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#1 2015-01-16 21:04:15

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

4400 with a 604e?

There is not a ton of info on the 4400. Mostly boiler plate / copy & paste info. I noticed on some boards, maybe early versions, that it has a jumper setting grid screened on. It lists the 603e, 603ev and 604e. So I am wondering if there was some build-to-order option that would have given this ugly ducking a 604e? Or for that matter a 603ev?

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#2 2015-01-16 23:00:36

Eudimorphodon
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Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 522

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Replied to this over at that other place. It looks like the exact same board was used by some of the clone companies, and some of *them* slapped 604es on it while Apple stuck with 603s.

I guess the interesting question is if anyone didn't solder the CPUs down and instead had a ZIF socket in that location, so setting "jumpers" would actually be a user-accessible thing. I have vague memories of some of the... was it StarMax, or... Umax?, heck, I don't know, having proprietary-to-them CPU modules in some of their models but I have no details.


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#3 2015-01-17 00:17:23

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Right, but what about Apple themselves? Meaning an Apple board with Apple part number with a 604e. Guessing a no, huh?

I might have an odd one on my hands then.

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#4 2015-01-17 00:22:22

mcdermd
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From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 931
Website

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

All three of my Umax clones (J710, C600, S900) have socketed CPUs.


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#5 2015-01-17 00:29:19

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Well this is what I have.

An Apple branded board for a 4400. To my surprise it has an unsocketed 604e. It also has a standard VGA connector. And the kicker? Two PS/2 ports. The silk-screen is yellow, not white. The copper layer is the same as any production board I have seen - lots of little squares where it would normally be the solid grounding layer. The heat sink is gold in color and cast unlike production ones that are stamped out. There is one extra chip in place near the CPU that I have not tried to ID yet. On the underside there is some shiny "film" near most of the through hole stuff, like the floppy port. And along all of the ports. So it seems like most of the through hole was installed more or less by hand maybe? The solder is all very clean and production looking. Nothing looks like re-work.

From what I can tell, its some sorta prototype. The only port not populated seems to be for ethernet.

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#6 2015-01-17 00:59:55

Dnal
Member
Registered: 2015-01-03
Posts: 58

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Pics or it's not real. :-)

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#7 2015-01-17 01:05:55

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

I finally resolved my 68kmla password issue (I just erased my Mac and put a fresh copy of Yosemite on, again). Anyway, looks like its just a normal StarMax board. Bummer! Thought I had something cool. smile

High-res link:
http://www.wolfeden.org/gallery/Compute … 002_202659

Low-res, but this has the same heat-sink style as mine.
http://www.wind.sannet.ne.jp/penpen/pm4 … index.html

Thanks to Eudimorphodon for the additional info.

Last edited by unity (2015-01-17 01:07:03)

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#8 2015-01-17 06:39:39

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,081
Website

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Yup. Remember, the 4400 is a Tanzania board like most of the clones of that generation, so the resemblance is not coincidental.

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#9 2015-01-17 06:50:59

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

I just did not think Apple themselves made for other clone makers. Weird. Thats what threw me off. Now I know!

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#10 2015-01-17 19:51:22

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,081
Website

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Apple didn't manufacture the Tanzania board for the clones, but it was available as a reference design.

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#11 2015-01-17 20:12:45

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Thats what I thought. But the links proved that to be wrong. Those boards are stamped Apple with a part number that is for the 4400. The only thing they did difference was to use a yellow silk screening and for whatever reason a small square pattern in the open copper areas. Those traits are just like my board.

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#12 2015-01-18 02:18:00

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,081
Website

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

By the time the Tanzania board and the 4400 came out, clone manufacturers were actually dealing with Motorola for parts -- Motorola manufactured StarMax boards for themselves under license using the Tanzania reference design, and Motorola did sell some of these boards to other cloners (see Apple Confidential 2.0, pp253-4). That known arrangement is probably the best explanation for what you're seeing here, but there is no documentation anywhere that Apple made them for Motorola or anyone else, Apple part number or no.

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#13 2015-01-18 02:51:28

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

I dunno. It would appear they did for some models. Here is another hint at this.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/s … 4YSGlhqcIJ

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#14 2015-01-18 09:06:53

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,081
Website

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

citation needed

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#15 2015-01-18 15:02:06

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 522

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Of course, it's completely possible that Motorola and Apple contracted the actual fabrication of the boards (which all sported the Apple name and part number) out to third party manufacturing plants, so technically *neither* company made them. (After all, that's how its done today.)


