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68K/early PPC with onboard AAUI 100mbps ethernet?

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2 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

Using normal AppleTalk, the results are disappointing. I don't know what the special file transfer utility does differently except perhaps, IDK, uses TCP/IP Instead of AppleTalk or uses the native FDDI protocol.

 

44 seconds for a 30MB file is still pretty miserable. Regular old 10base-T should be able to beat that. (Should handle a bit over 1MB/s on a switched network; collisions will cut that down if you're using hubs, of course.)

I suspect the real villain in this story is the overall crummy design of the classic MacOS. As evidence I present this snipped from the AWS95 Server Tuning Guide:
 

Quote

Increased performance you can expect from AppleShare Pro

The following table shows the results of tests with AppleShare running on a Macintosh Quadra 950, and with AppleShare Pro running on the Apple Workgroup Server 95. As an example of the tests, the read operation involved opening a set of large files and sequentially reading from each one. The numbers in the table reflect the aggregate throughput of the server, which is the sum of all the server's processing for all of its clients.

Table 1-1
Comparison of performance of AppleShare 3.0 and AppleShare Pro (with 10 active clients)
  AppleShare 3.0.1
on Macintosh Quadra 950
AppleShare Pro 1.0
on AWS 95
AppleShare Pro 1.1
on AWS 95
Sequential read operations 193 Kbits/sec. 851 Kbits/sec. 951 Kbits/sec.
Sequential write operations 160 Kbits/sec. 348 Kbits/sec. 594 Kbits/sec.
Enumeration (file listing) operations 90 items/sec. 132 items/sec. 295 items/sec.

 

The aggregate throughput of read and write operations performed by AppleShare Pro is four times faster than that of corresponding operations performed by AppleShare on a Macintosh Quadra 950. The improvement in aggregate throughput in AppleShare Pro as compared to AppleShare is largely due to the multitasking of the server; while the server is waiting for a request from one client, it processes a request from another client. (Tests of directory enumeration operations are discussed later in this chapter.)

Same hardware can blast almost four times the data through the Ethernet port under Unix than it can under regular System 7.

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Not having read the article yet, one more anecdotal thing is that there was another server article in... gosh, I think it was September 1999 MacWorld. It compared ASIP, IRIX, Solaris, NT4, and a beta of OS X for workgroup file service. Perhaps predictably, ASIP lost. I'll have to reread that because I think that issue is on Archive.org.

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58 minutes ago, Unknown_K said:

PDS card with cache built in so that helped the processor quite a bit.

CPU cache? I kind of doubt 256k of L2 cache is going to make that much difference in I/O bound processes. The faster SCSI ports on said card might certainly help overall but again, unless Apple was using *really* lousy hard drives in the Quadra 950 doing 1MB/second shouldn't be out of reach of the built-in SCSI chip.

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I learned a lot from this thread, but it looks like nobody ever posted test results... I have some here for those still curious:

 

Test file: Mac OS 9.2.1 Update.smi (84.4MB / 86,018,641 bytes)

 

Switch: TrendNET TEG-S24g Gigabit

 

Server: Power Macintosh 9600/1000(G4 [2MB Cache on board])

Apple PCI 10/100Mbps Ethernet card connected at 100Mbps

file hosted on RAM Disk over AppleTalk File Sharing

 

Client: Power Macintosh 950/100 (Quadra 950 with 100MHz Sonnet/Daystar 601 [1MB Cache on board])

AsantéFAST 10/100 Nubus connected at 100Mbps

AAUI connected via Apple Ethernet Twisted Pair Transceiver at 10Mbps

file downloaded to RAM Disk

 

Here's the cleanest test I could produce for now; I intended to test with the 68040 as well but for some reason the Quadra bombs on Memory extension if a RAM disk is enabled and the PPC card is disabled (or even removed, along with all the nubus. All combos of PRAMs and Reinstalls tried.) I give up on this for now. It's been many hours and countless restarts. 

 

None of the results are particularly thrilling, but YES the 10/100 card makes a noticeable difference.

Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 10.00.43 AM.png

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3 hours ago, jeremywork said:

None of the results are particularly thrilling, but YES the 10/100 card makes a noticeable difference.

