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Upgrading Power Computing 150
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Feb 19, 2001, 05:26 PM
 
I've got a Power Center 150, and have been considering upgrading it to a G3.
I'm currently running OS 8.1, as this is one of the clones that started acting funny with 8.6, and I had to backtrack.
Sonnet makes, I believe, a G3 400mz card. That, and a USB, Firewire PCI card would hopefully bring this machine into the 21st century for about five hundred dollars. I've already got plenty of ram and hard-drive space, so the main reason I'd be upgrading would be to keep up with newer software. (Photshop 6 and Illustrator 9 require 8.5 or higher)

So, in a nutshell, will a new processor solve the OS clone incompatibility, enabling me to run 9.1 or OS X on this machine, or is it a motherboad architecture problem, and should I chuck it and start saving up for a new tower?

CV

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
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Feb 19, 2001, 09:29 PM
 
Look up the manufactures site on the specific cpu cards you are considering. I don't think you will be able to run OS X but OS 9.x would seem posible.
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Feb 20, 2001, 10:24 AM
 
OS X most likely won't run very well on that machine.

If I was going to spend 500 dollars on upgrades for an old power computing machine, I'd probably just wait until I had enough money to go for a G4. A g4 will run osx, and also be a whole lot faster than the upgrade you're planning.
     
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Feb 20, 2001, 04:03 PM
 
I guess it all depends on what you want out of your computer. The machine you mention should be able to run all of the "classic" OSes without a problem... I have a PowerCenter Pro which can run 9.1 (although I'm currently running only 8.6 and LinuxPPC on it). If you absolutely must have OS X then I would agree putting the $500 toward a new tower is your best bet... I'm still not sure when or if the older PowerPC architectures will run OS X. A new processor will dramatically increase your computer's speed, so if your current speed is tolerable, you will be very happy with an upgrade, especially if you have a lot of money invested in older peripherals (memory, ADB, serial and SCSI stuff -- yes you can buy a SCSI card and there are USB to serial converters). Just remember, when you do go to sell your old machine... no matter how much money you put into it, its still an old machine. I'm very happy with my current processor (G3 390 MHz upgrade), and do not see the need to upgrade (nor do I have the finances to do so) to a new machine for at least another year and a half. Just my $0.02.

Cheers!
Chris
     
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Feb 20, 2001, 05:15 PM
 
Thanks, but it looks like I'll probably save up and get another tower this fall. The Power Computing machine has been a real workhorse, and has run almost without a glitch (Original hard-drive went south after a year) for nearly six years. But my intention was to upgrade it to the point where it would run current apps and os's for at least two or three years, and if it looks hopeless for OS X, then, why bother. I'm not gonna spend five hundred bucks just to update to an OS that's already outdated.
I'm supposing that Photoshop, and most of the other big Graphic apps will be OS X native by some time in the fall, and I really need to be able to keep up, since I get all kind of files every day, in all kinds of formats, and it's uncool to have to call a client and ask them to save a five back to an earlier version of something, because you're not up to date.
I'll probably move it out of the art room and into my office, where it can replace the Quadra 950 that mostly just sits in there. I'm sure it's got years of life left as is.

CV

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
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Feb 24, 2001, 05:11 AM
 
I have a PC150 that I upgraded the processor on. If you do go that rought get the biggest cache that you can. PowerLogix G3/350/512K sucks with it's ittty-bitty cache. Watch for deals, they come up every now and then. As for OSX I bet it will run on this machine. In fact I plan on installing the final version on it when it comes out. Haven't tried the PB though. I am running OS 9.1 on it with no problems.
---I'm on a low Microsoft diet.
     
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Feb 25, 2001, 02:02 AM
 
Hi...I've got a PC150 with a PowerLogix G3/250 card (512MB cache, 2:1 ratio) running 8.6. It's super-solid, no problems. Overclocked to 275 easily, runs at 290 with some flakiness. So it's set at 275. Also has an ATA/33 card and drive in it for cheap mass storage.

I agree with the other folks; if OSX is your goal, put the $$ towards a new machine. Actually what I plan to do is buy a new PMG4 any day now and then perhaps get a faster G3 card later on (when the prices come down even more) to keep this machine going as a backup (net machine, office use, etc.). But I'm also keeping it as a stable 8.6 machine that can run my legacy peripherals (ADB, SCSI, serial) so I don't have to toss all my working peripherals just to get USB ones. I hate to fill the landfill with usable stuff.

You may be able to run OS X on an upgrade card. Sonnet, I think, has said that they are aiming for OS X-compatibility with all their cards. However, even if you *can* run OSX, remember that you're running on a machine with a 45MHz system bus (as opposed to 133MHz on the new towers), a sloooow internal SCSI bus, and the crappy audio subsystem that these machines are plagued with.

So if you really want to keep the machine, wait until April or May and see what folks are saying about running OSX on older machines. Otherwise, save your pennies for a new Mac.
     
   
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