CPU Upgrade question challenge for the "tech gurus"

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I want to boost my beloved Cube 450Mhz w/ 1Gb ram to current Apple speed line. I picked up literature on Sonnet Encore/ST G4 (1.0 Ghz) upgrade card. I started to do more research into upgrade cards and found PowerLogix: PowerForce Series 100 G4/1Ghz. The third option is to upgrade to a G4 Dual 500Mhz card.

My question is "Which is the best solution?" Is a single 1Ghz G4 chip better than a dual 500Mhz G4 chip or vice versa or are they equivolent.

I have never upgraded CPUs before so I am wondering which brand is better between Sonnet and PowerLogix. Here are the specs:

Sonnet Encore/ST G4 1Ghz

1 GHz G4 7455 processor

2MB Double Data Rate L3 cache (500Mhz L3 data rate

Simple installation* (NOT!)

Supports Mac® OS 8.6 through Mac OS X

Maximize performance for a fraction of

the price of a new system

No software, switches, or jumpers

Auto-configures to host system

PowerLogix PowerForce G4 Series 100

*\tPowerPC 7450 or 7455 @ 1000MHz (1GHz)

*\t256K of L2 cache @ 1000MHz (1GHz)

*\t1Mb of L3 cache @ 250MHz

*\t100MHz bus operation

*\tBus ratio of 10:1

(most likely 7455)

The power supply of PowerLogix is three phase power supply that runs at 1.2Mhz compared to Apple's 250Khz. No info on Sonnet power supply. In terms of installation Sonnet tech advised me that it is extremely hard to install by myself and I have to purchase an installation kit for the Cube. PowerLogix doesn't mention any so I assume that it is somewhat do-able self install.

As for the prices: Sonnet is $699 + $29 install kit + professional installer fee. PowerLogix is $790.00.

So I ask your expertise on my situation which is the best way to go? By the way, G4 Dual 500Mhz is $699 as well...

Thanks in advance <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />


  • Reply 1 of 7
    I am not sure how Apple works its dual processor comps but from my experience with wintel machines a dual processor motherboad only works with Software that knows how to use it, OSX will know how to use it for sure but I am not sure about other software on your mac. on the PC you just have to make sure the software knows how to use dual processors. If I was you I would go with the single 1ghz to me that makes more sense. <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />
  • Reply 2 of 7
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    if you really want to know you're asking the wrong place.

    wait about 3-4 weeks, until the cards have been out a while, then go to <a href="http://www.xlr8yourmac.com"; target="_blank">www.xlr8yourmac.com</a>

    they have every review you can ever imagine for all sorts of hardware, including upgrade cards. i posted a link over in the Genius Bar about this same question, you can check there if you want.

    those guys will know more than anyone else which cards are the best, and what the most bang for your buck is.

    plus they'll have reviews on the hardware and the install process, great resource.

  • Reply 3 of 7
    squashsquash Posts: 332member
    Also you can find test results on this site. I tend to think his results are pretty honest. i didn't see what you were looking for, but give it time and he will test them both.

    <a href="http://www.barefeats.com"; target="_blank">www.barefeats.com</a>
  • Reply 4 of 7
    kwondokwondo Posts: 217member
    I did all my reading @ xlr8yourmac web site before posting...but I wanted a feedback from anyone who have actually purchased either brand.

    As for my second part of the question I went to Apple Store's Genius Bar in SoHo. I got conflicting answers regarding Dual 500Mhz vs. 1Ghz under OS X. One person told me that even though it's 500Mhz, the fact that there are two processors being utilized, OS X's Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, etc, would run faster especially when dealing with large files (which is my case). So what are youyr thoughts...?

    <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" /> <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />
  • Reply 5 of 7
    jet powersjet powers Posts: 288member
    IIRC, putting in a Dual 500 requires some custom hacking to make it fit; the card is just slightly too large or something.

    Since you are new to upgrading, go with the simplest solution you can.

    All three options offer significant performance enhancement, so I don't think there is a 'wrong' choice. It's just a matter of living in your comfort zone.

    I've never upgraded a proc on a Mac, so I'd go with whichever solution involved the least amount of user-end work.

    Do any of them offer a service to do it for you?

  • Reply 6 of 7
    kwondokwondo Posts: 217member
    I asked at Tekserve in NYC and they do it for $90. I do know that it is not easy given that it will be installed in The Cube. It requires quite of bit of disassembly and the Card contains a piggybacked fan for the new processor (I believe it is an 80mm fan). It definately voids the Apple warranty but who cares when it is out of warranty and I'm heading for 1Ghz speed! :eek:
  • Reply 7 of 7
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    As far as I can tell, the Powerlogix 1GHz upgrades aren't shipping yet, and Sonnet have chickened out, so they're maxing at 800MHz.

    When Powerlogix first announced their upgrades, some guy from the company was posting around the Apple Discussion Boards, saying that they were trying to avoid putting a fan on the 1GHz Cube models, but heat issues may militate against that. I hope not.

    Given that these guys have been playing professionally for a while, I'd recommend holding out until there have been some in-service reviews of the upgrades: the Dual 500MHz upgrades I've seen are pretty serious hacks (like, Dremel-time on the heatsink :eek: ), with a greater than normal chance to destroy your machine. Kudos to the guys who've done it, but I'd like something a bit more reversible.

    At a guess, these new Cube upgrades will have a whole new heatsink, which is essentially the middle of the Cube: everything else is hung off it (yeah, my warranty is long-since dead!). This is going to involve spending some quality time with a Torx to fit, but the quality of the finished install should be worth it.

    Of course, the next question will be, is the 80mm fan in the bottom of my Cube sufficient cooling?
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