A rambling question about (as usual) my Cube

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by livingfortoday, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #1
    Ok. I've really been avoiding making this choice for quite a while, and I'm sure if you check my back posts, you'll find half a dozen stupid questions along these lines. But this it! This is the time I finally make up my mind!

    I love my Cube more than any computer I've ever owned, but I'm completely fed up with its slow 500Mhz processor. The time has come for an upgrade.

    Now, the most I'm willing to spend is the price of a stock Mac Mini - $499. Why that? Well, for one I consider the Mini to be the Cube's nemesis, and also, because that's all the money I have. OWC is having a special (through Cubeowner.com) where they're offering the Dual-1.7Ghz G4 Powerlogix upgrade for $495, which is really a helluva deal. Thing is, I don't know if maybe I should go for a processor upgrade that uses the 7457 chip, which has a L3 cache. The dual-1.3Ghz '57 upgrade is over $600, so that's out of the question, but I know there's a few single processor ones like the single 1.4Ghz at $399. Would I feel that much of a difference between the single and dual, especially if the single had a 2MB L3 cache versus no L3 on the Dual-1.7's?

    I use my machine for usually light word processing and browsing, but now that I don't have access to my dad's G5 anymore, I've been really using it for a lot of video encoding. Toast encoding one DVD can take over 30 hours right now... So. Given that, which upgrade will be better for me. Oh yeah, and I'll soon be doing a lot of work in SPSS and STATA, so I guess if you've used either program, lemme know how you feel this would affect performance.

    Thanks for any help, and sorry for putting up another rambling, slightly-incoherent post!
     
  2. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #2
    Buy the best you can get. ;)

    Faster the better... seems like your doing a little bit of heavy stuff, not a lot of heavy stuff, but just a 'lil. Get a dual 1.7. That'll suit your needs. ;)
     
  3. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #3
    Well, I guess my concern is also, will the L3 cache on the single processor make enough of a difference that maybe the Dual-1.7 wouldn't be worth the extra $100? Or does L3 really not matter that much when you're running two 1.7Ghz G4's?

    Also, the single is a 7457 processor, versus two 7447's on the dual. Would I see a performance change due to that? I know the '57 lets off more heat, but I bet heatwise the dual still lets off more.
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #4
    I just went through this upgrade, and after much agony, selected the single processor 1.7 ghz 7447, from Sonnet. This processor performs probably just about as well as the 1.3 7457. I avoided the 7457s because of what I'd been hearing about the stability of these processors, and also the sometimes poor experiences many were having with PowerLogix, the only company using the 7457 to my knowledge. IMO, the duals are only worth the extra money if you're doing the kind of tasks that take advantage of multiple processors.

    If you're comparing performance to a mini, I think the SP 7447 upgrades to the Cube are going to be comparable, assuming you also upgrade the video card to something reasonable. I put a Radeon 7500 in mine.
     
  5. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #5
    Well, I have a FX 5200 128MB card in mine. It's not the best card, but I don't do much gaming, so it's fine. The hard drive upgrade was the biggest speed boost so far.

    I guess you're right about SP v. DP in the Cube, but I know Mac OS X does take advantage of dual-processors really well, so I figure I might see a gain even without the heaviest of use.

    Thanks for your input, I'm still not 100% sure, but I'll work it out in the next few days. I'm really leaning towards a dual-processor unit right now if only because they barely cost more, and I'd rather have extra power now than pay for another upgrade later. Plus, G4's just hit 2.0Ghz, I don't see them going much farther. This may be as fast as the Cube ever gets.
     
  6. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #6
    Go for the Dual. The pricing between the Single and Dual models makes the Dual a worthy upgrade for a bit more. Get some thermal paste too, it'll help.
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #7
    The 5200 is a good video card for the Cube. I don't think those were around when I made my decision, but it wouldn't have mattered since I needed an ADC connector anyway.

    Keep in mind the duals draw a heck of a lot more power. I was quite concerned about this since the VRM is one of the Cube's weak points and it was never meant to supply that much juice. Also, I'm looking forward to throttling down the fan in mine, which I think is reasonable to consider with a SP 7447, but not for a dual upgrade. If you are at all like me, you'll hate hearing the sound of the fan running in your Cube (though presumably you've already got one for the 5200).

    FWIW, the G4/450 lasted close to five years for me. So if I can get even another three years out of the G4/1700, I'll be a happy camper.
     

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