Author Topic: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project  (Read 5596 times)

Offline Knezzen

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The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« on: October 21, 2016, 01:33:35 PM »
I recently stumbled upon a 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore/MDX Duet upgrade for the MDD and XServe G4 and I couldn't really keep myself from buying it. The whole reason for the purchase was to see if the 1.8ghz version shares CPU with the 1.6ghz model with just the core multiplier crippling it. A nice overclocking project!

I contacted MacTron and got to work with taking pictures of the front and back of the MDX.
MacTron made some discoveries and.... we got stuck. We need to find the core multiplier resistors, and since the documentation for the MDX board is internal for Sonnet, we don't have any documentation to help us do so.

So now we need your help!
Do any of you guys own a 1.8ghz MDX and feel confident enough to remove the heatsink and take some pictures of it?
Pretty much the only thing we can do now is try to find some high resolution pictures of the 1.8ghz MDX board and compare it to the 1.6ghz I have.

Please help us help you!
If we manage to get the 1.6ghz stable at 1.8ghz or above, we have a pretty cheap upgrade path for those of us who need even more power than a overclocked 1.25ghz MDD CPU can manage, or just because we want more power ;)


I have attached the pictures I have taken of my 1.6ghz board to this post for archiving purposes.


Offline MacTron

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2016, 05:30:04 AM »
The LTC1709 chip is the Voltage Regulator.

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Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2016, 11:34:59 PM »
Bumping this thread a bit. We still need your help!

Do anyone here have a 1.8ghz MDX and want to contribute with some pictures of it? It would really help alot!

Offline GaryN

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2016, 01:19:36 AM »
Here you go Knez.
Have fun overclocking your practically-irreplaceable upgrade board.
Just don't let the smoke out.

I notice we both took pix before wiping the goo off of the CPUs d-oh
Mine are 7447B's

Interesting side note: After reassembling with fresh Arctic Silver, the CPU temp dropped 3 - really - 3 degrees C!
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 01:36:33 AM by GaryN »

Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2016, 02:10:26 AM »
Thanks Gary! Now we can keep on going :)

EDIT: Just compared them briefly and they seem identical to me :(
MacTron: Do you see any difference between the two? I might have missed something.

EDIT AGAIN: The model number on the CPU's seems to be identical as well, which is good at least; 18ARE10516D001.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 03:29:53 AM by Knezzen »

Offline MacTron

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2016, 09:13:40 AM »

MacTron: Do you see any difference between the two? I might have missed something.

OK, I'll take a look. :)
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Offline MacTron

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2016, 09:31:07 AM »
I got something :




But the resistors 102 do not match as expected.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 09:55:21 AM by MacTron »
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Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2016, 10:49:40 AM »
I wonder where the rest of the resistors are... hum.

EDIT: MacTron, I see an error in your picture there. The 1.6ghz MDX actually runs at 1.58ghz and not 1.67ghz, so it should be running with a 9.5x multiplier and not 10x like in your picture.

« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 11:26:27 AM by Knezzen »

Offline MacTron

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2016, 12:44:44 PM »
EDIT: MacTron, I see an error in your picture there. The 1.6ghz MDX actually runs at 1.58ghz and not 1.67ghz, so it should be running with a 9.5x multiplier and not 10x like in your picture.

... so my theory is invalid. :'(

Anyway, the only difference I have found was those resistors, so changing them will convert a 1.6 card into a 1.8 card or not!  :-X
... this is a risky business...
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Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2016, 12:55:45 PM »
Anyway, the only difference I have found was those resistors, so changing them will convert a 1.6 card into a 1.8 card or not!  :-X
... this is a risky business...

So should we find out? Im only 100 euro out of pocket and if only the one resistor is the key, then the odds of finding a 1.8ghz MDX suddenly got doubled if you are willing to do a quick solder.

I'll double check the boards before I do anything, could you as well MacTron? Just to be 100% sure that this is the only difference.

