iMac G4 didn't get performance boost after RAM upgrade

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by garirry, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #1
    I have upgraded my 1.25GHz iMac's G4 RAM from 512MB to 1.5GB. It was running Tiger. It was quite slow with 512MB of RAM, but I saw on this forum someone said that 1.5GB run Tiger flawlessly. Well, it haven't boosted AT ALL. 1.5GB is 3x more memory than 512MB, so it's supposed to be faster. It was still laggy, and I think it got slightly worse. iShowU recording was very laggy with 512MB but it freezes my computer and I am lucky if I manage to stop the video with 1.5GB of RAM. Can't even watch 480p videos. iMovie lags while previewing video, and the list goes on. G4 is supposed to be a powerful machine, but not mine. I upgraded to Leopard, nothing really changed. Can somebody explain it to me?
     
  2. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

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    #2
    Which hard drive do you have? It may be dying. A 1.25Ghz G4 with 1,5GB of RAM shouldn't be slow with Tiger, unless the videos you're trying to watch are too modern for the computer.
     
  3. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #3
    The stock 80GB hard drive. In System Profiler it's written: ST380011A. Here is it's info:

    ST380011A:

    Capacity: 74.53 GB
    Model: ST380011A
    Revision: 3.06
    Serial Number: 3JV3X1ZL
    Removable Media: No
    Detachable Drive: No
    BSD Name: disk0
    Protocol: ATA
    Unit Number: 0
    Socket Type: Internal
    Low Power Polling: No
    Mac OS 9 Drivers: No
    Partition Map Type: APM (Apple Partition Map)
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
    Volumes:
    Macintosh HD:
    Capacity: 74.41 GB
    Available: 8.18 GB
    Writable: Yes
    File System: Journaled HFS+
    BSD Name: disk0s3
    Mount Point: /
     
  4. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    #4
    You could check the hard drive, put the Leopard disc back in and boot from it, then open Disk Utility, click on your hard drive, and choose Verify Disk. See if it finds any errors and if it does, choose Repair Disk.

    Reboot and hold down C until it boots from the Leopard disc.
     
  5. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #5
    This is your problem IMO. OS X needs about 15% minimum free space on system HDD. This particular HDD also isn't the best performer considering its 2MB cache and age.
     
  6. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #6
    I have an old 160GB hard drive (2005-2006) which may be useful. I also will buy an enclosure to backup all my content so I will use less space on my iMac.

    Also, I clicked "verify disk" in disk utility it says: "The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK".
     
  7. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    #7
    Yeah, I didn't notice that. Too quick to start thinking the hard drive might be going bad.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #8
    Is the machine regestiering 1.5GB of ram? You may have bought a high density stick instead. Causing it to only see 512MB or 1GB (half of the high density stick will show sometimes).
     
  9. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #9
    Yes, it sees as 1.5GB RAM. And yes I bought a low density stick, because I listened to your (or maybe someone else's) advice in my "Should I upgrade to Leopard" topic. The only unconfirmed thing is that the stick is an non-ECC stick, which I don't know. If I can find the product listing on ebay, I can put the link here so you can determine if the stick was correct for my iMac.
     
  10. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

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    #10
    The RAM is fine as long as System Monitor shows it. Try with a faster/bigger hard drive, that should fix your problem.
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    If it was an ECC stick it wouldn't boot. I suggest freeing some hard drive space and possibly getting a new hard drive. The stock hard drives in G4 iMacs aren't the fastest, they're easily out paced by WD's PATA drive. If you're wanting to replace the hard drive with a new one, get one soon. Currently only WD is making PATA drives and they may not be making them for much longer.
     
  12. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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    #12

    Just to help the OP, is there any limit on the hard drive his G4 iMac will recognize? I don't think so but can't remember. I'm not sure what size WD's PATA drives are that are still available.
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    All DDR PowerPC Macs do not have a drive size limit. It is disputed whether or not the SDRAM G4 iMacs have the limit or not. I personally have not ran in to the 128GB drive limit on any G4 iMac, but there are reports of others running into it. Currently WD's drives range in size of 80-320GB.
     
  14. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #14
    Wow, look at this one: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Maxtor/6L160P0P/
    ATA 7200RPM 160GB with 8MB of chache. That's good?
     
  15. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #15
    Most post-2005 3.5" PATA drives are 7200rpm and 8MB cache. That one would be old stock as Seagate hasn't made PATA drives in a few years and Maxtor hasn't existed as a separate company for even longer (was bought by Seagate). That drive would work and likely be new old-stock.
     
  16. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #16
    However, I have an old 2005-2006 160GB Seagate hard drive. Could I use it or it would be the same?

    ----------

    And that would be also a possibility because I can also upgrade the optical drive (which is broken) while upgrading the hard drive.
     
  17. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #17
    Your drive may be the same as the one they're trying to sell you. You may be able to email them and ask what model drive it is. When you're in the iMac changing the hard drive, you have to remove the optical drive as well. G4 iMacs take standard desktop trayloading PATA drives. Just make sure you don't get one that is too long or it won't fit in the iMac's dome.
     
  18. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #18
    I got my 160GB hard drive and a DVD-RW optical drive, I have no idea if it works, so I'm going to test it. So, in 1 or 2 days, I bring my 500GB hard drive for backup, I'm doing a video on it and I will be upgrading my mac's hard drive and optical drive. I hope this goes well.
     
  19. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

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  20. MacMadness macrumors member

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    #20
    Just my 2 cents.
    I have rehabbed about 6 Mac G5's over the past year (mostly from Craigslist and one was a gift).
    All of the HD's on all the machines were original OEM drives and all of them died when I ran disc utilities.
    Every one of them. Back up the data before you run utilities.

    If you have an 11 year HD, then it is well (well, way beyond) it actually.

    I would highly recommend you replace it (240 or 320GB) if your G4 can handle it.
    They are cheap, probably about $50.00.
    Word of caution, however, With a current 7200RPM HD,
    you may need jumpers to make it compatible with your older machine.
    I ran into that with 3 of my G5's.
    I use WD caviar blacks or blues and have had great luck with them in both my older machines
    and my 2 newer intel MP's.
    (as storage drives on the Intel MP's, work and Boot drives are SSD'S)

    As a rule, I generally replace HD's every 3 years (At least the one's for work with critical data on them).

    Hope the info is helpful. Best of luck, that's a nice machine you have there...
     
  21. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #21
    I need jumpers for my drive? What's that?
     
  22. MacMadness macrumors member

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  23. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #23
  24. MacMadness macrumors member

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    #24
    Try this, may be more helpful...
    http://eshop.macsales.com/installvideos/powermac_g4_mirror_hd_h/

    BTW I buy all my stuff at OWC,(not affiliated with them, just a very happy customer) they aren't the cheapest but the customer service is second to none, especially if you have a problem or need tech support. If you buy the drive from them, they will walk you though exactly how to set up the drive.
     
  25. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #25
    He said: "Set the drive jumpers to "Cable Select""
    Well my hard drive is already "jumped" to "cable select" so I think I can put it in my iMac.

    Man, my iMac G4 had already the power supply replaced, the RAM upgraded, and I will replace both the hard drive and the optical drive. It's nearly all replaceable parts in my iMac G4! Can't wait to get my 21.5" Late 2012 i5 iMac and finally stay calm with it;)
     

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