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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Upgrade or Buy new system?

Upgrade or Buy new system?
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Oct 21, 1999, 06:05 PM
I have an Apple PPC 9600/300. Should I buy a G4 card and upgrade or save my money and buy a new system? I am a graphic designer, have lots of extra stuff - scanner, printer, several removeable drives - so if I bought new I would also have to get a PCI card to go from USB to SCSI and add a floppy drive. Is all that worth it or should I just upgrade? Any ideas on what to upgrade with if I choose that?
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Somerville,MA; USA
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Oct 21, 1999, 06:11 PM
Sounds like upgrade to me...but that's just me.
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
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Oct 21, 1999, 09:55 PM
You have the last of the 6 PCI slot Macs. If you are a serious designer, keep it!

Buy the Orange Micro combo USB/Firewire Card for $150 and you are caught up technology wise only using one slot.

If you want inexpensive IDE hard drives, buy the UltraATA/33 IDE card from ProMax. It works great!

Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Cape Cod, MA
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Nov 6, 1999, 07:10 PM
I would say to upgrade and just spraypaint your computer graphite-colored!
Grizzled Veteran
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Nov 7, 1999, 05:27 PM
Considering how much faster 100 mhz bus is now, and 4xAGP will be, I would wait for 2nd generation G4.

I don't have any trouble on Yosemite using SCSI scanners (35mm and flatbed) or two external HDDs and one internal. Using SCSI Sentry II (seems essential) also preserves ultra SCSI 20MB/sec thruput.

You could buy a G4 upgrade for $900 but would it be worth it? The Blue G3 flies through things my older PowerMac struggled with (good video card, faster RAM and bus) my system feels faster than benchmarks say.

A PCI expanion box runs $1200 if you need that.

Take a look at rumors of what MOTO hopes to have out there by next May/June would be my guess as the big speedbump.

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Join Date: Oct 1999
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Nov 18, 1999, 03:02 AM
I agree, in this case, I'd upgrade.

If you decide to buy a G4 after all, I'd keep this machine as a backup machine, or sell it for a pretty penny since it is one of the few with 6 PCI slots

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Nov 19, 1999, 02:41 PM
I have a G3 upgraded J700 (4 slot 9600 clone)

Up to this point, I would have said "upgrade". However, technology has moved
significantly forward. Firewire, USB, 100Mhz bus, 128 bit graphics - adding equivalent cards costs real money and takes up slots.

I would recommend pricing both options, new machine vs. upgrading old machine with addon cards (remembering there is nothing you
can do about the bus, and OSX may not run
on a G4 upgraded 9600).

If it helps, I bought an ultrawide scsi card for $125, an additional 64 megs of PC100 mem is $110.
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Nov 20, 1999, 02:17 PM
I'm facing the same dilema as well. I've a 9500/132 with abt 128Mb of RAm and recently upgraded the HD to 8Mb. Can't decide if I should go for a NewerTech upgrade or get a new G4 altogether. And the decision is rather time critical. I need a faster Mac to work on with the next fortnight.

Right now I'm basing my decisions on price comparisons between a new Mac or an upgrade. Anyone else got any other opinions? Thanx
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 1999
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Nov 27, 1999, 10:23 AM
one word....upgrade
i have a PM8500/120 that is in the early stages of its 3rd upgrade. just installed a rage orion. plan on installing an OWC mercury400 G3(on xlr8 zif carrier card) in a week or two and adding a larger(9Gb probably) SCSI HD. i figure i can clok the mercury to 450Mhz safely and that should last a year or so. by then G4's with 2Mb cache should be available/affordable and my slow system bus won't be that big a factor current config:
8500 w/ apple 604e/233 processor,bus @ 47Mhz
208 Mb interleaved RAM
Rage Orion
1Gb IBM HD, 2Gb seagate barracuda(on fast scsi bus internal)
plextor 12/20 cd rom on hacked apple driver
H-P 1.2Gb magneto-optical external
H-P 4c flatbed
Nikon coolscan II
zip&jaz external

i don't expect to buy a new system for at least 2-3 years
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