enhancing my G-4?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by reetcher, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. reetcher macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2007
    I really need to buy a MacPro, however I am still going to try and wait for an upgrade. With that said I have a 450 MHz G-4 AGP graphics tower with 1.5 g of memory. Is there anything I can easily upgrade to this machine that can help it with larger photoshop files until after October?

    thanks Jeff
  2. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2006
    Adding a Quartz Extreme capable GFX card can make OS X feel a lot snappier. Add any Radeon (I use a Radeon 9000 in my Gig-E) and you'll see a nice difference in everyday usage.
  3. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I agree wholeheartedly with this. A cheap CPU upgrade would be well worth it too.
  4. reetcher thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2007
    thanks for the replys

    Thanks all for the insights: any chance I could ask for a translation - I am computer illiterate. Thanks again for any help & your understanding. Jeff
  5. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    There are a number of cheap video cards available on ebay that would provide a big step up from the original Rage 128 that your machine likely has. The older ATI cards as mentioned (original Radeon, 7500, 9000) or even an nVidia GeForce 2 mx or 4 mx would work well. Add that with a cheap processor upgrade, around 1ghz or so, and you'd have a machine on your hands that would significantly beat out what you're using now for little money.
  6. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm only really here at night.
    QuartzExtreme is the technology in OS X that allows (among other things) the system to offload some or all of the graphical user interface effects from the computer's central processing unit to the video card's processor, and thereby freeing up the alot of the cpu's power for other tasks, which will speed up all other processes like opening apps, applying effects to images in PS etc etc.............

    this requires a video card that is QE capable, which means that it's interface to the system's motherboard is fast enough (AGP 2x minimum) as well as having enough video ram (vram) to handle the extra work (32mb minimum) being assigned to it :)

    hope this helps, please post back if you want/need further clarification...
  7. Counter macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2005
    Ask yourself what you will gain from the next Mac Pro upgrade. If you're sitting out for Stoakley Seaburg, don't think you're sitting out for 'Stoakley Seaburg'...know you're waiting for X performance boost on X task.

    Otherwise it just gets ridiculous.

    Having taken the wait you're thinking about into consideration, I'm buying a 2.0ghz quad tomorrow. Why faff about? The current machines are smokin'. The performance jump from your current machine to any Mac Pro is immense. And you can wait forever. Could be Jan until SS in a Mac Pro. With all that's going off at Apple at the moment even Leopard got delayed. Massively.
  8. reetcher thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2007

    So I'm still a little confused how much benefit I'll get from updating my video card for layered PS files, but I'm definitely going to update my processor with either OWC Mercury Extreme G4@1.2GHz with 2MB L3 Cache or Sonnet Encore/ST G4@1GHz Processor Upgrade W/ 2MB L3 do you have a recommendation or opinions? (sorry tried to post links)

    As for waiting, know it sounds horribly silly but computers to me are more about workflow and quite honestly I'm waiting for Blue ray - I know I can install it today but man buying a 4 grand system that I still have to put the drive into, rides a tad rough. I will try and hold for the update.

    Thanks again for all the help. Jeff
  9. amc382 macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2003

    since you are planning on getting a macpro soon anyway, i would tell you that if anything, put as little $ into your old g4 as possible. yes, you can probably get an old radeon or geforce2 that can support quartz extreme... on ebay you really should pay less that $20 for a low end product from 4-5 years ago.

    don't pay money on a g4 upgrade chip, let the next owner make that investment.
  10. savagerider macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2007
    Tomball, Texas
    You will get the most bang for buck with a bigger second hard drive and more ram. Both are easy to install yourself on the G4. Both will make Photoshop layered files process faster because PS eats lots of internal hard drive space and memory while it is working.
  11. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm only really here at night.
    For PS, extra HD space for use as a scratch disk will speed it up, as will more ram, of which you can add another 512mb to max it out @2GB. A better vidoe card will only really help with the eye candy & other effects in OS X, which are rapidly becoming more & more 3D/animated in nature, but PS is mainly 2D, which is all handled by the cpu anyway, so the chip upgrade would give you more of a boost there.........
  12. DavoMrMac macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2005
    If I was you, I wouldn't put more than about $50-$60 into the G4. The new MacPro will definitely be soon, maybe the end of July in reality.

    That said, question if you need that extra power now, why not pick up a Mac Pro today, or even keep a check on the Apple Refurb section.

    Let someone else upgrade your G4, that is unless you plan to keep it as a backup machine… if that is the case, then yes upgrade the GPU, add some memory and larger hard drive.

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