Upgrading a Powermac G4 processor

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by heymikey, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. heymikey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    Hi, I have a 867 MHz Powermac G4 that I just cant get rid of because it simply wont die and I also don't have the money right now to upgrade to a new computer.

    I just started taking classes for web development and although a newer G5 or intel mac would be ideal and required for using Adobe CS4... I'm gonna try and get by with this G4 for at least another couple of semesters. Hey, it's taken me this far (8 years!) I maxed out the ram to 1.5gb about a year ago and I've been very happy with it so far. But now that I need to have multiple applications open at once, mostly Adobe CS3 applications, It gets a little slow and glitchy and I'm starting to see a lot of that little rainbow spinny thing while I wait for my mac to catch up.

    With all that said, my question to you guys is if its worth upgrading the processor at this point or if that would be a waste of money. I know the minimum requirement for running CS4 is a G5 and I just want to say I'm OK with using CS3 for now. I look through ebay every now and again and see processors from higher end Quicksilvers going for anywhere between $150 to $300. What processors would you recommend? Can I replace my single processor with a dual processor? Like the Dual 1.0GHz G4 from a "Quicksilver2002"? Could I install that without other modifications? Would that give me that little extra "umph" I'm looking to get? Are there any other options I'm overlooking that would allow me to get more out of my current machine?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #2
    I wouldn't pay the money to upgrade the processor, for the same price you should be able to get a computer that is several generations newer than your current one. Or possibly try to find a used intel mac Mini for cheap.
     
  3. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #3
    From what I can see online, the highest you can stick in there would be a dual 1.0ghz G4 from the quicksilver line. It must be from the quicksilver line with 133mhz bus, as the MDD used 166mhz bus and probably won't be clocked right.

    You will also need the heatsinks from the dual G4 processor. If you can find it on ebay for around $75 I would say that it might be worth it, as it would easily double the speed of your computer. The thing is, i'm not sure you would be able to find it that cheap.
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #4
    For reference, both Sonnet and NewerTech made upgrade cards for your G4; the former were available in single or dual 1.6GHz and are now discontinued, while the latter go from single 1.6GHz to dual 2.8GHz, and can still be bought:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Upg...ype=Processor&TI=0318&shoupgrds=Show+Upgrades

    ...but as you can see, they're also expensive enough that, as said, it's probably not worth it (MAYBE the single 1.6 for $210 might be, but were I you I'd save that toward a new computer). Your best bet is getting lucky on eBay with either one of the above or a working pull from a dual 1GHz (what I'm typing on right now at work!).

    I'd create and save searches with notification on eBay for all three products and keep an eye on whatever comes up. Maybe you'll get lucky. There's also always computer junk shops--those sometimes have great deals on stuff like that, particularly if they don't specialize in Mac parts and just happened to get one.
     
  5. heymikey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Thanks for the info! I figured the MDD processors wouldn't work but I just couldn't find anything online to help me confirm if the Quicksilver 2002 chips would work in my Quicksilver 2001. I also wasn't sure if swapping a single processor with a dual processor card would work without any modifications.

    Yeah I'm looking at buying a new Mac Pro sometime this coming year, most likely around fall of 2010. That's why I don't want to spend on upgrading to another computer right now... I just want to squeeze out a little more if I can for cheap. I don't want to temporarily upgrade to a mini- I like the towers and will buy another one when I can. For me that's the way to go.

    Every once in a while there's something good on ebay but I just remembered of a place here in Portland called FreeGeek that has tons of used computer components. You can buy parts or you can volunteer some hours and earn credits towards rebuilt computers or parts. Its a cool place, I'll check them out tomorrow.
     
  6. heymikey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    I could possibly do the newertech 1.6MHz for $210... that's almost twice as fast as my 867Mhz.

    So what would be differences between upgrading to a dual 1.0GHz or a single 1.6GHz?
     
  7. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #7
    Depends entirely on what you're doing. If it's something significantly multithreaded and/or you routinely run two substantial tasks at once (say, watching a video while something compiles in the background), the dual 1.0 will probably be faster.

    For most general-purpose stuff (say, playing Flash stuff smoothly or a single-threaded video encode), the single faster processor will almost certainly be faster.

    (The Newer upgrade also has twice the L2 cache, but I don't think any L3, which could effect performance depending on what you're doing, but I don't know enough to say if that's significant at all.)

    Your constraint seems to be CS3, but even within that suite it's going to depend on the app. Heck, even within just Photoshop a few tasks are multithreaded, while others aren't at all.

    I'd probably go for the 1.6, personally (in part because of the warranty), but it's kind of a toss-up. Also depends on how good a deal you can get on the dual 1.0--if it's signifcantly cheaper, I'd go with that.
     
  8. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #8
    I would personally recommend the dual 1.0ghz chip if you can find it for under $100. No firmware headaches, and the L3 cache gives a pretty good boost compared to a G4 without the L3 cache. Also keep in mind that most of OSX is multithreaded, so just about everything takes advantage of dual processors. Overall I think the dual will feel zippier.

    You can tell the difference between the MDD and the quicksilver dual CPU's by 2 ways:
    1.) The quicksilver CPU's are mounted on green PCB, the MDD's are on blue.
    2.) The two inductor coils are on the opposite side as the L3 cache chips on the quicksilver. On the MDD, the coils are on the same side.

    Make sure whatever you buy comes with the headsink AND the fan as you will need both.
     

Share This Page