Biggest SCSI Drive for a Macintosh Quadra 900?

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by dermeister, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. dermeister, Nov 29, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014

    dermeister macrumors 6502

    dermeister

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    #1
    Hi there,

    I recently got a Quadra 900, and I'm having fun upgrading it to see how far it can go. The machine came out in 1991, and was an absolute monster in it's time.

    [​IMG]

    I've ordered the following upgrades:
    • 256 MB of ram (16x 16MB SIMM) - that's right, 256 MB in a 1991 machine!
    • Apple Display Card 24AC - should get me 24bit colour @ 1152x870
    • 3.6v lithium battery - should stop it from thinking it's 1954

    I even got it on the internet thanks to a AAUI-15 to 10BaseT converter. It downloads at ~70 KB/s max (any idea what can make it faster?)

    I'm now turning my attention to the internal SCSI drives - it has two 160 MB drives.

    What I'd like to do is put the largest Apple branded SCSI drive the machine will take - I just have no idea what that would be despite much searching.

    I'd expect there are two important aspects here - what is compatible hardware-wise, and what is compatible OS-wise.

    I'm not sure what the difference is between Mac OS 7.6.1 and Mac OS 8.1 in terms of max partition size.

    So does anyone have an idea of how big an Apple SCSI drive this monster can take?

    Thanks!

    --

    P.S. I'm looking for a PPC upgrade card and an internal CD-ROM drive + Bezel if anyone has one.

    P.S.S. I am thinking the best monitor to get for it would be the Macintosh 21" Color Display since it came out at the same time. Opinions?
     
  2. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    Central US
    #2
    Download speeds can depend a lot on the browser you're using. Internet Explorer always seemed to download slower than Netscape.

    For an Apple shipped SCSI drive, I don't think you're going to find anything over 4GB which was shipping in late PowerMacs like the 8600 and 9600. I don't know if there were any CTO options that might have been bigger.

    When it comes to OS, absolutely go with 8.1 vs 7.6 for this Mac. Greatest move I ever made was moving from System 7.5.5 to 8.1 on my Quadra 800. It runs beautiful and has a much more modern feel and look. No downsides to OS 8.1 whatsoever.
     
  3. dermeister thread starter macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    #3
    The 70 KB/s is on both Fetch 3.0.3 (FTP) and iCab (Browser).

    How about non-Apple then? What is the biggest, baddest SCSI drive this thing can take? And can Mac OS 8.1 support partitions over 4 GB? And what about Mac OS 7.6.1?

    Sounds good:)
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    I think the 70 kilobytes per second is about the maximum of T-10. It's either 70 or 90, I don't exactly recall.
     
  5. dermeister thread starter macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    #5
    10 mbit/s is 1.25 MB/s though...? Or is that just a theoretical maximum that gets down to 70 KB/s in practice one you add in overhead/protocol etc?

    I wonder if megabit or gigabit NuBus cards exist...
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    That's the theoretical maximum. Ethernet rarely, if ever, reaches its theoretical maximum speeds. TCP/IP has overhead that cuts down on its throughput speeds. Jumbo frames help boost speeds, but they cannot be used on older equipment like a Quadra. T-100 and T-1000 cards would be rather useless and the machine itself isn't able to move data around the logicboard fast enough for those to work at speeds much beyond the built in T-10.
     
  7. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #7
    I don't have any experience with classic Macs, but it makes no sense. AAUI-15 should be capable of handling 10Mbps. It must have something wrong in terms of noise or collisions. It should be normal only on networks with something like 10 computers connected by a hub.

    P.S.: I had PCs in the late 90s which got 1MB/s TCP/IP transfers on a 10BaseT network.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #8
    Slight correction on my previous statements, 70 kilobytes per second is not the average speed of T-10. The average speed is around 900 kilobytes per second. However, that machine may only be able to internally move data around at speeds that result in 70 kilobytes per second speeds.
     
  9. dermeister thread starter macrumors 6502

    dermeister

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    #9
    I've got an Asante FriendlyNet bridging a Cat-6 cable from my Time Capsule to the computer's AAUI-15 port. Maybe the Asante is the bottleneck?

