Power Mac Quicksilver edition upgrades

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by greedyhands, May 23, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #1
    Hey everyone. I recently got a G4 Power Mac "quicksilver" addition, which I am going to be upgrading with a Newer Technology 2.0 GHz processor, an ATI RADEON 9200 PRO graphics card 128MB dedicated RAM, and a larger Hard Drive. I want this to be media server for my living room TV. I was looking at Blu-Ray upgrades I can add to it, and found one for $112. I'm wondering if anyone knows of programs that offer blu ray playback on Tiger or Leopard.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Boondocks
    #2
    Blue Ray Question on a G4 ?????

    Congrats, your G4 will work great for that. However, regarding the mentioned ATI Card I would not recommend that one. The ATI 9200 Pro is a PCI card and has a very slow GPU bus.
    Since the Quicksilver has a AGP bus, you absolutely need to go with an AGP card. See if you can find the Radeon 9800 or a flashed version of the Nvidia 7800 for the G4 on ebay.
    Regarding Blue Ray, - rumors say it will not work very fast on a G4.

    Anyone here that has any experience with Blue Ray on a G4 ??????

    That would be indeed interesting if my old G4 rig can run it...
    :apple::apple::apple:
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Location:
    .BE
    #3
    I'm using a QS G4 800 as my main comp now and I'm not sure if I want it next to my TV because the QS case and PSU fans are very loud.

    I would also not upgrade with a pci vid card, try for a flashed video card or an ati radeon 9800 mac ed.

    I'm not even sure these vid cards can do full HD and full hd sound output to a lcd tv.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #4
    Total waste of money! For the cost of your G4 and that upgrade you can get a dual 1.8Ghz G5 that will walk all over it in every category.

    It will work very well as-is as a media server without the upgrade. It is not possible, in any way, to play Blu-Ray or full HD video on a G4 machine. No software exists to play Blu-Ray discs on a mac and even with the upgrade it won't have even 1/2 the CPU power needed to play 1080p video. The graphics card makes no difference in video playback.

    Spend the $600 on a Mac Mini, it will be faster in every way than your G4 ever could be, can play 1080p video and has the possibility of playing Blu-Ray discs in the future (when Apple decides to support it). Upgrading a G4 is a horrible value.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    Not a waste of money

    I'm not really concerned about the money. I got the tower for $100, which is a steal in my opinion. Also, I'm a collector, and have never had a g4 tower so I am pretty excited about it. The processor upgrade is only $200, which still makes a $300 machine, and I think that rocks.

    I appreciate the advice on blu-ray, and now that I think about it, I don't even believe blu-ray media will be around for that long before everything goes digital.

    I have a mac mini hooked up to my TV upstairs. I have also done some modding to that. I guess I like the novelty of G4 running as fast as I could possibly get it.

    You and I are speaking of two different areas of value. It is of much value to me to be able to take apart and upgrade a G4. Plus, I'm saving one more console from ending up in a landfill. So please be less harsh when you reply to people in the future, and keep in mind that computing is about projects for some, and not just about saving money. I've already got three macs, what's it hurt to upgrade this one?
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #6
    You believe wrong. There isn't enough bandwidth infrastructure for that to happen and ISPs have made it clear they don't want people to watch HD movies over the internet since they have all set very low download limits. Plus, there is no physical copy to own.

    Thats what a recycling center is for.

    Its your wallet. If you want to blow money on old junk that has no real value left then be my guest.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #7
    Greedyhansd,

    I think it is neat you are re-vamping an older system to meet a new need. My first Mac was a PowerMac G5 that I got from my wife when she upgraded and it served me a year before I felt the need to move up to an Intel based MacPro. The PowerMac is still here and I too am looking for a new role for it to fill. I might hook it up to my midi equipped keyboard and see how that works.

    Take care,


     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    Once again, you and I disagree on the definition of value. How on earth does $300 2Ghz system with 1.5 GB of RAM have no value. That is just a ridiculous statement to make, and the kind of wasteful attitude I prefer to take no part in. This is the last reply I am going to make to you, but I want you to consider the things you say. What defines an object as having no value? And how are you the person that gets to decide an object's value? I will be able to watch hulu on my TV now without going through the annoyance of the load time on a hacked Apple TV. That, my friend, has a lot of value in my household.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #9
    When its a $75 machine plagued with bottlenecks that happens to have a "newer" CPU installed.

    Do you have Quadra 840AV too? I think I know of a PPC upgrade card still available for only $150.

    Reality and the market.

