little late to the game, Sonnet Technologies today announced the release
of "Encore G4 X Install Version: 1.0." This software brings
OS X support for Sonnet's Encore G4 ZIF upgrade cards installed in beige
G3 Power Macs. The software is needed to activate the G4's backside cache
in beige machines, but is not needed for other Encore/machine combinations.
Sonnet also announced today that they are developing OS X software for
Newer Technology's MaxPowr G3/G4 ZIF cards. Newer Tech folded shop in
December of last year. Sonnet expects to have the MaxPowr software available
for download by the end of May and will charge $29.95 for the download.
Sonnet also announced that they will be releasing OS X drivers for their
"Crescendo" series of G3/G4 upgrades for PCI Macs. These machines
include the following: Power Macintosh 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8600, 9500,
9600, PowerTower Pro, Power Wave, UMAX J700, S900. Sonnet will be charging
$29.95 for this download as well. Lastly, Sonnet announced they will release
software in June for Newer Tech upgrade cards in PCI machines. This software
will carry a $69.95 price tag. We have updated our "upgrade card
compatibility matrix" below with this latest information from Sonnet.
If you have questions about OS X support in Sonnet products, swing by
Tech. forum which is staffed by a Technical Liaison from Sonnet.
It should come as no surprise that upgrade manufacturers
have been working fast and furious since March 24th to get OS X drivers
out for their cards. Since we first posted this page two weeks ago, both
PowerLogix and XLR8 have released drivers for OS X . PowerLogix has mirrored
Apple's own OS X release strategy, releasing a beta version of their "plxcache"
driver and "Profiler
X" monitoring utility. Plxcache is a command line (aka Terminal)
utility for activating and setting the L2 cache speed on the fly. No reboot
is required! Unlike XLR8's software, plxcache supports all cache sizes
and ratios. According to PowerLogix, a graphical interface is in the works.
Both PowerLogix and XLR8 have stated that their software will work with
cards from other manufacturers, a boon for owners of cards from Newer
and other defunct companies. Unlike PowerLogix, XLR8's "MACh Speed
Control X" software is an "official," not beta release.
The downside is that it will only work on machines with a full MB backside
cache capable of running at a 2:1 ratio. We have no word on whether XLR8
plans on expanding their coverage.
Sonnet Technologies is lagging slightly behind the competition, with
no software, beta or official, released to date [see
4-23-01 update above]. The do, however, have their own spiffy looking
compatibility matrix (PDF) to help you determine the likelihood of
OS X support for your machine and upgrade. If you own a Sonnet card, you
can always try the PowerLogix or XLR8 software or keep an eye on Sonnet's
site or this page for new developments. The following text is from
our initial coverage. Feel free to skip on down to our Upgrade Card Compatibility
matrix which has been updated with the latest information available.
Original coverage 3-27-01
Now that OS X has finally made its way to store shelves, many users are
asking whether the new OS is supported on their G3 or G4 upgraded machine.
Apple's preferred and official
answer is an emphatic and resounding "No!" Upgrade cards, after
all, do little to help Apple's bottom line, extending the life of older
machines and delaying the purchase of a new one.
The lack of official support from Apple has never deterred upgrade manufacturers
from releasing and supporting their products in the past. Remember the
Horse" firmware update that prevented B&W machines from booting
with an upgrade card installed? Manufacturers managed to work around the
block in short order. Most, if not all, of the upgrade manufacturers have
made statements about OS X support with their cards, some rather vague
and others quite specific. Most of these statements were made before the
official OS X release, but you can be sure that more information will
be forthcoming [see 4-9-01 update above].
We will update this page on a regular basis as new information becomes
If you have Specific questions not answered here, our upgrade forums
are staffed by engineers from the various manufacturers and are an excellent
resource for getting all of your upgrade questions answered in short order.
forum | Sonnet
Tech. forum | XLR8
forum. Below we provide you with a compatibility matrix so you can
quickly tell where your upgraded Mac stands. If you are contemplating
an upgrade purchase and are not sure which one is appropriate for your
machine, check out our machine matrix below.
"He's dead Jim..." The past couple of years have been
tough for upgrade manufacturers. Vimage bowed out a while ago, followed
by MacTell and most recently by
the venerable Newer Tech. German
based Formac is still in business,
but is no longer making processor upgrades. Post bankruptcy support is
a rare thing, so if you own a card from one of these manufacturers, you
will need to consider alternative drivers for your card [see
4-9-01 update above]. If you have a NewerTech iMac upgrade or one
of their recent PowerBook upgrades, you should be in good shape as there
are no drivers needed for either...
Update: "[The PowerLogix software]
allows you to enable your backside cache on G3 and G4 processors
at boot time. The included utilities allow you to view your cache
settings and other useful pieces of information through the PowerLogix
Profiler X 1.0b1 application. You may also change the cache settings
"on the fly" using the Terminal application and the command-line
"This software will automatically recognize the type of cache
SRAMs used on your processor card. It will also determine the size
of the cache automatically. This means it is compatible with any
and all G3 or G4 processor cards from any manufacturer. Through
the command line, it will also allow the setting of any valid cache
size or speed. At this time it is not compatible with the 7450 PowerPC
or dual G4 systems."
Update: "We have released MACh
Speed Control X due to overwhelming requests from our customers
for Mac OS X cache control software. The installer will enable the
backside cache to be run at 2:1 on all Macs upgraded with XLR8 upgrades
and is available free of charge from the XLR8 web site at www.xlr8.com."
"The supported upgrades include the MACh Velocity MPe, MACh
Speed G3 and G4, MACh Carrier and Carrier ZIF families of processor
"To make use of the utility users must have already installed
Mac OS X and be running the software when they launch the installer.
The new XLR8 MACh Speed Control X utility will work with all
third party processor upgrades providing they have at least 1MB
of backside cache that is capable of running at a ratio of 2:1."
"Sonnet will release a driver to fully support
Mac OS X on these systems when the driver becomes available."
Due by end of May at a cost of $29.95. Support for Newer cards due
in June at a cost of $69.95.
Sonnet's two ZIF style upgrades, the G3 or G4 Encore
and the new dual processor G4 Encore/ST, should both work with OS
X. Neither card requires special software to run and should be "fully
compatible with Mac OS X as well as future Apple Mac OS upgrades."
drivers for G4 Encore in beige Power Macs.
Apple:Power Mac 7300 | Power
Mac 7500 | Power Mac 7600 | Power Mac 8500 | Power Mac 8515 |
Power Mac 8600 | Power Mac 9500 | Power Mac 9515 | Power Mac 9600
| Workgroup Server 7350 | Workgroup Server 8550 | Workgroup Server
Power Computing: Power Center | Power
Center Pro | Power Tower | Power Tower Pro | Power Wave | PowerBase
Apple: Power Mac 4400 | Power Mac
5400 | Power Mac 5500 | Power Mac 6400 | Power Mac 6500 | Performa
5400 | Performa 5410 | Performa 5420 | Performa 5430 | Performa
6360 | Performa 6400 | Performa 6410 | Performa 6420 | 20th Anniversary
Apple: Power Mac 6100/AV | Power Mac
6100 | Power Mac 7100 | Power Mac 8100 | Performa 6110 | Performa
6112 | Performa 6115 | Performa 6116 | Performa 6117 | Performa
6118 | Workgroup Server 6150 | Workgroup Server 8150 | Workgroup
Server 9150 |