Member Since: Jul 14, 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Mac Specs: See Sig...
11-02-2007, 02:01 AM
You may or may not be interested, but this is what *I'D* do with it:
- RAM: Max it out at 2GB with 4 of these
- CPU: Go dual, 1.2GHz +. This is the slowest one OWC offers now, and it's definitely the best bang-for-your-buck. You could go to dual 1.7s or 1.8s, but it wouldn't be worth the cost premium.
- Video: Flashed GeForce 6800- I recommend you flash it yourself rather than paying someone on ebay that likely ripped off the knowledge of how to do it from the guys that figured it out without giving them any credit for their work.
- Hard Drive: SATA drive, 7200rpm, 500gb+ and/or 150GB WD Raptor (10,000rpm) boot/system disc (yes, they sell smaller Raptors. AFAIK the areal density of a BIG 7.2k drive makes them on par with, or faster than, a 74GB Raptor. I suggest this Raptor or this 7200rpm drive.
- Hard Drive Controller: Sonnet Tempo SATA 2 port PCI card
- Optical Drive: This Pioneer drive *should* work. You might want to check around, but I would expect it to... Pioneer provides some of Apple's drives, and they tend to work ok with OSX. Usually. I'd double check.
- Audio: M-Audio Revolution 5.1 or 7.1 (even if you only have 2 speakers, these cards sound AWESOME-MILES better than the built in sound-and are OSX compatible)
- Peripherals: Combo USB2.0/Firewire card, such as the Sonnet Tango
- Power Supply: You didn't honestly expect to get away with all this on the piddly little 200-odd watt unit that's in it, did you? No, no. You'll need an upgrade. Which, ideally, means modified PC power supply (the modifications aren't difficult for use in a Sawtooth) This is a high quality unit that would require minimal (if any) modifications to the case to fit, I believe. This Enermax unit is very, very nice. It has modular cables, which is great for a tiny case like the G4's where things will get very messy, very quickly with most PC PSes. It will also greatly improve case cooling. However, if you just throw it in the case, the fan will be facing the left side panel of the case, not towards the logic board. This, obviously, negates any chances of improving the cooling and could very well lead to a well-baked PS. Which means that mounting that PS in the Mac case will require fairly simple (but time consuming) modifications to the case. Mods which will require power tools.
- Cooling: Apple did something that wasn't very intelligent with this machine. They used a thermally controlled cooling fan (good), but they used it as an intake fan, and the thermal probe that adjusts fan speed mounted in the fan frame near the hub. What this means to you is that the fan speed is not affected to any significant degree at all by the temperature of the computer; it responds to changes in ambient air temperature. This doesn't help you. They got away with it with the original machine because the 450 runs so cool you can use your finger as a heatsink for several minutes after its powered on (as long as it's just idling in OSX after you boot it), and the Rage 128 doesn't get much hotter. Dual 1.6s, a modern hard drive or two, a modern graphics card and 2 gigs of ram is, ah, a little bit more heat to deal with. I recommend you replace the case fan with this one, which can be set up for manual fan speed control (thus you can set it for the highest speed you can stand without tearing your hair out), or something like this, which may or may not be too loud. I don't know what your tolerance level is. Barring those choices, I'd be happiest if whatever fan was used was pushing at least 65CFM (give or take a bit) through the case though, since it IS the only fan.
- More Cooling: A lot of 6800s have coolers that take up the 1st pci slot below them. The ones that don't run VERY hot. I *think* this cooler will fit in the G4 case without any problems, but I'm not entirely sure. You'll also need some RAMsinks, such as those. That price is for a set of 8, I think. It's either 8 or 4, certainly not per heatsink.
So yeah... Take that for whatever you like. I haven't *tested* the system I outlined above, I don't even have my B&W G3 (which has a virtually identical case) here at home to check out some of my theories. But to the best of my knowledge, all of the above parts will physically fit in the G4 case, and they OUGHT to work just fine. If you choose to take any of those ideas to heart, I suggest you try to verify that they'll work. The only ones I have any concerns about are the video card, the optical drive, and the video card heatsinks. I'm 99.99% certain that everything else is just fine.