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The Holy Grail of PCI Macs: Daystar Millennium Quad 604.

olePigeon

Well-known member
Only sold in and around Germany.  Apparently it came in different colors, too.  I've never seen a picture of one outside of promotional material, or even heard of someone who's actually seen one in person.

 

CC_333

Well-known member
You can run up to 10.4.x on the 604, just need to compile the Kernel so it doesn't halt on unknown CPU's.

I think the CPU check was added with 10.3, so kernels from 10.0-10.2.x should work out of the box.
Interesting! even with four processors, I doubt 10.4 would run very well at 200 MHz, though.

It's barely tolerable at 400 MHz! A good video card helps mitigate some of this.

Someday, maybe Apple can open-source Mac OS 7, 8 or 9, and we can actually improve it ourselves (precedents do exist for this; for example, Apple's MacPaint (or MacDraw?), and Microsoft's file manager from Windows 3.x).

c

 

ScutBoy

Well-known member
Only sold in and around Germany.  Apparently it came in different colors, too.  I've never seen a picture of one outside of promotional material, or even heard of someone who's actually seen one in person.
Agreed - I've heard about them, but never seen even a picture of one "in the wild".

Would be very cool!

 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
@Gorgonops Damn it!  Now I want that sooooo bad for my 486 PC.  Thanks a lot. :( 
Heh. Google for "Everex STEP MegaCube", there are a number of threads about them on the VCF, et al. Owning one is apparently quite the status symbol among the select crowd that's impressed by 12 slot EISA 486/33s from 1991. :)

(That door over the drive bays has a *hydraulic damper* behind it, and it has a backlit LCD BIOS POST display on the front panel. Pretty boss...) ;)

 

rsolberg

Well-known member
Maybe this is technological masochism on my part, but one of my first experiments after BeOS would be to try Debian 8 (Jessie) on the Quad 604.  The thought of something that modern on what's essentially a 20 year old high end workstation makes me giddy.  Maybe NetBSD too........

 

ArmorAlley

Well-known member
Congratulations on your find!

You have a piece of history in your hands.

What first comes to mind is Steve Jobs yelling at executives and lawyers in Cupertino in 1997.

How ugly it is. This is what is killing Apple. The clone licences have to go. Is there no way to kill them?

It is such a pity that Andy Hertzfeld and Burrell Smith weren't massively enticed to stay on at Apple back in 1985. The Mac II could have & should have, IMHO, been a multi-processor machine back in 1987.

 

Nathan

Well-known member
No need to compile the kernel yourself, you can download a precompiled 10.4.11 kernel that has the CPU check removed.

Not worth anything though if it doesn't see the additional CPUs.
Maybe it's hardware dependent or processor specific, but I would expect it to be able to see/handle at least two CPUs as there are dual-processor G4 machines (like the PM G4  Quicksilver DP 800 I have). Not sure how much it utilizes that hardware in general though.

 

Compgeke

Well-known member
It's not so much that it has 2-4 processors but  the way Daystar implemented them. The old systems weren't native multi processor platforms so they did some trickery to get multiple CPUs working in the one slot. Apple used a different method of running multiple processors which was incompatible with nPower.

 

trag

Well-known member
It's not so much that it has 2-4 processors but  the way Daystar implemented them. The old systems weren't native multi processor platforms so they did some trickery to get multiple CPUs working in the one slot. Apple used a different method of running multiple processors which was incompatible with nPower.


I think that Daystar had to do some trickery to get four processors in one slot.   However, I'm pretty sure that the X500/X600 series of machines were designed with two processors per slot in mind.

Pins 19, 20, 21 and 81 of the CPU slot are PBR, PDBG, PBG and PINT, respectively.

Pins 55, 56, 57 and 58 are SINT, SBR, SDBG and SBG respectively.  

Where P = Primary and S = Secondary.

Full pinout is here:

https://www.prismnet.com/~trag/Apple_pinouts/CPU_Slot_Pinout

 
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Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
I have to admit I'm vaguely curious about the exact details of how things like interrupt routing and such works on Macs of that era with multiple CPUs, but short of trying to read the source code for the Linux kernel versions that supported SMP on them I'm not sure how to find those details. (I guess, come to think of it, I'm not sure exactly how the dual G4s work either.) That is one of the cool aspects of how Intel implemented SMP on the x86 line with their Multiprocessing Specification; the way the APIC bus worked the downstream hardware basically didn't have to care at all how many CPUs were present, and whether one CPU is doing all the work or if it's spread across all of them is entirely up to how you program said APICs.

 
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Compgeke

Well-known member
So, does the MP part work? Yes!. Need to use Mac OS 8.5 or older for it to properly work. I'll have to try and dig up something other than Powerfrax (the default sample program) to see how much of a different the MP really makes though.

n1SBxqL.jpg.06228b543891607a0c1ad5bb110f556b.jpg


jTOw53t.jpg.16d04a6abf095cc8ab38499b59c844ce.jpg


 
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Unknown_K

Well-known member
I would love a multi processor 486 UNIX system but those are very rare (there should be some MP 386 systems as well from Compaq I think). Was hard enough to find a dual processor Pentium 1 board.

You are very limited in what OS you can use on those oddball beasts since they don't act like later MP systems.

 

DarthNvader

Well-known member
With regard to running OS X on this machine, it likely wouldn't see any CPU's that are not propagated in the device tree, but it should be possible to write a driver, hack the kernel, or maybe even do some Open Firmware hacks to enable the additional CPU's.

Really cool machine, I'm super jealous of your find, let me know if it's ever for sale. :beige:

 

Franklinstein

Well-known member
The multiprocessor setup on pre-G4 Macs is really weird and apparently wasn't implemented in a standard configuration since nothing except classic Mac OS running specially-coded software will use the extra processors. I don't have any in-depth technical info for them so I can only speculate as to how it works.

The Motorola MPC105/6/7 bridge chips support either a single processor and a directly-controlled L2 cache, or multiple processors with an externally-controlled L2 cache (implemented with an additional Motorola chip). If Apple's custom bridge chip(s) operate in this same manner, this may explain why they got MP working but only with weird software hacks: all Apple machines were set up to use a single processor with a directly-controlled L2 cache, so the additional processor had to be addressed and fed in a roundabout way.

 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
since nothing except classic Mac OS running specially-coded software will use the extra processors
There are old Linux mailing list postings that seem to indicate that SMP worked on those machines in some capacity, although I get the impression that it was never actually stable. Trying to get it to run today would likely be a really frustrating exercise in code archeology.

Didn't BEOS support SMP on multi-processor Macs?

 
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