upgrade to 900MHz g3, or no

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GEOS's picture
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I'm still using my Powermac G3 B&W at 400Mhz. I like the thing just fine, but i want to speed things up, but i don't want to waste too much cash on computer stuff. I have found this POWERLOGIX POWERFORCE G3 ZIF 900MHZ G3/ 512MB CACHE @ 900 MHZ for $250 and am not sure what to do. It is 900MHz but is a G3. I have heard the Altivec features help enhance video stuff. Would that include playing games? I would like to make this machine a better gaming mac to prove to my peecee friends macs can game too. what are the advantages and disadvantages of the G4 chip over the G3. how do you think this card would work out for me, is it worth the $$ and what kind of performance would it improve? Please reply soon, I fot invited to a LAN party 2 weeks from now and i need a good computer to take that can play some of the newer games.

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Oh, Hazel, look. The field! It's covered in blood

Quad 2.5 G5, MBP 2.6 17", DP 2.7 G5, Mini 2.33, MBP 2.16 CD, DP 2.0 G5, DP 1.42 MDD, 17” PowerBook 1.67, 12" PowerBook 1.5, TiBooks 1GHz 867 & 667, iMac G3 500, Cubes 500 & 450, B&W G3 450 & 350, iBook 300's, 366 466, Beige G3 350, PDQ G3 233

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003
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Review of the 800Mhz version

You might find this interesting reading:

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G3CARDS/powerlogix_G3_800/index.html

Then I suppose it's up to you to draw your own conclusions. It's worth noting that game framerates less (well less) then doubled compared to the original 350Mhz CPU, so don't spend $250 expecting miracles. It's also worth noting that the applications which *do* support Altivec were often substantially faster on even the 450Mhz G4.

In theory, on a limited subset of operations the G4 is up to four times faster then the G3, or at least can do four times as much "work" per clock cycle. Which means on a pure Altivec application a 225Mhz G4 would be able to give a 900Mhz G3 a run for its money. In the real world that advantage is of course a lot lower, but... you might want to look into whether the software you're planning on running has Altivec support before making a decision.

Anyway. Like I said, just don't get your hopes up too high. Any game released in the last two or three years is likely to be too slow on a non-AGP Mac no matter what you do to it. I have a Radeon 7000 PCI and a 400Mhz G4 ZIF installed in my Blue & White, and, well, it manages about 38 FPS at 1024x768 in GLQuake 1. Just for comparison, my old 550 Mhz [overclocked 400Mhz] Celeron PC with an AGP Voodoo3 card could easily hit 60+ FPS running the same game at the same resolution. Of course, I don't think GLQuake does much with Altivec, but... it does sort of point to the idea that you're not really going to have much of a chance of humbling your "peecee friends" with your B&W. (Especially considering the fact that they're likely to have more recent vintage machines then that Celeron of mine, fitted with much faster video cards.) ;^b

--Peace

GEOS's picture
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New idea

I just found a G4 500MHz for my B&W and thought since it is a G4 it might be better. In overall performance in gaming and video work, what do you think would be better, 900MHz G3 or a 500MHz G4? The prices are close enough that it really does not matter the price.

Oh, Hazel, look. The field! It's covered in blood

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Oh, Hazel, look. The field! It's covered in blood

Quad 2.5 G5, MBP 2.6 17", DP 2.7 G5, Mini 2.33, MBP 2.16 CD, DP 2.0 G5, DP 1.42 MDD, 17” PowerBook 1.67, 12" PowerBook 1.5, TiBooks 1GHz 867 & 667, iMac G3 500, Cubes 500 & 450, B&W G3 450 & 350, iBook 300's, 366 466, Beige G3 350, PDQ G3 233

Eudimorphodon's picture
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You can't get there from here?

I caution you to if at all possible try to "test drive" whatever software you want your upgraded B&W to run on a Mac of similar speed to your upgraded system before you lay down the money. No upgrade for a B&W is going to turn it into a "new" computer.

To ponder the G4 upgrade, find the slowest G4 you can. One of the first rev 500Mhz Titanium Powerbooks would probably be just about equal to a B&W. (Or better yet, find a "Yikes" PCI G4, since the Yikes was just a B&W with grey plastics and a G4 upgrade stock.) For the G3, a 600-800 Mhz snow iBook would probably be pretty close to what you're likely to see. Run your games on those systems and decide if the performance is adequate to your needs. You may just decide that you're better off putting the money towards a new system.

