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View Full Version : Upgrade G4 Cube to 1.8ghz -- or not?




California
Jan 4, 2007, 08:38 PM
Do you guys think I should bother fixing up an old Cube to run 1.8ghz, with a 64mb video card -- both which will cost me 400 bucks? Plus the usb ports on the cube need to be fixed, so for sure that's another 75 bucks.

So realistically, I'm looking at 500 dollars for a cube. The beauty of the cube would be the 3.5" hard drive option. I just don't know if it's worth it or not and I'm staying PPC until I can't stand it anymore, so no Intel option until next year for me.



livingfortoday
Jan 4, 2007, 08:52 PM
I wouldn't. You can get a cheap 1.42Ghz G4 Mini for less than that, or even an Intel (though you said you want to avoid them). I guess from personal experience I would also be against it, since my dual-1.5Ghz G4 Cube gave me nothing but trouble and overheated and burned out CPU cards. I know others on these forums had better luck, but I dunno. I think G4's are gettin' a little long in the tooth, my friend...

California
Jan 4, 2007, 09:02 PM
I wouldn't. You can get a cheap 1.42Ghz G4 Mini for less than that, or even an Intel (though you said you want to avoid them). I guess from personal experience I would also be against it, since my dual-1.5Ghz G4 Cube gave me nothing but trouble and overheated and burned out CPU cards. I know others on these forums had better luck, but I dunno. I think G4's are gettin' a little long in the tooth, my friend...

You are probably right However, I have never seen this thing actually WORK and i figured if I was going to have the ports fixed, why not load it up all the way.

P.S. I already have a PPC 1.5ghz mini silent upgrade, but the one gig of ram is running it pretty slow for some reason, even with a 100gb hd. At least with the Cube, I'd have 1.5 gbs of ram and a fast hard drive and 1.8ghz processor...

livingfortoday
Jan 4, 2007, 09:16 PM
But it's slower, PC133 RAM. You might just wanna get a MiniStack and shove a 3.5" drive in there for your Mini. Booting off of a 3.5" drive over Firewire should speed things up nicely.

zen.state
Jan 4, 2007, 09:20 PM
Do you guys think I should bother fixing up an old Cube to run 1.8ghz, with a 64mb video card -- both which will cost me 400 bucks? Plus the usb ports on the cube need to be fixed, so for sure that's another 75 bucks.

So realistically, I'm looking at 500 dollars for a cube. The beauty of the cube would be the 3.5" hard drive option. I just don't know if it's worth it or not and I'm staying PPC until I can't stand it anymore, so no Intel option until next year for me.

I say spend the 500 and pimp that cube out. if you put a 1.8 in it you will be able to get 3-4 years of decent performance out of it.

if you like powerpc you can go a lot longer than next year before getting an intel mac. 99% of anything mac centric will still support powerpc for at least a few more years.

a lot of people think that the intel switch means powerpc macs are worthless now and that couldn't be farther from the truth. out of all the mac users in the world right now maybe 4-5% are intel mac owners. apple turning their back on 95% of their install base would be total suicide and their history shows that they will support powerpc for years.

aquajet
Jan 4, 2007, 09:24 PM
If you've got the money to burn, why not? Keep in mind it's not the best value for your money, however.

Maxwell Smart
Jan 4, 2007, 09:26 PM
I wouldn't. PPC is the past, Intel is the future. I say put the $400 towards a refurbished intel mini or save up a bit more for a new mini. Then you can upgrade to 2GB of RAM down the road, and maybe even put in a C2D as fast as you want in it :)

Lord Blackadder
Jan 4, 2007, 09:27 PM
If you put a 1.8GHz CPU in there and a GeForce 5200 or better video card with plenty of RAM it will easily outrun a PPC Mini...

The Intel Mini is much faster in most everything (except maybe disk performace) - but the Cube is way cool IMHO. If I wasn't already backlogged with projects and poor as dirt I'd build an upgraded Cube myself.

