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Innes

Monitor Compatibility for Performa 630

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I'm picking up a Performa 630 sometime next week, an Ex University machine. So i'll need to start thinking about getting a screen that will work with it.

 

The unit comes with a cable to connect it's DA-15 to DE-15 and i'v seen a snap of it running happily with this cable on a 3x4 LCD screen. Obviously the image was with an older LDC and i don't expect the Performa to play nice with my modern monitors as my B&W G3 certainly didn't.

 

I've read discussions on here before about monitor compatibility so I figure i'de ask what sort of types of older LCD display I should be looking for and if there are others that I should outright avoid due to incompatibility. A CRT would be nice, but i'm ruling that out simply due to lack of space.

 

 

 

 

My oldest mac was a Performa 5200 so this is new territory for me. Of course its no Quadra 630 with the better chip but regardless, i'm looking forward to pratting about with System 7 again :p

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It'll run any modern generic VGA monitor, CRT or VGA - using a generic DB15 to VGA monitor adapter/cable (don't use the ones with DIP switches).

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I use the ones with the DIP switches, it is the only way I can get the resolution that I want. They are great.

 

I think a standard VGA monitor with the DB15 to VGA adapter is the way to go. You can still find the old Apple DB15 CRT monitors online, but they are usually pretty expensive, and if not the item itself, then the shipping. Very rare nowadays.

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The Valkyries video on these computers supports VGA and SVGA (@ 60Hz), which plays really nicely with modern LCD monitors. Be wary of the Macintosh 13-inch 640x480 @ 67Hz, that does not play well with modern LCDs. I recommend if you use one with DIP switches, to set it to either 13-inch or 15-inch multimode. That will give you the greatest flexibility in resolution choices.

 

 

Now, regarding LCD monitors, anything that is 4:3 (or 5:4 if you get 1280x1024), should work okay. Probably want to get one with 800x600 resolution, as that is what your 630 will output. I have a 1600x1200 Dell Ultrasharp 2007FP, that works really well, but finding ones of those is on the more expensive side. I would go take a trip to your local thrift shop and see what they have, mine always has plenty of 1280x1024 or 1024x768 monitors for sale.

 

 

The 630 architecture is a nice architecture, I really like mine. It is the last desktop 68040 design, and has some interesting design principles going on. It supports an ATA hard drive, which means that you can pick up a cheap IDE to CF adaptor, and stick in a CF card. No need to mess around with SCSI2SD! This model has a comm slot, and an LC-style PDS slot for expansion. I recommend getting an Ethernet card. This desktop is fast too, with its 33MHz 68040. The motherboard was really designed to run at 40MHz, just move two resistors over and you get 40MHz no problem! These are certinally fast little 040 powered boxes. Note: Since you have a performa, you probably have a 68LC040 CPU installed. If you don't need to run Unix, or you don't need the FPU, don't bother upgrading, but dropping in a full 040 is certainly nice. If you do decide to go the 40MHz route, it's not strictly necessary, but its nice to put a heatsink on the Valkyries video chip, and the CPU.

Edited by Themk

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The 630 architecture whether LC, Quadra or Performa has no provision for built in Ethernet. Installing a comm slot card "looks like" built in Ethernet as the slot on the rear of the case is almost 8P8C sized, making it look purpose built. That and the empty LC PDS slot, it looks built in. Comm slot Ethernet works well though, so it doesn't really matter.

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This is all good news, I figured i'd be looking for a specific kind of multiple scan display or something fiddly.

 

I'm unlikely to tinker with this as unfortunately i'm not that technical. Moving the resisters around sounds simple enough but i'm thinking its something I'll do sometime down the line, if at all.

 

I'm based in the UK so getting new parts is pretty tricky. An ethernet card would be nice but I'm not really expecting to see one on eBay anytime soon. What slot does it go in? Maybe searching for that will yield something.

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Actually theres a guy who used to sell them new. Might still? I have one in a drawer somewhere.... (LC PDS slot)

They are like $15, comes with a driver disk too!

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http://ebay.com/itm/231332620598

 

He says that he ships to the UK, so you are in luck!

 

Searching for "LC PDS Ethernet" turns up a few cards, and different manufacturers, etc. My favorite cards are the ones built on National Semiconductor DP839X chipsets (sometimes branded as SONIC-T), but the one I linked above will work perfectly! You could try searching for comm slot Ethernet, but LC PDS is probably your best option, it is cheaper. If I were you, I would just get the card I linked above.

Edited by Themk

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Got it today, popped a hard disk in (had an OS9 install on it) and it recognised it. Im now working on getting a bootable OS onto it. Tries burning Mac gardens 7.6 retail image first. Command Option Shift Delete to boot from CD and regrettably it couldn't find it. I don't know if its the disk drive or the CD so im burning OS 8 to see if that will work.

