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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Power Mac - G4 CPU Upgrade Advice

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Member Since: Jan 08, 2007
Posts: 3
quatermass is on a distinguished road

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I have a 450 Mhz AGP graphics G4, and I've been looking at CPU upgrades. I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience with them. I've heard good things about the Sonnet Encore cards. I've heard they're easy to install. I've also been looking at the Powerlogix cards. Those seem attractive because they have their own fan.

I've read some reviews on the web of those cards and of Other Word Computing's Mercury Extreme upgrades, and it doesn't seem like there's much difference in performance. It seems like most of the differences come in how easily they install and what kind of firmware upgrades are required. I did, however, have one other question about them. I use Final Cut Pro (right now I use version 3 -- I know it's old, but it does most everything I need it to do). I read on Other World Computing's website thing Final Cut won't recognize their Mercury Extreme cards. They have a workaround to fix that posted on their site. I was just wondering if there are any other software compatibility issues that anyone knows about with any of the CPU upgrade cards. I know that Sonnet says their cards are 100% compatible with "all your software." That's an attractive point if it's true.

I'm currently running Panther, by the way.

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Member Since: Jan 09, 2007
Location: St. Louis
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MJR MAC is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: G5 PPC Dual 2, Tiger.4.8, Beacoup RAM and SATA

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Read more here:

Awesome site/store answers your questions. I have used their OWC upgrades.
Take 15 minutes to install, hum right along. Highly recommended. I bumped an G4 867 to a 1.4 and it too runs Panther still, and flawlessly with the full Adobe CS2 suite.
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Member Since: Dec 24, 2006
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It seems really pointless to upgrade such an old system. It wouldn't be pointless if the g4s were reasonably priced, but they just aren't.

The money you could save from buying a new G4 chip would get you a 1Ghz+ eMac from eBay or you could put it towards a mini.
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Member Since: Jan 02, 2007
Posts: 7
mantanz is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: G4 1.5Ghz, 2GB RAM, DVDRW, 360GB HDD

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Originally Posted by Gav View Post
It seems really pointless to upgrade such an old system. It wouldn't be pointless if the g4s were reasonably priced, but they just aren't.

The money you could save from buying a new G4 chip would get you a 1Ghz+ eMac from eBay or you could put it towards a mini.
I upgraded my G4 PowerMac and it flies. It's faster than my mother's G5 iMac! So it's not pointless at all. And as for an eMac, they have crap video cards and are not upgradeable in the slightest.
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Member Since: Oct 18, 2004
Location: Norfolk, VA, USA
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Mac Specs: MacBook: 2GHz, 2GB RAM, 120GB HD; PowerTower Pro (300MHz G3 clone): 608MB RAM, 10GB HD

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There are lots of threads on this over the past few years...

look at how much you will spend upgrading your PM and then look up how much it would cost to buy something that fast or faster. Go with what is cheaper or what makes you happier.
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Member Since: Mar 04, 2006
Posts: 230
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Other World Computing is selling 1.2Ghz cards for just $160.
Seems to be the best value ever. The price jumps up so fast once you start adding Ghz. I think I might get one of those 1.2ghz for my Sawtooth.
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Member Since: Jun 15, 2005
Location: Sheffield, UK
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math is on a distinguished road
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I can upgrade my G4 Sawtooth 450mhz with an OWC 1.2ghz processor for just 225 bucks, shipped to the UK, which works out at about £116. There's no way at all I could get a Mac of that speed for anywhere near that price; plus, I've already got all my software and hardware in my current Mac (my HDDs, my superdrive, Logic Express, Cubase, Adobe CS etc). Makes perfect sense to me; as soon as I've been paid I'm ordering one and giving my G4 a new lease of life.
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Steve Adams

Member Since: Dec 11, 2006
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will my 733 chip work? Im going to be selling it soon.....
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