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greedyhands
May 24, 2009, 01:44 AM
Hey everyone. I recently got a G4 Power Mac "quicksilver" addition, which I am going to be upgrading with a Newer Technology 2.0 GHz processor, an ATI RADEON 9200 PRO graphics card 128MB dedicated RAM, and a larger Hard Drive. I want this to be media server for my living room TV. I was looking at Blu-Ray upgrades I can add to it, and found one for $112. I'm wondering if anyone knows of programs that offer blu ray playback on Tiger or Leopard.



AlexMaximus
May 24, 2009, 05:32 AM
Hey everyone. I recently got a G4 Power Mac "quicksilver" addition, which I am going to be upgrading with a Newer Technology 2.0 GHz processor, an ATI RADEON 9200 PRO graphics card 128MB dedicated RAM, and a larger Hard Drive. I want this to be media server for my living room TV. I was looking at Blu-Ray upgrades I can add to it, and found one for $112. I'm wondering if anyone knows of programs that offer blu ray playback on Tiger or Leopard.

Congrats, your G4 will work great for that. However, regarding the mentioned ATI Card I would not recommend that one. The ATI 9200 Pro is a PCI card and has a very slow GPU bus.
Since the Quicksilver has a AGP bus, you absolutely need to go with an AGP card. See if you can find the Radeon 9800 or a flashed version of the Nvidia 7800 for the G4 on ebay.
Regarding Blue Ray, - rumors say it will not work very fast on a G4.

Anyone here that has any experience with Blue Ray on a G4 ??????

That would be indeed interesting if my old G4 rig can run it...
:apple::apple::apple:

Qianlong
May 24, 2009, 06:39 AM
I'm using a QS G4 800 as my main comp now and I'm not sure if I want it next to my TV because the QS case and PSU fans are very loud.

I would also not upgrade with a pci vid card, try for a flashed video card or an ati radeon 9800 mac ed.

I'm not even sure these vid cards can do full HD and full hd sound output to a lcd tv.

300D
May 24, 2009, 06:42 AM
I am going to be upgrading with a Newer Technology 2.0 GHz processor
Total waste of money! For the cost of your G4 and that upgrade you can get a dual 1.8Ghz G5 that will walk all over it in every category.

I want this to be media server for my living room TV. I was looking at Blu-Ray upgrades I can add to it, and found one for $112. I'm wondering if anyone knows of programs that offer blu ray playback on Tiger or Leopard.
It will work very well as-is as a media server without the upgrade. It is not possible, in any way, to play Blu-Ray or full HD video on a G4 machine. No software exists to play Blu-Ray discs on a mac and even with the upgrade it won't have even 1/2 the CPU power needed to play 1080p video. The graphics card makes no difference in video playback.

Spend the $600 on a Mac Mini, it will be faster in every way than your G4 ever could be, can play 1080p video and has the possibility of playing Blu-Ray discs in the future (when Apple decides to support it). Upgrading a G4 is a horrible value.

greedyhands
May 24, 2009, 10:17 AM
Total waste of money! For the cost of your G4 and that upgrade you can get a dual 1.8Ghz G5 that will walk all over it in every category.


It will work very well as-is as a media server without the upgrade. It is not possible, in any way, to play Blu-Ray or full HD video on a G4 machine. No software exists to play Blu-Ray discs on a mac and even with the upgrade it won't have even 1/2 the CPU power needed to play 1080p video. The graphics card makes no difference in video playback.

Spend the $600 on a Mac Mini, it will be faster in every way than your G4 ever could be, can play 1080p video and has the possibility of playing Blu-Ray discs in the future (when Apple decides to support it). Upgrading a G4 is a horrible value.

I'm not really concerned about the money. I got the tower for $100, which is a steal in my opinion. Also, I'm a collector, and have never had a g4 tower so I am pretty excited about it. The processor upgrade is only $200, which still makes a $300 machine, and I think that rocks.

I appreciate the advice on blu-ray, and now that I think about it, I don't even believe blu-ray media will be around for that long before everything goes digital.

I have a mac mini hooked up to my TV upstairs. I have also done some modding to that. I guess I like the novelty of G4 running as fast as I could possibly get it.

