Sonnet 1.4ghz G4 ST Upgrade CPU ??? Reviews?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by adamjay, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. adamjay macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #1
    hey folks,
    shopping for a 1.4ghz cpu upgrade boardfor my 450mhz Sawtooth.

    i wanted to know if any users out there are using this board, and if so - how are things going with it?
    This particular upgrade CPU seems to have the least online reviews, based on my searches. So, i thought maybe i could get some first person reactions here.

    Also, it mentions that "OS 9.2 may be needed to install firmware updates" , what is the "may" all about? Did you need to boot into OS9.2? were you able to do it from OSX, if so what are the criteria? and can this firmware update be done from Classic?

    thanks!!
     
  2. Opteron macrumors 6502

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    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    South Australia
    #2
    There arn't many reviews because this upgrade is extremely coslty. Yould get much better per formace buy spending your money on a new PC, of the same value.

    Save up and get a G5.
     
  3. adamjay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
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    Indianapolis
    #3
    Opteron wrote... There arn't many reviews because this upgrade is extremely coslty. Yould get much better per formace buy spending your money on a new PC, of the same value. >>>>>

    Costly??? i've found this upgrade for $435. every other manufacturer's 1.4ghz upgrade ranges from $500 to $600.
     
  4. thatwendigo macrumors 6502a

    thatwendigo

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Sum, Ergo Sum.
    #4
    How are things going? Smooth as butter, that's how.

    It's made the machine into something brand new, it feels like. Everything is quicker, snappier, and more responsive. I also added a Seritek SATA controller, a Seagate Barracuda 120GB drive, and 512MB of RAM, so that helps things along too.

    I've not had to update firmware on mine, so I can't really answer the question about Classic. It's been slot-and-go the whole way.
     
  5. Opteron macrumors 6502

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    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    South Australia
    #5
    As I said you could buy a more powerful PC for that much. an nice Athlon2500+
    333MHz FSB, R9600, 512MB DDR333, SATA HDD.
     
  6. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    I'm debating as to getting a new processor upgrade for my Cube. I know I'll have to add a fan, and even probably change the chassis to a Powerlogix Cube one (they look VERY nice, and give the Cube a new "G5" feel...), but I can boost the little baby up to a 1.4Ghz - even though I'll probably just stick to a 1.2Ghz (which is just FINE!!!).

    The Bus Speed looks to be a major bottleneck (100Mhz), but with the 2MB L3 Cache, it seems to compensate quite nicely in the various benchtests around. For some updated tests, check out www.xlr8yourmac.com and look under "Upgrades"...

    I've found the cheapest commercial upgrades through www.cubeowner.com, who offer a rebate when ordering with OWC. But also checking eBay can get you some pretty cool deals, too (especially with the great exchange rate on the £ to the $(US)...;)).

    Of course, there's not just Sonnet (www.sonnettech.com) who are in the processor business:

    There's also Powerlogix (www.powerlogix.com) and Giga Designs (www.gigadesigns.com), too! In fact, Powerlogix are using the new 7457 chip - cooler and faster than the others, with a lower power consumption than the 7455's used with the other manufacturers. I think they'd be the way to go, given the choice - and the funds, of course!

    Happy upgrading!
     
  7. adamjay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
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    Indianapolis
    #7
    yea the thing is, XLR8yourmac.com has very little information about the Sonnet 1.4ghz, so thats why i am asking on here.
    i'm not so worried about the power consumption...

    it is the least expensive 1.4ghz G4 upgrade i have found, and for that reason i am interested in hearing some first person reviews.
     
  8. dudeami macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    I know that this isn't what you asked about, I is very new so you would probably have to ask for feedback about it as well. But since you are looking specifically at a 1.4 GHz.

    Powerlogix offers a 1.4 GHz upgrade that has 512 KB level two cache, instead of the 256 KB level 2 cache found on the Sonnet card. This would should give you better performance. I found it for $475 on macsales.

    The 512 KB level 2 cache comes on their upgrade that uses the PowerPC 7457. The others have 256 KB level 2 cache, however you were looking at the 1.4 GHz already, so I thought I give you some food for thought. The 7457 also draws less power and generates less heat then the 7455. I am not sure which one the sonnet card uses.

    Here is a link.

    http://www.powerlogix.com/products/pfg4100/index.html

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. adamjay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

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    #9
    i see that its the 133mhz bus version. would that be compatible with my AGP Sawtooth (100mhz FSB) ?
     
  10. adamjay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
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    Indianapolis
    #10
    let me clarify... the one that macsales.com has is the Series 133 (133mhz FSB) version. they only have the 1.2ghz in the Series 100.
    have you seen the Series 100 1.4ghz anywhere for less than $499 ?
     
  11. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    The OTHER option is to wait around for about 6-12 months, and watch those prices drop!

    I was really surprised to see how cheap the FIRST generation processor upgrades went for on eBay (I was considering a dual-500MHz upgrade a while back, and - thankfully - I didn't fork out for the $500(US) asking price when I did, as now you can pick them up on eBay for less than $100(US)!).

    Even now, a 1.2GHz upgrade can be bought for around $300(US)!


