Speedy G4 Cube 1.8ghz Sonnet card

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by JRDN, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. JRDN macrumors member

    JRDN

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    #1
    Hey guys, going along with my other post I wanted to share my Gem of a find. A 1.8ghz Sonnet card in the original box

    Nowhere to be found is its compatibility for the Cube. The highest clock I've seen from them is a 1.6ghz card.

    From what I found this card wasn't compatible because of power draw(?) I have replaced the stock VRM with a VRM upgrade I saw on eBay and had to figure out how to boot OS 9 (for the first time) and get the firmware upgraded.

    Thankfully it came with the disks and all documentation.

    Running the cube at scorching speeds now!!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #2
    Congrats! Anything Sonnet is a prize, and I hope your upgraded VRM will handle it well.

    I have a 1.5ghz in one of my Cubes-it makes a huge difference in the speed! Enjoy!
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    Very cool!

    I have the Sonnet dual 1.8 in my Quicksilver. Very nice CPUs!
     
  4. JRDN thread starter macrumors member

    JRDN

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    #4
    Yeah!

    Did a quick bench on it. Pretty happy with the results

    Miles above the ~280 from the stock 450mhz processor[​IMG]
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    My understanding is that there is some sort of mod that will allow a dual 1.8Ghz Sonnet in a Cube. Bunn may be able to tell you more.
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    Not sure about the dual 1.8. I think someone made a dual 1.5.

    Heat is always an issue with any Cube upgrade, and as you know the dual 1.8s are HOT regardless of who made them(you and I both have owned dual 1.8s from two different makers).

    Glad to see that you have a working 6200 also. I've had the Wang 256mb(I think) version of this card(the one that I was advised to buy) in my "flashing computer" and just haven't gotten around to doing it as I had flashing nVidia cards :) .

    The 6200 will make as much of a difference in Tiger and Leopard as a faster processor will.
     
  7. JRDN thread starter macrumors member

    JRDN

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    #7

    Those dual cards look like they could take some hacking to get it in there. I can imagine heat would be an issue getting two processors to diffuse into the heatsink. This one runs cool enough for my tastes.

    I ended up getting it all ready to go and flashed. I didn't feel up to hunting down an AGP machine just to do some flashing. I did however satisfy that itch flashing some pcie cards. That was a pain enough as is.

    It needed a heatsink with a fan so I got a small Titan cooler that glows blue!

    This thing can get chugged down a bit when doing any non-singular task but it's pretty responsive and I've been playing Diablo II on it for a few days now!
     
  8. MikeatOSX, Jan 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016

    MikeatOSX macrumors regular

    MikeatOSX

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austria
    #8
    I'm using a digital (outdoor) thermometer like that
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-LCD...erature-Humidity-NEW-/390953682071?nav=SEARCH
    to constantly watch the temperature inside my Cube, after upgrading it to 1GHz.
    I'm using the new Japanese VRM with base fan and a Geforce3 video card with fan.
    I also swapped the 3.5" HD with a 2.5" HD and removed the modem card for better cooling.
    CPU neighbourhood temperature seems to stay good this way (< 140F, 60C).
    BTW: the temperature is always much higher, than the HD temp, which iStat shows.
     
  9. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #9
    There was a guy selling hacked dual 500MHz processors on eBay for the Cube that were pulled from a Gig-e PMG4. You had to modify the coil into a sideways position so it would be able to fit under the heat sink. You could do the mod yourself, there is a guide on the Internet. The only issue is that there are only a few dual 500MHz cards on eBay (last I checked)
     
  10. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    #10
    Congrats on the 1.8 cube! How did you get it to fit? Did you take off the sonnet heatsink and use the stock cube plate somehow? Did you take any pictures of the process?

    I had a dual 1.8GHz 7447 in my cube for a few years with a custom heatsink setup. The stock cube heatsink just wasn't up to the task when the CPUs were loaded. The 7447s run a lot hotter than the 7448 G4 that came out later. I once measured the dual 1.8 7447 at around 100w at 28v. The power supply section of the board was running pretty hot too, dropping 28v to 1.3. With a beefed up VRM, it should be fine to run it at 5v.

    I have a dual 7448 in a cube with the stock heatsink and a base fan, and it doesn't go over 45 degrees (reported by CPU director) even with power sucking applications like dnetc and powerfractal. Do you have any idea how hot the 1.8 sonnet is running? How hot does the VRM get?
     
  11. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #11
    Sonnet made a Cube version of this card as well. I owned it at one time and gave it to a friend who swapped it into his Sawtooth.

    I contacted Sonnet about it all and a few years ago at least they still sold the "Cube fan" that should cool down this processor separately. Call Sonnet and ask them for the Cube fan to the 1.8 card.
     
  12. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #12
    I'm planning to put a similar upgrade in my Power Mac G4 Cube, a single 1.8 GHz Sonnet which is not the special Cube version. Can anyone recommend a suitable base fan?
     
  13. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Kelso, Wa
    #13
    if it does not say cube on the paperwork, it will work but most likely you will burn up the VRM or power supply. Base fan is needed for heat but without the correct cube mounting plate for heat removal you will burn the card up also.
     
