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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Upgrading an 8500

Upgrading an 8500
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Senior User
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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Feb 15, 2001, 01:14 PM
 
Hey guys. I was hoping that I could get some advice from the group concerning my trusty old 8500. I bought the machine new in Jan. 1996 as an 8500/120 w/ 16 meg RAM. A year later, I upped it to a 150mhz 604 and 48 meg RAM. That's where it stands today. I have realized the limitations of this current setup for quite some time. My question is, would it be better to upgrade the 8500 piece by piece or go out and grab a new G4? Here are the things that I would like to add to my current computer: G3/G4 processor, upgrade RAM to at least 256meg, Firewire and USB support, and a CD-RW drive. My concern about upgrading the 8500 would be that the upgrades would run me more than a brand new, fully warrantied G4. Please let me know what you guys think. Thanks...
Yeah, about those TPS reports, didn't you get the memo?
--------------
2.3 Ghz Dual-Core G5/20" LCD/Life is Good!
Moo...
     
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chicago
Status: Offline
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Feb 15, 2001, 09:35 PM
 
Definately get the new G4. All that stuff probably will cost more than a new computer, and with a newer one you have a better chance or running OS X or anything new that apple throws at people.

That's a lot of money to throw into a machine that is 5 years old. I replace mine every 4 or so.
     
GLT
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca.
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Feb 16, 2001, 03:04 AM
 
Here's an idea of what you can expect.
Top 'o the line stuff-ALL fully compatible.

XLR8 g3 400 MHz ZIF- $279. - or:
XLR8 g4 400 MHz ZIF - $389.
SONNET also makes good cards but has trouble with interleaved memory in some cases. However, I've got one and I'm not sure that I can tell the speed difference with memory not interleaved.


256 MB EDO 5v. 60 ns RAM (2x128) $400 (DO NOT buy "cheap" RAM! Ain't no bargain! All of the cpu upgrade cards "want" EDO RAM to get best results. Your machine probably shipped with EDO RAM even though the specs call for FPM ram. (Most build houses that I deal with charge the same for FPM or EDO so go with the higher spec EDO.) Good RAM is gonna be within 10% or so pricewise between reputable builders. Cheap RAM is cheap for a reason. - Mixed chips, 2nds etc. Many people buy cheap RAM and have no problems. Many people buy cheap RAM and have many problems.I personally don't trust it
With your 8500 you don't want to have to play with moving memory around more than once if you can help it. Access to the RAM slots is not "hard", rather, It's a pain in the butt. Everytyhing else is a snap.

RATOC FW/USB card - $150 (Just an example. Not an endorsement, but a good card.)

EZQ external CDRW $229 -$364 (Depending on speed) with GOOD cables and Toast. Here is one place that you can look for bargains. I suggest external firewire 'cause you can take it with you to a new machine down the road. Don't be too impressed by speed with any of these machines because they can run alot faster than most busses can handle. And most everyone I know slows the speed down in reality because of skips and "coasters" produced at higher speeds.

For more info go to:
http:// www.Xlr8yourmac.com

http://macgurus.com - these guys are A-1. GREAT support. They'll hold your hand through any upgrade if you're a novice or a geek. 30 day returns on their stuff. Read everything on their site. It's an education.

PCI Macs are like VW bugs. They will run well forever. And you can soup 'em up and make 'em scream.

Have fun!
Greg


[This message has been edited by GLT (edited 02-16-2001).]

[This message has been edited by GLT (edited 02-16-2001).]

[This message has been edited by GLT (edited 02-16-2001).]
     
GLT
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Feb 16, 2001, 03:42 AM
 
Here's an idea of what you can expect.
Top 'o the line stuff-ALL fully compatible.

XLR8 g3 400 MHz ZIF- $279. - or:
XLR8 g4 400 MHz ZIF - $389.
SONNET also makes good cards but has trouble with interleaved memory in some cases. However, I've got one and I'm not sure that I can tell the speed difference with memory not interleaved.


256 MB EDO 5v. 60 ns RAM (2x128) $400 (DO NOT buy "cheap" RAM! Ain't no bargain! All of the cpu upgrade cards "want" EDO RAM to get best results. Your machine probably shipped with EDO RAM even though the specs call for FPM ram. (Most build houses that I deal with charge the same for FPM or EDO so go with the higher spec EDO.) Good RAM is gonna be within 10% or so pricewise between reputable builders. Cheap RAM is cheap for a reason. - Mixed chips, 2nds etc. Many people buy cheap RAM and have no problems. Many people buy cheap RAM and have many problems.I personally don't trust it
With your 8500 you don't want to have to play with moving memory around more than once if you can help it. Access to the RAM slots is not "hard", rather, It's a pain in the butt. Everytyhing else is a snap.

RATOC FW/USB card - $150

EZQ external CDRW $229 -$364 (Depending on speed) with GOOD cables and Toast. Here is one place that you can look for bargains. I suggest external firewire 'cause you can take it with you to a new machine down the road. Don't be too impressed by speed with any of these machines because they can run alot faster than most busses can handle. And most everyone I know slows the speed down in reality because of skips and "coasters" produced at higher speeds.

For more info go to:
http:// Xlr8yourmac.com http://macgurus.com - these guys are A-1. GREAT support. They'll hold your hand through any upgrade if you're a novice or a geek. 30 day returns on their stuff. Read everything on their site. It's an education.

PCI Macs are like VW bugs. They will run well forever. And you can soup 'em up and make 'em scream.

Have fun!
Greg
     
malson  (op)
Senior User
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Status: Offline
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Feb 16, 2001, 04:05 AM
 
If I've added everything up correctly, the total cost for these upgrades is a few bucks over $1300. Now, for right at $1600, I could grab a brand spanking new G4 466 with 128/30gig (Apple really needs to boost these educational discounts!) Anyway, I'm beginning to see the benefits of new over improved. I still love my trusty old 8500, but it may end up being a file server or something similar. Now, I just need the extra cash.
Yeah, about those TPS reports, didn't you get the memo?
--------------
2.3 Ghz Dual-Core G5/20" LCD/Life is Good!
Moo...
     
   
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