You and I are speaking of two different areas of value. It is of much value to me to be able to take apart and upgrade a G4. Plus, I'm saving one more console from ending up in a landfill. So please be less harsh when you reply to people in the future, and keep in mind that computing is about projects for some, and not just about saving money. I've already got three macs, what's it hurt to upgrade this one?

300D
May 24, 2009, 10:32 AM
I don't even believe blu-ray media will be around for that long before everything goes digital.
You believe wrong. There isn't enough bandwidth infrastructure for that to happen and ISPs have made it clear they don't want people to watch HD movies over the internet since they have all set very low download limits. Plus, there is no physical copy to own.

Plus, I'm saving one more console from ending up in a landfill. Thats what a recycling center is for.

what's it hurt to upgrade this one?
Its your wallet. If you want to blow money on old junk that has no real value left then be my guest.

TonyK
May 24, 2009, 10:59 AM
Greedyhansd,

I think it is neat you are re-vamping an older system to meet a new need. My first Mac was a PowerMac G5 that I got from my wife when she upgraded and it served me a year before I felt the need to move up to an Intel based MacPro. The PowerMac is still here and I too am looking for a new role for it to fill. I might hook it up to my midi equipped keyboard and see how that works.

Take care,


Hey everyone. I recently got a G4 Power Mac "quicksilver" addition, which I am going to be upgrading with a Newer Technology 2.0 GHz processor, an ATI RADEON 9200 PRO graphics card 128MB dedicated RAM, and a larger Hard Drive. I want this to be media server for my living room TV. I was looking at Blu-Ray upgrades I can add to it, and found one for $112. I'm wondering if anyone knows of programs that offer blu ray playback on Tiger or Leopard.

greedyhands
May 24, 2009, 11:39 AM
Its your wallet. If you want to blow money on old junk that has no real value left then be my guest.

Once again, you and I disagree on the definition of value. How on earth does $300 2Ghz system with 1.5 GB of RAM have no value. That is just a ridiculous statement to make, and the kind of wasteful attitude I prefer to take no part in. This is the last reply I am going to make to you, but I want you to consider the things you say. What defines an object as having no value? And how are you the person that gets to decide an object's value? I will be able to watch hulu on my TV now without going through the annoyance of the load time on a hacked Apple TV. That, my friend, has a lot of value in my household.

300D
May 24, 2009, 11:44 AM
How on earth does $300 2Ghz system with 1.5 GB of RAM have no value. When its a $75 machine plagued with bottlenecks that happens to have a "newer" CPU installed.

Do you have Quadra 840AV too? I think I know of a PPC upgrade card still available for only $150.

What defines an object as having no value?
Reality and the market.

And how are you the person that gets to decide an object's value? By not wasting money in one.

awmazz
May 24, 2009, 12:43 PM
I'm not sure where this belief that G4s can't handle High Definition video comes from. Perhaps it's the install requirements for iMovie or something, so it's possibly a discussion about editing rather than just viewing in general. Because I run EyeTV on one of my G4 MDDs and I have no issue with the HD channels whatsoever on a 1900 x 1200 ADC display. HD video playback is just as smooth as on a Mac Mini or Pro and I can't tell the difference. That's broadcast HD 1080, so I can't say for sure for Bluray HD and other forms though but i can't see why they'd be any different.

My G4 is a dual 1.25GHz (with GeForce Ti card), so your 2GHz processor upgrade should handle HD just as well. One thing I'd note is the Radeon 9200 128MB card you're planning is PCI rather than AGP so may not perform as well as a dedicated 128MB AGP graphics card. The 4x AGP slot is approx twice as fast as the 33MHz PCI slots.

PS. In regards to wasting money or not, is isn't a waste of money if it's your hobby and you enjoy it. But like every other hobby, practically everyone else who doesn't share the same hobby regards it as a waste of money and can think of dozens of better things to spend the money on!

zmttoxics
May 24, 2009, 12:46 PM
Sounds like a fun project! Good luck! :)

greedyhands
May 24, 2009, 01:05 PM
One thing I'd note is the Radeon 9200 128MB card you're planning is PCI rather than AGP so may not perform as well as a dedicated 128MB AGP graphics card. The 4x AGP slot is approx twice as fast as the 33MHz PCI slots.

