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5400 Machines: Anyone used 3rd party upgrades at all?
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JEB
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: N. Calif.
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Feb 9, 2002, 11:33 PM
 
5400 Machines: Anyone used 3rd party upgrades at all?

Hii--

Our elementary has a good number of 5400 machines (603e with built in monitors / cd-rom)

Has anyone done upgrages to G3? Prices are now running lower, about $250-350 for a Sonnet upgrade . . .

If so, are there any slowdowns / limitations from the original config of the 5400? Thanks . . .

Regards, --JEB :]
'Simplify. Simplify.' --Thoreau
     
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Feb 10, 2002, 06:38 AM
 
since no responded:
I am pretty sure 400 is the max you can go for now due to bus limitations 40Mhz X 10 max multiplier for G3 some will be advertised a 500 but run 400 in a 54xx, 44xx, 64xx
here is some owner ratings:------------------------------------------------------------------------



Reviewer's Name: Justin Ewell
Date Submitted: 1/17/2002
Rating (1 to 10): 9
Manufacturer: Sonnet
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3 400cpu/133cache
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): CPU isn't clockable? Cache speed is running reliably for a week at 267mhz using the Powerlogix G3/G4 Cache Profiler. All utilities I've used (Gauge Pro and Sonnets Metronome) concur that the cache is overclocked.
Cache Size: 512KB
Mac Type: 6500/250
Comments: Well, so far so good. Heat hasn't risen above 39 C but usually stays around 35 even after prolonged usage. The overclock on the cache with the Powerlogix G3/G4 Cache Profiler 'seems' to be working well. Metronome, Gauge Pro and the Profiler report 267MHz for the cache speed. System would not run if cache was set to 400MHz. All in all, money very well spent. Although I wish I had the luxury of comparing this card to the 1Mb cache card in Photoshop to see how they compare. But, otherwise I definately recommend.

Mike Comments: I would not overclock the cache - it adds little to real world apps performance in my experience and can hurt stability (and could lead to failure of the cache if pushed too far)

In timed apps tests, etc. I saw little to no gain with most CPU upgrades comparing the cache running at 1/2 the CPU speed to faster cache settings. (And again if run too high freezes, lockups, crashes, etc. can happen, which can corrupt data - all for little real gain since CPU speed, not cache speed is the primary factor of the CPU upgrade's benefit.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Chuck Naughton
Date Submitted: 1/12/2002
Rating (1 to 10): 9
Manufacturer: Newer Tech
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3-L2 400/200
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 400/4096k
Cache Size: 1MB
Mac Type: 6500/250 (128MB RAM)
Comments: I bought this G3-L2 from TechnoWarehous for $257 including Airborne Express shipping after I wasn't too happy that maxing out the RAM from 48 MB to 128MB didn't result in any noticeable improvements.(www.datamem.com $57 for 2x 64MB EDO DIMM)

I couldn't be more happy with this upgrade. Compared to before...the machine screams...I'm no techie so I don't know about benchmarking...but in the real world applications I use, Netscape 4.79, Acrobat 4.0. viewing and printing, viewing web content, the machine is many timners faster. If a web page took 30 or more seconds to load before, it only takes 2-5 seconds. Where QT 5 and shockwave videos were shakey and skippy before, (or sometimes wouldn't play at all) everything is smooth now... Music downloads are now like turning on the radio, instantaneous. PDF files used to be painfully slow to load, scroll and print...now they're up and ready to go in mere seconds....

I'm connected to a cable modem via an Assante FriendlyNET 10/100 PCI ethernet card and router. I've had zero compatability problems. (knock on wood)

I've not rated this a "10" only because I've only had it running for a week and I'm leaving some wiggle room...but for the the $314 I spent on the total upgrade...I've significantly extended the useful life of this noble machine.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Michael Llanes
Date Submitted: 1/2/2002
Rating (1 to 10): 10
Manufacturer: Sonnet
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3 400
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 400 (not adjustable)
Cache Size: 512KB
Mac Type: 6500/225
Comments: Using the Crecendo L2 Upgrade on my mother-in-law s PowerMac 6500. Upgraded VERY easy. Nice Speed boost. Everything works as it should. Great way to keep all those legacy devices around a few more years!

