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Alex

Power Macintosh 9600 and ATI Radeon 9200

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Hello forum members

 

I am enjoying my 9600/300 but the stock GPU card is something of a snail. I understand the ATI Radeon 9200 is an option that I can consider.

 

Are there any special requirements? Does the card have to be specific to Mac and if not can the hardware for a PC model be modified to work on a Mac? What about drivers? What about OS considerations, will a 9200 work with only a range of Mac OS's?

 

What else do I need to consider.

 

I did a Google search but perhaps my query was poor, I couldn't find anything concrete relative my questions.

 

Kindest regards

—Alex

Edited by Alex

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You will need a native mac PCI video card or a PC one that is flashed to Mac (quite a few cards cannot be flashed because the ROM won't fit).

 

What do you have currently? What exactly are you planning on doing with the machine?

 

I don't game on my Macs but I do like the ATi 7000 series cards in PCI machine (with G3 upgrades). 

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Hi

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

Currently the Power Mac 9600 has the video that card that came original for this machine. I just powered the machine on to gather the card details.

 

According to the Apple System Profiler, the display card is in Slot B1. It's a Twin Turbo 128. The only problem I have with the card is that there appears to be a redraw of windows as I windows move from foreground to background and the like. There appears to be no different if I chose millions or 256 colors, both color depths perform the same. It would be ideal if someone with the same model as I could make a claim on performance increases using a different card. I am not running games on the machine just some utilities.

 

I don't yet have a plan on what utility this machine will serve just yet, at the moment I am rediscovering old software and a project as it were it something I have yet to establish but at the moment, my primary goal, if possible is to speed it up slightly.

 

I should mention that I may have come across literature mention a different slot, other than B1, to enjoy higher performance. I should investigate if there is any truth to this.

 

With respect to hacking the PC variant of the 9200, on second thought I might not want to do that especially because of the ROM aspect, it is just too involved I think. If it meant a hardware mod, I might be more inclined.

 

As it is, this is not a deal breaker. I do like the 9600. Maybe I should find meaningful purpose for it other than just installing software. I am in that experimental stage yet.

 

Would love to hear any further thoughts you or anyone else might have. 

Apple-System-Profiler-for-Power-Mac-9600.gif

602_twin_turbo_128m8a.jpg

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Hacking  the 9200 can be a hardware mod.   Find the file for the full Macintosh version of the firmware.   Program it onto a M25P10 serial flash chip, replace the M25P05 (?) on the card with the newly programmed M25P10, and I think there is/are one or two resistors on the back of the card to be moved, but that may be only on the 9250.

 

 

Edited by trag

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I have an IX Micro Ultimate Rez that I purchased for my 8500 ages ago and it worked great for OS 7/8/9 (no gaming). I think there is a control panel you need to install.

 

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Yes, the Twin Turbo should be a beast for 2D acceleration, I'd be reinstalling the OS with Apple provided drivers.  The Mac Edition Radeon 9200 is the fastest PCI non-OS X card you can get, however hard to find these days.  A Radeon 7000 Mac Edition is much the same for less.

23 minutes ago, trag said:

Hacking  the 9200 can be a hardware mod.   Find the file for the full Macintosh version of the firmware.   Program it onto a M25P10 serial flash chip, replace the M25P05 (?) on the card with the newly programmed M25P10, and I think there is/are one or two resistors on the back of the card to be moved, but that may be only on the 9250.

 

I'd say the main gotcha here is that there are a multitude of x86 Radeon 9200 cores and memory types (9100/9200/9250 "SE" 64/128bit memory etc), so unless you can find one that looks close to the Mac Edition 9200 a hardware mod would be difficult to carry out.

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On driver concerns/mentions for the Twin Turbo 128 - According to http://oldcomputer.info/apple/Power9600/index.htm the upgrades section mentions that Mac OS 9.1 has the video driver built-in for the stock card which is the same as the one he has a photo of in the following link: http://oldcomputer.info/gallery.php?spgmGal=Museum/Apple/Power_Mac_9600_350&spgmPic=15#spgmPicture

  _thb_016.jpg

 

What's odd is that he mentions makes mention of a video driver which I installed but when I attempt to open it I get the following message:  "A Twin Turbo PCI card can not be found in this Macintosh." Please shutdown check the installation and try again", http://web.archive.org/web/20060318204335/http://eshop.macsales.com/Tech/index.cfm?load=ixmicro.html - Drivers for IX Micro video board. In fact as the inits display as the machine starts up, this init has an X over it to indicate it is not compatible or irrelevant.

 

At the time of writing the above I did have the "9600 Graphics Accelerator" version 4.0.6 Apple extension installed and active. This is the native driver that gets installed with the original Power Macintosh 9600 CD. I originally installed 9.1 on this machine using a 9.1 retail disc. I then used OS 9 Helper to bring the machine up to 9.2.2. From what I read the "9600 Graphics Accelerator" is not required in Mac OS 9.1 because it is built in apparently. I wonder if 9.2.2 has it built-in as well?

 

I disabled the following and restarted to understand if there was any impact one way or another on performance.

