New Drives in Quadras, Power Macs
Dan Knight - 1999.01.13
FG writes: I own a Performa 6400/180 and would like to add a second hard drive in the empty drive bay. I am considering a drive from a Power Mac 7200/120 (1.2 GB), since I can have it for free. I have had some people tell me that it will slow down the entire system. Will this be the case even if it is not really used that often? Also would the fact that it has to be connected via SCSI and I have an internal CD-ROM and an external Zip drive and Scanner cause problems?
Mac Daniel responds: No, adding a SCSI drive to your 6400 won't slow it down. In fact, you may find the SCSI drive offers better performance than the IDE drive that came with the computer.
And the 6400 has an internal drive bay with SCSI support, so installation should require nothing more than the correct mounting bracket.
KK writes: Hi, I have a Performa 6400. The CD-ROM is shot. Can I go with a third party drive and still stay internal? I was told that this is a SCSI CD-ROM. I'm not sure what that means, but let me know if you can.
Mac Daniel responds: SCSI is one way of connecting drives and other devices to personal computers. Although Apple didn't invent it, they popularized it by using it on the Mac Plus and almost every Mac made since then (until the iMac).
The common alternative to SCSI is IDE (or EIDE or ATAPI), which is used heavily in the Windows world and is increasingly common on Macs. The key idea is that they are different: IDE drives won't run from SCSI ports and vice versa.
Apple's site doesn't say whether the CD-ROM is IDE/ATAPI or SCSI. You'd better check the manual, since none of the books in my library cover the 6400.
If it is SCSI, the CyberDrive makes a very nice, affordable replacement - and is one of the few drives you can boot a Mac from. (I've recently seen ads for a bootable 12x Sony mechanism, but it sells for about the same price as the 24x CyberDrive.)
- Update: a reader has notified me that the CyberDrive will not work inside the 6400, since the plugs don't align with those Apple built into the computer. However, the external CyberDrive will work with the 6400.
RK writes: I just got this old Quadra 610, and the only way I am going to get rid of this wonderful box is if somebody pries my cold lifeless fingers off of it's case. :)
I am attempting to throw off the yoke of Microshaft slavery. My PC is slowly becoming a Linux box. I was thinking of doing that to this box as well, but maybe not. My only obstacle to that, and one of two complaints that I have, is that this is the LC040 chip. I thought all the Quadras had the full blown '040. Live and learn, but I need to find a new CPU chip.
MicroMac <http://www.micromac.com/> has the '040 chip. Just pull the old one out and put this one in. But it is 99 bucks - and I just spent $200 to get this. Do you know of any cheaper place to find one?
What do you think about the upgrade board they have to turn this into a 6100 with the G3 upgrade card in one shot for $550?
Only one other thing. Do you know of a good cheap place to get a bigger hard drive? This poor little thing is only 160 MB. I could stand something a little bigger. :)
Mac Daniel responds: To make the least expensive 610 more affordable, Apple used the 68LC040 instead of the full 68040. I can't recommend any specific places to find a 25 MHz 68040, but I'll bet the Quadlistas would be more than happy to help out. (Every Quadra owner should subscribe to Quadlist, the only email list especially for 68040-based Macs.)
If you can get a 6100 motherboard and G3 upgrade for $550, that's an incredible deal. I've seen G3 cards for the 6100 sell for $400-500 - and that's just the card. A used 6100 still goes for about $300-400, but that usually gives you a larger hard drive and faster CD-ROM in the bargain.
You can pick up a 1.2 MB hard drive for about $100 from lots of mail order dealers these days. Newer hard drives are much faster than the old 160 MB drives Apple used.
Before investing in a 6100 upgrade, be sure to read up on the 6100. For instance, it uses system memory for video, which is slow. To overcome this, you want a 1 MB L2 cache, so avoid PowerPC upgrades that only have a 512 KB cache if you're concerned with performance.
FLASH: Sonnet has announce a Power PPC upgrade for the Quadra and Centris computers. Using technology developed by Apple and Daystar Digital, the Power PPC places a 100 MHz PowerPC 601 processor in almost every Centris and Quadra. More details in their press release.
Not sure if you should upgrade your old Mac or replace it? Check the Mac Daniel index to see if we've already addressed your problem.
Recent Mac Daniel columns
- How to Recover from a Beige G3 Startup Error, Dan Knight, 2012.07.19. If you're not careful, installing OS X 10.2 Jaguar can create an unbootable Beige Power Mac G3. How to fix it - and how to avoid the problem.
- Port Wars: Thunderbolt vs. USB 3, PCIe Cable, and FireWire, Dan Knight, 2012.06.14. Thunderbolt is very fast, USB 3 half as fast, FireWire is on the ropes, and PCIe Cable could blow away Thunderbolt.
- OWC Legacy SSD Tested in Mystic Power Mac G4, Dan Knight, 2011.07.15. G4 Power Macs don't have built-in SATA support, and most SSDs are SATA devices. OWC's legacy SSDs work on the older Mac's IDE bus.
- More in the Mac Daniel index.
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