Highly recommended for any 6500 owners out there!


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Lawrence Barclay
Date Submitted: 12/15/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 4
Manufacturer: Sonnet
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3/300
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 325
Cache Size: 512KB
Mac Type: 6400/180
Comments:

Mike Comments: No comments? (Like how you are running 325mhz on a fixed speed Sonnet card - unless boosted with a mod?)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Chris Petersen
Date Submitted: 12/7/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 9
Manufacturer: Newer Tech
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3 400/200
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 400/200
Cache Size: 1MB
Mac Type: 6500/225
Comments: This upgrade is great...tried to overclock...unable to do so. Running OS 9.1...excellent!


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Shawn Connelly
Date Submitted: 12/5/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 10
Manufacturer: Sonnet
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3 240
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 240 (not adjustable)
Cache Size: 1Mb
Mac Type: Performa 6400/180
Comments: Upgrade has worked great. Currently (12/6/01) not compatable with G3 specific system upgrades.

Mike Comments: (I'm assuming system upgrades means Operating System upgrades.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Hugh Thompson
Date Submitted: 11/23/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 9
Manufacturer: Sonnet
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3/400
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): (not adjustable)
Cache Size: 1MB
Mac Type: PowerMac 5500/225
Comments: The L2 upgrade has been excellent. It has run reliably for nearly a year now. The only problem is the well-documented Geoport Modem incompatibility - but it was a 33.6 K anyway. The new GlobalFax is great and has good software (although advice how to silence it would be nice).

The heat has gone up a bit (39-40 degrees C) but it has not hindered performance.

The MacBench 5 score is 1270 and it never crashes, not even when watching TV, running Photoshop and surfing the web. I think Macs were more robust in the early days. However, the minimal VRAM and lack of memory capacity.

While it would be nice if the Sonnet upgrade supported Mac OSX, with a maximum RAM of 128, it would make the experience a bad one I imagine.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: William B. Leverette
Date Submitted: 11/21/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 10
Manufacturer: Sonnet
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3 500
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 500/250
Cache Size: 1MB
Mac Type: 6500/300
Comments: Your other reader/reviewers convinced me to upgrade my 6500's cpu (and RAM). I'm not disappointed other than that I wish I had done this years ago! As a graphic designer using 5-year old software on a 5-year old machine I'm now working 5x faster (granted, the 64->128MB RAM upgrade accounts for at least half of that).

Everything computational is faster: 9.1 (read: Sherlock 2, Quicktime 5, iTunes) is now pleasant to use, Kaleidoscope/SmoothType combo doesn't bog down my machine, NO MORE WAITING FOR FULLY DOWNLOADED WEB PAGES TO RENDER (alternately, I could've stopped using Communicator 4.61). Hmm, I should resample the iTunes' visualizer--hey, aside from some ugly color schemes and those spirals, the thing's actually cool...and now 2-3 times faster. Gripes: had to reset CUDA switch after installing a friend's AVID PCI card from his 6500/275.

Sonnet made slight gains in reducing their packaging materials by forgetting to include a software diskette, but I didn't knock them for this since the download from their website was so quick and easy.
Next up: $80 ProFormance 3 Video card off eBay (come on UPS, Permedia3 is NOT a form of anthrax!) What do you think, Mike, would I have seen significant perfomance gains, particularly in the 2D realm, had I gone with the PCI Radeon, instead?

