Is the sonnet crescendo worth it?

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So I'm thinking of upgrading the processor on my computer. Mostly so I can finally play games as well as watch movies and do other things without the choppiness. Anyway what I have now is a 3oo mhz pushed to 350. I want the 1Ghz Upgrade card. It's a little high on price so thats why I wonder if its worth it. Everything else on my computer is pretty new except for this.Here's the link .
http://store1.sonnettech.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_35&products_id=119&osCsid=2586e50e719cb98b71974e57630ec249

Is it worth it?

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opps

By the way I'm running a G3 Blue and white.It runs great but like I said I cant play any newer games. Only stuff like Doom and Duke nukem...

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There's no way that's worth $

There's no way that's worth $300. For around $300, you can get a G4 mac with a faster bus and graphics card, if not a 1ghz processor. If you can find a card like that for around $100, that would make sense, but $300 is too much.

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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The eBay auctions still close

The eBay auctions still close at $200 or more for that card, and I don't know how well those cards perform in the B&w--possible heat problems, and I wonder what's going on with the cache on that card in a B&W. An AGP G4 would be a much better go if you can find one, preferrably 4X AGP, but still yet, $200+$10 shipping for the Sonnet card as opposed to an AGP 4X G4 for $150-$250+shipping+$150for a 1Ghz processor for the G4--well, you do the math. An 800mhz Quicksilver would probably be the most cost efficient option--$250-$300. That's how the auctions are going these days from what I've casually followed. Craigslist potentially has cheaper possibilities, but you usually have to be fast.

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hmm...

Well I haven't had great experiences with Ebay, and craigs list doesn't have any macs where I live Sad. Plus it seems like whenever I bid on an Item it goes up in like the last 15 seconds.

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No, I don't think it's worth

No, I don't think it's worth it.

As mentioned above, $300 goes a long way to getting a better computer than taking the upgrade path.

Consider: you upgrade your processor, but how soon will you outgrow your hard drive, your graphics card, etc. How long will that system last before you're wanting to upgrade again? In the long run, it may be cheaper to spend more now, and have a machine that will last you longer.

About ebay auctions... Sniping auctions is commonplace. The only way to compensate for that is to make your maximum bid truly the maximum you're willing to pay for the item.
...or place your own bid in the last 10 seconds Wink

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I place my bids during the la

I place my bids during the last ten seconds like many others, one of whom is usually the one who wins. When you place a maximum ahead of time you're usually outbid or the price is pushed higher toward your maximum than you were hoping. Unfortunately, you can't be there for the close a lot of times, but on good auctions, someone usually is. The crazos are the ones who start a bidding war long before the close, or even minutes before the close. There's nothing sweeter for a seller than to see a bidding war going on on one of his auctions. What you do is figure out what's your maximum bid--the amount you won't honestly feel too bad if someone goes over it--and wait for those last ten seconds, in which sometimes the bids go way way, hundreds of dollars beyond your maximum--then you wonder what the h*ll you've been doing for days watching that auction and then sitting there for so long toward the end with your pointer on the "place bid" button--you never ever had a chance at that auction, all that time. The other waiting bidders were all along ready to fly way past you to another galaxy. Tabs in your browser are essential for the last ten second strategy--one to refresh the auction, and one with the place bid button waiting.

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gaming? heh, forget it

Then this upgrade is definitely not worth the bother. Any modern game will need a higher powered graphics card than whatever PCI card you've got. As others have suggested, put your $300 into an AGP-graphics-equipped G4, ideally a digital audio or quicksilver model.

What games do you want to play? Give some examples. You may be able to play more games if you upgrade just the graphics card. What card's in there now?

Even with a fast G4 you'll have a real hard time playing the very latest games. For example, I tried Quake 4 on my dually 800 QS with the Nvidia GeForce4 128MB AGP card and 1GB of RAM and the game is unplayable with frame rates around 2fps.

*edit*
re: last minute ebay bidding (ie: sniping)

Youse guys are sitting in front of a computer waiting til the last 10 sec of auction to place your bid??!!!?! Yikes!! Use a snipe service fer cryin' out loud! I use vrane, it's free for one snipe at a time and works great. Another free service I use regularly is auctionstealer.
With a snipe service there's no wasting your time sitting in front of 'puter at odd hours waiting for an auction to end. It's actually much better for me because it eliminates the temptation to bid higher than I really want to - I just set the snipe for the price I've decided to pay, let the snipe run and if I win, great. If not . . . Cool Mac
*/edit*

dan k

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And take all the fun out of i

And take all the fun out of it? When do the snipes actually place the bid? I tend to just watch an auction casually and if it looks promising toward the close, don't start figuring out a maximum until close to the end.

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I always snipe every auction

I always snipe every auction I'm looking to win, and I do it myself between 10 and 5 seconds remaining. Works like a charm... you just put in the highest you're willing to pay... either you'll pass the current winning bidder's highest max bid, or you'll at least walk away with the satisfaction of making someone else pay more money than they expected Tongue

As far as the OP's question... weigh the cost differences... 300 bucks IS a lot, 200 isn't so bad, but people are right- if you can get a better machine (faster bus, better graphics capability) for comparable price, then go for that. Pouring a lot of money into upgrades is usually more for people who have a fondness for a particular machine and will knowingly/willingly spend more than they need to, or who didn't spend much/anything on the BASE machine in the first place.

