Tinkering with a new MDD

Posted by: neukonzept

Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/22/05 02:32 PM

Hi everyone,

I just got my first Mac! (finally) It's a DP 1Ghz MDD. I also got a 20" Cinema Display, after noticing how the "experience" just wasn't the same on my old CRT.

Now I want to start playing around and make it faster. It came with 512Mb of RAM, but I noticed that my swap file was really active, so I got another 512Mb stick from OWC. Under normal (light-moderate) use, that ammount seems adequate, but I know that I'll wind up increasing it to the maximum 2Gb eventually.

The vid card it came with was the Radeon 9000, which is definitely a step down from the 9500 that I had in my PC, but after reading around a bit, it seems I might want to wait around for ATI to release the 9800 Pro AGP 4x 256Mb card. Does anyone know anything more about this topic, or think I'd be better off going another route?

I was able to install the HDD from my PC, so I have an 80Gb driveand a 60Gb drive now. Pretty happy with that for now... I'm not sure that I'll end up going the SCSI route. It seems really expensive.

Now for the silly part. I'm really tempted to follow Maestro's lead in attempting a G5 case conversion, for a number of reasons. First, I'd like better cooling. I've gotten quieter fans for my PSU, but I'd like to build an almost spookily silent tower, and the G5 seems a perfect candidate for that. I'd also like to at some point either try dropping in a DP 1.42 card, if one were to be found, or get a 3rd party CPU upgrade... although it seems like that might not happen.

Thats about all I can think of at the moment, but please let me know what you think. I'm not yet completely done with the metamorphosis into a mac user, but it's been almost painless. My roommate has noticed a certain increase in smugness from my side of the dorm room, though wink
Posted by: macDeviant

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/22/05 05:52 PM

let me be one of the first to say congrats and welcome macmod.... now open that sucker up and mod the Hell out of it laugh
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/22/05 06:08 PM

You can go all the way up to single 2.0 or double 1.8 GHz with PowerLogix... And the Radeon 9800 Pro 4x/2x AGP card is already out... Or there's the 9600 Pro 8x AGP... Check out http://eshop.macsales.com/.

Post edited by: JediJoker7169, at: 2005/10/23 01:18

Post edited by: JediJoker7169, at: 2005/10/23 01:26
Posted by: neukonzept

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/22/05 10:51 PM

PowerLogix makes upgrades for the MDD? I thought they only went up to the Quicksilver?

And is that 4x/2x Rad 9800 the 256Mb version, or the 128? I'm used to having a 128Mb video card from my pc, so I love the idea of getting a card with even more on-board memory...
Posted by: maestro

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/23/05 03:54 AM

Great. I would go with a 9600xt and overclock it after cooling mods. My update to my 9600 article should be going up soon. Also, as for cpu upgrades, you can go as high as a 1.42 dual.
Dont worry its faster than most upgrades with much more cache. Hope to see you modding it soon!
-maestro
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/23/05 07:37 AM

neukonzept wrote:
Quote:
PowerLogix makes upgrades for the MDD? I thought they only went up to the Quicksilver?

And is that 4x/2x Rad 9800 the 256Mb version, or the 128? I'm used to having a 128Mb video card from my pc, so I love the idea of getting a card with even more on-board memory...


Yeah, you're right... They DO only go up to the Quicksilver... And yes, it's the 256 MB version. Chechk out the link I posted earlier.
Posted by: neukonzept

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/24/05 02:27 AM

In another week or two, I should have my new VGA card in (I'm probably going to get the 9600 XT, as per maestro's recommendation, and OC it). The only thing that confuses me about the vga cards is that the 9800 series cards seem to have much better 3D performance.
So I guess that most of the people here don't do much gaming on their machines, and mostly do video work? Or is it that the performance difference just isn't worth the additional cost associated with the mac 9800s?

I may also have more memory by then, but that isn't definite. Did anyone notice a large difference going from 1Gb to 2Gb?

I also want to make sure and have the copper cpu heatsink on before attempting the case conversion. That way I should be able to keep it as quiet as possible.

With any luck, I should be ready to do the case mod over winter break, when I have more large chunks of time to devote to it.
Posted by: maestro

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/24/05 05:19 AM

The 9600xt is plenty unless you play hi res games. Depending on what apps you use and how many at once, the move to 2gb is trivial. If you do video/graphic work daily or run more than two professional apps and a couple of other apps at once you should be fine with 1gb. I usually am using 5-8 apps at once and unless im decoding video while using all those my 1gb has been fine.
-maestro
Posted by: neukonzept

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/24/05 07:52 AM

Thanks, everyone, for all your replies and help so far!

I've been hunting around online today at work (my job doesn't really entail much actual work), and it seems that these days, mac Radeon 9600s are easy to find for about $50, just like Maestro said in his article. The mac 9600xt's, though, seem much rarer. I found one on eBay, though, for $120 shipped.

Is that a good price for a card like that, or would my money be better spent getting a regular old 9600? Bear in mind, I'll wind up oc'ing whichever one I do buy.
Posted by: maestro

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/24/05 08:12 AM

I havent posted results yet, but the 9600 pro is a much better overclocker. I still prefer the 128 xt for when I get a big lcd. If you play games though, you may find the ocing and price of the pro model to worth it.
-maestro
Posted by: neukonzept

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/24/05 08:34 AM

Thanks, Maestro. I'm looking forward to seeing what your results have been.

There are definitely times when I can tell that the 9000 is not up to the task of driving my 20" ACD. I probably shouldn't be surprised, though!
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/24/05 11:44 AM

Really? My dad's 9000 Pro handles the 20" ACD just fine...
Posted by: maestro

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/24/05 12:13 PM

The 9000 is an ok card, but more memory helps push all those pixels!
-maestro
Posted by: neukonzept

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/25/05 07:15 AM

Note: Mods, please let me know if I shouldn't keep posting in this thread. On other forums I've participated in, it's been sort of etiquette to not start new threads unless necessary

Woo-hoo! Second (minor) mod complete! I yanked out the 120mm Delta fan from my MDD and replaced it with a 120mm aluminum Evercool. It's rated to produce 84.76 CFM @ 2200 RPM (full speed), with

Post edited by: neukonzept, at: 2005/10/25 14:25
Posted by: maestro

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/25/05 07:27 AM

Make sure you use temp monitor to ensure that the slower fan is not letting temps get too high. Its a free download if you dont have it already.
-maestro
Posted by: whitlock

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/25/05 09:11 AM

My rule of thumb on netiquitte is if the thread spins out of control, then start a new thread.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re:Tinkering with a new MDD - 10/30/05 05:58 PM

For processor upgrades, try Giga Designs. Something is screwy right now with the MDD section, but at least you know that they make one:

http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/cpu_upgrades/Giga.php