Help me help my friend

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Blue Velvet, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    A friend of mine just sent me this email. Please address all hints & tips to Andrew. :)

    (Too shy to brave the bloodthirsty mobs here... Andrew would like to spend no more than UK£200-350 would be my guess... another graphic designer by trade)

    Hiya... Could you ask a general question about your old-fashioned friend with the crap old computer? Just what people think would be the best upgrade path for my slow old Mac:

    Machine Model: Power Mac G4 (AGP graphics)
    CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (2.6)
    Number Of CPUs: 1
    CPU Speed: 450 MHz
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 1 MB
    Memory: 1.25 GB
    Bus Speed: 100 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: 3.1.2f4

    Any suggestions gratefully received, as I'm fast running out of patience with the speed restrictions over here.
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    I would say sell that machine and get a mini with a 3rd party 1GB RAM stick... processor upgrades are just too expencive...

    As a graphic designer I guess you have a more than decent screen you can hook it up to...(?)
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Hi Andrew

    Any friend of BV's is a friend of mine...

    Your machine is good for RAM, and although you could upgrade the hard drive, the difference in performance would be minimal. There's nowt you can do about the buss speed, and for standard 2-D graphic designer work, it doesn't make sense to upgrade the video card.

    That leaves upgrading the CPU, or getting a Mini. The G4 AGP 450 is actually a reasonable thing to upgrade, as the relative improvement will give good bang for the ..em.. pound.

    I prefer the Sonnet upgrades. The Encore/ST model is what you want, These ones all have 2 Mb L3 caches, which helps buffer the relatively slow speed of your 100 MHz system buss.

    Encore/ST G4 1 GHz SG4-1000-2M US$229.95
    Encore/ST G4 1.2 GHz SG4-1200-2M US$299.95
    Encore/ST G4 1.4 GHz SG4-1400-2M US$399.95

    You'll want to check availability and price inthe UK first before deciding. One thing to check, if they are not in stock in the UK they can take a #%^& of a long time to arrive.

  4. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Personally, I think the Mini would be a short-term sticking plaster. It doesn't have the hard-drive capacity, or the type & quantity of ports to keep him happy in the long run... Andrew is also fond of using Carrera, Poser and other apps like that.

    What about these?

    My advice is just to bite the bullet and get a new G5, dammit. :)
    (I know he's reading this)
  5. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Andrew! Listen to the lady!! :D

    It seems you want/need quite a capable machine, although you can make yours faster, I still don't think it would be *that* much faster. There's so many other factors on that machine holding it back that you just can't do anything about, short of spending a small fortune, in which case you may as well have bought a new machine anyway!

    If finance is a problem grab one from somewhere that does some nice 0% free credit over 6 months or something. It'll be worth it IMO.
  6. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    One problem with the upgrades, is that the European price, for some insane reason almost doubles in price... of course if you can order from the US and maybe get them past customs without too much fuzz then it might be a bit different... ;)

    But if we're not gonna stick with the initial £350 limit, then I would definitively would go for a nice single G5, starting at £999... :D

    Of course, Buyers Guide says to buy the PowerMacs only if you really need it, so maybe the old machine will work until the next revision is released...?
  7. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    What splendid advice!
    Especially the listening to the lady bit... :D

    Get a new one, flog the old one on eBay. You might get £200 for it...
  8. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    If he doesn't want to tinker with an upgrade board, he could always just sell his current PowerMac for £100-£175 and buy a newer PowerMac G4 for £400-500 ... a dual 1.25GHz or something like that should be great for graphics work for many years still.

    The prices are estimates from a quick search for "PowerMac" on
  9. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Hi Andrew. I think that Blue Velvet is giving you very good advice. After all she knows you best. If at all possible, it would be very prudent to purchase a new G5. Either the iMac or Power Mac.
  10. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    There you go Blue – flog him your G4!

    Alternatively, tomorrow is refurb day at the Apple online store – tell him to take a look and see if there's anything there that takes his fancy.
  11. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I have the far far superior dual 1.42 with a silencing kit... ;)
    I still like it far too much to sell.
  12. Slow Andrew macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2005
    Thanks for the tips people!

    Thanks Mitthrawnuruodo, CanadaRAM, edesignuk, gekko513, wdlove, Jaffa Cake, and over course the esteemed Ms Velvet (hey, no need for that rather patronising *chuckle* at the beginning of the thread tho!)
    Guess I'll have to bite the G5 bullet by the looks of things, though I'll look into those Sonnet cards...
    All the best
  13. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Wasn't meant to be patronising, was amused that you asked me to post for you.
    Welcome to MR forums, not-so-slow Andrew. :) ;)

    Nicest, wittiest, cleverest bunch of Mac users you could ever meet.

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