G3 or G4 Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Eidorian, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #1
    I've been looking into doing some light upgrades on my extra Power Mac G3 B&W. I only do web browsing and the occasional video or DVD.

    I've been thinking about adding a Sonnet G3 500 off of Ebay or getting a normal 450 and overclocking it to 500. I'm not expecting heavy use so I'll take the risk of the excess heat generation. I've been using my current 400 and 450 and testing out normal usage. The CPU never got hot. I'm not going to tamper with the PCI bus speed.

    So that's $40-50.

    The remaining $50 is spent on a Radeon 7000 PCI or a 80 GB hard drive. I can get one off of a friend for $30-40 and it's 7200 RPM.

    Anymore suggestions? How painful is adding a G4? Are there great benefits? Or should I just stick with lots of G3 clock speed?
     
  2. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #2

    Going from a 400/450 to 500 wont make a huge difference, regardless of what you do on that computer....and heat is NOT an issue with that small of an increase.

    Going up to 800 or 1GHZ OTOH, will make everything faster & need a little extra cooling.....but these speeds are only available in a G3 upgrade. G4 upgrades for the B&W are limited to 550 & 600mhz.

    I o/c'd my B&W G3 from it's stock 350 to 450 notta problemo. Later on, I got a 550mhz G4 upgrade card from OWC, and o/c'd it to 600 & 650 also notta problemo.

    The only difference is that in order to install a G4 card, you MUST patch the firmware, which means you also MUST have a bootable OS 9.2 system folder on your HD, as all of the Firmware patchers only run under OS 9 (NOT OS X Classic). Regardless of which cpu you choose, installation is identical, and only a 60 second ordeal:

    1) Remove heatsink clamp (take note of it's correct orientation !!!!!!)
    2) Remove heatsink
    3) lift up locking lever on ZIF socket
    4) remove old cpu
    5) gently insert new cpu
    6) push down on locking lever
    7) replace heatsink & clamp
    8) Fire it UP & enjoy !!!!!

    As for the HD & video card, those are nice upgrades for low $$, so go for them if you can :p
     
  3. .:*Robot Boy*:. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #3
    If you can afford it, I think it would be wiser to go with a G4 with a low clock frequency over a G3 with a high clock frequency. The reason being that the G3 doesn't have AltiVec.
     
  4. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #4
    ONLY if running Altivec-aware applications. The OP listed web browsing & watching dvd's, neither of which is terribly dependant nor optimized for Altivec.
    OTOH, burning dvd's, Photoshop, iPhoto and the like would definitely benefit from a G4 :)
     
  5. Eidorian thread starter macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #5
    VLC is Altivec aware. I use that a lot. I don't expect doing Photoshop on it when I have my iMac G5. :cool:

    How hard is the firmware update in 9.2.2? I've swapped the CPU's before. ZIF sockets rock. It seems like 100 Mhz more of speed isn't that demanding of the CPU. I was a bit more comfortable with just trying 50 Mhz.
     
  6. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #6
    If VLC is a key app for you, and it is not performing up to your expectations w/ a G3, then go for a G4 upgrade :)

    The Firmware update is not hard at all, just follow the directions, it only takes a few minutes and 1 or 2 reboots.....

    the demands of a 100mhz jump are NOT the problem, it's the available overhead of each individual chip that matters, and thats what will let the chip run with stability at the higher speeds or not. Some chips can and some cant.

    Both my original G3 and my upgrade chips were ok with the increase, but many of my friends with the exact same machines & parts were not so lucky, and got crashes & kernel panics right from the start :(
     
  7. Eidorian thread starter macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #7
    Well VLC runs just fine and windowed and fullscreen. I want slightly smoother multitasking while watching video.

    I haven't gotten any kernel panics or any issues. The first few boots were long and worried me but now it boots lightning quick.

    Still, I can just wait for the G4 Mac Mini's to be replaced by the Intel ones and get one of those. I don't really need the expansion abilties of the Power Mac.
     

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