Installed 1.8GHz 7448 in G4 Digital Audio

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MagnusVonMagnum, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #1
    I started the evening off by installing the new 1.5GB of ram I just got from OWC into my dual 553MHz Digital Audio G4 (previously using 2 256 Mb dimms). The only quibble is that the Apple System Profiler reports it as 100MHz 322 ram. It's supposed to be 133Mhz 222 ram. I've read in various searches that Apple's profiler often reports incorrectly when the ram is backwards compatible type. Someone suggested checking it in System 9's profiler and sure enough, it says PC133 CL2 there. Leopard also says PC100 322, BTW.

    After doing some testing and benchmarking to compare the new ram behavior (XBench is reporting about 10% faster memory tests after the upgrade), I then proceeded to install the Newer Technology 1.8GHz 7448 processor upgrade (thought about doing 2.0 GHz but ultimately concluded the 0.2 GHz improvement probably wasn't worth an extra $75 and used that towards more ram instead. In my previous thread, I reported that I recently installed a Sonnet SATA card and replaced my two 40GB pata drives with two 500GB Sata drives which are about 4x faster (75MB/sec compared to 25MB/sec). I'm still waiting for my ATI 9700 Pro to arrive back (first one went bad within a week so I sent it back for a replacement). I've also already changed the stock CD-R drive to a 16x Pioneer DVD-RW drive and put in a USB 2.0 PCI card and changed the Zip drive to a front panel USB 2.0 and Firewire Hub.

    Following the instructions for updating the firmware, I removed the multi-processing plugin from my OS9 partition and then ran their firmware CD. It ran without a hitch. Next, I opened the case and according to the instructions, I should remove the clips from the heat sink and in my case the plastic 'shield' thing that's over top of it. This is where I had some issues. The instructions didn't show any picture of that plastic shield (apparently only found on SOME Digital Audio G4s) and pulling on the only clips I could see was not getting me ANYWHERE (it seemed to be locked onto the back of the case somehow, but I couldn't see anything on the inside of the case to release it and the tab on the back did nothing. I looked all over the place and for any info I could find on the Net and NOTHING helped. Then, I noticed two screws on the back that I thought MIGHT just be attached to it somehow, even though the manual implied it was just a cover for the heat sink.

    Well, sure enough, it was attached alright. After removing the two screws from the rear panel of the case, the plastic shield came right off. After that, it was just a matter of prying off the clips to the heat sink, unscrewing the three screws holding the dual CPU board in and pulling it straight up and out.

    The new 7448 board is already attached to to its own heat sink and one of the fans is mounted on top. The other one is dangling off the power cord to the other one so you can run the old screws through the heat sink holes and down into the motherboard to secure it. This is BAD NEWS if you try to use the little screwdriver they include because it's not a tight enough fit on the head to hold it in place long enough to slowly lower it down those holes. My own magnetic screwdriver kit wouldn't fit (too wide a shaft to make it down that hole). Fortunately, I had a little cube magnetic device down in my garage that lets me easily magnetize and/or demagnetize any screwdriver quite easily. I used that to magnetize the screwdriver they included at which point it would hold the screw on the end so I could easily lower them into place and fasten them.

    From there, you simply put the dangling fan into place and secure it to the heat sink with the included 4 screws. The two fans then plug into a free Molex connector and provides a pass-through. I closed up the case and powered up.

    Tiger booted right up and my Xbench 1.3 rating went from 37 to around 76. I'm sure it would be higher yet if my ATI 9700 Pro were installed. CPU scores ranged from 3x to almost 4x faster. Things seem noticeably faster. I just finished ripping my entire 300+ CD collection into iTunes yesterday using Apple Lossless and the whole iTunes interface is considerably faster to scroll with album art turned on, although CoverFlow is still pretty miserable without real 3D acceleration support (should massively improve once I get the 9700 Pro back).

