Questions about Sonnet Crescendo upgrade

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misterk85's picture
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So, I was looking into getting an upgrade for my PowerMac G3 (B&W), but I'm sorta confused. The item I was looking at was a Sonnet Crescendo 400MHz upgrade (see link). Can someone tell me what that will do for my nice little G3-350MHz?

http://cgi.ebay.ca/Sonnet-Crescendo-400-MHz-Accelerator-Upgrade-G3-/200514901569?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eaf9e9641

Thanks. Smile

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: Questions about Sonnet Crescendo upgrade

misterk85 wrote:

So, I was looking into getting an upgrade for my PowerMac G3 (B&W), but I'm sorta confused. The item I was looking at was a Sonnet Crescendo 400MHz upgrade (see link). Can someone tell me what that will do for my nice little G3-350MHz?)

Well, if you set it on top it might keep it from blowing away...

That card is not *for* G3s (The seller is apparently confused.) It's a CPU upgrade card to upgrade a Macintosh 7300 through 9600 series Beige PCI machine *to* a G3.

To find upgrades appropriate for a B&W G3 search for "ZIF G3" or "ZIF G4". You may be able to find a 400Mhz Apple-branded ZIF card for "Yikes" G4 model reasonably cheap, and that's probably about your best bet. (They'll work in a B&W with a firmware patch.) Given the current prices of complete AGP G4 towers I wouldn't pay more than $10-20 bucks for one.

I have a 400Mhz G4 in a B&W myself. It didn't make a world-shattering difference but under OS X the acceleration of certain graphics functions (like dock zooms) is noticeable.

misterk85's picture
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Re: Questions about Sonnet Crescendo upgrade

Yeah. I have a half-decent system done up, just looking for a CPU speed boost. I got a 64MB ATI Radeon card in it, and it's running pretty smooth, including graphics. Would one of those Sonnet Encore's be any good (if of course I found one cheap)?

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: Questions about Sonnet Crescendo upgrade

Honestly I wouldn't recommend throwing any money at a B&W G3 unless you have some specific use for the machine that wouldn't be better served by a later model. Depending on where you live/what your connections are it's pretty easy to find midrange AGP G4 towers for less than $50. (eBay/Craigslist prices seem to be closer to the $100 ballpark but they turn up at places like swap meets all the time for less.) The B&W is sort of hackish machine with several known hardware bugs, and its architecture is sort of pushing its limits even at 400-500Mhz CPU speeds. (If you do go shopping for an AGP tower get a model that shipped with a Radeon/GeForce2 or better video card.)

That said: if you stumble across a source of cheap upgrades and need to choose what would be best for your situation, well... it depends on what OS you run. If you run OS X you're probably better off with a G4 upgrade than a faster G3 because OS X's eye-candy leverages Altivec. If you're sticking with Classic then a faster G3 will probably be more up your alley.

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Re: Questions about Sonnet Crescendo upgrade

Just fyi its pretty easy to overclock these models. The boards support any clock speed, you just take out a jumper block and replace with individual jumpers to set the correct speed. The clock speed is entirely set by the board. I've taken all my 300mhz models up to 350, one of them failed at 400 while another had no issue at 400. My 350 didn't like anything over 350 unfortunately. Your results will vary wildly! So if you don't mind the risk, its pretty easy to overclock and try it out. I wouldn't put anymore money into a G3 or even a yikes G4.

I'd keep your eyes out for a cheap digital audio, mirror disk door, or quicksilver model G4. I'd especially look for the mdd or qs models that support DDR as pc133 is getting hard/expensive to find compared to ddr (the reason I picked up my g5 to replace my DA g4, and its only gotten worse since those days)

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Re: Questions about Sonnet Crescendo upgrade

I've been throwing away PC133. I keep 256mb sticks. The 512mb sticks are valued, but the B&W can't do 512mb sticks. The AGP's can. Of course, it's really a crap-shoot whether or not any stick is going to work in your machine or work with the RAM that's already in there, and the B&W, once it gets disgruntled, is a major pain in the okole. The first, and best thing you can do for a B&W is getting a 7200rpm HD in it. I'd much rather have a B&W than a Yikes! because the B&W has an ADB port.

There were ZIFs made all the way up to 1Ghz G4, but anything over 500mhz couldn't actually add much extra because of the limitations of the system. Daystar XLR8 made good G4 ZIFs for the B&W. The jumpers were on the ZIF board so you don't have to worry about the motherboard jumpers. I've got an XLR8 ZIF that was made for the Beige G3 and was rated 466mhz, which in the B&W on its faster bus does 500mhz and runs Tiger very nicely. For OS 9, I use an Adaptec 29160 SCSI card with a 10k rpm SCSI drive, and along with a Radeon video card and 1GB RAM, the B&W really flies in OS 9, although I don't think there's any benefit to a G4 over a G3 for OS 9--Photoshop 6 uses altivec, I don't know? Twelve years ago this setup would have been a wonder to behold. Today, it's a wonder its still around. These days, I personally would bypass any of the G4 towers and go for a used later G4 Mac Mini or Intel Mac Mini instead, and bide my time until I was ready to dish out for a more current Intel Mac. As we all know, PPC has been abandoned to wreckage on the high seas. ALL the G4 towers I have--MDD, Quicksilvers, DA, Gigabit, Yikes!--ALL of them have nasty glitches--most, most likely due to faulting PSUs. I'd rather not spend any more time and money on any of them, unless I have to, and they're all comparatively noisy. At least a Mini is as quiet as Waimea in the summer.

misterk85's picture
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Re: Questions about Sonnet Crescendo upgrade

Yeah, I got the system maxed at the current moment. 1GB PC133 memory, 80GB HDD, DVD Burner, and 64MB ATI Radeon 7000 PCI card. The system runs very well, and the only *major* things that needed to be done was a hard drive replacement because the old one was failing (Maxtor brand). Currently it's running OSX 10.4.11.

All I'm really going to be doing on it is basic HTML design, printing/typing documents, teaching myself XCode, and doing invoices for my business.

I just found with the processing speed being just at 350MHz, it was a bit slow with multi-tasking.

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