PowerMac Upgrades

JasonElise1983

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2003
584
0
Between a rock and a midget
So i've been looking into upgrades lately for my powerMac and i was just wondering y'all think of some of these options. Here is the computer i have.

Powermac G4 933Mhz QS2002
1.25Gb RAM
120Gb and 60Gb HD
SuperDrive (original)
64Mb nVidia GeForce 4MX

Here is what i am looking at doing
1.4Ghz G4 Gigadesigns $299
64Mb ATI 9600 Pro (modified for G4 at OWC) $119
MCE Tech 16X DL SuperDrive $99

or

1.8Ghz G4 Gigadesigns (no L3 Cache) $399
64Mb ATI 9600 Pro (modified for G4 at OWC) $119
MCE Tech 16X DL SuperDrive $99

or

Dual 1.3Ghz G4 Gigadesigns (no L3 Cache) $539
No Video card upgrade
MCE Tech 16X DL SuperDrive $99

Which would benefit me more? I could also get a 9800 Pro with the first package instead of the 9600Pro, but i really want to spend as little as possible, but get the most bang for the buck. Will i be able to tell a big difference between the 1.4Ghz and the 1.8Ghz? Thanks

-jason
 

AstroManLuca

macrumors member
Mar 18, 2005
86
0
Minnesota
The dual will be faster than either of the single processor upgrades. And in fact I don't think there will be much of a difference between the 1.4 and the 1.8. If you want to go cheaper, go for the 1.4 instead.

Also, don't buy a 16x DVD burner for $99! That's a very high price. Get it from NewEgg. They have the Pioneer DVR-109 for $64 here.

Going from the 64 MB GeForce 4MX to the 64 MB Radeon 9600 won't give you a huge benefit. The only real difference is that the 9600 will give you full CoreImage hardware acceleration. Maybe you should wait on that, to see how things really pan out with CoreImage and such.
 
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ChrisFromCanada

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2004
1,097
0
Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
List the activities you do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis on you computer.

mail, web browsing, itunes, imovie, iphoto, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Motion, games???

That will give us a better idea of what would benefit you most.

P.S. I would lean toward the second option as I believe a strong single processor is better than two weaker duals, but again tell us what you do most with this computer.
 
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JasonElise1983

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2003
584
0
Between a rock and a midget
Lots of
Photoshop CS (up 300-500Mb files)
Indesign CS (working with images from PS)
Illustrator CS
Acrobat 6 Pro
Safari/Camino
Entourage
iTunes

a little
MS Word
GoLive CS
ImageReady CS
iMovie
iDVD
Garageband

Sorry didn't think that it was going to be such a long list, but i use my computer a lot during a day. Anyway, i know a VideoCard upgrade isn't going to help a lot with what i do, but i do know it helps with PS Filters.

Would i need PatchBurn for that Pioneer drive? How good is patchBurn?

Thanks
-jason
 
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MitchJi

macrumors newbie
May 3, 2004
7
0
Get a G5

Hi,

933 QS's are going for between $850 and $1,500 (!) on Ebay. If you do a nice add with good pictures you should be able to get at least $1k. Then get a refurbed DP 1.8 for about $1,800 or a single 1.8 G5 for $1,300.

You will end up with a quieter and probably equal if you get the single or faster if you get the dual system. If you get the dual you will probably spend a few hundred more but resale should also be more when you sell it.

Mitch
 
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Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,700
2,727
Sod off
The OWC 1.4GHz upgrade is faster than the Giga 1.8, though a little slower than the dual 1.3.

I'd spring for the single 1.4 and 9600 Pro, but really it's all up to how much you are willing to spend - buy the best you can.
 
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JasonElise1983

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2003
584
0
Between a rock and a midget
i actually thought about getting a G5, but the problem is, i would feel bad selling this machine right now. It was gift from my boss who i am pretty good friends with, and i don't want him to ask about it and me say that i sold to make a profit on the deal. I'm also quite happy with a g4 over all. I work on a Daul 2.0Ghz G5 at my office and as fast as it is, my friends Dual 1.2Ghz G4 MDD doesn't feel that much slower. My big question is, would it benefit me more to not get a Video Card and get the Dual 1.3 G4 or would i see more performance from a good video card and a Single 1.4 or 1.8 G4? THanks for the responces.

-jason
 
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zakatov

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2005
501
0
South Florida
The only thing I can say about the upgrades is this:
G4 architechture is based on a very slow bus, thus L3 cache was added to help alleviate the problem. I see that two of your upgrade options have no L3 cache, so I advise you to opt for the slower Mhz, while keeping the L3 cache, because you don't want all the Mhz sitting there doing nothing because the system bus can't feed data in/out of the processor(s) fast enough
 
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Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,700
2,727
Sod off
Zakatov is right, I would avoid the latest upgrades that have no L3 cache - the higher clock is wasted and may in fact be slightly slower than the chips with L3.

With regards to your video card question, Photoshop relies more on the size and speed of the video card's VRAM, whereas games also need the card's GPU to process things as fast as possible. If you upgrade your CPU but not your video card, you will see big gains in Photoshop performance and decent gains in gaming. Add the video card and gaming performance will increase noticably. The Radeon 9600 Pro has the same amount of VRAM as the GeForce4MX but is clocked much faster and has a much higher-tech GPU. These differences show up more in gaming than most pro apps like Photshop.

However, keep in mind that Tiger will rely on video cards more than previous operating systems and the last time Apple gave specs it recommended a Radeon 9600 or better for optimum use of Tiger's Core Video technology. That may change, but it's something to think about when shopping.
 
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wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,568
0
My thoughts are that if you can its best to purchase a new machine. I realize finances are a big part of that decision. Even with the upgrade your will still have old components, container, and a G4.
 
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JasonElise1983

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 2, 2003
584
0
Between a rock and a midget
So, the Dual 1.3Ghz G4 (with 2MB L3 Cache) is what i am planning on doing now. I may eventually upgrade the Video Card, but i'll just have to see how money is going. Hopefully i'll be coming into some cash shortly, so maybe i can buy that 128Mb 9800 Pro then (since that is what i want).

I never got an answer for this, but will i need patchburn for the Pioneer DVR-109? and How well does Patchburn really work if i do? Will i be able to use all the apps.

I do realize a G5 is a more modern machine, but in all honesty i don't find anything wrong with a G4. I do realize the FSB and AGP are much slower on the G4, but i've added USB2.0 and after upgrading the Video Card, Processors, and SuperDrive...i'll have a pretty modern machine (modern enough for me and it would only cost me the price of that stuff) Thanks again...you all have been a big help.
 
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Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,700
2,727
Sod off
Yes, you will need patchburn.

I'm doing the upgrade thing too as you can see. My upgrades so far:

USB 2.0 PCI card

Airport Card

SATA controller with 250GB IBM/Hitachi HDD (+ original 40GB ATA for OS 9)

Radeon 9600 Pro from OWC

1GB RAM

Pioneer DVR-107D (doesn't require patching)

the CPU upgrade is next on the list, but it will be awhile. Good luck with your machine.
 
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