Upgrade options

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dr Charter, May 20, 2014.

  1. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hi all,
    I set up a Power Mac G4 in my office that was on its way to surplus. I plan to use as a workstation for basic productivity. I was looking for advice on upgrade options.

    Here are the specs:
    Dual 1.25 GHz PowerPC G4
    256 MB RAM

    The hard drive is 100 GB but I really don't need more space there. Would a RAM upgrade be worth my time? I am more interested in Bluetooth though. Is there a compatible bluetooth adapter that would allow me to use a current Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse? Any advice or vendor suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #2
    Honestly I would upgrade the RAM first. At least 512 will run Tiger well, and 700MB+ will run Leopard decently. What OS do you have? As for BT, a small USB dongle for a couple bucks might work well.
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #3
    Is your PowerMac a FireWire 800 model? Check the back for a FireWire 800 port. If it is, you can easily and cheaply get internal Bluetooth for it.
     
  4. harrymatic macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Upgrading the RAM to the full 2GB is the key to good performance from these G4 machines. Fortunately DDR1 memory is really cheap now - either PC2700 or PC3100 will work, arranged in 4x512MB or 2x1GB.

    You already have one of the fastest OEM CPUs so this machine is quite capable for most things. A graphics upgrade would be nice but it really depends on what you want to do with the system.
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #5

    Get the RAM to 2 GB. It is affordable and a good upgrade. As for Bluetooth, a USB dongle would work fine. I recommend getting a USB PCI card since there is only 2 ports on that PowerMac.
     
  6. Dr Charter thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    It has Tiger 10.4.11. I haven't run any software updates since I hooked it up. I think I have a copy of Leopard somewhere around the house. Thanks for the advice.

    ----------

    Thanks for the advice. I will bump the RAM to 2 GBs. I believe the monitor has a few USB ports built into it, so I might be okay there.
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #7
    Make sure you do a fresh install of Leopard, as in erase the drive. What monitor are you using? Is it a Studio Display?

    I still recommend getting a USB 2.0 PCI card if you can get one. The slower USB bus on pre-G5 desktops are painful for file transfers.
     
  8. Dr Charter thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Yes, it's a studio display. The USB card is a good idea. I think I might still have one lying around and might as well put it in while I upgrade the RAM.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #9

    I have a Belkin card. While I do not have the model number it is sturdy and reliable.
     
  10. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

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    #10
    I thank you for prolonging that machine's life...


    The DP 1,25 Ghz MDD originally shipped with 512 RAM and a 120 Gig HDD, whereas the FW800 DP 1,25 shipped with 256 RAM and a 80 Gig HDD. Go figure (look for the FW800 port).


    I'd go for the max RAM for leopard and 1 gig for Tiger...

    Agree on both counts. Even though 1 Gig will probably eliminate a lot of waiting, another Gig will give you a bigger boost than any other investment of the same size.

    Also, and I know many disagree with me, unless you need some functionality specifically enabled by Leopard (e.g. Time Machine, compatibility with special software), I'd stick with 10.4.11. I'm "maintaining" four computers (mom, dad, dad's guest machine, M-I-L), all of them G4's and all running 10.4.11. I've also run 10.5. on G4PM's and generally do not find it worth the hassle. On higher-end G5's it's a different story.

    P.S. The 100 Gig drive may be sufficient, and although it is probably not the original drive it definitely is an old drive, so I'd make sure to have some working backup system.

    RGDS,
     
  11. Dr Charter thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Thank you for your thoughts on this. After thinking it over, I'm inclined to stick with Tiger as you suggest. I contemplated Leopard for Time Machine but since there is no other software I'll be using that specifically needs Leopard, I'll use another backup solution. I have several spare drives around and still have my Tiger install disks, so a fresh copy on a new drive might be a good idea. I'm looking forward to following this forum now that I am using a PowerPC Mac again. It's funny that I'm enjoying this G4 so much despite having a retina MBP and an iPad in my bag.
     
  12. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #12
    It is not possible to discern which model MDD Dr Charter based on what he has stated about it. The RAM amount is easily changed and the hard drive size doesn't fit into either of the stock configurations.
     
  13. Dr Charter thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    It is the Apple Power Mac G4 3,6 "FW 800" Dual 1.25GHz
     
  14. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #14
    What upgrades are you planning on doing?
     
  15. Dr Charter thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    RAM for sure. I'll also need Bluetooth and a wi-fi card. A hard drive upgrade is a possibility later, maybe SSD if it can do that. The OWC site had it as an option in their upgrade advisor. I have Tiger and Leopard discs but am sticking with Tiger for now. I don't need a graphics upgrade for what I do (English professor type things: writing, grading, email).
     
  16. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #16
    For WiFi and Bluetooth, get an Airport Extreme and an 2007 iMac Bluetooth board. That will give you WiFi G and Bluetooth 2.
     
  17. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #17
    I have a mint Airport Extreme card, let me know if you need it. Great old machine you have there.
     
  18. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

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    #18
    Thank you. You managed to reiterate what i said almost perfectly.

    RGDS,
     
  19. PowerPCFanGurl macrumors newbie

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    May 25, 2014
    #19
    Push the CPUs to at least 1.5GHz. Definitely max out the RAMs. I would recommend an SSD and a SATA card.
     
  20. jrsx, May 26, 2014
    Last edited: May 26, 2014

    jrsx macrumors 65816

    jrsx

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    #20
    One does not simply overclock a mac without thinking....
     

    Attached Files:

  21. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #21
    Is that all you talk about on this forum? Overclocking? Though I do agree about a SATA card and SSD if you can get a bootable combo.
     
  22. harrymatic macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Unless you have the copper heatsink from a dual 1.42 CPU, or some serious aftermarket cooling, this is a really bad idea. I run a Dual 1.33 in my MDD with the standard heatsink and it gets very hot after heavy use. The only way I can run it without additional cooling is with 'Nap Mode' turned on. If it was OC'd to 1.5 without the heftier heatsink or additional cooling, it would die an extremely early death.

    The SATA card is always an attractive upgrade as it opens the door to new, larger capacity, cheaper drives. I can't say I've tried an SSD but from what I gather you can only expect a small performance upgrade with these machines due to the bus speed holding it back.
     

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