  14. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    #14
    Look over on cubeowner.com, there are a lot of discussions on base fans. Basically if you get a thicker one (25mm iirc) you can bend up the mounting tabs and it will fit. The thicker fans are typically quieter and can move more air. A while back I saw on fleabay a temperature controlled fan that would only run fast when needed.

    Also, I think the sonnet will use the 5v supply for power, so you'll want to add heat sinks to the 5v section on the VRM. I'd suggest running it out of the case at first so you can check temperatures.
     
  15. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #15
    I use cheap 25mm height fans from Ebay that run off the Molex plug going to the optical drive. I have Cubes with 15mm fans, but the 25mms move as much air and are quieter.

    I bend the mounting tabs on the bracket back and just slide the fan in. Bending them back retains the fan. All of this can be done by only removing the optical drive, and not a full tear-down. Perhaps it's a "brute force" method, but works for me.

    I have a Cube with a 1.8ghz Sonnet in it. I can say that it runs Leopard beautifully. I actually have yet to open it-the "core" seems stuck and I haven't really had the time or inclination to open(although this isn't uncommon when someone not familiar with Cubes takes one apart).

    The dual 7448s that Flyrod has are the king of Cube upgrades...heck I'd be happy to have them in ANY G4. I have a tower with a single 2.0ghz 7448, and it's amazing for single-threaded applications. @LightBulbFun likes to call them the G5 of 7400 series processors-the 1mb of full speed L2 cache beats the pants off even 7455s with 2mb off-die L3.
     
  16. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Kelso, Wa
    #16
    My Giga Designs 1.8 (which I underclocked to 1.6 as it was not as stable due to the bus multiplier), I reapplied thermal paste but it came with a 3/8" thick copper (solid copper) square attached for the mounting plate to the cubes cooling fins. There is a Giga high power VRM and I will probably get one if I ever find a good price (lower than what I paid for the processor).

    Again this was a true cube upgrade that even came with cube firmware.

    All sonnet cube (considered low power processors as Sonnet called them) had a "C" in the parts code.

    I just dont want your cube to blow out on you. At this age high power across an old VRM may just be too much in real use.
     
  17. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #17
    As I said in a different thread I plan to install a VRM upgrade in my Cube (the rare GigaDesigns one @havokalien mentioned), so overloading the VRM won't be an issue. Cooling is the main thing I'm concerned about.

    @bunnspecial - Did you do anything to control fan speed, or does it run at full RPM all the time?
     
  18. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #18
    The fans I've used run at full speed all the time. Honestly, though, they're quieter than the HDD, and I don't notice them.

    I think my 1.5ghz(forget who made it) has the fan connected to the processor card, and I would be willing to bet that the 1.8 is the same way. I would presume both of these are thermostatically controlled, but there again I don't really notice them. I guess the way to test would be to load up the CPU and see if they run faster...
     
  19. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

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    #19
    There is a fan plug on the VRM, my kit came with a fan to plug into it.
     
  20. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    #20
    That's a 12v connector, so same as splicing into the hard drive molex but more aesthetic.
     
  21. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #21
    Correct. I've used this connector-one one of my first Cubes, I connected a door fan from a gutted MDD to it, and "dangled" the fan between the GPU(2MX) and logic board. I'm not sure if it really did anything-I have a base fan, and thought it might at least help get air moving around the VRM, logic board, and GPU.

    My 800mhz Sonnet card(which I got as a card only) has a plug for a fan on it, and I believe many of the other upgrades do similar. I need to look at the 1.8, which is also a Sonnet. Aside from this, I prefer running a fan off the ODD Molex plug rather than off the VRM plug since the ODD is much more convenient and reduces wiring clutter. In a computer that was designed to be passively cooled, doing as much as possible to keep the air paths clear is ideal.

    On a somewhat unrelated note, I've recently purchased an extremely rare GEForce 3 Mac Edition. This is the best "drop in" card available for the Cube. It can use the stock Cube faceplate and all mountings, plus has fan and large VRAM heatsinks to keep temperatures down.

    I bought it from a British seller and have a friend there who is going to relay it to me(after he plays with it :) ). For now, the card is going in my 1.8. With that said, if I can ever get around to flashing my GEForce 6200, it will go in the Cube for its CI support(that Cube runs Leopard exclusively).
     
  22. redheeler, Apr 5, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016

    redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #22
    Before:
    G4 Cube Stock 450.png

    After:
    G4 Cube 1.8.png

    This should extend its usability quite a bit over the original processor. Next step is to get and flash a GeForce 6200 (I wanted ADC support, but a good ADC card won't fit without a VRM move, and a GeForce 4Ti is pretty much out of the question due to its size).

    @bunnspecial - How much air can you feel moving out the top with a fan installed? Strangely, I could not get the fan to run at all with the connector on the GigaDesigns VRM or the one on the processor card itself, so I used the connector on the logic board but the fan isn't moving a lot of air and it gets pretty toasty in there under load. I might have to get a 2-pin to molex cable and use the ODD molex for power as you suggested.

    Edit: Retested with the new CPU installed and got 811, closer to the OP's score. I think Spotlight was indexing during the tests, probably because I hadn't yet bothered to set the correct date...
     
  23. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #23
    The GEForce 3 is a pretty darn good card and is a drop in for the Cube.
     

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