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Tsu's Power Macintosh 9600

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Hi Folks!


I've finally decided to post details about my "vintage" mac setup on the Internet!  I say vintage with quotes, as I don't really know if a 9600 would count as vintage...  I also don't know if I'd call it a conquest, it's more a collection I've built up starting around late 90s..


It's a little....  Crazy.  But I love it!  If I can think of one community that would appreciate these specs, I think this one would be it..


I will try to post pictures later on this week, maybe tomorrow after work!


For now, take a peek at this:




Base System: PowerMac 9600/350MHz

CPU Upgrade: Sonnet G4 1GHz CPU Board

Memory: 1GB (Could go up to 1.5GB)

Monitor: Sun 21" Display (Maxed at 1600x1200 @ 85Hertz)


Apple Desktop Bus Input Devies:

Datadesk Mechanical Keyboard w/ Trackball mouse integrated & detached number pad



PCI Cards:

Aurora Fuse Video Caption Card

ProTools AudioMedia III Card

3dfx Voodoo 5500 for Mac Video Card

OrangePC 550 (I think it's a 550...) DOS Card (w/ Pentium MMX 233MHz CPU and 256MB of RAM)

Adaptec SCSI Card (Not sure on model, but i think the main internal port is labeled LVD)

Orange Micro USB 2.0/Firewire 400 Card


USB Periphrials:

Microsoft USB Optical Mouse

Macally USB Gamepad (looks like the PS1 gamepad)

Wacom PenPartner Drawing Tablet

Canon Flatbed Scanner

Epson Stylus Photo R1800

Edirol UA-25 MIDI/Sound Device

Palm Connect USB Cable

External Seagate 1TB Hard Drive


Firewire Periphrials:

External Memorex DVD-DL Burner

External DVD-RAM Drive (Swiped from a G4)



0-Primary Hard Drive (Just under 200GB)

1-External Sony MO 5GB Drive


3-Internal CDROM Drive (Whatever the 9600 came with)

4-Internal jaz 2GB Drive

5-External (VERY old) 1x Apple CDROM Drive

6-External 250MB Zip Drive

7-Adaptec SCSI Card


Serial Periphrials:

Color Stylewriter 4500 (Not functional)

Newton MessagePad 2100

Apple QuickTake 200 Camera

Supera Fax/Modem 288


DOS Card Periphrials:

Old Microsoft Serial Mouse on COM1:

PC ProgramPad GamePad (Looks like a SNES controller) on the Game port



All three audio devices (builtin mac audio, audiomedia III, and edirol UA-25) route through my Sony DA777ES, which was an amazing receiver for the time..


Only real problem I have is the aurora fuse video caption card is SLOOOOWW.. The video displays on the Mac at about 10 FPS @ 256 colors, at thousands or millions, it's unplayable, nothing shows up.  I THINK this is due to how picky this computer is with PCI card order...  I've fiddled a LOT with this, and this combo has everything working top speed, except the video caption card..  Kind of a minor issue, maybe I'll try other permutations of card combos later..


Also, I have a Apple DOS card too, fastest one..  Sadly, I can't boot with USB Extensions on, it's my understanding that they conflict with the DOS Card..  That's why I picked up the OrangePC card.


I _think_ that's about everything..



If you have questions or thoughts, feel free to comment!  I would love to hear suggestions or other ideas about my setup!


Thanks for reading this, and have a good one!

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Nice 9600!  In my opinion they are one of the greatest Macs made, in an era of largely uninteresting Macs made around this time.  Try putting the capture card in the top slot, and then the cards needing highest bandwidth down from there - GPU next, x86 card after that, etc.


I owned a 9600/200 for several years, before getting a WGS 9650/350 which was used to power a huge $30K drum printer that a local artist used.  The good upgrades went over to the WGS - like you a 1Ghz Sonnet G4, and 3DFX 5500 graphics card.  Try as I might, I can't recall what happened to the 9600/200 - I suspect it was given to someone.


