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Old Nov 15, 2009, 11:18 PM   #1
ppc970
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Upgrading From Single G5 to Dual G5

The primary computer I use is my single core 1.8 GHz PowerPC 970 PowerMac. The system is decently fast with only 1 GB of RAM and OS X 10.5, but to somewhat keep up with the times I was wondering how difficult it would be to swap my single processor for a dual processor. I see these dual processors on eBay all the time and is it possible for me to perform this operation?
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Old Nov 15, 2009, 11:30 PM   #2
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If you have 1GB RAM, then get a few more. I'm sure that going from 1 GB to 3GB will give you a lot better performance than getting the dual core, it's probably cheaper too.

As for swapping CPUs, I've never tried it, so I don't have any advice for you.
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Old Nov 15, 2009, 11:31 PM   #3
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The 2nd socket isn't on the motherboard of your G5. About the only way to make the upgrade would be to swap in a dual processor motherboard, which would also require a new power supply. If you really want to keep a G5, I would suggest selling your current setup and buying a dual system. Now brace yourself, this topic is about to be flooded with people telling you to get an Intel Mac Mini instead.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 12:23 AM   #4
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The only cost effective way to upgrade a single CPU g5 to dual is to sell the machine and buy one with dual CPUs.

1GB of ram is very small, upgrade it to at least 3GB.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 02:41 AM   #5
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I also suggest upping the RAM. I went from 2gb to 6gb and noticed the difference immediately. Leopard is a RAM hog, and maxing out the ram (which is currently pretty cheap) and possibly upgrading the GPU will really breath new life into your system. And there's no loss really, as if you eventually replace it with a dual or duo from the same generation, the RAM chips and GPU will still be usable in your new rig (should you decide you need one)!

Also, running cinebench on my machine showed that the boost from single processor to dual processor performance was only about 30%. Not worth doubling the price, but considering the current prices of dual rigs out there, it's really not that much more to get a dual or a duocore. Just avoid anything with the water cooling, I hear they're terribly unreliable.

And yeah, I'm sure tons will weigh in with the "buy an intel" argument, but it's certainly not a necessity at this point, and provided you don't have need of CS5 or any of the upcoming software, you're probably fine for another couple of years at least with a G5. They're solid boxes.
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Old Nov 16, 2009, 01:26 PM   #6
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I'm going to up the RAM first. How much memory and what type should I get? My graphics card is a GeForce FX 5200, which is fine for what I do (I just use the PowerMac as a normal desktop now).
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Old Nov 18, 2009, 07:26 AM   #7
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PC3200 DDR 400mhz non-ECC dimms. I think the single 1.8 came with PC2700 but the 400mhz is usually cheaper to find. You can find name brand memory for around $25/gb.

Oh and you can't upgrade to a dual-core processor or dual processor for that matter. The logic board isn't compatible.

The FX5200 is a crappy card IMO and you would see improvements with some desktop//windows graphics since the processing will be offloaded to the graphics cards and freeing up your CPU.

If you don't use Spotlight or Dashboard, you could disable those to CPU hogs .
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Old Nov 18, 2009, 12:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ppc970 View Post
I'm going to up the RAM first. How much memory and what type should I get?
Enough to bring the machine to at least 3GB.
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Old Nov 18, 2009, 02:33 PM   #9
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Maxing out the RAM on your G5 will upgrade the performance significantly!

Go to About this Mac in the  menu, and click on "More Info"... in the Memory section, how many DIMM slots do you see available? I think your model has either 4 or 8 slots. If you are currently rocking with just 1G, then it must be 2x 512's... or maybe 4x 256's. So you need to buy either 4x 1GB sticks or 8x 1GB sticks to max it out. 1GB sticks are around $30-40 each. Here's a pair of 2 for $63... Amazon has great prices on RAM. You must install them in matching pairs. Just make sure they are PC3200 and DDR 400Mhz desktop RAM sticks.

Definitely recommended you do this. More RAM will make your G5 much faster, and also much healthier since your processor, hard drive, and other components don't have to work as hard.
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Old Nov 19, 2009, 07:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by OrangeSVTguy View Post
PC3200 DDR 400mhz non-ECC dimms. I think the single 1.8 came with PC2700 but the 400mhz is usually cheaper to find. You can find name brand memory for around $25/gb.

Oh and you can't upgrade to a dual-core processor or dual processor for that matter. The logic board isn't compatible.

The FX5200 is a crappy card IMO and you would see improvements with some desktop//windows graphics since the processing will be offloaded to the graphics cards and freeing up your CPU.

If you don't use Spotlight or Dashboard, you could disable those to CPU hogs .
+1 to that.

On top of not being compatible, you need the Apple recalibration cd when dealing with that stuff.
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