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Purchasing Advice: processor upgrade

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have a PowerMac G4 (467 Mhz Digital Audio - running Panther) that I use for desktop publishing (mostly InDesign & Photoshop).
While it does an adequate job, I could always use more speed. Since my boss won't pony up for a new G5, I've been thinking about processor upgrades/accelerators. Does anyone have any advice about them? Do they make a noticeable difference? How high should I go to see a real change? (1 Ghz?) Are they easy to install?
Thanks in advance for any input
post #2 of 18
I have a G4/400 and have been eying processor upgrades for some time. They are supposedly easy to install, but I always worry about bending a pin or such.

Im waiting for a Ghz $199 Price point.

If you're curious about performance, scour xbench.com for upgraded machines
post #3 of 18
A 1,25 ghz G4 could be a fine upgrade. Dual processor card are too expansive, and a waste of money IMO.
post #4 of 18
I have a 533MHz Dual Digital Audio and last year upgraded to a Giga Designs (single) 1.2GHz clocked to 1.33GHz. At that time (October 2003) it cost around $500 IIRC. Instantly felt the speed increase, but a noticeable drop in multi-tasking (Dual to Single).

While Giga Designs chips allow you to set their frequency they also require it, something some of the competition don't do. I like the ability to change the speed by taking off a jumper or two.

I'd argue the Dual upgrades can be effective and cheap. We aren't talking about upgrading eMacs here. My choices are; spend $500 to $800 and upgrade my 3 year old machine (single or dual) and see a significant jump, or spend $3000+ on a Power Mac G5.

Your can check your upgrade options on the OWC Accelerator page.
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post #5 of 18
You can get some nice upgrades at OWC, i stuck a Mercury Extreme 1.4 in my quicksilver a year agao and had it running at 1.47. Ut2003 looks pretty good.32 fps at 800x600 at med settings. sleeps and wakes from sleep with no issues. I also like the heat sink design. It to allows different run speeds with jumpers. wife is getting me a machine one day,but i turned it down to 1.33 for longevity sake and she is using it now. Still wrestling with new Imac or current dual 1.8 Powermac. anyways eshop at owc has a bunch of benches so check them out . good luck.
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post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your input.
Much appreciated!
post #7 of 18
I have (had) a 450 G4 Cube and Finally dropped a 1.33 Ghz Giga Design and this thing is fast! huge difference in all catagories except graphics since I'm chocked @ Rage 128 OEM. Best source of info is XLR8yourmac.com. I have had no sleep problems and even the fan I had to install in my Silent Babe is still virtually silent.
post #8 of 18
This is just my personal view, but going the CPU upgrade route for a work machine may be somewhat risky. These things tend to be finicky if not installed perfectly. The occasional lockup may be acceptable on a home machine, but may not be tolerable on a work machine. This is just my opinion, and I can certainly imagine that there have been examples of CPU upgrades out there that have been absolutely troublefree. I'm just saying that if you end up having to deal with the vendor to mitigate a problem CPU or a recurring problem, that could end up being a lot of unnecessary downtime- more than you can justify. You'll find that the customer service for some of them are not exactly the most helpful people on the earth. Some can be downright evasive when it comes to owning up to a bad CPU.
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post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Randycat99
This is just my personal view, but going the CPU upgrade route for a work machine may be somewhat risky. These things tend to be finicky if not installed perfectly. The occasional lockup may be acceptable on a home machine, but may not be tolerable on a work machine. This is just my opinion, and I can certainly imagine that there have been examples of CPU upgrades out there that have been absolutely troublefree. I'm just saying that if you end up having to deal with the vendor to mitigate a problem CPU or a recurring problem, that could end up being a lot of unnecessary downtime- more than you can justify. You'll find that the customer service for some of them are not exactly the most helpful people on the earth. Some can be downright evasive when it comes to owning up to a bad CPU.

Thats true. You should always hold on to your previous CPU until your settled in. At least a few months. Tax the machine more then you would normally, to test any thermal problems. OWC offers to buy back your old processor but its really only worth it if you have an older dual or higher-end QS or DA chip.
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post #10 of 18
I am looking to get a little more horsepower for one of my machines because my audio projects are getting a little slow. I can't justify buying a G5 and I am otherwise totally content with that machine as a desktop.

I am thinking of upgrading my Dual 533 Digital Audio machine with a Dual 1 or 1.25 card if the price is right ($500-600?)