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#16 2015-01-18 15:34:31

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

ClassicHasClass wrote:

citation needed

For what? We now have several examples of Apple produced boards that include a standard VGA connector and PS/2 ports. What the hell do you "need a citation" for? So because its not written down somewhere it can't be real?

Okay, you explain these boards then.

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#17 2015-01-18 15:38:42

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Taken at face value, Dan Knight seems to indicate that a single board type was produced for all these models including the 4400...

http://www.lowendmac.com/tech/tanz.html

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#18 2015-01-18 22:14:46

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,081
Website

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

unity wrote:
ClassicHasClass wrote:

citation needed

For what? We now have several examples of Apple produced boards that include a standard VGA connector and PS/2 ports. What the hell do you "need a citation" for? So because its not written down somewhere it can't be real?

Okay, you explain these boards then.

Other than the explanation I already gave you, out of a recognized, published and well-researched history of Apple with a specific chapter on the clones?

Look, you don't have to believe me. But all you've cited is examples of things you claim are Apple manufactured, and you advance the presence of an Apple part number to prove it, but there's no other evidence in any other authoritative source. The clone manufacturers did so in public, using designs that were easy to obtain, spread over multiple companies with no reason to be secretive. If Apple was building stuff for them, there should be ample records to corroborate it. This wasn't a skunkworks deal.

Plus, one other thing to consider: if you were cloning Macs, would you want your supply chain dependent on Apple? Apple may have been dysfunctional in the Spindler-Amelio years, but they weren't that stupid; they would only have manufactured boards for clone manufacturers if it made financial sense for them to do so, and that means a markup. That puts you, as a cloner, immediately at a financial disadvantage to the company you're cloning, to say nothing of Apple's mercurial attitude to the clone builders. Owen Linzmayer points out that the cloners would have much rather dealt with another clone manufacturer (Motorola, who did make Tanzania boards) than Apple (and, in his words, "put up with Apple's arrogant and arbitrary demands"), and were very happy when Apple gave Motorola the manufacturing license (p.253).

I'm not saying it was impossible, and it would be interesting to see evidence to the contrary that's more definitive than what's been advanced in this thread, but in its absence Occam's razor applies. Believe what you like. I'll politely exit the discussion.

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#19 2015-01-19 00:25:44

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Im not sure how photos can be interpreted as a claim. A claim can be considered an unproven statement of words, but I am proving so with photos. I am not saying Apple themselves produced these boards "in house". No more than the iPhone is. But one still says the iPhone is Apple made. Is this where you are trying to counter me? As in who actually made the physical boards?

Well what do you think would be the reason for motherboards to be made with "Apple Computer, Inc. © 1996 820-0880-A" both in screen print and on the copper. Don't get me wrong, I thought my board was some sorta of prototype which is what I like to collect. But there is more physical evidence to suggest computers like the StarMax 4000 came with a board marked as an Apple product. Not a board they made or had made for themselves. I would think any board produced under license would include different markings.

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#20 2015-01-19 02:37:52

MJ313
Member
Registered: 2014-09-23
Posts: 493

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

unity wrote:

But there is more physical evidence to suggest computers like the StarMax 4000 came with a board marked as an Apple product. Not a board they made or had made for themselves. I would think any board produced under license would include different markings.

I think Washerman, a member here, has one of those Starmax 4000's. It would be interesting if he could look at it and see what's printed on it. Just for further corroboration, I guess.... A puzzler for sure.

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#21 2015-01-19 18:05:13

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 522

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

ClassicHasClass wrote:

That known arrangement is probably the best explanation for what you're seeing here, but there is no documentation anywhere that Apple made them for Motorola or anyone else, Apple part number or no.

Well, so this is where we're splitting hairs here. I'm not in the mood to Google extensively for supporting evidence but as I recall it the whole "deal" with the 4400 was Apple wanted a machine in the same power-class as their Performa/Power Macintosh 6(4/5)00 models but in cheaper, vanilla"package to sell as a "business" PC and they went about it as cheaply as possible, including just grabbing the closest thing to a "commodity" logic board straight off the shelf. And that board is/was The LPX-40. The 4400 is just an LPX-40 with some components deleted (the 4400 Dev Note confirms this), and while Apple may not have "manufactured" boards for Motorola in their wholly-owned plants it is documented with its own technote, same as a "real" Apple product. For most practical purposes it was an "Apple logic board" (it's covered with Apple-proprietary ASICs, after all) no matter who stamped it out, and, going out on a limb a bit, it wouldn't surprise me at all if at least some 4400s actually used boards sourced from the same factories that churned them out for Motorola/Umax/Apus/etc.

