Sawtooth 400?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Frankf300, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Frankf300 macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2006
    #1 has been a while since I've been on here, but I'm back for more help. I should have started this thread before I hit the Buy It Now button, but my spending habits got the best of me.

    My iBook G3 has been an awesome machine for me, it did what I wanted, introduce me to OS X. The second I starting using OS X I was hooked and I now have 2 G3 macs. But, times are getting slow on the ol' iBook G3 and I'm getting kind of tired of it. So, my impulse buy of the day was a PowerMac G4 Sawtooth 400. Hold on, before you say I'm crazy, check out the specs:

    400mhz AGP Graphics 400mhz
    512mb RAM
    Lite-On DVD-RW Superdrive (Lightscribe, Dual-layer, etc.)
    ATI Radeon 8500 64mb DDR graphics memory (original card included)
    110gb HDD (30gb & 80gb)

    Tiger, iLife 06, Microsoft Office 2004 SV, Photoshop CS, Toast 8 on 80gb HDD
    OS 9.2 on 30gb HDD

    Looks to be in awesome cosmetic condition. I got all that for $140 shipped on eBay. I saw all those add-ons and I couldn't resist. I also grabbed a 15" Dell Flat Screen for $100 shipped. The seller of the Sawtooth has 100% positive feedback and over 300 reviews.

    So, do you think this setup will perform better than my iBook G3 (specs in sig.)? With this system I hope to experiment more with video editing which I wasn't able to pursue with the G3. I edited A LOT on my Windows machine before I bought the G3, but I soon learned the G3 was not video editing capable. Did I make a mistake or will I see a difference using this "newer" G4? I couldn't get a new machine because I just added on a new monthly payment (08 Yamaha Raptor 350 :D).

    I may or may not sell the iBook, I'll have to see. It's a handy mac to have around. Thanks again in advance!
  2. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    This was my exact machine for seven years (G4 Sawtooth AGP) tower...

    So, I know quite a bit about this machine. It's a great Mac, and what's even greater about it is it's upgradability. The processor upgrade is a sinch, and you can upgrade it all the way up to a 1.8GHz G4!!! I got a 1.0GHz chip for mine on eBay....very easy install...a few screws and the processor comes right out of the ZIF socket.

    That's what I would do if I were you...sounds like everything is maxed out but your processor can be upgraded.

    Also, RAM on that machine is EXPENSIVE as I recall. I believe it's got 4 RAM slots, which you can populate with 512MB chips for a total of 2GB of RAM.

    Good luck!
    Enjoy your new Mac!

    (btw the chip company is Sonnet Technologies - )
  3. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    You will see a difference over a G3, but still don't expect it to be very fast.
  4. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    It's still a very useful machine, I use that exact same model all the time as part of my computing setup. At $140 you overpaid by about 25 to 50 dollars, not a crazy amount to over pay, but not chicken scratch either, but with all those upgrades preinstalled so you didn't have to do any work then it was probably worth it. As far as video editing... yeah, uh, I'm sure it's possible, but it probably won't be very fun. You're probably gonna have to do a lot of waiting.
  5. ingenious macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    Yea, still a very capable machine.

    In fact, I'm running Leopard on one and using it as a file server! :D
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Now if you want to get some more performance out of that you can get and install a Quicksilver G4 CPU module in that Sawtooth for practically nothing. This mod is not for the faint of heart though, since you will have to tweak the Quicksilver CPU to work. It is much cheaper than the third party upgrades mentioned.

    Then since the Quicksilver uses a 133Mhz bus and the Sawtooth uses a 100mhz bus you would need to do some soldering to up the CPU multiplier and take a 733mhz Qucksilver CPU to somewhere between 700 and 750Mhz.

    You can look at to find other peoples confirmations on using a Quicksilver in a Sawtooth.

    However, for video work if you use say OS 10.2 and older versions of iMovie or Final Cut you can still get work out of that G4 as is.
  7. barneyntd macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2007
    I've just bought a brand new MP 8 core and relegated my Sawtooth 400 to my testing machine (I'm the developer of a couple of shareware apps). I can boot it in 9, 10.2, 10.3 or 10.4, and I'm considering installing 10.5. It's still a great machine, and quite fast enough for most things. Though compared to the MP, it does seem rather noisy!

  8. Sawtooth811 macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Alsip, IL
    GO FOR IT!!! Boot the iBook G3 out the door!

    I have a Sawtooth running Leopard! They're still good for some things.:apple:
  9. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Oct 24, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    The G4 is a great machine, where you really got screwed is paying $100 for that 15" Dell Flat Screen. You should have been able to get that almost free.
  10. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Ya, that really is a crime. I think you can get 19" ones brand new for 150 now.

    I seem to vaguely remember doing some video editing on the macs in highschool when OS X was still a baby. So if you stick to old software it should still be good. Otherwise, 400mhrz is too slow for me and have never owned a sawtooth so I have almost 0 advice on upgrading one.

    Good luck!
  11. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Oct 24, 2007
    Denver, Colorado
    My 400MHz runs Tiger very well and runs it even better since I overclocked it to 450MHz. I would have tried 500MHz but the 400-450 only required moving one resistor, the 400-500 step required adding an additional resistor I didn't have.

    Yes, at that low clock speed, 50MHz does make a noticeable difference.

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