Also don't forget there's a lot more to performance then just the CPU. Faster video cards, for instance. That's where the B&W really falls down, as its lack of AGP puts it at a serious disadvantage both in terms of choices and the performance of the cards you *can* get. Keep that in mind before you commit yourself to putting more money into it.

(And yes, I did upgrade my B&W to a G4 and a newer video card, but only because I got the bits *very* cheaply. The performance increases are nice, and sometimes even noticable, but definately *not* worth the approximately $350 the pieces would of cost new. The magnitude of the increases are far from sufficient to make a 1998 machine run "like new". At best, it updates it from being six years out of date to something more like four.)

--Peace

GEOS's picture
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thanks

Thanks Eudimorphodon you've been a big help. I have had this machine for a while and i really felt as though buying a new computer would be a waste of money. I had been planning to upgrade the processor and the video card and that would do me for another 2 years or so. I still don't know what to do. It sounds to me like putting more $$ into this mac might be more of a waste than buying a new one. I know that upgrading it would not make it a "new machine", but I think it would hold me for a while, you see, i am actually pretty satisfied with it as it is and just though an upgrade would help speed up things like converting music and video plus maybe a few games. I think i will get a new video card before i go for the processor. I'll get a peecee PCI ATI 7000 and have a friend flash the BIOS for me. Anymore suggestions are welcome as i still am not sure as to which processor i will (if i do) get. I'll see if i can test some of my software on other macs as you suggest if i can.

Oh, Hazel, look. The field! It's covered in blood

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Oh, Hazel, look. The field! It's covered in blood

Quad 2.5 G5, MBP 2.6 17", DP 2.7 G5, Mini 2.33, MBP 2.16 CD, DP 2.0 G5, DP 1.42 MDD, 17” PowerBook 1.67, 12" PowerBook 1.5, TiBooks 1GHz 867 & 667, iMac G3 500, Cubes 500 & 450, B&W G3 450 & 350, iBook 300's, 366 466, Beige G3 350, PDQ G3 233

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Joined: Mar 12 2004
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B&W upgrades

I just receintly sold my B&W with a G4 450 768M 30GB, DVD, Radeon 7000 for $500 a while ago and it was a decent machine for gaming... I also had a Radeon Mac Edition that I kept, as I was told it was a more robust card than the 7000. So I spent an extra $700 for a Dual QS 1 gig with a Radeon 8500, and was amazed by the performance difference! You should be able to get at least $300 for your box... Provided you are a good sales person...

An AGP video slot is a must for good gaming IMHO.

Cheers.

Eudimorphodon's picture
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B&W price

"You should be able to get at least $300 for your box… Provided you are a good sales person…"

Yeeegh. I paid $60 for my B&W, and was wondering at the time if that was too much. ;^b

--Peace

DanR's picture
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AGP = "Accelerated Graphics Port"

Quote: "I paid $60 for my B&W..." Unquote

You stole it from who? Wink
__________
AGP is an acronym for "Accelerated Graphics Port".

GEOS's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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You lucky creep

Where the heck do you people live?! I have read about several people hear "finding" macs on the trash, getting a duel USB ibook for $200, having g3's given to them, and now you say you got a B&W for $60! What is up with that? What am i doing wrong? I must be missing something here cuz' the only macs i was ever given was a couple LC II's last year by a teacher at my school. I don't get it, I work for months to get a mac and the same machine will just fall into your hands for $60, heck i didn't even get my 7500 for that little. I HATE ALL OF YOUR GOOD LUCK! it just ain't fair i tell you.

Oh, Hazel, look. The field! It's covered in blood

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Oh, Hazel, look. The field! It's covered in blood

Quad 2.5 G5, MBP 2.6 17", DP 2.7 G5, Mini 2.33, MBP 2.16 CD, DP 2.0 G5, DP 1.42 MDD, 17” PowerBook 1.67, 12" PowerBook 1.5, TiBooks 1GHz 867 & 667, iMac G3 500, Cubes 500 & 450, B&W G3 450 & 350, iBook 300's, 366 466, Beige G3 350, PDQ G3 233

Eudimorphodon's picture
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"You stole it from who?"

Snicker.

I got it from a coworker who had it festering in his storage unit for a couple years. Technically, the price was "$60, plus I picked up his bar tab at the after work TGIF party.". So it was really more like $80. ;^> (Two "Mudslides" and a beer add up quick.)

Of course, I've picked up non-Mac computers a lot more powerful then a B&W for *free*. Thus the confusion about whether I'd paid a fair price or not. :^b

--Peace