That's still amazingly slow though, wow. The classic OS does pretty much live up to its reputation.

(I used to netboot 486 and early Pentium machines into Linux over 10baseT networks and one machine could easily saturate the line. That best "100mb/s" score is only about half what 10baseT can do.)

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It's definitely noticeable in the graph. Was it noticeable in actual usage? Did you feel like if you had one of those cards in your machine in the '90s it would've made a worthwhile difference?

 

Yeah.... none of those speeds is impressive for a 10-megabit link, let alone a 100-megabit link.

 

As your chart notes, 577 kilboytes is under half of the potential speed of a 10-megabit link.

 

One thing that would be interesting is seeing if upgrading the server to a newer OS and upgrading OT+AS on the client would have an impact. You'd move, in that circumstance, to AppleShare/IP and that might help. (Or, use ASIP6+ as the server instead of OS 9.)

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Want to add: This is definitely interesting - in theory this is nothing the original hardware shouldn't be able to do.

 

In fact, it would be interesting to see more details about the OT+AS versions involved and whether or not upgrading them and maybe moving the server to more modern software (to force the IP link, where possible) would work.

 

Another test that would be interesting is, say, Netscape 3 or 4 download times. I don't know if it occurred in this thread but I eventually tried Netscape instead of IE on my old Macs and it does download files much faster than IE did.

 

I imagine the real use case of this card was if you were already using some kind of third party network stack that did better than this with onboard networking, or if you were doing multiples of something, I believe the AWGS6150, 8150, and 9150 might also have been mentioned.

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I'm going to run a few more tests- I'll try from the Pismo's RAM disk over 100Mb from 9.2.2, and I'll also try using Netscape to download its own install package from system7today (this download yields a peak of 96Mbps on my Mac Pro, for the 12.1 MB file, so the test should be fair.) 

 

I also have several questions/observations others may have experience with:

The Quadra 950 has a partial implementation of Nubus 90 (enhanced rate is capable between cards on the bus, but not between the bus and the CPU.) I'm curious to know if the PDS slot in the 950 (which shares some of the address space on Nubus #5) is capable of acting as a Nubus 90 device. The only evidence I have to suggest this is the case is that my two SE IV cards are only even detected in the Quadra with it running off the PowerPC. Both updated first to 1.6.5 and then to 2.1b, both work great in the Quadra (up to about 8MB/s on an Ultra320 drive vs about 4MB/s on the built-in) but neither are detected by the IIfx in 7.6.1 or the Quadra running off its 68040. I'd love if my 840av would chime (it does once in a blue moon if you leave it humming long enough) because it has full Nubus 90 implementation (and 40 > 33) so we might see a better result there.

 

The second thing that piques my curiosity is the system clock timing. With the PPC Running, Sonnet Metronome reports a 100MHz 601, 33.3MHz CPU Bus & Cache, and 16.7MHz System Bus. Gauge Pro reports a 100MHz 601, 50MHz Backside Cache, 50MHz System Bus. Obviously both cannot be true, and Metronome reads the 68040 as a 67MHz CPU on a 33MHz bus, so its accuracy is limited on something this old. However, if the CPU is running a multiplier of 2 on an intermediary 50MHz bus, then running the real System Bus at 16.7MHz would make some sense, if not for the lack of performance. Gauge Pro shows 12.5MB/s Memory Performance (moving memory, 64-bit) when running from the PPC. Unfortunately, A ) it's PPC code, so I can't run it on the 68040 and B ) without the faster cache present, I'm not sure how the speed of the memory can be tested reliably.

 

The only dirty test I can think to try (because this machine refuses to have a RAM disk in 68k mode) is to pull the file down to the UW drive in both PPC and 68k mode several times to see if there's a significant throughput difference. 

 

If anyone had to guess- what's the most efficient OS to run on the Quadra to continue testing? I'll continue using 8.1 for the sake of consistency here. More tests to come.

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2 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

It's definitely noticeable in the graph. Was it noticeable in actual usage? Did you feel like if you had one of those cards in your machine in the '90s it would've made a worthwhile difference?

