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Got a nicely kept, 1 owner from new macintosh 6500/275 from eBay locally last weekend. The chap a graphic designer specified it well with internal zip drive, full ram, upgraded hhd, graphics tablet, tv card and a bunch of software like illustrator, photoshop etc all for £65 or approx $90 in us speak. Seems like a good all round bridge machine, even came with a bunch of cables plus keyboard and mouse. Don’t know much about the 6500? 

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As long as you're not trying to upgrade it (where you're competing against the TAM lot), you've got a pretty nice machine.  The 275 and 300MHz revisions of the 6500 are surprisingly speedy too, to the point that they're usable for basic bridge machine work without doing anything besides maxing the RAM and tossing in a larger HD, which is super cheap because it's IDE.

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It is to replace my 6200 for bridge work, the 6200 with 8.6 on it is painfully slow on macintoshgarden, i mean really slow almost unusable, it needed the later os to get the later browser, i had under estimated what I’d need so yes i will fill it with ram and maybe upgrade the hhd at some point, it has an inbuilt zip which i really liked. Have heard it has some subwoofer in it so that’ll be nice.

once i get around to retrobrighting it i’ll plug it in and sell on my 6200 on eBay. I think it will be a better fit for what i need between mu imac g3 and SE/30 :)

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Great snag, especially that Zip/Bezel. G3 is still an option at slower clocked versions and well worth the money IMO. The TAM gang seems to be insanely focused on only the highest clock version and a bit less so about the second tier. There are a lot of USB, FireWire and ATA cards that are incompatible with the 6500/TAM, so you're going head to head with them there.

 

TAM fanatics don't go for ATA cards though, so if you get one of those up and running it might make a useful 68K server/backup machine as well as bridging the 68K gap. If you have a use for the SCSI Zip in another machine, you can run a 250MB version on the ATA card to transfer larger files from the USB version on any machine. Alternately, you can run a cable from an ATA card out the back and hook it up an SD Card adapter or the like to transfer truly massive files and do solid state backups to tuck away in a box safe from lightning strikes and less catastrophic events. SD or such on the crappy internal IDE connector is a given. :approve:

 

I love everything about 6400/6500 except the case which looks just awful to me, but some really like it. Both of mine were parted out and the boards take turns running in my BenchMac in a nice DEC case with sub. Great setup for playtime.

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I’ve never used one before as my college days were a little earlier with Lc’s and various II’s etc..so hopefully it’ll work great on my network bridging my g3 imac and se/30, my core machine is my SE/30 which i adore using but being so old you do need a newer machine to access the net and do some crunch work so hopefully the 6500 will hit the sweet spot and if i can play a few games on it as well that’ll be a bonus :) 

Edited by SE30_Neal
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To add: I wouldn't bother G3 upgrading a 6500. You already have an iMac G3 and you can add a USB diskette drive to that or Zip or another media format to both the iMac and the SE/30 - presuming you don't have them networked, which is really the better way to go if you can.

 

The /275 was available, as far as I can tell, in a few higher end configurations than the /300,  and it's just likely a lot more of them were sold, for cost reasons.

 

Re ATA card: I don't happen to know of any IDE to SD adapters, but IDE to CF adapters are common and should still be inexpensive. You can also run an IDE adapter or a newer IDE disk on the internal connector. With this in mind, depending on what OS you end up wanting to run, I would consider favoring a USB upgrade instead, for removable storage. I don't know if I'd bother with firewire for this class of machine, especially because slot space will be limited, unless you already have a lot of firewire ecosystem in place. (I'm actually personally in a spot where it might make sense to add firewire to a beige Mac I'm running 8 or newer on, just because I've got a bunch of disks for it, but 2TB USB disks do work fine in Mac OS 9 on machines with USB. It's slow, but on my one single vintage Mac with more than a few megs of data on it, I just start the transfer and check on it later in the day.

 

As for gaming: The 6500 has an ATi Rage II, so it should be reasonably good at period games. 

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32 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

Re ATA card: I don't happen to know of any IDE to SD adapters, but IDE to CF adapters are common and should still be inexpensive

That's what I meant. [:)] I like CF for its compatibility with adapters for use in my PowerBooks, which isn't an issue here? That'd be the reason for having an adapter hanging off the back of a bridge machine as I suggested. No need for USB storage on a 6500 when anything that already has USB can use an inexpensive card reader for data transfers. IDE is slow on 6500/TAM, an ATA card ought to make a noticeable improvement, also allows the SCSI Zip to be replaced with an IDE 250.

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If you wanted to use a desktop to look at CF cards from PowerBooks, a USB card reader would probably be an easy way to do it.

