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Falling in love with a 660AV

joshc

Well-known member
I picked up a 660AV as part of my last Mac haul, and quickly forgot about it. I was already working through another backlog created by a previous haul, and the 660AV just wasn't on the priority list. It sat in the shed for a bit, I eventually recapped the logic board and got distracted by other things, the logic board sat in a bag for a bit ... you know how it goes.

Well, yesterday I decided to pull it out and finish it off! The board works fine after a recap, and the original TDK PSU also seems to be fine. This 660AV hadn't seen much love, no RAM and no CD drive. The SCSI drive didn't work.

I stole some RAM from a couple of spare 475s, so it's now maxed out at 68MB.

I installed a BlueSCSI with a 2GB image on a 4GB card and installed System 7.1.

I installed a spare 600i drive, but it doesn't want to read discs, I'm going to have to try another spare - I want to play Myst from the original disc on this thing!

I cleaned up the top case, and... it's surprisingly not really very yellowed (most of my machines look more like big blocks of cheese rather than computers at this point). The front is the most yellowed part. You can tell because I fitted a new old stock CD bezel to the front so you can see the contrast.

My original intention with this machine was to sell it on, because it doesn't offer anything too unique until I realised it has a DSP and of course the built-in AV capabilities. OK...this is one neat machine. :cool:

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joshc

Well-known member
Thanks both. That's right, the CD bezel is a 'new old stock' one, I bought them from a supplier here while they still had them.

I have a bit of a thing against 7.5, it seems more hefty than it should be. I like the minimalism of 7.1 and you can add whatever 7.5 functionality you want by adding the right mixture of CDEVs/INITs. :)
 

Juror22

Well-known member
Congrats ! Whats even more rare is that the CD Bezel is in mint condition.
I second that! It seems like I have recently been spending more money on good bezels to finish out machines than I used to spend on whole machines just ten years back.
I like the minimalism of 7.1 and you can add whatever 7.5 functionality you want by adding the right mixture of CDEVs/INITs.
I totally agree with you on this. 7.1 is a favorite of mine as well and like the commercial says...
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DracheMitch

Well-known member
I had a Centris 660AV as my last 68k Mac before my 7500. I LOVED it. I did a lot of video recording and editing on it after upgrading the SCSI drive to a much faster IBM model. I would hunt down all the plugins that used the DSP on Hotline, and wow, did it deliver in Photoshop! So much faster than my 7500 since it was using two processors and was tuned for AV.

They also have GeoPorts, which you can still do some cool things with the GeoPod. While PowerMacs had to use the CPU for all GeoPort functions, on AV machines it runs off the DSP, and most of the issues people complained about were not present on the 840 and 660.

Apple really should have at least had the ability to add the AT&T DSP to PowerMacs, but Spindler was in such "slash and burn" mode trying to sell Apple that cool ideas like the DSP were deemed money wasters.
 

Unknown_K

Well-known member
I had a Centris 660AV as my last 68k Mac before my 7500. I LOVED it. I did a lot of video recording and editing on it after upgrading the SCSI drive to a much faster IBM model. I would hunt down all the plugins that used the DSP on Hotline, and wow, did it deliver in Photoshop! So much faster than my 7500 since it was using two processors and was tuned for AV.

They also have GeoPorts, which you can still do some cool things with the GeoPod. While PowerMacs had to use the CPU for all GeoPort functions, on AV machines it runs off the DSP, and most of the issues people complained about were not present on the 840 and 660.

Apple really should have at least had the ability to add the AT&T DSP to PowerMacs, but Spindler was in such "slash and burn" mode trying to sell Apple that cool ideas like the DSP were deemed money wasters.
The 7500 came with an anemic 601-100 CPU but all the PPC that came after would have been faster in encoding and decoding video then the single DSP on the 660av and 840av.

The Supermac and Radius cards that had DSP's on board generally had at least 2 and some have 4 DSP chips I believe. Same reason Weitek FPUs became obsolete then the 486/66 had a faster built in FPU.
 

DracheMitch

Well-known member
The 7500 came with an anemic 601-100 CPU but all the PPC that came after would have been faster in encoding and decoding video then the single DSP on the 660av and 840av.
Yeah, I eventually got a 200MHz 604e card for $60 when everyone was getting G3 upgrades, the market was so flooded with 604s at that time.

But it was 2 years before the 8500 came along after the AV Quadra, which was the real successor to the AV machines, and it cost twice as much, and it took another couple of years before PPC-native video editing was worth getting.

I found out some years ago that you could move the 7500's LED from the front to the side and the System would report you had an 8500. Put in the 8500's AV adapter and all is good to go. Of course I now use an iMac 5k for editing, but it's fun to import analogue video on my 7500 from time to time.
 
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