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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > my powermac upgrade plan - will it work?

my powermac upgrade plan - will it work?
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dennisuello
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Apr 2, 2004, 12:35 PM
 
I have a G4, 400Mhz, 384MB RAM, 10Gb + 80Gb HDs. I want to upgrade it, so I can use iDVD to burn my videos from iMovie onto DVDs.

I plan to buy:
Sonnet Encore 1.2 upgrade card
Pioneer DVR-107 DVD burner
Apple iLife

Will it work? Anyone did something like this, if so any tips or suggestions?

Thanks,
Denis
( Last edited by dennisuello; Apr 15, 2004 at 01:30 PM. )
     
ReggieX
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Apr 2, 2004, 01:36 PM
 
In my opinion:
1) OWC accelerator over the Sonnet, that way you don't have to mess with reattaching your old heatsink to the new chip (OWC and Gigadesigns have built-in heatsinks and fans)

2) If you're running OSX 10.3.3, then the 107D is supported natively, otherwise you need to download some 3rd party patches.

3) More RAM.
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dennisuello  (op)
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Apr 2, 2004, 02:50 PM
 
alright, i already ordered the burner and yes, i'm running X.3.3, so i should be set. i'll have to look at RAM too then.

i'll take alook at OWC and GIgaDesigns' cards
( Last edited by dennisuello; Apr 2, 2004 at 02:56 PM. )
     
Lateralus
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Apr 2, 2004, 03:08 PM
 
Agreed. Don't even look at Sonnet.
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dennisuello  (op)
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Apr 2, 2004, 05:21 PM
 
anyone has any benchmark data that compares ~400Mhz G4 to ~1.25Ghz G4? how much performance gain should i expect.
besides movie editing, i don't use it for anything processor intensive. the only app that's visually slow is iPhoto.
     
Zoom
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Apr 2, 2004, 06:13 PM
 
Originally posted by ReggieX:
2) If you're running OSX 10.3.3, then the 107D is supported natively, otherwise you need to download some 3rd party patches.
I bought a Pioneer 105 last year, installed it in my G4 Sawtooth, and had all sorts of problems (thread here). Does 10.3.3 resolve these issues?

I eventually had to swap the drives back, putting the Pioneer in an external FW case. Will iDVD work with external DVD-R drives now??
     
ReggieX
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Apr 2, 2004, 06:47 PM
 
Originally posted by dennisuello:
anyone has any benchmark data that compares ~400Mhz G4 to ~1.25Ghz G4? how much performance gain should i expect.
besides movie editing, i don't use it for anything processor intensive. the only app that's visually slow is iPhoto.
It'll be 2x to 3x as fast as your current machine. The 100MHz bus hold the top speed back a bit, but the large L3 cache helps out quite a bit. I bought an 800MHz upgrade in January 2003, and the lack of L3 cache means its effective speed is around 600MHz.

I just ordered OWC's 867-933 Unit today, and would recommend it as it's a great price/speed match.
     
bbales
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Apr 3, 2004, 09:43 AM
 
I just bought the same unit a few weeks ago (though I paid $6 more!) and installed it last week in my G4 400 MZ (same as yours). I cannot give you benchmarks, as I didn't time things before installing the new processor, but the machine is MUCH faster. (And it was pretty easy to install, too.) I am very, very pleased with the upgrade. My machine is now going at 900 MZ, instead of 400.
     
DrBoar
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Apr 5, 2004, 10:34 AM
 
Got a GigaDesign 1.2 in a G4/400, and it is pretty clsoe to 3 times as fast. that is from UT2003 to Distributed folding and many other applications. The G4/400 really never felt at home in X with those slow menues and soggyness in Word, now I like my computer again This will take me thorugh 2004 so I can get a monster G6 next year
     
dennisuello  (op)
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Apr 5, 2004, 11:24 AM
 
Originally posted by DrBoar:
Got a GigaDesign 1.2 in a G4/400, and it is pretty clsoe to 3 times as fast. that is from UT2003 to Distributed folding and many other applications. The G4/400 really never felt at home in X with those slow menues and soggyness in Word, now I like my computer again This will take me thorugh 2004 so I can get a monster G6 next year
well, this upgrade will have to last me about 3 years, then it will be some G7 5Ghz Powerbook time for me.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Apr 5, 2004, 11:48 AM
 
Anyone who can't get a burner supported by OS X should try Patchburn. (1 for Jag, 2 for Panther):

http://macwelt.de/public/PatchBurn/

Get the 'en' version unless you speak German....
     
dennisuello  (op)
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Apr 7, 2004, 01:52 PM
 
Alright, DVR-107 is here and installed. I will order the OWC 1.25Ghz card and 512Mb memory today. I ran some benchmark tools and will run them after it's all installed and post the results!
     
DeathToWindows
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Apr 7, 2004, 08:55 PM
 
sounds good to me...

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dennisuello  (op)
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Apr 13, 2004, 11:06 PM
 
wow, it's like i got a whole new computer!!! i set the jumpers to 1.4Ghz and upgraded RAM to 896Mb.

Here are some benchmark results I got:

CocoaBench:
Before After
Overall 7.93 23.47
Number Crunching 7.75 27.09
Image Processing 9.41 25.67
File I/O 6.83 14.02


SpeedRun:
Before After
Overall 334 795
Graphics 67 75
Harddrive 350 923
Processor 194 479
RAM 722 1702


Xbench:
Before After
Overall 52.24 137.41
CPU 37.37 166.18
Thread 33.56 119.28
Memory 67.86 104.25
Quartz Graphics 58.13 141.34
OpenGL Graphics 66.49 178.02
User Interface 85.94 216.97
Disk 53.08 103.65
     
Lateralus
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Apr 13, 2004, 11:32 PM
 
Enjoy.
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surfacto
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Apr 14, 2004, 10:45 AM
 
I've got a DP 450 running some processor-intensive fitting programs at work. Basically, it runs 24/7 and takes 1-2 days to get results from one experiment, and I'd really like to speed things up.