 

Edit - just read somewhere that I have to check an option to make the disk bootable when burining it in toast. Issue might have been that

Edited by Innes

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You use the "C" key to boot the internal CD rom drive. I recommend using the legacy recovery CD, it has every supported SSW for the 630 on it, from 7.1.2P-8.1. It also has other apple software on it.

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From what ive read, the 630s had the fiddly finger twister of a combo to boot from disk, its still looking at the hard disk when I hold down C, but I get the question mark floppy when I hold Ctrl, Cmd, Shift, Delete

 

Giving the restore CD a download, seems to be in a windows friendly ISO (misplaced my macbook, using my tower) so ill give that a burn. If it doesn't like that either, perhaps the CD drive is borked

 

Edit - Recovery disk worked a treat. Its just booted from that

Edited by Innes

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I'm glad the legacy recovery CD worked. I like to have a couple versions of the SSW on the HDD, then use system picker to choose.

 

Hopefully you can get the Ethernet card. I love going on the internet with mine :)

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I installed 7.6 with the CD, however when trying to boot from the HD afterwards, I got the questionable floppy.

 

I ran out of time to try other things but i'll be having another nab at it this evening. One theory I have is that the boot volume might be too big, i hear that pre System 8 boot disks shouldnt be any bigger than 4GB. Can anyone confirm?

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It is either 2GB or 4GB is the maximum size for the boot volume. (Sorry I don't really remember) That being said, I've always gone for 2GB and it's worked fine. If you need more space you can always use the rest of the hdd space as another partition. The boot volume size has nothing to do with the system software version, it has everything to do with the ROM. Be advised that you also can't boot from a HFS+ volume either, it must be HFS.

 

7.1.2P is really lightweight and fast, that's what I primarily use, along with 8.1.

Edited by Themk

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Get a MultiSync, 16" resolution is noticeably roomier than SVGA and every collector needs a good one for Macs preceding the revolutionary, VGA/SVGA supporting Quadra 630.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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VGA/SVGA is amazing though for just being able to take any off-the-shelf VGA LCD and being able to use it.

 

That being said, 16-inch is a nice resolution :)

 

If you care about thousands of colors, 13-inch, or VGA 640x480 are your only options.

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You can consider 640x480 VGA to be the "native resolution" of the Quadra 630 "system" as it's the happy place for full screen VideoPlayer(?) windows in 16bit. But 16" is a friggin' Luxury.

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Many thanks for the assistance and suggestions here, its definitely sped up the speed of which i'v gotten this running by at least a factor of 4.

 

I have it outputting 832x624 to my cheap AOC LCD. No doubt i'll jump down should something require thousands.

 

Had a look at it's components, its got 32mb of memory complementing the 4 on the logic board, and the video and TV in cards. It's 12GB HD is split into a 2GB boot partition and a 10GB 'probably wont be used' partition. For sure i'll be getting the Ethernet card come next payday, burning software to CD is a pain, and now that I know I don't need a dedicated old monitor, a MultiSync can wait until I have more space.

 

One minor annoyance is that access to the mouse ball has been glued shut, unsurprising on account that it was in active use in Academia until 2003 (that's when the last electrical safety sticker expired). The mouse works fine but im not sure how I would go about cleaning it if gunk buildup were to hinder it's movement.

 

I'm now in the process of filling it up with software. 

Edited by Innes

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You can consider 640x480 VGA to be the "native resolution" of the Quadra 630 "system" as it's the happy place for full screen VideoPlayer(?) windows in 16bit. But 16" is a friggin' Luxury.

The video player goes full screen and looks great at 640x480. If you have the IR remote (which I have), you can even control the video player from across the room!

 

For text work, or other GUI apps where colors arent important, popping up to 16-inch is the way to go. It is notably more spacious then 640x480 and even 800x600. Make sure you have MultiSync, with the right DIP switches selected on your DA-15 to VGA adaptor, you can change resolutions on-the-fly without rebooting.

Edited by Themk

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Give it a shot at full screen at 12" RGB res and let me know what happens. I tested it a full screen with the 6x00 boards on the actual display, but I'm curious to  know how it compares with 640x480 pixel doubling on a single display. It's too bad you don't have a CRT MultiSync, but both will be interpolated on your Dell, but that's interesting to see as well.

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My Dell has a neat "1:1" feature, where it will map the pixels from the output 1:1 centered in the middle of the display. No interpolation necessary :D

 

That being said, I let it scale the resolution up to the size of the panel, I like giant text!

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