Even after seeing this round of results I'm not inclined to remove the card, though if it turns out to make a much bigger difference in a machine with full Nubus 90 support, I probably wouldn't miss it too terribly in the 950. If the year was 1995 and my $7-10k worth of three-year-old computer could have 38% faster networking for a reasonable price, I would've considered it strongly.

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Round 2:

 

(Connectix is enabled throughout until I specify otherwise)

 

Q950-PPC-8.1

Download http://download.system7today.com/officeupdates.sit (20.8MB; 21,912,064 bytes)

Destination: RAM Disk

Netscape Communicator 4.8

10Mbps

92 seconds / Avg 238 KBps / 1.91 Mbps

100Mbps

75 seconds / Avg 292 KBps / 2.34 Mbps

 

iCab and Internet Explorer both allow specifying the RAM disk as a download location, but according to the SCSI I/O it appears the browser caches the file to the disk first, then copies it to the RAM disk, making the results laughably slow and not worth mentioning for the purpose of this test. I'll do more testing with the UW drive as the destination later.

 

Now another round of testing with Mac OS 9.2.1 Update.smi, but served by the Pismo this time (the file took less than a minute to get from the 9600's ATA133 drive to the Pismo's RAM disk over 100Mb, so the 9600 really shouldn't have been the limiting factor.) I didn't mention, the 9600 runs 8.6. Pismo is 9.2.2, which has the option to 'Enable File Sharing clients to connect over TCP/IP' which I have enabled.

Source: Pismo's RAM Disk; Destination: Quadra's RAM Disk

 

100Mbps

143 seconds / Avg 601 KBps / 4.81 Mbps

 

As this is just a hair faster than the original test from the 9600 I'll just be testing with the 100Mb connection until I find something that produces a more dramatic change.

 

I then updated the AppleShare Client software on the Quadra from 3.7.4 to 3.8.3 and re-ran the test. (This update also allows 7.6.x and newer to authenticate OS X shares through Tiger, as well as Leopard but in read only.)

 

100Mbps

147 seconds / Avg 585 KBps / 4.68 Mbps was the best time I could get after several retries. (Most of these tests have been done more than once for sanity checks, the best times have been reported, as long as the rest have been close enough for margin of error.)

 

So that slowed down slightly...

 

Let's try something completely different- from the Pismo's RAM Disk directly to the UW SCSI drive attached to the ATTO Nubus Card.

 

100Mbps

138 seconds / 623 KBps / 4.99 Mbps

 

Well this certainly lends credibility to the partial Nubus 90 implementation theory, but these numbers are still so small it's hard to say with certainty. These numbers reproduce consistently from the Pismo's RAM drive, but from the 9600's RAM drive it doesn't seem to make a big difference whether the destination is the Quadra's RAM disk or its UW drive.

 

The last thing I'll do tonight is reboot the Pismo from 10.4.11 and mount its IDE-CF drive from the Quadra. For the first test I'll grab the file from the IDE and drop it on the Quadra's RAM drive.

 

100Mbps

188 Seconds / 458 KBps / 3.66 Mbps

 

And now from the Pismo's IDE to to the Quadra's UW drive.

 

100Mbps

203 Seconds / 424 KBps / 3.39 Mbps

 

And since this is a probable current day use case, I decided to run this test again with the 10Mbps connection (IDE -> UW): 

 

10Mbps

119 Seconds / 723 KBps / 5.78 Mbps

 

...

What?! So much for the last thing I do tonight...

AppleShare update must've improved the efficiency of AAUI, perhaps with a new driver. (Using the RAM Disk as a destination on the Quadra is still slower than the UW drive: 137 Seconds)

 

Pismo back to 9.2.2, keeping the file hosted on the RAM Disk, pulling it down to the Quadra's UW:

 

10Mbps

130 seconds / 662 KBps / 5.29 Mbps

[100Mbps]

[138 seconds / 623 KBps / 4.99 Mbps] [copied from above for reference]

 

So OS X shares are faster than OS 9 shares (IDE share from OS 9 is slower than RAM disk share, when downloading to the Quadra's UW.)

...and clearly I need a better driver for the 10/100 card. I'll be looking around for that.

 

Now I'll repeat the two tests from Netscape and call it a night; same file as above.