So I say go for it, as long as you don't mind spending the cash. You can have fun with it for a year or two and then go Intel.

zen.state
Jan 4, 2007, 09:33 PM
But it's slower, PC133 RAM. You might just wanna get a MiniStack and shove a 3.5" drive in there for your Mini. Booting off of a 3.5" drive over Firewire should speed things up nicely.

the bus in his powerpc mini is only 167mhz anyway. good point about the fw hd though..

Lord Blackadder
Jan 4, 2007, 09:38 PM
Actually, the system bus in the Cube is 100MHz like the Sawtooth, and it uses PC100 RAM (though PC133 will work as it will run at the lower speed).

Frankly, the extra 67MHz doesn't make HUGE difference, given otherwise identical specs.

4JNA
Jan 4, 2007, 10:47 PM
agree with lord once again... the cost difference is not much at the end of the project, and the end result would be very similar. either way (mini or cube) you get a fast and usable computer, but damn if the cubes aren't the coolest things ever. and fast cubes are even better! :)

taking the 'cool' factor into account, the mini will stop pc users in their tracks... the cube will stop everyone in their tracks. best of luck with the upgrade!

dpaanlka
Jan 4, 2007, 11:19 PM
I actually would, just because that'd be sweet.

You can get video card upgrades for it too.

IJ Reilly
Jan 4, 2007, 11:56 PM
Are you saying you can get the Cube, the 1.8 ghz upgrade and the video card for $400? Is it otherwise complete (speakers and keyboard) and in good physical condition? Is so, that's not a bad deal at all.

FireArse
Jan 5, 2007, 04:11 AM
This is a little like the Concorde Scenario.

If you were French, you would't have bothered asking us here - you'd have already done it and sent pictures of the completed product.

If you were Brittish, you'd try find someone else to help pay for the upgrades, but ensure you'd still have ownership of the cube. You'd eventually find someone to do it.

If you were American - you would have sold the Cube years ago and put it towards an Intel Mini.

Personally, I think you should stop wasting your time asking us, get on with it (if you have no cash, use the free time to earn some more) and post plenty of great pictures of the cube when you're done. Please.

F

California
Jan 5, 2007, 10:54 AM
This is a little like the Concorde Scenario.

If you were French, you would't have bothered asking us here - you'd have already done it and sent pictures of the completed product.

If you were Brittish, you'd try find someone else to help pay for the upgrades, but ensure you'd still have ownership of the cube. You'd eventually find someone to do it.

If you were American - you would have sold the Cube years ago and put it towards an Intel Mini.

Personally, I think you should stop wasting your time asking us, get on with it (if you have no cash, use the free time to earn some more) and post plenty of great pictures of the cube when you're done. Please.

F

Actually I'm American and have never ACTUALLY gotten to use the Cube. I bought it broken off MR. As to wasting time? I have a legit question about an old PPC machine that I can either soup up to be a very fast PPC machine or dump, and I wanted to doublecheck the feasibility of all this. Looks like I will be in for spending at least 650 on a Cube 1.8ghz. I am not sure if it is worth it or not.

skunk
Jan 5, 2007, 11:02 AM
As a 1.2GHz Cube owner, I'd say that's plenty fast enough, and I never noticed any difference when I upgraded the video from the 32MB Radeon to the 64 MB GF3, so I downgraded it again to run fanless. As for the USB ports, surely you can use the ones on the keyboard (unless you need powered ports)?

QCassidy352
Jan 5, 2007, 11:07 AM
personally, I wouldn't. No, PPC isn't obsolete, but don't kid yourself - it's the past, and when it's a G4, it's the distant past. If you could do it for $200 or something, I'd say sure, the cool factor is worth it. But as you said, your final cost on this thing is going to be around $650. For comparison, I spent $750 on a (used) core duo imac. $600 gets you a brand new core duo mini. $650 for a G4 is just a bad deal, no matter how you cut it. I guess if money were no object it would be a cool project, but if money were no object, you wouldn't have asked the question.

