upgrading a sawtooth g4?? worth it??

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mothergoose, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. mothergoose macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #1
    well i have been wanting a mac for a while now and dont have very much money. i was looking on ebay and saw g4's for $100 buy it now, but it only has a 400 mhz cpu. this is to slow for me, so i was looking at upgrades and was wondering if it would even be worth the money to upgrade to a dual 1.6 ghz? wont the 100 mhz fsb and pc100 ram be bottlenecking it? if soo would it be better to just get a mac mini?

    thanks in advance
    mothergoose
     
  2. Yoursh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
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    MN
    #2
    I think it depends on what you plan on using it for. I just got a "digital audio" G4 by trading an extra ipod I had and have been looking at upgrading it. Just going by price, if you plan on using this as a primary system, it would be more cost effective to just buy a Mac mini. It's more "future proof" then getting a power pc system. I plan on adding some ram and a larger HDD to my system only, since I only got it to run older power pc software and to be a backup to the macbook I'm getting this week. I would say get it if you only want something to play with but get an intel system if you want a new primary system.
     
  3. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #3
    Tell us what you want to use it for.

    I run a B+W G3 PowerMac as a server (350mhz, 1GB ram), brought it for £50, and while it would be OK for word processing and email and some light surfing, it would be too slow for much more than that. It struggles on flash and advert heavy websites.

    I also have a spare G3 12'' iBook, 600mhz, 384MB ram which I brought for about £200, and that's been very useful for taking about with me, typing and checking email, and doing a bit more stuff than was possible on the fixed B+W PowerMac.

    My heavy lifting (video editing and photoshop work) is done on my main machine, a 15'' Powerbook G4 1.5GHz 1.25GB ram.

    If I had no computer and little money, I'd be very happy with the G3 iBook.

    Hope that's given you a clearer idea.
     
  4. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #4
    Stay as far away from Sonnet as humanly possible.

    They're products are total crap, and their support is even worse.

    My 1 GHz G4 upgrade actually caught on fire, then I got the royal runaround for months, and now they havent responded in almost 3 weeks.
     

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  5. mothergoose thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #5
    well i will be using the system mostly for music and web surfing with ocasional photo editing. and i also love to tinker with computers and a mini doesnt really alow me to do this. ReanimationLP i am sorry to hear about your experiences with them. i was leaning twords the giga desighns processors anyways. part of me wants the g4 to tinker with and the other prt of me wants a mini and just beover with it... ill have think about this.

    thanks for the help
    mothergoose
     
  6. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #6
    :eek: :eek: was considering getting an upgrade via eBay for the B+W powermac, but decided against it as I dont really need the extra speed. Would like gigabit ethernet tho, so might have to change over to a G4 PowerMac when they get a bit cheaper.

    Is that photo of the burnt card? I can't see any burn marks, only a few scorch marks in the upper right corner.
     
  7. Lollypop macrumors 6502a

    Lollypop

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #7
    The 100mzh fsb isnt really such a huge issue. Its only a issue when you want to push a lot of data through to the CPU, web, mail and very light photoshop shouldnt really fill that pipe that much.

    I have used a mini, and while they are really great I also like to tinker, and PPC software isnt going away soon so if it was me, I would go for the sawtooth.
     
  8. psziel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago,Illinois
    #8
    i also got a powermac G4 from ebay, it is a 500mhz and i upped the ram to 1gb. witrh the help/advice from the users here it now is a file server with 1tb space. i still use it for office and other apps and it runs fine. dont except to play any games but it should get you through till something else is in your price range.
    my 2cents! :)
     
  9. slosh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #9
    I've got a 400mhz Sawtooth that I've upgraded with a 1ghz Sonnet card, dvd burner, 1gb of RAM, SATA card with a couple of drives, and an ATI 8500 video card, and it's pretty solid for everything I use it for--Photoshop, little bit of Final Cut and DVD Studio Pro, ripping, compressing, burning dvd's ("for backup"), etc. The dramatic improvements came with the Sonnet card, video card (Quartz compatible), and RAM in that order more or less. I started upgrading it before the mini's came out, and while it should be pretty usable for another year or so, I probably would have picked up a mini instead of putting the money into the Sawtooth, especially now that the intel versions are out.

