Power Mac single 1.8 upgrade question

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Ld27, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Ld27 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    #1
    I can max out the ram to 8 gig and install a 240gig SSD for less than $250.00.

    Is it worth doing? Any other worthwhile upgrades?

    It's not my main computer, I use it mainly for iTunes, digital recording, email, web, chat.

    Thanks
    Len
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    Welcome to MacRumors, Len. Depending on the RAM in it now, it may be plenty. Leopard, while more resource heavy than Tiger, is still not too heavy on RAM usage. I can manage just fine on 2 GB of RAM in my G5, but recently upgraded to 4 GB just to have a buffer of room before my Mac starts paging to the disk. Look in Activity Monitor to see if you are even using what you have now, in particular, the page outs.

    Some users went with an SSD. I personally am using a 7200 RPM Western Digital Caviar Blue hard drive that I got for free and fine the performance more than adequate. SSDs must be a SATA I or SATA II chipset for G5s. Stay away from the newer SATA III SSDs as they have issues with the G5s internal SATA chipset. The performance may improve slightly, but the SATA I interface really lacks the bandwidth to show what difference an SSD really makes.

    Essentially, I would look at getting at least 2 GB of RAM and Leopard to start. Then add in a quality 7200 RPM hard drive or a SSD as you see fit. You only have a single processor, so that does damper some CPU intensive tasks.
     
  3. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    May 25, 2014
    #3
    Which single processor PowerMac 1.8 can accept 8GB of memory? The only single 1.8 I see listed on EveryMac is the 9,1 - A1093 - 2020 model. EveryMac specifies a maximum of 4GB of memory and doesn't list 8GB as unofficial.

    With that said more memory only benefits when you're exceeding your current memory configuration. If your tasks only use 2GB of memory 8GB isn't going to do much for you. If you can get it cheap / free then go for it. Follow the advice of Altemose to determine how much you're using.

    As for the SSD again if it's low cost / free then go for it. Otherwise I wouldn't spend the money. I have a single processor 1.8GHz (the model mentioned above) with a 64GB SSD. I didn't observe any practical speed increase as a result of the SSD. Certainly not enough to warrant the cost of a 240GB SSD.
     
  4. Ld27 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2014
    #4
    It is model PowerMac 7,2 with 8 dimm slots. Each can take 1 gig.

    I have a spare 1TB HDD that I will try. It is 7200 speed.

    They also say that Tiger runs better on this model. May downgrade to that.

    Len
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #5

    Tiger may run better slightly, but Leopard is by far the better OS in terms of modern support.
     
  6. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Ah, somehow I missed the original!
     
  7. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

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    #7
    I'd only run Tiger on something (usually a G4) that isn't a dual processor model. Every dual processor G4 and every G5 I own, gets Leopard.
     
  8. robertdsc macrumors regular

    robertdsc

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    Jan 28, 2014
    #8
    I'm in the opposite camp. I run Tiger on everything and Leopard on DP G5s only.
     
  9. KeegM480 macrumors 6502a

    KeegM480

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    #9
    My upgrade from 1GB to 2GB was a great idea, 8GB might be a bit much,I'd recommend 4GB for something like that
     
  10. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #10
    TenFourFox when opening a lot of tabs is enough to ensure you need at least 2 GB. It isn't Cameron's (TenFourFox's developer) fault, but rather Mozilla for making Firefox code a memory pig.
     
  11. KeegM480 macrumors 6502a

    KeegM480

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    #11
    That why I said 4GB, I do notice that. 8GB is just so much money I can't find the value. You might as well get an older Mac Pro if you need that much out of your computer.
     
  12. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    May 25, 2014
    #12
    I don't know what you mean by a lot of tabs. But I've got five open right now on this single 1.8GHz G5 with 2GB of memory and free memory is sitting at 1.21GB (while using TenFourFox). Mean while CPU routinely reaches 100%.
     
  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #13
    It really depends on what is running in those tabs. If you have something using plugins and a lot of JavaScript then the RAM usage is pretty high. I prefer Leopard WebKit as it just feels like a more fluid environment to browse in.
     
  14. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    May 25, 2014
    #14
    I agree. However I doubt memory is going to make his system faster...at least for web browsing. Out of the 2GB I have in this system. 1.21GB is free. Opening additional tabs doesn't appreciably decrease memory.

    On the flip side the CPU is frequently pegged at 100%. This leads me to conclude the CPU is the bottleneck and not memory (this system has a 64GB SSD).