    I then tried booting into Leopard (I have OS 9 on one partition, Tiger on another and Leopard on a 3rd partition). I'm typing in Leopard right now. Overall, Tiger is STILL massively disappointing for performance compared to Tiger. Some back end things are faster in XBench, but the graphics tests are considerably slower than Tiger (75 in Tiger versus 35 in Leopard for Quartz and 143 fps OpenGL in Tiger compard to 29 fps in Leopard). User Interface tests were ABYSMAL in Leopard (93.8 in Tiger versus 10.4 in Leopard!!!!). That is INSANELY BAD in Leopard (1/9 the speed of the User Interface and I believe it. Tiger is the definition of "snappy" now while Leopard is almost like MUSH by comparison.

    Now I realize the graphics card in there right now is a mere Rage 128 and things should greatly improve when the 9700 Pro comes back since it has both Core Animation and Quartz Extreme support and the Rage 128 has neither, but still.... there's no excuse for such a drop in performance in Leopard, IMO. I've got every other aspect of this PowerMac upgraded (Sata scores that are as good as some Mac Pros, CPU scores comparable to G5 PPCs and a full 1.5GB of ram (133 CL2; the fastest available for the G4 DA). I'd think maybe something was wrong with the hardware (I've seen reports of other upgraded G4 Digital Audios running 'faster' under Leopard and old Powerbook's that are quite a bit slower than this upgraded one with 3x higher User Interface scores in Leopard), so I have to ask WHAT GIVES?

    If I can ever get the 9700 Pro back, I'll do another comparison (it SHOULD then show the 'faster' results in Leopard, but somehow I doubt it....)

    On the other hand, Tiger is now much more pleasant to use and ITunes serving up music (the system will be used to drive a whole house audio system with Airport Express and/or AppleTV units) uses less than 9% of the CPU.
     
  2. jwt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #2
    Just out of curiosity, have you tried playing any 1080p movies from the Quicktime trailers website?
     
  3. shu82 macrumors 6502a

    shu82

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    #3
    I hope that last comment was a joke. The ram comes up as 100mhz because that is the max speed of your bus. Unless you are encoding or something, you won't get anywhere new with your video card choking it all.
     
  4. aibo macrumors 6502

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    Southern California
    #4
    actually, the Digital Audio G4 has a 133MHz bus and uses PC133 RAM.

    My Digital Audio G4 reports its memory @ 133MHz, so I can't say what the problem is with yours.
     
  5. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a

    SuperCompu2

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    Location:
    MA
    #5
    He's right, and the OP even said it showed as 133MHz in OS 9. ;)

    I'd be interested in hearing more about this once the 9700 is installed and ready to go. It'd be nice to see an old plastic case G4 give a core solo or medium G5 a run for it's money.
     
  6. jwt macrumors 6502

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    #6
    The reason I asked is because my Quicksilver with 1.5 GHz 7455B could handle most 720P content, but couldn't handle 1080P at all. I was just curious to see if the additional clock speed and 2X L2 cache helped.
     
  7. shu82 macrumors 6502a

    shu82

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    #7
    I don't think you are getting that with a ati rage 128 16mb. Ouch!! I can't even get mine to run itunes visualizer anywhere tolerable.
     
  8. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #8
    I got the 9700 Pro back, but I think the guy sent me back the busted card as it won't boot with it in (I should have written down the card's serial number to confirm that). I guess I'll have to order a new video card from someone else.

    As for the rest, some of the people in this thread appear to be confused about who has what hardware. I suggest they re-read the thread. The Rage 128 does indeed suck. But it's what it came with when I bought it used at a computer show last year. It's a Digital Audio. It has a 133Mhz bus, not a 100Mhz bus. Tiger and Leopard report the new ram as 100Mhz. Apparently, this is a common problem with Apple's software reporting bad information with ram that can work at lower speeds as it simply reads the first one off the list of the prom. OS9 correctly reports it as 133Mhz CL2 ram (ram speed tests prove the new ram is faster in every category than the old 256MB simms it came with, which did register as 133 so clearly OS9 is correct.

    As I mentioned, I bought a 9700 Pro and it worked for a little over a week and then died when I put the computer to sleep (coincidence? I have no idea). So I had to put the Rage 128 back in. Every other aspect of the computer has been upgraded (USB 2.0 card was added with front-panel USB/Firewire hub where Zip drive used to be. A Sonnet Sata card was added with two 500Gig drives; all Pata drives removed (75MB/sec performance now) and the system boots from Sata. Ram maxed out with fastest available for the Digital Audio. 1.8GHz 7448 Newer Tech CPU added (this appears to run VERY cool, cooler than the original dual 533. Almost no feeling of heat coming from exhaust on case, although the 9700 Pro sure put off some heat when it was working. Original CD-R drive was replaced with an 16x/48x Pioneer DVD-RW drive (it will boot from it).

