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View Full Version : upgrading powermacs - can cheapest reach 'ultimate'?


unregbaron
Feb 26, 2003, 02:50 PM
After a scare with my G3 PB losing finder (resolved with Norton) and crashing for 24hrs I am considering the stability of a powermac...

My question is - even if I start off with the lowest end machine - is there the ability to continue to upgrade it through its life so that you end up with the 'Ultimate' model?

I am using photoshop, dreamweaver (for paid work), imovie (for art work) so DVD burning would be very useful...

Thanks for any advice - first time post!

Nipsy
Feb 26, 2003, 03:09 PM
A PowerMac is not inherently more stable than a PowerBook.

You will have your data in two place though.

As for going from cheapest to most expensive, you'll have to wait for the card makers to release an upgrade card.

A better bet would be to buy the Dual 1.25 now with everything stripped, and add drives/memory, as that processor combo should be viable much longer than a Single 1.0.

zarathustra
Feb 26, 2003, 03:10 PM
You can upgrade everything, except your motherboard, and hence the system bus speed. You could get the "cheapest" powermac, and put in max RAM (PC2100 @ 2 GB) and a superfast 10.000 rpm drive, and you will have an insane productivity boost (from a PowerBook). Later, when they release a processor upgrade, you could go to a higher Ghz.

I know this because I have just upgraded from a G3 PowerBook to a Dual 1.25 w/1.25 GB of RAM, and the difference is astonoshing. My PB was not a slowpoke, it chugged along just fine, but the difference is worth the debt I just acquired :D.

So in short, if you get the cheapest PowerMac, yes, you can upgrade the heck out of it, but it will not be the same as the current "Ultimate".

beatle888
Feb 26, 2003, 03:13 PM
2MB L3 cache/processor

the extra megabyte in L3 cache might not be upgradeable unless you buy a processor upgrade that has 2mb of L3 cache...im not sure if thats a problem.


other then that your set. but that L3 cache probably makes a pretty good performance difference.

unregbaron
Feb 26, 2003, 03:14 PM
thanks folks - perhaps time to dust off the one remaining Visa card and set the controls for the Dual 1.25

Nipsy
Feb 26, 2003, 03:36 PM
I believe the daughter card sets the MoBo bus timing, so that if you were to plop a Dual 1.42 card on a Single 1.0, you'd have 'Ultimate'.

I am not sure, however, so double check that before you take it as fact.

idkew
Feb 26, 2003, 03:51 PM
I would recommend buying the best machine you can afford. It will last longer with no need for an upgrade,a nd when it is time to upgrade, it will cost the same as the low end machine to upgrade.

I agree with Nipsy, get the dual 1.25. Those duals will be a great boost, and more and more software will take all advantage of them. Especially get it if you run multiple apps at one time.

When your 1.25 gets slow, get a faster drive, max out the ram, and get a new graphics card. Once that is too sluggish, spend several hundered on a new processor. Thsi will help sretch your dollar as far as possible while still having a very fast machine in the meantime.

I would always reccomend having a second hard drive to back up your data. They are cheap these days and well worth the extra insurance of not losing data. I have retrospect run three custom backups; my documents folder daily, my music and pictures folder weekly, all to an external 30gb drive. This way I never lose more than a day/week or work if all goes to hell.

jethroted
Feb 26, 2003, 04:02 PM
I'm no pro, but shouldn't you wait a couple months, and get the new model with a totally new chip?(64bit-970) Buying a G4 at this point is, well, pointless. It's at the very end of it's cycle, and if you are worried about buying new technology too soon, then wait anyways, and when the 970's come the high end G4's will be alot cheaper than they are now. They will be the next ibooks, possibly dual G4 imacs? Either way they will still be using them, and they will be cheaper than buying now. Save your self a good kick in the ass 2-4 months from now.

Bear
Feb 26, 2003, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by jethroted
I'm no pro, but shouldn't you wait a couple months, and get the new model with a totally new chip?(64bit-970) Buying a G4 at this point is, well, pointless. It's at the very end of it's cycle, ...
You know something, this is the second place you've posted this, and you still miss the point. If a person needs a machine now, waiting 6 months won't help their current needs.

Based upon the age of the person's current machine, the problems they are having and what they do with it, they should be buying a new machine now. And not waiting for an undefined period to buy a machine.

Dont Hurt Me
Feb 26, 2003, 04:56 PM
If iwas getting a machine i would not get a duallie unless i had apps that really new how to use it! This is a lot of crap from Apple trying to make up for what Motorola was not giving them. I have a 800 powermac and have seen the reviews on 1 giger,1.2 giger and duallie upgrades.They are talking now of 1.42 upgrades so if apple doesnt release a 970 powermac this summer i will be doing the upgrade to a single 1.42 and a ati 9700. You should also look at my post on upgrade benchmarks that otherworld computing did and you will find that the duallies stuff is a lot of smoke and mirrors( unless you have that app that actually knows how to use it)

timbloom
Feb 26, 2003, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Bear

Based upon the age of the person's current machine, the problems they are having and what they do with it, they should be buying a new machine now. And not waiting for an undefined period to buy a machine.

This is a very important point that a lot of people don't realize when they are not in a demanding profession or don't have the absolute need to upgrade. For the casual computer user you can wait till the next great thing, but when you need it you need it. If my car breaks down, I am not going to sit at home till next years models come out.

Bear
Feb 26, 2003, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by Dont Hurt Me
If iwas getting a machine i would not get a duallie unless i had apps that really new how to use it! This is a lot of crap from Apple trying to make up for what Motorola was not giving them. I have a 800 powermac and have seen the reviews on 1 giger,1.2 giger and duallie upgrades.They are talking now of 1.42 upgrades so if apple doesnt release a 970 powermac this summer i will be doing the upgrade to a single 1.42 and a ati 9700. You should also look at my post on upgrade benchmarks that otherworld computing did and you will find that the duallies stuff is a lot of smoke and mirrors( unless you have that app that actually knows how to use it)
Or unless you run multiple applications at the same time. Agreed people who just use iChat won't see anything by getting a dual processor machine. However, people who do have multiple things going on (How many will be running iTunes and Mail and some other application?) may benefit from a dual processor.

What unregbaron ssaid he would be doing with the machine makes it seem likely he could benefit from a dual processor system.

Remember each persons needs are different.

Dont Hurt Me
Feb 26, 2003, 05:18 PM
So True.