New purchase - Apple Power G4 Dual 867 Mhz

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by jrko, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. jrko macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hi all. I've been reading and searching but have a couple of questions about my 'new' Apple Power G4 Dual 867 Mhz. I'm going to be using it for media storage and as a back up device for my iMac and macbook. Its going to be in my bedroom so we can watch films etc in bed on lazy days as well.

    My questions are:

    Can I use a Sata drive run from a PCI Sata controller card as the boot drive?

    Will the power supply be up to running 6 hard drives inside? (4 in standard locations and one in each 5.25 bay)

    Are there any perennial issues with this model I should look out for?

    I want to give it a good going over before I get it up and running. I was going to clean and reapply Arctic silver to the CPU/heatsink interface, upgrade to 2Gb RAM, replace the rather noisy fan with a higher CFM quieter version and anything else you guys can recommend
     
  2. zen.state, Mar 26, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011

    zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #2
    First off congrats on your new purchase!

    On to your questions..

    Yes you can. I am booted from a SATA drive on a PCI card as I type this. For your needs I recommend the 4 channel PCI SATA card FirmTek sells.

    Yes. The Dual 867 has a 400 Watt PSU and can easily handle 6 drives. All modern drives consume around 12-15 Watts so even 6 would only be around 75-90 Watts. Unless you want to use more than one SATA PCI card you will have to make 2 of the drives PATA.

    The MDD is the most troublesome G4 tower but keep in mind the repair/recall on these was only for about 6% of them which is very good compared to G5 towers that range from 11-32% of systems needing repair. I have owned 2 MDD in the past and based on that and other research I have done the Dual 867MHz is the most rock solid of them all. The MDD's main issues were fan noise and some of the PSU's die after just a few years. There are a few guides around though on how to rig a standard 24 pin ATX PSU to power an MDD.

    Considering it's about 8 years old now and still running you definitely have a good one.

    Good idea to give it a good cleaning and apply fresh paste to the dual CPU's. The 2GB RAM upgrade is a great idea and for fans many people like SilenX fans in the MDD. SilenX are good but I prefer Noctua which are truly the most quiet high end quality fans you can buy and for about the same price. Antec dual ball bearing tricool fans are also very good and have a built in controller.

    Here is a great blog all about making an MDD quieter.
     
  3. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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  4. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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  5. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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  6. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #6
    In my experience paste can easily be whipped off without cleaner. On the CPU itself I use my finger after touching metal to ground myself. I don't trust chemical cleaners on my computer components no matter how good they claim to be. One wipe with each of about 3 fingers gets it all off. Make sure you wash your hands before and after doing that.

    For the heatsink I would use a kleenex made just slightly damp with warm water. The dampness should be so minimal that you can't even squeeze one drop out of it. If any faint bits are left on the chip itself you can use the same barley damp kleenex technique. Do both with the kleenex folded into a small square and be sure to use very little force on the CPU. I have been doing exactly this for years.
     
  7. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    thanks zen.state.

    what compound would you recommend? arctic silver seems to be the standard
     
  8. zen.state, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011

    zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #8
    I have only used Arctic Silver 5 and OCZ Ultra 5. Both are good. I have even read in a couple places that the OCZ is actually just repackaged Arctic Silver. The OCZ tends to be darker than others though.

    In the end though the difference from the worst to the best paste is maybe 1-3C. Every bit does help though.

    Be sure to only use a dab on each CPU raised middle that is about the size of a grain of rice. Any other pertinent info about the application of individual pastes will be in the included instructions.
     
  9. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #9
    agree with everything, but have a couple suggestions.

    i'm a huge arctic-cooling.com fan, but have moved from 'arctic silver' to 'mx-2' with great results. just as stable over time, seems to 'cure' faster, and i've found a several degree drop on lots of different builds. also, mx-2 is non-conductive, which won't matter if you only use the recommended amount, but safer is always better and all that.

    i've got no problem with the kleenex trick, but would recommend plain old kitchen paper towel instead (also folded) because a lot of tissues have things like lotion (oil) which can cause problems when cleaning/bonding.

    also would recommend rubbing alcohol instead of water (90% if you can find it, 70% if not) as it does a better job of removing the old bonding agent with less work, and won't damage any electronics like the crazy over priced cleaning stuff they sell. i get the water is free angle, but rubbing alcohol is really cheap at the local discount or drug store. i like cheap and effective!

    best of luck.
     