Thanks for the reply man. I am having trouble finding a card online that I am positive will fit the system. Is there anything you would know of that you can link me to? This is the first tower I have undertaken an overhaul on and all the help is appreciated. I'd like to get the best possible graphics card the system can handle, but don't want to accidentally buy something it won't recognize. My idea for the Radeon 9200 came from an upgrade list on OWC.

Cheers
Andy

MAC-PRO-DEMON
May 24, 2009, 01:56 PM
I would... In my oppinion... Just get a Sonnet Processer upgrade as opposed to the 2.0GHZ one that you are looking at... I would just install a DVD drive as you can't install a Blue-Ray drive in a G4... and plus that graphics card that you are punting can't handle it!! And... don't listen to what anyone says about it being rubbish... It's Great!!

awmazz
May 24, 2009, 02:09 PM
I myself would always choose the nVidia GeForce4 Ti 4600 128MB ADC/DVI card as the best AGP card for the G4 every time. The OEM from Apple is full length (has an extra length of blank circuit board so it can slot into the far bracket) like so:
http://www.dvwarehouse.com/images/661_2595_new_cc.jpg
and has DVI & ADC connectors, while the aftermarket versions are cut off to standard video card length and replace the ADC connector with a VGA one. I'd get the OEM version.. I like ADC displays. :)

The only two comparable cards from ATI are aftermarket, the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition 128MB and the Radeon 9600 Pro Mac & PC Edition 256MB. The 9600 also has a dual-link DVI connector for a 30" display at 2560x1600 resolution, the only AGP card for G4s to have this option (and 256MB memory).

The 4600 and 9600 are 8x AGP but will work in 4x AGP slots, while the later 9800 is 4x only as they realised that it makes little or no difference to performance as the cards rarely used more than 4x most of the time anyway (like PCIe 16x and 8x cards today).

Dave H
May 24, 2009, 08:40 PM
The 4x AGP slot is approx twice as fast as the 33MHz PCI slots.

A 4X AGP slot has 8 times the bandwidth that would be available to a 33MHZ PCI card.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerated_Graphics_Port

The only two comparable cards from ATI are aftermarket, the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition 128MB and the Radeon 9600 Pro Mac & PC Edition 256MB. The 9600 also has a dual-link DVI connector for a 30" display at 2560x1600 resolution, the only AGP card for G4s to have this option (and 256MB memory).

The 4600 and 9600 are 8x AGP but will work in 4x AGP slots, while the later 9800 is 4x only as they realised that it makes little or no difference to performance as the cards rarely used more than 4x most of the time anyway (like PCIe 16x and 8x cards today).

Radeon 9600 cards do not always work with Quicksilver (or Digital Audio) G4s. Some of them give a black screen most of the time in these models.
I used to have two 9600 cards, one worked reliably in my Digital Audio, and one only worked on about 1 startup out of every 10.
There is a video card compatibility chart here.
http://themacelite.wikidot.com/compatibility

awmazz
May 24, 2009, 10:17 PM
A 4X AGP slot has 8 times the bandwidth that would be available to a 33MHZ PCI card.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerated_Graphics_Port

Good call. I was only considering the physical MHz speed;

AGP 4x
A 32-bit channel operating at 66 MHz quad pumped to an effective 266 MHz resulting in a maximum data rate of 1066 MB/s (1 GB/s); 1.5 V signaling;

And the same as yourself, I've always found the Radeon cards to be temperamental and glitchy in G4s too which is why I would always recommend a GeForce as the first choice.

300D
May 25, 2009, 01:12 AM
Because I run EyeTV on one of my G4 MDDs and I have no issue with the HD channels whatsoever on a 1900 x 1200 ADC display. HD video playback is just as smooth as on a Mac Mini or Pro and I can't tell the difference. EyeTV does most of the decoding.

Playing the video from the harddrive or optical disk, a G4 can't handle the software decoding. Especially the junk MKV format.

Dave H
May 25, 2009, 01:16 AM
And the same as yourself, I've always found the Radeon cards to be temperamental and glitchy in G4s too which is why I would always recommend a GeForce as the first choice.

I actually like Radeon cards. I have only had problems with two, the 9600, and a second-hand 9800 that was likely dying.

