6400 ATI Rage128 info page
This page contains info on using an ATI Rage128 series card with the 6400. Please feel free to send me your experiences. I'm affraid I won't be able to post my own experiences as the Rage128 VR card I bouth would not work with my Vimage at all! Well, I guess that was my experience :(
Return to The 6400 Zone Home page
ATI Rage 128 compatibility? ATI has a patch for the Rage 128 cards and the 6400/6500!: I just saw that ATI has posted a patch that allows their new Rage 128 cards to work again on our 6400's :) I also read on Accelerate Your Mac 8/28/99 that two 6400 users with Vimage G3's also have it working so it looks like a winner! The patch only works with the 4.0 or 4.0.1 drivers but there is no reason for it with older drivers as you need the 4.0.x drivers for the Rage128 cards. This is definitly good news!!!
2/12/2000 Flash: ATI says they don't recommend their Rage128 products for use with L2 G3 upgraded Macs. Click here to read more!
9/2/1999 Rage128 not worth it on a nonG3 accelerated 6400: Sheldon writes that he is pretty dissapointed with his new Rage Orion. I didn't think it would be worth it without a G3 upgrade :( Thanks for the info Sheldon. I'm actually suprised he gets good playability even with a Voodoo card without a G3 playing those games?
Sheldon here, and I'd just thought you might want to know some interesting findings about the Rage 128 Orion.
I'm sorry to report that the Orion is a big disappointment =(!!!!!!
Firstly the 2d performance is good, but not better than Voodoo3. Slightly better Quicktime and thats about it. Scrolling, photoshop etc... just the same as V3.
Quake2,Quake3,Carma2 look good but are UNPLAYABLE due to pathetic FPS.
Myth2, and surprisingly Unreal played exactly the same as Voodoo2-3 with the same FPS.
Future Cop played the same as well,rave-glide, both the same.
Looks like the MESA3dfxEngine used in Quake2 & Q3 for voodoo cards for OpenGL games is far superior than Rave_ OpenGL in the 603 systems. No amount of tweaking would make these OpenGL games run with any amount of playability. Too bad because I was looking forward to slight increase if anything.
I can't beleive it =(, what a waste of money.
I can only recommend Voodoo 3 hands down for Glide and OpenGL games, and also 2d. Plus you only use up one PCI slot with voodoo3. The Orion winds up the fan the same as the voodoo, the power supply gave NO indication of what wattage it was. Couldn't find any markings anywhere? I will be pulling the Orion_Voodoo2 combination out, and putting the Voodoo3 back in. Plain and simple. The only thing that I've read so far thats positive is that a Vimage 240 worked well with the Orion, so maybe a G3 upgrade is what it takes to get these darn Rage 128 cards to perform up to standard.
I'd be interested in reading any reader feedback you have on G3 upgraded 54-64-6500 systems and the Orion card.
Thanks for your time
Reader letter stating the ATI patch still didn't fix his problem: I found this on Accelerate Your Mac's web site. It seems not everyone with a G3 is getting ATI's new rage 128 cards to work.
[Rage128 Patch/Vimage G3 Issues: Although the recent ATI patch seems to have solved most 44-6500/Starmax, etc. owners problems with the Orion/Nexus cards, this Vimage G3 upgraded owner reported he still has problems:
"Well I just thought I would comment on the recent patch to the ATI driver set involving the resource manager. I recently downloaded and installed this patch to find that it did indeed fix the problem with startup. But alas I find that while enabled this extension continues to cause problems with my 6400 w/vpower 240. I have yet to be able to run any 3d accelerated programs including q3test considering any time I try it locks down my system.
I have found that not only does this occur with 3D programs but also with general applications that involve scrolling. This includes netscape, finder menus, and even the Extensions manager. I have done a bit of trouble shooting including base system extensions and the ATI and so on. The only fix so far - disable the ATI resource manager again and deal with the lack of acceleration. I am a bit miffed at this continued difficulty but understand from posted statements that this is not the result that all users are having. Any suggestions as to what I might do to solve this problem would be appreciated.