    CPU scores are around 85. User Interface in Tiger (even with crappy Rage 128) are almost 100. Disk tests are around 88 overall (66MB/sec cached write with large files and 75MB/sec with cached read with large files with the two Western Digital "Green" Sata drives). The system is connected to a Gigabit network with my 5600+ PC (also Gigabit). The hard drives are the limiting speed factor for exchanging files or backing up over the network as they max out before the Gigabit pipeline does. In other words, transferring files to from the Mac/PC is the same as on the Mac/PC themselves).

    Running iTunes on both the Mac/PC doing similar large operations (e.g. applying art manually to an album of tracks), it's apparent the PC with the AMD 5600+ (and low latency DDR2 800MHz ram) is definitely faster in most operations. However, it's only maybe 40-60% faster (and has 2 cores to the 1 core 7448 in the Mac).

    My goal was not to make a Digital Audio as fast as modern Macs, which is pretty much impossible, but rather to make it usable for the tasks I need it to do, which is act as a large streaming music server across a WiFi network (whole house audio system), along with CD burning/importing and Internet (web/mail, etc.) functions. The total price was around $1200 and that was with all the ram and drives installed. The only "new" tower solution is a Mac Pro, which is both overkill for my current needs and costs $2400 minimum for the 4-core version and that's without the needed two 500GB drives.

    Sure, I could have had an iMac for that price, but I would still need storage...external storage at that (and need FW800 to get the performance of internal SATA, which at a real world 75MB/sec is well beyond the limits of FW400, which means the MacMini wasn't a good option and it would need external everything (Macbook has no FW800 either). I can even add an internal 802.11N PCI card if I need one in a PowerMac (you'd have to use up most of your USB 2.0 bandwidth to get it on a MacMini).

    Besides, the graphite Powermacs had the coolest looking cases Apple ever made, IMO.
     
  9. macz1 macrumors 6502

    macz1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #9
    I'm pretty sure a faster graphics card would eliminate most of the slow things you mentioned.
    I can say that even on a 400MHz G4 coverflow, Dashboard every screensaver, frontrow etc run perfectly since I installed a (flashed PC-) Radeon 9800. Other things are clearly slowed down by the CPU, but run reasonably well.
     
  10. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #10
    I've got a flashed 9800 Pro installed now and it seems to work OK. OpenGL seems to work a lot better in Tiger than Leopard, though. Xscreensavers like GLMatrix work full speed up to like a 5000 polygon count in Tiger (almost all the way up in its option slider area for density of glyphs) whereas it bogs down below 30fps in Leopard at only 600 polygons. Xscreensaver is known to be inefficient in MacOSX, but that shows Leopard really slows things down. The regular interface, windows movements, dashboard 'wave' effect, etc., all run fine in Leopard now, though.

    1080P Quicktime is super choppy even in Tiger, though. 720P trailers aren't even full speed from what I can tell, but it's close.

    Since installing the video card, I've had one unexplained freeze in Leopard so far and once each in Tiger and Leopard the Finder has inexplicably just locked up with a beach ball of death. It finally restarted after a force quit and relaunch from Activity Finder, but it took so long I thought it was gone. Apparently, the 2nd time in Tiger it didn't like my Targus memory card reader, which worked fine before, although I suspect my USB 2.0 PCI card doesn't work fully (won't go into it here, but numerous odd behaviors make me think so; I've got a Sonnet USB 2.0 PCI card on the way to replace it, which will hopefully solve that instability issue).

    It froze in Leopard while reading an article on a web page from Firefox3, so I can't explain what went wrong there. I had to do a hard reboot. Overall, though, it's been pretty stable the past two days. I had an MCI bluetooth adapter, but it proved unreliable and couldn't transfer files in Leopard (worked in tiger), but could use headsets in Leopard, but not in Tiger. I got a new D-Link adapter and everything works in both operating systems. The same adapter works perfectly in Linux and WindowsXP on my PC.

