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View Full Version : Upgrade a PowerMac G4 Dual 450's ???


jaede33
Sep 12, 2004, 02:23 AM
Alright - It has become painfully apparent that my ol' computer isn't crunching the numbers like it used to. So, I have decided that instead of dropping a few grand down on a new system, that I should invest in some upgrades. Now, the following is what I would like to upgrade: processor card, memory, and video card. Right now I am at 2x450 MHz processors, 64 MB ATI video card, and 640 MB of PC100 SDRAM (with two more free slots).

I was thinking of upgrading to the 1.4 or 1.5 GHz chip (probably the single processor since the dual chips are a bit expensive), 2x512 MB of RAM, and tossing in a 128 MB video card.

However, alot of the particulars, I am not sure on because I lack the technical history.

For instance:
1) Which companies should I purchase from for each upgrade?
2) Is there a particular company that excels in mac processor upgrades?
3) Is opting out on the dual card upgrade a good idea (price vs. power, etc.)?
4) What would be the best 128 MB card?

And whatever else advice you would like to throw my way.

Thanks,

- J

crazzyeddie
Sep 12, 2004, 07:08 AM
What are you going to use the computer for and what kind of graphics card is in there now? (Radeon xxxx) If you really want gaming, that old G4 just wont play the latest games like it should, even with a fast processor. This is mainly because it only has AGP 2x, while later G4s had 4x, and the G5s have 8x! But I would think twice about upgrading the graphics card, since it sounds like you have a Radeon 8500 or 9000 already, which for non-gaming is a great match for that computer.

I think the best thing to do is buy it all from OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com). They have a configuration page (http://eshop.macsales.com/Accelerators/index.cfm) so you that you can see all the upgrades meant for your specific computer. On that first page, put in Powermac G4, then on the next page, select your model and the type of upgrade, and hit Show Upgrades. Its that simple :) They also have great tech support and very inexpensive fast shipping. I've bought many CPU, RAM and hard drives from them and its always of the highest quality.

Mord
Sep 12, 2004, 10:14 AM
get a 120GB 7200rpm HD and ogles of ram.

it will feel like a new mac honest to god, that 64MB card and radeon 9000 or 8500 or whatever you have and dual 450MHz card is perfectly fine.

Macmaniac
Sep 12, 2004, 10:18 AM
I would recommend OWC as well, they make it easy to see what your system can accommodate, and for around $600-$700 you can upgrade your old G4 to be almost as fast as a new eMac, RAM helps a lot and so does a good HD, I believe your model G4 has ATA 66, if you can get a SATA card and a SATA drive, that will improve performance if you use that as your boot drive.

Peyote
Sep 12, 2004, 10:20 AM
I'm not usre if it's compatable with your system, but you might also consider upgrading to a Serial ATA drive. OWC sells the controllers and drives. Another option would be getting a Raptor 10K drive. Your mac will seem quite a bit faster if you upgrade the HD to a faster drive.

jaede33
Sep 12, 2004, 10:48 AM
What are you going to use the computer for and what kind of graphics card is in there now? (Radeon xxxx) If you really want gaming, that old G4 just wont play the latest games like it should, even with a fast processor. This is mainly because it only has AGP 2x, while later G4s had 4x, and the G5s have 8x! But I would think twice about upgrading the graphics card, since it sounds like you have a Radeon 8500 or 9000 already, which for non-gaming is a great match for that computer.

That is kinda disappointing since I was planning (or hoping on) doing some gaming on the ol' mac. I thought if I upgraded the processor along with upping the graphics card and RAM, that my machine should do alright. Besides that, I normally do lots of ripping, toasting, browsing, and a little music stuff.

I would like to hear more on which company to go with for the purchase of a processor chip; any suggestions besides the Sonnet chip? Also, is the $250-$300 more for a dual chip worth it? It seems that I could get a 1.5GHz for around $450 but a dual 1.3 GHz is around $700 (Ouch).

Mord
Sep 12, 2004, 10:57 AM
depends on what games you wish to play, a 1.5GHz g4 and a radeon 9800 coupled with a 10,000rpm sata drive with controller card and a giga byte of ram you will be set

Dreadnought
Sep 12, 2004, 11:28 AM
depends on what games you wish to play, a 1.5GHz g4 and a radeon 9800 coupled with a 10,000rpm sata drive with controller card and a giga byte of ram you will be set

That will almost go faster then my dual 1.8 G5 with a standard 64 MB ATI 9600...

jaede33
Sep 12, 2004, 11:33 AM
depends on what games you wish to play, a 1.5GHz g4 and a radeon 9800 coupled with a 10,000rpm sata drive with controller card and a giga byte of ram you will be set

Are you serious?

Would it be possible to get by on one of the 128 MB cards, the 9800 is like $350?

Also, I could use a brief intro to what a sata drive is (with controller card) and about how much they run.

Sweetfeld28
Sep 12, 2004, 12:50 PM
Since i was recently looking into buying upgrades for my Dual 450, i would have to say that i would buy my processor from OWC.

OWC (http://macsales.com/)

At this website you can search for many diffrent upgrades for a specific Mac. I bought my upgrade processor card for my G3 from them, they are really easy to deal with.

RAM:
I am not sure if you have PC100, or PC133, but i bought the PC133/100 chips, and have them in my computer (also in my G3); they work great for me.

Video Cards:
I don't think that crazyeddie is right when he said that we can't get a faster video card. I thought that i read in my manuel some where that we could, so i read up on it. This is what it says from the manuel:

About AGP Cards

Your AGP card, installed in slot 1, provides the computerís monitor port. Slot 1 is designed specifically to accept AGP cards that have a 32-bit data width. This 66 megahertz (MHz) slot accommodates 3.3 volt (V) AGP 1X and AGP 2X cards. You can replace the card that came with the computer with an AGP 1X card, 2X card, or 4X card that also operates at 2X speed. A replacement AGP card must have a driver compatible with the Mac OS. Maximum power consumption for a replacement AGP card should not exceed 8 watts (W). Video memory is supplied by synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) soldered onto the AGP card. Standard Macintosh models come with 16 megabytes (MB) of SDRAM video memory.

Summary: You can have upto a 4x AGP card, but it needs to be able to operate at 2x. Now, i am not sure what the fastest, or best 4x AGP card is that will work in our Dual G4 450's.

Hope this helps some what.

Mord
Sep 12, 2004, 01:10 PM
Are you serious?

Would it be possible to get by on one of the 128 MB cards, the 9800 is like $350?

Also, I could use a brief intro to what a sata drive is (with controller card) and about how much they run.

the 9800 is the only upgrade available, a 128MB 9000 would be a sidegrade as it is clocked lower than the 64MB 9000 so would be no faster.

what card do you have? a 8500 or a 9000?

jaede33
Sep 12, 2004, 01:22 PM
the 9800 is the only upgrade available, a 128MB 9000 would be a sidegrade as it is clocked lower than the 64MB 9000 so would be no faster.

what card do you have? a 8500 or a 9000?

I have the 8500 64 MB -

Are you saying a upgrade from a 64 MB card to a 128 MB would not be faster ?