Has anyone upgraded one of the G4 Digital Audio machines with a new Dual Processor Card? Is it a pain in the ass?
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by buckeye
Has anyone upgraded one of the G4 Digital Audio machines with a new Dual Processor Card? Is it a pain in the ass?

I've done a good deal of research on both Powerlogix and Gigadesigns Dual offerings.

Install-wise the Powerlogix is more difficult requiring two fans to be installed. A large fan on the top of the heatsink and another smaller one on the back allowing cool air to be pumped into the case, similar to your current setup. The Giga uses a single large fan and uses a much smaller heatsink.

Both setups are loud, I'm assuming the Powerlogix even more so since they have a small high-rev fan in the setup. Users have successfully added Fanmate (voltage control) units to the Giga, reducing the noise.

The Powerlogix uses the 7457 chips (and should run cooler while the Giga uses 7455B chips. Along with their cooling setup the Powerlogix should be more reliable. But they haven't been out long enough for those kinds of tests.

At XLR8 Your Mac there has been more negative reports on Powerlogix setups. Gigadesigns users have had little problems in any of the chips, I own a single 1.33GHz and has been great. Read the Database and BBS over at XLR8 to look further.
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post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by IonYz
I've done a good deal of research on both Powerlogix and Gigadesigns Dual offerings.

Install-wise the Powerlogix is more difficult requiring two fans to be installed. A large fan on the top of the heatsink and another smaller one on the back allowing cool air to be pumped into the case, similar to your current setup. The Giga uses a single large fan and uses a much smaller heatsink.

Both setups are loud, I'm assuming the Powerlogix even more so since they have a small high-rev fan in the setup. Users have successfully added Fanmate (voltage control) units to the Giga, reducing the noise.

The Powerlogix uses the 7457 chips (and should run cooler while the Giga uses 7455B chips. Along with their cooling setup the Powerlogix should be more reliable. But they haven't been out long enough for those kinds of tests.

At XLR8 Your Mac there has been more negative reports on Powerlogix setups. Gigadesigns users have had little problems in any of the chips, I own a single 1.33GHz and has been great. Read the Database and BBS over at XLR8 to look further.

Thanks for the reply. I'll check out that site.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Good tip.
Thanks!
post #14 of 18
I would avoid Other World Computing. I recently tried to upgrade my Blue & White G3 300 with a PowerForce G3 800, the chip fried on the first powerup and nearly took out the system board. It took over a month of emails between myself, OWC & PowerForce to get a replacement chip sent. That chip was DOA. Two months later I got my money back minus a 15% restocking fee. Poor customer service in my opinion.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by rlindeman
I would avoid Other World Computing. I recently tried to upgrade my Blue & White G3 300 with a PowerForce G3 800, the chip fried on the first powerup and nearly took out the system board. It took over a month of emails between myself, OWC & PowerForce to get a replacement chip sent. That chip was DOA. Two months later I got my money back minus a 15% restocking fee. Poor customer service in my opinion.


wierd, I've never had a problem with OWC in all my years of using them.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by rlindeman
I would avoid Other World Computing. I recently tried to upgrade my Blue & White G3 300 with a PowerForce G3 800, the chip fried on the first powerup and nearly took out the system board. It took over a month of emails between myself, OWC & PowerForce to get a replacement chip sent. That chip was DOA. Two months later I got my money back minus a 15% restocking fee. Poor customer service in my opinion.

Emphasis mine.

Who makes the PowerForce again? I've heard of many people who have spent month(s) with PowerLogix directly when it comes time for RMAs. I wouldn't be so quick to lump OWC into it.

Myself as well as others I've known have never had a problem with OWC. But as always YMMV.
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post #17 of 18
you might want to check out XLR8yourmac.com for more detailed info regarding all your upgrade needs. Mike has a nice database full of user comments on various product upgrades that might give you some more insight into this topic.
post #18 of 18
I went with the Powerlogix dual 1.2 GHz card for a G$ 400 AGP. The installation was not a problem at all. Three screws and a plug for the one fan and off computing. The reason I wanted the dual card setup was to increase performance in Photoshop, which can utilize the dual processors.

To test the burn in or to make sure the proc, is a good one and won't go bad after the warrantee is up. Consider using an app such as Folding@Home, this app will run your processors at full bore, amazingly enough, without interfering or getting in you way while you need to use the machine for your own production.
Folding for Fun TeamMacOSX dot com
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