 

10Mbps -> RAM Disk

74 seconds / 296 KBps / 2.37 Mbps

10Mbps -> UW Drive

75 seconds / 292 KBps / 2.34 Mbps

100Mbps -> RAM Disk

70 seconds / 313 KBps / 2.50 Mbps

100Mbps -> UW Drive

70 seconds / 313 KBps / 2.50 Mbps

 

Both interfaces show improvement since the AppleShare update. The 10/100 card retains a small advantage here, though if no better driver is available I might rather have the free slot based on the AppleTalk results :) This card may be designed for a machine with full Nubus 90 implementation. Hopefully it's just a driver issue though.

 

Anyone running 7.6.1-8.1 should install the AppleShare Client 3.8.3 update!

 

Future ideas:

Install AppleShare IP 6.1.1 on the 9600 if I can obtain an installer?

Upgrade the Q950 to 8.6?

 

Edited by jeremywork

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12 hours ago, jeremywork said:

Even after seeing this round of results I'm not inclined to remove the card,

That wasn't, strictly speaking, my question, but fair enough. If I had one, I probably wouldn't pull it out either, although I'm not inclined to believe that the results we're seeing here are "meaningful" per se.

 

Yeah, I imagine the use case here really was if you had some kind of non-Mac server (IPX or NT) where appleshare service performance was noticeably better than with a Mac talking to another Mac. Like your OS X results. Netware/IPX was cited from time to time in old MacWorld for this reason.

 

The other thing I imagine this card being good for is if you had an AWGS 8150 or 9150 with some reasonably fast SCSI disks (or, just, several disks) such that you need to have multiple interfaces or such that upgrading to a switched network and a 10/100 port on the server will make "a difference."

 

As far as ASIP6 goes, there's an installer for 6.3.3 on Mac Garden. If you have a G3 or G4 of some kind around, that's maybe a better machine to run that on, since one of the options is a QS'02 9.2.2 restore image. You can mount the restore image and copy the whole thing to your hard disk, then pop in a serial number, and you're mostly ready to go.

 

It's a bit of an unrealistic test because that software is from 2002, a bit after the useful professional performance-sensitive service life of anything with NuBus in it, but it could be interesting nevertheless.

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5 hours ago, jeremywork said:

This card may be designed for a machine with full Nubus 90 implementation.

The closest Apple got to a machine that meets that description is the faster versions (100mhz) of the 8100; the Nubus ASIC used on the other x100 PPCs is functionally identical to the MUNI chip that shipped with the Quadra 840AV; the difference is laid out in the "Enhanced Power Macintosh" Dev Note, but it seems to boil down that it has a somewhat better mechanism than the older chip for handling block moves, which was the major feature introduced in MUNI. Technically none of them are a "full implementation" because they all still only support a 10mhz base clock for transfers to and from the host; the higher 20mhz clock is still only applicable between cards.

Given the fact the highest score you managed to get is still significantly short of even one MByte per second I'd have to say I'm skeptical that bus performance is really a blocker here, given even plain old Nubus should easily handle at least ten times that even using the slowest transaction modes.

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57 minutes ago, Gorgonops said:

The closest Apple got to a machine that meets that description is the faster versions (100mhz) of the 8100...

Would the AWS9150 be the same? I have the last iteration here, running at 120mhz.

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2 hours ago, beachycove said:

Would the AWS9150 be the same? I have the last iteration here, running at 120mhz.

Wow, I was actually able to find the devnote for the WS9150 floating around out there, and according to it the formula is the same as the 8100; machines slower than 100mhz have the "BART4", newer machines have the "BART21".

 

The one difference between the two that looks like it might be relevant for testing an Ethernet card is the BART4 has a limitation with burst mode; it's all or nothing, if you have any Nubus cards plugged in that don't support it then you can't enable that transfer mode for the one that does. BART21 can enable burst mode per slot.

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Woohoo! I have a new reason to live fire up that 9150! And in that same spirit, say I had a Radius LeMans, or a Jackhammer, or something equally exotic. Could I expect them to perform markedly better in their own right in the 9150 than in, say, a Quadra 650? It’d be interesting to try and measure the difference somehow, as has been happening in this excellent thread.

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