G4 tower build

Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 18, 2011
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Arizona
Okay, I got ripped off on the G5 tower I purchased on CL. Since it will be a very long time until I can afford another, I need advice to cobble together a machine. I have a G4 Digital Audio tower, a G4 Mac server, and the dead G5 tower.

Here are the parts I have decided I am going to use:
Pioneer DVD+/-RW (from the G5 tower)
ATI Radeon 9 series, 64MB RAM
2x 512MB PC133 RAM (I also have a 256MB stick, so I could go to 1.25GB RAM)
250 zip Drive (I even have 4 unopened zip100 disks!)
2x Apple Maxtor 40GB hdds

Now for the question:
I have a G4 Digital Audio board with a 733Mhz CPU (256kL2, 1MB L3) and a G4 Mac server board with dual 533Mhz CPUs (1mbL2). They both have cases, but do not have airport cards. I will be running Leopard. The DP533 has a higher geekbench (538 vs 429,) but the 733 is only slightly less than the Leopard minimum requirements. I ran geekbench on the DP533 with the ram and vid card, and it only scored a 496 on GB.

What board should I use? What is the best AGP 4x card I can pick up?
 

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zen.state

macrumors 68020
Mar 13, 2005
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I would use the dual 533 over the single 733. 10.4 or 10.5 will perform better. The 533 chips are 7410 revisions with 1MB L2 vs the single 733 that would be a 7450 and only have 256KB L2. 1x 256KB vs 2x 1MB L2 will really make a difference in certain aspects.

The Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB (4x/8x) is the best card for your tower IMO. The 128MB (2x/4x) version of the 9800 tends to be 30-40% slower in my experience. A GeForce 7800 will be faster but far more expensive and be much more of a drain on the PSU.
 

Zeke D

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Original poster
Nov 18, 2011
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But is the mere 70 geek bench difference a lot? i don't plan on playing games, just office, adobe cs and thats pretty much it.

I would use the dual 533 over the single 733. 10.4 or 10.5 will perform better.

The Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB (4x/8x) is the best card for your tower IMO. The 128MB (2x/4x) version of the 9800 tends to be 30-40% slower in my experience. A GeForce 7800 will be faster but far more expensive and be much more of a drain on the PSU.
 

zen.state

macrumors 68020
Mar 13, 2005
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The problem with benchmarks is that they don't really reflect anything to do with real world performance. You have both daughter cards so just use both and see for yourself.
 

Zeke D

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Nov 18, 2011
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The problem with benchmarks is that they don't really reflect anything to do with real world performance. You have both daughter cards so just use both and see for yourself.
I've never swapped a G4 CPU, is it straight forward? also I have an 8MB cache hard drive, think I might see an improvement if i swap out the 4MB cache hdd?
 

zen.state

macrumors 68020
Mar 13, 2005
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I've never swapped a G4 CPU, is it straight forward? also I have an 8MB cache hard drive, think I might see an improvement if i swap out the 4MB cache hdd?
Of course a higher cache HD will be a bit faster but it will be something thats hard to notice. If you're not comfortable or have no idea how to remove the CPU card then you shouldn't yet. You need to look into that yourself and learn.

The best way to learn is play around with old hardware you won't use first and just get a feel for things. Anything I or anyone else on this forum or any guide you may read doesn't give the skills needed to handle hardware properly. Getting the pdf copies of Apple service manuals for your system will help a lot also. They show everything step by step with great photo and motion representations.

It's much like riding a bike in the way that once you get it you've got it forever and every computer you own from then on will live longer because you know how to handle and care for it properly.
 

Zeke D

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Nov 18, 2011
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I did download the service manual :) I was assuming I would need to mess with heat sink compound, but the daughter card makes it all look easy.
 

zen.state

macrumors 68020
Mar 13, 2005
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You DO need to mess with heat sink compound.
Plus the socket is to one extreme side so it makes it hard to pull up the card and out even force on it. You don't want to bend any of those pins. It's more than we can explain because it's a feeling you need in your mind and then knowing the right way to take things from your mind your your hands and not harm anything. Then there is knowing how to control static.

