PCI devices for 8500 (Sonnet Tempo)

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by 840quadra, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota

    I am looking for some advice for hardware upgrades for my 8500. While my main love is still the 840av, I feel it is time to get OS X installed on my trusty little 8500 G3 500 system.

    Because it is both slow and scarce by today's standards, I want to remove the SCSI hard drive, and install either SATA or ATA drive ( I don't care to be honest), but need a PCI card that will allow the system to boot in either OS9 or OS X.

    For this use, is Sonnet my only solution (2nd hand Sonnet cards are expensive), or are there any other Mac compatible PCI cards that will allow me to boot?

    Similarly, I am looking to install USB and Firewire combo cards, and wireless.

    I plan on getting 10.3 installed on this system, and put it to work as my garage workstation (don't worry the tower will stay protected inside the house ;) ).

    Thanks for any help!!
  2. 4JNA, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    i did something like this a really long time ago with an 8600, so should be similar. i used an acard pci ide board which would boot 9 and x. worked well. a quick troll through ebay found THIS for lots less than retail (and OBO on top of that). this auction is not me, no connection, and no idea on the seller. buyer beware and all that.

    looking at the acard site just now, this is listed as g4/g5, but i'm almost sure this is the card i used in my 8600. if not and i'm having a senior moment, i apologize. pci is pci and i can't think of any reason it wouldn't work.

    the usb/firewire stuff, i think the sonnet combo card worked the best, but have tried a few other usb card with mixed results. i think the advice i remember was to avoid via chipset cards at all cost. i also remember all the usb2.0 stuff running at usb 1.1 under os9 but that may have been fixed by now. best of luck.
  3. MacTech68, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020


    Mar 16, 2008
    Australia, Perth
    Wow. I admire your courage. :eek:

    From my experience, you're best getting an ATA 133 PCI card with a Mac bootable ROM on it.

    Yes, the Sonnet card is one option, but many of the cards sold under various brand names (including Sonnet) were actually an ACard.

    ACard cards should be marked as:

    AEC-6260M (ATA66)

    AEC-6280M (ATA133)

    AEC-6860M (ATA66 Raid)

    AEC-6880M (ATA133 Raid)

    There may be others but these are bootable. I have an AEC-6860M which is marked as AHard (a clone perhaps?).

    The AEC-6880M (ATA 133) was also sold by Miglia as an "Alchemy" product.

    OWC also sold the ACard ATA66 card as a "VST Ultratek" card.

    And SIIG also sold the same ACard cards

    Promise Technology also sold Mac bootable cards which use a different chipset to the ACard cards.

    The FastTrak66 PCI UDMA66 (Promise P/N PDC20262) is one (or maybe the only one) but required a firmware update.

    Some of the Sonnet ATA 133 PCI cards are ACard, some are Promise Tech cards.

    SATA is an option, but I'm not sure you'll see any real benefit on a 45-50Mhz BUS speed that the 8500 has.

    There are so many ways that you can add USB2 cards, Firewire cards or USB/FireWire combo cards.

    For USB2, I'd try to stick to an NEC chipset, but don't expect the card to work too well in MacOS 9. Of course, OS9 will only support the card at USB1 speeds, but you may find that only one port works and hot swap-ability of the card may be problematic or the driver for OS9 won't even load.

    The older USB1.1 cards with an "Opti FireLink 82C861" chip work best for OS9.

    You're going to have to do a lot of research on Google to find out which cards work and which don't (and you might be reading a lot of old resources).

    XLR8 might be a good starting point.


    In getting it to work you might need to swap PCI cards to different physical slots and ensure that your RAM is up to spec to handle the G3 upgrade card.

    It's not something that I'd really recommend doing unless you enjoy a huge learning curve, hunting out old firmware, playing with driver versions and updating OS9 and 10.3.x. and just generally tearing your hair out. ;)

    Maybe you should fall in love with a later G4 tower. Onboard USB1 and no hassle with an NEC Chipset USB2 card in OS9. FireWire 400 built in and Firewire booting with an AGP G4 tower or later (PCI G4's are not firewire bootable).

    I wish you luck in your endeavor! :)
  4. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    ok, just a small confession. i learn more watching/reading the answers MacTech68 posts to questions than the rest of the reading/research and even personal experience i have/use during the day. and no, i don't want anything, just amazing the answers to stuff that you come up with.

    awesome stuff dude. glad you are here and post. :):apple:
  5. 840quadra thread starter Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    Thanks for the Advice!

    I actually have a decent size collection of old mac hardware, which includes both G4 towers, and G3 B&W. My goal here is to have a more useful 8500, and have the fun of building up to run older versions of OS X.

    If it doesn't work, all the parts (except for the G3 and memory that I currently own and use) will all work with my G3 B&W or Quicksilver tower.

    The main reason I have my ye-ole collection is so that I can play with the hardware too. :)
  6. supernova777 macrumors member


    Dec 22, 2007
    1: the aec-6860m is the Sonnet TempoRAID 66, the ATA/66 RAID option sold by ACARD as AHARD 66
    2: OWC did not sell the Acard aTA66 as the VST ultratek, the VST ultratek/66 was promise chipset based (PDC20262)
    3: yes of course they did, promise sold PROMISE CARDS with firmtek firmware for mac compatibility
    4: the fasttrak66 *IS* the same card as the VST Ultratek/66 (PDC20262) (sold by OWC)
    5: this is not true; well ok its sort of true; but not if u differentiate between RAID vs non-RAID cards;
    all of the non-RAID Sonnet ATA133 cards are promise based.
    Sonnet sold an ATA133 RAID version that was basically an ACARD 6880M which was sold as the Sonnet Tempo RAID 133

    no disrespect to mactech68; just trying to get the facts clear for everyones benefit ;) cheers

Share This Page

5 July 24, 2011