Mac G4 MDD questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by TrailerTrish, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. TrailerTrish macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2012
    Okay I know it's a antique, but it's all I have at present, until I an afford a new mini, and I landed on this machine after the death of my 6 year old mini, and have to make the best of it.

    First question: It very obviously needs some upgrading to even be tolerable for the kind of use I'm accustomed to, starting with the USB card in it, which I've determined is USB 1.1. This simply will not do as it takes 12 minutes just to copy a 200 mb file over it, and it's a ghastly bottleneck in the system. Managing 7 terabytes of video over this bus is not fun at all, and during downloads my browser constantly hangs and beachballs.

    Is there a USB card I can get for this machine that will upgrade it to USB 2.0? Where might I find one for so old a machine?

    Moving right along: The video card in this thing just doesn't cut it for me, or for my 25 in. monitor. I've seen that some of the G4's used an ATI Radeon 9000, but that's not what's in this machine, and even if I can find one that would go into the AGP slot it would prolly be a refurb.

    So... what decent video card might I be able to get for this machine that would make good use of my screen real estate, and not cost a bundle?

    Another question, is it at all possible to upgrade the processor in this kludge?
    I'm pretty sure I can't get an Intel processor for it, but anything would be an improvement over what it came with.

    Here are it's vitals:

    System Version: Mac OS X 10.5.8 (9L31a)
    Kernel Version: Darwin 9.8.0
    Boot Volume: MAC HD 320
    Boot Mode: Normal

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: Power Mac G4
    Model Identifier: PowerMac3,6
    Processor Name: PowerPC G4 (2.1)
    Processor Speed: 867 MHz
    Number Of CPUs: 2
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 256 KB
    L3 Cache (per CPU): 1 MB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 133 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: 4.4.8f2

    NVIDIA GeForce4 MX:

    Chipset Model: GeForce4 MX
    Type: Display
    Bus: AGP
    Slot: SLOT-1
    VRAM (Total): 64 MB
    Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
    Device ID: 0x0171
    Revision ID: 0x00a3
    ROM Revision: 1091

    USB Bus:

    Host Controller Location: Built In USB
    Host Controller Driver: AppleUSBOHCI
    PCI Device ID: 0x0019
    PCI Revision ID: 0x0001
    PCI Vendor ID: 0x106b
    Bus Number: 0x18

    Suggestions and comments welcome.

  2. velocityg4, Jan 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012

    velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    For USB 2.0 cards as I understand it they just use generic drivers so any would work. This Startech PCI330USB2 is the cheapest I could find that mentions being OS X compatible.

    As for the CPU you can find plenty of MDD Dual 1.25Ghz CPU boards for quite cheap on eBay. I don't know if the 1.25Ghz boards need a heavier duty heatsink or not, you can find those as well. Look around in the below links there are currently some of these cards for under $30 "buy it now" which are guaranteed to work.

    The 1.42Ghz boards seem to be hard to come by. They likely sell at a premium because they are the pinnacle of G4 performance and more sought after by collectors. I'd skip the aftermarket upgrades as they have a ridiculous premium.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G4


    Feb 20, 2009
    I have a g4/1.25 MDD that I've been using daily since 2004. Using it right now. These are solid towers, plenty of room for expansion, one of the best platforms Apple ever released.

    "Is there a USB card I can get for this machine that will upgrade it to USB 2.0? Where might I find one for so old a machine?"

    I'd try ebay. I believe you should be looking for a generic USB2 card with an NEC controller chip. You might try reading up over at "" on USB2 cards.

    Be aware that you can't BOOT from a USB2 card, but otherwise it should work fine.

    I remember upgrading the video card in my MDD at some point (but it was so long ago, can't even remember which card I upgraded _to_!) There are cards that will work, mine was from the ATI series.

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