 

IDE to SD adapters might exist, I just haven't seen them and they'd be more than a basic pin adapter, which CF/IDE will be because CF is a subset of IDE.

 

4 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

IDE is slow on 6500/TAM, an ATA card ought to make a noticeable improvement,

How noticeable? More importantly, do you think it makes an actual usability difference? I haven't had a 6500 in ~14 years or so and when I did, its stock 4 gig or so disk was still working fine. I never noticed that the disk made it noticeably worse than, say, a 7300.

 

ATA (or SATA if they work) is definitely an option, but if I were building out a 6500, I don't know if that's how I'd do mine.

 

Moving to ZIp250 might be nice, but, again, it kind of depends on the ecosystem. If I'm remembering correctly, localtalk+ethertalk are in play for OP, so the presence of Zip, specifically, isn't important at all. If the goal was to store a lot of data, running OS 8.1 or 9.1 on the 6500 and putting in a SIL3112 and a 2TB hard disk for data might make most sense. Depending on what's already in the machine, and how difficult CS2 ethernet is to find, there's also PCI Ethernet as an option. Especially since "Online" and networking are stated use cases for this machine.

 

Fewer options than an 8600 or a beige g3 (or any 6-slot Mac where you can basically put in every desirable upgrade in one box), but there are options for this setup. What you'd build (and, for that matter, what I'd build) might not be best for what OP wants.

 

I'll admit, thinking about what you'd put in a given machine is a pretty fun exercise for me, because with a 2-3 slot machine, I feel like there's an element of maximizing value and functionality within a form factor. The 6-slot machines are kind of boring to me for that reason, because G3/G4, video, ethernet, sata, usb, and firewire are all obvious upgrades that all fit with a slot to spare.

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3 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

I'll admit, thinking about what you'd put in a given machine is a pretty fun exercise for me, because . . .

Yep, fun for me too, especially the 81/110 with just three NuBus slots. For 6400/6500 (or any machine for that matter) a great VidCard is a must for me, but not for the OP's needs. With ATA you can have Zip 250 and SuperDisk too?

 

Interesting question about perceived disk speeds once you move to CF, I wonder?

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LS-120 was available in a SCSI form, but in reality, it might actually be even easier to use both LS-120 and ZIp250 with USB on a beige PCI Mac than to bother with IDE. I believe there are also SCSI Zip250 drives, probably both internal and external, so that's also an option. Plus, that upper bay is 5.25, so you're talking about room for all manner of things, really.

 

If the IDE was "bad" (I'm betting it's not) you could even put a SCSI2SD v6 or a regular period SCSI hard disk in that space. Though, CF or a fast-ish SCSI hard disk (there's probably enough room in that bay for a fast disk even though the bus isn't that fast) for video capture is a thing.

 

The other-other thing is, for a home prosumer video capture setup, the Avid Cinema card uses a PCI slot, and is supposed to have worked with the original stock hard disk. So, just upgrading that disk or, say, moving your boot disk to SCSI and adding a bigger CF card or bigger/faster IDE disk for video capture and scratch might be worth looking into. Then, you have Avid Cinema in one PCI slot, USB in another, and CommSlot2 Ethernet.

 

6 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

a great VidCard is a must for me

How great? The 6500's 2-meg Rage II will do 24-bit at up to 800x600 and 16-bit up to 1152x870, which is pretty normal for ~1997. I don't recall if VRAM is upgradeable as it is on cards like the XClaim VR or on the beige G3 and iMac motherboards.

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I hacked a full length Radius Thunder PCI card into my refurb 6360 for 24bit 1152x870 even as I was saving my nickels for the G3/L2 from Sonnet. But that was a low budget workstation and 6400/6360 has half the VRAM of 6500/TAM. For gaming 6500 graphics ought to be just fine?

 

250MB Zip in SCSI will pay for a lot of other toys given prices I've seen. The only internal SCSI Zip 250s I've seen are the two I have that were IDE drives built on SCSI Adapters by a vertical market upgrade outfit. They work great on the Mac, except when it comes to ejecting the disk, the system hangs! Gotta reboot for that. ::)

 

I love all the crazy ways you can go about tweaking these things for whatever needs to be done.

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This is definitely the realm of things where a UMAX C600 would probably have been a better machine entirely for you. Also, the XClaim VR could do 24-bit 1152x870 in 1996 when the 6400 was new. I don't remember off hand when the 6360 launched in relation to that, so it's possible that it wasn't an option if this was a machine you built in 1996 or 1997.

