Upgradability of a Tower Pro 225

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David Every

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Aug 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/8/96
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In article <3208E60C...@cig.mot.com>, Djamschid Mehrpuyan
<mehr...@cig.mot.com> wrote:

|I am thinking of purchasing the Tower Power Pro 225 sometime this
|year. My main concern is upgradability. Suppose PPC announces
|a PPC 604+ at 250Mhz or 300 Mhz (G3 ?), will I be able to upgrade
|the Pro 225 and how easy or hard will it be to do so ?

You will be able to upgrade the processor, and it will probably not be
hard at all.

Since PowerComputing offers upgrades to its customers (and not to others)
you can get them from PowerComputing... but you should be able to get it
from third parties as well. Call PowerComputing and verify... but I
wouldn't be concerned.

However, in most cases it is not justifyable to spend $1000 to increase
your speed by 10%. I would wait for bigger jumps.... say from 225 to go to
300 (where you'll see a differnce) - the 225 to 250 seems like a waste to
me. ;-)

|Another question. If I wanted to run Windows applications, I do
|know that I would have to purchase Soft Windows 3.0 or something
|like that.

Yes.... Connectix is supposed to have something soon.... but we'll see.
(Supposebly better than SoftWindows)....

| By how much does the windows application slow down ?
|In other words, would it be correct to say that a software product
|designed to run in a Windows environment will run about 20% slower
|on a Pro 225 with Soft Windows ?

Likely more than that. Expect to run in the high 486 range. If you are
doing general productivity apps or vertical apps this is usually more than
enough... but you aren't going to be happy running hand-eye games on the
emulator. (Strategy games will probably not be too bad).

If you want to do that, then buy the hardware emulator and move down a
little in processor. The PowerBase 240 will give you a pretty screamin
603e based Mac and you could afford to buy the p5-100 card for about $800
and get the best of both worlds. Though most people that buy the PC card
find they spend 90%+ of their time in the Mac environment anyways.
--
David K. Every
MacKiDo Warrior - The Power of the Macintosh Way!
--
©1996 DKE. Non-exclusive, royalty free license to distribute is granted to any service provider except Microsoft. By distributing this, Microsoft agrees to pay $1,000 per posting.

Djamschid Mehrpuyan

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Aug 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/7/96
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I am thinking of purchasing the Tower Power Pro 225 sometime this
year. My main concern is upgradability. Suppose PPC announces
a PPC 604+ at 250Mhz or 300 Mhz (G3 ?), will I be able to upgrade
the Pro 225 and how easy or hard will it be to do so ?

Another question. If I wanted to run Windows applications, I do

know that I would have to purchase Soft Windows 3.0 or something

like that. By how much does the windows application slow down ?


In other words, would it be correct to say that a software product
designed to run in a Windows environment will run about 20% slower
on a Pro 225 with Soft Windows ?

Thanks in advance

-DJ

jtoras

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Aug 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/9/96
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In article <3208E60C...@cig.mot.com>, Djamschid Mehrpuyan
<mehr...@cig.mot.com> wrote:

> I am thinking of purchasing the Tower Power Pro 225 sometime this
> year. My main concern is upgradability. Suppose PPC announces
> a PPC 604+ at 250Mhz or 300 Mhz (G3 ?), will I be able to upgrade
> the Pro 225 and how easy or hard will it be to do so ?
>

As far as I know you should be able to, but I do not think it can be 250
or 300 MHz. Someone correct me please if I am wrong, but because of the
bus speed your only possible upgrade with 604e chip will be 270 MHz if
Motorola makes it (that I think will 6x the bus speed and right now is
the maximum).

I think the PPC TowerPro604e 200Mhz is a better option for a future
upgradability. Right now the chip is 4x the bus speed, so if the max is
6x you would be able to upgrade to 250 or 300 Mhz later on.

Also, there are some reports with problems with floppy drives on machines
faster than 200Mhz. So the 200 Mhz machine should be safer buy. It also
supports multiprocessing, so you'll be able to expand even before the
faster chips become available (at least in theory -- depends on Power
Computing and how fast they'll offer the multiprocessor options).

