Review on *upgrading* to a DP 1.5ghz (7455) MDD

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by XaPHER, Jan 18, 2017.

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  1. XaPHER macrumors member

    XaPHER

    Joined:
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    QC, CA
    #1
    I haven't started a thread on macrumors since 2010, but, well.

    This thread is simply to explain my experience with acquiring an MDD and using it as my main mac.

    I wanted to have a MDD for years. Even after acquiring a dual 1.6ghz 7447 upgrade for my QS 2001 G4 ( which already had a single 1.6ghz one ).
    But.. there aren't often MDD's for sale in my location. Until I bought one locally for $60 CAD. It was a SP 1.0ghz FW800. Was amazing the fact that I could put 2gb of DDR sdram in it. Also, my Flashed FireGL X3 WORKED (as opposed to my quicksilver) in it!

    Hey, even without a decent processor and with a 133mhz frontside bus, it was quite responsive. But.. I love pushing a machine to it's limits.

    Bought an Xserve DP 1.33 ghz daughtercard. Unsoldered the mainboard's r676 to get a 167 mhz FSB. I always find it scary but, what a performance increase! My machine was more responsive than my DP 1.6ghz Quicksilver Powermac when I put in the 1.33ghz Dual card. But I love pushing a machine to its limits more than that.

    I did the overclock of the DP 1.33 ghz board to 1.5ghz. Was also scary.
    But hey, It's the most responsive G4 I have seen in my whole life. So, i've managed to get a copper heatsink and bought some new fans to replace those that replaced the former ones.

    STILL a windtunnel, I must say. I haven't silenced it even a bit.

    But my CPU temp is very low. Image 1.png The screenshot of my sensor is from right now as i post this (nap enabled, of course). The temperature NEVER gets past 40 degrees celsius. The only way to do so is to run altivec fractal carbon as the only task for like 40 mins.

    Having a MDD powermac is even better than i thought. There must be not much of a difference between my machine and a dual 1.8ghz g5.

    If there is any question, it'd be a pleasure to answer them. :D
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #2
    I had a Quicksilver for the last two years or so. Lucked into a dual 1.8Ghz Sonnet at one point. Had a lot of fun with it, but it was tempermental and kept frying a lot of my PCI cards.

    The QS was my first desktop Mac that I actually liked. I think it's the best looking of the entire G4 line. That said, my tribulations with this QS has led me to seeking out an MDD. Thermally, the redesign in the MDD case is a significant improvement over the QS. I have three video cards, a SATA card and a USB 2.0/FW400/800 card stuffed in there and the heat it all created with the DP Sonnet was just ridiculous. While Apple gave you the slots to expand I don't believe they ever anticipated anyone doing with my QS what I did with it.

    Unfortunately, my pursit of an MDD will have to wait as through the generosity of forum members here the QS has been replaced by not one, but three PowerMac G5s.

    It would be nice to see if I could take my failed experiment with my QS to an MDD and how it would handle that. An experiment for a later time I guess.

    Congrats on your success with your MDD. Soldering is not my bag, much less de-soldering so I am impressed. I'd probably end up killing the logicboard and setting the case on fire.

    I will probably have questions for you in the future though.
     
  3. XaPHER thread starter macrumors member

    XaPHER

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    #3
    The only card that heats a bit is the firegl. That way, i put a homemade pci slot fan next to it. Else, the power supply was spitting out air that was around 40 degrees celsius.

    And even though I learned soldering from college i wasn't confident enough to get both jobs done. My pops did the daughtercard overclock.

    My machine is modifed a lot, in fact.

    I'll post pictures, next. I think my thermal 're'-design is better that apple's. It should be helpful for making a mdd cooler or more silent.

    What's boring with G5's is that you can't mod them so much.

    And I agree that the heat that comes from a sonnet DP 1.8 is quite some heat. ( I tried running my 1.6 DP upgrade at 1.8 once)

    Hope you'll find your MDD sometime. :)
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #4
    That's actually my problem with the G4. Or my particular QS anyway.

    I like modding things and putting in stuff that makes it faster/better. I like trying new options (I knocked a hole in the bottom of the QS case and put in a 120mm fan).

    What I do NOT like is going through a lot of the same effort over and OVER again ad nauseum and getting either no results or a broken computer. The last go around killed the PSU, burned a good USB 2.0/FW card and possibly the PCI SATA card. It almost took out my two port USB 2.0 SATA drive dock.

    When most of my time is spent actually FIXING the Mac and not USING the Mac and when most of my time using the Mac is spent rebooting because it froze (due to heat) it stops being fun any more.

    The current G5 I have has got everything I loaded up into the G4 as stock. As such it means I don't have to worry about power and can just enjoy the thing.

    Now, if an MDD can take the same load and give me the same stability as my G5 then I'm all up for that. But it's going to have to wait a while now.

