A surprise unwrapping a "new" 7600/120

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ziggy29, May 27, 2016.

  1. ziggy29 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Just picked this up for basically nothing but shipping. Was told it booted up fine but little else. I went ahead and took a chance on it for a new build project. (Some people take up golf for a hobby. I rebuild and upgrade cheap old PPC Macs.)

    Just got it today. (Unfortunately I'm missing one piece I need: an adapter from the old Mac-style VGA connector to the more conventional one to test it with an extra display. But I was able to plug it in and turned it on and I got those old, familiar PCI Power Mac chimes!) But I was surprised when I opened it up. (I used to have a 7200/90 so I had to remember how to open this thing.) It had the full 4 MB of VRAM, 384 MB of RAM and a Sonnet Crescendo G3 300/512 inside it. When I get the one piece I need to hook it up and test it, I'll see how the old SCSI drive works and maybe change the OS. Not sure where I'll start with this -- I have 8.6 laying around so I may start with that. If I get a PCI IDE adapter and a cheap ATA hard disk maybe I can create extra partitions and play with 8.1, 8.6 and 9.1 or something like that (I don't know that these G3 upgrade cards can run 7.5.5 or 7.6.1). I think 9.1 is the end of the road for this model.

    But it's something to do, to put together and upgrade as I find opportunities to pick up cheap parts!
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #2
    Nice find, especially with the G3 upgrade. With some help from Xpostfacto, I expect that would run Tiger well.

    IMO, rather than buying a DB-15 to VGA adapter, I'd suggest finding a PCI Rage 128 pulled from a B&W G3 or Yikes! G4. This gives you VGA out and is a MUCH more capable GPU than the default in it. If you want to spend some more money, a Radeon 7000 is a good option, and a Radeon 9200 will make it scream. I have a couple of 9200s around and have them(among other things) in my 9600 and my G4-upgrade beige G3.
     
  3. ziggy29, May 27, 2016
    Last edited: May 27, 2016

    ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    I have thought about that and is a consideration. I can get the adapter for less than $10 and it will give me proof of concept that this system fully works before I invest more in it. I'm also trying to budget PCI slots, since this only has three -- pretty sure I want something like a Sonnet Tempo card for a larger ATA/IDE HDD, and I guess I could probably pull out the other PCI card in there which is a modem I likely won't use. May put USB/FW in the third slot if I can get a working one cheaply enough. I'll be using a wifi Ethernet bridge for networking.

    So in the end, I suspect my three PCI slots will be for HDD, video and USB/FW.
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #4
    Slot economy is, unfortunately, a problem that plagues all of us when we're playing with these older computers.

    Ultimately, this is where the 9600 shows its advantage and my standard "wish list" is for a PCI/FW combo card, a 10/100 ethernet card, a video card, and some type of HDD controller card. The beige G3s are a bit better in that they have ATA, albeit with some handicaps. The B&Ws are even better since they have 10/100 and also have a dedicated video card slot.

    There are combo USB/FW/100baseT cards, but it's basically a crap shoot to get three fully compatible chipsets. If Sonnet made one, it would be easy, but I don't think they did. The 9600 lets you separate all three of these cards into separate components so you can choose them for maximum compatibility.
     
  5. ziggy29, May 27, 2016
    Last edited: May 27, 2016

    ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Yep. As it turns out, a closer look reveals it wasn't a modem card in one PCI slot, but a 10/100. Thing is, I'm not likely to take this faster than DSL speeds (since that's all we have here in this tiny little town) so I still think I'll take it out and just use the built-in 10BaseT since my Internet isn't that fast anyway. It should be able to handle all my wireless bridge can provide it. More important to me to add USB (even if just 1.1) and FW400 which I know can be had on one card.

    As far as video, I do have a spare GeForce 6200 PCI card with VGA and DVI out but I don't think that works in this model, even as a dumb 640x480x16 VGA card (it did work in my Digital Audio G4 but was slower than other cards using the AGP port). I've already broken a couple of pieces of brittle plastic in non-critical areas just by fiddling with it a bit and looking at the internals. Guess that's to be expected. No big loss.
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #6
    I don't THINK the 6200 will work in Old World Rom Macs. The Radeon 9200 is probably the best you can do. It's really a shame, too, as the 6200 would really wake the system up in Tiger(at the expense of performance in anything pre-OSX).
     
  7. ziggy29, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 28, 2016

    ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    No, it didn't work, but it was worth a try since I had it lying around here. I panicked a bit earlier, because I didn't get the chimes today when I first retested it. I did remember messing with the RAM yesterday, trying to figure out the size of each installed module. So I took them out, firmly reseated all of them, and the chimes came back and I could hear the HDD crunching away. So once I confirm I can get a display to work I'll start looking for deals on the other PCI cards I think I want to put in this thing. Interested to find out how big the hard drive is, and what version of the OS is currently installed on it.
     
  8. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #8
    From experience with other computers in this series(8600, 9600, and 8500) I'd guess the drive to be somewhere in the 2gb to 4gb range and probably on the lower end of that. 50 pin SCSI drives larger than 4gb start to get really difficult to find and expensive.

    The x600 series computers were the last Powermacs to use SCSI as their primary bus. The G3 series-that came after them-shipped almost exclusively with IDE HDDs although they did have a SCSI bus built in. I have two G3s that boot and operate off of high speed SCSI, but both of them(one a server, the other an owner upgrade) run their drives off the official Apple "Jackhammer" 68 pin. The server has a pair of 10K drives, which are obnoxiously loud, while the G4 upgraded one has a 15K that's that's surprisingly tolerable-enough so that I leave it running most of the time.
     
