B&W G3 processor upgrade

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mopppish, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    Hi, all. I have a 450mhz B&W G3 at home that I might upgrade this summer. I've got a decent though small hard drive in it and 512 RAM. I was thinking of installing a slightly better video card to smooth out the GI, maxing out the RAM, and putting in one of those ZIF upgrades. But how fast of a processor upgrade is actually worth it? I'm assuming that there are bottlenecks elsewhere in the computer that will eventually make speed increases futile, so how fast of an upgrade could I install before theoretically hitting that ceiling? Also, I am assuming that a G4 upgrade would be the best option, but let me know if that is foolish. I would still be using it for itunes encoding, so the "velocity engine" would be a bonus for me.
    And when you put in the new processor, what are you actually taking out? Just the processor? Is that worth anything on ebay?
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    It would be more cost effective to buy a Mac mini. Really.

    But, I have a 500Mhz G4 in my B&W, 768 MB of RAM, and a PCI Radeon. It's much faster than the original 300G3/128/Rage128, but if I had bought all the upgrades at once, it would have cost me as much as a base-level Mac mini.

    When you are replacing the processor, you are replacing the processor 'card', which includes the processor and the L2 cache. On some G4 upgrades, the L2 cache is internal to the processor, on some, what had been the L2 cache on the G3 becomes an L3 cache on the G4. The old processor is worth very little, although some processor upgrade companies will give you a discount on the upgrade if you send your old processor back in. (So they can de-solder the G3 and put a G4 on it, and re-sell it as an upgrade.)

    It all depends on what you will use the computer for. If it will be almost entirely for iTunes encoding, go for the processor upgrade, and that's it. iTunes doesn't care very much about how much memory you have, and doesn't care at all what video card you have.

    Realistically, your most 'obvious' speed improvement for general-purpose use will come from a hard drive upgrade. A modern ATA hard drive will probably be faster than the ATA bus in the B&W. (Which means you'll also need a hard drive controller card. Look for a Serial ATA drive/card combo, to be future-proof.) 512 MB of RAM is plenty for almost every 'day to day' use, and a video card upgrade won't make that big a difference unless you really want to play some OpenGL games. And with a 450 MHz processor in there now, it would take an 800 MHz or faster G4 to be a noticeable improvement in speed.
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I depends mostly on how much money you're willing to spend and if you want a G3 or G4 upgrade. I'll be looking into putting a 1 Ghz G3 into my Power Mac B&W this summer. I'd like to keep the 100 MHz bus speed and I don't need the Velocity Engine.

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