Powerlogix G4 500 Pismo upgrade Worth It?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by rudedogg63, Mar 15, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2003
    Thinking about buying the powerlogix blue chip G4 500 upgrade for my Pismo G3 400! Anyone know if it is worth $279.00 and will i notice any difference?:confused:
  2. macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2003
    Research pays!!!

    Is your memory maxed out yet, that would be my first priority. What exactly do you do on your pismo. Keep in mind upgrading involves other factor such as bus system improvements, hard drive upgrades so on. 279 seems like an expensive commitment on an old system. Research well before you go that route, you could end up spending 600 bucks before long and still have an old machine. otw website is a good start.
  3. macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    your still crippled by the other hardware in that machine. i would pu the money towards a new machine or get a ipod or something.

  4. macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2002
    Going from a 400 g3, to a 500 g4 is not going to be a hude difference (depending on what you do) but in truth, thats not a lot of money. Something newer is going to run you 5X that amount. I would argue that its worth it, but the RAM upgrade would prolly be my first choice.

    A 500 g4 is not going to fly in osX, though it is faster than what youre used to.
  5. macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    If you don't need the G4 for Photoshop or video, then you might want to think about getting a new iBook. If your Pismo is in good shape, you can get $750-$850 for it on ebay. Add that to the $279 upgrade price and you've got roughly $1100 to put toward an iBook. Smalldog has refurb. 14" iBooks (700mhz) for $1249 <http://www.smalldog.com/product/41908>.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 28, 2001
    $270-$370 upgrade vs $1300 14" Ibook

    defineatly go for it or wait for the powerlogix 800g3!!.
    the 550g4 will make osx usable checkout the cpu upgrade reports at www.xlr8yourmac.com
    compared to the 14" ibook you have svideo out/dualmonitor support/2firewireports,second battery capability/pccard slot for airport extreme or usb2 or firewire 800/better ketboard/not as good screen/sound in/covered pords expandable cpu ziff/expandable graphics to 32MB=www.villagetronic.com/ 1GB ram vs. 640/ same 100MHZ Bus
    If I were in you predictumant, and already had the ram maxed, I would get the 800G3 for $370, would be just as fast as ibook except for graphics and even faster later (rumor has it that 1GHZ 750 G3 this summer) as you have the last cpu upgradable apple book.
    This is providing your ibook is in good codition/ or sell it for $700 and buy a refurb 800 "15 with 1 MB l3 cache for about $1800-$700=$1100 with 1 year warr.
  7. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    buy a newer machine,100 mhz is going to do very little. maybe slightly used one or go for broke and get a new one.
  8. macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    I have 2 Pismos

    Both of them are G3 500Mhz but I'm gonna tell you my experience:

    I have my dual G4 500, originally it was a single G4 400. I paid $360 to go dual and the difference was about 10%. Now I use OS 9 in that one, may be I would tell the difference in OSX.

    My frien at the store told me to get ram better tha the processor.

    Now, ram will mainating the price longer than the processor.

    I'm my case I would load the machinne with ram, I have 256MB in both, 1G would be better and cheaper I think.

    I sugest to do the ram better than the processor.

    The Pismos are wonderfull computers. Forget the processor speed, look at the rest of the features: ports, expandibility, 14" screen.

    If you compare the Pismo with any iBook, the iBook will have some feature less, usually, more important than the ones it has better.

    I'm actually looking for to get 2 more Pismos in the near future.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 28, 2001
    100MHZ bus is fine for osx, thats what the ibooks have and most powerbooks and powermacs until the last year or so, many audio and final cut suites use 100MHZ Bus macs since the motherboard cant take full advantage of ddr anyway if you upgrade memory get pc133. I have a BW G3 oc too 600g4-1GB, and it benches as good as the 800 fp Imacs they have small catches, there is no reason to suspect that you wont bench the same as the 800 Ibook with the same processor and ram, however your 3d video will be slower, no agp and just 8MB unless he upgrades that too.
    Definately keep the pismo if its in good condition. over the ibook easy.
    in the future usb2/firwire800/airportextreme/32MBvideo/soundcards can be added to the pccard slot. dual dislay and svideo out/ dual battery/sound in can come in handy.
    all you are missing is cdrw/large harddrive and those are cheap now even in firewire form.
    newer ibooks and powerbooks although they have better screens, larger harddrives, combo and superdrives, agp graphics, better looks (debateable), you will always have more options and in the future more speed.
    at the worst keep it for a second computer if you have os9 only apps and files and use your new one in osx only.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 28, 2001
    os9 dual

