Upgrading a G4 450 (AGP)


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 17, 2002

I am looking for things I can do to my Mac G4 450 (AGP).

G4 450MHz
OSX 10.3.9
1.5 Gig ram
30 Gb + 120Gb (internal HDs)
ATI Rage 128
External CD burner 42x Ezquest

I think I can go up to 2 gig ram, but it's not too important.
Maybe video card upgrade or processor.

Any advice?



macrumors newbie
Nov 5, 2004
Alfred, NY
My advise is to upgrade that graphics card first. You don't even have quartz extreme enabled on a Rage 128, a feature that's been part of the GUI in OS X for a long time now. It'll make the entire OS feel snappier right away.

I've been doing a lot of searching for video cards of late, so I've got some info for you. macofalltrades.com has a used 9800 pro 128mb card for 150 bucks, which is a pretty good deal, and it offers full core image support for Tiger. The radeon 9000 runs about 130 bucks new, but is substantially slower than the 9800 and does not offer full core image support. Cards are listed from fastest to slowest gpu speed. All of these will blow the doors off the Rage 128.

Full core image supported, no ADC
-ati 9800 128mb (dvi, vga, s-vid) ~$250 new, ~$150 used
-nvidia 5200 fx 256mb (dvi, vga, s-vid, *flashed PC card, do not buy the 128mb versions, they have sleep issues*) ~$160 "new"

ADC, partial core image supported
-nvidia geforce 4ti 128mb (adc, dvi) ~$150 used
-nvidia geforce 3 64mb (adc, vga) ~$200 used
-ati 8500 64mb (adc, dvi) ~$110 used
-ati 9000 128mb (adc, dvi) ~$130 new
-ati 7500 32mb (adc, vga) ~$70 used
-nvidia geforce 2mx 32mb (adc, vga) ~$50 used


macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2005
Go for the processor upgrade and a new graphics card maybe a ATI radeon 7000 or 9200 depending on your budget....Remember these need to be mac flashed cards you cannnot use any old PC one...

I wouldnt bother with the RAM as 1.5gb is plenty if you do the above upgrades you should see a great improvement in its performance....

SHadOW ;)


macrumors member
Aug 13, 2002
I have a Sawtooth

I have/had that 450MHz sawtooth. It has been a slow, long upgrade process. First was the the RAM, then modding the case for a front fan + dual HDD mount like the one in the back, but for the front. To do that I had to move that on/off switch and reset and programmers buttons elsewhere. Then it was an ATI Radeon 8500, and finally a Powerlogix dual 1.2 GHz upgrade with the 7457 chips (L3 cache). Anyways, its a great machine. 5 internal HDD, oh ya forgot new USB 2.0/ firewire PCI card, then a 3.5" bay with front ports, 4 USB and 4 firewire replaced the stock zip drive. Also a Pioneer 107D drive with the firmware falshed to replace the DVD-RAM drive (fluke from apple) I had the 450MHz when apple couldn't ship the 500MHz. Its a great machine does everything but FCP 5.0 and Motion. Other than that it runs great. Games aren't great, but they are playable. The second processor really helps out when things get bottlenecked, and helps a ton with multi tasking. CS2 is even very useable, opens 200 6.3 MegaPixel RAW images at once for editing.
I think its a great idea to upgrade your sawtooth, I wouldn't go higher then a Radeon 9000, cause with 2x AGP you have a huge bottleneck. Also I would highly recommend going with dual processor upgrade even if its a slightly slower clock rate, the duals will be much more help, after about 1.4 GHz the 100MHz bus doesn't allow much more number crunching to happen. Good luck, Mine has run great. Oh lastly all those things work cause I have a second powersupply powering most of it. The stock one didn't have a chance of keeping up.

Computer lasted me 5 years of video editing. My PowerMac 2x 2.7 GHz is on its way to help the cause.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 17, 2002

That is exactly what I needed. thanks for all the info.
Looks like it will be a video card at first, and hopefully
the processor upgrade. It is a great machine. :D