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r6mile

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 3, 2010
1,004
504
London, UK
Hi all,

So I'm now fully stuck into the world of PowerMac G4s. After almost maxing out my MDD, I've decided to take on a new PowerMac G4 project.

I'm picking up tomorrow morning a working and in good condition G4 Digital Audio tower with a single 533Mhz CPU. I don't know much else about the specs, though I suspect it may come with some audio PCI cards as it was used for audio production.

In addition, I'm pretty hopeful that I'll win an auction on eBay for a 'for spares' Quicksilver with what I think is a fairly rare dual 1.0 Ghz CPU, and the stock Geforce 4MX 64MB. I have no idea what's wrong with this machine, but it comes with no RAM, optical or hard drives. I assume it's the power supply (quite likely), or the logic board. Bit of a gamble, but as long as the CPUs are OK I'm good.

In addition, I also have a Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB that used to belong to my MDD. I also have the old CPU system fan from my MDD that I've replaced for a quieter one.

With this, I think I should be able to build a pretty decent* Graphite, to serve as a good OS9/Tiger machine (given that I've got Leopard covered with the MDD FW800 and the Rad9650 Core Image GPU).

(I know you can get Sonnet/etc CPU upgrade cards but I've never come across one and I'm trying to keep costs low so sticking to Apple OEM parts. I also know I will never come across the fabled Geforce4Ti).

My thinking is:
- transfer the dual 1.0Ghz CPU board (with the heatsinks) from the Quicksilver to the Digital Audio case
- max out the RAM to 3x512 PC133 SDRAM
- install a spare 128GB SATA SSD I have lying around in the ATA/66 connector (maybe one day get a PCI SATA card)
- put in the Radeon 9000 Pro from the MDD

I know there are some modifications required to make the Quicksilver CPU daughter card fit in the DA. I'll already have the Quicksilver heatsinks - could someone describe what other modifications do I need to make? Do I need to install additional fans?

I'm happy to get a little more involved than I did in the MDD - ie I've never done any soldering etc. but I would be happy to give it a try in this case.

Any other things I should keep in mind? Happy to document the project in detail for others' benefit, if all the components line up.
 
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ervus

macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2020
395
301
Most of the parts are interchangeable between those two machines. The dual CPU is powered by 12v and there are several threads describing how to hook it up. Basically you can swap in the quicksilver logic board and power supply, or add your own 12v connection. I would add a good fan to the CPU, because the dual 1GHz has a reputation for running hot and dying.
 
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XaPHER

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2010
280
179
My opinion, but the dual 1.0ghz is not worth the trouble. Like ervus said you need to supply it 12v. It's doable, but not ideal, and these CPU do make a lot of heat, the DA's stock cooling system isn't good either, and you're likely to end up with a pretty noisy and still hot machine. I'm not even sure these CPUs run stable when you enable nap mode (Apple did disable nap on dual machines for stability issues after all). My opinion again, and it's up to you.
 
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r6mile

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 3, 2010
1,004
504
London, UK
My opinion, but the dual 1.0ghz is not worth the trouble. Like ervus said you need to supply it 12v. It's doable, but not ideal, and these CPU do make a lot of heat, the DA's stock cooling system isn't good either, and you're likely to end up with a pretty noisy and still hot machine. I'm not even sure these CPUs run stable when you enable nap mode (Apple did disable nap on dual machines for stability issues after all). My opinion again, and it's up to you.

Thanks a lot, that's very useful info and definitely food for thought. I have now scanned some of the other threads @ervus mentioned. Like I said, I don't know what is wrong with the dual 1.0 machine, I assumed the power supply as these are often dead after 20 years, but it could be something else, which would allow me to reuse the PSU.

Ideally I would get the single 933 but can't see any available - there's definitely fewer of these machines available than earlier on this decade when they were a dime a dozen, I guess many have suffered untimely deaths. I've seen one with a 800 which would be OK I guess (not quite as satisfying though), I presume that wouldn't require the 12v?
 