  10. Dave H macrumors 6502

    Dave H

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    #10
    I'll second the recommendations for MX-2 and rubbing alcohol. I used those on my G4 also with good results.
     
  11. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    #11
    i use mentholated spirits (is that the same as the US of A calls rubbing alcahol?) works a treat. :)
     
  12. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Thanks for the input. can I ask, is the temp drop compared to Arctic Silver of the original paste?

    Thanks for the input guys
     
  13. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #13
    yeah, sorry for not being clear. already had been getting decent temp drops when using arctic silver over standard paste, and then saw an additional drop when i started using mx-2.

    took several systems apart, removed arctic silver, installed mx-2 and had a couple to several degree drop on the same system so could say it was the paste as everything else stayed the same. best of luck.
     
  14. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    awsome - thanks 4JNA

    MX-2 here i come!!

    well that and a SilenX iXtrema Pro 120mm x 38mm 18dBA 90CFM to replace the main CPU fan and 2x AIREN FAN RedWings 60mm capable of 30CFM at 17.5dBA
     
  15. jrko, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

    jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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  16. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    Help!

    Can anyone verify the RAM i've found above suits my G4?

    Worried about making noobish mistake with an older model :D
     
  17. 666sheep, Mar 29, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011

    666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #17
    Yes, Kingston you've linked will work OK. Plus it has lifetime manufacturer's warranty (which really works). But I'd recommend the same brand but PC3200 (400 MHz). It's more futureproof - if you'd buy MDD with faster bus (or overclock this one's bus to 167 MHz) or G5 in the future, then you'll be able to use this RAM with it.

    Other brand, like Crucial, Corsair will also work: http://www.clevedons.co.uk/product_...ory_non_ECC_Unbuffered_CL25_Lifetime_Warranty
     
  18. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    thanks 666sheep.

    it can be difficult to find the correct info on these older models as compared to the newer macs I have.
     
  19. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #19
    This app is a great database of Mac info. It has detailed specs of every Mac ever made.
     
  20. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    Thanks zen.state. I'll look it up once the blasted screen turns up!

    This thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1127873 is asking about drive sizes for PPC machines but the thread on the apple site pointed to doesn't seem to answer the question definitively - at least to me but I'm kinda new.

    what is the max drive size for a PPC with with a ATA controller in one of the PCI slots?
     
  21. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #21
    I have heard of the 2TB limit per drive before. I cannot confirm this 100% though as all my drives are less than 2TB. I have 3.5 TB total but it consists of 3x 1TB and 1x 500GB.

    I think 2TB drives are a great option for you. They can be had for as little as 75-80 each these days and 4 of them would give you 8TB in your file server. Not too shabby.

    I myself plan to buy a couple 2TB drives soon as I am running out of space even with 3.5 TB.
     
  22. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Yeah 2Tb are the way forward for me but I would have liked some 3Tb drives in the future as my 1.5Tb drives only have about 100Gb left. One is my iTunes and the other is its backup. I'll have to look into raid setups to see if I can expand the size that way. Never mind though.

    I'm wondering how many drives I can get into the space where the CD drive cage is? I know its deep enough as there is a cage with 2 underneath it. I reckon about 4-5 drives.

    In the meantime I bought a little gizmo so I can put 2x 2.5 inch drives in 1 5.25 space. Will make one the system drive and the other its time machine so I can use the 4 main caddies for 3.5 inch drives. might do the same above and use a firewire dvd drive.

    I'm chasing as 2 Sata port card as well :D

    You can never have too much storage my wife says - you should see her wardrobes :rolleyes: ;) :D :p
     
  23. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    Introducing..........

    just wanted to post from my new Dually! (867mhz not axle ;) )

    Getting there. Fans in and much quieter - was a doddle to do. Screens here and just waiting on the thermal paste and Sata card's
     
  24. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    mmmm doesn't like streaming from tvcatchup.com

    new frame twice a second but sound is ok. Vid card is Radeon 9000 with 64MB.

    Is that the issue or the paltry 512MB ram?
     
  25. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #25
    i would think 'yes' and 'yes'. more ram will make everything work better, but i also saw a huge improvement moving to a better/faster video card.

    ask zen about his card since he is still up and running everyday. i used a pc ATI 9800 and flashed it, then installed a super quiet arctic-cooling aftermarket rig, worked like magic on everything from desktop to 'eye candy' to internet.

    you know, you're going to need to post pictures of this thing at some point, or it didn't happen... ;) best of luck.
     

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