- "9600 Graphics Accelerator" Extension

- Twin Turbo Acceleration v 4.0.6 (Extension)

- Twin Turbo Control Panel

- Twin Turbo M8 upgrade (extension)

- Twin Turbo Upgrade (extension)

- Twin Turbo Control Strip

RESULTS: The machine's video performance remains the same.

 

I am afraid that this card is as fast as it will ever get.


 

NOTE: This is a caption from the Power Mac Read Me - Part 1 for disc "691-0000-A,Z,Power Macintosh 7300, 8600, and 9600 series. SSW v7.5.5. (CD) {image modified} [English International].toast", available on the internet archive.

 

"Removing the 9600 Graphics Accelerator.

When you turn on your computer, icons appear along the bottom of the screen to indicate which system software extensions are being loaded during startup. On Power Macintosh 7300, 7600, and 8600 models, this extension may appear with a red “X” through it. This “9600 Graphics Accelerator” extension file is only required for use on Power Macintosh 9600 models that contain the optional video card. If you are using a Power Macintosh other than the 9600 model, you can delete this extension file if you wish. To delete the “9600 Graphics Accelerator” extension (located in the Extensions folder inside your System Folder), drag its icon to the Trash."

 

Picture-12.gif.6b12a1683a0acdfdb9dbf918b8b1a169.gif

 

Some other things I've done:

Trashed the /SystemFolder/Preferences/Display Preferences

 

I apologize for the long reply, hopefully all the info, though sporadic, might help someone in the future.

 

TO DO: Find documentation that provides evidence, one way or another, if installing the video card on a specific PCI slot yields higher performance.

 

Thanks for your patience.

Alex

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Something interesting happened, after removing the  /SystemFolder/Preferences/Display Preferences the display really slowed down. This was especially noticeable with tabbed folders.

So I added "9600 Graphics Accelerator" Extension back, restarted and things are back to normal.

 

I think I can't do much more other than try another PCI slot but I will do this only after documentation makes that claim.

 

Thanks a million all of you! I will keep you updated with what happens when the card is in another slot.

Edited by Alex

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There were two versions of the Twin Turbo card.  One version was the retail version sold by IXM, which uses the package of drivers with all the many components.   The other version was an Apple OEM card which has identical hardware, but it only works with the 9600 Graphics Accelerator extension and the Monitors control panel.

 

Swapping the ROMs between the two cards converts them from one version to the other.

 

The Ultimate Rez card was a later card from IxMicro and had somewhat better performance.   I think it may also have had some rudimentary 3D support, but I could be misremembering.  Such old memories.

 

Anyway, in my experience, the TT was a little slower but more solid.  The Ult. Rez. had somewhat better performance, but had a few bugs still floating around they never squashed.   The bugs mainly only come up on a Umax S900 or J700 though, so probably don't matter to most folks.

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I was happy with the Ultimate Rez at the time, but over the years I picked up some better cards and use those instead.

 

Rage 128 cards out of B&W G3's are pretty decent but Radeon 7000 mac editions are the way to go especially if you have a DVI Monitor.

 

Also reminds me of a Diamond Multimedia S3 card with the old Mac video plug that Diamond flashed back to PC BIOS and dumped with a VGA adapter (they tried selling cards for the Mac market for a year or so and quit).

 

I kind of wanted a PCI version of the Radius Thunder IV but never got around to getting one.

Edited by Unknown_K

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20 hours ago, trag said:

There were two versions of the Twin Turbo card.  One version was the retail version sold by IXM, which uses the package of drivers with all the many components.   The other version was an Apple OEM card which has identical hardware, but it only works with the 9600 Graphics Accelerator extension and the Monitors control panel.

That's correct, mine is the Apple OEM. Interesting tidbit on swapping ROMs between cards.

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Apple sold off a large stock of OEM Twin Turbos when they discontinued the 9600 -- well sold them as a batch and then resellers sold them retail.   They were very cheap at the time.   Many folks wanted the more extensive controls provided by the IxMicro software.   So ROM swapping happened.   There were about 30 people on the SuperMacs email list alone who bought programmed Flash or EEPROM chips with which to convert the OEM TT cards.

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Alex,

 

I'm a reader of the forum but a new member; I fancied replying to your post since I am in a similar situation w/ regards to my 9600/350.

 

I have however been educated quite well by a member named Syntho over at the macos9lives forums - he has a very comprehensive 9600 guide which you may find interesting - http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=2656.0

 

PS: For the record; I had laggy windows and general poor performance - I too found it was due to the drivers not operating from when I originally received the machine (It was running OS 8.01). Since running 8.5 - which OFC is a must for PPC; it improved the performance dramatically. Mac OS 8.6 makes it solid.

 

Hope that helps!

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Hello

 

Excellent of you to share your findings. I do indeed know about this page, it is a terrific page actually. Thanks for participating in the conversation with the link and experience!

 

Aha! Yes I thought I did read this somewhere, slot order does matter, it is mentioned in the link you offered. Great! I will reread that and reorder the cards in the machine to learn if I can indeed boost GPU performance.

