VOGONS


First post, by vladstamate

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Recently I have added a Macintosh Performa 6115CD to my collection. This is the 5th vintage Apple I have and the most powerful. It came not working so I had to repair it by replacing the motherboard and the PRAM battery. I've also added 64Mb of memory in addition to the 8Mb soldered on the motherboard. I've been having a lot of fun with it and I wanted to share my experiences.

mbQdMHy.jpg

First the hardware:

CPU: PowerPC 601 at 60Mhz (bus speed at 30Mhz)
Cache: 32Kb L1 and 0K L2 (more on that below)
Memory: 72Mb (60ns memory, but it really operates at 80ns due to motherboard limitation)
Video: integrated 640x480 @ 16bpp
HDD: 250Mb SCSI (limited to 5MBps)
CD-ROM: 2x speed SCSI
Netword: AAUI to Ethernet adapter
Sound: On board 22Khz, Stereo (stereo jack in the back).

More pictures of the internals here.

C0Mvy8q.jpg
d5pNSvs.jpg

Then the software:

OS: System 7.6.1
Browsing: Netscape Communicator 4.8 / Internet Explorer 5
FTP client: Anarchie
Essential: Stuffit
Faster 68k emulator: SpeedDoubler
Appearance Manager (to make it look nicer)
Games: Ultimate Doom, Quake, Marathon, Civilization 2 Demo, Simcity 2000 Demo and others

Setting things up

It came with almost no software so I first had to install StuffIt (the only way to do that was to use a .img file and do a rawrite to a floppy). Then I put IE5 and Netscape. One of the biggest wins was installing SpeedDoubler as that made the 68k emulator faster. For example Ultimate Doom felt like on my 386DX40 but after it felt faster than my 486DX2@66.

Game benchmarks

Quake (timedemo demo1) 7.6FPS
Marathon
Low res/256 colors - 26fps
Low res/16k colors - 17fps
High res/256 colors - 16fps
High res/16k colors - 11fps
Doom - feels faster than my 486DX2@66, I cannot run a timedemo as there is no command line....

Overall

Overall it "feels" (for whatever that is worth) like a 486DX4@100Mhz. From the SW point of view though everything just works. I mean everything installs with no issues and well I seem to find anything I want. There are no IRQs to deal with, drivers to install, setup programs to execute. Anything I put in just works...Like insert a CD audio and it just plays it. Sure you can open "Audio CD Player" if you want to change tracks, but you do not need to. Once I got other the "catch-22" with StuffIt (where you need StuffIt installed to install StuffIt, because it only comes as a StuffIt archive) it was the easiest setup I have ever done.

Internet browsing is actually pretty good. A small surprise here is that Internet Explorer is actually rendering websites better than Netscape Communicator.

Upgrades

- HDD: I am running out of space on 250Mb so I will be upgrading to at least 1Gb SCSI drive, possibly more.
- Cache: this is what is really hurting the performance. I need the 256Kb L2 cache stick, and I have one on the way from eBay. That should give me about 30% speed improvement. With a 1Mb L2 cache stick I can get 80% speed improvement.
- Better video card. I need to get an HPV 2Mb RAM card so I can run 1024x768 resolution.

Thanks

Thanks for people at vintage-computer forums (now vcfed.org) and Vogons user lolo799 who helped to set it up and find software for it.

I will add more pictures/screenshots later as I am still gathering them.

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7HbC_nq8t1S9l7qGYL0mTA
Collection: http://www.digiloguemuseum.com/index.html
Emulator: https://sites.google.com/site/capex86/
Raytracer: https://sites.google.com/site/opaqueraytracer/

Reply 1 of 16, by meisterister

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Ah, that was my first computer. Thank you for bringing back memories of trying to convince my parents to buy about 120 diskettes so I could back it up 😵

I didn't realize how fast these were! According to Wikipedia, the PowerPC 601 should be roughly between a 486 and a Pentium in terms of internal resources, and it would be interesting to see how much more performance you could squeeze out of it with some L2 cache.