    As far as Sonnet cards go, mines been fine, but now I'd probably pick up an OWC extreme instead (more reliable by all accounts) if I was going to upgrade. Also, be aware that not all AGP machines can take a dual processor upgrade. Check out the details on this here:

    http://sonnettech.com/publicfiles/pdfs/pdf_onlinedocs/english/mac/encore_st_duet_2g_add.pdf

    Also, in case you haven't been to these sites, check em out:

    http://macsales.com
    (for prices, and support, they're excellent)

    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/
    (especially the reviews/ratings on processor upgrades)
     
  10. 8thMan macrumors regular

    8thMan

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #10
    My old DA is running a OWC 1.47 GHz processor (with 2Mb of critical L3 cache, unlike many other upgrades) with 1.5 Gb of RAM. A very satisfying and stable rig now. Faster video card, bigger HD, and Superdrive help but aren't necessary, depending on how you expect to be using your system.
     
  11. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
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    #11
    think it comes down to want/need/effort. both will do what you want.

    if you want the computer to be small, super quiet, and 'just work', stick with the mini. max out the ram so you felt like you did something, and be happy.

    if you really want to play, powermac would be the way to go. they are easy to upgrade, fun to work with/build with, and can be upgraded to fairly near current. have a sawtooth running a dual powerlogix that did fairly well even on the photoshop real world test, and plays quake 4 with no problem. runs cool, almost as quiet as my g5, has lots of blinky lights. what more could you want :rolleyes:

    View attachment 54497
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #12
    I working link would be nice. It might just be me though.
     
  13. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #13
    link/attachment is down right now due to WWDC. like that's really more important than my picture.... :mad:
     
  14. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #14
    I was considering do this a couple months ago, but it just didn't seem very financially effective. You have $100 for the Powermac G4, at least $400 for a processor, at least $100 for more RAM, another $100 for a bigger HD, $50 for a new optical drive and possibly another $150 for a new video card. If you don't really care that this computer will end up costing the price of a good G4 mini, or several other computers. If the cost is no object, i would go for it...
     
  15. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #15
    Ah, alright. I'll see the blinking lights later. :D
     
  16. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #16
    tinker with the mac mini! thats why i got mine!!! i got the core solo with plans on dropping in either a faster core duo chip, or now that it has been show the core 2 chips will fit, I am planning on dropping in a core 2 chip as soon as they are readily availbile to the general public!!!! I will also put in a 7200 RPM HD (the HD it comes with is 4500 which is slow!!) there are some other cool mods, such as running a cable out of the box and attaching an external SATA drive, as well as various case mods that basically ends up putting the mac mini into something else, such as a NES box, or in your car.
     
  17. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

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    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #17
    That sucks! We put a sonnet 1.7GHz into our Sawtooth last year and have had no problems at all, though.
     
  18. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #18
    I upgraded my sawtooth 400 a few months back --- i put around 900$ worth of upgrades into it -- it was worth it when i was considering the direction i wanted to take my career goals. Since life plans are liquid, mine have changed and i'm now thinking that a macbook is in my sights now for a little more then what i paid for upgrades, oh well ... this thing will make a great server now.
     
  19. LBmacman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Location:
    Strong Beach
    #19
    I was thinking of upgrading my sawtooth too, but I'll just buy a faster G4 tower(quicksilver/2002) rather than upgrade my old one...It's not worth doing IMO
     
  20. mothergoose thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #20
    soo i was lookingon ebay and saw lots of buyitnows for 70$. then i saw some digital audio ones for like $300 and started wondering if the performace is that much better on the digital audio's that it makes it over $200 more. does the extra 33 mhz in fsb mke that much of a difference? does the 4x agp over 2x agp make that much of a difference?

    hey 4jna where did you get that case? i ahve never seen cases for g4's
     
  21. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #21
    dremel. it's everywhere you want to be!

    no aftermarket g4 cases that i know of. pick a case you like and make it fit. just watch out for the chip on the back side of the logic board that requires cooling, and the front panel wiring stuff. atx power supplies also make for a good upgrade, as they put out lots more power, are quiet, and cost lots less. BUT, (IMPORTANT) require you to change 2 wires for use with the 20 pin g4 logic board connector.

    Here would be a good place to start.
     

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