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G4 Specs Assistance?


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congruent
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Hello,

I'm not exactly new to Mac but I've never had my education on hardware.

Recently my girlfriend's architecture office gave us a PowerMac G4 to accompany a refurbed powerbook I've had for a year now. I've found that this G4 is not as fast and tight as my powerbook and I'd like to spend a little to get it up to speed. Problem is I'm a little confused about the processor and what exactly would really make the difference.

Here are the specs for the G4:

Machine Model: PowerMac 3,3
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (2.9)
CPU's: 2
Speed: 500 MHz
L2 Cache: 1 MB
Memory: 640 MB (256, 128, 128, 128)
Bus Speed: 100 MHz

It appears to have a 256 MB SDRAM in one slot and 128's in the other 3 slots.

And I know it's a "dual processor."

Question is what are the best, easiest, cheapest ways to make this guy go faster? I don't need to do video . . . just faster Adobe/Macromedia and Garageband really.

Thanks
Congruent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baggss
thanks but i was really trying to ask if anybody could explain the whole "dual processor" thing. would a G4 really run signficantly better if I stuck two 512's or whatever in there instead of the three 128's and 256?

Is this really a good idea: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/accel...PowerForce-G4/
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Well, I upgraded my 400Mhz machine to a 1.3Ghz machine two years ago and it has extended it's life for at least two years. There was a significant speed increase with the upgrade. I'll probably replace it in the next 6 months though. I did not opt for the dual processor because I would still have been limited by a 100Mhz main bus in the end.

As far as the RAM goes, only if the 2 512Mb chips are the same speed, otherwise all of the chips will only run as fast as the slowest chip. All of mine are PC-133-333, so they all match at least. I had one PC-133-233 in there for a while and did notice a bit of a bump when I swapped it out.

In the end, there is only so much you can eek out of an older machine. Your machines 500Mhz bus is significantly faster than my 100Mhz bus, so you would probably see a good boost in performance with an upgraded dual processor. It's probably worth the money to give the machine a few extra years of life, and time for you to save for a new Mac in the process.


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Thanks, that was the kind of stuff I was wondering about. I still don't understand the "dual processor."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by congruent
Thanks, that was the kind of stuff I was wondering about. I still don't understand the "dual processor."
Certain applications take up quite a bit of processing power....most common are graphic and design apps. In a VERY simplified nutshell....the benefit of a dual processor machine is that one processor can run the OS, minor apps, and basically run the machine, while the second is focused on the proc-heavy app.
This makes the machine run much more efficiently.

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Oh, ok. So I can get a processor upgrade and extra ram? Does the ram even matter at this point? And, if I have four slots, do I have to get four identical sticks (like 256,256,256,256) or two identical (512, 512) or is it just the speed of each stick that needs to match up as the dude posted above?

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It's the speed of each stick. The older Macs did not require paired RAM so that is not really an issue for you. More RAM will increase performance a LOT.


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