B&W G3 upgrades

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mrkramer, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #1
    I am wanting to totally upgrade my B&W G3 Rev. A. So what I want to ask is will there be any noticable difference between a 1Ghz G3 and a 1Ghz G4? I currently am leaning toward the G3 because of the price. I will be maxing out the RAM. Also what is the best video card that these machines can use? I will also be buying a SATA Hard drive controler does anyone have any recomendations of a particular card? Is there any other useful upgrades that I haven't thought of. and if it matters for the CPU I will be dual booting 10.3.9 and OS 9.2.2.
     
  2. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #2
    I still have an old B&W G3 laying around at home.

    I have no idea of costs, but is it worth upgrading a machine that old? A Mac Mini starts at $600 and will be absolutely faster than the G3, plus a lot more future proof. It seems like you'd be sinking money into a dying machine if you upgrade the G3.
     
  3. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

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    #3
    It's not really sinking money into a dying machine when you replace everything in that machine.

    Yes, The G4 will serve you a lot better. 1 Ghz G4's are more powerful than you'd think. Plenty powerful for most. Where the G3 is cheaper, programs are dropping support for it FAST and will refuse to run, also, tiger (and all versions of OS X) are more optimized for the G4+ chips, giving you a better experience, and ofcourse, there's the whole altivec thing about the G4 which makes it worth the extra dough. I love it when people blow new life into old machines. If only all macs were as upgradable as the early ppc ones.

    Good luck on your frankenmac.
     
  4. mrkramer thread starter macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #4
    The reason for not getting a Mini, is I don't really want to have an additional computer, I want one that runs OS 9 so for that I need to keep the powermac, and the Mini won't let me put in more than one internal HD and it uses a notebook HD which can't hold as much as desktop HDs.
     
  5. viggen61 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I went down that road a few years ago with my G4. I find that the more residual value there is in the CPU you're upgrading, the more worthwhile the upgrade is. My G4 ad some value, so installing the 1.2Ghz G4 and the GeForce Titanium card and maxing the ram (1.5 GB) was worth my while. I can still use it todayy with 10.4.10, and with a 20" Apple Cinema display and a 15" Apple Studio display hooked up.

    Sadly, B&W G3s don't have much residual value any more. They can be picked up for just a hundred bucks or so...

    Why is that important? Well, why sink close to $1000 into a machine that simply isn't worth $100?

    The other poster mentioned a Mini. That might be a good way to go, but if you have to boot 9.2, then you haved to be sure you get the PPC version.

    But there are other options as well. Look for later G4s on eBay. You may find one that's already been upgraded, or came with a better CPU, Ram, etc. Stick with the "Quicksilver" or "Mirrored Drive Door" models, and you probably can't go wrong. There was a dial 1.25 Ghz MDD unit for an opening bid of $699. Unless you're getting your upgrade parts free or nearly so, that is a hard to beat price.

    The big thing that'll be the bottleneck is how much RAM you cam put in. I wish I could put more into my G4, but 1.5 works fine most of the time, so long as I don't have too many things open at once. Any machine you can install 2 or more into is a better machine to start off with going down the upgrade path.


    Good luck!
     
  6. mrkramer thread starter macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #6
    If I could find a MDD that actually went for 699 which you said was the opening bid it would still end up costing more to buy it and put in 2 750GB HDs than to upgrade my current B&W I just went to OWC and figured out that it would be around $995 to totally upgrade everything on the B&W G3 including two 750GB HDs, to buy and upgrade a $699 computer the new HD controler and the 750GB HDs put it up to $1243 so I would rather go with the G3 that I have now and save the extra money as with the upgrades the G3 will do everything that I want it to.

    Right now I am thinking that I will go with the G4 upgrade for the B&W, but is it really worth twice as much as a G3 of the same clockspeed? Also I would like to know what the best GPU I can put in the B&W is.
     
  7. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

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    #7
    because once you put a 1 Ghz G4 into a G3 Powermac, it IS a G4 Powermac, just with a different case. Once he puts in Ram, New HDs, Graphics Card, and the processor (maybe a USB 2.0 card), it'll be pretty much the same (give or take) as a newer 866+ Mhz G4 Powermac.. which is pretty powerful for light work imo.

    You could always GOOGLE using OS 9 though emulation on an intel mac, but some of the links are illegal (torrents), and you might as well just upgrade the powermac since you will probably have something that you are more than satisfied with

    P.S. When you install a new G4 processor, you have to reinstall os x (use Xpostfacto if it doesnt like your upgrade) to gain some of the G4's features.
     
  8. mrkramer thread starter macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #8
    I don't have OS X installed yet, I need the RAM first as it seems to be more picky than OS 9 is so I don't have enough that OS X seems to like. but I will remember that since I may get it on there before I do the G4 upgreade.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #9
    When you put a G4 into a G3, you don't have a G4 machine, you have a G4 hobbled by a slow ATA bus, and a slow memory bus. A 1 GHz Mirror Drive Door machine will blow the doors off a 1.4 GHz G4 upgraded B&W.

    When you are costing this out, keep in mind that the MDD doesn't require a PCI card to support 2 large IDE hard drives, and the DDR-333 memory is less expensive than the slower PC133 memory for the B&W (and you can install much more memory)
     
  10. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

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    #10
    Firmtek makes the best SATA controllers for Macs. The 1V4 doesn't require any special drivers and is a 64-bit PCI card.

    Here is another angle. If you were to upgrade to a Sawtooth/Gigabit Ethernet or Digital Audio G4 at a cost of $100-200, you could also upgrade to dual CPUs, which the B&W doesn't support. The DA has a faster 133MHz bus. A dualie is a very nice thing to have in OS X.

    A 1GHz CPU in a B&W, whether a G3 or a G4, is hampered by a 10x bus multiplier. Performance will suffer compared to a MDD G4.
     
  11. mrkramer thread starter macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #11
    I am thinking of getting this video card, is there a better one that will work, or should I go with that one?
     
  12. viggen61 macrumors 6502

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    #12

    The G4 would definitely be preferred over the G3 upgrade.

    You seem to be pretty well convinced to upgrade the G3. I'm just trying to offer another path, which might be better in the long run.

    The MDD G4 I mentioned did exist on ebay. Here is a link to the closed auction. This is just one of the many different G4s on ebay every day.

    two other things which you can't ever upgrade on the G3. One you may not notice any difference, the other you probably will: The bus speed on the G3 is on ly 100 Mhz, while the MDD G4s are 133 or 167. You may or may not notice that difference.

    But the max RAM capacity you will notice, especially if you run multiple apps in OS X. 2 gigs are very much better than 1...

    Good luck!
     
  13. viggen61 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    As long as you only do one thing at a time, or maybe no more than two...

    The BIG bottleneck as mentioned elsewhere is the max RAM, only 1 GB on the B&W G3. Try to run more than a couple things at a time, and you'll be paging out like mad.

    These days, one can buy a used Quicksilver or MDD G4 cheaply enough to offset most, if not all, of the cost of just the processor upgrade, even taking into consideration the same processor speed on both sides. And by buying the G4, you get things you can't possibly get with the upgraded G3.

    The only time I had to use xpostfacto was getting Jaguar to run on my PM 8500 with a G3 card. It ran well enough, but the simple inability to sink more ram into that machine ultimately killed that project for me.
     

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