G5 Upgrade Options for G4 pmacs?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by jeremy.king, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #1
    Not knowing a whole lot about the G5 architecture, I was curious if anyone knows if...eventually...a G5 CPU upgrade (including dual) will be an option for the Powermac G4 lineup, specifically the MDDs (single and dual)?

    I saw that Powerlogix has dual G4 upgrades (as fast as 1.4 ghz) but those seem a bit spendy for a processor thats going nowhere fast.

    Anyone happen to know the product roadmap of G5 upgrades for the current G4 products? Or even care to rumor?

    Im just hoping at some point, although still far out for me, I can throw a Dual G5 card into my pmac and blaze away! I still remember when I threw a G3 in my pmac 6100 and it was reborn!
     
  2. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #2
    i dont see it happening anytime soon, maybe next year, but it would mean the whole heat issue, the g5 case isnt huge for no reason, could the g4 case take that heat?
     
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #3
    Maybe a SINGLE G5 using a Xilinx FPGA to synthesize an IBM elastic bus interface to glue it to the MPX bus, but you'd be taking a 1GHz bus and throttling it back to 100-167MHz.

    So it's not like it'll be too speedy, nor cheap.
     
  4. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #4
    I agree. I'd love to see motherboard upgades for G4 desktops(i.e. Quicksilver/MDD). I purchased my Dual 1Ghz MDD a little over a year ago but it would be ease of mind knowing that I could prolong its future. My main concern is that the G5 is a total different beast whereas jumping from G3-G4 was pretty much seamless. Oh yeah and like posted above, the heat issues will be an issue.
     
  5. markjones05 macrumors 6502a

    markjones05

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #5
    I bought the same machine around the same time you did, but i have never ever onced felt like i needed to upgrade my speed or performance short of adding ram. Comming from PC's prior to this machine i usually start to see a machines age at this point, but that isnt the case with my mdd G4. Im not worried about upgrading for another 2 or 3 years i think, being that i can have 4 HD's and 2 gig of ram in here i think this machine will last me at least that long. Why you would want to upgrade your G4 machine when that time comes? If it lasts that long it seems to me like it would just be time to get a new machine instead of upgrading. Am i wrong? Can G4 HD's and ram be transferred into a G5 machine when the time comes?
     
  6. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #6
    Well, the specs of my machine are:

    Dual 1GHz
    2GB RAM
    2x120GB HD
    Nvidia Geforce 4Ti
    Superdrive/Combo Drive
    Apple 17" LCD

    The only thing that I had built to order was having Apple slap in the Geforce 4Ti and adding the combo drive. I'm pleased with my machine and will never think a poor investment since I envision it'll still last me several more years. If the price of a G5 motherboard upgrade is reasonable and the speed increase is worthwhile, I for one wouldn't mind considering an upgrade. I happen to like the G4 desktop lineup design, having owned a B&W G3.
     
  7. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    PRK
    #7
    Bwahahahaha....

    Not gonna happen.

    G4 bus compared to G5 bus is like 60x bus compared to 680x0 bus.
     
  8. D*I*S_Frontman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Lombard, IL
    #8
    Upgrade Paradigm

    My band recorded a demo and a full-length album at a studio belonging to a college friend of mine. He's a dedicated Mac guy, and this is how he approaches upgrades.

    First of all, he lives by the maxim that no computer is obsolete if it still does the job you originally bought it for. Rather than costly and occasionally twitchy CPU upgrades, he usually maxes out the RAM on a system and that's it. If he needs more computing horsepower for a particular application, he buys a new system. That probably happens every 3-4 years or so. But he never sells the old systems--he just keeps them doing what they've been doing as dedicated stations.

    For example: he does audio engineering, web design, CD-ROM authoring, and DV editing. His top-of-the-line sytem will be doing his FCP work while his older DP G4 system is doing the CD-ROM/web authoring, an older G3 system is doing the audio production work, and an old-school beige G3 is doing two-track audio mastering. He remains continually productive with lots of built-in redundancy if one system or the other goes down (in theory, anyway--his Macs rarely crash).

