Best CPU Upgrade for B&W G3

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
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I trying to get set-up to run a CPU-intensive program(MacSpartan-a Computational Chemistry/Molecular Modeling program). Unfortunately, the version I have uses a hardware key for piracy protection. The hardware key plugs into an ADB port, and so I'm stuck with using a computer that has one(I could not get it to work with the Griffin iMate).

With that criteria, I think that a B&W G3 is likely my best option, but would like to explore upgrading to some sort of G4 processor, or at least a higher spec G3.

I've seen the at everymac.com

http://www.everymac.com/upgrade_cards/by_system/powermac_g3_blue.html

But am wondering if anyone has experience with any specific upgrade. Since all of these are long out of production, availability is certainly going to be a consideration, as is cost.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice that anyone may be able to give.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
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A software upgrade might work out cheaper.
Even with an academic discount, I'm looking at $1200 for the most current version.

More recent versions switched to using a USB hardware key(the PC version used a parallel port, which is disappearing also) but it's hard to find a used copy with the hardware key included.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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The fastest G3 upgrade is a 1Ghz G3 ZIF. It was a bit costly and now hard to find. I am not sure what the fastest G4 ZIF ever made was. It may have been 1.2Ghz, also expensive and rare. You can use nearly any G4 ZIF in that machine, so long as the firmware is patched to allow G4 CPUs.
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,005
2,262
Even with an academic discount, I'm looking at $1200 for the most current version.

More recent versions switched to using a USB hardware key(the PC version used a parallel port, which is disappearing also) but it's hard to find a used copy with the hardware key included.
Ouch! Guess it is cheaper to remain stupid when edumacation costs so much.

The fastest G3 upgrade is a 1Ghz G3 ZIF. It was a bit costly and now hard to find. I am not sure what the fastest G4 ZIF ever made was. It may have been 1.2Ghz, also expensive and rare. You can use nearly any G4 ZIF in that machine, so long as the firmware is patched to allow G4 CPUs.
There was that firmware 'update' that stopped the B&W from using G4 CPUs. Is the patch you mention a workaround?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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There was that firmware 'update' that stopped the B&W from using G4 CPUs. Is the patch you mention a workaround?
Yes. There are a few options. Revert back to the older firmware, patch the Apple firmware, or install a third party firmware such as Sonnet.
 

MysticCow

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2013
833
388
Even with an academic discount, I'm looking at $1200 for the most current version.

More recent versions switched to using a USB hardware key(the PC version used a parallel port, which is disappearing also) but it's hard to find a used copy with the hardware key included.
That's why I get on their good sides and help beta test. Usually, that snags me a free copy for my effort and I like to test big ticket software out anyway.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
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Ouch! Guess it is cheaper to remain stupid when edumacation costs so much.
Like a lot of this stuff, I imagine that they are counting on people spending grant money(usually federal dollars) where it's often a race to spend it before time runs out and money really isn't an object(what's $1200 when the grant is for a few million).

There is a "student" version of the software that brings the price down to a more realistic level($50), but in my experience it's also pretty crippled compared even to the older version I have.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
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Kentucky
I've been giving this some thought...

As I understand it, Powerbooks and iBooks up through 2005 or so(I think) used ADB for the trackpad.

I'm wondering about taking a TiBook(chosen since it can boot into OS 9) or maybe a high spec G3 iBook, removing the optical drive, and then soldering in an ADB port in its place and attaching the dongle to this. I'm leaning toward the TiBook for this for the L3 cache, the proximity of the optical drive bay to the trackpad, and the extra room inside compared to an iBook.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how viable this might be? It would certainly be a lot less expensive than tracking down an obscure CPU upgrade for the B&W.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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That may work, but you'd loose the trackpad and you'd have to find the pin out for the trackpad connector as well.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
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Kentucky
So there's no possibility of daisy chaining it off the trackpad like was done with other desktop devices?

I have an old Appledesign keyboard(the crummy rubber dome one that no one likes) that is missing half the keycaps. I was thinking about pilfering it for the ADB port and any additional circuitry that might be needed.

Obviously I wouldn't do this with a "good" TiBook(I'm rather attached to the 867mhz one I have now) but wouldn't be opposed to using an external keyboard and mouse if needed.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
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The trackpad doesn't have passthrough circuitry. The logicboard would also have to support more than one ADB device, which I'm not sure if a Powerbook's would.
 
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