Joe

ay

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Aug 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/10/96
to

In article <3208E60C...@cig.mot.com>, Djamschid Mehrpuyan
<mehr...@cig.mot.com> wrote:

> I am thinking of purchasing the Tower Power Pro 225 sometime this
> year. My main concern is upgradability. Suppose PPC announces
> a PPC 604+ at 250Mhz or 300 Mhz (G3 ?), will I be able to upgrade
> the Pro 225 and how easy or hard will it be to do so ?
>

> Another question. If I wanted to run Windows applications, I do
> know that I would have to purchase Soft Windows 3.0 or something
> like that. By how much does the windows application slow down ?
> In other words, would it be correct to say that a software product
> designed to run in a Windows environment will run about 20% slower
> on a Pro 225 with Soft Windows ?
>

You can upgrade your CPU to faster 604 comp. chips; however, my guess is
that current designs limit is about 300mhz (6x50). Power Towers max bus
speed is (official limit that is) 50 mhz and you can multiply it or
smaller numbers by 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, etc.(6x will give you 300mhz,
of'course.) I read somewhere that apple is working on 66mhz bus speed,
but who knows when it will be available.

It is sill a vaperware, but you might also want to consider the
Exponential's next move. As far as we know that the exponential is making
604 comp chips; so theoretically if the exponetial releases its 500mhz
chip (reported 1H 97'), your mother board can handle it (however, your box
may not be able to decipate(sp?) heat fast enough.)

If I were you I wouldn't worry about it since 1) If apple is commited to
CHRP as they say they are, cheap mobo will be available (someday), and in
near future it MIGHT be cheaper to upgrade a mobo than a daugter card
(please no flames). 2) If apple is commited to CHRP as they say they are,
you MIGHT want to upgrade your Power tower to CHRP compliant mobo in near
future anyway.

--
ayoshida@midway. uchicago.edu

AFA Daniel

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Aug 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/10/96
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<Since PowerComputing offers upgrades to its customers (and not to
others)>

Not true. They just announced they WILL be selling 604e upgrade cards to
non PCC owners.

Dan

jtoras

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Aug 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/10/96
to

In article <ayoshida-090...@piccirilli2.bsd.uchicago.edu>,
ayos...@midway.uchicago.edu (ay) wrote:

> In article <3208E60C...@cig.mot.com>, Djamschid Mehrpuyan
> <mehr...@cig.mot.com> wrote:
>
> > I am thinking of purchasing the Tower Power Pro 225 sometime this
> > year. My main concern is upgradability. Suppose PPC announces
> > a PPC 604+ at 250Mhz or 300 Mhz (G3 ?), will I be able to upgrade
> > the Pro 225 and how easy or hard will it be to do so ?
>

> You can upgrade your CPU to faster 604 comp. chips; however, my guess is
> that current designs limit is about 300mhz (6x50). Power Towers max bus
> speed is (official limit that is) 50 mhz and you can multiply it or
> smaller numbers by 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, etc.(6x will give you 300mhz,
> of'course.) I read somewhere that apple is working on 66mhz bus speed,
> but who knows when it will be available.
>

[snip]
>
> ayoshida@midway. uchicago.edu


Power Towers max bus speed is 50 mhz, but not PowerTowerPro225 -- that is
a little less to accomodate the 225 mhz chip: 45Mhz. So the 50MHz bus math
will not work here. Am I wrong about this?
Joe

John Christie

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Aug 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/11/96
to

jtoras (jto...@wwonline-ny.com) wrote:

: Power Towers max bus speed is 50 mhz, but not PowerTowerPro225 -- that is


: a little less to accomodate the 225 mhz chip: 45Mhz. So the 50MHz bus math
: will not work here. Am I wrong about this?
: Joe

yes

The bus speed of the machine and MAx bus speed are seperate
things. The 225 can also go at multiples of 50Mhz with a different
daughter card. I upgraded an 8500/120 to 150 for example. the bus speed
must be determined by the daughter card. The MAX bus speed is determined
by board architecture.

--

------------------------------------------------------------------

John Christie

"You aren't free because you CAN choose - only if you DO choose."

