What G4 cpu upgrade is best for gaming?

Discussion in 'Games' started by 8thMan, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. 8thMan macrumors regular

    8thMan

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #1
    I'd like to upgrade the CPU in my 466 Powermac to use for online gaming. Memory is currently maxed out at 1.5 GB, and it has a good video card (Radeon 9800). Researching upgrade cards has left me dizzy :confused: . I was naturally drawn to the fastest cards available but noticed they generally have no L3 cache. Am I better off with a dual 1.2 GHz card with 2MB of L3 cache or a dual 1.8 GHz card without L3 cache? Also, are dual processors going to give more fps, or are they not worth the extra expense? What is my best option here in terms of gaming performance? Has anyone had good luck with any of these CPU upgrades (I've read they are prone to be unstable)? I know I should just go get a G5 but I'd really like to see what I can get out of this machine...
     
  2. FarSide macrumors member

    FarSide

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    #2
    Get a refurbished dual PowerMac G5 2.0Ghz (not dualcore | not PCI-E) and put the 9800 in it... Some upgrades just don't make sense!
     
  3. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #3
    You might want to check out this website for comparisons.

    I used to use a Sonnet single 1.2ghz upgrade in my old Sawtooth, with the L3 cache. It provided a significant boost overall, including gaming, over the stock 450mhz G4. I can't comment on other products from other manufacturers, but I can vouch for Sonnet.

    Having said that, there does seem to be anecdotal evidence that suggests Powerlogix upgrades are less reliable than others, based upon reviews posted at the above site.
     
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #4
    For games, I would imagine that a higher clocked G4 w/o L3 cache would be better than a lower clocked G4 w/ L3 cache. I do not believe that the L3 cache would be able to make up for the lower MHz when it comes to playing games.

    While a dual cpu will give you more oomph, I do not think that it will really make a difference in your FPS.

    For the $$$ that you would spend on a cpu upgrade, i would consider purchasing a new iMac. But if you really want/need to hang on to you current Power Mac G4, then go with a new processor.
     
  5. Rocksaurus macrumors 6502a

    Rocksaurus

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #5
    If I were you first what I'd do is see what the eBay price of your machine is, subtract that from a new machine (either G5 or intel iMac) and see how close that comes to your upgrade card... If it's within a few hundred dollars I'd STRONGLY recommend the new system... They're all round faster and tend to be more stable/reliable. If you have to go with an upgrade card I think the difference in gaming between the 1.2 with L3 and the 1.8 without isn't huge - the G4's have such a slow bus that that L3 is a huge help as it compensates for the slow bus, though, it's hard to argue with clock speed.



    Get a new computer.:)
     
  6. thechris69 macrumors 6502

    thechris69

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    #6
    haha i have the same cpu as you, but i dont have maxed ram or a crazy video card, i was thinking of the processor upgrades for gaming, but they are like 500 bucks for a good one, imo i wouldnt rely on them, however, do what you want, good luck tho, happy gaming
     
  7. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #7
    If you really want game performance, go for something like a 1.6ghz single G4 without L3 cache. L3 Helps, but its not worth the price difference for 2-3fps more. The 7447 processors also run much cooler than the old 7457's with L3 cache.
     
  8. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    #8
    Rofl. An exerpt from "A Brief History Of The Motorolla/Freescale 74xx PowerPC Processor", Greatdevourer © 2006 (a very good read, if I do say so myself :p)
     
  9. 8thMan thread starter macrumors regular

    8thMan

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #9
    7447 vs 7457

    I'm getting a lot of good information on this thread. Thanks for all the input. See here http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G4CARDS/powerlogix_dual_g4_7447_7457/index3G.html for an interesting 7447/7457 comparison. The differences do not appear to be significant :confused: .
     
  10. 8thMan thread starter macrumors regular

    8thMan

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #10
    7447 vs 7457

    I'm getting a lot of good information on this thread. Thanks for all the input. See here http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G4CARDS/powerlogix_dual_g4_7447_7457/index3G.html for an interesting 7447/7457 comparison. The differences do not appear to be significant :confused: .
     
  11. Rocksaurus macrumors 6502a

    Rocksaurus

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #11
  12. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #12
    Dont spend too much on the upgrade.
    Your machine will never be a good gaming rig.

    If you wanna go the upgrade path stick with a much cheaper single cpu G4 around 1.4Ghz with L3 cache, those usually goes for less than half of the dual upgrade you are talking about and will give you nearly the same performance, since a 5 years old machine has a lot of other bottlenecks than just the CPU.

    Also, instead of using $400+ on an upgrade sell your G4 for and add the upgrade money and you are close to the price of a new iMac which will outperform your system any day.
     
  13. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #13
    If you want a gaming machine, I agree with others that a used G5, any G5, is what you want. Even the slowest G5, the 1.6GHz single, will blow any G4 out of the water when armed with an equal or better video card and an equal amount of RAM.

    On the other hand, I personally have gone down the upgrade road. I started out with:

    Dual 533 Digital Audio G4
    512MB RAM
    40GB hard drive
    Radeon 7500 32MB

    And ended up with a:

    OWC Mercury 1.4GHz 7455
    1GB RAM
    2x 250GB SATA Hard drives (plus the original 40GB)
    nVidia GeForce 6800GT 256MB (flashed PC card)

    This machine is blazing fast for non-gaming tasks. It runs Call of Duty very well at high resolutions, but Doom 3 is a little bit too much for any G4, really. It's playable but the system's architecture is too slow. All other games I've tried including Halo run very well. However, the performance levels are still below the G5 by a good margin (assuming the same video card and RAM).

    When I bought my CPU upgrade, I was very tempted to get the Powerlogix 1.8 GHz 7447 based CPU, but was also considering OWC's 1.4GHz 7455. However, after reading a LOT of benchmarks on both the Barefeats website and the submitted benchmarks to xlr8yourmac.com I was convinced that the 1.8GHz 7447's higher clock was mostly wasted by the lack of L3 cache. At the same time, xlr8yourmac.com's reader submitted reviews indicated that Powerlogix was having a lot more reliability issues than OWC. As a result I bought the OWC upgrade.

    EDIT: by the way, if you are upgrading for the purpose of running games DON'T buy a dual CPU upgrade - no games (except Quake 3) can take advantage of the second CPU, so you'd just be wasting your money.
     
  14. 8thMan thread starter macrumors regular

    8thMan

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #14
    Computer fun

    I am beginning to see how easily one could get sucked into the vortex of mac minutia. The more I learn the more intersting it becomes -- the history, the current products, the future developments -- it's a kind of technical melodrama.

    This upgrade of mine is really a silly piece of business; I already have a G5, a couple of laptops, DA Powermac, old G3 Imac, etc. My son likes to play WoW on the G5 and uses my G4 iBook when a friend is over so that they can game together. I've gotten tired of having to share my laptop so I figured that the DA, suitably upgraded, would work just as well. It is also an opportunity for my son to learn a bit about hardware, something that is beginning to interest him more and more.

    So thanks again for all help.
     

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