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View Full Version : Giga's new G4 upgrades...Too Hot?


Lord Blackadder
Mar 8, 2005, 02:43 PM
When I bought my G4 back in October I immediately started shopping for a G4 CPU upgrade. I actually got to the point of ordering a 1.4GHz kit from OWC, but had to cancel the order when I had some unexpected expenses (long story :mad: ). Since then I'd pushed the idea on to the back burner but have saved up some cash.

I noticed that Giga Designs recently came out with some new CPU upgrade cards (http://www.smalldog.com/search/x/x/wag125/?z=1&find=giga%2Bdesigns) - 1.73GHz or 1.8GHz, single AND dual. I was drooling. However, I noticed that the 1.8 models are 1.42GHz 7447As "tested" at 1.8GHz. That is a HEAVY overclock, the heaviest I've seen on a G4 outside lbodnar's eMac upgrade. The 1.73GHz model is modestly overclocked from 1.6GHz - but it's $50 more than the 1.8 model. This seems a bit confusing - I guess the 1.42s are super cheap nowadays but can they really handle the bump?

Mike at xlr8yourmac seems a bit wary of the 1.8 (there is only one review so far).

I was hoping to hold out for something around 2GHz, but I'm getting the upgrade itch again, so next paycheck I might get one, although the lack of L3 cache bugs me.

Any thoughts from others shopping for CPU upgrades?

Chaszmyr
Mar 8, 2005, 02:49 PM
I've never really understood people who spend a lot of money upgrading things on their old computers. Not only are you then lacking new technologies (optical audio, PCI-x, Firewire 800, etc), but I don't believe that you can run a 1.8ghz G4 in an old system without having MAJOR bottlenecks with the RAM and FSB.

I'd rather spend my money on something shiny and new.

Lord Blackadder
Mar 8, 2005, 03:13 PM
I've never really understood people who spend a lot of money upgrading things on their old computers. Not only are you then lacking new technologies (optical audio, PCI-x, Firewire 800, etc), but I don't believe that you can run a 1.8ghz G4 in an old system without having MAJOR bottlenecks with the RAM and FSB.

I'd rather spend my money on something shiny and new.

"One man's meat is another man's poison"

Palomino
Mar 8, 2005, 04:06 PM
It's near on $1000AUD for a processor upgrade (that's serious chash, when you consider the kind of processors avaliable in x86world, notes Athlon 64's)

I'll have to agree that this is somewhat of a waste of capital, as 1: it's just a set of 1.42GHz chips worked off their tits (may suffer reliability in hot weather,) and I doubt the performance increase would be substancial as it's FSB is 133MHz.

I'd be looking for base model PMG5, either new or Re-ferbished

Jordan

Lord Blackadder
Mar 8, 2005, 05:24 PM
It's near on $1000AUD for a processor upgrade (that's serious chash, when you consider the kind of processors avaliable in x86world, notes Athlon 64's)

I'll have to agree that this is somewhat of a waste of capital, as 1: it's just a set of 1.42GHz chips worked off their tits (may suffer reliability in hot weather,) and I doubt the performance increase would be substancial as it's FSB is 133MHz.

I'd be looking for base model PMG5, either new or Re-ferbished

Jordan

I'd like to as well, but grad school is coming up and I'll be a poor student for a few years.

By the time I pay off my current debts I'll have enough to buy one of these upgrades, but after that I'll be living on a VERY stingy university stipend. I'll agree it's not a deal as far as the x86 world goes but I already put some $$ into the G4, and don't have the energy or inclination to buy and construct an Athlon DIY PC (which would be more than the price of the upgrade anyway). Plus, a refurb G5 is 4x as much as the upgrade.

bousozoku
Mar 8, 2005, 06:28 PM
I'm not really trusting of Giga Designs and what they're doing with the processors. I think PowerLogix have better ideas. I wouldn't be surprised if their dual 1.33 GHz upgrade runs cooler than my dual 800 MHz board, simply because the 7457s are more energy concious. The price is high, almost half of what I paid for my machine but after nearly 3 years, it needs some ooomph with all the changes in software.

