must have upgrades for the CUBE...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by proverbs, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. proverbs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #1
    right now i am primarily using my 1.67ghz PB but i'm planning to upgrade my stock 450mhz cube. any advice will be appreciated.

    80GB Seagate Barracuda HD

    512mb Ram

    GeForceFX 5200 128mb Video Card
    - i read that i can flash this card and use it for the cube. does anyone know if the flashing process is difficult? and i noticed that there are many different versions of this card, can i just buy ANY GeForceFX 5200 card or is there a speicific models that i am limited to?

    Sonnet 1.2, 1.7, 1.8 CPU
    - not really sure which one i want to buy yet. probably going to buy this last.
     
  2. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #2
    The card flashing probably has to occur on a PC, but you can read up more about that at cubeowner.com, the main gathering place for cubists. Flashed cards may even turn up on eBay. I thought, though I could be wrong about this, that installing the 5200 requires some internal modifications of the Cube (relocating the VRM). I steered clear of all video upgrades that required internal changes and instead installed an Radeon 7500, which fits without internal alterations and doesn't create much additional heat or draw much additional power. Both are major considerations in upgrading the Cube!

    Just this weekend I installed a Sonnet 1.7 in my Cube. The single processor 1.7 and 1.8 upgrades use the 7447A version of the G4. This processor lacks a level 3 cache so it is slower than it might be but it runs cooler and is apparently more reliable than the newer 7457 G4s, which currently don't exceed 1.3 Ghz (I believe).

    I'd suggest taking this business step by step. Start with the hard drive, which is a relatively easy job and will get you familiar with the innards of the Cube. It is one complicated puppy! The CPU upgrade requires an essentially complete tear-down. It's doable, and fascinating in its own way -- but also kind of scary. You'll really want to know what's going on in there before you attempt it.
     
  3. proverbs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #3
    hmmm...i did not know i would have to internally modify anything, so i'd probably go with the Radeon 7500 also (i'm not too good with hardware). the only thing is that it only has 32mb. i am going on cubeowner.com and i read all the FAQ, but surprisingly they did not have any info about flashing the GeForce 5200.

    i am planning to do the CPU upgrade last, so hopefully i'm somewhat familiar with the inside of the cube by that time.

    and the paper and tape method for the power button is still working. thanks IJ.
     
  4. proverbs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #4
    actually, i did find the installation guide for the 5200, and the only internal modification seems to be the face plate. i also found the flashing procedure, and it sounds pretty difficult, but do-able. do you know if i would need extra cooling or power for the 5200?

    http://www.cubeowner.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8798
     
  5. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #5
    I noticed the biggest change in my cube when I put in a faster hard drive. But adding a gig of ram helps a lot too. I didn't really notice much improvement by adding a quartz extreme compatible video card. So unless you're a video gamer, updating the video card should be last (and if you are a gamer, then boy do you have the wrong computer :D ). So I'd go with the CPU upgrade first. Personally I'd choose the PowerLogix PowerForce7457 CUBE G4@1.3GHz, since it's the cheapest and it has the VRM by-pass thing.
     
  6. proverbs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #6
    well, i'm not a gamer, but i'd like to use adobe programs, watch videos, and occasionally play around with FC Pro on my cube. and for $30 and a little labor, you can upgrade your video ram from 16mb to 128mb, which i thought was great.

    i'm short on cash right now, so i thought i would get the ram and HD first. then i can spend an extra $30 for a video card upgrade. then i need to start saving for the CPU upgrade.

    what kind of video card did you upgrade to? and how much did you pay for the powerlogix 1.3 upgrade?
     
  7. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #7
    I haven't gotten the 1.3 upgrade, mine's still running at 450mhz since I got a G5, I don't need it. As for the video card I tried a couple different Radeon models, but I settled on the GeForce2 MX to keep my system fanless.
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #8
    I noticed an immediate performance boost with the 7200 RPM drive as well. The Radeon 7500 also had an impact, though perhaps not as dramatic, but it did significantly improve the performance of the UI, particularly Exposé. The 7500 performs about the same as the GeForce 2MX, but was less expensive and easier to find for some reason. The both have an ADC connector, which was important to me since I've got an ADC display. If you don't, your options are much greater. The 2MX will fit with no modifications at all (it was BTO option on the Cube), BUT the one designed for the Cube (as opposed to the PowerMac) had a fan instead of a heatsink. Good luck finding one of those! The faceplate (or "gate" as it is sometimes called) on the 7500 will need to be modified if you want the card to be anchored at the base of the Cube. I didn't bother. I'll get to that some time when I've got the right tools (a Dremel). No fan on the 7500 either. Opinions differ on whether that's a big problem.

    I spent a lot of time researching CPU upgrades. I was very, very tempted by the PowerLogix 7457 1.3 but in the end bought the Sonnet. Too many people were reporting problems with the PL to give me the confidence I needed that I'd be back in business in short order with no problems down the road. Sonnet seems to get much better grades in this respect. The Cube is my primary desktop Mac, so I took the more conservative route.
     
  9. proverbs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #9
    did you guys both get Barracuda HD's?
    i was looking for a barracuda, but is there specific ones that are a better fit for the cube, or can i just buy any ATA Barracuda? i was planning on buying a 80 or 120 gig.
     
  10. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #10
    I got a 120GB Seagate Baracude with 8mb cache and 7200rpm because it was the quietest, but I don't know the specific model #. Any standard 3.5" ATA hard drive will fit fine though.
     

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