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Upgrading PowerMac G4

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by dmachine, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. macrumors member


    As some of you may have read I was going to get a PowerMac G4 and turn it into a PVR, well I am no longer doing that because I could get a TIVO with a DVD burner for half the price.

    So anyway I want to get an older G4 PowerMac so that I can upgrade the processor,RAM,hard drive,video card, add USB2.0, add SuperDrive,etc.

    I just want to do this as a little project so that I have something to do with my time, plus I have never done anything other than upgrading RAM in a Mac and I would like to try and do some things.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what PowerMac G4 would be the "easiest" to upgrade and where I could get the parts to be able to do this. I look around the 'net and found some places that sell the parts but was confused when they said about what model I would be upgrading.

    I would be taking this up to at least a 1GHZ processor and 1GB RAM.
  2. macrumors 604


    It might be cheaper to just buy a refurbished dualie G5. One thing you can't upgrade on the older PM G4s is the motherboard and bus. The upgraded bus speed alone is worth going to the G5.
  3. macrumors 6502

    An upgraded G4 is good value. You can put in a dual 1.8ghz or 2ghz single CPU into them. Chuck in a new video card. You can upgrade a G4 to be faster than a imac for less cost! Inspite of the slow bus speed a G4 at 2ghz does not compare badly to a G5 at similar mhz.
  4. Moderator emeritus

    The Quicksilver machines are probably the best. They have reasonable throughput, are now 4 years old at the most and have 4 PCI slots so that you can add USB 2.0 cards, audio cards, S-ATA or ATA/133 cards, and processor upgrades aren't terribly expensive.

    Mine still works well as a dual G4/800 but it could use a bit more oomph.
  5. macrumors 604


    You should also look at buying some Papst fans for the power supply and enclosure. The G4 Quicksilvers and MDD are some of the loudest computers Apple has ever made. Still sticking with my recommendation of a G5 since those are really quiet.

    But if you are buying just to ticker, may I suggest the Cube? ;)
  6. macrumors 6502

    An upgraded G4 powermac is the best performance per dollar you'll get I think for a mac.
  7. macrumors 603

    If you just want to tinker, I totally agree that the Cube is the way to go, and if nothing else it'll look wicked-cool sitting on a desk.

    If you're more looking to do as much with the guts as possible, I agree that an early Quicksilver is probably your best bet--there're a lot of upgrades for them, they're not that expensive, and they're decent machines even with no more than some extra RAM (I'm sitting at my dual 1.0 at work right now, and it's a surprisingly peppy machine even when compared to my dual 2.0 G5 at home; my boss' single 733 isn't bad, either).

    If you want to go budget and mess around more, then try one of the earlier G4s--"digital audio" or "gigabit ethernet". The processor upgrades max out lower, but they still have plenty of RAM slots, room for up to four drives inside if you get creative, and if you really want to have fun you can cut up the internal brackets in the case and stuff a second optical drive in, too (I always wanted to do that with my old DP533, but never got around to it).

    Oh, and since there're several PCI slots, you can get yourself going with some USB2 ports and some SATA drives, for that extra speed and capacity edge (the built-in IDE controller won't go over 120GB).

    [Edit: Just make sure you *don't* get a Yikes! G4--the PCI graphics slot seriously holds back what you can upgrade to, the old architecture limits processor upgrades even though they have a nice ZIF slot, and they don't support deep sleep, either.]
  8. macrumors 6502

    I believe the powermac I'm getting is an AGP Graphics one (It has a Radeon 8500 with VGA and DVI so that's how I figure, could be wrong) So I'm kind of in the same boat as you dude. I'd love to know how to get the most of out this machine with as little money as possible.
  9. macrumors member


    I am just going to buy it to tinker around with, I have never done anything like this before and I just wanted to do this as a little project to keep myself busy for a little while.

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