Asking about Sawtooth G4 upgrade options

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by KawaiiAurora, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. KawaiiAurora macrumors 6502

    KawaiiAurora

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Location:
    Europa
    #1
    Hey,
    I have a 400MHz Sawtooth G4 (EMC1843 / M7641LL/A). I don't wish to spend a lot of money to upgrade it and I'll probably have to get stuff overseas
    Let's run over the specs and tell you what I wish to upgrade
    • 400MHz 7400 (stock) CPU
    I'd like to upgrade this to something better. I've seen some G4 daughter cards off eBay but I'm honestly not sure what's compatible or not and if DP models are compatible too. I've never soldered so messing with jumpers is out the question for me. Don't want to spend in excess of $35

    • Rage 128 Pro GPU (Defective)
    This is the part I wish to replace the most as it's very problematic.. Under OS9, OS X 10.2 and Linux, it works well for normal tasks with 32-bit colour but on Tiger, apps crash randomly all the time with 32-bit colour (I'll try to see what happens on Leopard next week). Playing 3D games is a no go on every operating system (except Linux, for some reason; OpenGL acceleration kind of worked IIRC) because of huge artefacts. Max of $35. Don't mind PC flashed cards. AGP cards of course

    • 576MB RAM
    Don't really need to upgrade this but does anyone know a place where I could get some more for a low price?

    • 10GB IDE HDD
    Works fine but it's a tad too small.. What should I get? A bigger HDD, an SSD, a MicroSD to IDE adapter? Max capacity is 120GB IIRC.

    Thanks!
    Aurora
     
  2. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #2
    You can always use more RAM and those Sawtooths are one of only two Macs from around that time that can take 2 GB of it. For OS X usage, maxing out your RAM will have an absurdly better effect than upgrading the processor, especially if you use Photoshop.

    As for the hard drive, it is too small unless you're running an OS 9 only rig (and then you're limited to 1.5 GB of RAM). You will be limited to 120 GB without firmware hacks etc.

    SPECIAL NOTE: Sawtooth Macs will not support an ADC port. I know there are better cards that do not have this port, but don't waste your time if the video card has ADC. http://lowendmac.com/1999/power-mac-g4-sawtooth/
     
  3. KawaiiAurora thread starter macrumors 6502

    KawaiiAurora

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Location:
    Europa
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I don't require an ADC port, I'm lucky enough to even be able to get a VGA monitor gratis
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #4
    Some Sawtooths(Sawteeth?) will work with dual processors, while others will not. I forget how to check, but it's worth checking before buying a DP upgrade.

    Aside from that, you're really going to have to go to an aftermarket processor to get any meaningful improvement, and that will most likely cost you a LOT more than $35.

    If maintaining OS 9 compatibility is important, you are somewhat limited in GPU choice. A Geforce 4MX or Radeon 9000 would probably be your best budget compromise choice, and both should be well under your budget. If you can find one and splurge a bit, get a Geforce 4Ti-it is the fasted OS 9 card you can get and works well under OS X. Most of the better plug and play G4 cards-if you're so inclined you can still use the ADC port as a DVI port with the correct adapter. Otherwise, just leave it alone and use the other port on the card.

    As said, max your RAM. It will cost you $20 or less.

    If you want reliability, I'd suggest an 80gb refurbished hard drive. That will give you a LOT more space and shouldn't be more than $15 or so.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Online
    #5
    I checked out when OP said no more than $35.

    There are upgrades OP can do, but other than ram (which OP believes they have enough of already) and hard drive, a budget, video card alone is going to be around $35 itself.

    Forget processor upgrades. It's plug and play, no soldering involved, but processors aren't cheap.
     
  6. KawaiiAurora thread starter macrumors 6502

    KawaiiAurora

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Location:
    Europa
    #6
    Eeeh, I'd spend a max of $45 for a 4Ti, 5200, 6200 or something similar tbh
     
  7. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #7
    OK.

    What are you willing to spend on processors?

    A decent, single 1.2GHZ Sonnet CPU runs around $199. I paid $250 for my dual 1.8Ghz Sonnet.

    There aren't any further stock CPU upgrades for the Sawtooth. It's at it's max. And I may be wrong, but I don't believe Quicksilver or MDD stock CPUs will work in a Sawtooth.

    You may be better off just paying $50 or so to get a Quicksilver or an MDD. They will have better options and better accessories.
     
  8. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    #8
    There are some things you can do for cheap upgrades. The CPU can be upgraded to 500MHz for a few bucks off of ebay. If you find a way to solder jumpers, you can get a single 533MHz processor cheap, and set it to 550 or 600. You could also put in a dual G4 CPU. Look for a dual 450 or 500 (others don't fit well). For example, I did a quick search and found this one:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/332050911438

    Some ebay sellers also still sell flashed AGP video cards, like the radeon 7000, and geforce 6200. You could also replace the rage128 card, those should be really cheap.

    Then max out the ram. For the disk, I'd look into a mSata SSD plus and adapter to IDE. You can find smaller SSD's for around $20, and the adapters are pretty cheap too.

    If you look around locally, you might be able to find free parts or good deals (craigslist or equivalent). Also, you could get a G4 mac mini pretty cheap, which would easily increase your performance and still run all the mac ppc software.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
     
  9. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #9
    Quicksilver CPUs will work provided that provide 12V to the processor card in the location of the 4th screw hole. MDD processors are not compatible.

    One issue with a factory Quicksilver(or DA) card is that it will downclock in a Sawtooth due to the differences in bus speed. A 733mhz QS card will run at 550mhz in a Sawtooth, while a 1ghz card will run at 750mhz.

    And, again, not all Sawteeth will support dual processors.

    I have a Sawtooth set up with a Giga 7455b upgrade at 1.2ghz along with a Radeon 9800(flashed). It's a fast machine in OS X, and it could be faster if I played with the jumpers(I think the guy I got the processor from had it up to 1.6ghz or so). The 9800 basically kills OS 9 compatibility, though.
     

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