Best PowerMac G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by A.Goldberg, May 24, 2015.

  1. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    Boston
    #1
    I've located a couple PowerMac G4's from an individual seller. I've been looking to get a G4 to add to my nostalgia collection.

    I don't know the complete specs but I believe one of them is a MDD G4 (M8570). the other is a (M8493) Quicksilver. Obviously the MDD is newer than the QS, but I'm not necessarily looking for speed.

    I know there is some processor overlap (i.e. dual 1.0) and some with close specs i.e. 1.0ghz MDD vs 933mhz QS.

    What major differences should I be aware of between the MDD and QS and the various generations of the MDD and QS models.

    Thanks,
    Ari
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #2
    RAM. QS 1.5GB, MDD 2GB.
    Front side bus. QS slower, MDD faster.
    Optical drive bays. QS 1, MDD 2.
    Hard drives. MDD more bays.
    Video. QS no FireGL X3. MDD Fire GL X3.
     
  3. mikiotty macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #3
    MDDs also use the newer PC2100 or PC2700 RAM, which is easier to find and cheaper.

    Just a little clarification on this:
    - All QS have 133MHz FSB.
    - Dual 867 MHz and Single 1.0 GHz MDDs have 133MHz FSB and use PC2100 RAM.
    - All other MDDs have 167MHz FSB and use PC2700 (or even PC3200 in some models) RAM. :)
     
  4. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #4
    You forgot to mention where the Quicksilver beats the MDD: noise ;)

    Otherwise the MDD is definitely an improvement.
     
  5. bunnspecial, May 25, 2015
    Last edited: May 25, 2015

    bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #5
    And PSUs that don't die if you look at them cross eyed.

    Ari,

    If you're not looking for speed, I'd go with which one is in better condition, and which one you like the appearance of better.

    I have several MDDs but am a bit sour on them due to PSU problems that I've personally experienced far more often than I like. By contrast, I've never had a dead Quicksilver PSU(although they are not totally immune), and have had several that have stayed on 24/7 for extended periods of time.

    One advantage of the MDD is that there are several hacked graphics cards which are dead reliable in an MDD but hit or miss(and miss more often, in my experience) in the Quicksilver. The best of these is the FireGL X3 that several of us on here have-we flash it with Mac ROM to make it a Radeon X800. This is one of the highest performing AGP Mac cards available. I've never been able to get mine to work in a Quicksilver, but it works every time in every MDD I've tried. The Radeon 9600 PC&Mac edition can also be hit or miss in a Quicksilver(although I've generally had good luck) but will also work every time in an MDD.

    The MDD is internally quite different from the Quicksilver(the basic internal design of the case didn't change appreciably from the B&W G3 era up through the Quicksilver). If you want a bunch of hard drives, the MDD already puts you at an advantage since it has 3 ATA busses and can hold 4 hard drives officially(plus two more in the optical bays if you want). The dual optical bays are nice, since you can-for example-put a high speed CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive in one bay and a Superdrive in the other bay.
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    LOL. I've never had a Windtunnel, so therefore I have never known the 'joy' of it's reputation. :D

    ----------

    My QS is on 24/7, except for a six month or so period a while back. Never had any issues.

    This problem with the MDDs is somewhat concerning to me in that when I eventually get one, it will be left on 24/7 like all my other computers. Hopefully, whatever MDD I get at that point will have a decent PSU.
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #7
    A dual MDD will be faster than a single or dual QS. That being said, a lower clock speed MDD will likely feel (and benchmark) a bit slower than a high spec dual QS.
     
  8. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #8
    Something that hasn't been mentioned in this thread, the MDD has an ATA 100 bus while the Quicksilver only has a slower ATA 66.

    I wonder why MDD PSUs are known to be so unreliable... the one in my MDD still works fine.

    The MDD must be the loudest at idle of any Power Mac, even beating the G5 (although my DP 2.0 G5 failed thermal calibration and sounds like a jet, so maybe not it).

    A high-end dual 1.0 QS would beat a low-end dual 867 or single 1.25 MDD.
     
  9. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #9
    Except in OS 9, where the single 1.25 would have the edge for most applications.

    A dual 1.0 MDD is theoretically better than a dual 1.0 QS thanks to the greater memory and faster FSB, but I'd still take the QS :)

    And I've put my money where my mouth is-I have at least one working dual 1.0 MDD(and I think enough parts, except maybe a PSU, to build another) that sits mostly idle while my dual 1.0 QS gets used practically every day.
     
  10. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #10
    @ OP

    If you'd like to browse a bit http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g4/index-powermac-g4.html

    On the number of Bays. You use the Quicksilvers 3,5" ZIP Bay for another Drive and the bottom takes 4 and though not especially meant for it, I had 6 on the bottom of my similar shaped AGP G4 with good temperatures (topping out at 43°C). So that makes 7 (6 on the bottom + 1 in the ZIP bay).

