Author Topic: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free  (Read 3489 times)

Offline part12studios

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Hi Everyone. 

So I'm loving the G4 450mhz sawtooth I have running OS9, but of course it's not the fastest G4 out there and I would like to shop around for something faster, but what I don't want to run into is getting a machine that's too new.

The one thing I recall from previous threads is that FW800 machines were intended to run OSX.  I also understand that strides had been made to fix this so that maybe any G4 can now run OS9 without trouble? 

I'm just looking for stable / reliable.  I don't want to have to get into things like hacking drivers.. and generally get messy under the hood.  I'm used to that with PC, but I'm looking for a mac that "Just works" under OS9 as god/jobs intended ;)

Thanks,
Caleb

Offline Metrophage

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2016, 10:30:38 PM »
The fastest that works without hacks is the Mirrored Drive Door G4 range of towers. It is tricky, because the FW800 also have mirrored doors, and look pretty much identical. But they are easy enough to tell apart from the rear, as MDD have only the two FW400 ports, and the FW800 has those plus one FW800 port. The fastest laptop is the 1GHz PowerBook Titanium, or TiBook. I have both, and the MDD/FW800 are quite a bit faster, in my experience. One thing to look out for is that there IIRC was a "budget" MDD with a slower 133 MHz bus and 867MHz CPU. The rest of them had a 166/167 MHz bus. Many swear by the earlier Quicksilver Macs also, as being fast and stable, but I've never used one.

Personally, I would call the FW800 with DieHard's install CD for unsupported systems a "sure thing". The installers here are all great. The MDD are fast, but they are also very picky about what version of OS 9 they run. Because OS 9 was losing support, Apple made special versions of OS 9 just for these machines. The ones in the installers here are the latest and best available.

These old Macs do have a reputation for reliability, but in my experience how low-maintenance they are depends upon how much use they see. Most users have been casual, or doing light-duty work. It's not unlike having a vintage race car! Easy Sunday drives don't tax it much, but doing hardcore multitrack sequencing, video/multimedia capture and encoding, etc and it takes a bit of effort to set it up well and keep it going. I have had Macs for nearly twenty years and I am still learning. More than ever, really.

Offline part12studios

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2016, 11:26:02 AM »
awesome thanks for the insight!  This is super helpful.  I'm going to use thid 450mhz system till i feel i hit some performance ceiling..  i have some other non-mac related software/hardware stuff with my MOTU gear before I can fully integrate (networking two MTP AV's) so we'll see how that goes.

However at least I can now keep my eye out for one of those systems..  i'm curious about the mirror drives.. can they hold a zip drive?  my g4 has a zip drive / bay with slot so it's able to eject a disk.. those mirror covers look like they would be trouble for a zip. 

Offline Mat

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2016, 04:34:49 PM »
The fastest "original" Mac for 9.2.2 will be a MDD Dual 1,25 that can boot 9 originally with an exchanged 1,42 GHz CPU from FW800 MDD. Or you look for some of the Upgrade Cards with 1,8 or 2 Ghz. it depends how you are using your system. Some swear that the 1,42 wins in most situations over the 3rd party CPU upgrades because of the huge 2nd level chache of 2MB per CPU.

About the ZIP drives, thats no problem at all. If you do not like to have it externally (e.g. via SCSI card and external drive, or the damn slow USB ZIPs, go for an internal SCSI or IDE version. There are even some kits including nice front doors:

http://moparx.com/2009/12/quicksilver-and-mirror-door-drive/

Offline Metrophage

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2016, 04:42:53 PM »
awesome thanks for the insight!  This is super helpful.  I'm going to use thid 450mhz system till i feel i hit some performance ceiling..  i have some other non-mac related software/hardware stuff with my MOTU gear before I can fully integrate (networking two MTP AV's) so we'll see how that goes.

Glad to be of help! There is certainly still a lot one can do with an older G3 or G4.

However at least I can now keep my eye out for one of those systems..  i'm curious about the mirror drives.. can they hold a zip drive?  my g4 has a zip drive / bay with slot so it's able to eject a disk.. those mirror covers look like they would be trouble for a zip. 