Apple Certified Tech. "]
I have read letters from other Vimage G3 users that they were able to get the ATI Rage128 card to run fine. Maybe Scott has another problem? Infact here is one I just found.
I just downloaded the ATI patch for the Rage Orion. Not only does it work with the 6400 now, it works with the Vimage G3/240. Whoooopeeeee!
11/4/1999 Update on ATI's Orion Rage 128 cards and the 6500: Jeff writes that he is getting crashes even with his G3 upgarde disabled which means that ATI may still have an issue with their current drivers? Thanks for the info Jeff. My VR card has shipped and is waiting at the post office for me to go pick up! I wasn't home for them to deliver it today :( It has a newer set of drivers which may work better? I'll let you all know soon.
Yes, the basics. I should have started there, but having had trouble with an Xclaim card and the Vimage, I just assumed that I was in the midst of a compatibility problem. I'm running a 6500 with 128 MB and two PCI cards: Dayna Port ethernet card and the infamous Orion. The Vimage G3/240 upgrade is, of course in the L2 cache slot and has been working as advertised for months.
Following your suggestion, I tired a complete reinstall of the ATI drivers, beginning with the ATI 4.0.1. patch and then the ATI Universal Installer 4.0.1 The machine still crashed when I booted Nanosaur (though it runs for up to a minute before freezing).
I then turned off the Vimage card and... the machine crashed in Nanosaur. I'm now thinking that there could be a problem with the ATI card itself, and before I waste any more of your time, I need to trouble-shoot that. Considering that I've experienced crashes both with 3D application and Quicktime scaling, it would be fair to assume that the Orion is not too happy, so it could be a driver problem or a hardware problem with the card itself. I'll start working on those assumptions and see where I get. I suppose it could also be a compatibility problem with the ethernet card, too, though I'm not sure how to check that.
11/12/1999 Update ATI VR 128 and the Vimage G3: Well I tried my VR card last week as I mentioned before and well it just doesn't work. Below is a letter I wrote to ATI asking if they can find a fix. I know its not their problem but they might just help?
[Thought I would add my 2 cents in this. I just got my VR card today after waiting about a year but sad to say it does not run on my 6400 with a Vimage G3. BUT it does run without the G3 just fine. First the specs.
6400/200 with Vimages 320/1M G3 running OS 8.6
136M ram with Ram Doubler 8.0.1 set to 204M and Speed Doubler 8.1.2
QT 4.0.3, QD3D 1.6, didn't try OpenGL but I have 1.1.1 from OS 9
PCI cards consist of
Voodoo2, ADS USB, Adaptec 2930u, and of course the ATI Rage128 VR card
The Voodoo2, USB, and 2930u cards are in a 7 slot PCI expansion chassi. The ATI card was in the 6400 with the second slot being used for the PCI-PCI bridge card to the chassi. The ATI card attaches to the Voodoo2 card and then to the montior
I have a 17" Sony monitor on the ATI/Voodoo2 cards and a 15" monitor on the 6400's stock video (non-accelerated on the 6400)
I installed ATI's 4.2 universal installer which came with the VR card. Nothing else. All extensions enabled fine and the TV tuner worked with no issues at all. I did toss out the Xclaim Video Player prefs like it says to to make sure everything would go smooth and it did. I even resized the video window (using the resize feature not dragging it) and it worked to. The Mic passthru port works great also. I'm glad they added that! But without my G3 running performance is no better then a Rage Pro as the stock CPU cannot feed it good enough to make it worth the money.
