This page will list tips and owner feedback regarding using PowerForce G3 design CPU cards
in the PowerTower (not PowerTower Pro) and PowerCenter/PowerCenter Pro machines.
7200 Graphics Extension Conflict Tip: Alexander N Lapeyr wrote that
enabling virtual memory (to 1MB over installed RAM) resolved the
problem with the 7200 graphics accelerator extension and improved
Maybe somebody has already discovered this solution, but I recently
uncovered a possible solution to that disturbing "7200 Graphics Accelerator"
extension bug that has been plaguing G3 upgrade owners.
Like most Catalyst board (PowerCenter 150) owners, I discovered that the
"7200 Graphics Accel." extension generates video garbage with "Powerlogix"
type G3 upgrade cards. The prescribed solution has been to disable the
extension. Unfortunately, disabling the extension seems to hurt video
performance, especially when it comes to menu and page scrolling.
With nobody willing to fix the problem (Apple or Powerlogix-currently the
7200 graphics accelerator extension is the same in Allegro), I have been
frustrated by turning off an extension that should be able to run. However,
a somewhat elegant solution seems to be turning on virtual memory. Enabling
the minimum amount of virtual memory in my memory control panel miraculous
stopped all video garbage.
Some people despise virtual memory (et tu Mike), but honestly with 1MB of
virtual memory enabled, I can hardly tell the difference in performance.
Anyway, I get a sneaky suspicion that virtual memory might make my system a
little bit more stable, for what reasons I don't know. But it is unfortunate
that companies like Powerlogix aren't willing to investigate or resolve the
problems regarding their upgrade cards with such issues/mysteries
(motherboard cache, video garbage, etc.).
[Not sure these are fixable without possibly having negative performance
or other impacts on other Mac models.-Mike]
Anyway the above might make an acceptable solution to some of your readers.
It might be prove fantastic with the improved virtual memory scheme in
Allegro. Or maybe somebody can see if RamDoubler's virtual memory scheme
works even better.
Thank you for diligent crusade in providing the best resource for Mac
owners. You make the Mac community feel all the more special.
Tips from PowerLogix Tech Support:
I just wanted to fill you in a little on the PowerCenter 150 compatibility.
To start off, we have several PowerCenter's here at the Office running
PowerForce G3 cards. In fact, we use a 132 and a 150 for testing on RMAs.
However, I have run into a few machines in the field with some problems. The
symptoms have been as bad as data corruption on the hard drive, but usually
just involves consistent crashing. Several factors have seemed to be
involved and it is inconsistent across the PowerCurve logic boards
(PowerWave [PowerWave is a Tsunami based mb I think-Mike], PowerTower, and PowerCenter(Pro) machines.)
One reason I may not have heard about the problem sooner is that a L2 cache
seems to cover up the problem. On affected systems, if the Motherboard cache
is left in, the problem is not apparent. However, these machines will always
run fine with a 604 card and no cache. Bus speeds seem to also have some
effect. I was able to alleviate the problem by running at bus speeds higher
than 50. That is not a setting on the cards we ship. However, it is likely
to lead us to a solution. Note that only a few (less than ten) cases of this
problem have been reported and it may be a small variance on boards from
Power which is causing it. In general, the Powercenter machines are the
easiest to install the card in and can achieve some of the highest scores.
The best solution for anyone with this problem is to reinstall their
Motherboard Cache Dimm. if their computer did not come with a cache dimm,
they might consider purchasing one that has a money back guarantee to see if
it fixes the problem. They should also try all of our standard
troubleshooting steps and contact us for support to try and solve the
problem. I have never had a customer return their card to me because it
wouldn't work in a Powercenter.
This issue will be updated on our FAQ as soon as we know a little more about
it and have a good solution.
Thanks for posting Murat German's note and I hope we can get his working.
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