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 Post subject: G3 900 Upgrade
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:24 pm 
Aloha All,

I brought my Pismo 400 into Powerlogix's Parmer Lane office about three weeks ago while I was in Austin for a week. They only took two days to install it. When I got it back, I had a brief start-up problem when I booted up the first time, but zapping the PRAM took care of it. After that it ran fine. And faster. I was a most satisfied customer.

Until I came back home to Honolulu. While installing a driver for a Zio compact flash card reader (into Classic), the machine crapped out and hasn't worked right since. The initial symptom was a flashing question mark. The current symptom (after updating to Jaguar) is white vertical bars across my screen during startup, with the Apple logo watermarked in the back. Nothing happens from there, and the computer doesn't boot. Regarding the flashing ?, no problem I thought, many Mac users have encountered this issue over the years...just tell the computer to look for the right system folder...Little did I think that I was going to be embarking on an Odyssey which entailed my shipping the machine back to Austin for service.

Once they received my Pismo via USPS Express, Powerlogix took out the board and installed it in their test machine. No problem. I find it interesting that they DID NOT install an OEM card in MY machine to see if it ran alright. They've shipped the computer back to me, since the only thing they warranty with this upgrade is the board, nothing else.

I was running 10.1.5 when I had the upgrade put in. I thought that upgrading to 10.2.3 might do the trick and fix my problem (so said a friendly person at Apple techsupport), so I spent the $139 dollars (with tax) to buy the CD's. So far I've been through the "update" and the low level upgrade. Neither have worked. I am in the midst of performing a "complete install" (total erasure of my hard drive and installation of a new system folder) of Jaguar in the hope that this will solve the problem. If it doesn't, I'm at the end of my rope. And, of course, I've lost all of my data.

So for me the verdict is still out. I had a working computer before the upgrade. After the upgrade I had a working computer (that was at least 25-40% faster) for about twelve days. Since then I've had nothing. Powerlogix tells me their card is fine. But they won't check the rest of my computer....especially to see if the heat the card generates might be the cause of something. What they point to is their "tests" assuring customers that their upgrade works fine. That heat paste they slap on must be REALLY good....

Life is unpredictable. And certainly I knew going in that doing this could result in the loss of my beloved Pismo. But I didn't think it would actually happen. Lesson learned...BACKUP...I'm normally good about this, but returning from a vacation, away from my external backup hard drive, I was caught in a moment of weakness, with my pants down. Murphy's Law took over from there.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I've done the usual BIOS fixes, zapped the PRAM numerous times, reset this and that, and took apart everything and put it back together.

flm

postsript: I just completed the complete erasure of my hard drive and reformat. I still have two white broken vertical lines going down my computer screen. Powerlogix tells me their card is fine....I've done the necessary software fixes....gee, what COULD be the matter at this point?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 10:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2003 1:58 am
Posts: 940
The problems you are having seem unrelated to the processor card. For example, the blinking ? at startup or the os with white lines is typically related to the hard drive and the system folder. I would have reccomended that you erase your hard drive as you did. Now, is your computer working fine but there are white lines? That is a characteristic of a display problem.

-Bradley
Powerbookmedic.com


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 Post subject: Pismo Upgrade
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 4:04 pm 
It took some doing, but alas the problem has been fixed.

I took my Pismo into the new Honolulu Apple Store (much cheaper than CompUSA, which was close to the only game in town, with the exception of smaller mom n' pops) and one of the geniuses fixed it up for me. But it was still more of an adventure than I thought.

I have an aftermarket Teach 5X DVD drive that I bought on Ebay. This contributed to my problem, because I could not boot off the install discs by pressing "c" upon startup. So the install had to be done via a firewire drive. It stuck at first, but now it appears that the problem has been resolved. I've installed 10.2.6 on my Pismo and it works like a champ.

So if it looks like I was talking stink about Powerlogix before, I take back anything bad that I said. The card DOES work fine, although the system profiler still says that it runs at only 550 Mhz instead of 900.

flm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2003 1:58 am
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Powerlogix has excellent products. As for the profiler displaying the wrong speed. Powerlogix has a utility which will display the correct speed. It should be available to download from their website.