With the Vimage G3 enabled it would ge to the Vpower extension and then when it does its soft reboot the screen on the ATI card would freeze its image and then my 6400 would boot using the stock video as the main monitor and the ATI card is not seen at this point by my system yet the image is still frozen on the screen. Kind of weird to look at it like this :)
I think the problem is that the new VR card does not recalibrate itself during the softreboot by Vimage and it just locks up. ATIs older VR RageII card used to blink off and then back on during this reboot and then continue fine just like the stock video does.
I did want to get rid of that menu bar item ATI put there and I found that if you disable the ATI Extension that it is removed but then I did get the ATI Desktop video extension crossed out so I had to reenable it. Maybe other users are missing this file?
One other thing for PCI chassi users. The ATI card did not work when I put it in that. It will run without 2d or 3d but as soon as you try to run with the extensions enabled you get a very garbled screen. At first it was just the menu bar but after moving windows around a bit the entire screen got garbled and it locked up. If I disable the 2d then it will work again so I tried 3d (Nanosaur) and my monitor went to sleep :( So out of the chassi it went.
ATI did have a file in the extension folder that was to flash the BIOS and I was wondering if they could make a flasher to make the card recalibrate on a softreboot for us Vimage owners? I think it was called the ATI 128 driver or somthing like that? It had a generic icon.
Sorry this was so long, Tom]
Update ATI VR 128 and the Sonnet G3: Well this combo seems to work much better. At least it boots :) Looks like the VR card has some issue ATI has to deal with. They even had almost another year to iron out the bugs! Thanks for the info Henry.
After an almost 6 month wait, I finally recieved my Xclaim VR 128 from buy.com. Here is some info I have on my experiences so far.
First, My System:
Performa 6400 w/Sonnet G3 240
ATI Rage 128 Xclaim VR
Maxtor 8.4 gig 5400 RPM drive
OS 8.6(with opengl 1.1.1 extracted from OS 9)
I first installed the Xclaim VR card in the lower slot, but could never get it seated correctly(I guess). It is very tight with the Sonnet Card. I was getting vertical black lines all through the screen on startup, and then it would go blank when it hit the ATI extension. Once I changed slots, it came up fine.
I too noticed some sound popping, and video stuttering when playing opengl and rave games.
Tombraider III demo - at 1024 x 768, video stuttering and audio pops. I reduced the rez to 800 x 600 and the problems went away, very smooth now. And it looks fantastic!
Tombraider II - Plays smoothly at 1024 x 768 with no pops or stutters in 32 bit mode.
Q3test - I didn't hook up to a server, just ran around by myself. It looks incredible. Again, though, I had to use 800 x 600. At 1024 x 768 , it stuttered and popped.
Unreal - Now here's where I was really disappointed. The card just couldn't cut it. Very noticeable stuttering when downsampling to 16 bit color. I got chewed to bits. At 800 x 600 in RAVE mode, too. My Voodoo I card still beats it hands down, here. Even if it is fuzzy, at least it is smooth. I'll fiddle with the settings more tonight to see if I can make it better.
It came up right away and was easy to figure out. Unfortunately, if you change the resolution to "double" or "full screen" modes, it locks out the screen. The TV portion will keep playing but the mouse freezes. The only way I could bail out was the pull the power cord. I haven't tried doing a "custom" resolution on the TV function, yet. Maybe that would work.
Hooked up my Sony Hi-8 cam and captured some stills at 640 x 480 and video at 320 x 240(30 fps). Overall, I am pretty pleased. I wish it would allow capture of video at 640 x 480, even if it was at 15 fps. I didn't notice any dropped frames, even going to my 5400 rpm drive, so that was a plus.
Tonight I will try out your Sonnet Clocker to see if it helps with the frame rate stutter at 1024 x 768, but I fear it is more to do with the 33Mhz bus(66Mhz/2). I'll let you know. If you know of a safe speed to clock the G3 240, let me know, otherwise it will be trial and error( or error, error, error)
Thats all for now.
Hope this is useful,
Update from Henry on getting 640x480 video capture to work.
