdown it realizes this on the next boot and does its own diagnostic test. it found many bad blocks and duplicate blocks and wanted to boot into the shell. I don't know anything about Linux so the shell is useless to me and I reinstalled. It seems that Sonnet may be right about their cards not working with Linux. I found the same stability issues that we had with earlier drivers on the Mac OS. From what I found it seems Vimages double boot sets the G3 parameters better in the core preferances so these settings are transfered to other apps and in this case other OS's. Sonnets method of the single boot does not overwrite the CPU preferances made so all apps see the original 603e settings unless they call on the CPU itself. In this case Linux sees the G3 but is being told its running at 180Mhz which was my 603e CPU speed. I think this is why Vimage did the double boot but payed for it in video card incompatibility :( I'm not sure why booting all the way to the finder works but this is the way it works best for me and Brian. maybe there is some other setting that needs to be made on the 6400 which if not done causes Linux to fail?
In anycase I will play with it some more latter but I have to get back to Mac OS X now. I learned some tricks which may help me get that running?
6400 Joke: James sent this link to a funny tale staring the Performa 6400.
[Check out this "news story" on the performa- Even though they
got the picture wrong the story is a laugh-
Keep up the good work on your site--
More reports on sound issues with Sonnets G3: Jeff is having similar issues to other with his Sonnet G3 but it was just a stutering or skipping and not crashing his system. I suggested he try PowerLogix's G3 cache utility to disable his cache and see if that would clear up the problem. I have a link to PowerLogix's site on my Hack Sonnets Crescendo page. Thanks Jeff.
Thanks for your suggestion. I downloaded the PowerLogix G3 utility as you suggested and disabled the cache. There seemed to be some improvement but this still didn't clear up the problem entirely. The audio errors are very subtle and could be missed if you're not listening very closely. I also tried setting the cache speed ratio at 120 MHz or 5:2. I thought I had read where Sonnet had designed something into this card to prohibit the cache speed adjustments. But it does seem to work better at this setting. I recently received another response from Sonnet that said they are aware of this sound problem and are working on a fix. They said to watch the Sonnet site for an extension update sometime in the near future that should resolve this issue.
Travis is having the more severe crashing issues while playing sound apps with his Sonnet G3. I might also suggest that instead of turning the cache off that they try disabling Speculative Addressing which is what my Hack was for. Maybe it will help even with the Crescendo version 1.3.7 which seems to be pretty stable otherwise?
Regarding the news posted by Jeff on your site, I will agree that there is a sound problem with the Sonnet cards. mine is a 300/512, all mp3 players will eventually crash, and lock up my system sometimes it takes 30 seconds sometime 15 minutes but all mp3 players crash with the Crescendo extension enabled with 8.5, 8.5.1, and 8.6. I have tried various versions of Apple's sound manager extension, the only music I can play is through my cd drive no cd has crashed to date, lastly Civ II gold also crashes with certain sound effects at random. Nothing crashes with the G3 turned off, but what fun is that.
Thanks for your time,
Just Updated 7/30/1999
ATI Rage 128 Orion not compatible with 6400!: I just heard that ATI's new Orion card is not compatible with the 6400/6500 or StarMax systems. This probably means its also not compatible with any Mac designed with the same mother boards. The ATI extension that activates the 3D hardware crashes during boot. With out it, it seems to run ok but with no Acceleration for games. Not sure if the 2D is still accelerated or not. ATI is aware of the issue and working on it.
I sure hope so as it took them a year just to release the cards and their reason was to make sure they were compatible. WHAT HAPPENED?
L2G3 upgrade info for the 6400
My Vimage Info page on Vimage's G3 upgrade for the 6400
My Sonnet Tech Info page on Sonnet's G3 upgrade for the 6400
My Newer Tech Info page on Newer's G3 upgrade for the 6400
My PowerLogix Info page on PowerLogix's G3 upgrade for the 6400
L2/G3 comparison page
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 Pause with USB card and OS 8.67/8/1999
I have been having a pause in all apps and the mouse when using Logitecs USB Wheel mouse on an ADS USB card. I haven't traced it down but one other person had a similar issue but with an ADB trackball which means it may not be a USB issue? Click here for more info.
Freeze at shutdown with Farallons COMM II ethernet card and OS 8.67/10/1999
When I first installed the cable modem I got some crashes when I shut down. I traced it to Farallons COMM II ethernet extension version 2.0. With version 1.1 the 6400 shuts down fine. I emailed Farallon and am waiting for a reply.
UPDATE on Farallons 2.0 extension for their 10/100 COMM II ethernet card not compatible with OS 8.6: Paul emailed saying he had the same problem but it may not have been the Farallon extension causing the problem. All I know is that when I reinstall the older 1.1 version the problem goes away. Thanks Paul.
[I had this same problem when I first installed 8.6. I e-mailed
Farallon and got a response that said they had not seen this problem
before. I managed to resolve the freezes and it was not due to
the Farallon 2.0 extension. I think it was BeHierarchic (3.1.1)
that was the offending control panel but I honestly can not remember
what I had to do to fix it. I have been racking my brain all day
trying to remember the fix. If I do remember I'll post ASAP
My own request 7/10/1999
This is somewhat off the topic but I was wondering if there is anyone using Quicken to do online billing with their bank? I use Bank of America and the branches out here are not as up-to-date as the California system is so they have no Mac versions of their software used to do online billing. They just switched to Quicken99 from Managing Your Money and they only have PC versions available. I was wondering if Quicken98 for the Mac would work? I expecct that when Quicken 2000 comes out for the Mac then they should distribute both PC and Mac copies for online banking. Anyways if anyone has an answer then please email me. Thanks.
update: It won't work. I just called Bank of America and it seems at the time they were deciding on which software to choose Q98 was not Y2K so out it went. It is Y2K now if you update to revision5 but its too late for BofA. Maybe Q2000 will be chosen?
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I use a Performa 6400/180 OS 8.6, Performa 6400/200 OS 8.6, PowerBook G3/233 OS 8.6, 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 8/7/1999