OrangeSVTguy
May 25, 2009, 11:24 AM
A flashed 9800 Pro is always my recommendation for an older G4 and is your best, cheapest, and most compatible card you can go with.

It's even fun to do it yourself. You can find the 9800's for around $25.
Excellent write up at themacelite (http://themacelite.wikidot.com/flasher-s-buying-guide-9800).

A G4 or any Mac won't play any commercial BD movies. You'll have to rip them to your hard drive first and then use Plex or other software to play them.

I know that my dual 1.8 G5 handled 720p just fine(I never had a 1080p monitor to test those movies). I'd imagine that 2ghz card might be able to handle 1080p but that may be a long shot. Good luck upgrading your QS though, one of my favorite G4's.

Don't listen to the people that says it's not valuable or worth it. This is your hobby and hobbies are always expensive :). So you enjoy it.

greedyhands
May 25, 2009, 12:30 PM
thanks for all the replies guys. I found a ge force 7800 that I really want, but I doubt I am going to be willing to spend $300 for a video card, so I may go with a 6200 for $100. Also, I was trying to find a sonnet but it seems the company doesn't sell processors anymore, and it is slim pickings on ebay. Does anyone know if there is a major difference between a dual 1.6 and a single 2.0, it's only an $80 price difference, so it seems it would be worth it to me to spring for a dual processor if it makes that much of a difference in speed. I am not quite sure I know how to test the wattage of my power supply and that seems to be a big factor on the system requirements for a graphics card. Can anyone point me to a spec sheet where I can find that out. I spent all night last night researching it and just couldn't find what I am looking for. I am willing to replace the power supply if I have to to accommodate a better card, but I don't want to replace it if I don't need to.

Once again thanks for all the help. This is my first project like this, and while I am certainly enjoying everything, there is a lot I need to learn

Cheers,
Andy

Dave H
May 25, 2009, 04:03 PM
I am not quite sure I know how to test the wattage of my power supply and that seems to be a big factor on the system requirements for a graphics card. Can anyone point me to a spec sheet where I can find that out.

There should be a sticker on the side of your power supply with its output listed on it.
If not, here's a picture.
http://i11.ebayimg.com/06/i/000/77/cd/850c_1_b.JPG

AlexMaximus
May 25, 2009, 05:02 PM
thanks for all the replies guys. I found a ge force 7800 that I really want, but I doubt I am going to be willing to spend $300 for a video card, so I may go with a 6200 for $100. Also, I was trying to find a sonnet but it seems the company doesn't sell processors anymore, and it is slim pickings on ebay. Does anyone know if there is a major difference between a dual 1.6 and a single 2.0, it's only an $80 price difference, so it seems it would be worth it to me to spring for a dual processor if it makes that much of a difference in speed. I am not quite sure I know how to test the wattage of my power supply and that seems to be a big factor on the system requirements for a graphics card. Can anyone point me to a spec sheet where I can find that out. I spent all night last night researching it and just couldn't find what I am looking for. I am willing to replace the power supply if I have to to accommodate a better card, but I don't want to replace it if I don't need to.

Once again thanks for all the help. This is my first project like this, and while I am certainly enjoying everything, there is a lot I need to learn

Cheers,
Andy


I wish you much fun for your G4 project! I am with you on this one, since my "Tim Taylor G4" was a blast to tune up. Its a real design classic that is timeless like a Luigi Colani chair or a Bang & Olufsen Stereo or even an old Porsche 911 ...
:)

1# CPU upgrade:
As far as I have researched in the past there are about 4 different G4 chips around:
G4 7447, G4 7448, G4 7455 and a forth one I can't remember.

Most of the upgrade cards use the G4 7447. In my opinion not such a good choice since it has no L3 cache, however it would be cheap and still a good value.

The G4 7455 was the CPU that had a huge L3 cache and was the fastest one available since the about last year. This baby runs hotter then the other ones but is very fast! If you can still get one, I would go for it.

The G4 7448 is the newest edition to the G4 chips and I have heard a lot of good stories about it. It would be a great choice but it would be the most expensive one as well. This one has not the old time L3 cache but a big part of the chip has been redesigned.