Edited by Alex

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I added a post to the 9600 guide.   Slot order may matter, but it is not because of slots that don't support bus mastering.  They all support bus mastering.   But that canard was repeated many many times on websites and in fora back in the day.  It will live on...

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On 7/19/2019 at 2:11 AM, trag said:

I added a post to the 9600 guide.  

Is there a link to the said guide?

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On 7/20/2019 at 6:04 AM, Alex said:

Is there a link to the said guide?

 

I was referring to the one that W’rkncacnter linked to above over on os9lives.  Sorry for the confusion.

 

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On 7/11/2019 at 2:18 AM, Alex said:

Would love to hear any further thoughts you or anyone else might have. 

 

Hello,

In any PM 9600 config, SCSI card (or SCSi-like) should be in A1 (faster card in top slot, and then) ; according to me your config should look like this :

 

A1 : ACARD 6880

B1 : Empty [suitable for Firewire] [or USB if nothing in C1]

C1 : Empty [suitable for USB if Firewire in B1]

D2 : Ethernet (in certain circumstances [OS X, intensive networking], Ethernet cards work best when they have priority over Video card here in E2 [when they are in top slot of bottom controller]) [Asante cards should always be there in D2 (OS9, OSX)

E2 : IX Micro Video card or any ATI video card

F2 : Empty [suitable for nothing : leaves room for optionnal HDD]

 

and yes, the 9600 Graphics accelerator is the card's driver

 

Edit :

And unless you need DVI, a Rage 128 is fine

Edited by 604ev

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On 7/10/2019 at 5:18 PM, Alex said:

The only problem I have with the card is that there appears to be a redraw of windows as I windows move from foreground to background and the like

Did anybody say this yet. That didn't go away, with any graphics card at all, until the switch to Mac OS X. This is a problem with the OS, not your graphics card.

 

Newer graphics cards might do it a little faster, but in my experience: it's not much faster.

 

I have seen this happen with Rage128s on blue-and-white G3s and Pismos, as well as a Radeon 9000 in a TiBook, and whatever card is in the QS'02@800 I use as an ASIP server.

 

There is no solution to the slowness of Classic Mac OS at redrawing background information.

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604e thanks a million for the schematic. I've been so busy I haven't yet tried to apply your suggestion, I will as soon as I have a little free time.

 

Cory, thanks for the experiential note, you may be right. What I can say is that tabbed folders (those that rest at the bottom of the screen) scroll very smoothly only when the 9600 specific graphics extension is enabled. I really appreciate the note.

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Curious about the tabbed folders, and I should really pull out one of my Macs and poke at this on my own. When you say scrolling, do you mean once you open the tabbed folder, and start scrolling the contents, or do you mean the actual act of popping open the tab?

 

And, are you talking about opening the tabbed folder once you are already in Finder, or switching to Finder from another application?

 

In general, scrolling can be smooth and I believe that's something that was added in 8 or 9 somewhere along the way, but they never fixed the other issues with switching between applications.

 

If scrolling is smooth using the stock video card, that's generally as much as you can ask for until you start wanting games, perhaps Photoshop or OS X.

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Hi Cory

 

Tabbed folders, as in the example screenshot, it shows three folders all attached to the base of the desktop, one of which has its contents in view. Perhaps I wasn't clear; if the 9600 graphics accelerator extension is not loaded on startup, the tabbed folders continue to work as expected but when clicked, to reveal their contents, the animation of the tabbed folder sliding up to reveal its contents suffers (jittery animation without extension loaded).

 

image.png.d99eeca33c4fda6ba3cc2ac4a7b57b95.png

image.png.683470b390bbdbe11625bd80447208fc.png

 

The only real issue, even with the extension loaded, is a slow redraw (not very slow, just noticeable by today's standards, I might be spoiled with current Mac OS). The redraw concerns overlapping windows. So if click on a Finder which is behind another window it will force the now visible portion of the window to redraw itself and it's just a tad slower but I think that after testing it might be normal.

 

I just came back from vacation 2 days ago so I will try to swap the card to another slot as recommended by @604ev, I think he is on to something interesting when it comes to arranging cards in the 9600 to accommodate the two controllers on the main logic board that handle PCI, I think his recommendation helps to balance PCI I/O load more evenly. I am absolutely going to do this and report back.

 

Overall, I accept that this is a very old Mac and I think I am mostly dealing with being too optimistic on expectations when it comes to 2D performance on this Mac and video card.

 

Thanks

—Alex

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Thank you for clarifying.

 

It seems like the tabbed folders might be under the same restriction everything else on the system is: They aren't rendered when they aren't visible and Classic Mac OS is bad at catching up with that quickly. The graphics acceleration extensions help a little bit, but I doubt you're going to see this speed up much under any newer graphics card.

 

Unfortunately: I don't think it'll get much better.

 

Balancing the i/o between the two controllers makes perfect sense, although I'll admit the fact that we just straight-up know what order is best is hilarious to me, in the sense that.... it just strikes me that there's such a standardized set of upgrades for the 6-slot PowerMacs, and that those upgrades are largely optimized to making them usable at what people wanted to do in the early 2000s, including OS X upgrades.

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