    Seems to me that people take financial baths every time they a) sell an older unit, or b) do a pricey CPU upgrade. The longer you keep a system working productively, the more money you recoup from your original investment of the machine.

    I have a G3/400 Pismo w/1GB RAM. The Powerlogix G3/900 upgrade for about $350 looks good, but I have an optical drive that is beginning to give me trouble and a battery that's completely fried. Add those things up and I could get a refurb'ed iBook from Apple for the same money as juicing up my Pismo, and while I LOVE this system, I can't justify the expense.

    The people who always need the bleeding edge should really just ask one question before upgrading a system, whether a CPU upgrade or a whole new unit:

    "Does my current system productively perform those tasks I ask of it?"

    If the answer is "yes," then hang on to your cash. My Pismo will always be more than capable of surfing the web, word processing, etc. In that sense it will never be "obsolete." Plus it looks cool and has proven to be more or less indestructable (dropped a few times on a hardwood floor with no ill effect, perfect display w/no dead/stuck pixels, etc).

    If the answer is "no," then pony up the dough to get the best. In the field of video production or graphic design, speed increases mean faster turn-arounds, which means meeting closer deadlines, which means a better reputation, which means more clients and more money. At $100/hr for production work, a small percentage improvement can pay for itself very quickly.

    Just my thoughts on the subject. I view computers as tools, not status symbols or the embodiment of phallic overcompensation. Having the best/fastest system only helps when I need the best to get productive work accomplished--otherwise it is an expensive and extremely temporary ego boost I don't need.
     
  9. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #9
    Yes but, (I love that pharse :D) you would need to add a Parallel ATA (ATA/66, 100, 133 etc.) card, unless your current drives are Serial ATA (that's what the G5 uses).

    Either way, I personally would keep the MDD, max out the drives with 4x250GB, maybe even make it a type 0 (edit: or 1/0, or 0/1) RAID, and use it for files or DVD backups ;)


    edit: while looking on newegg.com today, I saw that Maxtor now has 300GB ATA/133 HDs. Who wants 1.2TB of storage? :D
     
  10. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    the only way you could ever possibly get a g5 out of a g4 is if apple expanded that experimental powerbook trade-up program to powermacs- trade up from mdd to g5.
     
  11. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #11
    I'd like to see an single to dual processor upgrade for the 1.8 G5.
    Has anyone removed a processor from a dual 1.8 or dual 2.0 G G5? and it worked?
    I am (wishfully) thinking that I could add the connector to the mother board and add the second processor unit.
     
  12. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #12
    Wishfully? You bet your ass! You'd have to be amazingly good with a soldering iron to be able to get a second connector on the logic board.
     
  13. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    #13
    Amazingly good! So amazingly good in fact that you probably work for apple...soldering parts onto the G5 mobo...


    Anyways, I dont think tey can happen the same wayit worked for G3-->G4 upgrades.

    First off the bus on the G5 is extremely large, much much much larger than supported by the fastest G4. This translates to, as sun baked said, a G5 with a fraction the bus speed and thus processing power.

    Second of all the older towers arent designed to accomodate such a hot proc as the G5. Even with the .09µ process and extra fans, lets face it, the G4 cases arent build to dissipate huge amounts of heat (the dual 1.42 G4 was about as hot as the MDD can take).

    Third the G5's performance is based on all of its components in combination. Adding much slower compenents to the mix and the upgrade wouldnt be worth it. To make it worth it, youd spend almost as much money as a new G5 would cost.

    Fourth and finally, the G5 is just too advanced to be transplanted into a system. It was specifically designed to handle high bandwidth everything and was built from the ground up using the Power4 server proc as a model. Its high bandwidth requires high bandwidth components to keep everything else running at tip top shape. Dual channel DDR400, for example, isnt even supported on the latest G4, but is a necessary component of every fast G5 system (lets face it, the 1.6 is kind of weak).
     
