View Full Version : New or upgrade
Aug 24, 2003, 06:01 PM
I currently have a Power Macintosh G4 (400mhz., AGP) and am trying to decide wether to upgrade it or purchase a 1.6Ghz. G5 system. One thing I must consider is that I currently have my G4 operating with it's maximum of four internal hard drives (2 SCSI 160 and 2 ATA/66). This means that I would have to purchase external firewire (there's no reason to even consider USB because of speed) for both ATA drives (as the G5s do not support Serial ATA -> Parallel ATA converters) and external SCSI 160 cases for the two SCSI drives. This could bring the total cost of moving to a Single 1.6 Ghz. G5 system to over $2500. Also, I currently have 1.25GB of ram installed in my G4 and would have to re-buy RAM to at least bring the G5 to par (if not slightly higher). Along with the space I would lose (and I am already space poor), the total cost of going to the G5 is now approaching $2700.
The alternative is to purchase a Dual G4/1.4Ghz processor upgrade from OWC for just under $1000. I guess my question is regarding wether the single 1.6Ghz G5 system would offer that much more performance to justify the cost? (Sorry if my post is lengthy)
Aug 24, 2003, 06:06 PM
From what I've read the 1.6GHz G5 SP isn't actually as 'fast' as the high-end DP G4 systems. A dual 1.4GHz G4 upgrade may be as fast, if not faster than a single 1.6GHz G5. You would not have the BUS speed of the new G5 systems, but by the sound of it I think you'd still be better off.
Aug 24, 2003, 06:17 PM
You can always buy a 1.6GHz G5, memory, and an extra SATA drive and use the G4 as a archive system over ethernet and/or extra storage.
Then buy extra FW800 enclosures later as funds permit, or FW400 enclosures.
Definitely would be a good idea to wait while people work out the problems with the SCSI cards, and drivers. Seems to have been too many of them every major system change since the B&W G3s.
Aug 24, 2003, 11:24 PM
It really depends what you do with your system. I have a Dual G4 450 with 512 mb of ram and am considering a processor upgrade to play a few of the neweer games out there. the only other things I do are email and Internet and Home movies. So the system bus and Ram upgrades aren't worth the upgrade cost at this point for me. If you are a power user and the lack of system bottlenecks on the new G5's could make your work faster I would upgade
Aug 25, 2003, 12:05 AM
I have a G4AGP 400 upgraded to 1ghz. I got the sonnet encore from 'macupgrades' on ebay for $410(that was before the G5's came out). You can get that or the 1.25 ghz for probably from the mid to high $300's. I love it. Granted though, I don't do video editing, just web and online games. My wife was shocked at how much faster the computer was.
Aug 25, 2003, 02:58 AM
Just in case you haven't already done so, be sure to make absolutely certain that your particular machine supports a dual-processor upgrade before buying one -- some of the Sawtooth motherboards don't. You can determine whether the chipset revision on your motherboard supports multiple CPUs with a utility found here:
I have a G4 450 MHz, and was all set to buy a dual-processor upgrade, until discovering that I was stuck with a non-compatible board.
On another note, do you really need to hang onto all of those drives? What are their capacities? Given the increasing spaciousness of hard drives over the past couple of years, you may well be able to configure the G5 with more storage than you currently have in your G4, despite the 2-drive limitation of the G5. You could then sell the G4 with all of the old drives, which would probably drive up its eBay value a bit.
My apologies if you've already considered these ideas, or if you have some special need for these drives (e.g. you require an elaborate RAID).