Processor Upgrade for G4 500..a few questions.

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by emc2, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    emc2

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Location:
    Either Seattle or Kona...
    #1
    I am getting ready to upgrade the processor on my G4 500/AGP Graphics version 2.8 (M7629LL/A). I had been hoping to replace it with a dual processor card either pulled from another G4, or a Sonnet or other 3rd party. I was recently told that not all AGP models will support dual processors...is this true? Also, can I use a processor pulled from a Quicksilver or MDD? If not just what can I use? I recently upgraded to Photoshop CS and Dreamweaver MX 2004 and man do I need more processor speed! I don't have a lot of money to spend, so please do not suggest that I buy a new machine. :D
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    this app: http://www.macbidouille.com/downloads/UniNorthASICChecker.sit
    will let you know if your motherboard supports dual processors

    as for quicksilver or MDD, no, they have different front side buses.
    you need one with 100mhz FSB
    might i suggest the gigadesigns dual 1.4ghz for $699 at macsales.com
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    emc2

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Location:
    Either Seattle or Kona...
    #3
    According to that ASIC checker, my Uni-North revision is 3: My mac doesn't support dual processor upgrade.

    What does this mean for processor upgrades such as the PowerLogix Dual G4 cards that advertise (and I quote),

    "Compatable with PowerMac G4 AGP models 350-1GHz (excluding Cube) with 100 MHz or 133 MHz system bus."

    My G4 has a 100 MHz front side bus, but according to macbidouille's ASIC Checker it is not dual processor material. So which is it?

    Also, you suggested a gigadesigns dual 1.4GHz...will that work? Or am I banished to single processor land? :confused:

    Thanks for the help.
    -e
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    RGunner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Midnight Sun
    #4
    sorry but you are forced to use a single.

    the UNi North 3 version will only support a single CPU.

    Gigadesigns, Sonnet and PowerLogix all have support sections which outline what their processer cards will work in. You will find this information in all of their technical docs / and or support pages.

    Basically a single 1.4 is your highest path, without finding a Sawtooth (agp) uni-north 7+ Logic board.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #5
    yes they advertise "will work with". bit they also advertise in more fine print that your motherboard must support it. the later released mobo's support dual cpu upgrades.

    here for example.. http://www.gigadesigns.com/productsM5d1214g.html

    in Red Type is "Not All G4 Macs are Dual Processor Compatible. You must have a uni-N revision of 7 or greater." with a direct link to the Uni-N Testing app that you've already ran.

    it is sore luck, however, Gigadesigns processors are easily overclockable.
    In fact the 1.3 and 1.4 CPU's that they sell are in fact just 1.25 G4's that they have overclocked and tested the stability of that overclocking themselves.
    No Solder is involved and overclocking (which you should be able to get to 1.5ghz) is a simple process of moving plastic jumpers. the cpu upgrades come with the chart needed to know what the jumper settings for certain cpu speeds are. There are settings to 1.6ghz, and this may be possible with the addition of a more powerful fan.

    so yes, you are kind of out of luck and with your motherboard you are limited to ONLY single cpu upgrades, but the 1.3 (capable of up to 1.6) single runs $399. and will get you xbench scores in the 140's, and i think it'd still be worth it.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    #6
    Memory and 1 processor are good enough. I had a 400 MHz Sawtooth G4 that couldn't do dual processors either, but I upgraded the memory to 640 MB and the processor with a Sonnet 1 GHz card and it works great and zippy now. Make sure you have plenty of memory, especially for Photoshop.

    Check, http://xlr8yourmac.com/ for tons of info on accelerator cards that'll work in your computer from people who've tried them.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    emc2

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Location:
    Either Seattle or Kona...
    #7
    Thanks for the great advice. It looks like I will be going for a single 1.3 CPU upgrade...I already have 1GB of ram installed, and PS 8 seems to be super sluggish. I hope that the CPU upgrade will address this, many people have told me that for photo and video editing you really need dual processors...is this accurate, or are dual processors just desirable? Also, I have seen a few G4 dual 533s on ebay, would I be better off with a dual 533 that could later be upgraded, or a single 1.3 that may be overclocked? I would like to hear some opinions. Keep in mind that I am running CPU intense programs such as FCP 4, Adobe AE 6, Photoshop & ImageReadyCS, Dreamweaver-Flash & Fireworks MX 2004, etc. I have had sluggish response in all these apps and really need a power boost. So again I ask, single 1.3 (on my current 100 MHz FSB) or dual 533 (which I think sports a 133MHz FSB).
    THanks
    -e
     
  8. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #8
    Dualie or not?