    osx will see the duals and run many apps at once smoothly. for os9 you must use dual "aware" apps like itunes some photoshop functions most major audio/vieo apps like rendering in final cut and a select few "a" Games. otherwise it goes unseen must of the time. So upgrade a partition or drive to osx, you'll be happy
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 28, 2001
    good and bad reviews heres the latest
    Reviewer's Name: Lincoln B.
    Date Submitted: 2/23/2003
    Rating (1 to 10): 7
    Manufacturer: Newer Tech G4 Upgrade for Pismo PB
    Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G4 500
    Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): 500 (not adjustable)
    Cache Size: 1MB L2
    Mac Type: Pismo G3/400
    Comments: Pros: Significant boost in overall performance, especially in OSX. Real-time effects in Final Cut Pro. Added lift to the best laptop Apple ever made :)

    Cons: LONG turnaround, a month. That's a lot of time to be missing your laptop.

    For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive the NuPower G4 upgrade for the Pismo. I decided on Newer because I had previously bought an upgrade from them that worked out well.
    I started out with the base Pismo, the 400mhz model with 576mb of ram. I could not even run Final Cut in OSX without frame stutters and eons of rendering time. While this was frustrating, I use my PowerBook mostly for taking notes in class so it wasn?t a major issue. With much anticipation I packed my beloved assistant of to Chicago to receive a new soul. The paper accompanying Newer's upgrade told me that I should expect to wait 8-10 business days before getting back my newly g4'ed Pismo. 10 business days later I was still waiting. I called Newer and was reassured that the PowerBook would arrive the next week. A week later, still no PowerBook. So I called again. They told me it would arrive next week. The next week, I finally had my Pismo back.

    There is definitely a performance boost. Before I ripped at about 4x in iTunes, that?s up to about 7-8x. The most noticeable difference was in Final Cut Pro. Long gone were the frame stutters, full, pure, uncompromised digital video flowed like water through my laptop. I was even running real-time effects (although limited to fades and sound tracks). I was slightly worried about heat and battery life with the new G4, but neither have been an issue. It does run a bit warmer than it did before, with constant processor usage the bottom gets warm, but never uncomfortably warm. As for battery life, I don't think there has been an effect. I just watched the Bourne Identity and still had 33% battery left (in 10.2, set my screen on the lowest setting and energy saver to DVD playback). One more thing, some people in the xlr8yourmac.com forums (some past reports here) said they had received a different processor card back than their original one. I have the original one that came with my machine; there has been no change.

    In retrospect I'd definitely do it again but probably not with Newer. With the large wait time, I think I'd go with Powerlogix. To all Pismo owners who want to extend their machines life, don't want to worry about paint flaking off, and frying their legs, get this upgrade! $300 is a very reasonable price for the performance boost.

    Mike Comments: Since these upgrades use a 7410 CPU chip (as far as I know) that is getting hard to find, I suspect even the PL upgrade process could be delayed. (and I think everyone contracts out to have the module reworked, since that sort of equipment is expensive to own and most small upgrade companies likely do not have that in-house - this could also delay the process in
  12. macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2004
    what is the biggest harddrive I can fit in my pismo

    I have a g3 pismo ,firewire 400 mhz, 768 sdram I want to get a big assed harddrive like plus 100. I have seen some 160's and bigger can I have them installed?
  13. macrumors 68040


    Mar 26, 2001
    Over The Rainbow
    i am selling a ibook 900mhz dvd/cd rom with a 40gb hard drive and 256 ram, for 570 shipped if you are interested, half of your upgrade and it will run fater than your pismo
  14. macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    The 160 HD's you see are 3.5" desktop hard drives. They won't fit a laptop.
    The largest 2.5" drives for laptops are 80 Gb and 100 Gb
  15. macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Spearfish, SD
    See XBench Scores

    I would look at some XBench scores to see if thescores for the folks that have done the upgrade made a big enough differnce to you. I have been considering a second laptop and a Pismo is on my list of options. But if I had to invest $500 in a used Pismo and another $200-300 for upgrades, that almost puts me in iBook refurbished territory. But for you it seems without the Pismo investment $200-300 doesn't seem that bad.

    Also FastMac has G4 upgrades as well. http://www.fastmac.com/products/processors/pismo.php
  16. macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    One of the key aspects of moving from a G3 to a G4 is Altivec. As you can't upgrade the video on a Pismo, Altivec is the best way to get more out of Quartz.

    The G4/500 upgrade in my Wallstreet has kept me from needing a newer system for the last couple years. I've been very happy. I would guess a Pismo would be even better.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2004

    powerlogix, Altivec or NU which is the most solid and performing up grade G4 processor?
    I appreciate the information on the HD sizing.

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