    Can anybody else confirm what their max DL is with AAUI-15 on a classic Mac? I'm using 7.6.1... Could 8.1 make a difference?

    ----------

    It's got a 160 MB Apple SCSI-1 HD inside. Anybody getting the same speeds or faster?
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    On my not so classic Power Macintosh 8600 with a G4 upgrade it maxes out at around 900 kilobytes per second when running 10.5. Of course this is very different than a Quadra, in both software and hardware.
     
  11. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #11
    In theory, a Cat6 cable is backwards compatible with 10BaseT. I wonder if the problem is in the converter. Maybe it's just a "hack" and it isn't fully compatible with Cat6. You could try connecting an old Cat 3 cable.
    An explanation about Cat3-5-6 cables are here:
    http://customcable.ca/cat5-vs-cat6/

    However, it seems that the converter is the actual bottleneck. If you have a hub (instead of a switch) you could run wireshark on another computer to search for broken packets from the classic Mac. Maybe its TCP/IP implementation is a bit buggy.

    The following article explains about SCSI data transfer rates.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/TA29470?viewlocale=en_US

    Your Quadra's SCSI bus could do 50Mbps. You could make a copy of a folder plenty of files to get a rough estimation of your HDD transfer rate.
     
  12. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

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    #12
    8600 running 10.5

    How did you get that done?

    Is the G4 upgrade all it took?
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    To get Leopard on a PM 8600, you need at least 512MB of ram, the maximum of 1GB works much better, a newer PCI video card that is supported under Leopard such as the ATI Radeon/7000/9200, a G4 upgrade, and a bunch of additional kexts. The whole installation took about an hour. The machine is oddly perky and much faster than expected.
     
  14. dermeister thread starter macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    Jan 19, 2003
    #14
    Nice! I got a Workgroup Server 9650/350 that I plan to beef up after the Quadra 900. Sounds fun.

    Actually I'm wondering if once the Q900 has 256 RAM and a PPC upgrade card, whether I could install Rhapsody on it (Mac OS X Server 1.0). Would be quite interesting if it could run pre-OS X...!
     
  15. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #15
    The first thing to do if you haven't done already is to use the PDS slot to fit a level 2 Cache. If you want to keep it a 68k Mac and then upgrade the CPU to a 50mhz equivalent. Your limitation with this will be OS 8.1, but its well worth upgrading to it as you can install much more modern software on it than System 7 ever allowed and it contains a proper implementation of the TCP/IP stack. Lets not forget the first iMac ran a revision of OS 8.1 for this very reason and it's the gateway to modern computing on a Mac.

    If you want to go higher than that you're going to have to find a Daystar 601 chip upgrade, they run at up to twice the clock speed of any 68k upgrade and then some giving the extra efficiency of the PPC upgrade http://lowendmac.com/quadra/unofficial-powerpro-page.html Once you've got that installed you can go all the way up to the official PPC limitation of OS 9 like every other PPC 601 Mac. You will need to install a universal version of the Mac OS if you want to go higher than the system software on your Mac.
     
  16. dermeister, Dec 1, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014

    dermeister thread starter macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    #16
    Just got my 256 MB RAM from OWC. Memory banks A, B, and D work, but when I put memory in bank C I get death chimes on boot. I'm wondering if bank C is dead or something... That said the previous 16 1MB DIMMS seemed to work, so I'm really not sure.

    So right now it boots with 192 MB of RAM only.

    Mac OS 9 would be amazing. My goal is to upgrade this 1991 Q900 to the point that it is actually usable 23 years later.

    What would be faster overall?
    • DayStar PowerPro @ 100 MHz
    • DayStar PowerPro w/ RAM Expansion @ 80 MHz

    The second one is slower but has RAM expansion right on the card. Both seem to have 1 MB L2 Cache (not sure).

