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I've finally decided to fully upgrade my 9600/200. I have done some exhaustive studying that has revealed a great deal about this design. Concordantly, I have several questions/observations for you good people to toss around. I'm sure you won't let me down!
First, while the 9600/200 can be upgraded to relatively modern standards on paper, internal problems restrict full potential for speed. As noted on another site, unfortunately for Power Macs 9500 and Power Macs 9600 (up to 233MHz 604e), the motherboard Level-2 cache is soldered on. If the stock cache remains operable, then the system wont see performance boost above 500mhz (though depending on the card, performance can vary.) and the memory will be gimped; though I may have an 800mhz G4 in the slot and 1.5 gigs of RAM, I will be restricted in “real” power. Personally, I believe this is one of the only flaws in design. Other PowerSurge Macs (7300-8600) have a removable Level-2 cache DIMM.
Now, there are software solutions to “bypass” the cache, but ultimately this can lead to many compatibility problems (I won't list them here...). Nay, friends, we must treat this cache as a Cancer that is destroying the potential of a perfectly good Mac—it must be removed! I was able to locate the jumper (thanks PowerSurge Grand Central!) for the cache that will ultimately disable the stock in favor of the upgrade. This move alone could increase my memory performance by 20MB/s! Unfortunately, I have no sodering equipment so this move will not be immediate.
As said, I wish to upgrade this to the teeth—1.5gigs of RAM. From what I have seen, EDO 64-bit, 2k refresh, 60ns DIMMs work best on this machine in matters of performance. While the 9600 will certainly take other 168-pin 5v RAM, EDOs are simply designed better and reportedly will be more efficient w/ high-end daughtercard upgrades. The PowerSurges also support RAM interleaving, which can increase performance by 10%-15%. This is a result of the subsequent data bus increase to 128 bits from 64. So far, I only have one stick of this desired RAM, fitted with my two 64 and two 16s. As I upgrade with more 128s, the lesser RAM will be abandoned. Obviously, with 12 DRAM slots, this baby can pack punch. If anybody is willing to donate/sell RAM of this type (or any compatible type for now), it would be greatly appreciated.
The fans in this beast are relatively quiet, especially for its age. No doubt, Apple knew what it was doing! Nevertheless, I plan to do some heavy modding to the case to increase cooling (if not replacing it entirely), but am not quite sure what fans to get for this specific model that will help w/ the sound. This is the one thing that Google has failed me on information-wise. I've seen a few on eBay and other places, but have never actually received any recommendations. I know I have very little hope in this regard w/ the ps, but the other(s) surely can be quieted.
Finally, as stated, I'm shopping for parts. Anybody w/ spare 9600 (or compatible parts) that they would be willing to sell/donate would be appreciated. This would include, but would not be limited to, RAM, vid and proc cards. I already have ordered a new ethernet card and a G3 333 which will sub for a G4 for now.
I have several plans for this baby that I won't mention here, but hopefully you can count on a mod guide somewhere down the line.
Any thoughts about all this? Any suggestions? Any help/recommendations would be appreciated. I will keep everybody updated :lol:
(P.S., if you wish to donate because you are such a wonderful person, I will pay s&h )
Post edited by: shadowboxer47, at: 2005/09/07 23:04
Post edited by: shadowboxer47, at: 2005/09/10 12:16
Post edited by: shadowboxer47, at: 2005/09/10 12:23
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