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Upgrade of imac G3 pink 400MHz to G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Cabbit, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. macrumors 68020


    Hi i just bought my first real mac, a G3 400MHz slot load dvd imac pink with 128 MB ram. i pluged in my old seagate 80GB and installed OSX 10.4.7. needless to say the preformance is luckluster. my question is how much preformance would i get form upgradeing the CPU to a G4 550MHz 1MB L2, 1 GB ram and a DL superdrive i price up all the components at about 250 pounds plus shipping.
    the computer cost me 42 pounds and i had a retail boxed version of OSX that i bought when i had a hacking tosh. i have allways loved the old imac G3 and expectialy the pinks one. right now OSX runs ok with safari, msn, yahoo and itunes at the same time but i would love to do a lot more with the computer, im sure a G4 550MHz could handle iwork 06 and iphoto 06 no problems, i never liked iDVD and iMovie all that much and as for iWeb well i bought a retail copy of dreamweaver MX form a friend and its the mac version.
    i have to also mention that if it wasnt for the hackingtosh project i would not have switched and bought into mac software or hardware. my mum has also bought me a imac core duo 20inch pink and im awaiting its delivery im also keeping this computer pimped up in my hideaway. thanks for the help.
  2. macrumors 65816


    You'll definitely see a tangible performance difference however as far the GUI goes... it depends on the videocard (VRAM more specifically) and videocards on the iMac were nothing spectacular.
  3. macrumors 601


    A G4 under OS X is significantly more responsive than a G3 of even the same speed.l
  4. macrumors demi-god

    Spanky Deluxe

    Where would you be getting the upgraded processor from? The iMac G3s were non upgradeable unless you send off your logic board to an upgrader and they replace it with a modified version with a G4. You can't just use any old G4 processor from eBay.
  5. macrumors 601


    Unless it's a tray loading model, you can get a 600mhz G3, as well as a FireWire port, from here http://sonnettech.com/product/harmoni_g3.html
  6. macrumors 68020


    its a slot load, im sending of my logic board for a G4 one to the usa. they send me a new logic board with the G4 then i send them my G3. the GPU is a rage128 pro with 8 MB ram, quarts extream requires a 16MB card and will not run on a rage128 pro even if it has 32MB ram because of the way it handle openGL something to do with only being able to scale windows by factors of 2.
  7. macrumors demi-god

    Spanky Deluxe

    You would definitely see an improvement but the system will be seriously held back by the graphics card. You should ask yourself if its really worth it. You should be able to get roughly your money back on the iMac as it is although you won't get nearly the amount back that you spend on a G4 upgrade. I know £250 is less than things like a G4 Mac Mini + Screen would cost but that wouldn't lose you as much money in the long run.
  8. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Actually FastMac has some G4 upgrades for those G3 imacs in fact I have a old 500 G3 that I have thought about turning into a G4 550. That G4 has a much bigger L2 1 gig vs 256 meaning a little more speed plus adding altivec This upgrade is $200 but heres morehttp://www.fastmac.com
  9. macrumors 68020


    read my first post. i have also got a imac core duo 20 inch on the way. i have and intend to keep the imac g3 pimped edition because it was the first computer i ever wanted. its to sit in my den and use for iphoto, internet, quicktime videos and emailing. i dont want a mac mini i dont really like it all that much for what im doing, i have enought cash for a macpro but i dont want one. sorry for getting on but i read quite a lot of people sugesting getting another computer when all most people want is a little more form what they have. to me this is a project, its fun and when its all done it will serve its porpos for a long time. it dosnt need to run osx 10.5/6/7/8 just 10.4 will do, i want 5-10 years out of it in my den not doing anything to demanding of it. with no software upgrades nor demand for hd dvd.
  10. macrumors 65816

    I'm surprised to read everyone saying that you will see an improvement with the G4 upgrade...It was my understanding that at those clock speeds the only difference between the G3 and G4 was that the G4 had AltiVec.

    AltiVec will help with media apps--encoding in iTunes, iMovie and iDVD. Probably could help with iPhoto also but I'm not sure.

    For email, surfing and general OS X usage I wouldn't expect much improvement from a 400mhz G3 to a 550Mhz G4. Correct me if I'm wrong...

    Definetly max out the RAM in that thing. That is probably going to be your biggest bang for the buck.
  11. macrumors 601


    A common belief, but false.

    A good read about this can be found here, where users were discussing how Mac OS 7, which doesn't even see AltiVec, still had a big increase in performance on a G4 over a similarly clocked G3. Same cache, same bus speed, and the same brand of processor upgrade.

    That is what most people assume, but it isn't true. OS X has much more G4 optimization system-wide than you would think. On top of that, G4s have a significantly more powerful FPU at the same clock speed than a G3, and a somewhat more powerful general CPU as well, as indicated above.
  12. macrumors 68040


    I'm suprised, why are you asking us?

    You say you're not interested in buying another computer, you're happy with the ones you have, you just want to tweak your pink iMac.

    OK fine.

    You say you're not interested in saving money, you could afford a Mac Pro.

    OK fine.

    What's the problem? Spend your money and upgrade your pink iMac then. Is it cash effective? No, but other values seem more important to you.

    I'm not flaming you - the artwork on my wall isn't cash effective either, but I'm glad I have it. Just wondering why bother asking us?
  13. macrumors member

    If you really still just have 128MB memory in this machine, that's the real reason for "lackluster performance". Tiger needs a minimum of 256MB, and runs much better with more, esp. with the slow disk that is in these machines.

