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Byrd

Faulty Sonnet Crescendo G4 1000/2M - in PPC 9600

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Hi all,

 

For years I've had packed away a Sonnet Crescendo G4 1000Mhz to suit a PCI PowerMac - I recall it worked but now once installed, CUDA, PRAM etc there is no chime nor life when it is plugged in to my 9600.  Switching over to a Sonnet G4/450 Mhz makes it chime and boot and be happy.

 

Does anyone recall any quirks with these cards and if they remained reliable?  It's an 800Mhz overclocked to 1000Mhz which seems a decent stretch.

 

My troubleshooting so far:

 

- Visual inspection, cleaning of card (with electronic contact cleaner, and wiping down the CPU connector) - no visible faults

- Removed heatsink replaced old dry thermal paste, put the @#&* screws back in (I note the card had a slight horizontal flex to it before I removed the heatsink, as the screws were wound in too tight from factory :()

- Stripped 9600 down to known good RAM modules (matched), single PCI graphics card, nothing else

- No chime, no life - Sonnet G4/450 chimes and boots immediately when switched in.

- CPU heatsink gets warm around the CPU

 

I've not got much left ... apart from down clocking the CPU the 800Mhz - see pic which I can just make out the resistor pattern for 800Mhz vs 1000Mhz (not mine) - possibly the overclock might be stretching it.  Any other thoughts?

 

Thanks

 

JB

 

IMG_20171029_184500.jpg

Edited by Byrd

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I have a pair of these with the factory 1000/2M sticker, and both are 800MHz overclocked to 1000. I do recall when I swapped one in for the MaxPowr card I was running, I had no chime. In my case it turns my Adaptec SCSI card was incompatible, and changing it for a PCI Jackhammer brought it back to life.

 

I've also overheated one once- the case vent was a bit obstructed. It also gave no chime/no video until it had cooled enough, and began functioning again. Perhaps such an overtemp circuit could be at fault?

 

In general though, both have been solid and stable under load at their factory overclock, so long as the case fan has access to cool air.

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One thought does come to mind: are you using the same version of the Sonnet Crescendo extension as you did beforehand? If not, there is a possibility that the version you used just now is too low.

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Thanks all!  Sonnet cards have always been my go to brand for accelerators so disappointed this one isn't as easy to install as the others.

 

@jeremywork You might be on to something, put in the 1000 card, changed and switched the graphics card to another slot, switched the RAM and get a chime ... but no video.  That's when the Sonnet card is cold; a few minutes later it won't chime so I'm getting closer to that switch of resistors to 800Mhz to see.

 

@ArmorAlley Good point, when I was switching the Sonnet 1000 and Sonnet 450 cards I thought perhaps the software was different - however I'm before that now not even being able to get the Sonnet 1000 to boot of a completely stripped down machine.

 

Note this is in a WGS 9650 - MACH V motherboard; the onboard cache has been disabled.  I recall the card worked fine in a non-MACH V board but don't have that on hand anymore.

 

JB

Edited by Byrd

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Another tidbit from Sonnet's FAQ:

 

Quote

Regarding PCI video cards, most of the Power Computing clones, as well as a couple of the Apple PowerPCs do not have onboard video, and may have come with certain cards (IX Micro Twin Turbo, IX Micro Ultimate Rez, ATI XClaim 3D, and the ATI Mach 64) installed that are not compatible. These cards are legacy video cards and have not had software or firmware updates in several years. The lack of updated software/firmware, combined with the technology of the G4 chips used in these processor upgrades, results in various video anomalies. Because the problems reside in these cards' drivers, a resolution is not expected, and an alternative video solution is required. Recommended cards compatible with these processor upgrade cards include the ATI Radeon 7000 Mac edition.

http://www.sonnettech.com/support/kb/kb.php?cat=319

 

It's not clear whether the symptom of an incompatible card is no chime, but worth trying if you have an R7000 or similar.

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Got it to boot to a flashing disk icon with a Radeon 7000 in the top slot.

 

But assume there is a bad connection as if I move the PCI card or Sonnet card slightly, no chime no video. Put in Sonnet 450, bang chime and bang video every time.

 

I’ve cleaned the card extensively, next up will be a visual inspection of the CPU connector on the motherboard, and to try to get it to boot for a stress test/ check of overheated components.

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Out of curiosity, when you get no chime does it seem to respond to Ctrl+Cmd+Softpower? 

 

I have too many cards to say where this issue lies, but my 9600 will work properly at cold boot until I restart, which will result in a chime/blackscreen or chime/video/flashing'?' until I soft reset once. I've always put up with it because it's consistent, but seems to happen with either my Sonnet or MaxPowr G4- can't remember if it happened with the 604ev.