 

18 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

250MB Zip in SCSI will pay for a lot of other toys given prices I've seen.

Fair. I'd stand by the thought that if Zip250 was needed for some reason, (especially for someone like you who doesn't like doing networking) then USB and running 8.6 would be an optimal way to get it.

 

Granted - if you wanted to stick with 7.6.1 or 8.1 because of the low RAM ceiling (128 megs doesn't go very far for running 9.1 and newer software) then an IDE card might be the better way to do it. Of course, you could also just stick with the stock Zip100 drive.

 

I probably have two ideal 6500 configurations:

1) 6500/300, 128MB RAM, USB card, CS2 ethernet, OS 8.1/8.5/9.1 (primarily for benching against my 8600/300 and G3/300, I extremely love the idea of a 3-way "300MHz in 1997" shoot-out.

2) 6500/275, 48MB or more RAM, Avid Cinema card, A/V kit, CS2 or PCI ethernet, SCSI boot disk and bigger/faster IDE disk for video capture or bit SCSI disk for video capture and CF upgrade for boot.

In an even more ideal world, I'd use either with the 15-inch Multiple Scan display, probably at 832x624 or 800x600, and just because I'm that guy I'd probably not bother to run at 24-bit. I don't believe the stock a/v kit or the avid cinema kit captures 24-bit video, but I'd have to look.

 

Just for fun, this document details what the 6500's Performa Bundles were in the US: http://personal.stenoweb.net/mag-pdfs/ApplePowerMac6500.pdf 

 

EDIT: I believe there were a few other configurations, too. I have seen references, for example, to a small business /275 model with 48 megs of RAM and a 6-gig disk, if I'm remembering correctly, so this probably isn't the last version of this sell-sheet from before the machine was discontinued upon the introduction of the iMac G3.

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Thinking more about this: I talk a big game about USB but in reality I haven't added it to a beige Mac in a very long time. I probably wouldn't really bother unless there were a good reason, such as if I needed to set up a system in a new location and I wanted to use USB sticks instead of the Internet to move data around.

 

If a 6400/6500 in any config came my way, I would probably only bother with a RAM upgrade and Ethernet, at least initially. Although, the Avid Cinema system is definitely very interesting to me, and the idea of one of these things as a prosumer video editing rig in the mid-late '90s is definitely intriguing. The Avid Cinema PCI card if I remember correctly did MPEG compression, making capture data rates suitable for disk speeds of the time. I think it also works in the 8500/8600, but you can install a SATA card and a faster CPU in there to brute force to blasting lightly compressed frames onto a faster disk.

 

My Beige G3 with its stock disk can pretty reliably capture a couple minutes of footage, I never went into too much detail with trying to optimize that process, though.

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 Getting very strong "you have the creative studio version!" vibes off of this.

 

Is there a PCI card with a "TV out" port or two? If so, I'd say the only changes worth making are +Ethernet and +RAM. That's a very neat configuration, especially if you like video stuff.

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4 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

To add: I wouldn't bother G3 upgrading a 6500. You already have an iMac G3 and you can add a USB diskette drive to that or Zip or another media format to both the iMac and the SE/30 - presuming you don't have them networked, which is really the better way to go if you can.

 

The /275 was available, as far as I can tell, in a few higher end configurations than the /300,  and it's just likely a lot more of them were sold, for cost reasons.

 

Re ATA card: I don't happen to know of any IDE to SD adapters, but IDE to CF adapters are common and should still be inexpensive. You can also run an IDE adapter or a newer IDE disk on the internal connector. With this in mind, depending on what OS you end up wanting to run, I would consider favoring a USB upgrade instead, for removable storage. I don't know if I'd bother with firewire for this class of machine, especially because slot space will be limited, unless you already have a lot of firewire ecosystem in place. (I'm actually personally in a spot where it might make sense to add firewire to a beige Mac I'm running 8 or newer on, just because I've got a bunch of disks for it, but 2TB USB disks do work fine in Mac OS 9 on machines with USB. It's slow, but on my one single vintage Mac with more than a few megs of data on it, I just start the transfer and check on it later in the day.

 

As for gaming: The 6500 has an ATi Rage II, so it should be reasonably good at period games. 

Yes i have them all networked together se/30 to (at the moment my 6200) and my 6200 to the imac g3 that way i can download and pass through the chain as the se/30 won’t speak directly to the imac, the 6500 is a replacement for the 6200. Yes a ssd might be the way to go to safely back up all my se/30 software. I do like copying to zip to my se/30 nostalgia really. I have 2 scsi zip drives and the new 6500 has one built in so I’m happy about that. a usb card wouldn’t be a bad shout though.