(Remember, by the mid-90's the move towards PC manufacturers outsourcing most of their hardware production to giant PC puppy mills in Taiwan and China was *well* underway; if you're looking for a motherboard for a "cheap" PC that was probably where you were going to get it.)

Seems sort of pointless to get this wound up over the definition of the word "made" when it seems pretty obvious what the truth is: Apple "made" the logic board design and said design was subsequently manufactured by (various parties and with various tweaks) via contracts that *usually* passed through Motorola. Unless there's some sort of markings on these boards which reveals where they were actually fabbed it's probably impossible to tell if the boards installed in 4400s were or were not *ever* sourced from the same plants as clone boards.


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#22 2015-01-20 08:22:05

Washerman
Member
Registered: 2014-08-24
Posts: 51

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

MJ313 wrote:
unity wrote:

But there is more physical evidence to suggest computers like the StarMax 4000 came with a board marked as an Apple product. Not a board they made or had made for themselves. I would think any board produced under license would include different markings.

I think Washerman, a member here, has one of those Starmax 4000's. It would be interesting if he could look at it and see what's printed on it. Just for further corroboration, I guess.... A puzzler for sure.

I recall it is printed as an Apple board. Actually it is out of the case at the moment so when I get a chance I'll post up pics. Was thinking of swapping it into the 7220/4400 case. I did also notice the jumper settings markings on the Mac 7220 board for the other processors.

Also just won an auction for a 604 Powercentre 120, which I presume is also a Tanzania board, so will report back on that one too!

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#23 2015-01-20 11:43:26

Washerman
Member
Registered: 2014-08-24
Posts: 51

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Hmm seems I am wrong about the Powercenter 120 - based on Catalyst architecture. Looks interesting though.

Anyway pics of my Starmax board and PM7220 below. Apologies if they are too large!

2dufn1c.jpg
Motherboard:
"Apple Computer Inc (c)1996 820-880-A"

51of80.jpg
Comparison of ports - Starmax and PM7220/4400

6i5x61.jpg
Rear of Starmax board

28svh44.jpg
PM7220 board:
"Apple Computer Inc (c) 1997 820-881-A"

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#24 2015-01-20 17:13:31

unity
Member
Registered: 2015-01-09
Posts: 81

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

Cool, thanks much guys. ClassicHasClass seems so hooked on who actually made the board. That was not what I was talking about. Most would say that Apple makes the iMac. ClassicHasClass would say Foxconn (or whoever) does.

I think this really helps sort out the confusion. My board looks just like the Starmax boards that have been posted. I really thought everyone had the board made for them using the Tanzania design, no one using an actual board that was designed by Apple (hence the copyright). As a consumer, I would not expect the main board to be produced by what would be considered a competitor.

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#25 2015-01-20 17:39:30

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 522

Re: 4400 with a 604e?

This did have me curious enough about the situation to try to look up pictures of the boards installed in of the other clone makers' machines, and... wow, you find out pretty quickly that apparently not a lot of people bothered to document their clones before trashing them. About the only thing I can say *tenatively* is that it looks like at least some of the Umax machines that are listed as "Tanzania" variants *do* have a differently designed board with Umax labeling, but there also seems to be some confusion about whether those systems are *actually* Tanzania or are really more of an Alchemy (6400/6500) variant. (There's not much difference between Alchemy and Tanzania anyway at a chipset level... it's really sort of confusing.) There are other systems like Apus that *sound* as if they use a generic board sourced straight from Motorola, which I assume would be this board, but haven't found a picture yet.

Of course, if you research this enough you'll find references to a tantalizing link between Motorola's involvement in the clone program and the death of the "PowerExpress". Short version: Motorola was the major hardware driver for the CHRP initiative and designed the MPC106 system controller for use in CHRP systems. CHRP was just about baked and ready when Apple started turning its back on the cloners, and one of their first acts was to refuse the certification and licensing of MacOS for CHRP. Coincidentally or not around this time Apple also discovered that at least one system based on the MPC106, IE, the Gossamer design eventually used in the Beige G3, beat the pants off of their home-grown PowerExpress architecture performance-wise. This of course lead to the cancellation of PowerExpress and the MPC106 becoming the heart of every G3 era Macintosh prior to the AGP video models. So... in a way, you could actually argue that the entire crop of G3 Macs from 1997 through 1999 were "made by Motorola", not Apple.


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