Is the OrangePC card useful?  Have you ever tried an x86 emulator on the Mac side to see if it gives comparable performance?



Edited by Byrd
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Welccome aboard from a fellow 9600 owner! :) Impressive looking setup you have... mine is a fairly meaty setup also, but definitely not quite in the league of what you describe above. I'd definitely say a 9600 constitutes vintage by this point in it's life, and at that, what a machine they are! :)


Mine is an early revision (non-Kansas) 9600/200MP... I bought it because it was the dual-604 200MP model and I always wanted one, but seeing as though I also had the option of buying a Crescendo G3 upgrade I used that as it makes it far more useful and versatile for the best part. Spec's are as follows...


Sonnet Crescendo G3/400-1M @400MHz with 1Mb cache

512Mb RAM (there is a heap more waiting to go in when I can be bothered rearranging it to maintain interleaving.)

10Gb Ultrawide SCSI main HDD

7Gb and 1.5Gb secondary HDD's.

8x CD-R burner (no rewrite capability)

TwinTurbo128 8Mb full-length PCI graphics card... this is a stock Kansas card. The pre-Kansas 9600 had a TT128 4Mb.

Ultrawide/LVD SCSI PCI controller

10/100 PCI LAN card

4-port USB PCI card

Dual-USB/dual-Firewire combo PCI card... this is likely going to be removed and replaced with the 3-port Radius MotoDV.

Targa2000 capture/display out output card.


Software-wise, it runs OS9.2 via OS9-helper, and also has XPostFacto and an OSX installation, however I don't really use it as my experiences with OSX on oldworld Powermacs have been fairly lame.... I experimented for fun on the 7600 years ago and whilst it was a cool little development, OSX is simply too slow. 10.2 and prior were slow even on supported hardware, and in this current age, anything priuor to 10.4 is next to useless, with there being better software support for OS9 and 8.6 by a great margin. I have a full complement of professional software such as Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator, SonicWorx, FlashMX, Fireworks, Freehand, to name a few.... I'll be re-exploring the functionality of some of these when I acquire some period peripherals such as an ADB tablet and a functioning analogue video camera.


It is basically used as my go-to machine for anything I cannot do in OSX or with modern hardware, which is a lot... basically it's my vintage support workhorse, and I also have intentions to start using it for some of what it was designed for. I used the 7600 for analogue AV capture and manipulation years ago, but I want to take it up to the next level with some real horsepower now that I have it available.


Some points worthy of note are that It did have an R7000 64Mb that for some unknown reason I have been anable to get to display video on this machine... It also will not display video on one of my two 16Mb Rage128 cards (both OEM Apple items), however all of these cards work in my G4 Sawtooth, G4 Yikes and Yosemite G3... havent tried them in the 7600 or the beige G3 minitower as yet. I know as much as other people have reported similar issues with x600 series towers.


The Targa2000 card (A very very high-end full-length, dual-board capture and output card that also supports full-resolution and depth svga output, dual-display output as mirrored or spanned) will ONLY work correctly when placed in the 2nd PCI slot from the bottom... it failed to work properly (or at all in some cases) in other slots, and also caused conflicts with other devices as well. I found out later that the vendor actually specify that it MUST be placed in this slot to work properly. I wonder if this may also be applicable to your card and account for at least some of the niggling issues you are having also?

Edited by Schmoburger
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One of the coolest things I've noticed about vintage Mac collecting is the way different people collect.


Some people collect all one style of Mac. 

Some people collect all one model of Mac.

Some people collect as many Macs as they can fit into their <insert storage space here>, regardless of make/model/condition.

Some people collect parts upon parts and eternally tinker.

Some people collect, restore, and display their Macs.

Some people collect, restore, and actually USE their Macs.

And then there are some who get one (usually very versatile) machine, then spend years getting any and every possible peripheral, upgrade or add-on they can find until it produces a list like our friend Tsurasa's here. 



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Hey all:


Here's some pictures..  I do need to dust a bit, and also, my machine has yellowed a bit over the years.