"All you are is the decisions you make. If you let circumstances make
them for you then what you are becomes very easy to estimate."

ay

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Aug 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/13/96
to

>Power Towers max bus speed is 50 mhz, but not PowerTowerPro225 -- that is
>a little less to accomodate the 225 mhz chip: 45Mhz. So the 50MHz bus math
>will not work here. Am I wrong about this?
>Joe


Perhaps I wasn't clear. Sorry about that. PowerTowerPro225's bus speed is
45mhz, but as soon as you change the oscillater (which should be soldered on
to the daugter cards on apple's board) to different oscilater you can get
maximum of 50.

I did the math on 50mhz bus speed, since it is the optimal bus (official
that is) speed on all current high end boards which has the same chip set as
apple's. Of'course apple is working on 66.6mhz bus on new board's.


man...@centuryinter.net

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Aug 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/13/96
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In article <jtoras-1008...@news.zippo.com>,
jto...@wwonline-ny.com (jtoras) wrote:

> In article <ayoshida-090...@piccirilli2.bsd.uchicago.edu>,
> ayos...@midway.uchicago.edu (ay) wrote:
>
> > In article <3208E60C...@cig.mot.com>, Djamschid Mehrpuyan
> > <mehr...@cig.mot.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I am thinking of purchasing the Tower Power Pro 225 sometime this
> > > year. My main concern is upgradability. Suppose PPC announces
> > > a PPC 604+ at 250Mhz or 300 Mhz (G3 ?), will I be able to upgrade
> > > the Pro 225 and how easy or hard will it be to do so ?
> >
> > You can upgrade your CPU to faster 604 comp. chips; however, my guess is
> > that current designs limit is about 300mhz (6x50). Power Towers max bus
> > speed is (official limit that is) 50 mhz and you can multiply it or
> > smaller numbers by 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, etc.(6x will give you 300mhz,
> > of'course.) I read somewhere that apple is working on 66mhz bus speed,
> > but who knows when it will be available.
> >
> [snip]
> >
> > ayoshida@midway. uchicago.edu
>
>

> Power Towers max bus speed is 50 mhz, but not PowerTowerPro225 -- that is
> a little less to accomodate the 225 mhz chip: 45Mhz. So the 50MHz bus math
> will not work here. Am I wrong about this?
> Joe

It was my impression that PowerComputing (just like apple) was currently
using two mother board designs, the 60MHz Catalyst with 3 PCI slots and
the 50MHz Tsunami with 6 PCI slots. The PowerTower series used the
Catalyst because because the 604 chip could only be raised to 180MHz
anyway, and the Catalyst was cheaper. The PowerTower Pro's use the
Tsunami mother board at a modest 45MHz and a 5x multiplier only because
the fastest, non-overheating, stable 604e RIGHT NOW is the 225 (45 x 5 =
225). BUT the Tsunami CAN run up to 50 MHz with a 6x multiplier, and I'd
say it's just a matter of 2 months at the most before we see the 604e 300
in a new line of PowerComputing machines, and Apple will STILL be pushing
their tiny little 150 604's.

For anyone interested, I have a bunch of literature about the PowerTower
Pro 225 and a little about the different mother board designs in my box
that I can forward to anyone. It seems that the Tsunami supported the
interleaved memory technology as well (which is used in the 9500 and 8500)
which allowed for a 5% increase in memory access due to the 128 bit data
path as opposed to the 64 bit data path of the Catalyst (used in all the
7000 series PowerMacs).

Bottom line is this: The Power Tower Pro has a max processor speed of 300
MHz and supports multi-processing anyway, so the thing to do is get the
PowerTower Pro, hang out for the 300MHz chips to be available on an
upgradable daughtercard (which the PPT is built for--removal processors,
how novel!) and buy two of them, because the best that computer can EVER
do is 600MHz by way of 2 300MHz processors. Get the box now and maybe you
can afford the (roughly) $1200 for both chips when they're available.