    Another thing I noticed is that a 5-drive carrier exists that could allow 1+5 SCSI drives inside instead of 1+1: http://tim.id.au/laptops/apple/legacy/quadra_900.950.ws_95.pdf
     
  17. orestes1984, Dec 1, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    If you move your RAM to a PDS card it will be operating at the full bus speed of 33mhz. This is as fast as you can go, however on an old machine like this I'm not sure whether the extra 20mhz CPU performance is more worthwhile. On the other hand, there is the factor that you can load the 80mhz card with additional RAM. The fact that the OS 9 runs optimally with as little as 64mb of RAM means you aren't RAM short either way though.

    To get on the modern web a PPC cpu upgrade will help as you'll be able to run the only currently updated Browser left for the Classic Mac OS Classilla which aims to be fully compliant with the latest Mozilla release. That update is worth it in itself.
     
  18. dermeister thread starter macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    Jan 19, 2003
    #18
    Given how much RAM I have running it in now (192) I think it's safe to go with a 100 MHz card w/ 1 MB L2 Cache. Now I just have to find one:)
     
  19. orestes1984, Dec 2, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #19
    I would probably have gone the same way myself unless I was planning to be using lots of RAM heavy applications like Photoshop 7 and Illustrator 8. However, if I was planning on using Photoshop and illustrator frequently I would have probably chosen an MP machine like a 9600 if I was predominately going to use Classic for that purpose.

    Although that said given the way PS and Illustrator works these machines can be great simply as render boxes as nothing really has changed in the actual apps after all these years except slight updates to workflow and there are some great filters and etc, that never made the transition to Photoshop CS. It just takes the patience of additional time to work with one of these machines.
     
  20. dermeister thread starter macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    Jan 19, 2003
    #20
    I'm thinking of using it to play music and classic games (obviously pre-3d), so I'm thinking I need the MHz. It's a 25% increase, which is big because everything happens on the margins.

    I have a WGS9650 that I plan to turn into a 3d/photoshop machine once I'm done supping up the Q900.

    Yeah I agree about Photoshop. The first version I used was PS 3 LE on my dad's Performa 6300CD in the mid 90s. I have very fond memories of PS 5.5, and I stayed with CS on OS X until it could no longer work. Photoshop has basically stayed the same over all this time.
     
  21. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    It should be fine providing you use a lightweight player such as MacAmp.
     
  22. dermeister thread starter macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    #22
    I remember my Performa 6300CD (100 MHz) being able to play music (MP3s) on MacAmp, but not being able to multi-task at all while doing so:) I wonder how the Q900 at 100 MHz would compare... It definitely has more RAM than I had then.
     
  23. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #23
    That's the biggest issue, you really need 32mb of RAM for OS8.6 and 64mb if you want to run OS 9. On an old computer like that I'd probably go with OS 8.6 to be honest, OS 9 doesn't offer much unless you have a G3 or G4.

    I remember my 6100/66 well, it didn't like OS 9 at all, all be it that it only had 96mb of RAM. Everything will happen, you just have to get used to a computer where you have to wait for a CPU cycle to occur. If anything these machines are robust and make great render farms as I said previously.
     
  24. dermeister thread starter macrumors 6502

    dermeister

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    #24
    They're probably not efficient energy wise for rendering though. Q900, 100 MHz PPC card, 192 MB ram, would you say 8.6 or 9.1?
     
  25. orestes1984, Dec 2, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #25
    8.6, it lets you run everything you can run on OS9 without the overheads. The RAM requirements for OS9 almost doubled with no real advantage unless you had a G3 or G4 Mac. 8.5 and its update was the last version of the Classic Mac OS that was designed with PPC processors in mind.

    EDIT: Just a note that I remembered that you will need the "wish I were" control panel to force an install of OS 8.5 and above on a machine such as the Q700 where you can still actively access the 68k processor with the machine turned on. Obviously if you install 8.5 and above you will no longer be able to run 68k apps and you will need to run the install from inside OS 8 or OS 8.1 to get it to work and you will need to do some res hacking.

    http://www.lahainacomputer.com/sites/upgrade/upgrade.html
     

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