G4 Upgrade card

Posted by: rsnumber2

G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 12:09 AM

I dunno if this has been posted before, but I'll give it a shot. I am wanting to upgrade my 350 MHz B&W G3 to make it last another year. My options are a Daystar G4 500, G4 550, or a Sonnets G4 500. My plan is to wait until the intel based macs are either proven or dismissed. Then I will actively pursue a G5 or Intel based mac. I do alot of Photoshop and Illustrator work, and plan on using iMovie and iDVD, so I do need to stick with a G4 instead of a high MHz G3.

What are people expiriences with these cards?

Is one recomended over the other?

Is it worth $150 to upgrade?

I'm sick of debating this in my head, so any help is appreciated, thanks.
Posted by: soundmann18

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 12:45 AM

I don't know which is best, but I'd definitely say its worth it - the 150 will allow the cpu to last for a good while longer, i have plenty of friends running final cut, photoshop, etc on 667 or less G4s
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 12:53 AM

From what i've been told the CPU upgrade will declock your BUS from 100MHz to 66MHz.
Posted by: jahue

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 01:23 AM

I upgraded my sawtooth to 1.8gh using a sonnets chip and i have to say i was apprehensive at first but the chip made a marked improvement from the 400mhz stock chip. I have a mac mini with 1.42gh and the old sawtooth with its crappy HD's and old video-card now loads and runs faster than any mac I own including my newer powerbook. Go with the sonnet if you go .
Posted by: rsnumber2

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 01:30 AM

Considering my G3 is already running 66 Mhz, that really is no big deal. The Sonnets G4 card stops at 66MHz, but supposedly, the Daystar (XLR8) G4 card allows the system bus to run at a full 100Mhz. So they say. I feel like I am comparing Apples to Apples (no pun intended), but I feel like I am missing something...

Here are some links:


Posted by: maestro

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 01:53 AM

I personally would go with a chip that is 600mhz that keeps the bus at 100mhz. This will give you the best bang for the buck. Try FastMac or OWC. By the way, your system bus is 100mhz already.


Post edited by: maestro, at: 2006/01/19 02:01
Posted by: rsnumber2

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 02:13 AM

Ooops! My bad! I thought it was 66MHz! Yeah, now that you guys corrected me, that is certainly a consideration. Sounds like the XLR8 card is ahead by a nose. Does anyone know why Sonnets quit making the 800Mhz G4? There is one on eBay I was looking at, but now Sonnets only offers the 500 MHz and 1Ghz...
Posted by: maestro

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 02:58 AM

Zifs are not selling as well as they used to. The market is downsizing, hence the end of the 800mhz. Some companies are not even offering zifs anymore. Sad to see the B/W G3 go the way of the beige macs.
Posted by: whitlock

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 03:01 AM

Speaking of which, has anyone noticed the B&W's prices tanking pretty fast? You can pick up one w/ shipping for less than $100 on eBay now.
Posted by: mordaskyt

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 12:06 PM

I would check out the cpu upgrade reviews/owner reports on http://www.xlr8yourmac.com I also would reccomend the G4 600 zif as a good choice. Avoid the Sonnet or any g4 zifs that downgrade the system bus to 66mhz. Your smurf may also need a firmware upgrade to recognise the g4 cpu, The manufacturer of your upgrade card should be aware of this issue and provide instructions for the upgrade. Its not a big deal at all but is something to be aware of in case you buy the card second hand (say on ebay) as you would then need to figure the procedure out yourself.
Posted by: maestro

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 01:58 PM

You make a great point mordaskyt. Used cpu upgrades can be risky for many reasons. As far as the
firmware update, yes you need one. You will probably need some other software too. All of these
are available on the net and are free. If you buy a new card, this stuff comes with it and they are
super easy to install. Let us know what you end up with.

Posted by: soward

Re:G4 Upgrade card - 01/19/06 02:34 PM

I have a 733 which downclocked the bus to 66, it's still faster than the orig 350 at most things, though for memory intense items, I think the 100mhz bus and 600Mhz cpu will likely be a faster option.

I would also suggest upgrading your disk and your drive controller, this proved to be a big bottleneck on mine for I/O based apps like i* stuff.

I also didn't see much speed boost from the ATI 9200PCI, though I might if I were to play any games, etc.

Personally, I would reccomend a mac mini and FW enclosure. Sure it's more money, but it's way faster and will likely be useful as an aux machine for longer than the B&W...