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

Power Mac - Worth it to Upgrade Processor on PowerMac Dual G4 450 (Gigabit)?


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gtalum

 
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I just picked up a working PowerMac Dual G4 450 MHz (Gigabit) with 80 GB upgraded HD, 256 MB RAM, and stock 2x AGP 16 MB video (including the keyboard, mouse, and power cord) off of ebay very cheap from a seller who didn't realize exactly what he had.

Is it worth the $$ to upgrade this to the dual 1.6 or 1.8 GHz G4 processor from Sonnet or GigaDesigns? I realize the bus will always be limited to 100 MHz. What kind of performance boost will i realize from such an upgrade? I'm definitely going to max out the RAM at 2 GB and find a better video card.
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Alexis

 
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What are you using it for?

It would be far more cost effective to spend the money for a processor upgrade, more memory and better graphics card towards getting something like an Intel Mac Mini, especially since you have a a monitor, keyboard and mouse already.

It's just a false economy to drag a G4 closer to up to date. The speed improvement wouldn't be overwhelming, especially since you already have a dual G4 in it.

I can still remember the Overdrive Pentium Heath Robinson contraptions of old - bolt on processor upgrades always give poor performance gains for the price. They look tempting, but are silly money when you consider the alternatives available.

If you got a good deal for it, personally I'd stick it back on ebay and cash in.
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gtalum

 
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I play with old computers for fun moreso than economy. I've resurrected many an ancient Wintel PC and this will be my first really old Mac.

I'm not sure yet what I'll use it for. I'm thinking along the lines of a backup file server.
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Alexis

 
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Ok, fair enough. But if you're just using it to backup, a faster processor + graphics card won\t have much effect!
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gtalum

 
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True. I will definitely max out RAM and put a big fast hard drive in there. I'll see how it goes without the upgraded PU. Of course, while I say it will be a server, I won't be able to resist using it for some web surfing and other tasks, so I may end up doing the processor uprgade anyway.

The gigabit ethernet should make for a good backup experience, assuming I get up off my butt and buy a gigabit card for my PC.
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Jeff

 
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Just to let you know, the Mac that you have doesn't allow big drive support. This means that the computer won't recognize more than 128 Gb of any given hard drive. It's up to you wether or not it is worth upgrading to support big drives. It is possible though.

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gtalum

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
Just to let you know, the Mac that you have doesn't allow big drive support. This means that the computer won't recognize more than 128 Gb of any given hard drive. It's up to you wether or not it is worth upgrading to support big drives. It is possible though.
I appreciate the warning. I was aware of that, and did some checking and can get a SATA card for about $20.
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Or you could download InTech's SpeedTools High-Cap Driver that bypasses this, like I did for my G4. You have to pay for it though, however it's worth it. My G4 Sawtooth now sees the full 160gb (157gb realistically) as 160gb, not 128gb.
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gtalum

 
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Did you upgrade the processor on your sawtooth?
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I did this for my old 400Mhz Sawtooth G4. It got me an extra 2.5 years of life out of it. I went to a 1.3Ghz processor, ATI 9200 Graphics card, PCI ATA card and maxed out the RAM. It worked well, for a while. The ultimate killer was the 100MHZ system bus. In the end, no amount of upgrading was going to speed that up.


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math

 
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My 1.4ghz Sonnet card should arrive early next week; I can't wait. I know it's not going to be as fast as anything remotely modern, but I love my 450mhz Sawtooth and I want to be able to use Logic more smoothly. I reckon it'll end up being the best 220 bucks I ever spent.
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gtalum

 
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I received my PowerMac today, and I'm really pleased with it. As a lifelong Winblow$ user, I'm amazed at how fast this "ancient" machine is. I'm just disappointed that I didn't see the light sooner.

I'm going to hold off on the processor upgrade for a while, but add a gig and a half of RAM to it and see how it works as my server. Thanks for all your input, guys!
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christm

 
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if your thinking of using it as a backup server then the best upgrades would be a large and very fast hardrive or two and ram would be useful. for a backup sever the CPU and GPU arent too important.
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Gav

 
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Its not really worth it as everyone above said. I have a PowerMac G4 with a single 450 G4 in it and its a far better performer than an identically specced 450Mhz Pentium 2.

& As the people above have said, maxing out the RAM & Hard Drive will give you better performance for using it as a server than a CPU upgrade.
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