[ You were right. I did a custom frame size on the TV Tuner at exactly 640 x 480 and it works like a charm. This is strange since it is the same size as the "double" setting, which will crash my machine.]
11/19/1999 Reply to letter I wrote to ATI about their VR card: I wrote a letter to ATI about the issues I found concerning Vimages G3 and here is their reply. Hopefully they will look into the problem?
Thank you for contacting ATI technical Support.
Regarding the Vimage G3 card and the 128 VR card:
ATI Technical Support does not have any more information about this issue other than what you have now submitted. This information will be escalated for review and the course of action is unknown at this time. The only suggestions would be to periodically check our web site for any updates (as they become available).
Regarding a flash utility for the 128 cards:
There is no specific flash utility. The latest drivers are currently being shipped with the cards and have not been posted on our web site at this time.]
12/10/1999 ATI 128 Orion not working on a 6500 with or without a G3!: Tiong sent me a lot of info this week and here is some more. His Rage 128 Orion is not working on his 6500 with his Sonnet G3 or with it removed! I guess ATI's new Rage128 cards are just as finiky as the Voodoo3.
I've installed the ATI patch, which is the ATI Hardware Resource extension 1.3.1, instead of 1.3 (under the 4.0x installer) first because there is a note and a floppy in my box that indicates so. Anyway, I did try installing the drivers and the patch later but it still wouldn't work. And I think the patch has to be installed first or my 6500 will crash during boot up.
Sorry, but I forgot to mention that I tried the Orion without my Sonnet (Crescendo disabled and, later, physically removing it and installing the stock 256k l2 cache), with Crescendo 1.3.7 and 1.4, and even the "new" 4.2 installer, without any success. Seems like my system just don't like having the Rage Orion inside and running. I have returned one already (got the second one to eliminate the possibility of a bad card) and am still wondering what to do with the other. Have also tried the Xclaim3D Plus (Rage Pro) with success only on the first day before having the same problem as the Rage Orion. Makes me think that my 6500 doesn't like any 2D/3D accelerator other than my 3D only 3dfx Vodoo2!
12/17/1999 VR 128 feedback page from Accelerate Your Mac: Here is a page Mike posted on his site with all the VR 128 user feedbacks he's been getting. Interesting reading!
Another reply from ATI on the VR 128 and Vimage G3 issue: Jesse received a reply the other day from ATI and at least they are somewhat willing to look further into the issue now. Thanks Jesse.
Thank you for your email. We apologize if you found our previous answers ambiguous. This issue is very new to us and we are still investigating.
Regarding the conflict you are experiencing between Xclaim VR 128 and Vimage G3:
We have escalated the details of your report for closer investigation. We are aware that Vimage is no longer in business, which makes this investigation even more difficult.
We hope to hope to find a workaround or (preferably) a solution to this issue, but we have none at this time.
If you feel that a solution is too long forthcoming, then you might consider returning the Xclaim VR 128 to your vendor for an exchange or refund, or to continue operating your Performa with the Vimage card removed.
Regarding a firmware upgrade for Xclaim VR 128:
ATI Technical Support has no information regarding the pending release dates of ATI hardware or software products. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATI Technical Support
Here is a letter from Allen who made sure that ATI knows what the problem is. Thanks Allen!
I spent two hours today with a tech from ATI Canada. My setup is a 6400/180/72MB/ with a Vimage 240 G3 upgrade card. I have had the freeze of the screen at the softboot of the Vimage extention. I did everything he said, so he could find out for himself what the problem was.
He concluded that it indeed was the ATI card not being able to redraw after the softboot. We allowed the the full restart with the screen frozen. So.....with the screen frozen and given adequate time for the completed bootup....we hit the power button and hit return.and of course the 6400 responded as it should when fully booted, and that is to shut down, which it did. So the 6400 does indeed continue to boot , it is just the image on the screen that is frozen.