    My advice is: the dual processor machines are really "double the speed" but instead something around a 40% boost. Its good, but the 1.3Ghz upgrade bumped up to 1.4 or 1.5 would do fine. Just make sure that you get a REALLY good fan, because that way you dont stay up at night wondering if that night is when it would blow up. Just kidding! :D In all honesty, the 1.3 should be fine. I have a 800Mhz iMac that works nicely for Photoshop, if a bit slow. But not the dualie, those would be slower than the upgrade.

    Have fun, and remember, a 486 can run Windows XP, if you overclock it... liquid nitroged cooling system not included.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #9
    dual 533 with the intent of upgrading would cost you as much as a refurbished dual G5, so if you are wanting to go that route.. go G5.

    G4 @ 1.4, 1.5 should hold you over for another year or two tho ;)
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    #10
    I recently upgraded my Sawtooth 450 with a Sonnet 1Ghz for 220$US off of eBay. NewEgg.com has this same upgrade for $225 with free shipping also. For the price/performance, this is your best upgrade. Anything more and you will be paying 50% more money for ~20% more performance. The 1Ghz will hold you over for another year or so. Since you already have a gig of memory, you should be fine but Photoshop and multiple apps open at once could make you want to up that to 2gig (OS X will see all 2gig, OS 9 will only see 1.5 gig). You may also benefit from a faster video card. I found an original Mac Radeon (7200 based) on eBay for $47 and it did seem to make the system smoother, but not until I upgraded the processor too. The 450 just couldn't push the card enough for it to make much of a difference over the Rage 128.

    Hope this helps.

    Oh and as a small recommendation, an eMac @ $799 has a faster processor , memory, and video than the Sawtooth, so if your upgrades start adding up to this level, you may want to just pick one of these 'entry' level machines up. You can swap the hard drive for a larger faster one pretty easily as well.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    neonart

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Location:
    Near a Mac since 1993.
    #11
    If you already have 1GB of RAM and don't want to get into selling your machine to start over, then an economical single CPU upgrade is a good buy. Also if your machine still has the old Rage128 16MB video card, you should step up to something that will help the OS.
    BTW, the sawtooth machines have proven to be real reliable work horses. Those machines are almost 5 years old and still very useful - try that in the Wintel world! :rolleyes:

    I would shoot for this CPU upgrade (run it a 1.2Ghz):
    http://eshop.macsales.com/Catalog_Item.cfm?ID=6087&Item=OWCME41000L2S

    Plus this video card:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/Catalog_Item.cfm?ID=6700&Item=ATI100433022
    (Or maybe find an Radeon 8500 [64MB] on eBay for less.)

    For around $460 (or less) you get a really nice setup!
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    emc2

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Location:
    Either Seattle or Kona...
    #12
    Thanks for all the great advice! I didn't think to look into a new vid card also...but it makes perfect sense. Unfortunatly I am currently using 2 VGA LCD screens a 15" and a 19" and I really don't want to give up the extended desktop, so I will have to shop around for a card that will support my needs. I didn't hear any opinions about the 100 Mhz FSB vs the 133 MHz FSB...doesn't this count for anything?
    Also, as far as the Sawtooth being a workhorse...I can attest to that. This is the first time in four and a half years that I have even considered the need for an upgrade...this machine has easily earned back it's value and then some! I couldn't be happier with the performance that it has given...but the apps are getting to be to intense...and this machine has been doing ALOT of thinking in those 4+ years...time to put that CPU out to pasture....
    -e
    Thanks again for all the great advice!
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey USA
    #13
    I have the same model Sawtooth. I added the 8500 AGP card and the Gigadesigns 1.3 over-clocked to 1.6. No problems. I used a heat sink paste and have no issues. The heat sink included with Gigadesigns is very robust.

    But going from 500 to 1.6 and adding the better video and RAM made a huge difference. it was like getting a new machine.
     
  14. macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    Old York
    #14
    the 9000 is a dual head card what card do you have now? do you have a rage and a pci card or what?

    get a mercury extreme
     

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