XaPHER

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2010
280
179
No, they all require 12v. The 800 is even likely to perform worse than your 533mhz module, but heat significantly more. The problem is not with the power supply itself, and while you'll get a working machine with for example a quicksilver PSU and a DA mainboard, your chances of having a working sleep (suspend-to-ram) are near 0%. The trickle voltage on the QS is 25v while on the Gigabit ethernet and DA it's 28v, so theorically I don't even know if a digital audio PSU with a QS board is safe. I tried the other way around, a QS PSU with a DA board, and like i said, it works, but I never got sleep to work. I have a GE PSU in my DA right now, and things're fine.

Other things are the QS's PSU motherboard connector cable is shorter the graphites models because of the case's slightly different framing, and it doesn't fit in too well in because of that. It will pull on the mainboard while the case is open.
 

ervus

macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2020
395
301
I think all of the Quicksilver CPUs require 12v. The DA ones do not. You can compare them, and you'll see that the Quicksilver CPU cards have an extra screw hole. There are lots of these CPU cards on ebay and they are largely interchangeable with some level of modification. The only ones which won't work in the DA/Quicksilver are the dual 450/500MHz cards, because they would hit the RAM sockets. The dual 533 will work.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,603
26,478
Hi all,

So I'm now fully stuck into the world of PowerMac G4s. After almost maxing out my MDD, I've decided to take on a new PowerMac G4 project.

I'm picking up tomorrow morning a working and in good condition G4 Digital Audio tower with a single 533Mhz CPU. I don't know much else about the specs, though I suspect it may come with some audio PCI cards as it was used for audio production.

In addition, I'm pretty hopeful that I'll win an auction on eBay for a 'for spares' Quicksilver with what I think is a fairly rare dual 1.0 Ghz CPU, and the stock Geforce 4MX 64MB. I have no idea what's wrong with this machine, but it comes with no RAM, optical or hard drives. I assume it's the power supply (quite likely), or the logic board. Bit of a gamble, but as long as the CPUs are OK I'm good.

In addition, I also have a Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB that used to belong to my MDD. I also have the old CPU system fan from my MDD that I've replaced for a quieter one.

With this, I think I should be able to build a pretty decent* Graphite, to serve as a good OS9/Tiger machine (given that I've got Leopard covered with the MDD FW800 and the Rad9650 Core Image GPU).

(I know you can get Sonnet/etc CPU upgrade cards but I've never come across one and I'm trying to keep costs low so sticking to Apple OEM parts. I also know I will never come across the fabled Geforce4Ti).

My thinking is:
- transfer the dual 1.0Ghz CPU board (with the heatsinks) from the Quicksilver to the Digital Audio case
- max out the RAM to 3x512 PC133 SDRAM
- install a spare 128GB SATA SSD I have lying around in the ATA/66 connector (maybe one day get a PCI SATA card)
- put in the Radeon 9000 Pro from the MDD

I know there are some modifications required to make the Quicksilver CPU daughter card fit in the DA. I'll already have the Quicksilver heatsinks - could someone describe what other modifications do I need to make? Do I need to install additional fans?

I'm happy to get a little more involved than I did in the MDD - ie I've never done any soldering etc. but I would be happy to give it a try in this case.

Any other things I should keep in mind? Happy to document the project in detail for others' benefit, if all the components line up.
Considering that you want the "Ultimate Graphite" I'd stick with the Graphite LB. Out of all the G4 PowerMacs, the Quicksilver is limited to 1.5GB ram. The others have 2GB.

Also, and no offense, but it's my opinion that you should alter your thread title. You want the best you can get for low cost/stock parts. The "ultimate" requires spending money or finding someone to give you parts. I'm not trying to be a word cop, but I made the ultimate Quicksilver and it wasn't stock and it wasn't cheap.

I'd make some suggestions, but they aren't stock parts, although some might be cheaper than others.
 