Mike Comments: The proformance III is perhaps the fastest 2d card I've seen (based on my review at the main www.xlr8yourmac.com Video articles page, Graphics card section a year or more ago - tested in a later Mac however than yours). However the PCI Radeon has far better 3D/gaming support than the Formac card.
After you get the card, check for driver updates at Formac's site.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Ian Field-Richards
Date Submitted: 11/12/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 8
Manufacturer: Sonnet
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3 400/200
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): (not adjustable)
Cache Size: 1MB
Mac Type: 6500/275
Comments: I've had this upgrade for about a year and a half now, and thought I would add my comments to this site after ready some of the more disappointing reviews of the card.

Firstly I have to say that for 300 this card has transformed a lagging, out of date 603ev machine into a very functional G3. Money well spent if you don't want/can't afford to fork out on a new G4/iMac.

Don't be fooled by the MHz rating though when you buy these cards. 400MHz from this card felt like using a Biege G3 300/350. It's ultimately let down by the 6500's old bus/disk etc. Still, it certainly was a noticable speed bump. Everything feels more responsive, windows open and close faster, apps launch quicker, and control panels save much faster.

I had absolutely no problems installing the card or it's software (which, as noted in other reviews, is only one extension). The worst part of the install is removing the level 2 cache from its slot to put the new card into. They can be very tightly held in the slot. Also there isn't much room between the Card and the Ram.

It's almost a crime to lock the card inside the Mac as it's such a great design with a huge purple heatsink sat on top of the chip.

Other reviewers have noted problems with video cards, I myself have a Formac Proformance III (which is BRILLIANT) and had no problems at all with it.

The only gripe I have about the Mac now is that it takes absolutely ages to start up still. This is due to the new chip only coming into play when the extension loads (when you can see the speed increase immediately as it rattles through the rest of the boot). But I guess this is a minor concern as the card never overheats and the Mac could certainly be left on permanently.

It's not as smooth as a G3 or G4, but it certainly gives them a run for their money.

Top card, good solution.

(if you get one, check out the instruction manual which states that the card will only work when you apply the Sonnet sticker to the front of your Mac! :-DDDD)

Mike Comments: A reader sent a tip that might speed up your boot times/extension loading a bit :

" I didn't know of any way to comment on this guy's post so I thought I may email you just in case you think the tip is worth it. He complained of a slow start up because the G3 acceleration doesn't kick in until the Sonnett extension loads. I simply typed a space in front of the extension and now it loads first and the speed kicks in immediately.
I posted my review of the Sonnet in a 5500/275.
Cheers for a great site.
Hugh"

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Marc Lefebvre
Date Submitted: 11/5/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 10
Manufacturer: Sonnet
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3 350/175
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 400/200
Cache Size: 512KB
Mac Type: 6500/250
Comments: I bought a Sonnet Crescendo L2 350/512 card a year ago and experienced no problem at all on my 6500/250 running OS 8.6. with 64 MB of Ram. The only weird thing was the cache speed default setting at a 1/3 ratio of 118 Mhz. I used PowerLogix G3/G4 Cache controller to set it at a 1/2 ratio of 175 Mhz.

I recently came accross Sonnet Clocker on your site and decided to have a go at it. Everything went smooth and fine in overclocking the card at 400/200. The speed increase is very noticeable and the CPU temperature never rises over 39* C.

With a new Western Digital Caviar 10Mo 7200 rpm hard drive formated in HFS+ with DriveSetup 1.7.3 the benchmarks read like this:
CPU:1151- FPU:991- Disk: 899 ( Macbench 4.0) Which is just equivalent to a 400Mhz Imac!


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Lars
Date Submitted: 11/4/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 7
Manufacturer: Sonnet
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 300/150 1M L2
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 300 MHZ
Cache Size: 1MB
Mac Type: 6500/275
Comments: I'm using the upgrade since 1999. In system 7.6 there are many problems with HD, sometimes data are corrupted and system is hanging.
In system 8.5 and higher new Apple HD-Driver fixed this ploblem.
There was no way to get this upgrade card work with VooDoo-Cards.
I used a villagetronic voodoo1-Card and a Voodoo3-2000 but system allways hangs after some minutes in 2D-mode (Finder, Word, IE etc.).
3D-Mode was more stable but also hangs sometimes.