Offline MacTron

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2016, 08:10:13 AM »
I'll double check the boards before I do anything, could you as well MacTron? Just to be 100% sure that this is the only difference.

I have double checked the pictures, and the only physical differences are those two resistors.

But I think that we have to wait, there is some weird things that need to be answered. May be someone know the answers.

# why both cards seems to work at the same voltage ?
# the upper rigth componnet of the card (C&K BPA02) is a DIP swich?
# can be the bus multiplier and the core voltage be set by some kind of card firmware?
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Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2016, 10:55:04 AM »
# why both cards seems to work at the same voltage ?
# the upper rigth componnet of the card (C&K BPA02) is a DIP swich?
# can be the bus multiplier and the core voltage be set by some kind of card firmware?

About the DIP switch. Found this in the official install PDF for the MDX.


Found this text about the Sonnet Encore/ST 1.7ghz on everymac.com:
Quote
The Sonnet Encore/ST G4 1.7 features a 1.7 GHz MHz PowerPC 74xx (G4) processor with the AltiVec "Velocity Engine" vector processing unit and a 512k level 2 on-chip cache.

The card plugs into the G4 daughtercard slot provided by the AGP-based Power Macintosh G4 models (AGP, Gigabit, Digital Audio, Quicksilver 2001/2002, and a separate version for the Cube), replacing the original processor card.

All Encore/ST models utilize Sonnet's unique "AutoConfigure" technology to automatically detect what computer is being used and set the speed to the maximum safe setting.

Compatible with MacOS X 10.3.5 and higher, but requires MacOS 9.2 to install a provided firmware patch.

The MDX most certainly uses the same mechanism to set the multiplier and voltage.
Perhaps the changed resistor is the "switch" between 1.6ghz and 1.8ghz to some kind of control chip that sets the voltage and multiplier accordingly?

Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2016, 06:13:26 AM »
So success! Almost... I went ahead and soldered on the card. Soldering it like Garys 1.8ghz card gave me a boot chime but a black screen... No success. I tried another approach. I bridged both R103 and R104 and success! The MDD booted, but I only got dual 1.42ghz CPU's now.



So it's more or less certain that the 1.58ghz Sonnet wont do 1.8ghz, at least not mine.
Now to see where the limit is. 1.67ghz would be nice at least, or perhaps a bit more :)


EDIT:
I reached 1.67ghz! And it's very stable. Removing R104 and R105 and keeping R103 in place equals 1.67ghz.
Since I'm not able to do 1.8ghz the only thing left is to find the 10.5x multiplier which would give me 1.75ghz.
If this doesn't work I still have 1.67ghz which I'm more than satisfied with. And it's 1.67ghz running very cool.



Right now it's at 36C with the aluminium heatsink from my overclocked dual 1.25ghz module with 3 tabs open in TenFourFox and Spotify playing in the background. Adding some high quality thermal paste and a copper heatsink would make for a very cool running and stable machine.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 07:35:21 AM by Knezzen »

Offline MacTron

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2016, 08:29:25 AM »
Awesome!
Great Job!

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
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Offline MacTron

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2016, 07:03:58 AM »
BTW, what resistors configuration would give you 1.75ghz. ?
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Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2016, 07:11:51 AM »
BTW, what resistors configuration would give you 1.75ghz. ?

I have no idea actually. I bought some Arctic Silver 5 today, so I'm giving it a go after dinner tonight. If you look at the picture of the front of the card there is a chip with a sticker with "XG4B". All the resistors I have messed with does to this chip one way or the other.

This chip must be the "automatic configuration" that Sonnet uses on their G4 upgrade card.
You probably set it with the resistors to your wanted frequency and the chip sets the multiplier and voltage accordingly. This is just a theory of mine, but is seems plausable.

Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2016, 12:38:13 PM »
So it's more or less certain that the 1.58ghz Sonnet wont do 1.8ghz, at least not mine.
Now to see where the limit is. 1.67ghz would be nice at least, or perhaps a bit more :)

I'll take that back now ;)


Offline GaryN

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2016, 04:38:19 PM »
So, what did you do?