The MDD covers are light, and can easily be opened with the fingers. They are designed to offer only minimal resistance. If an ejecting Zip is not forceful enough, it should be easy to simply move the flap and remove the disk.

The only Macs I have seen with Zip mountings and bezels are the last old-world and first new-world models, like my 8600 and B&W G3 - so that puts it in the 1997-1999 frame of reference. The only thing you'd need to install a Zip in a MDD is a set of brackets which adapt a 3.5" drive to mount in a 5.25" drive bay. And possibly an extension for the Molex drive power cable, as those don't stretch very far. But these should be relatively cheap and available adaptors.

Offline part12studios

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2019, 08:53:33 AM »
Hi everyone,

I'm back on this subject.. I've used mt 450mhz sawtooth and have felt the limits of it for plugins so i'm looking into a mirror door mac..  so you mention FW800 units being bad.  i see some that show x2 fw400 and x1 fw800 port..  is this a "fw800" model or would the bad ones be ones that have no FW400 ports? 

here is an imagine of one I am considering:

Offline FdB

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2019, 09:21:05 AM »
The FW800 MDDs aren’t “bad”… you just have to wrap your head around it’s capabilities running the 9.2.2 from here for them. AND if you set them up to “dual-boot” with OS X on a second partition on your hard drive, you can make use of the FW800 port when and if needed. BUT…

If you don’t want to think about all of the above, then the MDD with only the FW400 ports might be more to your liking. Perhaps read back through what Metrophage and Mat have already written here to get a clearer idea before making your choice.

The FW800 machine image that you posted looks very clean and might be a good deal financially, so maybe comparing the cost of it… to a comparable FW400 model - should be considered?

I have both types of MDD… but my personal preference is the FW400.
(No big reason, I just prefer them.) ;)
This Must Be The Place

Offline part12studios

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2019, 10:32:09 AM »
Ok yea i saw the talk about it.. but wanted to be sure what to look for.   so the takeaway is:

yes there are 1.25ghz G4 mirror door models that are 100% FW400 only..  and these install classic os9 without any hassle / worry

any mirror door models that have a physical FW800 port can work but might take some special steps to get things working.


I'm looking for hassle free so I'm going to be diligent and hunt down one that is FW400 in the back.  Might be tougher to find, but yea I'm just wanting a pure classic experience and not have to deal with any exceptions. 

Thanks!
Caleb

Offline part12studios

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2019, 10:33:57 AM »
This one for example is a mirror door model that should be good as I see no FW800 ports. 

Offline DieHard

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 10:59:14 AM »
yes there are 1.25ghz G4 mirror door models that are 100% FW400 only..  and these install classic os9 without any hassle / worry

Yes Very Easy with this:
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,2109.0.html

any mirror door models that have a physical FW800 port can work but might take some special steps to get things working.
Thanks!
Caleb

No Special Steps... just as easy with this:
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,2143.0.html

However... the second option has these notes:
Quote
Model Specific Hardware Notes:
1. Apple Power Macintosh G4 1.25 DP (FW 800) (Identifiers: M8570, M8840LL/A, Firewire 800, PowerMac3,6)
Firewire 800 ports are seen as FW400 ports are FW400 ports are Not recognized, all other hardware functions as normal

2. Apple Power Macintosh G4 1.42 DP (FW 800) (Identifiers: M8570, M8840LL/A, Firewire 800, PowerMac3,6)
Firewire 800 ports are seen as FW400 ports are FW400 ports are Not recognized, all other hardware functions as normal

Offline refinery

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2019, 12:38:37 PM »
if you can, track one down with the copper heatsink. your ears will thank you.  ;D
G4/MDD 1.42 (9), G4/GB 500DP (X), Beige G3 400 (upgraded) (9), PBG4Ti 1Ghz (X), PBG3WS 300 (9)

got my mind on my scsi and my scsi on my mind

Offline GaryN

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Re: What is the fastest (sure thing) OS9 Mac I can find? Hack-free
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2019, 03:58:04 PM »
At this moment, the fastest "sure thing" is the MDD that Jaki is selling right here.

http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,4893.0/topicseen.html