-Bradley
Powerbookmedic.com


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 Post subject: IBM "G3" hits 1.1GHz, has 1MB L2 cache
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 2:56 pm
Posts: 6
http://www.macnn.com/news.php?id=19981

http://www-3.ibm.com/chips/products/powerpc/newsletter/jun2003/newproductfocus.html

Do you think that this could mean PowerLogix could offer a Pismo upgrade with this processor?

If so, then it could mean that the Pismo could last a little bit longer than it would without any upgrade. :wink:

I mean, the 900MHz upgrade is great, but honestly, I'd rather have a computer which is in the GHz realm.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 12:38 am 
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It's dificult to say what Powerlogix will do. I wouldn't hold my breath though. The G3 900 is their latest addition, so I wouldn't look for anything new for quite a while. Also, those new chips aren't readily available or cheap. It'd make an upgrade not that cost effective.

-Bradley
Powerbookmedic.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2003 2:00 pm
Posts: 15
Can I get some feedback from people who have purchased te 900MHz upgrade ... or from Bradley?

I have been interested in this upgrade for some time, but I've read many horror stories about Powerlogix and this upgrade on http://www.xlr8yourmac.com and the customer rating for the 900MHz upgrade on this site is pretty low (only a couple stars).

Is the 900MHz upgrade a piece of junk, or is it worth getting? I want more speed for Photoshop and just a general speed increase for when I upgrade to Panther next month. I want to know if I should invest more in my Pismo, or just buy an eMac.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2003 9:49 am 
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The chip is a solid performed, and gives marked gains in performance. We've only had one complaint on the chip, and that is that it was DOA from Powerlogix, we replaced the chip for the customer, and he's been pleased since. In my opinion, the chip is probably the best one Powerlogix has made. Obviously the machine will run slightly hotter, but that is the case with every faster processor. Even my 1GHZ Titanium runs hot a lot of the time. All in all, if you buy the chip you'll be very pleased.

-Bradley
POWERBOOKMEDIC.COM


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2003 5:03 pm 
I believe Bradley was referring to me in the above post. I have had my 900 upgrade for a week and couldn't be happier with it. I posted an extensive review about my experience so far with it (and choosing PowerBookMedic) here:

http://www.macfixitforums.com/php/showf ... art=2&vc=1


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2003 6:16 pm 
As others have reported, I also experienced dramatic cooling effect using the Just Cooler PCMCIA card fan with my 900mz upgraded Pismo. With a temperature sensor taped directly on the heat shield (see below) I enjoy running temps of 105ºF web surfing to no higher than 130ºF at full 100% CPU running tasks. Now, 105ºF translates to an absolutely cool-to-touch case, even around the power button, far cooler than running the original 400 without the slot fan cooler. And the slot cooler, other than protruding out the side, is nearly silent running.

The fan runs perfectly in OSX, waking from sleep, turning off going to sleep, even shows power off option in menu bar. No luck running in OS9 or YDL with cooler inserted. Turning off the slot fan, temps rapidly rise 25ºF and turning back on, fall 25ºF within minutes. Seems like the ideal Pismo/Lombard (tried with Lombard, very effective too) heat reduction solution. No experience with Wallstreets, I'm not sure where the PCMCIA slot sits in relation to the CPU. In the Pismo/Lombard, it blows a slot of air directly at the CPU, almost as if designed for that.

The problem is that there are NO PCMCIA slot fan coolers to be found anywhere, as in anywhere in the world. 2CoolTek told me he expected to never to be able to find stock again, due to PCMCIA standards issues and the fact that PC laptops after 98 no longer will power the card up.

I spent very many hours searching the web using google and yahoo coming up with dead ends everywhere, except possibily some in Australia. The good news is I did find a single source, with some in-stock, at only $16 US plus $10 US shipping from Canada. Ironically, only about 100 miles from where I live in New York.

They now have 16 available (after a friend and I ordered two each for eternity), and even though they expect to be able to order more, I wouldn't expect that to be certain, based on my experience searching all over. Just Cooler (now CyberCooler) no longer lists them as products in Taiwan.

