G4 Processor Upgrade

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by DDorian, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #1
    Hello,

    I have an old PowerMac G4 Sawtooth (I believe it is one of the earliest as it still has the original 400mhz single cpu in it) and was wondering if there are any special requirements to upgrading the cpu?

    I used a utility to determine if it could support Dual processor cards and it apparently cannot. Is this true? I thought that all sawtooths could be upgrade to dual cpu cards? I ran the utility in OS 10.2.8 and then upgraded the firmware to version 4.2.8f1 and it still says that it does not support it.

    If my sawtooth will not support dual processor upgrades, would it still be worth it to upgrade the processor to a faster single processor?

    I also have 256 mb pc100 SDRAM. Will my logicboard support a slightly faster version of SDRAM?


    I want to use this sawtooth for light audio/visual work as well as basic usage. It seems sluggish in basic usage as of right now but that may be because of the slower original hard drive that it is booting off of.

    EDIT: I should also note that I am "test driving" this mac should I choose to keep it, I'd have to buy it.

    Should I just get an older mac mini instead?
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Location:
    S.C
    #2
    If it were me I'd throw two 512mb memory chips in it and the cheapest single processor upgrade over 1 ghz in it. Then think about a better video card than the ATI 16mb one that is in it. IMHO:D
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    scottlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    #3
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for the links. If I did keep this mac and upgrade it, I'd still be stuck with very slow pc100 ram and a slow bus speed on the processor right?

    So the G4 mac minis have an AGP slot? Do the Intel mac minis have one? I know that most video editing software requires an AGP graphics card.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    ricgnzlzcr

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #5
    To be honest by the time you upgrade to a better processor, add more ram, get a better hard drive, a better video card, and a more recent OS, you'll have paid the amount for a mac new mac mini. Unless you want to do minimal upgrades, need more than one screen, or need an internal hard drive bigger than 250gb I recommend a refurbished mac mini for around 530 dollars. If you want a cheap computer that you can slowly upgrade, the sawtooth is still full of life despite its age.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #6
    Yes, you'd be stuck with the slow memory and bus speed. I have a slightly faster Digital Audio (533) with a 1.4 Ghz processor card and the performance is nice, but still nowhere near a brand new Mac. If I was you I would NOT buy the Sawtooth. I would get a Digital Audio and upgrade it OR save more money and simply buy an Intel-based Mac. Why not the Sawtooth? Memory and bus speed of 100 vs. 133 in the Digital Audio. You can get both for almost nothing now, so why get the worse one? Also, you can get a dual-processor card for the Digital Audio. (but I wouldn't because the benefit is not worth the cost)

    Mac minis don't have AGP slots (I don't think), so no you can't install an internal video card. The G4s came with an ATI 9200 32mb video card (but I don't believe it was upgradeable). The Intels came with integrated graphics (no video card). I would not consider a Mac Mini if I was going to do any serious video editing. I'm sure it could be done, but not nearly as swift as a Mac Pro or iMac.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    MorzillA

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Miami
    #7

    :eek: wow, and here I waas getting all xctd about may be having mine (sawtooth) upgraded to a dual processor!!! damn :(
    So now what can be done in order to compensate for the slow mem and bus speed, but having the G4 as a dual system?! I love my G4 and it has been great to me unlike my old PC but I would like to do some major upgrades for my usage in graphics and img editing, and may be "some" gaiming.

    Thx

    :apple:
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Boondocks
    #8
    CPU model selection

    Hello Morzilla,

    I am one of the G4 lovers that went the upgrade path to the limit. I must say I have now the best computer I ever posessed, however I am not a professional editor, so you may need even more speed. I have the G4 MDD 1.42. After maxing out the RAM I put the Radeon 9800 in. But the best improvement for every day work was the SATA card and using the 10K Raptor 150G as a start up drive. You have this option and compared to SCSI it is just as fast and at least half the price. By doing this, your slow
    ATA66 HD bus bottleneck disapears for ever and you can still use the fast Raptor in a future system. In my view this is far more important then the memory bus. Also for the Sawtooth model there is now a new G4 CPU upgrade available with faster cache. I think its the new 7448. In going with this you would experiance the fastest CPU architecture. Anyways, if you don't go with this one you may considder the 7455 model with L3 cache. Don't go with older 7447 models because they are overclocked models only.
    Good luck
     
  9. macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #9
    I echo this sentiment. I had the exact same computer for many years, those things are awesome- totally upgradeable. I put 2 gigs of RAM in mine and a Radeon 9000 Pro 64 Mb and it rocked. I sold it to a friend at work who loves it still. It's over 7 years old. One of the best Mac towers ever made in my opinion.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    If you can get the parts cheap enough it's well worth doing. My old Sawtooth (same model) is still running, and really gives my G5 a run for its money in everything other than CS2 and Final Cut...
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    MorzillA

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Miami
    #11
    :D:):) TY TY TY!!! Once X-mas comes rolling in I should have some cash to start doing such upgrades! I will take your advice to heart on do this. I can't wait till then!!!

    Woooo Hooooooo



    :apple:
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    MorzillA

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Miami
    #12
    WOW :eek: your still running OSX 10.3.9!? and it gives your G5 a run for its money!? AMAZING!!!!


    :apple:
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #13
    I found some spare ram from another one of my computers and threw it into the powermac. The ram jumped from 256 mb to 896 mb. I didn't see a noticeable increase in application startup time and it still seemed sluggish altogether.

    The hard drive also span like crazy whenever I opened an application, so I'm guessing that there is a bottleneck there and from the processor. The hard drive probably just needs a complete wipe (as I suspect it has never been wiped in its nearly 8 year lifespan).
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    MorzillA

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Miami
    #14
    I just got off the phone with APPLEs tech support, I have a PowerMac G4 400 mhz and I can get an upgrade for a 800 mhz with ease, as well as more memory and possibly an extra HD (this would have to be determined by a instore tech) including the new OSX

    but yes Keep it, use it, love it and make others die of envy!!!


    :apple:
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    way77

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Location:
    Chronos
    #15
    G4 upgrade

    I have the same model G4 and upgraded to a Newer Tech 1.2Ghz ($189 at http://eshop.macsales.com/) and upgraded the DVD burner to a Pioneer 109 and it made a huge difference. I'd already changed the original hard drive and have a Maxtor 60g and a 80g, one in OS9 and the other for OSX. Works great.
     

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