G4 Digital Audio Sonnet Upgrade

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by benwild_33, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. benwild_33 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #1
    I'm fairly new to PowerPC, I recent got hold of a lot of PowerPC Macs with the intention of selling most and keeping whatever one I didn't sell. I ended up left with a 466MHz Digital Audio left over.

    Whilst looking for upgrades I came across a Gigabit Ethernet G4 with a Sonnet 1.6GHz Dual Core CPU for £25, obviously I bought it straight away and originally intended on swapping the CPU from it in to my Digital Audio. I noticed the Gigabit Ethernet actually supports more ram than my Digital Audio, is it a better machine? I know its older. I have the original CPU for the Gigabit ethernet so could sell on whichever one I don't keep complete and working. The Gigabit ethernet also has 1GB Ram.

    What would I be best doing? I plan on upgrading the GPU in the one I keep too, both have Rage 128s in them.
     
  2. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    #2
    One has a 133MHz bus and one has 100MHz bus. The faster bus is better, but holds less ram. If you have 100 or 133MHz RAM, that might be a factor, as 133 RAM will work at 100, but not the other way around. Good luck and welcome to the forum!
     
  3. reukiodo macrumors member

    reukiodo

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Location:
    Earth
    #3
    I think you'll find the 133MHz bus to make the machine seem faster than the extra 512MB of RAM would. The DA also has 4x AGP and an extra PCI slot instead of the Gig's 2x AGP.

    Not sure if you have them, but I think Apple's Pro speakers are quite nice and it's one less power cable to have around.
     
  4. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #4
    Thank you both, I was hoping the Digital Audio would be the better option as its in better condition (looked like new inside when I got it) whereas the Gigabit ethernet one needs a good dusting. The 1GB ram in the Gigabit ethernet should help me sell it too, I'll get some 512mb sticks for the upgraded Digital Audio.

    I'll try and get some photos of the upgrade process, I never intended to create a well specced G4, I was originally just going to upgrade the gpu and play some old games but the deal on this CPU was too good to pass up, it even came with the CPUs box and firmware CD from sonnet!
     
  5. RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #5
    Welcome to the forum :) There's lotsa knowledgeable folks here. They helped me with my first PPC mac too - a quicksilver g4. have fun with your project and I hope you get a chance to post some pics of your progress.
     
  6. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #6
    Well I thought I'd update this, I went ahead and did the processor swap this morning, looking back I wish I had done before and after benchmarks but I'm not that organised!

    Started off with two Macs, both looking the same:
    [​IMG]

    I then had to install OS9.2 on my Digital audio to do the firmware update, this proved much more difficult than it should have been as it kept on displaying nothing on boot, eventually I got there and did the firmware update from the supplied CD (luckily this was included!)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then on to the processor swap. Upon opening you can see the sonnet CPU in the Gigabit on the right:
    [​IMG]


    First boot:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Initial impressions, I havent noticed a speed difference yet but I havent done anything demanding and I only have 128MB ram installed. The fan on it runs really fast and really loud, I'm not sure if it is supposed to have any kind of speed control on this. I may look in to an different cooling solution at a later date.

    Next job is ram and gpu, I have 3x512MB sticks on the way to max that out (only cost £7), not sure what I'm going to do about a GPU, ideally I want it to be able to run my 30" cinema display but that really limits my options as I'd need dual link DVI, currently looking at the radeon 9650 or possibly a Geforce 6800 Ultra if I can get one cheaply.
     
  7. RhianB, Mar 18, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017

    RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #7
    Nice looking build. In regards to GPUs, there's quite a few folks here who could help point you in the right direction. Erik (Eyoungren) had 3 or 4 video cards in his quicksilver PMg4 for years and Ben (Bunnspecial), well I'm pretty sure he has the biggest ppc mac collection on here & knows a bunch about ppc gpus. From what I've learned here, they can be quite finicky depending on what machine you're trying to put them in and these guys can tell you which ones work where.

    Oh yeah - for the record, I think you should keep both PMs :D Put some drives into the other one and you have a cool ppc file server.
     
  8. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #8
    I wish I had the space for both, I have a Mac Pro, another file server/HTPC downstairs and then my PowerMac G4, whilst a G4 file server would be cool, the power consumption wouldn't. My other file server uses an AMD Athlon 5350 and a gold rated PSU so uses hardly any power.

    The Digital Audio wont even get daily use, it's more a hobby/project and I fancied playing a few older games
     
  9. RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM USA
  10. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #10
    I would quite like a raid card too just because I might as well but i'm struggling to find one. I took the dual drive bracket out of the Gigabit to go in my Digital Audio too.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #11
    For a while now the ATI FireGL X3 has been the card to seek here in the forums.

    These are flashed cards and originally are intended to operate in PowerMac G5s with AGP slots. However, the pins can be taped and they are usable in G4s - WITH ONE MODEL EXCEPTION. The G4 Quicksilver.

    I had two of these and both of them confirmed to me that they CANNOT be used in the QS model. Every other model with an AGP slot they will function in but not the QS.

    One of these days I will get to use my still brand new FireGL X3 in a G5 or G4.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/172260075173 (Mods, NOT my auction).