  14. junior macrumors 6502a

    junior

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    Mar 25, 2003
    #14
    You can only have 120gb drives in the G4s unless you get serial ATA cards right? So does that mean buying 4 serial ATA cards?
     
  15. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #15
    XLR8yourmac.com had a news release from I believe Sonnet about this a couple months ago. They said they were working on it and it would involve a motherboard swap.

    The whole package would basically bring a G4 machine up to the same speed as a G5 system bus and all. They didn't have a firm date at the time of the press release but I do think it was by the end of this year.

    Something I find kind of solidifies this is in the same release they said they were coming out with faster G4 upgrades for the B/W G3s. Well they did so today. You can now stick a 1GHz G4 in a B/W G3.
     
  16. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    #16
    IDE/ATA supports two drives and so does S-ATA. Apple just decided to keep the two drives on separate S-ATA channels for the G5. Currently two HD's cannot fill the entire bus, but what about tomorrow? A software RAID solution also runs better on separate buses then a single one.
     
  17. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a

    IndyGopher

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #17
    Newer G4's (the MDD models, probably anything with Airport Extreme) do not have the drive size limitations of the earlier Macs. I have 2 160's and 2 250's in my MDD 1.25.
     
  18. junior macrumors 6502a

    junior

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    #18
    Oh wow, thanks for that! So as long as it's Ultra ATA, not Serial ATA, the MDD (non-Airmac Extreme version which is what they're selling now.) powermac will recognize absolutely any size?
    If so, I'm off to the shops tomorrow to get me a 250gb internal drive!
     
  19. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #19
    C'mon, go for the 300GB, you know you want it!



    note: I do not work for Maxtor.
     
  20. IndyGopher macrumors 6502a

    IndyGopher

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    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #20
    That's correct. All MDD's, including the "OS 9 Bootable" one they are currently selling, will see drives larger than 128gig
     
  21. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #21
    It might be possible but I doubt it would be very practical. Performance and reliability would likely be very poor compared to a new G5 Powermac.
     
  22. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #22
    See this is unlikely, because Apple still has their chipset which would need to be added to the new motherboard -- making this a cloner computer.

    A new daughtercard without a new motherboard is expensive for not too big an improvement.

    Heck it might even be slower than a similar clocked G4.

    Other wise wait for this PPC 970 CHRP computer...

    http://www.mai.com/news&events/PressRelease122103.html

    ...to bear fruit and run Mac on Linux
     
  23. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    Location:
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    #23
    Yeah, I understand the known issues. I'm not sure what they're plans were to work around it I'm just relaying what I remember about the press release. I don't think they would have made the statement if they didn't have some sort of work around.
     
  24. DrBoar macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2003
    Location:
    close
    #24
    A G5 on a G4 motherboard would be as usefull as the 100 MHz 601 was on the IIci motherboard. And that was no 7500/100 if I may say so:)

    Our hope for the G4 is faster G4s and will all that support from Motorola I am sure that the 2 Ghz G4 is just around the corner:rolleyes:
     
  25. mstecker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #25
    I'm lucky that my buying pattern seems to be fitting into Apple's product lifecycle:

    My usual rule is this:

    1) Every desktop computer I buy gets treated to one significant upgrade.

    2) After that, it gets replaced when I can buy a machine with double the memory and clockspeed of the upgraded machine becomes available.

    In my case, I bought a new Quicksilver 800Mhz machine about 2 years ago. Since then, it's gotten its one upgrade - maxing out RAM and adding a PowerLogix 1.4Ghz G4 upgrade.

    So, as soon as there's a 3Ghz G5, I'm replacing! No regrets.

    These simple upgrade rules have served me very well through almost 20 years of macdom - from the first upgrade I did to my 512K "fat mac" (added SCSI! added RAM!) until now.

    It's really a matter of planning on buying a new CPU every other year. (And likely a new laptop in the off years). Sure Apple gets a substantial percentage of my disposable income, but it's worth it to smell that sweet sweet smell of newly unboxed macs every year.
     

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