 

Have you tried contact cleaner in the CPU card slot? Perhaps the 7455 card uses more/different circuits than the 7400 card, or maybe the 7400 card is slightly thicker and makes better contact with the slot pins... You might try inserting the card firmly and then pulling back ever so slightly, in case there's a worn out patch of metal on the contact surface.

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Also from the manual:

 

Quote

Problem: Computer does not boot with a G4 upgrade installed.

Possible Solutions: The Crescendo software installer modifies open firmware in the PRAM to fully support a G4. You must run the Crescendo installer first or your computer may not boot when you install the Crescendo/PCI G4 card. In the future, you may reset PRAM during a Restart from the Special menu, but DO NOT reset PRAM during a cold start. Resetting PRAM during a cold start will reset PRAM including open firmware and your computer may not boot thereafter. In the event that your computer becomes unbootable due to the loss of its G4 open firmware contents, booting from the Sonnet G4 PRAM Restore diskette will restore open firmware to boot your G4.

 

I don't recall having issues just inserting it into a working config, but in my case there were already drivers for NewerTech's G4, so perhaps that helped me avoid this roadblock.

 

If you haven't already, try installing the NVRAM patch from the Crescendo/Encore 3.1 driver here: https://macintoshgarden.org/sites/macintoshgarden.org/files/apps/ce_install_v31.sit

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On 8/12/2020 at 2:35 AM, jeremywork said:

Out of curiosity, when you get no chime does it seem to respond to Ctrl+Cmd+Softpower? 

Yes, I know what you mean my TAM and 5500 do the same no chime/soft restart chime and all is well; PRAM batteries are good on both.  I'm afraid to think it might be caps but both machines work fine once started up.

 

Back to the Sonnet G4 1000; with some careful placement of the card I can get it to reliably chime and ? with it on a bench.  Next up, compressed air around the MACH V board is due (it's pretty clean but perhaps something is lodged somewhere), connect a HD and see if it can boot reliably.  Cleaning the contacts of slots, cards is also happening.

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if your 1000 card is intermittent and changes with flexing/heat, its probably broken BGA solder joints from the CPU to the board. might need a good reflow with some flux. 

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I've got the 9650 in a usable state with the Sonnet 1000, but it was such a precious thing to rebuild.  

 

There exists either a compatibility issue or fault with the Mach V board or the CPU upgrade itself (possibly a marginal solder joint on the BGA joint, or being unable to sit snugly in the slot).  It wouldn't boot from a vanilla install of OS 9 unless the Sonnet G4 Crescendo software was installed prior with the stock 350Mhz CPU installed, NVRAM patch applied without this it'd consistently get halfway through booting Mac OS with a "divide by zero" error (mouse still working).  RAM is maxed out, and the same issues occurred with two interleaved sticks or twelve so don't think RAM was the issue.  

 

The entire system was given a deep clean of compressed air, electronic contact cleaner and isopropyl wipe down which seems to have improved things.  I'm adverse to reflow the CPU BGA at this stage as DIY is never that great nor do I want to potentially kill what is a working nice Sonnet upgrade.

 

Hmm ... once I had all the cards in, set up nicely I quickly shoved the case lid on and hope to not have to delve inside again for a while :)

 

- PPC 9650, Sonnet G4 1Ghz

- 1.5GB 60ns RAM

- Rage 128, have a Radeon 7000 in waiting

- Sonnet Tempo ATA133 card with 160GB Seagate 7200RPM HD (later single platter model, fast and quiet), pulled SCSI HD

- OrangeMicro combo USB/FW card

- WGS 10/100 network card

 

Tentative success ... I'll hammer it now with a few games.

 

JB

Edited by Byrd

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Good to hear you have it working! I run mine in a Mach V board as well, so it's not an inherent design defect. The 'divide by zero' error is what I expect to see with no NVRAM patch, but it should always chime with video output if it's connected properly. I think you can restore the NVRAM patch using a Sonnet diskette if you zap it, rather than needing to revert to the 604ev. Holding shift may also work...

 

Is there a current source for 128MB modules for these? I tried Memoryx a few years ago, but the modules all read as 64MB, despite a pair of OWC ones reading correctly... Oh well, 2x128+10x32 is still more than plenty :)

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Thanks Jeremy - good to know yours works in a Mach V board as well; it's my first Sonnet CPU upgrade that just won't boot unless a patch is running - makes it hard to deal with unless you have a spare CPU card to switch over.

 

I picked up 128MB RAM for this machine years ago for a song; Amicroe branded and OWC branded.

 

JB

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