Dual Katmai Pentium III (450 and 600MHz), 512ish MB RAM, 40 GB HDD, ATI Rage 128 | K6-2 400MHz / Pentium MMX 166, 80MB RAM, ~2GB Quantum Bigfoot, Awful integrated S3 graphics.

Reply 2 of 16, by ahendricks18

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Hello,
I apologize for bumping an older thread. However I have the chance to buy a Performa 6116CD. Also the guy has a few Power Mac 6100/60's. I want to get one of each (he has a few of both). Would I have to get a monitor with them that is Mac compatible? He has some, so it would not be a problem. He also had one not listed that I mentioned I was interested in. I asked him for a model no. but I sent the email just now. Maybe someone here knows what it is? Thanks

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Main: AMD FX 6300 six core 3.5ghz (OC 4ghz)
16gb DDR3, Nvidia Geforce GT740 4gb Gfx card, running Win7 Ultimate x64
Linux: AMD Athlon 64 4000+, 1.5GB DDR, Nvidia Quadro FX1700 running Debian Jessie 8.4.0

Reply 3 of 16, by Jorpho

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The old 61xx Powermacs are kind of questionable, and you might want to consider getting a G3 or something along those lines (maybe even an iMac) if you really want to mess with an older Mac. See also http://lowendmac.com/1994/power-mac-6100/.

It's quite hard to say what the circled Mac is, since a wide variety of them used exactly the same case. It could be a 68k Quadra 650 , or apparently it could just as easily be a Powermac 7600. See http://lowendmac.com/2005/power-mac-index/ .

Unless you can get a separate video card, I understand the 61xx and 7100 come with an HDI-45 connector for the display. There is really no point in trying to find the monitor that uses this connector directly, so you will absolutely need an adapter. You should be able to find one that will let you plug in a standard Macintosh DA-15 display, and you can then plug in a DA-15 to VGA connector so you can plug in a standard PC VGA monitor; there is no need to get a dedicated Macintosh display.

As mentioned in the OP, you will also probably need a PRAM battery, which is a fairly uncommon 1/2 size AA.

Reply 4 of 16, by swaaye

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@op

Neat. I used a 6100/60 when they first came out and I do remember thinking my AMD DX4 was faster. Part of that was surely caused by the 68k translation being used at the time. But yeah compared to DOS and Windows 3.1, the usability for most people is way better.

I have a 7500/100 that I've been messing around with on and off for years. I want to get a 604e for it. Not really interested in going to G3. I do have a Viewsonic monitor adapter (as Jorpho mentions) and it works great. I did eventually get a PCI Radeon though. Also a PCI USB card.

Reply 5 of 16, by luckybob

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yay for system 7! Those were the days! Looking back it's amazing apple could compete with with pc clones. The os is HORRIBLE, the powerPC chips sucked ass. The design was always crippled for arbitrary reasons...

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Reply 6 of 16, by stuvize

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Used to have a 61xx Mac can't remember the exact model but it had 2 CPUS a 486 socket and Apples Motorola socket it ran Windows or MAC OS, did use the HDI-45 connector luckily I had the original monitor for it performance was so-so replacing the Cyrix DX2 with a Intel DX2 made it a little faster but not much was a neat machine regardless.

Reply 7 of 16, by vladstamate

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luckybob wrote:

yay for system 7! Those were the days! Looking back it's amazing apple could compete with with pc clones. The os is HORRIBLE, the powerPC chips sucked ass. The design was always crippled for arbitrary reasons...

That might be, however the speed is quite decent. And like I said in my post, EVERYTHING worked. Anything I installed just behaved properly and browsing the internet was a pleasure. The speed definitely matched a P60-P90. The OS is fairly light weight, I am not sure what would make it horrible.

