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Powermac 6500 MB in Performa 6400?


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I have always wondered if the motherboard from a Powermac 6500 could be used in a Performa 6400. I've had a 6400/180 for years and thought it would be cool to stick a 300MHz board from a 6500 in there just for kicks. About the only difference I can see is the lack of built in RAM and the 6500's graphics card. Has anyone ever tried to do this?

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Yup, I've done it more times than I can count. The 5400 and 6400 are identical, and the 5500 and 6500 are identical. So I've often popped the 5500 board into the 6400, and vice-versa.

 

Other than a speedbump, graphic, and memory differences, power requirements and all that are pretty much identical with the 5/6400 and 5/6500 series.

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Cool. Maybe if I have some spare cash this summer I'll buy one. I never really use the thing anymore, but I'd love to have a Pre-G3 system running at 300MHz. I figure with an ATA hard drive, it has pretty good potential as a dedicated 9.1 machine.

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Not to mention that when analog telly goes off the air, they'll be rendered useless anyhoo...you'll have to get a digital STB and connect it to the ports on the Video System card.

I would be willing to bet that most people in the US have a set top box of some sort. :)

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The ATA on the 6500 isn't that great (ata/33 I think), but usable. I run 7.6.1 on mine I think or 8.1. Mine has the TV tuner which is worthless these days.

Ya that ATA sucks, but its a lot easier to find decent sized ATA drives than SCSI ones like on most older Macs. Who knows, I'd have to get more RAM in it though.

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Mine has the TV tuner which is worthless these days.

 

Those are total garbage. I have several in my Macs, and the quality is horrid.

 

They appear to sample the TV signal at 320x240, so the result is really blocky. You can eliminate static with a good antenna or analog cable service, but you can't get rid of the blockiness.

 

 

The ATA on the 6500 isn't that great (ata/33 I think), but usable. I run 7.6.1 on mine I think or 8.1. Mine has the TV tuner which is worthless these days.

 

I don't think it's even ATA/33. I think it's the older 16 MB stuff. The stock 4 GB hard drive in a Power Mac 6500 is slow as hell though. Almost any newer drive will be faster and speed up the 6500 significantly.

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Stick a G3 upgrade in the L2 cache slot, a Sonnet Tempo Trio in one PCI, and a better video (in and out) card in t'other.

 

You are aware the Sonnet's page only lists Windows XP/Vista? I'm going to assume that you can just plug it in and use it without drivers/extensions.

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I wouldn't assume that if I were you. I contacted Sonnet about that, and was told that they had discontinued the Mac version of that card.

 

You can however still pick them up occasionally on you-know-where.

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  • 2 months later...

Are you the seller by chance? I was actually just looking at that board. Since it has the AV inputs and outputs, is it safe to assume its at least 250MHz? Or was it possible to add that stuff to a slower board? I'd really like to get a 275-300MHz board, but I guess 250 isn't all that bad.

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No, I am sorry, it isn't mine...just thought it'd be useful. There were 225 Mhz versions. I found it hard to tell the difference between the 225, 250, and 275 ones. I had a 300 Mhz one once, and it overheated a lot.

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Or was it possible to add that stuff to a slower board?

 

The video input card is an Apple Video System card, which will work on any Performa with a video-in slot. the Video outputs look like they connect to the auxuilary external video connector on the logic board, which leads me to assume that that too should work on any Performa with that slot.

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