    Granted, with all the power demands (the AGP video card alone needs additional Molex power) I shouldn't be surprised and this was my test bed to see how far I could push it. But a big part of the issue was Apple's thermal design. All of the problems with freezing I had did not occur when I allowed the Mac to run with the door down. But I felt like I shouldn't have to.
     
  5. XaPHER thread starter macrumors member

    XaPHER

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    #5
    I changed the PSU's fans for Fractal designs(12V):
    IMG_1914.JPG
    The PCI slot cooler i made (12V):
    IMG_1915.JPG
    The large fan I replaced(12V) and the little one i added for more air flow through the heatsink(9V):
    IMG_1916.JPG

    Nothing heats with all that. The PSU fans are a bit more quiet than the formers.

    Weak point of this design: Noise may be as aggressive and loud as the original Windtunnel noise.

    Good point of this design: No variable fans that annoy me changing speed + Coolest machine i've had.

    You're right. The problem with these upgrades was the fact that the case was never designed to handle more than 1ghz. And i don't think it stop after the quicksilver. The Graphics card also blocks some precious airflow in the MDD. That's why I modified some of the cooling design. The PSU should also have used a single larger fan instead of two little fans with less air flow.

    I spent most of my time modifying my macs ( and troubleshooting them, sometimes) rather than enjoying them, also.

    That said, I might have been luckier than you. Nothing burned, even though sometimes it was close to.

    But, I fully agree with the fact that these machines have poor cooling system.
     
  6. RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    #6
    Thanks for this thread. I am starting my MDD fun with upgrading the CPU to a DP card. The initial problem I forsee is finding a heatsink for the DP card. Any websites you know of that have them or is it just diligent eyes watching ebay etc.
     
  7. XaPHER thread starter macrumors member

    XaPHER

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    #7
    Um, I had the steel fins one from the sp model from the FW800 before switching it with a copper one.

    Is it about heat? If so, the steel fins one may be much less expensive than the copper one. Plus it was still cooling well, even for the 1.5ghz DP. I haven't seen a difference that big between it and copper.
     
  8. RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

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    #8
    So the single CPU heatsink worked at cooling the DP daughter card? It made good contact and dissipated heat evenly with new paste?

    Nice DIY PCI fan. I like the design. How is it connected to the PCI slot?
     
  9. XaPHER thread starter macrumors member

    XaPHER

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    #9
    Yeah, in fact the SP and DP 1.25ghz FW800 model had exactly the same heatsink. So I just put on thermal paste and use it with the DP card. Only thing i would recommend is that you don't keep the fans configuration stock with a DP; I haven't tried myself, but according to XLR8 your mac many go past 55 degrees celsius when not idle.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 18, 2017 ---
    Not connected at all to the PCI slot. :)

    if you look at the left of the pic, you can see a two-pin connector to which it's connected. There wasn't anything on it so I measured with a voltmeter to find out it was a 12V supply. Hehe :)
     
  10. RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

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    #10
    Sorry, I meant the expansion slot cover, not the actual PCI slot itself. Upon closer inspection I see you have the metal shim bent up 90' and bolted to the PCI slot cover - so the airflow is being pushed down onto the GPU heatsink. Does the Expansion slot cover have holes (swiss cheese/honey comb variety) or is it solid? If it's honey comb, do you get good air flow out of it without it being a contained unit?

    Sorry for all of the questions. In regards to your MDD fan duct ,have you made a metal or plastic version or are you still using the cardboard one? (another great idea).
     
  11. XaPHER thread starter macrumors member

    XaPHER

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    #11
    The expansion slot i used in order to create it is a full plate. However, the empty pci slot is a swiss cheese one, that way it can get fresh air from it. Before I put this DIY PCI fan, the back of my card was sometimes reaching 70 degrees celsius. However now, it only reaches ~40 ( based on measurements with a temp meter) ( and in fact the fan blows on the back of the card)

    By duct,you mean the little duct i made for the (40? Don't remember ) mm fan? I made it using thick duct tape bands. This fan, in fact, is like 65% of the cooling the CPU gets (and it makes the machine as loud as an original windtunnel). The 150mm fan cools more the HDDs than the heatsink, because the heatsink is not well aligned with it.
     
  12. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

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    Jan 12, 2015
    #12
    Thanks for sharing your project; it looks like you achieve a good result. Have you run any benchmarks or done any quantitative comparisons to your dual 1.6ghz 7447?
     
  13. XaPHER thread starter macrumors member

    XaPHER

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    #13
    If i geekbench both: Quicksilver w/ 7447 = 1390, MDD = 1400
    With iBench: QS has 1.16, MDD has 1.22
    With a browser benchmark (peacekeeper) in TenFourFox On the QS i get ~650 vs ~750 on the MDD.