That's what I'm doing. The only problem is the PowerTower Pro isn't
available to be shipped for another 6 weeks even though it's all over
their web pages. I was pissed off when I go to order the thing and it's
not even ready to be shipped. We should all tell them what we think about
that...

thanks for reading!

man...@centuryinter.net

JDL Web Staff

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Aug 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/13/96
to

man...@centuryinter.net wrote:
[CUT]

> It seems that the Tsunami supported the
> interleaved memory technology as well (which is used in the 9500 and 8500)
> which allowed for a 5% increase in memory access due to the 128 bit data
> path as opposed to the 64 bit data path of the Catalyst
> (used in all the
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> 7000 series PowerMacs).
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
[CUT]
--
No. Only the 7200 uses the Catalyst board. The 7500 and 7600 both use Tsunami.
--
Ari Rubin
JDL Web Staff
http://www.jdl.org/

Rob Barris

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Aug 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/14/96
to

Welllll...

the 7500/7600/8500 design is distinct from Tsunami as well (I believe the
x500 boards are known as TNT/Nitro, it's printed on the board).

Tsunami is the 9500 - dual PCI buses for the six slot capacity. No
integrated video.

TNT/Nitro only have one PCI bus, but also have an integrated video
controller on a local PCI-like 64-bit wide bus.

The memory controllers are extremely similar or the same though.

Rob Barris
Quicksilver Software Inc.
rba...@quicksilver.com
* Opinions expressed not necessarily those of my employer *

David Every

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Aug 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/15/96
to

In article <sbandy1-1508...@slip5a-02.dialin.uic.edu>,
sba...@uic.edu (Steven Bandyk) wrote:

|Power comp has actually gotten it to run faster than 50 mhz (even though
|apple said it was impossible). This was a tweeked board, however.

I don't think Apple said it was impossible. ;-) They only said the board
was engineered for 50mhz. (And Apple usually over-engineers). So I am not
suprised that PCC can get 55mhz out of the TNT/Nitro boards and 60 out of
the 7200 board.

But Apple/IBM are working on 66mhz boards anyways... so I don't expect
them to be too far away.

Steven Bandyk

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Aug 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/15/96
to

> In article <ayoshida-090...@piccirilli2.bsd.uchicago.edu>,
> ayos...@midway.uchicago.edu (ay) wrote:
>
> > In article <3208E60C...@cig.mot.com>, Djamschid Mehrpuyan
> > <mehr...@cig.mot.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I am thinking of purchasing the Tower Power Pro 225 sometime this
> > > year. My main concern is upgradability. Suppose PPC announces
> > > a PPC 604+ at 250Mhz or 300 Mhz (G3 ?), will I be able to upgrade
> > > the Pro 225 and how easy or hard will it be to do so ?
> >
> > You can upgrade your CPU to faster 604 comp. chips; however, my guess is
> > that current designs limit is about 300mhz (6x50). Power Towers max bus
> > speed is (official limit that is) 50 mhz and you can multiply it or
> > smaller numbers by 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, etc.(6x will give you 300mhz,
> > of'course.) I read somewhere that apple is working on 66mhz bus speed,
> > but who knows when it will be available.
> >

Although I don't think that a 300 mhz 604e is too far off (the 500 mhz
exponential is due Q1 97), I think that the current limit on speed for the
other components is 250 mhz. This is what Apple claims for the same
Tsunami board. They had to tweak the origional just to accept chips over
200mhz (i think they were having I/O problems with the floppy drive). I
think that a better 'long term' upgrade option would be multiple
processors. you can currently get 2-180mhz 604es and by the time you
outgrow the fastest consumer level desktop in the world, I'm sure you
could lay your hands on a couple (or more) 250s on the same card. The
list of Multi-processor apps is growing, now including Quicktime 2.5 and
Quicktime 3d 1.5. Copland (if it ever comes out ) will also support
Multiple processors at a system level.

> Power Towers max bus speed is 50 mhz, but not PowerTowerPro225 -- that is
> a little less to accomodate the 225 mhz chip: 45Mhz. So the 50MHz bus math
> will not work here. Am I wrong about this?
> Joe

Power comp has actually gotten it to run faster than 50 mhz (even though


apple said it was impossible). This was a tweeked board, however.