    By not wasting money in one.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #10
    I'm not sure where this belief that G4s can't handle High Definition video comes from. Perhaps it's the install requirements for iMovie or something, so it's possibly a discussion about editing rather than just viewing in general. Because I run EyeTV on one of my G4 MDDs and I have no issue with the HD channels whatsoever on a 1900 x 1200 ADC display. HD video playback is just as smooth as on a Mac Mini or Pro and I can't tell the difference. That's broadcast HD 1080, so I can't say for sure for Bluray HD and other forms though but i can't see why they'd be any different.

    My G4 is a dual 1.25GHz (with GeForce Ti card), so your 2GHz processor upgrade should handle HD just as well. One thing I'd note is the Radeon 9200 128MB card you're planning is PCI rather than AGP so may not perform as well as a dedicated 128MB AGP graphics card. The 4x AGP slot is approx twice as fast as the 33MHz PCI slots.

    PS. In regards to wasting money or not, is isn't a waste of money if it's your hobby and you enjoy it. But like every other hobby, practically everyone else who doesn't share the same hobby regards it as a waste of money and can think of dozens of better things to spend the money on!
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #12
    Thanks for the reply man. I am having trouble finding a card online that I am positive will fit the system. Is there anything you would know of that you can link me to? This is the first tower I have undertaken an overhaul on and all the help is appreciated. I'd like to get the best possible graphics card the system can handle, but don't want to accidentally buy something it won't recognize. My idea for the Radeon 9200 came from an upgrade list on OWC.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    MAC-PRO-DEMON

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Up north in Yorkshire :)
    #13
    I would... In my oppinion... Just get a Sonnet Processer upgrade as opposed to the 2.0GHZ one that you are looking at... I would just install a DVD drive as you can't install a Blue-Ray drive in a G4... and plus that graphics card that you are punting can't handle it!! And... don't listen to what anyone says about it being rubbish... It's Great!!
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #14
    I myself would always choose the nVidia GeForce4 Ti 4600 128MB ADC/DVI card as the best AGP card for the G4 every time. The OEM from Apple is full length (has an extra length of blank circuit board so it can slot into the far bracket) like so:
    [​IMG]
    and has DVI & ADC connectors, while the aftermarket versions are cut off to standard video card length and replace the ADC connector with a VGA one. I'd get the OEM version.. I like ADC displays. :)

    The only two comparable cards from ATI are aftermarket, the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition 128MB and the Radeon 9600 Pro Mac & PC Edition 256MB. The 9600 also has a dual-link DVI connector for a 30" display at 2560x1600 resolution, the only AGP card for G4s to have this option (and 256MB memory).

    The 4600 and 9600 are 8x AGP but will work in 4x AGP slots, while the later 9800 is 4x only as they realised that it makes little or no difference to performance as the cards rarely used more than 4x most of the time anyway (like PCIe 16x and 8x cards today).
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Dave H

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #15
    A 4X AGP slot has 8 times the bandwidth that would be available to a 33MHZ PCI card.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerated_Graphics_Port

    Radeon 9600 cards do not always work with Quicksilver (or Digital Audio) G4s. Some of them give a black screen most of the time in these models.
    I used to have two 9600 cards, one worked reliably in my Digital Audio, and one only worked on about 1 startup out of every 10.
    There is a video card compatibility chart here.
    http://themacelite.wikidot.com/compatibility
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #16
    Good call. I was only considering the physical MHz speed;

    And the same as yourself, I've always found the Radeon cards to be temperamental and glitchy in G4s too which is why I would always recommend a GeForce as the first choice.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #17
    EyeTV does most of the decoding.

    Playing the video from the harddrive or optical disk, a G4 can't handle the software decoding. Especially the junk MKV format.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Dave H

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #18
    I actually like Radeon cards. I have only had problems with two, the 9600, and a second-hand 9800 that was likely dying.
     
  19. macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #19
    A flashed 9800 Pro is always my recommendation for an older G4 and is your best, cheapest, and most compatible card you can go with.

    It's even fun to do it yourself. You can find the 9800's for around $25.
    Excellent write up at themacelite.

    A G4 or any Mac won't play any commercial BD movies. You'll have to rip them to your hard drive first and then use Plex or other software to play them.

    I know that my dual 1.8 G5 handled 720p just fine(I never had a 1080p monitor to test those movies). I'd imagine that 2ghz card might be able to handle 1080p but that may be a long shot. Good luck upgrading your QS though, one of my favorite G4's.