I'm not sure what's the poblem. I suspect its the "always beta" Voodoo-Driver. Without Voodoo there is no problem. The speed of the Machine is very good, fast as hell in my 1999's point of view. But without 3D-acceleration this machine is useless for gaming. Today a student is using this machine for homework, OS9-Systems are outdated for me.

Mike Comments: Just a FYI that the later Voodoo3 drivers required OS 8.5 or later. (noted at the main site articles back then - last update available was Beta13, but not sure that would help in your system. I also disable any ATI extensions as a general rule when using another video card - the onboard video may have ATI extensions enabled by default. Also disable the "opengl ati renderer" extension if running OpenGL.)

Check other sonnet 6x00 owner comments here. In 1999 I posted a page with L2 cache slot G3 upgrade card owner feedback at the main www.xlr8yourmac.com CPU upgrades page - included notes on video card issues. The newer tech cards seemed better choices for PCI card owners - but perhaps Sonnet may have updated their software or card designs since 1999. I'd have contacted them on any problems (still would if the warranty on the card was still valid). Not sure it would matter but I assume you're running Sonnet's latest software for the card.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Brian Baker
Date Submitted: 10/21/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 4
Manufacturer: Newer Tech
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3 300/200
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 0
Cache Size: 1MB
Mac Type: 5500/225
Comments: I have previously posted here and wanted to add to the discussion, but didn't see that option listed. I am running the latest version of the drivers for the upgrade card. I just keep freezing. I hope I find the answer soon. Could there be a problem with the machine causing the incompatibility with this card. Like I stated previously, I had the card in my 6500/300 for over a year with no problems at all.
Thanks. Brian

Mike Comments: Don't know what to suggest Brian, I've never owned this card or a 5500 or 6x00 series Mac. The card or backside cache could be defective. I'd try not enabling the cache to see if that helps. (To see if the cache is the problem.) Wish I had better advice.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reviewer's Name: Brian Baker
Date Submitted: 10/16/2001
Rating (1 to 10): 7
Manufacturer: Newer Tech
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G3 300/200
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 300/200
Cache Size: 1MB
Mac Type: 5500/225
Comments: I originally used this upgrade card in my 6500/300 with no problems aside from incompatibility with the internal modem, which was easy enough to live with since I used a cable modem.

I got tired of the clutter and purchased a 5500/225 because I wanted to take up less space. I added a 40gig hard drive, USB PCI card and 128 Meg memory as well as the TV/FM radio card from Apple. I'm currently running OS 9.1.

I've been experiencing sparatic freezes which seem to be happening with less frequency. I'm not sure if it's because I'm not pushing the system as hard for fear of freezes. I notice that the temp was running at a steady 79c. I moved the fan from the original cpu to the upgrade card and it has brought the temp down to 75c. I was hoping for cooler than that.

Another thing that really bothers me is that I cannot make voice recordings or use my mic for video chat. The sound input will stop after a few moments. The system isn't locking up, just the sound input. I've tried all OS's from 8.1 to 9.1 with the same results. I shut off the Newer extention and it works fine.

I give the card a 9+ for the 6500/300 and a 6 for the 5500/225.

If anyone has any ideas or fixes, I'd sure like to hear em.
Thanks..

Mike Comments: I don't have a Performa series like this (or the newer tech upgrade) but did you check for later Newer Tech software versions? (may not help, but the first thing I'd do).
The FAQ here notes that OWC has a mirror of all of Newer Tech's software on their Tech Center page. (see sidebar link for Newer Tech)
If it wasn't an L2 cache slot type of upgrade, you could try another cache enabler, but I don't think Powerlogix's or XLR8's software works with L2 cache slot upgrades. (Sonnet has an L2 cache slot upgrade also, but not sure their software would work with the newer tech card).
Not sure if any other owners of your mac model/upgrade reported any tips on this issue, but I'd check.
     
   
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