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XaPHER

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2010
280
179
@eyoungren the QS isn't the only system with 3 DIMM slots, it's the same for DAs. It's a PC133-related limitation, so it's like, PC100, four slots, PC133, three, starting with the sawtooth I mean.
 

r6mile

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 3, 2010
1,004
504
London, UK
Also, and no offense, but it's my opinion that you should alter your thread title. You want the best you can get for low cost/stock parts. The "ultimate" requires spending money or finding someone to give you parts. I'm not trying to be a word cop, but I made the ultimate Quicksilver and it wasn't stock and it wasn't cheap.

I'd make some suggestions, but they aren't stock parts, although some might be cheaper than others.

Fair enough! I might have been misleading slightly - will amend.
And yes very happy for suggestions please! You never know what I'll come across.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,603
26,478
Fair enough! I might have been misleading slightly - will amend.
And yes very happy for suggestions please! You never know what I'll come across.
One of the best video cards you can get is the ATI FireGL X3. If you tape the pins it will work in the G4. There is an eBay vendor that flashes these to Mac.

For native bluetooth, Belkin sells a line of FT series USB sticks that will give you BT 2.0.

A PCI SATA card of the SIL3112 type can be had on eBay for about $10. You can flash it: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/guide-to-flashing-pc-sil3112-sata-cards-for-mac.1690231 That gives you the ability to use SATA drives.

USB 2.0 cards are cheap as well.
 

r6mile

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 3, 2010
1,004
504
London, UK
One of the best video cards you can get is the ATI FireGL X3. If you tape the pins it will work in the G4. There is an eBay vendor that flashes these to Mac.

For native bluetooth, Belkin sells a line of FT series USB sticks that will give you BT 2.0.

A PCI SATA card of the SIL3112 type can be had on eBay for about $10. You can flash it: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/guide-to-flashing-pc-sil3112-sata-cards-for-mac.1690231 That gives you the ability to use SATA drives.

USB 2.0 cards are cheap as well.

Thank you, I am indeed on the lookout for any FireGL X3s in the UK (I already have a dual 1.25 MDD that I have upgraded). In the meantime though inside the MDD I have a Radeon 9650 256MB from a G5 with the pins taped, which will suit me just fine.

I am indeed also intrigued by the option of PCI SATA cards - perhaps not so much for the MDD as it has a faster IDE bus, but for this new QS/DA project it might be worthwhile. Unfortunately I don't have any PC that could flash these, though I guess I could try to source one just for this purpose.

I feel so misled! It is common knowledge that no pimping can be claimed unless blue cathode or LEDs are utilized.

:D

Meanwhile, this morning I picked up the computer, a Digital Audio with a single 533 Mhz G4. It's in great physical condition! Came with only 256MB of RAM, but I've added a 256MB PC133 stick I had around to get to 512MB temporarily, while I wait to order 3x512MB sticks of RAM.

The computer was used for audio production came with what I'm told is a relatively new 40GB IDE hard drive, the stock Geforce 2MX, as well as two interesting PCI cards:
- a huge Mix Core audio capture card that I'm told is reasonably valuable so I'll try to sell this.
- what I think is a SCSI card, an ATTO ExpressPCI PSC. Any ideas on how to make use of this, please welcome!

The seller threw in a 2006 polycarbonate white Macbook with a 2.0 C2D (with dead battery and no charger). It boots up just fine, though the screen looks a bit orange!

Not a bad purchase, for £30 total for the two machines!

Meanwhile, I also got lucky with an eBay listing that had 3 Xserves with dead PSUs, which I got for £20. From these I was able to scavenge a single 1.0 G4, and a single 2.0 G5 (both of these will soon be on their way to @LightBulbFun for some 'PPC-Fun' - look forward to seeing what he does with them!). But I also got what looks like a PCI Radeon 7000 32MB card, which is a pretty good find!

For now I have inserted the Radeon 9000 Pro 64MB that used to be in the MDD, and a 120GB Samsung SSD with a SATA-IDE adapter. Will report on how I get on!
 