    XBench is giving an overall system rating of around 70. I don't trust its graphics testing, though as it gave a higher OpenGL and User Interface score with the Rage 128 in Tiger than with the Radeon 9800 Pro when clearly things work much better now in both operating systems in terms of graphic updates and 3D. OS9 no longer has any acceleration, though and I had to update its drivers just so it wouldn't freeze up during boot without having to remove all ATI extensions (still no acceleration, though) whereas the Rage128 was at least smooth in 2D there. Given I get NO SOUND in OS9 since the upgrades (except on the first boot after an NVRam reset and reload; after which sound disappears without a trace and no errors given), it doesn't much matter anyway. The whole system sucks without sound and sucks even worse without accelerated video. Well, maybe OS9 always sucked compared to OSX, but still. I like playing with older operating systems.

    I've included a picture of the PowerMac from the front, showing the added internal USB/Firewire Hub.
     

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  11. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Philly
    #11
    How much did this cost?

    I thought about doing the same thing, but decided it would be a waste of money when any of the Intel Macs, Pro or not, are at least neck and neck with it.
     
  12. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #12
    Here's a picture of the upgraded machine with its side door open. Note the two internal 500GB Sata drives, NewerTech CPU/Heatsink/Fans, Radeon 9800 Pro card and the Sata and USB cards. It's populated with the maximum 1.5GB of low-latency 133MHz ram. The CD-RW drive was replaced with an 18X Pioneer DVD-RW drive as well (can't really see it).
     

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  13. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #13
    Well, not counting the screwups of buying a 9700 Pro that won't work (for whatever reason) in the machine and having to replace the MSI Bluetooth adapter with a D-Link one (to get it to work 100% in both operating systems) and the replacement USB 2.0 card (this time by Sonnet which seems to make fully compatible products) that's on the way, it cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1200-1300 (that's with a $260 base used Digital Audio dual 553 computer bought well over a year ago now and counting the recent bluetooth and Logitech 9000 camera additions. Figure about $940 worth of upgrades (? means going by memory estimates) for 1.8GHz 7448 ($400?), 1.5GB of ram ($150?), 18X DVD-RW drive ($50?), flashed Radeon 9800 Pro off Ebay (for $99 + shipping in a recent buy now bid from a guy in Texas), Sata Card + two 500GB drives (about $80 each on sale), USB 2.0 card ($20), USB Bluetooth Adapter ($20).

    Like I said earlier, you can get a new iMac for that, but it's a low-end one with a small internal hard drive and all expansion has to be external. It's CPU will be way faster and maybe even its graphics card will be somewhat faster. Prepare to sprawl your extra hard drives on your desk as well and that's all assuming you have to buy the base Mac. If you have one already, that's only $900, which isn't much more than a Mac-Mini and has more capability in some areas (certainly my dual sata hard drive speed is comparable to a MacPro for example while the MacMini is very slow in that area). Maybe you don't need several of those upgrades (i.e. reuse some memory, etc.) which makes it even more attractive.

    Me, I bought the Mac at a computer show while on a pinball trip to Allentown, PA and got it to just to try a Mac out (basically just a cheap Mac to play with). Once I saw how much fun the OS was, etc. and found out about the possibilities with a couple of AppleTV and/or Airport Express additions (for iTunes whole house audio using Airtunes), well, why start over from scratch when I've already got the G4 and it's all internal and has the hobbyist 'upgrade fun' factor that iMacs simply do not have and a MacPro would be too much for the uses I had in mind for this machine (i.e. 24/7 music server and browsing/online secure transation machine).

    I've since also added Logitech 9000 camera, Klipsch THX speakers (for the 'den' zone of the whole house audio system), a bluetooth headset (use with messenger or skype or whatever not to mention also with my cell phone) and its shared across a Gigabit Network with my PC running WinXP and Mandriva Linux with a Networked Brother MFC-665CW all-in-one printer (which comes with software for both Mac and Windows and has Linux drivers online as well so it works with all three operating systems).

    This thing was LOUD when I first got it. It turned out that was the original Apple 40GB hard drive whining. Once I transferred the OS over to the new Sata Drives and ditched the Pata drives once and for all, it's now VERY quiet, more quiet than my brand new PC even. It put off almost no heat with the new processor until I added the 9800 Pro which runs hotter than anything else in the case, but still only spits out lukewarm air out the back.

