The G4 Workhorse Project

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by InuNacho, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    My co-worker has given me perhaps the greatest reason to upgrade my Sawtooth G4 beyond playing Sim City 2000, tons of free SCSI stuff. Over the next half year or so, my school's photography lab technician and I are to sort out and dispose of all the old "unusable" equipment. Problem is we can't legally sell any of it, all of it needs to be junked or "donated" to a student. Even though faculty falls into the grey area, I'm still grabbing all the good stuff I can.

    So now I have to upgrade my old Sawtooth from close to stock to something that can interface with multiple SCSI devices, possibly network with OS X, and run a few other side projects.

    What I'd like to do with it:
    Run two SCSI scanners simultaniously
    Network with a large hard drive inside my Mac Pro
    Composite video in for recording VHSes (optional and real time preferred)
    Run dual monitors. 1920 x 1200 DVI and 1680 x 1050 VGA. In the future the smaller monitor may be replaced by a 27 inch Apple Cinema display and the 1920 monitor will be turned 90 degrees.

    Here's a rundown of the specs:
    500 Mhz
    ATI Rage 16MB
    1.25 GB Ram
    4x 80GB ATA drives
    The Apple SCSI PCI Card
    4x USB 2.0 Card
    OS 9 and 10.4

    I figure I'll need a much beefier GPU to run two monitors under OS 9 and I'm not even sure if it can run monitors can run 90 degrees. Whats a cheapo card that should be able to work with a 2440p screen?

    Would it be possible for OS X and 9 to see each other over a network and access each other's drives? Or how about screen sharing, is that possible between 10.9 and OS 9? Since my G4 doesn't have gigabit ethernet, could I network over Firewire?

    Will the little 500mhz processor be a drag on what I want for it? Will a Digital Audio 733mhz CPU work?

    How well would a ATA to SATA adapter work for a 64GB SSD for OS 9?

    What composite In cards were available during the G4's heyday and did any of them allow viewing in real time?

  2. MatthewLTL macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2015
    Rochester, MN
    The only Video Capture card you can use (that i know of) is USB (i dont think any internal ones exist) And i think the BEST GPU you can run in a sawtooth is a nVIDIA GeForce 6200 as it can run in 2X mode. a Radeon 9200 should also beable to drive 2 displays.
  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    The best video card for a Sawtooth is the ATI 9800. It is much more powerful than the pokey Nvidia 6200. For OS 9, you'd want an ATI 9200. There are also some PCI video in cards that work under OS 9.
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    You're correct that the Rage 128 can't run two displays-it's limited to one even versions of the card where it has dual display connectors.

    I'd for a budget choice, I'd probably look for a GEForce 4MX, although since the Sawtooth lacks the necessary connections for the ADC connector, you will need an ADC-DVI adapter to connect two displays to it.

    Alternatively, throw a PCI video card in one of the slots. The Radeon 9200 is the best Mac-edition PCI video card, although even a cheap PCI Rage 128(in addition to the AGP card you already have) will at least give you a second monitor. This will be okay under OS 9, although it's not a great card.

    I would not chase down something like a 6200 or even a 5200 for OS 9 use.

    A 733mhz CPU out of a DA should work fine in a Sawtooth, although in actuality it will only give you a 50mhz boost over your current 500mhz processor due to the bus speed differences between the two models.

    Be sure you max your RAM to 2gb.
  5. QSDP-User macrumors regular


    Jan 13, 2015
    California, USA
    It sounds like you may be asking about an older product like this

    Matrox RTMac
    for video capture & editing

    which consists of a proprietary PCI card & breakout box setup but works with Mac OS 9 & Final Cut Pro 3.04.
    But I'm not 100% sure what this product means by its definition of Real Time.

    I've seen this product on eBay, but not always "complete", i.e.,
    only the breakout box or just the PCI card.

    I can't say more about it since I've never used it,
    but it's a product to google more about.

    I have used an Aurora brand PCI capture card (no breakout box & no real time editing)
    w/Mac OS 9/FCP 1.25 with a Beige MiniTower & B&W G3 (but not yet with my Sawtooth G4) with mixed results.

    I had to capture the VHS in 10 or 11 minute length intervals,
    all later to be combined within the FCP timeline.
    With a longer the capture time the audio would eventually go out of sync.
    Also the audio had some background interference noise.

    Of course, my Capture/Editing experience is mainly seat-of-the-pants,
    Googling this & that, & my-troubleshooting-brain-is-getting-tired, Amatuer Hour, LOL.
  6. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    This is the one question I can deal with definitively in your post.

    The answer is yes, you can network between OS X and OS9. Now, if you're meaning OS9 and Intel versions of OS X I'm less confident on that as I have not tried it.

    However, we networked Tiger and Leopard with an OS9 Mac for years at work. We also networked at one point with OS X Macs and File Services for Macintosh on a Windows 2003 SBS server. The problem with FSM is that it runs a very old version of AFP that limits filenames to 32 characters including extensions. A big problem for us as we were using filenames much larger than that under OS X.

    This may or may not be an issue. I'm not sure if later revisions of OS9 raised that limit or not, but it's certainly a limitation under FSM.

    As to screen sharing, yes you can do that. There is OS9VNC which you can use. It's standard VNC protocol so the 10.9 Mac should not have any issue.

    I do doubt though that there is any OS9 provision to network over Firewire. I may be wrong though.
  7. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020


    Jan 31, 2015
    You have couple issues if you wanted to run a 27" Apple Display + another

    1. The Apple 27" Display's resolution is 2560-by-1440 which your video card could not support
    2. The 27" connects via mini display port. Even if you ran it at a lower resolution or got a better video card you still need to covert the DVI out to mini display port which costs about $100 and you're limited a certain resolution. Don't be confused about going from MiniDisplay port to a DVI monitor. We're talking about going from a DVI out video card to a MiniDisplay port monitor.

    Running in OS9 will even further limit your display options.


    A company used to make really nice recording devices that converted a variety of inputs to Firewire. You could edit in iMovie or their own software. I will remember the name of the company eventually.


    Formac was the name of the company!

    Formac Studio was the name of the device.
  8. archtopshop, Mar 1, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  9. catzilla macrumors 6502


    Dec 15, 2013
    Rhode Island
    Canopus made (makes?) composite to Firewire adapters, I used to use one to digitize VHS.
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014

    What's your take on the 9200 vs the GEForce 4 Ti?

    I'd always been under the impression that-at least among Mac edition cards(not flashed PC cards) the Ti was the best option available for OS 9.
  11. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    The GeForce 4 Ti is the best for OS 9, but the 9200 is a close second and is cheaper to source.
  12. bunnspecial, Mar 1, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015

    bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014

    I just wish that my Ti(which I paid $30 for in a bundle along with an 8500 and a couple of Mac games) hadn't died... I need to find another one. I also have one of the PC Quadro versions of the card that I might get around to flashing one of these days...
  13. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland

    Can a PNY GeForce 4 Ti 4200 AGP PC card be flashed for Mac?
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    I honestly don't know for sure, but if I were going to try flashing a PC card I'd probably hunt down a 4600. That's what was used for the Mac edition Ti.
  15. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    I just looked in my parts closet and saw it there and it would be quite an upgrade for my QS. Perhaps Sir Intell would know.

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