    Not obvious with these tests but the 2mb L3 really helps. I can do more things at once without loading the processors.

    The only thing that may run slower is a program that can be completely cached because the QS runs at 1.6 instead of 1.5.
     
  14. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #14
    The MDDs, except for their sometimes temperamental PSUs, are fairly solid when it comes to reliability. The Quicksilvers are just trouble in my experiences. Not taking PCI cards, not taking AGP cards, throwing tantrums, etc. I love my QS, and gave it a Sonnet 1.8GHz single CPU I picked up cheap, but I wouldn't put any upgrades in it anymore that aren't stock or require extra hardware, like a SATA card. Maybe one day when you try an MDD, you'll see that indeed not all PowerMac G4 systems are as much as a headache like the Quicksilvers are.
     
  15. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #15
    Oh, I don't doubt it.

    My problem was I worked for years on early G4s and had the experience of the G5 at work to add to that. I never expected to encounter all the issues I had with that Mac.

    Based on the internal design I have seen of the MDDs, knocking a hole in the bottom for cooling like I did with my QS, is probably unnecessary.

    We'll see how that works out.
     
  16. pochopsp macrumors 6502

    pochopsp

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    #16
    My MDD has been turned on 24h/24, 7d/7, since 2002 in a graphic design studio, then in 2013 my cousin gave it to me, and since 2013 I use it almost everyday having it often turned on overnight to download some torrent files. I'd say this is reliability.
     
  17. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #17
    Another reason I made assumptions about my Quicksilver.

    The G5 we have here at work was also on 24/7 (including weekends when it sat idle) from February 2005 to around June 2013 when it died. After resurrecting it, it returned to the same schedule and is STILL left on 24/7.

    I expect this from all my computers, PC or Mac. I leave them on. My new G5 is on 24/7. My G4 was left on 24/7. Which is why it was so irritating to come home or from the next room to use it and find it frozen.

    Never had any issues with the G5 here at work so I expected my Quicksilver to be the same way. Nope. :(
     
  18. XaPHER thread starter macrumors member

    XaPHER

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    #18
    I am troubled.

    I never had a single part or expansion card failure with any of my two QS. My main machine was a QS, equipped with a SeriTek SATA card( sonnet tempo) , a LaCie 3-port FW800 64-bit card, and a USB2 Card. It had the dual 1.6ghz processor and it never froze ( except when lowering the core voltage as an experiment ).

    But I admit that I did some tweak to help air flow for both of the quicksilvers. There is space between the speaker and the hole in the case so air can enter from there ( it does a lot ). Even with the case fan voltage lowered with a resistor, nothing really heats.

    I mean, there may be some reliability problems with the quicksilver, but I can't understand because it didn't happen to me.

    Of course, some machines I've had before died (of logic board failure).

    Without trying to harm the G5 reputation, they were all AGP graphics * G5's.
     
  19. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #19
    I believe my situation was unique.

    I had everything you did, and I made cooling mods as well. But I also had one AGP card that needed additional power and two other video cards driving six monitors. The PSU in the Quicksilver is middle of the road and I was aking a lot of it. Add in my dual CPU and the fact that I live in Phoenix where temps are over 100º outside from March to October and I'm just not surprised. Disappointed yes, but surprised no.
     
  20. XaPHER thread starter macrumors member

    XaPHER

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    #20
    Oh.. Better get a first generation 400W MDD, because the two others have 360W power supplies, just like the QS.

    But.. maybe it won't be enough.

    The MDD's PSU isn't cooled well. When I was plugging in firewire devices the PSU fans were slowing down ( for no valid reason, that's why I modified it ).

    And yeah,.. here it's 25°. It help
     
  21. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    #21
    Wait, really? Cool! I have a CPU upgrade kicking around for my MDD--and I havent installed it since it was a newer DP. I've already replaced some of the fans!
     
  22. XaPHER thread starter macrumors member

    XaPHER

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    #22
    Yeah, there shouldn't be any problem at all. The heatsinks were not DP or SP-specific unlike the previous powermac models.
    Having a high-end DP MDD is really worth the shot.

    Mine doesn't boot Mac OS 9, however :( At least I have other upgraded macs!
     
  23. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

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    #23
    I wonder how fast the 1.42 cards would go. I know that 7447 chips rated for 1.42 will usually do 1.7.
     
  24. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #24
    Not much higher, 1.5GHz is the highest it will do without instability from what other people have tried. 1.58GHz can be achieved with a voltage boost, but will cause system crashes, most likely due to the copper heatsink not being sufficient for such high heat output.
     
  25. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #25
    Is that including the modded OS9 disk that devs did for FW800 MDDs? Previously, people flashed a firmware downgrade to get these to boot OS9.22 but now all the hacks have been incorporated into the System Folder.
     

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