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Pismo Update

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by sockeatingdryer, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. macrumors regular


    My dad just got a new G4 PowerBook, and gave me his Pismo. He was running 9.2.2, and I put a Panther install on it.

    Now, I'm wanting to put a CPU upgrade in it, and the options boil down to either 550MHz G4 or 900MHz G3. Which one do you think I should do? I'm needing a 2nd/3rd/4th/? opinion.

    All I'm really using it for is for when I need a portable, giving keynotes, etc. Nothing professionally creative. Maybe a game (Age of Empires II -- had it forever) It's only needing to last about 2.5 more years.
  2. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    The G3 will be seen as faster for some apps, but you'll need the G4 to get the most out of Quartz Extreme, which doesn't allow much eye candy with a G3.

    Tough choice, but I'd say go with the G4.

    Where are you looking to get these? I've got a Lombard I might upgrade but am having trouble finding boards for it.
  3. macrumors 65816


    I can't recall seeing too many upgrades for the Lombard... i think that Daystar was offering one.

    As for the g4-550 or the g3-900, i think you'll get more out of the 900, jsw already mentioned the QE part of the choice. I would suggest checking out the reviews on www.xlr8yourmac.com before you make any hard decisions. I remember something about the 900 being rather hot.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Quartz Extreme won't work anyways. It requires a graphics card with at least 16 MB VRAM. The Pismo only has 8 MB VRAM.

    Hence, I'd go for the G3/900. It's less expensive and should give you about the same performance.
  5. macrumors 68000


    Quartz Extreme requires a video card with a least 16MB ram... which the Pismo does not have. So, for that it doesn't matter whether you have a G3 or G4 upgrade.

    If there's any way you can manage it, I'd sell the Pismo and use the money you make plus save up some money and buy a newer G4 iBook.

    If that's not an option, then go with the G3 upgrade... the extra MHz will speed up everything. With the G4, it won't be much faster except for Altivec enabled apps.
  6. macrumors 6502

    The best thing for my old Pismo (G3 500) was upgrading the RAM to 1GB. Apple says that the max is 512, but Crucial.com accurately guarantees otherwise. With Pather, the difference will be quite noticeable.
  7. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Good point. I mis-posted above.

    Good advice.

    Difference of opinion. I think the G4 might have a longer useful life, but both pale compared to a newer iBook.
  8. macrumors regular


    Well, this was I was thinking: in favour of the G3, because that would put it on line with the G3 iBooks, which probably have a survival/useful life of 2 more years at least. I only need it for some light stuff for 2 more years, but it does need a pick-me-up. I love the way they look.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Pismo Update

    I have a G3 update, so I thought I would offer an opinion. The one I bought is from Powerlogix. The upgrade does indeed speed things up quite a bit. I had the stock 400Mhz version before and the computer needed a pick-me-up with OS 10.3.

    The card does get hot at 900Mhz, though. The tiny fan inside sometimes will turn on now which it never did before, and it is a little noisy. However, you are able to change the clock speed (on the fly) of the processor to lengthen battery life or to keep it cooler when you are doing less intensive work.

    As far as the G4 upgrade goes I really can't compare the two, but Powerlogix claims (from their website) ....
    "Tests show the BlueChip G3 Pismo 900 outperforms the G4 500MHz even in applications that use Altivec. Add the advantage of "on the fly" CPU speed reduction to save battery life, and it is no wonder we sold the G3/900 by a margin of 4:1 over the G4/500; that is, until we discontinued the G4. :)"

    And they have a link to their tests..
    Anyways that's all for now.
    Zac :)
  10. macrumors newbie

    For me, the final decision when purchasing an item depends on the company. I've heard many horror stories about the 900 MHz upgrades-- that they don't quite fit, that they get freaking hot, etc. But the important thing is that I think every report/review I've seen says that Powerlogix has terrible support, slow turnaround, and overall bad experiences. Daystar (who has a very good G4/550 upgrade) has a very very good record of customer satisfaction, intimate service and support, and quick turnaround. I have no personal experience with either company, but these are some things to look for. I'm also going to upgrade my Pismo in the next month, so let us know how things turn out for you! Good luck!

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