    Well, I agree the MDD has the Drives somewhat looking more professionally mounted.

    You may want to do a google picture search for "Quicksilver G4 inside" and "Mirrored Drive Door G4 inside".

    For the PSU of the MDD:
    you can change an ATX PSU http://atxg4.com/mdd.html
    In the QS you would have to solder in resistors, in the MDD you will have to find a place for the PSU or put the ATX innerds into the MDD-PSU-housing. The housing mod is here: see linked videos in post #8 http://aquamac.proboards.com/thread/1174?page=1#8403


    I think bunnspecials post is good, if you are not in for speed, take the one that looks better to you.
     
  11. A.Goldberg thread starter macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #11
    How repairable are the MDD PSU's? I ask because I have a close relative who has a PhD in electrical engineering along with a Master's electrician license. Strange combination? Yes. He worked as an electrician while in college to afford college. He's quite good at fixing things.

    I always likes the design of the QS more than the MDD. I'm not sure, I'll have to check out and see what these options turn out to be. I may just go with the MDD due to the more modern performance.

    Out of curiosity, anyone have an practical experience comparing a Dual G4 (let's say... 1ghz+) to a low spec Dual G5 (1.8ghz)?

    How big is the performance jump to give me an idea? How does the G4 handle 10.5?
     
  12. Beavix macrumors 6502a

    Beavix

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    Dec 1, 2010
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    Romania
    #12
    The Geekbench scores of my PowerMacs:
    - PMG4 MDD 1.25 GHz DP: 1101
    - PMG5 1.8 GHz DP: 1677

    Leopard runs fine on the G4 but obviously the G5 is faster, not only because of the faster CPU but also because of faster everything (memory, hard drive...).
     
  13. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #13
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #14
    I'll do it this evening
     
  15. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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  16. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #16
    Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

     
  17. for this macrumors regular

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    Nov 18, 2014
    #17
    MDD running OS 9 (not classic) is a noise monster.
     
  18. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #18
    Your post wasn't targeted at anyone in particular, was it? :)

    I'll do my Dual 1.8 also.
     
  19. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #19
    The dual 1ghz(factory) QS took 11 minutes, 48 seconds to encode the video in the DIY benchmark thread.
     
  20. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #20
    As much as I'd love to have a Hair Dryer (MDD) G4, I'd take the Quicksilver or it's older brother, the Digital Audio G4. After that, I'd take an AGP graphics model or the Gigabit Ethernet model because they can hold 2 GB of RAM under OS X.
     
  21. A.Goldberg thread starter macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #21
    Thanks Bunn
     
  22. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
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    Kentucky
    #22
    Running OS X on these computers is a bit of a double edged sword.

    For Leopard, you really want a Core Image card. It's also nice under Tiger. Both will certainly run without them, but I have a lot of experience with high-end non-CI card and even a low end CI card(like an FX5200) makes a difference. There are only a handful of CI cards that will work in the 2x AGP slot of the Sawtooth/GigE(and Cube, although space is also a consideration there). Offhand, the BTO/Retail Radeon 9800, a flashed nVidia 6200, and a flashed PCI FX5200 are really the only options(my PCI 5200 has 256mb of VRAM, or 4x what the FX5200 that shipped with the G5 had).

    Of course, if you want to run OS 9, a high end video Quartz Extreme(but not CI) video card will serve you well under both OS X and OS 9. I used a GEForce 4MX in a couple of different computers(DA and QS) for quite a while under Leopard, and it did okay driving a 17" ADC LCD plus a generic 1680x1050 flat panel. Radeon 9000s probably have a slight edge in OS X, and also give you a DVI port for the second display rather than the VGA port on the 4MX. I love GEForce 4Tis and have two(working) ones at the moment, but they can be hard to find and sometimes are pricey.

    There are a fair number of additional CI that will work in the 4x slot of the DA-MDD. The Radeon 9600 XT from the G5 is a favorite of mine-in my experience it's 100% reliable in the whole 4x G4 series, although does require taping for use and a little bit of soldering if you want to power an ADC display. The 9600 PC&Mac doesn't require taping, but can be hit-or-miss in the DA/QS(I can generally get them to work, but it often takes cleaning the contacts along with inserting and removing the card several times). You can use a flashed X800(one of the best performing Mac AGP video cards) in an MDD. I haven't been able to get mine to work in any Quicksilver or Digital Audio I've tried.

    And all of the above was typed on a Dual 500ghz GigE running Leopard with 2gb of RAM and a 4Ti driving a 20" ADC Cinema.
     
  23. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #23
    No, just general. :)

    But thanks!
     

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