Contact Melvina Wong at 1-800-796-5225 and ask for fax form (their preferred method for ordering) to order item CO-00012 NB-101 Notebook Cooler. She is exceptionally nice and helpful.

The temperature monitor I mentioned first is available at CompUSA as sku#294976 LCD Temp Monitor for $20. It's intended for a PC case, but by popping out the LCD unit (battery powered with temp sensor cable attached) you have a remote display of Fº temps, very accurate and fast responding. The sensor tip is paper-thin, so it can be placed or taped nearly anywhere to get a temp readout. Actually, there's two units in the kit, so the monitor costs $10 each total.

Bruce Miller


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2003 11:55 am 
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Bruce,

Excellent information.Thanks for the post.

-Bradley
POWERBOOKMEDIC.COM


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:02 pm 
Thanks Bradley,

I just upgraded to 10.3 and the PCMCIA cooler fan continues to function the same as with 10.2.6 (my post based on above).

Bruce


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:02 pm 
I was emailed questions about the proper application of thermal compounds for processor chips, and want to relay information I researched from heat transfer compound manufacturers and from PC overclocker forums (where every last bit of thermal heat dissipation is critical for success).

Thermal compounds are designed to simply fill in micro gaps between the mating surfaces of the processor chip and the heatsink, nothing more. The compound replaces air pockets (a poor thermal conductor) resulting from less-than perfect contact mating, with material that is efficient in moving heat from one surface to the other. The key to optimum performance is to use as LITTLE as possible, since perfect contact of the two metals is better than the barrier created with an excess of compound. Too much compound actually is counter-productive and acts as an insulator instead, defeating the purpose. That's the whole key to using heat transfer materials for best possible performance.

Also, the cleaner, smoother and flatter the two surfaces are, the better the heat transfer. Oils, fingerprints and other residues hamper efficient transfer. Scrub off all traces of prior compound or wax TIM materials first with alcohol. Finally, clean both mating surfaces with pure, high percent iso-alcohol (not rubbing which has oils). Don't then touch the surfaces again.

How much compound? The easiest process: Use a finger wrapped in plastic wrap and apply as THIN a coat of compound to EACH surface as possible. Just enough to cover the contacting areas (which are usually tiny, often only 5x7mm). Avoid any beyond the mating spots, especially with results oozing around past the processor chip's face edges. Transfer paste is intended to only be applied at that tiny chip face, no where else. Best quality compounds are extremely thick and stiff, so that the thinnest coats on both surfaces will be enough for optimum heat transfer. Again, you're only filling in the micro gaps between the mating surfaces, not creating a blanket of material, which would actually produce the opposite of the desired effect.

It's a good idea to do a trial fitting with the right amount of compound, and completing the full final assembly as designed, to then take apart and actually check the imprints made. There should be a very distinct impression of the chip's rectangle on the heatsink, and obvious displacement of compound across the full area, so that you know good, full contact is being made and enough compound was applied to make the clear imprint. Then, clean off all the compound and repeat the process for final assembly.

Remember, the processor chip is the heart and brains of the computer, and the intense heat it produces will cause eventual problems or failures, unless efficiently channeled away by the heatsink. The heat sink should get very warm or hot if working properly, if not, it isn't doing its job.

Bruce Miller


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2003 9:14 am
Posts: 56
Bruce-

So, is this a better way to apply the compound than according to the Powerlogix instructions, which are "3 small globs" to attach the copper to the heat shield, and "one small glob about the size of half a grain of rice" on the processor chip face to do that part?

And additionally, am I wasting my time on the card fan you mention since I have an airport card installed? Will my only result be an artic air port card?

I just replaced a fried processor with a new G3/900 and I want to keep this one around a while!

Thanks!
Joe


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:14 pm 
The quantities will be about the same, especially for the processor chip. My method simply ENSURES full contact of the chip's face with compound, rather than letting pressure spread it around. I would use whatever amount required to coat the whole mating surfaces of the copper plate and heat shield with the thinnest layer on each.

I don't have an airport card, but looking at the socket, it looks to me like a slot of air would still blow directly towards the CPU below the airport card. It isn't a lot of air either way, just enough to help cooling in a very tight space.


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