    I just upgraded a lab full of iMacs identical to yours to 10.4.7 (from 9.x), and they run quite respectably, all with a minimum of 384MB of memory. Upgrading the memory would be fairly inexpensive, if you shop around.

    iDVD won't run (requires a G4 + higher clock speed), and I wouldn't try doing photoshop work, but iMovie and all the basic apps run fine.
  14. macrumors 68020


    thanks for this, it helps to know that the computer will run better with loads of ram, my problem at the moment with ram is that its so darn hard to find SD ram of any desent size. i can only find 256's i want 2 512's
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Crucial have 512s here:


    I'd stick one in your machine. That'll be enough for what you expect out of it. I also agree that the G4 upgrade is a good idea. OS X is quite well optimised for the G4 over a G3.

    Enjoy your new frankenmac.
  16. macrumors 68020


    thanks its allready better than a hackingtosh lol this is silent, really only thing i hear is the hard drive every now and then, im used to a hackingtosh with a pentium 630 that was a wind tunnel. oh well its been retired now. i sold the components and bought a couple dvds and tiger with it.
  17. macrumors 68020


    at thous prices i can buy two pcs and rip out there old ram, i mite just do that achually ram is worth more once its out the computer i often see a pc with 512 SD ram chips well i used to there becomeing harder to find but a good old car boot sale mite yeld good results.
  18. macrumors G4

    Rather than the G4 see if you can get hold of a second hand 600MHz G3 logic board. The G3 chip on that is the IBM 750CXe, which had on-chip layer 2 cache running at the full 600MHz. That makes a huge performance difference over the 160MHz L2 cache in the 400MHz G3. The later logic board also has 16MB VRAM.

    And whack up that RAM. 768MB will have that thing running smoothly.

    Here's a 500MHz board for sale on eBay which has the same chip so will be noticibly faster than your current board, although holding out for a 600MHz might be a better idea
  19. macrumors 68020


    do you have any benchmarks of a G3 600MHz vs a G4 550MHz 1MB cache. the 16MB Vram on a Rage128 wont make much diffrence because it still cant run quatz extreem. My main reason for chooseing a G4 is that it sould be able to handle a iSight much better than a G3 because of the media extentions, cant mind what you guys call them but to me there 3DNOW!, MMX or SSE1/2/3/4.
    from all the benches i have seen a G4 500 MHz with half the cache of the one im looking at beats a 1.1 GHz G3 in media and Finder. only falling slightly behind in games. but its a rage128 im not going to play Doom 3 on it.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Sorry to dig up a 2-year-old thread... but...

    Jennifer, did you ever get the G4 upgrade?

    If so, was the 550Mhz G4 enough to make YouTube / flash video sites work?

    I have a 600MHz Summer 2001 Graphite iMac G3, and it's definitely not enough to view Flash video. 1 frame per second if I'm lucky.

    I have an extra iBook G4 1.2GHz CPU (MPC7447A) that I will try to swap in if the 550MHz isn't enough of an upgrade for Flash sites. I've read through both the IBM750GX and the MPC7447A manuals, as well as the migration notes, and it seems like it could work. (running at the max 10x multiplier the G3 600MHz logic board supports)

    One thing that would stop this project is if Apple's implementation of Open Firmware uses the additional IBM750GX instructions that are not standard in the 60x specifications. Otherwise, once it gets past Open Firmware and starts to load OS X, everything should be fine since OS X knows how to handle the optional registers in all newer G4 (MPC74xx) CPUs.

    Of course, the I/O and core voltages will have to be re-regulated, and the BGA pin positions completely changed. Will try to hand solder short lengths of wrapping wire between the CPU and logic board, and hope capacitance / cross talk isn't too bad at 1GHz. BGA360... not impossible, haha. After all, Pentiums and Athlons came in slot CPU cartridges even past 1GHz (also see 'slocket').

    Thanks for any input!


    P.S. As the OP, the iMac G3 Indigo/Sage/Graphite slot load is one computer that I always really liked.
  21. macrumors 6502

    Um, its not possible to solder in a new CPU yourself.

    For those actually considering spending $200 on the upgrade, $350 will get a dual 1.8GHz G5.
  22. macrumors newbie


    ... me too

    This thread has really interested me as I was trying to upgrade my iMac G3 to 10.3.9 at the weekend to which it threw a massive kernal paddy. Needless to say I had to re-install 10.1.5 and was left wondering what to do with the little fella. If you can still upgrade it to G4 that would be amazing, is there anywhere in the UK that does it? Also as this thread is 2 years old does anyone reckon we could boost it to a G5 :p ... but seriously it would be awesome to have my little blue iMac running 10.5 .....
  23. macrumors 68040


    My advice is just max the ram to 1 gig and put in a faster hard drive albeit a 120 gig 7200 drive. iMac g3's cannot see more than 128gigs of hard drive space without some weird tweaking app that I no longer remember what it is.

    You can try to contact Daystar Gary Dailey they used to do G4 upgrades on those machines.

    But with one gig of ram and a faster hard drive you should be able to run Tiger nicely. Leopard will be probably out of the question because there are things n that os that need a G4 minimum as I recall.

    I've owned about ten different iMac g3s and all run Tiger perfectly.
  24. macrumors 6502


    I just built a Mac wanna PC.
    It runs pretty fast and if you don't do any updates.
    BUT it is still not a Mac.
    I am paying for the nice looking machine with outstanding service and well knowledgeable tech support.
    Please name one company that can come close to Apple's out standing service.

    As for the Mac upgrades.
    I am still using my color iMac for my bank account and online stock trading.
    Keep the old one. Please....
    For used Mac deal, check this out.
  25. macrumors newbie


    I want to keep it as purist as possible but the only problem is, it really doesn't like 10.3.9 even though I've got 512mb of RAM. Ideally I'd like it to be running 10.4 as Ive seen some snow iMacs running that but I imagine they are just faster comps? Any suggestions welcome. A friend of mine said just to install and run Linux which I'm not keen on at all.

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