Belly-laughs
Jan 5, 2007, 11:11 AM
I have a stock Cube and I am thinking of doing a similar upgrade when I have some cash to spend. Itīs so beautiful and deserves another lease of life, even if it will never be a speed demon.

If you decide to go ahead, please post your experience and photos.

Good Luck!

skunk
Jan 5, 2007, 11:17 AM
If anyone is interested, I have a spare, brand-new Cube chassis (the interior metal frame, not the acrylic casing, including screws) and a Zalman heatsink for a Cube video card which I've never used.

Lord Blackadder
Jan 5, 2007, 01:15 PM
These days upgrading a cube isn't about money, since it is obviously "not worth it" from a money perspective.

But if you want a cube, it can offer good performance when upgraded.

IJ Reilly
Jan 5, 2007, 03:54 PM
These days upgrading a cube isn't about money, since it is obviously "not worth it" from a money perspective.

Well I don't know about that. When the mini first came out, I weighed buying one vs. upgrading the Cube, and the Cube won on dollars and performance. It might not be true anymore (or if you don't already own a Cube), but if anything the upgrades should be cheaper now than they were a couple of years ago.

Passante
Jan 5, 2007, 05:29 PM
For $79 more you can get a refurb core solo mini. Now if the cube was working I might think about upgrading but a new hard drive, video card and a USB 1.1 repair :eek:

I would consider getting the mini and hanging in the cube chassis.

California
Jan 5, 2007, 09:51 PM
For $79 more you can get a refurb core solo mini. Now if the cube was working I might think about upgrading but a new hard drive, video card and a USB 1.1 repair :eek:

I would consider getting the mini and hanging in the cube chassis.

Yep well I guess I'm out on the Cube. If anyone needs it, it's cheap. Speakers too.

I can't get the keyboard to work right because of the messed up usb ports -- I could only get an old iMac keyboard to power the cube up but no key action.

Too bad!

Lord Blackadder
Jan 7, 2007, 04:36 PM
Well I don't know about that. When the mini first came out, I weighed buying one vs. upgrading the Cube, and the Cube won on dollars and performance. It might not be true anymore (or if you don't already own a Cube), but if anything the upgrades should be cheaper now than they were a couple of years ago.

The problem is not that the Cube is too expensive, it's more that the Mini has gotten so much more powerful.

I agree that when the Mini came out the Cube would have been my clear choice, but these days the Intel Mini has a much stronger argument.

I'd probably still go with the Cube because I'd have fun buying and installing upgrades. But factor in a 1.6-1.8GHz CPU, Geforce 5200 or Radeon 9800 Pro, 1GB RAM, a big hard drive and Tiger and you're easily equaling the cost of a new Mini.

ReanimationLP
Jan 7, 2007, 04:50 PM
I'd go for it. :)

The best option for a Cube video-card wise is the Nvidia GeForce 6200 AGP, which has Shader Model 3.0, as well as DVI that actually supports 1920x1200 without looking like poo, as well as it would get you Core Image and Quartz Extreme.

http://strangedogs.proboards40.com/index.cgi?board=cubeowner&action=display&thread=1139612703

Getting one of those online : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150107 Only go with one that has the 2 indents in the connector, as that means its a Universal AGP design, and will work with the 2X AGP slot of the Cube.

You'll need a PC to flash though, but you'd only need it for like 30 minutes.

One of those, with a 1.8 GHz G4 processor as well as 1.5 GB of RAM should make the Cube very impressive, and prepared for Leopard.

CanadaRAM
Jan 7, 2007, 04:54 PM
the bus in his powerpc mini is only 167mhz anyway. good point about the fw hd though..

Yes, but the Mini memory is dual data rate (2 operations per clock) and so runs at 333 MHz DDR. The PC100 bus runs at 1 operation per clock -- giving a theoretical 3:1 advantage in memory access for the Mini. Of course this doesn't translate into anything like a realworld 3:1 speed improvement, but it does help as most every operation of a machine is memory intensive.