I have also a IIci, that chimes, but doesn't boot.  That's about the extent of my old mac collection.  I would love to get that IIci working, but I might just pass it to someone who has the time/money to recap the motherboard, as I've heard that is what usually needs to happen to fix those machines.


Also, for your collections, do you use the machines?  I always have wondered if I should leave it running, run it when i use it, turn it off when not, or just leave it off..  I clean it regularly, get out the dust and test the fans..  Just wondering what you folks think about leaving it running, as that's what I usually do.  I do turn it off, at times when I'm going to not use it for a while, but some nights I leave it running.


Byrd - Thanks for the tip on PCI card placement!  I need to clean it soon here, so I'll try that when I take it apart to clean it.  Regarding the OrangePC card, it's, well, cute.. But _not_ totally needed..  VirtualPC or whatnot will accomplish the same thing pretty much, I notice both to be just as fast.  All I really do with it is run DOS games from my childhood, and some Win 3.1 stuff.  The 550 comes with a decent sound card, the ESxxxx, not sure about the number, or x's, compatible with SB16, and also has some kind of wavetable on it??  ??I think??  MIDI files sound awesome when I play them in Win 3.1..  I guess one nice thing is it doesn't use any of your PowerMac's memory, which is kind of nice..  Especially if I have a lot of stuff running on the mac, or big programs open.


TheWhiteFalcon - Thanks, I thought it would count as vintage, but wasn't totally sure.. =)


Schmoburger - Thanks for the welcome!  Your 9600 sounds nice too!  Yeah, I love doing things on my 9600, people are almost blown away when I do some of the things I do on it, and they find it out it's a machine from 97'.  A buddy of mine was building a DOS box, and I showed him my OrangePC card..  He thought it was very cool, only really lacking the 5 1/4" floppy drive..  That Targa2000 card sounds awesome, I'm guessing they aren't real common, though..


Hotdog Zanzibar - Yep, I'm in that last category for sure..  Though I do have that previously mentioned IIci!  That's about it though..

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Also, for your collections, do you use the machines?  I always have wondered if I should leave it running, run it when i use it, turn it off when not, or just leave it off..  I clean it regularly, get out the dust and test the fans..  Just wondering what you folks think about leaving it running, as that's what I usually do.  I do turn it off, at times when I'm going to not use it for a while, but some nights I leave it running.


I have a Power Mac 9600 which has been a full time NetBSD server since around 2002. It's been off for, I'd guess, less than two days in total in all that time - the longest time it was off was when I brought it from my colo provider in New York to downtown Los Angeles. It's ridiculously stable hardware, and even with the 1 GHz Sonnet, 1.5 gigs of memory, UW-SCSI card, 50 pin SCSI drive and hardware mirrored 2 TB UW-SCSI drives, it takes less than 100 watts total. I'm sure any decision you make about leaving on, sleeping or turning off will be fine.

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Keep the IIci. Uniserver can get it recapped for very cheap - PM him for the facts. He brought one of my from the dead - literally! Being in NYC he found a lot of corrosion on the traces and had to fix them, and it was not from the cap goo either - but from the humid environment NYC is. Then get a Daystar 040 Accelerator for it and BAM! It will be a kick ass machine! I recommend the 50MHz for it. Most of the time a recapping repairs PSU Problems as well.


But the 9600, that is a great machine. Depending on what you use it for, you should have many years of use out of it!

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  • 3 months later...
  • 68kMLA Supporter

Very cool setup. I really like the look of that Datadesk keyboard. I've never seen one of those before.


You might also try the Fuse card in slot 4. The 9600 has two PCI busses and while slot 1 is first on bus 1, slot 4 is first on bus 2 and bus 1 has all the motherboard IO on it so bus 2 is actually less loaded.

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As someone whose vintage Mac collection is primarily beige towers of that era, I can say very nice machine!  I am incredibly jealous of that 1GHz CPU.  It is my unicorn processor upgrade!


Your whole setup is very impressive and I expect you will get much enjoyment from it!

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