One thing that keeps eluding me is the L2 cache. I bought 3 different sticks from eBay marketed as 256Kb L2 cache for Performa and none were that. One was meant for G3, one was a BIOS stick and one was something else, not sure what. If I can find the correct 256Kb L2 cache I should in theory get a boost of about 30% (according to different websites).

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7HbC_nq8t1S9l7qGYL0mTA
Collection: http://www.digiloguemuseum.com/index.html
Emulator: https://sites.google.com/site/capex86/
Raytracer: https://sites.google.com/site/opaqueraytracer/

Reply 9 of 16, by swaaye

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Compared to Windows 3.1? Elaborate please. 😀

All I really know is it is cooperative multitasking (like Win 3) and that was a major downside for Apple until they went BSD with OSX.

Reply 10 of 16, by swaaye

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vladstamate wrote:

One thing that keeps eluding me is the L2 cache. I bought 3 different sticks from eBay marketed as 256Kb L2 cache for Performa and none were that. One was meant for G3, one was a BIOS stick and one was something else, not sure what. If I can find the correct 256Kb L2 cache I should in theory get a boost of about 30% (according to different websites).

I'm working on getting L2 for my 7500. I think I finally found a stick of 256K. Maybe it will work......

I'm surprised to learn that the 7500 and friends have a 128bit effective memory bus. I have to read more about these old Macs.

Reply 11 of 16, by JidaiGeki

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ahendricks18 wrote:

Hello,
I apologize for bumping an older thread. However I have the chance to buy a Performa 6116CD. Also the guy has a few Power Mac 6100/60's. I want to get one of each (he has a few of both). Would I have to get a monitor with them that is Mac compatible? He has some, so it would not be a problem. He also had one not listed that I mentioned I was interested in. I asked him for a model no. but I sent the email just now. Maybe someone here knows what it is? Thanks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outrigger_Macintosh

Could be anything from a 7200 or 7500 (601-based), through a 7300 or 7600 (604-based), or even a G3 desktop. Just missed out on buying a G3 desktop recently for $1 🙁

Reply 12 of 16, by Dimitris1980

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For me the best upgrade for this machine is a sonnet nubus g3 card accelerator. I have equipped my performa 6116 with the sonnet g3 at 500mhz and the machine is really flying. Lots of games and programs run slow because of the 68k emulation. Even old games like monkey island 1 & 2. Gabriel Knight is very very slow, like King's Quest 7. But with the sonnet upgrade the difference is HUGE. All these games run fast. You can even run more demanding games with minimum requirements ppc 100 or 120 or 180 mhz. Mac OS 7.6 is really fast with the sonnet nubus. Also the same for Mac OS 8.1. I have also installed Mac OS 9.0 but i rarely use it. My performa is connected with an adaptor with the macintosh color display. It is 14" (11.5" viewable) with an amazing quality and it is great for retro gaming. My big passion is the apple audiovision display which connects to the hdi-45 port but i have not be able to find and buy one. So i am with the macintosh color display now. Maybe the same monitor with the audiovision ,but the audiovision has internal microphone, speakers and also has adb ports. Regarding the games above, all of them run very fast with the sonnet g3. They are extremely enjoyable!

Reply 13 of 16, by spooni

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I know that I'm incredibly new here, and I hate to necro on my first post, but I have a Macintosh Performa 6116 CD sitting right next to the screen I'm typing this on. It has not been used for 17 years, but we still had the power supply cable. So I hooked up the sound and booted, and it chimes, but I haven't got the video cable.

WHAT IS THIS THING? I assume the thing on the back of it is the video output jack, (it has a |[ ]| symbol on it), but I haven't got a cord with what looks like 40 pins on it anywhere. I do believe we lost it some years ago.

So what's a video cable like this called? Where could I find one? Help, please.

Reply 14 of 16, by Jorpho

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That is likely the HDI-45 connector I mentioned in my first post. As I said, there is really only one model of Macintosh monitor that used that connector and there is no point in looking for anything other than an adapter. They are abundantly available (though they do not tend to be particularly cheap.)