He said he could not garentee that there will be a fix..and suggeted that I return the card. He did say that he would report the finding to the proper people and they would have to decide. A bios flash.or even a new card being produced.
My suggestion to all of you is email ATI and let them know you would like it fixed. Maybe with enough feedback they will try and fix it?
2/12/2000ATI says don't use their Rage128 with a L2 G3!: Michael recieved a reply from ATI that is not very good. according to this letter, ATI is telling us to not bother to try their Rage128 cards as they have a 60% failure rate with any L2 G3 upgrade! This would coincide with the different reports I have been getting over the past year about their video cards. I guess they could not find a fix and decided to just tell us not to use them :( Its too bad as a L2 G3 upgrade and a Rage128 card make for the perfect upgrade to our 6400/6500's.
I emailed you the other day and thanks for your quick response. To let you know I personally talked to a ATI Tech. on a call back on 2/9/200 and he suggested the owners of the 6400 and the 6500 NOT USE THE ATI RAGE ORION 128/16mgs even with the new 4.0.2 drivers on the website and according to him ATI is going to post this on the site. He said that no matter what G3 card you had that the Rage 128 60% of the time wouldn't work on the 6400 and the 6500. He suggested for these models with a G3 card to get the Rage Pro if you can find them. And he told me to send my ATI Rage Orion 128/16mgs back for a refund because it wouldn't ever work like it should no matter what I tried. Thought I'd let you know and its OK with me if you want to post this on your site using just my first name don't want any bad feelings towards me I'm just repeating what the ATI Tech. related to me. Thanks,
Here is another letter from Russell who was told by Sonnet that the Rage128 cards don't work with L2 G3's :( Thanks Russell.
Russsell here. The one you helped with the Sonnet G3/L2 geo modem.
Just after I told you I was getting good results with G3/L2 and Rage Orion some problems have surfaced. I wrote Sonnet tech about some skipping and sound distortion I was experiencing during games during heavy action. It was not the end of the world, but was making playing games like Tomb Raider 3 and Unreal not much fun! Anyway, here is there response. I was surprised at their response! One has to go? Would you give up that quickly and return the Sonnet? (I have had the orion since November, so I doubt I could return it.) What do you think? I bought the sonnet primarily for 3d game enhancement.
Reply to: RE: Sonnet TechForm
Rage Orion has not been tested and is believed to be incompatible with the G3 processor, at this time. One of the products has to go, at least for the time being. If you purchased the Crescendo directly from Sonnet, please let me know, and I will facilitate a refund. If you purchased from a vendor, please contact them for a refund. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Sonnet Technical Support
Here is a letter from the 40% that do get the Rage128 card to work :) Simon sends word that his Vimage 240 L2 G3 works fine with the RageOrion. Thanks Simon. Although from the letters above from ATI and Sonnet I don't think much of us will have the same luck as Simon :(
[My name is Simon and i just want to say that i got my 6400/200 with a Vimage L2/240 to work with a Rage Orion. I have no problem at all with the setup and it works perfect.]
4/29/2000 QT 4.1.2 fixes some ATI Rage128 VR issues: Jon writes that he had issues with OpenGL and ATI's Rage128 VR card. Later he wrote that QT 4.1.2 fixed some of it. Thanks Jon. Remember that ATI has said they have a very high failure rate with 6400/6500 type computers specially with G3 upgrades. If you have a similar combo to Jon's and QT 4.1.2 helped you out then please email me. Thanks.
To your knowledge, do any of your readers report compatibility between the above two products in a Performa 6360 running MacOS 9.0.4? The reason I ask is because I have been unable to upgrade from ATI Universal drivers 4.0 to Universal drivers 4.2 and from OGL 1.0 to OGL 1.1-1.1.3 with the G3/L2 enabled.
With the G3/L2 enabled and latest ATI drivers loaded, XVP will freeze the system when launched. OGL applications have sound problems as if VM is turned on. I have 136 mb of ram and so have no reason to use VM. I spent several hours with ATI tech support and was able to conclude that there is a compatibility issue between the ATI and Sonnet cards when using the latest software from the companies.