--
"The PowerPC Revolution has arrived . . . crank up the volume." --John C. Dvorak

jtoras

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Aug 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/16/96
to

In article <maniacy-1308...@anxp37.lr.centuryinter.net>,
man...@centuryinter.net wrote:


[snip]


> Bottom line is this: The Power Tower Pro has a max processor speed of 300
> MHz and supports multi-processing anyway, so the thing to do is get the
> PowerTower Pro, hang out for the 300MHz chips to be available on an
> upgradable daughtercard (which the PPT is built for--removal processors,
> how novel!) and buy two of them, because the best that computer can EVER
> do is 600MHz by way of 2 300MHz processors. Get the box now and maybe you
> can afford the (roughly) $1200 for both chips when they're available.
>
> That's what I'm doing. The only problem is the PowerTower Pro isn't
> available to be shipped for another 6 weeks even though it's all over
> their web pages. I was pissed off when I go to order the thing and it's
> not even ready to be shipped. We should all tell them what we think about
> that...
>
> thanks for reading!
>
> man...@centuryinter.net


That's what I'm doing too. Did also get the 6 weeks delivery schedule, so
realistically we'll probably have the machine by Christmas. Am glad about
the 30 day money back guarantee. Who knows what kind of bugs will jump out
of the box...

I selected to go with TowerPro 200 instead of 225. First, the price was
better. Second, the difference in speed was not that great -- it will be
better to upgrade to 250 multiprocessors when available. That will also be
the fastest chip you can put in them anyway since the motherboard was
designed for maximum of 250 (not 300, although bus speed would allow for
300 chip). Even if they'd tweak the motherboard to work with 300mhz you'd
still need a better cooling system (maybe another fan installed?). Also,
I've heard that some test units of TowerPro225 had a problem with floppy
drives or such. Seems that the design of drives together with Mac OS did
not support speeds over 200 mhz. Actually the design of floppy drives did
not change much from the time when 225mhz sounded like sci-fi.

jto...@wwonline-ny.com

trav...@usa.net

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Aug 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/21/96
to
> In article <jtoras-1008...@news.zippo.com>,
> jto...@wwonline-ny.com (jtoras) wrote:
> > In article <ayoshida-090...@piccirilli2.bsd.uchicago.edu>,
> > ayos...@midway.uchicago.edu (ay) wrote:
> >
> > > In article <3208E60C...@cig.mot.com>, Djamschid Mehrpuyan
> > > <mehr...@cig.mot.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > I am thinking of purchasing the Tower Power Pro 225 sometime this
> > > > year. My main concern is upgradability. Suppose PPC announces
> > > > a PPC 604+ at 250Mhz or 300 Mhz (G3 ?), will I be able to upgrade
> > > > the Pro 225 and how easy or hard will it be to do so ?
> > >
> > > You can upgrade your CPU to faster 604 comp. chips; however, my guess is
> > > that current designs limit is about 300mhz (6x50). Power Towers max bus
> > > speed is (official limit that is) 50 mhz and you can multiply it or
> > > smaller numbers by 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, etc.(6x will give you 300mhz,
> > > of'course.) I read somewhere that apple is working on 66mhz bus speed,
> > > but who knows when it will be available.
> > >
> > [snip]
> > >
> > > ayoshida@midway. uchicago.edu

> >
> >
> > Power Towers max bus speed is 50 mhz, but not PowerTowerPro225 -- that is
> > a little less to accomodate the 225 mhz chip: 45Mhz. So the 50MHz bus math
> > will not work here. Am I wrong about this?
> > Joe
> It was my impression that PowerComputing (just like apple) was currently
> using two mother board designs, the 60MHz Catalyst with 3 PCI slots and
> the 50MHz Tsunami with 6 PCI slots. The PowerTower series used the
> Catalyst because because the 604 chip could only be raised to 180MHz
> anyway, and the Catalyst was cheaper. The PowerTower Pro's use the
> Tsunami mother board at a modest 45MHz and a 5x multiplier only because
> the fastest, non-overheating, stable 604e RIGHT NOW is the 225 (45 x 5 =
> 225). BUT the Tsunami CAN run up to 50 MHz with a 6x multiplier, and I'd
> say it's just a matter of 2 months at the most before we see the 604e 300
> in a new line of PowerComputing machines, and Apple will STILL be pushing
> their tiny little 150 604's.

Actually, by the time you get your PowerTower Pro 225, Apple will probably be releasing it's 225Mhz 604e too. Unlike Power, Apple waits until it has the computer in stock before it starts advertising. This strategy by Power Computing will make it seem like they are always a step ahead of Apple, when actually they are at about the same level.
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