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Old Sep 28, 2006, 08:35 PM   #1
saga
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Stickin' with the emac

I have been using an emac for the last three years, and I have to say, I love it. It has never let me down, and has always met my needs. But now that I have the macbook, which is a bit more capable of handling more apps, I don't know what to do. I will eventually get a new imac, but am in no rush. I was wondering if I could pimp my emac out for minimal costs. It is a 1ghz, 512 ram, 80gig HD deal. The graphics is only 32mb shared. It really is a cool machine, and is a workhorse. Any suggestions?
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 08:39 PM   #2
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Hmmm......I've heard of people speeding up their eMacs using a screwdriver....but I don't know how this is done.

Yeah, I could hook you up with some dope to pimp out the eMac....22's, spinners on the 22's......
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 09:56 PM   #3
Sam0r
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More ram.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 10:06 PM   #4
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Hmm ... maybe overclock it.

http://www.lbodnar.dsl.pipex.com/eMac/eMac-upgrade.html
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 10:20 PM   #5
saga
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Originally Posted by After G

What does overclocking really mean? Is it installing stuff that the computer isn't really meant to handle? I do like the idea of the spinning 22's. I would love to get everything out of it. I already decided to up the ram, but can you change the graphics card??? HD size is fine, but maybe bumping it up to 7200 would be nice.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 10:27 PM   #6
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Overclocking is basically where you make the processor run faster than its designed to.

IIRC The eMac's graphics card is soldered onto the mainboard, so you can't really change it.

Pop a hitachi deskstar or a Maxtor DM10 HDD in there (You'll need an IDE one, not SATA).
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 10:31 PM   #7
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The hard drive already is 7200rpm.

Overclocking the eMac is not for the faint of heart. If it is not something that your are familar with, it is better to leave it be.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 10:38 PM   #8
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Just because the hard drive is 7200RPM doesn't mean its fast.

More cache among other things in the newer hard drives will mean better performance.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 11:44 PM   #9
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The thing with overclocking an eMac is that it's a pretty big deal.. you have to tear the computer down, remove the logic board, and desolder little teenie weenie jumpers, then put it all back together and see if it worked.

Processors are tested and rated at a certian speed they're shown to be reliable at, then usually sold as being slightly slower than that tested stable speed.. so in many cases, you can get several hundred more megahertz out of a chip than they stamped on the top. (I run a 700mhz eMac at 900mhz, for instance)

Now some guys are able to get them going 1Ghz or faster, other guys have problems when they clock a 700mhz chip to 800mhz.. there really isn't any way to tell how much faster you can push it until you tear it down and try it.

So before ripping into your computer, ask yourself if the possible speed gains are worth the effort.

At 1Ghz, i'd think a faster, cached drive and more RAM would give you a better overall performance gain than the 200Mhz extra or so you might be able to squeeze out of the chip in an overclock mod.

I used a 400Mhz 'Sawtooth' G4 before I rose this old eMac from the dead.. so truth be told, I was pretty happy with the stock 700Mhz speed, since it was significantly faster than what I was used to. Bumping it up to 900Mhz did make it run a bit faster, but it certianly wasnt a night and day difference over the stock 700Mhz setting.. at least not for everyday web browsing/code editing/eMail checking kind of stuff.. I guess I could try bumping it up to 1ghz, but I can't imagine an extra 100Mhz is going to make that much difference.

If after you upgrade the RAM to 1 GB you don't find the machine fast enough for your tastes, my advice would be to sell it on eBay, and buy something with more horses under the hood unless your confident in your soldering skills, and have the tools, the time, the eye, and the patience.

Otherwise, you could turn a perfectly functioning eMac into a doorstop.
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Old Sep 29, 2006, 01:25 AM   #10
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For what it's worth, I did this to my own eMac (700 MHz to 900 MHz) and it's still working. I think you will have more luck as your processor is already rated higher, plus this is the period where G4s were underclocked to not make Apple's higher profit machines suffer.

I didn't have any soldering skills back then, but it was somewhat trivial in that I only had to remove one or two resistors to go from 700 to 900 MHz. They are small, though, so if you have any doubt, don't do it. It did feel peppier, but because I already had a 1.2 GHz iBook at the time, it didn't quite do it for me.

Then again, I had already opened my eMac a bazillion times to upgrade the RAM, HD, and DVD-ROM. So I popped it open and put it back together in 30 minutes.

Again, if you have even the slightest apprehension or do not have a backup machine in case your job goes bust, do not do it.

I will have to comment that putting a 7200 RPM laptop drive in my iBook didn't make it feel that much faster either.
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Old Sep 29, 2006, 01:52 AM   #11
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I have one suggestion: more RAM. I had a 1.25GHz eMac as my first Mac and it was great. It was plenty fast enough for me. It came with 512MB RAM stock and I upped it to 1GB not too long before selling it and buying a Power Mac G4 Dual 867. Honestly, the eMac felt faster than the Power Mac in most cases and the Power Mac had 2GB of RAM. The Power Mac was still a great machine, though. The only downside was how loud it was. The eMac was much quieter than the Power Mac. Not as quiet as my current Mac mini, though, which is virtually silent.

You said your eMac had 32MB shared video memory? I'm pretty sure all eMacs have dedicated video. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. My eMac had a Radeon 9200 32MB.
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Old Sep 29, 2006, 02:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saga
What does overclocking really mean? Is it installing stuff that the computer isn't really meant to handle? I do like the idea of the spinning 22's. I would love to get everything out of it. I already decided to up the ram, but can you change the graphics card??? HD size is fine, but maybe bumping it up to 7200 would be nice.
Overclocking is telling the processor to run at a higher speed than it is "clocked" at. However, this means the processor also takes more power and generates more heat, so the amount you can overclock it by is entirely dependent on what it can take before you melt it down.

That's why people get watercooling systems, I've seen 6 GHz overclocks from the old 3 GHz Pentium 4's. You can probably safely bump the 1 GHz up to 1.25 without a problem, but don't take my word on it.
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Old Sep 29, 2006, 02:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saga
I have been using an emac for the last three years, and I have to say, I love it. It has never let me down, and has always met my needs. But now that I have the macbook, which is a bit more capable of handling more apps, I don't know what to do. I will eventually get a new imac, but am in no rush. I was wondering if I could pimp my emac out for minimal costs. It is a 1ghz, 512 ram, 80gig HD deal. The graphics is only 32mb shared. It really is a cool machine, and is a workhorse. Any suggestions?
No, its not shared VRAM, its dedicated. Apple started to use shared RAM only on intel-Mac mini and MacBook.
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