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Help me upgrade my G4

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by tricky, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    So I have a G4 533 Digital Audio. It treats me fine, but I am interested in adding some pep. Here are my specs...

    G4 533
    GeForce2 MX
    768 MB RAM
    120 GB SATA HD (added recently and love the speed increase)

    So I don't want to spend a ton of money buying a top of the line CPU upgrade. I was hoping to buy a CPU from an older Mac. Maybe something along these lines. Would getting a Dual 533 be worth it?


    Would a CPU from a Quicksilver work in my Mac?

    I also want to get a better video card. What is the best card I could get where I wouldn't be overdoing it. I remember someone saying that anything beyong a GeForce4 would be too much for the system to use fully. I would like to be able to take advantage of core video when Tiger comes out.

    Any thoughts??

  2. macrumors 65816


    If you want to take advantage of core video then your best bet will be to buy a Radeon 9800 w/128 mb of vram. There is one with 256, but it only works with a G5. You could also look for a radeon 9600+ on ebay. I am not sure if any of the newer nvidia's work on G4s, at least the ones that take advantage of the core technologies. I don't see why a processor from a QS wouldn't work, but it might not be a bad idea to just go ahead and save up for an upgrade kit from someone like OWC. Just my 2 cents.
  3. Demi-God (Moderator emeritus)


    I have a Geforce4 MX in my quicksilver and it is pretty good. I think a ati 9000 or 9200 is a good card too. They might be 3 cards to look into.
  4. macrumors 6502

    The 533Mhz Digital Audio is a great computer, but you are right in feeling the computer a little sluggish, and a Processor upgrade seems the best option for some more 'pep'. OWC Offers some good upgrades for the D.A G4's. I would check them out. These guys also offer Graphics cards. I would recommend replacing the optical drive for a more modern DVD Writer, which will fit into the slot where the current one is. I have done this to my computer, and it is getting more use than my PowerBook at the moment, as i have started to use iDvd (Albeit very slowly).

    The Hard Drive is the best thing you could have done with your computer. I have also recently changed my 60 gig for a 200Gb Maxtor, and the computer felt new again, but, the CPU will offer the most speed improvement.
  5. macrumors member

    ATI 9000 and a 1.0 to 1.2 GHz G4 is resonable. The 9800 is an overkill unless you run your games on at least 1200x1600 (that is in the context with a CPU of less than 2 GHz).
    I have 1.2 GHz G4 and ATI 8500 and it plays Halo resonably well, faster CPUs than that jack up the price more than the performance.
  6. macrumors newbie

    I think I am definately going to do the DVD Drive upgrade. I was thinking of getting the Pioneer 107.

    I'm going to have to think about the processor. I don't know why but I always thought of the upgrades on OWC as knock-offs. I am sure they are good, but I just was hoping to find a processor that was straight from a Mac. Plus it would be cheaper.

    If anyone is going to upgrade their system soon and would want to sell the old processor let me know. I may post an WTB sometime soon.

    Thanks for the replies!!
  7. macrumors member


    I'm upgrading my quicksilver. It is 733. Let me know if you are interested. Also going to be upgrading the video card. It's agp however.
  8. macrumors 6502

    I bought an OWC branded upgrade and wouldn't run reliably for me at the guaranteed speed. It seemed to just barely overheat at 1.3 and 1.4 GHz, but was fine at 1.2 GHz. That wasn't the guaranteed speed, though. So, after talking to their excellent customer support, I decided to try a Dual GigaDesigns running at 1.3 GHz. It has been flawless and fast. (I have a Gigabit machine that shipped with a Dual 450.) Edit: From what I've read on xlryourmac.com most people have had no problems with the OWC cards. It just didn't work (at full speed) for me. /Edit

    I also picked up a DVR-107 drive from OWC. It is a good drive. The only "flaw" I've seen with it is the drive is a bit slow to wake up. For example, if there is a disk in the drive that is idle for an hour or so and I eject the CD (usually using right-click since I'm not using the Apple keyboard) the CD (or DVD) will disappear from the Desktop. The drive seems to spin up a bit and the disk shows back up on the Desktop. Now, another eject attempt works quickly. This has never been a real problem, but is a slight annoyance. One thing that seemed to work was to hit the eject button the face of the computer to wake the drive and then issue the eject command.
  9. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder


    I just dumped my ailing iMac in favor of a Dual 533, which I'm planning on upgrading like you, tricky.

    After shopping around I think that a Giga Designs upgrade like osprey76's is the best bet. I also agree that the retail Radeon 9800 is best, if you're willing to spend the $350. I'm not positive, but I was under the impression that the 9800 Pro, along with the 9700 Pro were the only Core Video compatible cards one could install in a G4. Anyone want to correct me on that? :confused:

    Regarding the SATA hard drive upgrade, I'm probably going to do that myself. Which controller card did you buy?

    Link to Apple's Core Image page. there's a list on a sidebar near the bottom of the cards that support core image. I believe that, of those, ony the 9700 pro and 9800 pro will work in a G4.
  10. macrumors newbie

    I got this controller card from OWC. It was a snap to install. I think you should definately go for it.


    If you are going to upgrade your CPU and want to sell the Dual 533 let me know. I am going to look at some benchmarks comparing it to the single 533. I might be interested in it.
  11. macrumors G4


    the 9700 will not work in anything bar a mdd as the agp slot in the mdd supplys more power which the card needs than any other g4.
  12. macrumors 6502

    That's right, the 9800 has a molex connector for additional power (standard connector like a hard drive uses.) So, that leaves the 9800 as the only card to be supported by Core Image that is compatible with G4s below the MDD. (Which would be Sawtooth, Gigabit, Digital Audio and Quicksilver)

    Anyone actually used a 9800 in a AGP 2x slot? I'm curious what the performance difference would be. I have a 8500 and have been very happy with it. Especially after the processor upgrade.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    There is truly no beating a dual CPU system, even at "low" speeds.

    I came from a PC background running a 2GHz AMD processor (roughly equivalent to a 2.4GHz Pentium 4). Now running a dual 1.25GHz G4 PowerMac and loving it. It boots up faster, it runs faster, and it just never "chokes" the way my single processor systems have done. Two heads are indeed better than one. A dual 533 should be leaps and bounds ahead of a single 533, but if you can afford faster (and if your Mac can support faster), it's certainly worth it to a point. 1.33 isn't much faster than 1.25 for instance, but the prices seem to be significantly higher.

    As to graphics cards, the 9700 Pro and 9800 Pro are indeed the only CoreImage/CoreVideo compliant cards that can work in a G4. However I believe they both require a fairly high-end G4 with AGP 2x/4x slot, such as the MDD models. You can of course check ATI's website for clarification of that -- they do list hardware compatibility for their Mac cards.

    Now on a side note, I'm looking to buy a Radeon 9700 or 9800 for my MDD G4 -- I would think (hope) that the 9700 would be a bit less expensive than the 9800 but I have never been able to actually find a 9700. Anyone seen them? Know of a supplier?
  14. macrumors G4


    the last supply of them ran out a while back (www.welovemacs.com) just get a 9800 pro.

    (they work with any agp powermac btw, it's just the 9700 did not have an extra molex power connector so it had to get extra power from the agp slot which pre mdd powermacs could not supply.

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