G4 mini: Want to improve performance, need suggestions

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Jethro70, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. Jethro70 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Orygun
    #1
    I have a 1st gen. 1.25 GHz G4 mini with 512 MB of RAM, and I am wanting to perform a few fairly cheap upgrades to improve performance, and was wondering what suggestions you all had.

    My goals:

    • Increase overall speed, and decrease the frequency of getting 'beachballed'.
    • Be able to sync with my 3rd gen. iPod nano (currently need to sync w/ my PC), and with my soon-to-arrive 2nd gen. iPod Touch.

    Here is what I had in mind for upgrades:

    • Max out the RAM with a 1 GB stick -- $35-40 for the stick, plus a couple bucks for putty knives to break into the mini.
    • Wipe the HD, and install Leopard from my brother's Family Pack (currently running Panther).

    From what I have read, this should accomplish my goals. If anyone has any other advice or suggestions, I would very much appreciate it -- or if I'm way off track, let me know that, too.
     
  2. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    London/Norwich
    #2
    replace it with an intel mini :p

    I don't think you can really do much to speed it up, RAM will help you multitask though. Getting a larger hard disk might be useful to you. There aren't many upgrade options available really.
     
  3. Alex72 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    If you're going to open it up, then how about a faster hard drive? Weren't the stock units something like 4200 RPM in those? I'd look around to see if it can handle the heat of a 7200 RPM unit, as I know they do have those in the 2.5" form factor. Might make a pretty big difference in performance...
     
  4. edgew8 macrumors regular

    edgew8

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    #4
    Im sorry to say Leopard wont be increasing performance any for you, in fact it will do the opposite :eek:. You might be better off getting Tiger.
     
  5. Jethro70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Orygun
    #5
    That was my initial thought, but then my brother said he had the Leopard family pack. And I figured it was worth a shot since he wouldn't charge me for Leopard.. and if I went with Tiger, I'd have to pay through the nose to get a copy.

    In doing a few searches, I did find instances where people had good results installing Leopard on machines similar to mine, including this MacRumors thead: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=579873

    I'm willing to give it a shot with Leopard... unless someone knows where to find a really good deal on an unused copy of Tiger.
     
  6. danrel macrumors member

    danrel

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #6
    You should definitely max out the memory to 1GB and install a 7200RPM HDD. That should noticeably speed up your mini.

    If you're feeling especially brave, you could always overclock you're 1.25GHz CPU to 1.42GHz.... %14 speed gain!
     
  7. TrapOx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #7
    That is false. A 1.25 mini will do well with leopard.

    The best things to do are max out the RAM, install a 5400rpm hard drive and overclock it to 1.42ghz.
     
  8. cMacSW macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    #8
    I've done what your looking to do, more RAM and a faster drive will help, but don't expect a huge difference. 10.4 is faster than 10.5, but there were some things in 10.5 I wanted so I stuck with that.
     
  9. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #9
    That's pretty awesome! I just picked up a 1.42 so I might try OCing it to 1.67 or possibly 1.83 :eek:

    Wow and the 80gb 4,200 hdd is definitely the bottleneck. I am eyeing up those Western Digital 250gb 5400rpm drives though ;)

    They do make 7200rpm drives but the largest is only a 100gb drive.
     
  10. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #10
    More RAM (essential)
    Faster harddrive would improve the speed quite a lot. Get the largest, highest RPM drive that fits.

    10.4 tiger would be your best bet. But if you NEED to go to a later iTunes and don't have 10.4, then 10.5 might be ok, just don't go widget crazy since you only have 1gb of max ram.
     
  11. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #11
    Yeah I forgot to mention, I'm running Leopard right now with 1gb of memory and it's pretty good. Like I said though, I can tell the hard drive is what's slowing everything down.
     
  12. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #13

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