    Is it worth it? I suppose in the end only you can answer that for yourself. It won't play newer games, for one thing. I use my PC for gaming anyway.
     
  14. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #14
    I would bet one your sticks is having a "The cake is a lie" issue. If one your sticks of ram is 100mhrz, the rest will underclock. I would try it a stick at a time, see if you cant get it to come up at 133 and find which ones are 100.
     
  15. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #15
    $1700 divided by 8 years = $212.50 a year. I think I'll just by a new one before this thing falls apart on me :p
     
  16. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #16
    I've read that the System Profiler is simply inaccurate for a number of things (specifically, OSX's ram report reads the first internal setting available and so ram that CAN run at 100 will show up as 100 in the profiler even though it has other modes of operation) and that OS9 actually provides a more accurate measure of several things. The same ram comes up as 222 latency 133MHz ram in OS9. XBench proves the memory accesses faster than the original 133Mhz 322 512MB of ram that it came with so I seriously doubt the profiler's reports are accurate in OSX.
     
  17. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

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    #17
    I got the Sonnet USB 2.0 PCI card in to day and took out the Ultra brand card and put this one in instead. All I can say is never buy an Ultra USB PCI card for a Mac. All the problems I had with USB devices went away. The Logitech 9000 camera no longer has glitches every so often. USB memory cards transfer without any issues now and I assume I won't have any more transfer issues with my iPod Touch either. I haven't tried it yet, but this card says it will work under OS9 as well (as a 1.1 USB device). The Ultra didn't work at all (this means maybe I can just use one large USB 2.0 hub to plug everything into instead of having to keep a 2nd USB 1.1 hub around just for the keyboard and mouse).

    Hopefully, everything will be fully stable now.
     
  18. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

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    #18
    I think that USB card was interfering with other bus operations as I now get improved numbers in a few different areas with the XBench test, especially the hard drive numbers, but even the CPU score went up 5 points or so.

    Here's the XBench results in Tiger (I realize XBench isn't totally accurate, but it is what it is):

     
  19. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #19
    These are my XBench Leopard Results to Compare. Clearly, OpenGL and Disk performance are considerably worse in Leopard compared to Tiger. Still, the largest difference of all is the "User Interface" test. It's almost half the result of Tiger (50 versus Tiger's 94) so if Leopard feels slower, it's probably not my imagination.

    To those that say Leopard doesn't NEED optimized in the form of Snow Leopard for PPC machines I say just look at those numbers. Tiger was optimized. Leopard was rushed out the door and it shows in certain areas. It can be improved for EVERYONE, IMO. It should be as fast or faster than Tiger based on previous Apple releases. There's no need for that slowdown. The new features don't justify the losses, IMO. A 3D dock? Spaces? Time Machine (I use Carbon Copy Cloner so no big deal there to me). The only REAL reason for me to use Leopard over Tiger on this machine is to get continuing support for newer drivers like for raw camera formats, etc. and software that will only run under Leopard which is becoming more common all the time.


     
  20. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

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    #20
    I tried a Maxtor One Touch 4 Plus 500GB external Firewire 400/USB 2.0 drive out under Tiger and Leopard with Xbench drive tests on this system. Here, I do see an improvement in Leopard over Tiger for drive results IF I use the USB 2.0 interface compared to Tiger with USB. Firewire posted similar results in both systems, but was faster than USB 2.0 in both cases. However, it does show they've improved their previously HORRIBLE USB 2.0 driver a bit in Leopard (i.e. I was getting HALF the transfer speed in Tiger using USB 2.0 compared to Firewire. Leopard improved USB performance 5-7MB/sec compared to Tiger USB, but it was still 10MB/sec slower on average than Firewire 400 on this machine.

    Compared to Windows, though, it still has a long way to go, IMO. Windows USB 2.0 often does neck in neck with Firewire 400 these days whereas it feels like Apple purposely slowed down their USB support to make Firewire look better on the same system. Given Firewire's overall failure to capture most of the USB market, it seems ridiculous at this point in time, but the only other explanation is Apple is incompetent in that area.