Individually each product works great. XVP runs without freezing the system and sound is find in OGL applications using OGL 1.1.3. Together, they are incompatible. The only way the two cards can run simultaneously in my system is with OGL 1.0 and 4.0 ATI drivers.
Sonnet has been especially less than helpful. I have gotten no where with them. Review of your user reports show users using one or the other card but not both. So I am curious to know if there are any users using both and what their experiences have been? Also any thoughts on the matter is appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
[ I just downloaded QT 4.1.2!!
QuickTime Web Helper
The above files appear to have fixed my XVP problem, which may suggest the problem may have been with quicktime. I still have the crappy sound prolem in OGL applications thou.
6/4/2000 Interesting fix to get Sonnets G3 card and ATI's Rage128 running smooth together?: Marcus wrote me with this very interesting fix. Before this he had to ZAP the PRAM to get them to work on every boot! Thanks Marcus.
I removed my non-Apple SCSI-harddrive and now my G3-card works with my ATI Rage Orion. I guess 60% of Performa 6400 owners have a non-apple hard-drive installed in the upper 5,25"-bay. --
6/17/2000 ATI Orion and Sonnet G3 issue update: Recently I posted that Marcus had issues with his Orion card and Sonnet G3 and pinned it on his SCSI HD in the upper bay. It turns out that the HD was formatted using FWB software and he later reformatted it with Apples Drive Setup and all is well. Thanks Marcus. So if you are having trouble with your system, you might try changing back to Apples HD drivers? I'm not saying FWB's are bad but just not tested by some other third party vendors like Sonnet :)
7/16/2000 Audio capture with the VR128 and a 6500: I found on Mikes Accelerate Your Mac site info from a 6500 user that got audio to work by quitting the Xclaim Video Player, trashing the XclaimVR preferences and relaunching the Xclaim Video Player. I also noted that he had a Sonnet 350Mhz L2 G3 installed which is amazing since not everyone has good luck even running a Rage128 card without a G3 in their 6400/6500.
8/12/2000 More ATI Rage128 user letters: Here are a couple more G3 upgraded 6400's user experiences with ATI latest video cards and all is well. Thanks guys.
[ I just wanted to drop you an email thanking you for the valuable resource that is The 6400 Zone. It has provided me with a wealth of information regarding Linux (running YellowDog CS 1.2), G3/L2 upgrade cards (running a Sonnet Crescendo 400/1MB - very nice), and video cards (ATI XclaimVR 128). I'll be able to get several more years of use out of this machine thanks to the information on your page.
Just a note to say that my
(well actually my partner Sara's, but I do the techie stuff for it)
6400/180 with a Sonnet Crescendo 320/1M upgrade card and now an ATI Orion graphic card is working perfectly for 2D and 3D graphics
(I've only tested Tomb Raider III and Myth)
The card was got to give decent resolution for a 19" screen and I only saw the warnings on your site after ordering it so I was a bit nervous, but there was no problems at all, except I had to download the latest OpenGL version to get Tomb Raider working (but ATI had said as much in the card instructions)
Thought I'd post this as a weight to all the negative experiences people were having.
Looks like the latest offerings from Sonnet are more compatible with ATI's Rage128 line now. Great
10/15/2002 Rage128 VR card success story: Well there aren't many 6400 users that can say they have the ATI Rage128 VR card running fine in their system but it looks like Ben can. He says the card works great for him. Thanks for the info Ben. Now this is not typical as even ATI said they had a 60% failure rate with Rage 128 cards in the 6400/6500 so don't take this to mean the issues are fixed. But it is good to hear they can work together :)
Return to The 6400 Zone Home page
If any of the links do not work properly, please send an email to me the Site Master
This page last updated 10/27/2002