PowerMac G4 (gigabit) upgrades?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by tcbluejayfan, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    What kind of upgrades can i do to my 400mhz (gigabit ethernet) Power Mac. I have already upgraded the RAM and the OS, but i was wondering if there were and cpu upgrades i could do. i.e. putting in a dual 450mhz processor card, or things of that type.
     
  2. macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #2
    I started with a PowerMac G4/400 (AGP) and made the following upgrades:
    • Increased the memory from 384 MB to 1 GB (system tops out at 2 GB),
    • Replaced the G4 at 400 MHz (with 1 MB of L2) with a G4 at 1.2 GHz (with 256k of L2 and 2 MB of L3),
    • Replace the ATI Rage 128 (with 16 MB of VRAM) with a nVIDIA GeForce2 MX (with 32 MB of VRAM),
    • Pulled the original 10 GB hard drive and added 30 GB and 60 GB drives to it's UltraATA-66 bus,
    • Added a SerialATA card and a 400 GB SATA drive.
    On my list of things to do, I would like to replace the original DVD-ROM drive with a CD-RW/DVD drive.

    All and all, I've invested less than $200 in the system, with only the G4 upgrade and GeForce2 MX card coming from out of pocket funds.

    The system still has a lot of life left in her, but I'll wait until I actually need the further upgrades before making them. Doubling the memory will be expensive as it'll entail replacing all 4 of my current 256 MB DIMMs. Upgrading the video means that I'll be retiring the GeForce2 MX card (which was around $25 as I recall, so no big loss), and upgrading the G4 processor to one of the higher end upgrades (like a duel G4 at 1.8 or 2.0) should keep everything moving along nicely.

    With a slightly newer system, you should be able to make similar upgrades pretty easily.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    #3
    will any g4 processor card work in the system, or are there only specific ones that will?
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #4
    I also have a G4 I am working on. I started with a DP 500 Gigabit.

    • Upgraded to 1GB RAM from 128MB
    • Upgraded from the 16MB Rage to a Radeon 9000 64MB (free from a pull)

    I have only had it for a few months. I plan on doing some other upgrades. Namely:

    • CPU
    • RAM to 2GB
    • USB 2.0
    • Internal Bluetooth adapter on USB 2.0 (with internal usb port)
    • SATA card for faster bigger hard drives (although I am not sure if you can boot from a PCI card on these, anyone know?)
    • OS X server, as I will be turning this into a server to play with deployment
    • DVD-Burner, possibly SATA

    RacerX, what SATA card did you get? Does it work pretty well? Fast? Can you boot from it?
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    #5
    Yep, you can boot from SATA cards. I have a SIIG 4port in my QS right now notta problemo booting from any of the 3 Raptors +1 Maxtor I have attached to it.........

    I had a Firmtek card in my B&W & Sawtooth prior to that, also npo :)
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #6
    What model? Maybe this one: SC-SATM12-S
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #7
    My current digital audio 667mhz:

    1.53Ghz fastmac cpu,
    1.25GB ram,
    280GB HD (software partitioned to make all useable)
    pioneer Superdrive 111d i think,
    ATi Radeon 9000pro 128mb gfx card,
    and a generic 802.11b pc card that is visible as airport (same chipset) had to mod it a bit as was too long for the case :s lol
    and i have all the plastics off at the moment to strip and repaint (undecided on colour)
    and a damn good clean up inside lol, dust bunnies.

    this is my second g4 powermac upgrade and it is fun but the cpu just cant be upgraded on the cheap. cost is at about £200 ($400) in total, cheaper than my last one.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    #8
    since i was criticized for trying to ask my question in another post and it was closed, could someone answer my question, and not tell me what all you have done to your systems.

    Can i use a newer (faster) processor card in my gigabit g4 system. if not can i put in a newer logic board and use a faster processor card.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #9
    You cannot use CPU cards from newer systems like say an MDD. They are not compatible. You would have to buy an upgrade card from one of the many places that offer them.
     
  10. macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #10
    Mine is from Sonnet and yes, it is bootable. As for speed, it benchmarked at nearly twice as fast as the built-in UltraATA-66 bus, so it was a nice surprise (as the main reason I got it was for space rather than speed). Before installing the SATA card and drive my system scored 37 on Xbench's Disk Test, afterwards it had jumped to 71.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    #11
    would i be able to use the dual 450 or dual 500 cards from other gigabits?
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #12
    I would imagine so, but I am not sure. It isn't really worth it unless they are free. You won't be going much further than what you have now.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    #13
    so dual processors as opposed to my single processor wont improve me much?
     
  14. macrumors member

    mail4asim

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #14
    I have a G4 PowerMac as well. I upgraded the processor to 1Ghz and it's twice as fast now. I ran benchmarks using Geekbench before and after the upgrade. If you're interested, email me mail4asim at yahoo.com and I will send them to you. This way you can get some idea of the improvement the processor will give you.

    It's really easy to get carried away when you're upgrading a computer. Sometimes it's just not worth the money.

    Keep in mind a refurb mac mini with a core duo processor sells for as low as $429.. so before you upgrade.. keep in mind that for $429 you can get a new mac.

    btw, I am in ohio too :)
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    jamesi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Davis CA
    #15
    duel processors would be faster than a single as in the case of, lets say, a DP 500 powermac vs a single 733 G4. the 500 DP would be faster in most modern applications. however, both chips are still relatively slow.

    i might be wrong, but i think for you to buy a duel processor upgrade, you already need to have a dual processor powermac, for motherboard compatibility. you could get a single 1.8 and notice a large speed increase, but your bus is still in the gutter. the price for such an upgrade comes very close to a mac mini refurb which would blow this outa the water
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    #16
    ASP reports the SIIG as a "3114-R1"

    The Firmtek was a "Seritek 1S2" IIRC......
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #17
    A friend of mine just bought a sailboat to live in, so he's cleaning out his house, giving tons of stuff away. Guess what he gave me? A G4 PowerMac that he'd been trying to sell on the local Craigs List.

    The system is a gigabit system with a 500MHz CPU, 768MB RAM, a CD-RW, an Airport wifi card, and a 30GB hard disk. He'd installed OS X 10.3.9 Server on it but the install must have been bad, because the system is taking like 5 hours to boot up (if it boots up at all)...weird, because the first night, it was booting up fine. Sadly, he didn't provide the system disks that came with the computer...looks like I have a purchase of OS X in my future...

    Anyways, I just thought I'd share my lucky day with you guys. Now, I'm off to find a remedy for this boot-up issue.

    BTW, this is a great thread...I plan on attempting the mods you guys mentioned.
     

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