Read more here:

http://www.newertech.com/products/maxpower48.php

Regarding the Graphic Card, I still have my old ATI Radeon 9600 256MB
Mac Edition here. (This card is the G4 version, there has been a G5 BTO version as well!) I bought it at OWC back in the day ($249) and it got replaced by the Nvidia 7800 from MacStreet. If you want it and if you don't mind the additional shipping from Bavaria - I can make you an offer for 120 bucks. Otherwise I keep it as a spare.

Regarding the power requirements of you PSU, I think you don't have to worry about it. All the G4 upgrades have been sold in the past without a new power supply. You will not reach the limit unless you have both DVD/CD drive slots filled AND more all 4 Hard Drives on your internal power hooked up.

Good luck with your Project !!

:apple:

OrangeSVTguy
May 25, 2009, 06:41 PM
If you want to spend the money and want excellent performace, purchase a Sonnet PCI SATA card (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_serial_ata.html) so you can throw in some fast cheap hard drives. IDE drives are slow and lower capacities not to mention more costly. Two WD 300gb Raptors in a RAID would really increase some performace :) but is costly(the Raptors anyways). They make 2 and 4 ports.

greedyhands
May 26, 2009, 12:28 AM
Awesome! Here's the plan. I'm going to order a re-flashed GeForce 7800 256 DDR3 RAM, then a Newer Technology dual 1.6 http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/MAXG47D1600/. Later on I will be purchassing that sonnet card, but at the moment I have found an extra 140 gig ATA and it had 40 in it already, so I will see how that works for the time being. I will be streaming most of the movies from my 2.16 GHz core2duo iMac with a 1TB HDD, it's not full quite yet, but has about 700GB of media it's been seamlessly streaming to my 2GHz mini with 4gigs of RAM for a while. It will be interesting if it streams as well to the G4 after I install everything. Right now I have an Apple TV running Boxee on my living room TV. And while I love it for it's capabilities, the load times, when you have a a lot of networked folders Boxee is pulling from, start to get unbearable. It will be nice if I can end up selling my AppleTV and just use the Power Mac. Now if I can only find a quieter fan. Also, I wish there was a way to install more RAM docks, I fear I may be frustrated with the 1.5 GB max.

I will say this is probably my favorite G4 model, aesthetically speaking.

300D
May 26, 2009, 12:43 AM
A 2GHz single won't play 1080p, a dual 1.6 definitely won't be able to play it. Video only uses 1 CPU.

greedyhands
May 26, 2009, 01:15 AM
All my media files are AVI, so that is a moot point. I really don't care about the difference between 1080p and plain DVD quality. Also, Hulu only supports up to 480p, which is where most of this machine's usage is going to come from when it's not pulling movies from my iMac's Hard Drive. But thank you for making the point you have already posted in three other replies on this thread, that was quite nice of you.

300D
May 26, 2009, 01:27 AM
Hulu? http://www.dieselbombers.com/images/smilies/NewPuke3.gif

greedyhands
May 26, 2009, 02:58 AM
Hulu? http://www.dieselbombers.com/images/smilies/NewPuke3.gif

Listen 300,
I don't quite understand why you decided you wanted to argue with me on every single topic here, but I would really appreciate it if you stopped. I started this thread to get advice on upgrading a Power Mac G4, not to ask whether I should or not. I am not the type of person who enjoys arguing. If you don't agree with this project I am undertaking, I would like to kindly ask you to please refrain from commenting at all. Yes, I use Hulu, and I rather enjoy it. As this project is to set up a system for me, I am not concerned about whether someone else would, or would not watch Hulu. I came to this forum for advice, and to bounce ideas off of fellow mac enthusiasts, not to argue.

Everyone else,
Since this thread seems to be full of debate now, I am just going to start another one once I'm finished and post pictures of the results. I am designing I really neat dual monitor system and am interested to see how it turns out.

Cheers,
Andy

300D
May 26, 2009, 03:02 AM
Designing dual monitor system? How it sits on the desk? Give it a two-level effect with a little path running down the middle?

awmazz
May 26, 2009, 03:16 AM
EyeTV does most of the decoding.

Playing the video from the harddrive or optical disk, a G4 can't handle the software decoding. Especially the junk MKV format.