Will this type of upgrade help on a dual processor machine?
     
dennisuello  (op)
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Apr 14, 2004, 12:08 PM
 
i had to clock it down to 1.3, cause it froze on me once when i changed the UI style from Graphite to Blue. I need reliability more than speed. But it's still plenty fast, about 3x faster than before.
     
olePigeon
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Apr 14, 2004, 08:01 PM
 
Would it be cheaper for you to get an eMac? $899 (edu discount) gets you $1.25 GHz G4, 25MB RAM, 8x Super Drive, and your iLife apps.

You already ordered your burners, so you could pick up the ComboDrive version for $749.
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Luca Rescigno
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Apr 14, 2004, 08:47 PM
 
Originally posted by surfacto:
I've got a DP 450 running some processor-intensive fitting programs at work. Basically, it runs 24/7 and takes 1-2 days to get results from one experiment, and I'd really like to speed things up.

Will this type of upgrade help on a dual processor machine?
Well, I have a dual 450 right now, and a 1.25-1.3 GHz OWC upgrade is supposed to arrive in the mail tomorrow, so I'll let you know how it improves things. I'm guessing I'll get a huge performance increase, even with dual processors. Dual processors will give you, as a MAXIMUM, twice the performance. In most cases, given OS X's excellent dual optimization, it's probably more like 50% more performance. So my machine is probably pretty similar to a 667-733 MHz G4. Upgrading to 1.3 or 1.4 GHz will be a great improvement for me. But I'll make sure to post results before and after.

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psisquared
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Apr 15, 2004, 02:31 AM
 
I had similar problems as yours under 10.2 with the 105 (drive not responding if disk left in for more than 20 minutes or so, kernel panics trying to access a disk that was left in for too long, disk disappearing from desktop if machine went to sleep with disk in, etc., etc.) These problems were completely eliminated with 10.3.

Originally posted by Zoom:
I bought a Pioneer 105 last year, installed it in my G4 Sawtooth, and had all sorts of problems (thread here). Does 10.3.3 resolve these issues?

I eventually had to swap the drives back, putting the Pioneer in an external FW case. Will iDVD work with external DVD-R drives now??
     
dennisuello  (op)
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Apr 15, 2004, 12:26 PM
 
Originally posted by olePigeon:
Would it be cheaper for you to get an eMac? $899 (edu discount) gets you $1.25 GHz G4, 25MB RAM, 8x Super Drive, and your iLife apps.

You already ordered your burners, so you could pick up the ComboDrive version for $749.
then i would be locked into the same monitor, while with G4 i have now, i can run any monitor i want. plus, it's still would be more expensive.
i only spent ~$700 so far, with a possibility of another $150 on a better video card. once i would get another 512Mb for an eMac it would be over $1000, plus my wife would prefer an iMac with 20 inch screen if we were buying a new computer, then the price would go way up.
     
dennisuello  (op)
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Apr 15, 2004, 01:00 PM
 
BTW, what's the cheapest AGP video card with 64Mb that will work in my G4? I don't do much gaming, but i's like to take advantage of Quartz Extreme.
     
Thain Esh Kelch
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Apr 15, 2004, 01:25 PM
 
Originally posted by dennisuello:
I have a G4, 400Mhz, 384MB RAM, 10Mb + 80Mb HDs. I want to upgrade it, so I can use iDVD to burn my videos from iMovie onto DVDs.
Personally, I'd start by upgrading those harddrives to a 80 Gb disc.. Or maybe 120 Gb...

90 Mb doesnt last long these days...
     
dennisuello  (op)
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Apr 15, 2004, 01:27 PM
 
Originally posted by Thain Esh Kelch:
Personally, I'd start by upgrading those harddrives to a 80 Gb disc.. Or maybe 120 Gb...

90 Mb doesnt last long these days...
i meant Gbs in the original post. did you think i was running OSX off of 90Mb dirve?
     
Luca Rescigno
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Apr 15, 2004, 03:42 PM
 
Originally posted by dennisuello:
BTW, what's the cheapest AGP video card with 64Mb that will work in my G4? I don't do much gaming, but i's like to take advantage of Quartz Extreme.
GeForce 4MX. They should be around $60-$80 nowadays. They aren't that powerful, but they're decent, they have 64 MB of VRAM, and they are dual-monitor capable.

By the way, I got my 1.3 GHz G4 upgrade and like I promised, I will let you know how much of an improvement it was.

First of all, I had to update my firmware. That was pretty easy, I just booted into OS 9 and used Software Update to do it. Installation only took a few minutes. I used XBench before and after installing the upgrade. Results are here:

http://ladd.dyndns.org/xbench/merge....999&doc2=62000

So, I definitely saw an improvement after upgrading. I didn't really have enough time to do many tests, but I did play a short game of UT 2004 and it was MUCH faster than with the dual 450. Certainly not a fast, smooth game, but definitely playable at least on the smaller levels. And that's with just a plain Radeon.

I got the OWC 1.25-1.33 GHz model for a little under $400. It works fine at 1.3 GHz but unfortunately it will freeze a few minutes after startup if set to 1.4 GHz. That was disappointing for me considering my brother has the same upgrade and he can clock it to 1.5 GHz in his Quicksilver, but it's fast anyway. If I added some supplemental cooling, I could probably get it to be stable at 1.4 GHz, but I don't see the need to.

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