466Mhz G4 Digital Audio Upgrade Path

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by esaleris, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. esaleris macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #1
    Hi all,

    I have a Digital Audio G4 from 2001. Inside, I have a 466Mhz G4 processor, with 512MB of RAM, 2 x 120GB 7200 RPM Seagates, and the ATI Rage that came with the machine. I'd like to play Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and World of Warcraft on it; my only requirement is that it runs at full FPS (60+) at 1024x768 or 1280x720 (if I can force it).

    I was wondering what upgrade paths are best for this machine. I understand that these upgrades will cost me as much as a Mac mini, but I don't think a Mac mini can handle Enemy Territory. So far, I've scoped out:

    1. $400 - GigaDesigns Dual G4 7447A 1.8Ghz
    2. $200 - ATI Radeon 9600 PRO Mac Edition
    3. $120 - 2 x 512MB PC133 Kingston RAM
    Grand Total: $720

    Sonnet also has a Dual 1.8Ghz, but it's $100 more. Worth it? Anyway, in general, these upgrades are on the expensive side, but I think that a low-end G5 tower would cost me even more than that. What do you guys think?
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    You can get a refurbished iMac G5 for nearly that much and a Power Mac for just over $1000.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    First, I would go for a 1.4 GHz upgrade with a L2 cache, before any 1.8 GHz without a cache.

    Second, I don't know what Kingston RAM you are looking at, but if it is the KVR-series ValueRAM with 8 chips on it, there's more than a fair chance it won't work.

    Datamem has PowerMac compatible 512 Mb for $75 each http://www.datamem.com/AMM7.asp
     
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    For the Video card I'd say get the 9800 Pro 128mb used off ebay. It should be cheaper than the 9600 and it is faster.

    As far as the processor and RAM I agree with CanadaRAM. The 1.4ghz with L2 cache is better than that 1.8 without.
     
  5. esaleris thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #5
    So a Single G4 1.4 (2MB L3) would perform on par, or better than a Dual G4 1.8Ghz (512K L2)? Sorry I'm not up to speed on the whole "cache / performance" issue...

    If I sink $1100 into a G5 Tower - there's a refurb going for that now - I still have to add more memory and a video card. That alone would push me into the $1,400 area, which is twice the price of this semi-upgrade.

    I only want to play those two games - WOW and Wolf:ET - and this eventually would just turn into a Handbrake / Media Server after I'm done with it.
     
  6. RGunner macrumors 6502a

    RGunner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Midnight Sun
    #6
    Cache

    I will not speak for CanadaRAM, but do not think he meant that. A Dual 1.8GHz G4 'No Cache' most certainly will spank a Single 1.4GHz with the backside cache (and we are talking about off chip Level 3 cache, usually 2MB). Believe he just meant any manufacturers 'single' 1.8GHz module, but will let him clarify his thoughts.

    The price reflects this tho, a Dual G4 1.8GHz (7447a) upgrade module is $500+, a Single G4 1.4GHz is about 2/3 of that.

    I would put my money in a new machine.
     
  7. esaleris thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #7
    Thanks for the advice, guys. Yeah, I thought about it a bit, and if I can manage to wait, $750 or so is 1/3 of the price to a brand-spanking new Intel [Power]Mac, whenever they do manage to come out. So I think I'll save up and leave this one as a very capable server for the closet. I'm getting an HDTV and was chomping at the bit to play some game on it, but I guess I'll wait.
     
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #8
    Well $1099 for a 17" refurbished Intel iMac.
     
  9. esaleris thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #9
    User servicability is a biggie with me - esp. HD and maybe Video - so I'll leave the iMac alone.
     
  10. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #10
    That sounds like a better plan to me. Sinking $700+ into a five year old computer in order to turn it into a gaming machine seems silly to me. Even with every imaginable upgrade option maxed out, I suspect you'll be disappointed with its performance.
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #11
    Alright then. I just think you're wasting your money on that machine. I love upgrades and all. I've done my own to but not to that limit.
     
  12. esaleris thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #12
    Thanks for knocking some sense into me. I'll be putting this little guy up as a server ... preferrably where I can't hear the droning fans... And then I'll be joining the line of patiently waiting hordes for Job's next announcement...

    Next Tuesday, perhaps?

    :D
     
  13. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #13
    Well we can only hope. Unless this is a mission critical machine I wouldn't spend more than $200 on upgrades for RAM and drives.

    You want to game on it so a new machine would be a better buy. WoW seems to run well using the Universal Binary too. Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a little less certain though via Rosetta.
     
  14. 8thMan macrumors regular

    8thMan

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #14
    Go cache

    I did the same upgrade (466 DA) in order to play WoW. I was also uncertain about the CPU but was ultimately convinced that the slower processor with the L3 cache would give better results. Check out barefeats G4 Cube upgrade comparison: http://www.barefeats.com/cubeup2.html
    Do not waste your money on dual processors for gaming; a single processor will work just as well. I went with the OWC 1.47 GHz processor + 9800 Pro. WoW now runs well with all settings on MAXIMUM (except for terrain distance, set at medium). Good to see that shiny snow. You will not be disappointed.
     
  15. thechris69 macrumors 6502

    thechris69

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    #15
    I have the same machine, if you go through with the upgrade PM me how it went:D
     
  16. esaleris thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #16
    Enemy Territory is based on the Quake III Engine, which could use the extra proc... But yes, I think I'm going to hold off in the end...
     

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