    Ask yourself this:

    Do you REALLY need that extra 200MHz, especially WITH the 100MHz bus limitation? Your speed boost WILL be minimal, at best. If you're THAT concerned, opt for a DUAL-Processor upgrade. Your machine can hack THAT...

    :)
     
  12. dudeami macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #12
    Sorry,

    It looks like they are still selling the 7455 at 1.4 GHz, I'm not sure if they are just clearing the stock or if they still produce it. That one looks to sell for around $450, however it looks like the 7457 at 1.4 GHz is sell for around $600 dollars, that is a lot for the level 2 cache. Plus why is the one for the 133 MHz bus so much cheaper. Most of the sites that I see the high price on for the 100 MHz motherboard model are refering to it as if it only designed for the cube. Kind of confussing. It might be best to call their sales and ask them.
     
  13. adamjay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #13
    true enough...
    my eyes have opened to the 512k L2 (lower power) Powerlogix card now tho... but i cannot find the 1.4ghz version (100 series) for a decent price..

    so my question now is Powerlogix 1.2ghz/*512k L2 / 2MB L3 <,>,= Sonnet 1.4ghz/*256k L2 / 2MB L3 ??

    if they are really close enough to each other... the PL would be much cheaper, but i could use the extra 200mhz for audio (for instance, Waves 4.0 Linear Multiband plugin will take a good 300mhz off the top)
     
  14. dudeami macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    I changed what I originally wrote here, after looking into it further. The 1.2 GHz upgrade for the 100 MHz motherboard does use the PowerPC 7457, so it does have the 512 KB 1:1 level 2 cache, also uses less power and generates less heat than the 7455. It is only $359 at Macsales, that sounds like a pretty good upgrade for the sawtooth.

    However, looking at other peoples results at Xbench, I think you would probably get good use out of the 1.4 GHz processor from Sonnet too. It would be hard to tell without getting some real world knowledge. Because you are comparing the combination of the speed of the CPU and level 2 cache.

    Powerlogix
    1.2 GHz G4 with 512 KB of level 2 cache running at 1.2 GHz

    Sonnet
    1.4 GHz G4 with 256 KB of level 2 cache running at 700 MHz

    I would really love to know the results. If you look at the results when comparing the 1 GHz iBook to the 1 GHz Powerbook like Macworld tested for example, the Powerbook is faster, and it only has twice the level 2 cache, both level 2 caches are running at the same speed. With the Powerlogix and Sonnet comparison, the Powerlogix upgrade card not only has twice the level 2 cache, but in this case the cache is also running 500 MHz faster than the level 2 cache on the Sonnet upgrade.

    I think it is a fairly interesting choice to make, since that extra $140 in price difference with the Powerlogix, could buy a new graphics card or faster hard drive.
     
  15. vrc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    #15
  16. adamjay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #16
    well isn't that a pickle...
    the only comparison i can draw is that NO Sawtooth @ 1.2ghz submitted at Xbench.com gets up to the Sawtooth's @ 1.4ghz that scored 130 - 136 (no HD controller mod either, pretty impressive). and for a 1.2ghz to even get into the 130's requires a Serial ATA or ATA Raid, then again, i can't find a 1.2ghz with 512k (@ 1.2ghz) L2 at Xbench.com argh.

    so i think the 1.4ghz Sonnet is the way to go. the extra cpu frequency will certain help any future (distant.. future.) reselling, and $435 is a good price (shopperwiz.com), and i know concretely what it is capable of. wish i could have gotten more user feedback on that particular card from this thread, but if anything i got alot more critical contemplation so thanks Kiwi and Dudeami for all the assistance.
     
  17. dudeami macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #17
    I am still interested in finding out how much of a difference the faster cache makes on those Powerlogix upgrades. All in due time.

    Adamjay,

    I think you made the right choice by going with the CPU speed, and I have always liked Sonnet's upgrades. It looks like you'll get an impressive performance increase. I have upgraded every Mac that I have owned and I have always enjoyed the results. Enjoy your new CPU.
     
  18. SPACEKID macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #18
    6 Days til I got to Detroit, and I will get the Sonnet 1.4ghz upgrade too :)

    :D
     
  19. adamjay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    adamjay

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #19
  20. SPACEKID macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    #20
    Excellent mate, cheers, im gonna order it from there when I get to MI. :D
     
  21. gileschin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    #21
    upgrading 450/sawtooth

    Adamjay.
    Five months ago I installed the Gigadesigns 1.4 ghz upgrade in my 450 Sawtooth. Very noticable speed increase and stability (knock on wood) great choice. I looked at xl8ymac for user reviews and found that they had less unfavourable issues than the other brands.
    The upgrade was so easy to install and yes it requires a firmware upgrade from os9 with the original processor installed but this was an easy process if your online. Although when using FCP4 Soundtrack with many audio tracks I do experience slow response time, I should of purchased a dual processor which Gigadesign now has available. If its just a speed bump you need then a new processor is a good way to go otherwise, a new g5 comes with all those added extras.

    By the way, the the processor is $439.

    - Giles
     

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