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MacNZ Jul 22, 2000 05:53 PM
Help in upgrading 7300
Hi, I'm back into the Powermac scene. I just got a secondhand PowerMac 7300/180 for $200. I'm really happy with this thing because it already has 96MB RAM (albeit in a hodge podge of DIMMS) and a CD Writer. I have three PCI slots to play around with and they claim an extra 3.5" bay. I was wondering can I fit a new hard drive in this spare bay (stupid question but I'm too used to using iMacs).If so does anyone know a site which shows how to do so? As for the PCI slots:
1. A new graphics card. I can afford a Voodoo5 but do I have a good enough screen to warrant this. I have an Applevision 1710. I also wouldn't mind TV input so I was looking at the XClaim VR TV!
2. I need an ATA66 controller for hard drives. As I said in another forum I have seen the TurboMax and Acard cards but don't kow about pricing, availability or other cards. I saw a card for PCs at the local store which was really cheap. I suppose this card wouldn't work?
3. A firewire/USB input card. I know there's a few of these and I need it for my printer as well as my DV stuff with my Powerbook 400.

Finally, I was thinking that I need a processor upgrade. I am having a look at macspeedzone but I need the best upgrade for the price. I like the look of those new xlr8 dual processor cards, they look way ahead of anything else, but what do you guuys suggest. It needs to be OS X compliant too which was why I was looking at xlr8 cards!
CDL Jul 24, 2000 12:02 PM
I currently have a PM 7300/200 that I upgraded to a Newertech G3/300. One word of advice I have is that if you upgrade to a G3/G4 processor you'll need to budget for a new video card. The existing VRAM on the board won't support the faster processor speed and you'll get tons of artifacts!

My 2
dilly-o Jul 24, 2000 12:26 PM
Yes of course you can add a 3.5 inch hard drive to the extra bay. Not aware of any sites explaining how to do this, but it is VERY easy. Simply remove the cover by pressing the latches underneath the ledge on the front, and pull foarward. The second drive bay is below the pre-installed drive so you will need to unplug the scsi cables and power from the cd drive, the floppy drive and the hard drive. Then pull out the entire assembly holding in all those drives (there are latches keeping it securely in place). Now insert your new drive into the other bay and plug in the provided scsi and power cords. Put the assembly back in and reconnect all the other cables.
ThomasD Jul 24, 2000 12:35 PM

I got a PPC 7600/132 upgraded to G3 400Mhz with a Formac Carrier Card and a Zif CPU. Works like a charm.
I also use a 3dfx Voodoo 3000 ( you get them at reduced prices now, as the new models a released ). Also works flawlessly so far.
Althogether I did spend 450$ and now have a system as good as new ( at least it will take me through the next two years ).
Faster Disk also helps sometimes. If you have plenty of RAM, thsi helps the most.

My 2cents

SRS_TCR Jul 24, 2000 12:57 PM
If you will send me your address, I will send you a PDF that would describe the info. you are looking for. You can reach me at
Andy Spark Jul 24, 2000 01:14 PM
I have recently upgraded my 7600 with a Sonnett G3/300/512 card for around USD 150 from Otherworld computing. It runs Mac OSX DP4 at about 2/3 the speed which it runs on my beige G3/300 at work. (A similar performance differential to that which exists between OS9 on both machines.)

I have had no problems with video artifacting (I believe this is more of a problem with cards running over 300Mhz) and no stability problems at all since removing the L2 cache and de-interleaving the ram.

I decided that it wasn't really worth upgrading it beyond 300Mhz due to the relatively low performance of the other sub-systems

If you are thinking of doing DV editing with the 7300 then I think that you will have somewhat mixed results due to the low speed of the PCI bus. I think that your best results would be obtained from adding a second internal scsi hard drive as suggested by another reader
MacNZ Jul 24, 2000 03:10 PM
So is just getting a new SCSI drive a better option than the ATA one do you guys think>?
I was going to definately add a new video card so a processor upgrade should work fine with it I hope. The only other thing I was worried about was the system bus speed and since it is 45Mhz whether there would be any point of going very high with an upgrade. I was thinking of going no higher than 400mhz G3!
Ramble Jul 24, 2000 05:13 PM
I have a 7300 180, and i would add the ATA card. Scsi is outdated, slow and fas (im talking about the onboard scsi 2 in the 7300). Also, with an 8x multiplication factor, the highest G3 you would want is an 400. Anything more would be wasted. Remember that if you get a CPU upgrade to trash your L2 Cache. And if you take out your internal floppy, you have another drive bay . Hope this helped.
bluefire 529 Jul 24, 2000 05:22 PM

FYI, IBM (and maybe even Moto?) have come out with a 10x G3 chip, allowing for 500MHz processors on 50MHz machines. Unfortunately, these are fairly expensive because they are pretty new and they do not have the huge market previous G3 processors enjoyed.
NEID Printing Jul 24, 2000 08:14 PM
Yes you can add a second hard drive your 7300 it has the same case as a 7500.

Try these Mac 7500 links :

I would suggest adding a cooling fan. I have a better solution than the link above suggests (email for details if interested); no cutting, drilling or soldering required with my version. Today with a room temp of 85 my second drive bay remained a cool 104 with the fan installed

You will also need a sled to attach the second drive to before sliding it into the extra bay. They can be found on ebay or at: for $7-10.

I would stay with the SCSI-2 (50 pin) for the HD and Save the PCI slot for something else. I use a 7200 rpm Seagate 9.1 Gig with no problems.Cheap used SCSI's are available at auction sites.

As far as processors a 350-400 mhz is the max your bus can support. SmallDog:

has a sale this week for G3's and G4's starting at $159 for a 350mhz G3.

G4's will only add speed if your software can take advantage of the G4 Altivec (ie Photoshop 5.5 for example) Don't know about MacOS X compatiblity??

Hope this will give you some food for thought. Love those old PCI Macs

Wildkat Jul 25, 2000 02:18 AM
I have posted a site with pictures of my upgrade of a

The 7600 case is simular to the 7300 so maybe it will help. Recomend you go with the Firewire/USB card. Not that much more cost and a whole lot more capability. Too bad there werent any when I bought

Wildkat Jul 25, 2000 02:21 AM
Well I tried to edit but since I am not registerd it failed. Here is the link

MacNZ Jul 25, 2000 05:11 PM
Thanks for all the help everyone.
So I'm pretty decided now on a 400Mhz 8x G3 upgrade (should run all my stuff) and then a voodoo 3 because I saw them for a great price the other day. The one thing I'm still investigating with your help is the hard drive issue. I think the USB/FW card will be great if I need any peripherals or drives later on so I'll definately do that.
The other thing is the system has 8 memory slots of which I unfortunately have 5 used for a total of 96MB (a few annoying 8MB DIMMS I might ditch). There are 128MB DIMM's for such systems but Apple does not support them directly. I figure they still work though. Anyone had any experience with them?

Thanks again, I'm waiting for the weekend to start putting this together!
NEID Printing Jul 25, 2000 07:18 PM
Concerning the 128MB DIMM's you might try the AppleSpec link for your 7300.

It says 128MB DIMM's can be used but have not been tested.

I believe my 7500 logic board is very similiar to your 7300. I've finally filled all 8 slots with a variety of DIMM's for a total of 232MB RAM -- no 128MB's however. Someone else here may have some actual experience with 128MB DIMM's in a 7300?

Good luck with your cool project:

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