Lord Blackadder
Mar 8, 2005, 07:33 PM
I have to admit I've heard more horror stories concerning Giga Designs' stuff than the others. That is why I originally decided to use the OWC upgrade, which seems to be very stable. it uses the 7455, though I'm not aware of the differences between it and the 7457.

I may just go and order the OWC 1.4GHz card - it seems to be the most bang for the buck with its L3 cache and mild overclock. I'd like to keep my machine a dualie but the cheapest dual upgrades from Powerlogix are $500, a little too much for my budget.

bousozoku
Mar 8, 2005, 09:44 PM
I have to admit I've heard more horror stories concerning Giga Designs' stuff than the others. That is why I originally decided to use the OWC upgrade, which seems to be very stable. it uses the 7455, though I'm not aware of the differences between it and the 7457.

I may just go and order the OWC 1.4GHz card - it seems to be the most bang for the buck with its L3 cache and mild overclock. I'd like to keep my machine a dualie but the cheapest dual upgrades from Powerlogix are $500, a little too much for my budget.

A single card may be better for you considering the throughput of the machine. I've often wondered if mine would be better off but it works reasonably well with two processors through that insipid system controller. After seeing the performance of my 1.33 GHz PB, I wonder how a dual 1.2 would work. :)

The 7457 is better on power and heat than the 7455 at the same speed. It differs from the 7447 in that it can use L3 cache.

In any case, OWC is reputable and will stand behind their upgrades, I'm sure.

Palomino
Mar 8, 2005, 10:45 PM
For $700USD you can buy a pretty nice DIY Athlon Project, even if it's not A64.

Jordan

Dont Hurt Me
Mar 9, 2005, 06:46 AM
I have to admit I've heard more horror stories concerning Giga Designs' stuff than the others. That is why I originally decided to use the OWC upgrade, which seems to be very stable. it uses the 7455, though I'm not aware of the differences between it and the 7457.

I may just go and order the OWC 1.4GHz card - it seems to be the most bang for the buck with its L3 cache and mild overclock. I'd like to keep my machine a dualie but the cheapest dual upgrades from Powerlogix are $500, a little too much for my budget.I have the OWC 1.4 and for the most part pretty happy with it. It has jumpers so you can make it run where you want it. The 7455 have a large L3 1 or 2 mb while the 7457 has a larger L2 512k and no L3. Turns out that my 1.4 is really a high heat version of the 1.25 so it can run at higher clocks in a cool enviroment. I have ran it all day long at 1.47 with no problems and it was plug and play on my quicksilver.

bousozoku
Mar 9, 2005, 08:44 AM
I have the OWC 1.4 and for the most part pretty happy with it. It has jumpers so you can make it run where you want it. The 7455 have a large L3 1 or 2 mb while the 7457 has a larger L2 512k and no L3. Turns out that my 1.4 is really a high heat version of the 1.25 so it can run at higher clocks in a cool enviroment. I have ran it all day long at 1.47 with no problems and it was plug and play on my quicksilver.

Maybe you should have read this before saying that the 7457 has no L3 cache:

http://www.powerlogix.com/press/releases/2005/050111g4.html

Lord Blackadder
Mar 9, 2005, 10:21 AM
The 7447 series appears to be the first without L3. The current Powerbooks are using 7447B CPUs, so apparently they don't run a L3 either? If so I would think that the speed gains over the L3 equipped 1.4 chips would be small.

The only other concern was that the 7455/57s would place a greater strain on my PSU. I am already running two HDs, a burner and whatnot on a 200W PSU. I believe that the 7447s max draw is ~24 watts, but I didn't see what the 7455/57 draws. Still, I doubt it would be more than my two current 7410 CPUs.

bousozoku
Mar 9, 2005, 11:17 AM
The 7447 series appears to be the first without L3. The current Powerbooks are using 7447B CPUs, so apparently they don't run a L3 either? If so I would think that the speed gains over the L3 equipped 1.4 chips would be small.

