Best video card upgrade for PowerMac G4-450?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Codemonkey, May 16, 2003.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Location:
    Edmonton
    #1
    Hi all,

    I finally have the opportunity to upgrade the box at work, and I just added another 512mb ram.... now I have to pick out a video card... for my computer (G4-450 AGP), what is the best bang for the buck? I'm looking for a card sub-$500 CDN (about $350 US). I don't do any gaming @ work, strictly design (Programs used most often: Macromedia Studio MX, QT, Mail, iTunes, Office X, Safari/Camino/IE/Netscape7/Mozilla, Photoshop).

    Right now I have a regular old Samsung CRT, but will be upgrading to a flat panel (any reccomendations on that too??).

    Any help would be HUGELY appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Chris.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    kettle

    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    #2
    ATi 8500

    Has to be the ATi 8500 bang per buck wise.
    Newer AGP cards featuring ADC connectors require a power supply, the 450 sawtooth doesn't have support for this feature, also I think there is supposed to be a relationship between CPU and GPU performance.

    Here is a link explaining more

    Bare Feats Sawtooth GPU

    It's what I'm gonna put in my 450 when Panther is ready to be paid for.:)
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Location:
    Edmonton
    #3
    Re: ATi 8500

    Awesome! This is exactly what I'm looking for.

    Bonus points for kettle today...
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #4
    I put the 8500 in my Sawtooth 450 before installing Jaguer (10.2) and the difference was enormous. I'm at work now and don't have my benchmarks but it was substantial. I did it because 10.2 was using Quartz and was to take advantage of this kind of card. The odd thing was that after 10.2 I did get another increase in speed but not that dramatic compared to just the 8500 running 10.1.x.

    I have since gone two steps further and added a Sonnet 1.2 gig processor upgrade and a Pioneer A-05 superdrive. Now, I'm really happy with this machine and expect to use it for another year or two....
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Location:
    BKLN
    #5
    I got the 8500 for my Sawtooth 500 and it's a whole different animal. go for it.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Location:
    Edmonton
    #6
    Thanks guys,

    This is good to hear. We're a survivng (but not thriving) .com, so the money isn't there for a new comp yet (next year, we're on a 4 year rollover plan here), so this should tide me over.

    As for the processor upgrade, are there software compatibility problems with it? Either with the OS or other 3rd party apps? Can it be installed myself (technically proficient in hardware upgrades on PeeCee's and Macs)? If I were to upgrade the CPU as well, would my performance cap out early because it's only an 8500 graphics card?
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    yzedf

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #7
    8500 is a very nice card. Carmack has said that the 8500 will run DOOM3 fine.

    The real question is; can you make it through the 1 yr until you get a new computer (we still have P2 333MHz machines in my office!) without buying a new video card? Increase in productivity not-withstanding.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Location:
    Edmonton
    #8
    Hehe. Well, it's not like the old Rage 128 is dead or anything. So, technically, the Sawtooth is running 100% with 100% original parts (other than a ram upgrade). Which is cool... every other PeeCee in the office needs to be replaced now (but will have to wait a year... ehehe...).

    In having said that, we upgraded all our apps at the beginning of the year, and are doing increasingly complex projects... the redraw on this rage is frustrating, especially in Studio MX apps and PhotoShop (600+ dpi images).

    But to answer your question: I have a feeling I could go another 3 years on this hardware.

    LOL hopefully I'm not here that long!
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #9
    I was quite happy with the performance of my Sawtooth with the 8500. The only reason I continued with the CPU ugrade was the following: I got cocky and installed the A-05 superdrive on the 450 and quickly found out that it takes 5 hours to burn one hour of video. The Sonnet 1.2 gig cut this time to 1-1/2 hours.

    Of all the things I've done inside my Mac (installing hard drives, optical drives, video cards....) the CPU upgrade was suprisingly among the easiest. Absolutely no OS or 3rd party conflicts. Check it out at xlr8yourmac.com
     

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