  9. ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Was able to pull the drive out of the sled without breaking any more brittle plastic (small victory in itself) in order to investigate a little more.

    It's a Quantum Viking and I saw "VK45S012 Rev 04" on the bottom of it, which, after some Googling, appears to be a 4.5 GB drive. I'll confirm it when I have a display! If it works well and tests fine I may sell it once I get it replaced with a larger IDE drive (and card). Or maybe I'll keep it around for the heck of it. It's easy to become a packrat and a hoarder with these old parts. :)
     
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #10
    If you have any interest in old Macs, KEEP THAT DRIVE.

    As many of these drivers are now exceeding 20 years old, the price continues to go up on them. Many of my compacts that use internal HDDs are now sporting drives in excess 100mb and some well over 1gb precisely because the original sizes for them(often 20-40mb) are simply unavailable.
     
  11. oi! Suspended

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    #11
    ^This^!!!
    ATM, SCSI drives can be had from eBay, shop carfully and there are still some bargains to be had*, but I suspect the supply will dry up in the next couple of years.
    Not long ago you could still get a dual 1.42Ghz MDD cheap, not now! Things move on, sometimes frighteningly quick.




    *I picked up a 300Gb SCSI drive at a very good price a couple of months back (for just in case I ever decide to dig out and dust off my old mac). I have nothing to try it out on though, it might be broken. IDK.
     
  12. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #13
  13. ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Yeah, I'll probably keep the drive (assuming I confirm it's good and boots up fine). You never know when you might need something like this in a pinch. Plus, as I said before, it's easy to be a hoarder about this stuff. :)

    Found an extra USB card in the garage, too, a Belkin F5U220, which I know works at USB 1.1 speeds in OS 9 (at least in a Digital Audio).
     
  14. oi! Suspended

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    #15
    I think it's safe to assume it won't work at USB2 in a 7600, but you never know for 100% sure till you try.
     
  15. ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Oh, I'm sure it won't work at 2.0 speeds. I don't think any USB in any Mac OS 9.x system runs at 2.0. This same card is also in my Digital Audio, and it runs at 2.0 speeds in Tiger but only 1.1 in OS 9.2.2. I do think this will work at 1.1 speeds, though.
     
  16. ziggy29, May 31, 2016
    Last edited: May 31, 2016

    ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    Got a DB15-VGA adaptor for cheap so I can play some more. Also have a somewhat wonky ADB mouse. Need to find my keyboard if I still have it, or find one cheap. But even without a keyboard I can turn it on and check it out. The Mac booted and I waited for a surprise to see which OS was loaded:

    7600_Splash.jpg

    When it was done booting I was able to confirm more system specifics, such as the CPU:
    7600_CPU.jpg
    And finally, to confirm my suspicions about the HDD, a SCSI drive that's 4.24 GB formatted:

    7600_HD.jpg

    I have a few other old PCI cards that may or may not work -- going to pop in the Belkin USB card I mentioned earlier, to see if that will work (I think it will but I know it won't at 2.0 speeds). And other cool stuff, well, I'll keep an eye out for cheap acquisition opportunities. I'm interested in building a pretty slick old system out of this but the journey is part of the fun and I'm not interested in overpaying to finish it faster. There is something to be said for "the thrill of the hunt".
     
  17. ziggy29, Jun 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016

    ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Just discovered that an Adaptec Duo Connect (AUA-3020 which has 3 USB ports and 2 FW400 ports; $11 shipped) works with an OS 9.1 install and no other drivers. I installed USB 1.4.1 and FW 2.4 drivers in OS 8.6 and the USB worked but FW didn't. But with a new install of 9.1 it all just worked, except that FW isn't hot swappable when you remove it -- the system freezes until you put it back in.

    Once I got the USB to work with the 1.4.1 update I was able to use the USB mouse and keyboard and didn't need my wonky ADB mouse.

    Surprisingly, my Belkin card wasn't working. The AUA-3020 has 2 FW 400 ports and 3 USB 2.0* ports so that's a good choice for slot economy.

    * -- in OS 8.6 and above (and below OS X) the USB 2.0 ports work, but at 1.1 speeds.
     
  18. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    #19
    That is a good deal!! My 8500 could use some USB peripherals
     
  19. oi!, Jun 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016

    oi! Suspended

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  20. ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Yeah, I took a chance on it after googling and seeing reports from a lot of people who have successfully used that USB/FW combo card in these old PCI Power Macs. Seems like it's plug and play with the OS 9.1 software even though the specs say it's for a B&W G3 or higher (probably for performance reasons, not hardware compatibility, or maybe that's all they tested and intended to support). Bonus points for saving a PCI slot, too!

    Next up: As opportunities arise, look for a PCI ATA card, probably a Sonnet Tempo. Already have a spare 120 GB 3.5" ATA/100 drive to use when I find one.

    If someone wants to do a lot of tinkering and a little bit of engineering, and no requirement to get rich when something works, they can try it! Would probably be some awfully slow memory, though. As you said -- expectational shortfall...
     
  21. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #22
  22. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #23
    Yes, ADB is horrendously slow. It's a virtually perfect bus for its intended purpose(which was for keyboards, mice, etc) but data transfer over it is terrible.

    I have an external IrDA transmitter that can work through either ADB or a serial port. Even by IrDA standards(which are painful anyway) ADB is terrible.
     
  23. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    #24
    I have an Adaptec FireWire+SCSI card in my 8500. Thanks Adaptec!!
     
  24. oi! Suspended

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    #25
    Hmm, I'm on a roll...
    With enough adapters and the right driver, I'm pretty sure you could attach an SSD drive to your mac through the headphone port.*
    Take that data transfer speed!



    *see previously stated disclaimer.
     

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