The only other concern was that the 7455/57s would place a greater strain on my PSU. I am already running two HDs, a burner and whatnot on a 200W PSU. I believe that the 7447s max draw is ~24 watts, but I didn't see what the 7455/57 draws. Still, I doubt it would be more than my two current 7410 CPUs.

Thinking back, a lot of people were complaining that the series that included the Alumi 15.2 inch PowerBook had no L3 cache and of course, the response was that the extra L2 cache (running at full clock speed) was enough to overcome any lack of an L3 cache (running at 25 percent clock speed) and there wouldn't be a significant advantage to using L3 cache. Of course, if there was no advantage, they wouldn't offer a version with the L3 cache controller, would they?

I think the 7455 is less efficient than the 7447/7457 but that's in contrast to the 7400/7410/7440s which were really bad. The power supply should be enough.

Lord Blackadder
Mar 9, 2005, 11:42 AM
It seems like not much will change until the e600 reaches production - just speed bumps. I'm wondering if, two years down the road when my G4 is starting to reach it's limit if there will be a viable upgrade path. In other words, is the 7447 (or maybe 7448) series the last of the "true" G4s?

Hopefully by then I'll have my M.A. and a real job while I work on my doctoral degree so I can get a new dual 4GHz G5. :D

madoka
Mar 9, 2005, 12:29 PM
For $700USD you can buy a pretty nice DIY Athlon Project, even if it's not A64.

I'm pretty sure you could easily do a A64 system for under $700 as the A64 3000+ is only $146 shipped. In fact, after doing the numbers, you can do it for less than $500. You would have a pretty decent rig capable of playing the latest games, but you would be losing out on OS X and everything that comes with it.

leekohler
Mar 9, 2005, 12:34 PM
I upgraded my old G4 350 MHz Sawtooth to 1 GHz about a month ago. I got a Sonnet card for $229. It was well worth it. I bought an iBook G4 about 5 months earlier, so a new desktop was out of the question. But for $229, I felt like I got a new computer and it's faster than my new iBook now. If it doesn't cost a fortune, upgrade!

Mavimao
Mar 9, 2005, 12:59 PM
I'm with Blackadder. Sure it seems easy for some to say, "Hey! Just get a new powermac!" but it's not always that simple.

I'm a student as well with an aging G4 (see below) and I'd like to get an upgrade to be able to squeeze just a few more years out of my computer before I have to get rid of it. Why? Because new Powermacs are EXPENSIVE. A mini? No upgradeable options whatsoever. I love my sawtooth. Sure it's slow when I'm importing my CDs into iTunes and rendering movies can take a while (to say the least), but for emails, Web, chat, music, pictures, etc, it can't be beat.

PS: My favorite Blackadder season is the last one. ;-)

booksacool1
Mar 10, 2005, 03:31 AM
Thinking back, a lot of people were complaining that the series that included the Alumi 15.2 inch PowerBook had no L3 cache and of course, the response was that the extra L2 cache (running at full clock speed) was enough to overcome any lack of an L3 cache (running at 25 percent clock speed) and there wouldn't be a significant advantage to using L3 cache. Of course, if there was no advantage, they wouldn't offer a version with the L3 cache controller, would they?

I think the 7455 is less efficient than the 7447/7457 but that's in contrast to the 7400/7410/7440s which were really bad. The power supply should be enough.

The extra L2 cache does NOT overcome the lack of L3, according to this page release by gigadesigns http://www.gigadesigns.com/newsMDD7447.html
The 7447 is a (imo) a bad value processor. The 7457 has the benefit of extra L2 and L3.
The 7457 is (according to powerlogix) 5-10% faster then the "typical" 7455 at the same clock speed, while drawing far less power.
So yes, the 7455 is not efficient.

Anyway, the reason gigadesigns could overclock the 7447's so much is that they are laptop processors - lower heat = high overclockability.
Just look at the Althon XP - M, people are (were) reporting amazing overclocks with that.
So to answear the thread title, no the upgrades are not to hot, but they aren't very good value either.