Offline mrhappy

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2016, 08:55:47 PM »
So, what did you do?

Something very cool!!! ;D Nice work Knezz!!

Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2016, 10:03:34 PM »
So, what did you do?

Soldered it like the resistors MacTron found was changed and put som Arctic Silver 5 on it. Booted right away.
The old thermal paste must have been really crappy.

Offline GaryN

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2016, 02:50:58 PM »
Good work!

Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2017, 10:40:32 AM »
Just won a dual 1.8ghz MDX on eBay. When it arrives I will try to break the 2ghz barrier. So stay tuned, theres more to come in this thread! :)

Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2018, 01:47:57 AM »
Just to keep this thread alive a bit. I have been busy with a big move and have sort of just finished building the last kitchen (built three new kitchens in the house). I helped my mother in law move in one of the apartments upstairs (I bought an old apartment building), so I more or less have time now for computer related projects.

Fury was kind enough to donate a copper heatsink out of a dual 1.42ghz MDD to me. Thanks for that!
When it gets here I think I have enough cooling power to cool the (hopefully) overclocked 1.8ghz MDX.

More to come in the very near future! After that there will be new releases of MacTorrent, more new OS 9 software from the new CrapSoft HQ etc ;)

Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2018, 01:53:04 PM »
Did someone say "Worlds fastest MDD"? ;)



« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 02:50:08 PM by Knezzen »

Offline devils_advisor

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2018, 04:03:53 PM »
lord almighty :D

Offline mrhappy

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2018, 05:44:10 PM »
Sweet Jesus!!!! Go Knez! ;D ;D

Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2018, 04:29:25 AM »
So, let me explain what I did. In the picture shown here is what I like to call the "settings block" for the Sonnet CPU daughter card.
These resistors control the chip that actually sets the CPU voltage and multiplier settings, hence why I can overclock the CPU's by setting these three in different ways.

Setting the 1.8ghz MDX up for 2ghz is by far the easiest overclock I'v done.
All you do is remove/desolder the resistor on R104 in the picture and you got 2ghz.
It even runs at 2ghz with the stock MDX heatsink with little temperature raise compared to when running at 1.8ghz.

The best thing to do, though (for any MDX owner, I guess), is to put the stock MDD heatsink on.
It drastically lowers the temperature compared to using the stock MDX heatsink.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 07:35:33 AM by Knezzen »

Offline MacTron

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2018, 03:12:38 AM »
... Great!  ;D
now we have the speed settings of the card combining the 103 and 104 resistors ...
I have a question: Does the 1.6 module support the 1.8 Ghz speed and later 2.0 Ghz ? , or was the 1.8 that achieve the 2.0 Ghz?
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Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2018, 07:23:50 AM »
... Great!  ;D
now we have the speed settings of the card combining the 103 and 104 resistors ...
I have a question: Does the 1.6 module support the 1.8 Ghz speed and later 2.0 Ghz ? , or was the 1.8 that achieve the 2.0 Ghz?

The 1.6ghz MDX actually runs at 1.58ghz and uses two allready overclocked 7447A CPU's marked with 1.25ghz. It can do 1.67ghz with stock MDX cooling without any problems and 1.8ghz with better cooling (aluminium or copper MDD heatsink).

The 1.8ghz MDX uses two allready overclocked 7447B's marked with 1.67ghz. It can do 2ghz with stock MDX cooling as long as you have the small Sonnet fan in place. Will probably do a bit more with better cooling.

Will try to get further when the copper heatsink from Fury arrives :)

Offline LillyOmegaWolf

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2018, 12:33:48 PM »
I wonder, is it worth it at all to put dual 2ghz into my current 1.42ghz dual FW800 G4 powermac?
If I see the Dual 1.8 on ebay that is.
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Offline Knezzen

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2018, 12:39:03 PM »
Well, that's hard to answer. What's "worth it" for you might not be what's "worth it" for me.

