G4/400 - Any point in upgrading?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by ziwi, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    If I were able to get the old g4/400 tower gratis and pop in a processor upgrade is it worth it? Or would what I could do with this upgraded tower be moot with a mini? Granted the mini would be a little bit more $$ than a proc upgrade and new HD in the old tower. Just curious. Thanks.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    If you get the Mac for free, then an upgrade card & new HD* is well worth it. Sonnet seem to have the best press for their processor upgrade cards.

    *note that the HD size limit is 128gb unless you install a ATA PCI card like the Sonnet Tempo.
  3. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    it really depends on what you will be using your computer for. i think most people would benefit more from a mac mini. i would prefer the tower instead for use as a file server.
  4. Norouzi macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA
    Personally, I still use a PM G4 450. I've upgraded the hard drive, video card, and installed a DVD burner, and I'd still rather shell out the dollars for a new processor than buy a mini. I may be in the minority, but I prefre having the option to upgrade than buying a machine that will be all it is and nothing more.
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Two benefits I can see from buying a Mac Mini:
    1. You get the latest software (Mac OS X, iLife).
    2. You get a system with a warranty. You don't know how long a power supply (for instance) is going to last in an old system.
  6. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Upgrade will be fine for many apps.

    I chose to updgrade my G4 400 with an OWC 1.0 GHz upgrade card. It works great. I also added a dvd burner and now I can use iDVD - that's all I wanted additionally out of my computer. Still runs like a champ!
  7. MarkCollette macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2003
    Calgary, Canada
    My view is, get the mac mini, and have access to all the new software, and USB 2.0 ports.

    Leave the G4 400 for someone else, who won't need to upgrade it, to benefit from it.
  8. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Stay with the PowerMac...

    USB2.0/Firewire PCI Card = $45.00
    DVD-Burner (16x) = $75.00
    OWC 1GHz Upgrade (2MB L3 Cache) = $180.00
    Radeon 9600 Pro = $100

    So for under $400, you have a machine that will be faster than the Mac mini. The L3 cache really helps, and the 9600Pro will REALLY help out. If you want, get another hard drive, and an ATA card.
  9. ThomasJefferson macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2002
  10. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    even though the early g4 400 tower can be upgraded and used easily with osx, the mini, for the money, is clearly the better deal

    usb 2.0 is a luxury but soon will be a necessity if computer hardware history is any indicator

    i had a friend who had the perfect windows 95a os in his favorite machine and he was more than happy with his parallel and serial port accessories...he only had a keyboard and his computer did not facilitate the use of a mouse but he knew his way around very well and thought he had a computer which would last him the rest of his life

    ...but when usb came out, along with usb mouses, it was only for "some" peripherals/computers and he didn't think it would catch on so he just went about his merry way...but soon usb pretty much replaced serial and parallel and he found himself completely obsolete

    note at the time serial and parallel port peripherals seemed really fast and state of the art and windows 95a (which doesn't support usb) was a major upgrade to windows 3.1

    one can say all the bad things about usb 2.0 being intel and not apple inc. but computer hardware peripheral makers will comply with the usb 2.0 standard and will eventually oust the usb 1.x devices
  11. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Actually USB 2.0 Full Speed is the same as USB 1.1. USB 2.0 High Speed is the 480Mb/s.

    So you have people saying their devices are USB 2.0 Full Speed and you think you're getting something fast. Talk about misleading. USB 2.0 High Speed is what you want for certain devices that require fast speed... disk drives, scanners, and printers. (Especially photo prointers that get a lot of data dumped at them.)
  12. iN8 macrumors regular

    May 29, 2002
    The Bahamas
    Actually, I don't think the 9600Pro works with the Sawtooth G4. You can use the 9000Pro though for $127, but the ADC doesn't work.
  13. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    This is correct. Sawtooth doesn't support the 4x AGP bus that is minimum... the 9600 is actually an 8x card that is modified to work at 4x.

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