I record the EyeTV HD channels at full 1080 and it plays back from the hard drive on the G4 just as well as it does on my Mac Pro. Broadcast TV is still all MPEG-2 I believe, which EyeTV records straight to disk as MPEG-2 exactly as it receives it. So playing from disk and software or from broadcast and receiver is no different and both are smooth playback at full resolution.

I can even play back recorded HD while recording new broadcast HD at the same time, so there's not even a bottleneck using the same drive for both at the same time with an ATA-IDE drive.

A 2GHz single won't play 1080p, a dual 1.6 definitely won't be able to play it. Video only uses 1 CPU.

I'm still not sure where you're getting this from, but you seem quite adamant about it so I thought I'd better check to see if I'm just imagining things, so I transferred a 1080 Quicktime movie I actually took myself with a 1080 camera and edited in Final Cut Pro and it again plays just as well on the G4 at full resolution on a 1920 x 1200 display as it does on the Mac Pro.

I'm just not seeing the "won't" and "can't" you keep referring to. 1080 HD video plays fine on my G4 MDD, not even the tiniest hiccup.

300D
May 26, 2009, 03:23 AM
Mpeg2 is not what bluray uses.

sushi
May 26, 2009, 03:34 AM
All my media files are AVI, so that is a moot point. I really don't care about the difference between 1080p and plain DVD quality. Also, Hulu only supports up to 480p, which is where most of this machine's usage is going to come from when it's not pulling movies from my iMac's Hard Drive. But thank you for making the point you have already posted in three other replies on this thread, that was quite nice of you.
I am really curious to see what you do with yours.

I have a PM933.

What I am really interested in seeing, is how you will lower the sound of the power supply. It is rather loud.

Listen 300,
I don't quite understand why you decided you wanted to argue with me on every single topic here, but I would really appreciate it if you stopped
Don't worry about him/her.

Just enjoy your project. :)

awmazz
May 26, 2009, 05:40 AM
Mpeg2 is not what bluray uses.

Blu-ray did indeed use MPEG-2, before switching to MPEG-4. So I've used Compressor to export the same 1080 clip to MP4 H.264 at full 1920x1080 30fps and it plays on the G4. A little jerky, but it plays.

greedyhands
May 26, 2009, 11:14 AM
Designing dual monitor system? How it sits on the desk? Give it a two-level effect with a little path running down the middle?

Actually I am going to have one monitor be the tv, which is about 8-10ft away from the couch. Then on the wall to the left of the couch I am going to have a second monitor on a dual arm mount that extends and swivels. This way I will be able to surf or photoshop on the 20" close to me, while watching a movie on the 47". We'll see if the computer will be able to handle that. If not I'll probably just leave the monitor setup and use a different computer.

300D
May 26, 2009, 11:48 AM
Hmm. Sounds exactly like what I have my G5 running, except the small 24" screen has its multiple inputs shared with the Mini (Picture in picture comes in handy for that).

Dr.Pants
May 26, 2009, 11:56 AM
A 2GHz single won't play 1080p, a dual 1.6 definitely won't be able to play it. Video only uses 1 CPU.

I'm not trying to argue - there is a difference in architecture (RISC vs. CICS), but my friend can play 1080 material on his Lenovo S10, with the N270 processor. I don't know the specs on the Power G4 processor in particular (anybody care to hint me a model number? I am interested as well), but I am pretty sure that it could handle it.

However, Greedy, personally I don't think that you will get good performance with the G4 multitasking thanks to the single-core. Just me though, I could be wrong.:D

If you want to spend the money and want excellent performace, purchase a Sonnet PCI SATA card (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_serial_ata.html) so you can throw in some fast cheap hard drives. IDE drives are slow and lower capacities not to mention more costly. Two WD 300gb Raptors in a RAID would really increase some performace :) but is costly(the Raptors anyways). They make 2 and 4 ports.

This may or not play into effect, but two Raptors in RAID-0 might hit a bottleneck in the PCI bus. Since the Sonnet card looks like a 32-bit card, the actual bandwidth would be 133 MB/s (:confused:) wheras the two WD3000GLFS (Velociraptors) have a write speed of 70-80 megabytes/second (Same thing as MB/s, right?); idk, two in RAID-0 should be just fine, but adding more should not give any big gains. Personally, two larger 1TB SATA drives might be what you are looking for (large amounts of media, right?), and are generally cheaper then the Raptor drives.