G4 Powermac or G3 Zif Upgrade???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by SPACEKID, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. SPACEKID macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #1
    I asked this in another post but no reply :(

    Is a G4 800 faster than a G3 450 with a Sonnet 1ghz zif upgrade?

    Basically my Blue&White G3 450mhz is a bit slow.

    Was gonna get a sonnet 1ghz Zif upgrade, and a PC133 card for my Ata133 Hd.

    Is that gonna be nearly as quick as say a G4 800?
     
  2. adamjay macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    The G4 Stock 800mhz would be overall a better machine.
    I just ran an XBench comparison to the fastest (complete) submission of a G3 with the G4 1ghz, compares to the fastest complete submission of a stock G4 800. look: http://ladd.dyndns.org/xbench/merge.xhtml?doc1=55581&doc2=55027

    Its largely because of the BusSpeed and Cache size superiority of the G4-800 Stock.
    The Ata133 in a B&W upgraded would add speed, but i dont think it would make up for the Overall 24 point Differential in the above mentioned XBench comparison. The B&W wins narrowly in most processing tests, but the G4-800 wins by huge margins in Memory tests and Graphic User Interface, which will overall make your machine feel "faster". would probably run much quieter as well.

    I myself have been looking into getting a new (or old but modified) Desktop for my Studio and have found XBench.com to be a great resource when comparing any system to another system. (for instance I found out that a modified Sawtooth at 1.4ghz (2mb L3) is > than a G5 1.6 and = to a G5 1.8 ... at least until 64bit OS and Apps are written)
     
  3. SPACEKID thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #3
    Thanks Adam, thats made things more clearer :)

    By adding the 80gb Ata133 hd its made the G3 almost silent, but like I say, a bit slow for music production.

    Logic audio & Peak are the 2 main programs, so the G4 is looking likely to be a purchase...
     
  4. adamjay macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    well wouldnt you know i am a Producer too!
    i use Peak 4, Cubase, and several other applications myself.
    looking for something with more power than my 867mhz 12" PB for Production...

    as i mentioned above^^^
    i've done some research on a good audio system and have found a nice, affordable solution for an Audio Production Desktop.
    if you already have the Hard Drive, its especially inexpensive..

    for about $900 - $950 you can get a 1.4ghz (2MB L3 Cache) G4 tower.
    this is by buying a used Sawtooth (AGP Graphics 400mhz+) they usually run $400-$450. Upgrading with the Sonnett G4 1.4ghz card for $470 (other world computing). I've compared some XBench results with this machine versus single G5's and it really holds its own next to the G5's, largely because of the 2MB L3 Cache. And as i've learned over the years, cache is crucial in Audio production. anyways, its something to consider if its within your budget.

    cheers!
     
  5. SPACEKID thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #5
    Aha! Very very interesting there,

    Whats a Sawtooth? (sorry to sound dumb :confused: )
    I take it its like a G4 400 or something?


    So in otherwords I buy a G4 Powermac 400, then buy the sonnet upgrade for it?

    Here in the UK thats gonna work out £££ However I AM going to Detroit MI in 2 weeks! So I will be able to get all the stuff from there. :D

    Altho quite how I can carry a powermac through the airport and onto the plane I dont know lol
     
  6. thatwendigo macrumors 6502a

    thatwendigo

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Sum, Ergo Sum.
    #6
    Actually, as a part-owner of Sawtooth G4 that's been upgraded with aftermarket parts, I can recommend that particular configuration. I'd also say you ought to drop the extra $250 or so for a Seritek SATA controller and an SATA drive, if you can spare it. Between the 1.4ghz processor, the faster disc, and the extra 512MB of RAM, it's a hell of a lot faster machine now. :cool:

    Man, I'd hate to be there when they ask you to boot up and prove it's not a bomb. :p
     
  7. adamjay macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #7
    The "Sawtooth" is the lowest model G4 Powermac that can accept that particular 1.4ghz CPU Upgrade. see: http://www.apple-history.com/frames/body.php?page=gallery&model=g4agp It is also known as the G4 AGP Graphics.

    there was an earlier "Yikes!" Model that had PCI Graphics, tho i've read that the Sonnet card wont work in the "Yikes!"

    The Sawtooth came in various Mhz configurations from 350mhz to 500mhz. Obviously it would be more economical to buy the cheapest and slowest you can find if you are just going to upgrade it. But make sure you aren't getting the Yikes!, not only does it have a weaker grafics card but also a weaker hard drive controller and half the RAM capabilities... and of course, not as upgradable with the Sonnet.

    and if you are coming from the UK, i say definitely pick up at least some kind of Apple product while you are here.. the exchange rate favors you, as does Apple's low US pricing compared to the rest of the world. The £ goes far, especially in Detroit.
     
  8. SPACEKID thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #8
    Thanks mate youve been a massive help :)

    So I take it ANY G4 that has AGP graphics IS a Sawtooth...

    Say I do the buy a g4 Sawtooth 350, stick a g4 sonnet 1.4ghz upgrade in it, will that make it faster than buying say a G4 1.25ghz system?
     
  9. adamjay macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #9
    from what i have researched YES.
    and in Audio Applications, its all thanks to the 2mb Level 3 Cache.

    for instance, in a program like Ableton Live that makes alot of use of the hard disk.. a 1ghz Titanium Powerbook (with a large cache) outperforms a 1.25ghz Aluminum Powerbook by about 15%. The aluminum has a bigger front side bus, but no L3 cache.

    So yes the 1.25ghz PowerMac may have a larger Front Side Bus, but the upgraded 1.4ghz Sawtooth has the cache size to outweigh the 100mhz FSB in audio applications, plus a bit more CPU frequency.

    i just bought my 450mhz with 512mb today for $450US from "Help My Mac" store down the street.
    going to add an SATA 133 Hard Disk Controller PCI Card ($60US) , a few other goodies, and the 1.4ghz Sonnet upgrade.

    i see several for $385 on ebay US right now (search Power Mac G4 400mhz) its US only, but it may be something you can have sent to Detroit during your trip.
     
  10. adamjay macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #10
    which sonnet card did you install?
    did you have to update the firmware from OS 9.2 ?
    any other comments, reviews on the sonnet?
     

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