I do have benchmarks of my old Dual 1.5ghz MDD CPU (overclocked from the stock 1.25ghz), so I should be able to benchmark the dual 2ghz soon so you can see for yourself if it's "worth it" or not :)

I overclocked the 1.6ghz and 1.8ghz MDX just to see if it could be done, so I (and indeed we) know.

Offline GaryN

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2018, 03:03:43 PM »
I wonder, is it worth it at all to put dual 2ghz into my current 1.42ghz dual FW800 G4 powermac?
If I see the Dual 1.8 on ebay that is.
As someone who has done exactly that, I can tell you that perspective is important here. "Upping" your 1.42 to 1.8 and expecting your MDD to suddenly act like a new Mac Pro will leave you sorely disappointed. By that I mean you have to remember that how fast a computer "feels" is a product of multiple factors of which CPU speed is only one. Bus speed, HDD access time, RAM all have a say in how it moves along.

Nothing will give an old computer a "shot in the arm" generally than to replace an old HDD with an SSD, since that's one of the bottlenecks that shows almost constantly. However, upgrading the CPU to 1.8 will make a serious improvement if you run processor-heavy / processor-dependent tasks like rendering video, managing gigantic spreadsheets, large Mp3 encodes etc. Tasks that require a lot of computation will benefit most. Note: I was going to say "anything will benefit" but that may not always be true. The 7447 PPC chip, while clocked faster, has no level 3 cache and there may (stress may because knowing for certain would require a lot of serious testing) be more or less benefit for different tasks.

That said, while I did see a noticeable improvement going from 1.42 to 1.8, it was definitely not as dramatic and as obvious as I would have liked considering the cost. But, when I do those kinds of things like say, repeated AAC or Mp3 test encodes, it's really nice to have.

Offline LillyOmegaWolf

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2018, 01:52:09 AM »
Well, I would mostly be doing it just to see my loverly 1.42 dual go up to a crazy 2ghz. I use my Xeon Hackintosh for editing films and commercial jobs with FCPX so don't exactly need a powerful old computer for work purposes. It would be mostly for fun. OS9 utilises it okay? I see that it gets recognised alright.

I'm also keen to get improved cooling set up with the G4, OS9 with FCP3, photoshop 7 and whatever else I can think of, plus old pre-OSX games along with my collection of older OSX games. This mac does get used from time to time for its legacy FCP 6 in Tiger already as some clients in india want things that FCPX gets a little lost over. I rather imagine I would see a boost to my render times for 2k video on that.
I'm used to living on SSD so its other parts of the system that will be my bottleneck.   

I'm interested in trying to put OS9 on it but the unofficial G4 installer just fails on the mac icon before the loading bar... any ideas on how to fix that?
If I can get OS9 on there it sure will be a faster archiver/unarchiver than my G3 ibook clamshell :)

What would I need to look up to find this processor upgrade?
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Offline GaryN

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2018, 03:01:30 PM »
You have a late FW800 MDD.  So, you need this: http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,2143.msg11047.html#msg11047

You HDD or SSD also needs to have OS9 drivers installed at the root level which may require you to backup your OSX install and reinitialize the drive first with said drivers, then restore OSX and install the above version of OS9.

Info is here: http://www.sonnettech.com/support/kb/kb.php?cat=314#position_content

Offline LillyOmegaWolf

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2018, 01:25:20 PM »
Ah yes, I may have forgotten the OS9 drivers as that mac cant install them when using OSX.
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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2018, 09:17:08 AM »
Just did the mod (removing R104) on my dual 1.8. Works great! Over an hour of maximum load with youtube videos, geekbench anything I can run to keep it pegged at 100% for each CPU. Temperatures stay at or under 50C (with original aluminum heatsink and an extra 120mm fan on it).

Thanks for the legwork folks so that others may enjoy this great mod :)

Offline IIO

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Re: The 1.6ghz Sonnet Encore MDX overclocking project
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2018, 05:18:04 PM »
dubbla processereren.
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
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