    Overall, I get around 30-37MB/sec with this drive using Firewire in Tiger and Leopard and 15MB/sec with USB 2.0 in Tiger and 19-21MB/sec in Leopard with USB 2.0 and the same drive using Xbench results for the faster reported test times. No, it's not the PCI bus for USB 2.0 devices given my Sata PCI card manages 75MB/sec in Tiger and 54 MB/sec in Leopard with a 7200 RPM drive (this is a 7200 RPM drive also, but a Maxtor instead of a Western Digital).
     
  21. 9Charms macrumors regular

    9Charms

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    #21
    You're probably going to kick yourself for not getting that iMac since Drobo just released a FW800 version today...
     
  22. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #22
    What does $600+ worth of dumbed down NAS equipment have to do with anything? You're suggesting I should have bought a $1600 iMac + $800 worth of equipment (Drobo + 2 500 Gig drives) to achieve the same thing I got for $1200 total plus mine fits in one case under my desk as opposed to an iMac + drobo to be stored somewhere externally? Why not just buy a 4-core MacPro for the same price and dump a 2nd drive in it? You'll get a lot more bang for your buck than an iMac with a Drobo.

    Or was this an attempted ad for Drobo anywhere you could fit it?
     
  23. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

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    #23
    Or you could have bought a powermac G5 and had much more power out of the box for the same price. :rolleyes: The system bus alone in a single 1.8 G5 would be 6.75x faster than in your G4.
     
  24. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    May 20, 2008
    #24
    Its not about that! Its about defying apple! Its about the weekend projects! Its fun! :D

    But even then for 599 you could have gotten a dual core mini. :D
     
  25. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #25
    Could have would have should have. I said I bought the base computer used on a whim at a computer show running next door to a pinball show I was attending in Allentown just to try a Mac out for the first time. I dare say I probably know more about PPC Mac hardware and expansion (there's a word most Mac people don't know) than most now and I've gotten to play with a fully bootable OS9 along the way (no G5 can do that). The G4's case is way prettier than a G5 or Intel Mac Pro (ok, frivolous but given how much emphasis many Mac people place on aesthetics, I would have thought more would have appreciated it). Really, given how most of you slammed my comments in other threads about the lack of gaming capability or a mid-range tower to accommodate gamers (even ones running Boot Camp), I'm surprised that any of you would give a crap about newer Macs given they are less stable and you don't NEED a dual 2.8 GHz Core2Duo to use a lousy word processor (ok maybe you do if you're running Microsoft Office 2008...ha ha).

    Unless you do video editing or something, what's with all the urgency to upgrade to the newest Mac? In the PC world, 3D gaming drives the envelope for upgrading hardware. In the Mac world, there's no such thing as 3D gaming (well hardly). There's probably more games for OS9 than OSX. This is squarely Apple's fault, IMO as they don't even try to push a gaming Mac or update OpenGL to run faster, etc. In fact, OpenGL took a major slowdown in Leopard compared to Tiger. I can't even run Xscreensaver at a decent clip in Leopard with a 9800 Pro whereas it can 8x the number of polygons in Tiger without slowing down. Apple doesn't care about 3D.

    Meanwhile, the Mac Mini is a bit of a joke. Its internal hard drives are so slow you could probably get better performance from an Amiga 3000. ;) Yeah, I've got one of those too. In any case, it just seems like some Mac people place "new and shiny" over functionality. The Mac-Mini is a case where it COULD be a functional little theater center or something, but Apple chokes all the life out of it by making it TOO small to use faster drives, won't give it even the latest Intel chipset let alone a real graphics card (the AppleTV has a way better card than the Mini and that is just ridiculous!), etc. And what good is small and clean looking if you have to expand everything externally? it defeats the entire point on the Mini and the iMac, IMO. If they made them just a LITTLE bigger, they could have room for a 2nd hard drive internally, a real graphics card (not just a laptop one), etc. and keep the whole clean desktop thing going. Sometimes Apple goes TOO FAR with the aesthetics and destroys function along the way. I mean what is Jobs' obsession with THIN anyway?

    Oh well. Make fun of my Mac if you want. At least I'm helping to keep Mac support companies in business.
     

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