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LightBulbFun

macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2013
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Meanwhile, this morning I picked up the computer, a Digital Audio with a single 533 Mhz G4. It's in great physical condition! Came with only 256MB of RAM, but I've added a 256MB PC133 stick I had around to get to 512MB temporarily, while I wait to order 3x512MB sticks of RAM.

if your looking for RAM, I bought 4 of these for my Sawtooth and they have worked perfectly I have not had any issues with them :)


(there not RDIMMs, so you dont have to worry about that)
 

LightBulbFun

macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2013
2,806
3,125
London UK
on the CPU front, I would try and test/revive the QS itself since that is a neat system in itself

but if it turns out to be unserviceable, then yeah to use the Dual 1Ghz QS CPU in a DA, all you need to do is supply a +12V wire to the 4th screw hole on the CPU card (a ring/spade terminal and a nut and bolt should work if you want to avoid soldering) , and use its heatsink and fan assembly

(oh and probably worth making sure the DA is fully updated to BootROM 4.2.8)
 

r6mile

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 3, 2010
1,004
504
London, UK
So...

My 'dead' Quicksilver Dual 1.0 arrived, and it turns out - it's not dead at all! Just a case of bad RAM - swapped that out, put in an SSD with a Tiger install, and it booted into it just fine! All it needs now is an optical drive, a hard drive, max out 1.5 GB RAM, and we're in business! Not bad for a £30 gamble!

So as it seems I have a perfectly working Quicksilver, I think my plan to harvest the Dual 1.0 CPU from it and put it into a DA is now gone. It also means that somehow I've ended up with all 3 case designs of the PowerMac G4... Whoops!

Ideally what I'd like to do now is find a single 733-933Mhz CPU from a DA or a QS to put into the DA, to make it into a snappy single-CPU machine, alongside the Radeon 9000 Pro. And then find another good OSX card for the Quicksilver.
 

ervus

macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2020
395
301
Thanks for following up on your thread; I'm glad the quicksilver is alive. I would still add a fan to the dual 1GHz CPU if it were my machine. Some people simply replace the 60mm OEM fan with something that moves more air. This usually means more noise though...

There are actually a few sonnet CPU cards on ebay right now if you're looking for an upgrade that fits the digital audio. CPU upgrades for these computers are generally hard to find these days. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
 

r6mile

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 3, 2010
1,004
504
London, UK
Thank you, yes I did see those CPU upgrades but they're in the US and a lot more than I'm looking to spend on this machine, so might stick to stock parts.

I will look into the fan issue. I already replaced the big fan in my MDD, so I'm familiar - I'm sure even with a bigger fan the QS will be quieter than the MDD with a super loud power supply!

In the meantime, I've ordered a PC Radeon 9700 (non-Pro it seems) which I'll look to flash under OS X - any advice on this greatly appreciated!

I've also noticed that the QS was missing not only the hard and optical drives (which I knew), but also any of the caddies (which I'd missed)! Not sure how I can mount an optical drive - I've bought a FW400 external HDD anyway so maybe I can get by without it by using that to install stuff.
 
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Amethyst1

macrumors G3
Oct 28, 2015
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I've bought a FW400 external HDD anyway so maybe I can get by without it by using that to install stuff.
Very good - you can also clone your OS X install discs to partitions on the drive and greatly speed up installations.
 
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r6mile

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 3, 2010
1,004
504
London, UK
Very good - you can also clone your OS X install discs to partitions on the drive and greatly speed up installations.

Yeah I got a couple of Lacie Rugged Triples. I've had a 2TB USB3/FW800/FW400 one for years but it's used for other stuff, so found a very good deal on a pair of older Triple USB2/FW800/FW400 drives and jumped on that.

That was my plan, to use them for installs. Also saves endless CD/DVD burning. How should I format the drive - Apple Partition Map, or something else? Will it also work to install OS9?
 
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1042686

Cancelled
Sep 3, 2016
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I used a small set of fans harvested from an old maddog hdd cooler to help move air around my cpus & gpu in my QS.

BA362D72-36FD-4513-879D-29FE53BE1C0E.jpeg


I’m not sold on the absolute necessity of them but it does help. I also believe that replacing the old 120mm fan with a high quality new fan like a noctua really helps with cage vibration.
 
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