Edited by SE30_Neal
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1 hour ago, Cory5412 said:

 Getting very strong "you have the creative studio version!" vibes off of this.

 

Is there a PCI card with a "TV out" port or two? If so, I'd say the only changes worth making are +Ethernet and +RAM. That's a very neat configuration, especially if you like video stuff.

Yes its got a comm card and creative version with tv card and remote control not tried that yet in fact its Not plugged in yet im waiting for some peroxide to retro bright it as its quite yellow and doesn’t match all my other macs so want to do that before i get it in my network and replace my 6200 with it. Looking forward to some gaming with that sub :)

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6 hours ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

That's what I meant. [:)] I like CF for its compatibility with adapters for use in my PowerBooks, which isn't an issue here? That'd be the reason for having an adapter hanging off the back of a bridge machine as I suggested. No need for USB storage on a 6500 when anything that already has USB can use an inexpensive card reader for data transfers. IDE is slow on 6500/TAM, an ATA card ought to make a noticeable improvement, also allows the SCSI Zip to be replaced with an IDE 250.

Nice idea, I hadn’t thought about adding usb, are the cards easy to find?

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8 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

LS-120 was available in a SCSI form, but in reality, it might actually be even easier to use both LS-120 and ZIp250 with USB on a beige PCI Mac than to bother with IDE. I believe there are also SCSI Zip250 drives, probably both internal and external, so that's also an option. Plus, that upper bay is 5.25, so you're talking about room for all manner of things, really.

 

If the IDE was "bad" (I'm betting it's not) you could even put a SCSI2SD v6 or a regular period SCSI hard disk in that space. Though, CF or a fast-ish SCSI hard disk (there's probably enough room in that bay for a fast disk even though the bus isn't that fast) for video capture is a thing.

 

The other-other thing is, for a home prosumer video capture setup, the Avid Cinema card uses a PCI slot, and is supposed to have worked with the original stock hard disk. So, just upgrading that disk or, say, moving your boot disk to SCSI and adding a bigger CF card or bigger/faster IDE disk for video capture and scratch might be worth looking into. Then, you have Avid Cinema in one PCI slot, USB in another, and CommSlot2 Ethernet.

 

How great? The 6500's 2-meg Rage II will do 24-bit at up to 800x600 and 16-bit up to 1152x870, which is pretty normal for ~1997. I don't recall if VRAM is upgradeable as it is on cards like the XClaim VR or on the beige G3 and iMac motherboards.

I’m not sure I’ll have to open it up to look at the card. I have os9 something Is that also limited for 4gb or is it limitless?

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OS 7.6.1 and newer can address 2TB volumes with the right hardware (All PowerPC Macs have the right hardware for this). I haven't tried partitioning bigger disks.

 

OS 8 (I forget if this was added in 8.0 or 8.1) and newer can use the HFS+ file system, which makes bigger partitions actually efficient for small files.

 

The big file thing doesn't matter a lot if you have a partition where you're storing mainly, say, disk images or video and audio clips. So, you could put a SATA card and a pair of 2TB disks in a 6500 and use it as an audio player and store your iTunes, SoundJam, or Audion library on the big/fast disk, or use one for capture.

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40 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

OS 7.6.1 and newer can address 2TB volumes with the right hardware (All PowerPC Macs have the right hardware for this). I haven't tried partitioning bigger disks.

 

OS 8 (I forget if this was added in 8.0 or 8.1) and newer can use the HFS+ file system, which makes bigger partitions actually efficient for small files.

 

The big file thing doesn't matter a lot if you have a partition where you're storing mainly, say, disk images or video and audio clips. So, you could put a SATA card and a pair of 2TB disks in a 6500 and use it as an audio player and store your iTunes, SoundJam, or Audion library on the big/fast disk, or use one for capture.

Thanks Cory, to be honest 2TB would be plenty i could back up everything, I could do with adding the extra ram to it and to the iMac as well, IDE drives are cheap enough as is the ram these days so i could up these nicely. I didn’t know if would run iTunes thats cool.

 

i will defo try out that card it definitely sounds interesting :)

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The chap mentioned os9 disc was missing from the box so i presume its 9.1 although I have original 8.1, 8.5 and 8.6 upgrade disc anyway as it’s what i brought for upgrading the 6200cd I’m replacing. 8.6 is a nice os fir me and middle ground for a bridge. I have Osx 10.3.9 with 9.x classic mode on the iMac G3 and 7.5.5 on the SE/30. Really didn’t think mp3 were possible back them. Nice definitely going to add iTunes to it.

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