These are things you need to really experience to learn.
 

Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 18, 2011
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Arizona
yep, I think I will check out the 733 first (it's PSU is quieter) Currently I am super dupering the leopard partition onto the drive with the larger cache. It's a shame no snow on PPCs.
 

ThunderSnake

macrumors 6502
Jul 23, 2010
310
1
What is the best AGP 4x card I can pick up?
I don't know why I didn't think if this yesterday, but what kind of video card do you have in your G5? Any OEM G5 AGP card can be modified for use in a G4 (I think??). All OEM G5 cards support hardware accelerated Core Image.

Zen.State's advice @ 7:49 is prudent for your situation since your computing budget has taken such a hit and you need a working computer. Still, if you want to post a picture of your G5 video card, we might be able to walk you through some modifications to it.

Also, you might also be able to recover some of your money by selling the G5 as a parts machine. The case alone is desirable to some.
 

Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 18, 2011
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Arizona
The video card out of the G5 has the extra monitor power connector in the wrong spot to use on a G4. I am gonna sell all my G3 iMacs on CL, and I am thinking I may just take my G5 towers (my dead one, and the one I bought to replace it) to an apple store and get an estimate to have them repair it. As for the G4 towers, I am gonna use parts from my 350Mhz Sawtooth and the DP533 to get my other 2 733s running, then I will try to sell what parts from the old one I have left over. I figure If I can sell the G3 iMacs for like $40 - $60 and the sawtooth for $75 - $95 I will have enough to get one of the G5s working. I will post a picture of the G5 video cards this evening.

I don't know why I didn't think if this yesterday, but what kind of video card do you have in your G5? Any OEM G5 AGP card can be modified for use in a G4 (I think??). All OEM G5 cards support hardware accelerated Core Image.

Zen.State's advice @ 7:49 is prudent for your situation since your computing budget has taken such a hit and you need a working computer. Still, if you want to post a picture of your G5 video card, we might be able to walk you through some modifications to it.

Also, you might also be able to recover some of your money by selling the G5 as a parts machine. The case alone is desirable to some.
 

Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 18, 2011
1,010
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Arizona
update

I decided I would disassemble my 350Mhz Sawtooth. After I was done with disassembly, I realize I had done this before. No worries. Does anyone think I can move the DP533 to the sawtooth?
 

ThunderSnake

macrumors 6502
Jul 23, 2010
310
1
Does anyone think I can move the DP533 to the sawtooth?
With no modifications, it will run at 400 MHz on the Sawtooth's 100 MHz bus. You will need to adjust the bus timing ratio on the processor module to make it run at its rated speed. This involves soldering. In your situation, I would advise against it at this time.

Also, are you certain that your Sawtooth's motherboard is capable of running multiple CPUs? Not all are.
 

zen.state

macrumors 68020
Mar 13, 2005
2,181
5
With no modifications, it will run at 400 MHz on the Sawtooth's 100 MHz bus. You will need to adjust the bus timing ratio on the processor module to make it run at its rated speed. This involves soldering. In your situation, I would advise against it at this time.

Also, are you certain that your Sawtooth's motherboard is capable of running multiple CPUs? Not all are.
All correct points. There are far more Sawtooth that do support dual CPU than there are that do not. Only the very early ones don't. All 3 of mine do.
 

Zeke D

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 18, 2011
1,010
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Arizona
I'm not sure the sawtooth can run DP. The PSU on one of my 733s died a long time ago, I never did anything with it, because at the time I had my G5. I decided to get all three 733Mhz Digital Audios running identical configurations. I am moving the PSU from the working DP533, to the dead 733. I figure I will just sell the 350Mhz sawtooth, and keep the DP533 around for parts.

BTW here are the specifications to the trio of 733s:

G4 733Mhz / 256kL2 1024kL3
1024MB RAM
Radeon 9 series / 64MB
80GB / 2048k cache / 7200RPM
DVD +/- RW
ZIP 250
OSX Leopard 10.5.8

They all have modems, but who cares.

What does anyone think I can get on CL for the 4 G3 iMacs (with keyboard) and the Sawtooth?
 
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