    Don't listen to the people that says it's not valuable or worth it. This is your hobby and hobbies are always expensive :). So you enjoy it.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #20
    thanks for all the replies guys. I found a ge force 7800 that I really want, but I doubt I am going to be willing to spend $300 for a video card, so I may go with a 6200 for $100. Also, I was trying to find a sonnet but it seems the company doesn't sell processors anymore, and it is slim pickings on ebay. Does anyone know if there is a major difference between a dual 1.6 and a single 2.0, it's only an $80 price difference, so it seems it would be worth it to me to spring for a dual processor if it makes that much of a difference in speed. I am not quite sure I know how to test the wattage of my power supply and that seems to be a big factor on the system requirements for a graphics card. Can anyone point me to a spec sheet where I can find that out. I spent all night last night researching it and just couldn't find what I am looking for. I am willing to replace the power supply if I have to to accommodate a better card, but I don't want to replace it if I don't need to.

    Once again thanks for all the help. This is my first project like this, and while I am certainly enjoying everything, there is a lot I need to learn

    Cheers,
    Andy
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Dave H

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #21
    There should be a sticker on the side of your power supply with its output listed on it.
    If not, here's a picture.
    http://i11.ebayimg.com/06/i/000/77/cd/850c_1_b.JPG
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Boondocks
    #22
    G4 CPU's ..


    I wish you much fun for your G4 project! I am with you on this one, since my "Tim Taylor G4" was a blast to tune up. Its a real design classic that is timeless like a Luigi Colani chair or a Bang & Olufsen Stereo or even an old Porsche 911 ...
    :)

    1# CPU upgrade:
    As far as I have researched in the past there are about 4 different G4 chips around:
    G4 7447, G4 7448, G4 7455 and a forth one I can't remember.

    Most of the upgrade cards use the G4 7447. In my opinion not such a good choice since it has no L3 cache, however it would be cheap and still a good value.

    The G4 7455 was the CPU that had a huge L3 cache and was the fastest one available since the about last year. This baby runs hotter then the other ones but is very fast! If you can still get one, I would go for it.

    The G4 7448 is the newest edition to the G4 chips and I have heard a lot of good stories about it. It would be a great choice but it would be the most expensive one as well. This one has not the old time L3 cache but a big part of the chip has been redesigned.

    Read more here:

    http://www.newertech.com/products/maxpower48.php

    Regarding the Graphic Card, I still have my old ATI Radeon 9600 256MB
    Mac Edition here. (This card is the G4 version, there has been a G5 BTO version as well!) I bought it at OWC back in the day ($249) and it got replaced by the Nvidia 7800 from MacStreet. If you want it and if you don't mind the additional shipping from Bavaria - I can make you an offer for 120 bucks. Otherwise I keep it as a spare.

    Regarding the power requirements of you PSU, I think you don't have to worry about it. All the G4 upgrades have been sold in the past without a new power supply. You will not reach the limit unless you have both DVD/CD drive slots filled AND more all 4 Hard Drives on your internal power hooked up.

    Good luck with your Project !!

    :apple:
     
  23. macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #23
    If you want to spend the money and want excellent performace, purchase a Sonnet PCI SATA card so you can throw in some fast cheap hard drives. IDE drives are slow and lower capacities not to mention more costly. Two WD 300gb Raptors in a RAID would really increase some performace :) but is costly(the Raptors anyways). They make 2 and 4 ports.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #24
    Awesome! Here's the plan. I'm going to order a re-flashed GeForce 7800 256 DDR3 RAM, then a Newer Technology dual 1.6 http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/MAXG47D1600/. Later on I will be purchassing that sonnet card, but at the moment I have found an extra 140 gig ATA and it had 40 in it already, so I will see how that works for the time being. I will be streaming most of the movies from my 2.16 GHz core2duo iMac with a 1TB HDD, it's not full quite yet, but has about 700GB of media it's been seamlessly streaming to my 2GHz mini with 4gigs of RAM for a while. It will be interesting if it streams as well to the G4 after I install everything. Right now I have an Apple TV running Boxee on my living room TV. And while I love it for it's capabilities, the load times, when you have a a lot of networked folders Boxee is pulling from, start to get unbearable. It will be nice if I can end up selling my AppleTV and just use the Power Mac. Now if I can only find a quieter fan. Also, I wish there was a way to install more RAM docks, I fear I may be frustrated with the 1.5 GB max.

    I will say this is probably my favorite G4 model, aesthetically speaking.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #25
    A 2GHz single won't play 1080p, a dual 1.6 definitely won't be able to play it. Video only uses 1 CPU.
     

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