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  1. #1

    stillimation's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 25, 2004
    Posts
    182
    just got a new beater (G4 content)
    well i am tired of my PC, so i got a PowerMac G4 (450mhz) not to bad for 100 bucks if you ask me, i am very comfortable with macs and i am just gunna use it for basic web search and what not, but i do have a few question,

    the video is abit choppy and i was wondering what the best video card i can throw in here, i know it has AGP so can i get the latest and greatest AGP card and it will work??

    i have read that i might have problems with hard drives over 128Gigs or something like that, does any one know what i am talking about? i have 2 500Gig HDs that i would like to install in a few days and i just wanna make sure they will work.

    here are the specs:
    450 MHZ PowerPc G4
    832 MB SDRAM
    OSx-10.4.11

  2. #2

    MikeM's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 06, 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    201
    Specs:
    13" MBP - Mid 2012 - i7 / iPad Air / iPhone 5s / ATV3
    You can pick up a Radeon 8500 or 9000 card for not too much $, about $60 to $75. Since you have an AGP 2x slot, you need to be carefull if you go higher then that. Not all 8x AGP cards will work in a 2x slot. Also, the card has to be Mac compatable. You can't just take an off the shelf PC video card and plug it in unfortunalately.

    As far as the HDDs go, you'll need to install a PCI controller card to get larger HDDs to work properly.

    -MikeM

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
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    589
    Specs:
    See Sig...
    Well, the first question is if this is a Yikes! (PCI graphics) or a Sawtooth (AGP graphics) machine.

    If it's a PCI machine you're basically SOL on major upgrades. If it's an AGP machine, you can go up to a 7800GT, I believe, with some modifications (and you'll have to flash the card, which is not something for the inexperienced to attempt). But on that machine, the graphics isn't going to be choppy due to the GPU alone. The CPU plays a big part in this-a 450 G4 is just not a fast processor. At all.

    To get that thing to run even half-decently, you're looking at a CPU upgrade, a video upgrade, a RAM upgrade (max it out) and a new, faster hard drive. And MikeM is right, this machine doesn't have 48 bit LBA support, so you need a PCI controller card to get it to see those 500GB drives properly.
    MCCCXXXVII
    Notebook RAM Buyer's Guide- How much, what type, what brand, where to buy, etc.
    MBP: 17" WUXGA/2.4/4GB/160GB 7.2K
    G4: Heavily modified Dual 533 DA

  4. #4

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    8,968
    Specs:
    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    You will not have a problem with large hard drives if you did the same thing I did

    Leave the start up drive in the mac.

    But a cheap usb2 card and connect a large external drive via USB 2

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jul 14, 2007
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    589
    Specs:
    See Sig...
    He'd be far better off using Firewire rather than USB2. And while that's a valid option, it doesn't do anything to help the fact that modern drives will hit 50, 60, even 80MB/s or more sustained transfer rates; the old 5400rpm drive in the G4 is lucky to hit 20 going downhill with a strong tailwind.
    MCCCXXXVII
    Notebook RAM Buyer's Guide- How much, what type, what brand, where to buy, etc.
    MBP: 17" WUXGA/2.4/4GB/160GB 7.2K
    G4: Heavily modified Dual 533 DA

  6. #6

    MikeM's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 06, 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    201
    Specs:
    13" MBP - Mid 2012 - i7 / iPad Air / iPhone 5s / ATV3
    Quote Originally Posted by Geeky1 View Post
    If it's an AGP machine, you can go up to a 7800GT, I believe, with some modifications (and you'll have to flash the card, which is not something for the inexperienced to attempt). But on that machine, the graphics isn't going to be choppy due to the GPU alone. The CPU plays a big part in this-a 450 G4 is just not a fast processor. At all.
    This is something I've been wondering about. I have a sawtooth system. The AGP slot is 2x, the system bus is 100MHz. Are you even going to see graphics improvements above a certain level? I went with a flashed Radeon 9250 since I figured that since the system itself would be such a bottleneck, it would be a waste of $ to go over $100 for a video card.

    Has anyone tested this to see at what point performance gains level out?

    -MikeM

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jul 14, 2007
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    With the stock CPU, at a certain point what GPU you put in it becomes useless, yes. That 9250 is probably already capable of "outrunning" the stock 400-500MHz G4.

    A significant CPU upgrade (to something >=1.2-1.4GHz, ideally a dual processor module) would somewhat alleviate this bottleneck. But with that bottleneck removed, you start to run into the limitations of a 100MHz or 133MHz SDR FSB; no matter how highly the G4 is clocked it can't shift data between itself and the rest of the system anything like as fast as a modern machine can, and that's ultimately going to hold it back.
    MCCCXXXVII
    Notebook RAM Buyer's Guide- How much, what type, what brand, where to buy, etc.
    MBP: 17" WUXGA/2.4/4GB/160GB 7.2K
    G4: Heavily modified Dual 533 DA

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