    It's interesting this should arise as I have a dual 2.0GHZ PowerMac G5 with 3GB of memory and it feels a lot faster. I thought perhaps memory was an issue with this 1.8GHz and was going to take some out of the dual 2.0GHz until I actually looked at memory consumption / CPU use. The dual 2.0GHz feels a lot snappier and the CPU history shows why...it wasn't pegged like this single processor 1.8GHz is.

    IMO adding memory to his system would result in no appreciable performance increase for web browsing (this assume he doesn't have memory consumed with a lot of other software running at the same time).
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #15
    It is kind of buy what you can afford mentality. I had 2 GB (4 x 512 MB) in my PowerMac G5 with 4 RAM slots. I saw on the Marketplace that someone was selling 4 GB for $20 shipped and I have gotten to 1.9 GB used so I jumped on that offer. Has it made it much faster? Not really but the boot is slightly faster and I never get it near the 4 GB mark.

    That being said, a single 1.8 G5 isn't going to win any races. In fact some of the single models feel like dual G4s in day to day usage. It is a quality Mac with good expansion in comparison to the G4s (PCI-X, RAM, SATA chipset, USB 2.0, etc.).

    In summary, if the OP has 2 GB then don't bother upgrading. If it has a lower amount get it to at least 2 GB then if you need it go to 4. I feel as though an SSD is wasted in a G5 due to the SATA I chipset. Perhaps there is a bootable SATA card, but I prefer to stick with the onboard ports.
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #16
    I have 4gb in my 1.8ghz, and have noticed very similar-I don't even come close to using all the ram, but Tenfourfox does routinely peg the CPU at 100%.
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #17

    Try Leopard WebKit with Click To Flash and AdBlock plus.
     
  18. repentix macrumors regular

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    May 26, 2013
    #18
    I have indeed got 8 GB of Ram in my single 1.8 GHZ G5 and the CPU is the only thing being maxed out. But having 8GB of Ram is sure nice for bragging ;)
     
  19. wobegong Guest

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    May 29, 2012
    #19
    I think for RAM its clear enough from the previous posts whether you will get an improvement raising this but for the SSD question I can guarantee you it will transform your machine. The misconception is that being on a SATA 1 bus it's not worth it but thats not the main point - with SSD's its about latency as well (the time it takes for the disk to start serving up) and SSD's have a much much lower latency than even fast HD's.

    I have a 7200 WD Black 2Tb drive and an SSD - the difference is night and day so for sure you will see huge difference in App loading times etc.

    Personally I keep the regular HD as a second drive and keep Photo's/Music/Docs on here so the SSD can just be used for the OS and programs - makes the system much snappier.
     
  20. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I noticed the same behavior with Safari as I did TenFourFox. In fact I tried TenFourFox in the hope it would have been faster than Safari. But my testing shows them to be equal performance wise. However TenFourFox does a better job of rendering pages than Safari 3. I'll have to try Altemose's suggestion. Though It's not really a problem as it's quite usable. I can just tell the difference between the single 1.8 and the dual 2.0.
     
  21. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I disagree with this almost 100%. Unless your tasks involve a lot random disk I/O an SSD will not appreciably increase the responsiveness of the system. I know because I did this very thing...replaced the mechanical hard disk with the currently installed SSD. It's not worth the cost unless you can obtain the SSD for a good price.
     
  22. wobegong Guest

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    May 29, 2012
    #22
    Power Mac single 1.8 upgrade question


    Sorry, I have both, maybe it depends on the CPU but people here say even fitting one to a G4 PowerBook makes a difference, I don't have experience of that specifically but I can tell you it makes a hell of a lot of difference to my machine - most apps launch on a single bounce has really rejuvenated it. Of course it doesn't speed up anything CPU bound but for app launching etc it's quite literally twice as fast.
     
  23. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

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    May 25, 2014
    #23
    IMO an almost useless metric. Many apps take a couple of seconds to load...so cutting that time in half isn't saving a lot of time. For those which take longer the savings can be more pronounced. But again you're taking a task which takes, for example, 20 seconds and reducing it to 13 seconds. Given application loading is an infrequent task (and is cached in RAM for subsequent loads) I cannot recommend spending a lot of money on an SSD to decrease it. IMO the money would be better spent on a faster system. Though with SSD prices dropping it doesn't cost nearly as much as it once did.
     
  24. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
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    Kentucky
    #24
    Will download and definitely give this a try when I get home this evening.

    Thanks!
     
  25. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #25
    Definitely worth a shot. With Click To Flash it stops all Flash from running until you specifically click on it. In conjunction with AdBlock, you get a clean web environment with only the Flash that you want!
     

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