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Thread: trove of PowerMac towers - should I bother?

  1. #1
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    Default trove of PowerMac towers - should I bother?

    I have the oppurtunity to buy 6 or 7 PM 8600/9600s, plus a 6300cd and a 6100. Cheap. Some are a bit skanky, but all are said to work. They're nowhere near as collectible as Quadra towers for instance. Wished they were Quadras ha! So what are your thoughts. What's the typical going rate for these things.

    The big tower Macs are nice, but strangely enough the one * may like the most is the 6100 pizza box. What about you?

  2. #2
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    8600's and 9600's are very collectable and don't have brittle plastics. The 6100 are ok, but you are stuck either getting a PDS card and 90 degree adapter or finding a special adapter for its video out (or equally rare these days native monitor).
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  3. #3
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    The 6300CD is one of the worst macs ever made. Apple sold the design under a wide variety of names in the Power Macintosh line, as well as the Performa line. Avoid it like the plague.

    Apple was looking to make a new motherboard design for cheap, so they took a 68040 design and rigged a PowerPC chip on it. The only motherboard devices running on the native PowerPC bus is the ROM and the cache. Everything else is cascaded off a 68040 bus interface chip at half the CPU bus speed, except a few slower devices which are cascaded off the 68040 bus interface chip to make a 68030 bus at half of that bus speed.

    So you end up with a shitty design that has a 64 bit CPU hobbled to 32 bit memory and 8 bit IDE, it was an abysmal design. Apple could never get the machine to work 100% reliably, even with several system enablers and Mac OS software bugfixes.

    I had a Performa 6320CD, which was based on this design and it was horrible. Even with a 120 MHz CPU, it performed far worse than slower correctly designed Power mac systems.

  4. #4
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    9600's are excellent system 8 and 9 performers and allow for gobs of expansion. The only thing is that they use 5v buffered SDRAM as opposed to the more common 3.3v unbuffered SDRAM.
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  5. #5

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    8600 & 9600 series were one of the Apple's best lines of Macs just before the G3. I'm sure their popularity in collecting will rise. The 9600 especially, in my opinion, will scratch a certain itch when it comes to expandable Macs. However, it faces stiff competition from the dual processor QuickSilver G4.

    Incidentally, I think the QuickSilver G4 is a heck of a bargain right now. If you can get your hands on a dual 1GHz model, it's the second fastest Classic-native Mac. Only one faster is the FireWire 400 Mirror Door G4, but that requires a specific system CD (available online, though) to get working instead of just using a retail copy of OS 9, and is easily confused for the FireWire 800 version which is only good as a door stop as it was the first Mac to remove Classic-native booting.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeXT View Post
    9600's are excellent system 8 and 9 performers and allow for gobs of expansion. The only thing is that they use 5v buffered SDRAM
    they use 5v unbuffered fast page mode ram.
    there is no such thing as 5v sdram

    there are examples of 3v edo ram with 3v to 5v buffers, but that isn't what we shipped originally

  7. #7
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    Quicksilvers were cheap years ago when people were dumping them for Intel.

    Finding RAM for the 7500-9600 era Powermacs is not that difficult or expensive unless you are planning to max them out. I still have a bag of RAM left over from when I was only using 64/128MB sticks.

    You could do worse then saving PPC machines since everything is x86/64 these days along with the Atom line.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  8. #8
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    I keep a couple of Performas around for the Superdrives.

  9. #9

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    Those models are reasonably liked on 68kmla, I'd say worth saving, even though as noted they aren't as cool as the Quadra or the G4 quicksilver. Not worth too much money though.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Kossow View Post
    they use 5v unbuffered fast page mode ram.
    All of my PowerPC machines with that weird RAM have EDO chips on the modules, so I guess both FPM and EDO were used.

    The memory is still stupid expensive to get used, and there's no guarantee it works.

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