    The link above is to a removed auction (no longer available) but will give you an idea of what you're looking for.

    Keep in mind this is one of the highest end cards you can get so getting it working and working well might be a project. Lower spec cards usually tend to function better.

    I've used an NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT, which, is pretty much Quicksilver only unfortunately. But I've also had good success with a Radeon 9600, a Radeon 9200 and a flashed Radeon 7000.

    Both the 9200 and the 7000 served as my secondary and tertiary video cards and out of everything I 've done for that old QS were actually the most reliable parts.
     
  12. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #12
    My main issue is Dual Link DVI, I would possibly consider an older card with ADC and then maybe get the smallest ADC Studio display to sit beside my Cinema Display. I'm guessing the best ADC card is a fair bit older than those above as ADC in the G5 was different. I may also be able to squeeze a 20" cinema display on my desk but these aren't all that cheap.
     
  13. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #13
    You don't need an ADC card to use an ADC display.

    All you need is the A1006.
    [​IMG]

    Generally they go for about $40 on eBay. I have three of them.

    They will let you use an usable AGP card with the older Cinema/Studio Display.
     
  14. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #14
    I've watched a few of them on ebay, they seem to go for quite a lot in the UK as they are rear, if one went cheaply id get it. I wish cheap PC flat screens didnt look so awful otherwise I'd just settle for one of those. I looked at Formac ones too buy they're ADC too and seem to cost more than the apple ones!
     
  15. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #15
    If you find one for cheap in the US, let us know. Many of us here have friends in the UK and vice versa.

    We are all used to shipping parts back and forth across the pond. May be cheaper in the long run.

    The NVIDIA card I mentioned was sent to me by a user in the UK.
     
  16. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #16
    Ok will do, I'm watching a lod of stuff on ebay now, I wanted to do this on a budget but I can see that going out the window!
     
  17. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #17
    LOL! Yeah, that's one of the first things to go when you start buying PowerPC Macs.

    On the other hand, the systems you can build would have cost thousands of dollars during the day. I can't imagine what my QS when it was fully functioning and loaded out with what I installed would have cost!
     
  18. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #18
    My Mac Pro was a similar scenario but newer so higher prices, I think I only ended up paying about £750 including all the upgrades on it which is crazy considering the amount it would cost new (that and it performs similarly to a trashcan).

    Hopefully I'll get a monitor/GPU sorted this week, I cant do much with it in tiger with the lovely Rage 128 it has.
     
  19. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #19
    I would answer "Which should I keep" with "YES!"

    I hope the answer pleases you, because it did please me. ;)
     
  20. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #20
    A 20" Formac display has come up 30 miles away from me with 1 hour left on it, no bids £10, its DVI, only issues is its a tiny bit too big for my desk
    --- Post Merged, Mar 18, 2017 ---
    Would one of these work ok? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-ATI...588061?hash=item25cc8d155d:g:CGIAAOSwjDZYbPL- Its got a dual link DVI port so i could use it with my current monitor (I already have a KVM). I'm guessing I would need to tape pins.
     
  21. RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #21
    Hmm, in regards to PCI sata controllers, this SYBA raid card auction says it's PCI and compatible with OSX 10.4+

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/SYBA-SY-PCI...758002?hash=item462bb169f2:g:NzMAAOxyXTRSA-To

    They ship to the US only but maybe you could hunt one of these down in Europe. I tried to find a sonnet for the longest time (and is the one everyone recommends) but I swear you'd have an easier time finding a leprechaun or unicorn. FTR, I haven't tried this one myself so you have to take the auction's compatibility claim at its own. Anyhow, best of luck to you.

    These old powermacs are money pits (ultimately I think I went about $40USD over my quicksilver budget) but at least they're cool & fun retro money pits. :D
     
  22. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #22
    I'll definitely look in to that, on the subject of monitors I'm thinking I might go for a 20" aluminium Cinema Display when I can get a good deal on one, the cost of an adc adapter and an adc display comes to nearly the same cost and the aluminium one would match my 30" one
     
  23. RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

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    Sep 3, 2016
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    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #23
    Matching monitors always looks real sharp. I was talking to Ben and he said the GPU you linked to should work but would need to be taped.
     
  24. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #24
    Great, I'll see what king of deal I can get on a 20" Cinema display, if I cant find one cheaply enough, I'll just get the 9650 and connect it via my KVM to my 30" display.
     
  25. benwild_33 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #25
    Upgraded to 1.5GB ram yesterday, didn't get any pictures as everyone knows what ram looks like, I had a thought regarding gpus, I have os9 on another partition from the cpu upgrade, I wouldn't mind messing around in it as well as using tiger.

    I realised upgrading to something like the 9650 won't allow this as it won't work in os9, is the fastest os9 compatible card the GeForce 4 ti 4600? I've noticed these are pretty rare, I've been looking at similarly aged cards, would a GeForce 4 mx be painfully slow? They can be had pretty cheaply and would run a 17" adc monitor quite happily. I don't intend on doing anything overly demanding, mainly old games, I won't bother with any of the newer PowerPC titles as most of them can be played on my modern Mac.
     

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