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One problem I see to the snip

One problem I see to the sniper service is, there's been many many occasions where I was sitting there just seconds before the close ready to click, but still with conflict in my heart and in my financial head, and better sense finally prevailed over me and I just let the auction go and patted myself on the back afterward for doing so.

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A better video card is what y

A better video card is what you need first.

I have a B&W 450 with the Radeon 9200 card and it runs Halo pretty well even though it's PCI graphics.

But as everyone mentioned.... you could easily get an AGP graphics G4 for less than $300. And swap your drive & RAM and still have money left over for a 32 or 64MB AGP video card.

And I wouldn't be too scared of eBay. I've bought and sold many things on eBay and it's been a good place to find stuff. Just be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.

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I love bidding wars.... ive h

I love bidding wars.... ive had to do it all too much.... funny times where i bid an item up past what i could use a "buy it now" for the same item somewhere else, ill let the other person win, then i go for the other one.. only time i can say that bidding wars arent in your favor is if your best friend is trying to win something for you Tongue My buddy ended up making me pay $30 more for something once HAHAHAHA

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Not worth it. If you want a

Not worth it. If you want a decent machine cheap, then go with a low end AGP G4, if you're willing to spend a little more I would go for a dual digital audio G4 or Quicksilver. You can even get early G5's for under 1k now. I also noticed your username is "mac0s9user" guessing you're a fan of older games then? If so an AGP G4 would be perfect. A g3 these days really doesn't cut it especially if going to OS X. I went from a Dual 533 G4 to a Dual 2.5 G5 mostly because of higher bus speeds, better ram , support of newer HD's, and higher speed graphics. You'll see the same improvement from moving to a G4 AGP machine over the G3.

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Alright I Guess I'll keep my

Alright I Guess I'll keep my eyes peeled for a G4. Something around 800mhz. Yeah, i'm a fan of older games but like the newer stuff as well. The main thing I was worried about was the Bus Speed on my G3. Im mostly looking to run stuff like Halo and mostly first person shooters. Is the RAM and hard drives compatible between the G4 and the G3? I have 2 80 GB in my G3 now and don't want to throw them away. Thanks for the tip on the tabbed browsing for Ebay. I'll give it a shot Smile.

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Hmm...

If you want to do a bit of gaming, I would suggest you look into getting a PC for your gaming needs. It might actually end up being more expensive than getting a G4 but it will last a lot longer for gaming needs.

If you do go the G4 route and you need to upgrade the G4's video card, I would highly suggest looking into flashing a PC video card to the Mac. I looked on eBay once for native Mac AGP video cards and the prices were absolutely ridiculous.

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Hard drives should work fine.

Hard drives should work fine. Ram might not swap over, most G4's use pc 133 or DDR, the G3 uses either pc66 or 100 (it may have pc133 in it though). A good machine to look for would be a Quicksilver G4, good specs and not too high a price, a Digital audio G4 will be cheaper and still pretty good, MDD G4's are still pretty pricey though. Also, the quicksilver was the coolest looking tower apple has produced.

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Hopefully, you don't have any

Hopefully, you don't have any PC66 SDRAM in your B&W since the B&W bus is 100. The bus on the Digital Audio and the Quicksilvers is 133, so PC133 is what you want in those machines, and they accept the higher density RAM which the B&W doesn't fully recognize. They also accept the low density RAM, so if you get a DA or QS and have low density PC133 in your B&W, there should be no problem transferring it to those G4's. They'll also take any PC100 from your B&W, but why undercut your bus's potential, just like you shouldn't have any PC66 in your B&W. The early G4's had a 100 bus too, so no problems at all there.

To check out the speed and quality of your SDRAM, you can use DIMM First Aid in OS9:

DIMM First Aid

The ATA bus on the B&W is 33mhz. On the DA and QS it's 66, so a nice boost there if you plan to use the onboard ATA. Should be no problem at all transferring your harddrives. Make sure your cable is 80pin to take advantage of the 66 bus.

A suggestion about your harddrives which some may disagree with. To increase your gaming speed and responsiveness switch them over to SCSI. I'm not a gamer, but when I switched my daughter's computer to SCSI, her game-filled children's software suddenly flew without problems. Adaptec 29160 SCSI controllers and matching 10k Ultra 160 LVD harddrives are very cheap now on eBay, probably less than the amount you could sell your present harddrives for. Carbon Copy Cloner is an easy way to transfer your contents to another harddrive, but I speak only with experience in Panther. I don't know how well SCSI or CCC behaves with Tiger, and SCSI's future with Leopard is probably even more questionable. I've got SCSI160 in both my B&W's and my wife's DA, as well as my PM9600, and they perform wonderfully.

Yes, it's obscene to look at the PC graphic cards at eBay, and then go see the prices on the identical Mac versions. Macs are a lifetime behind in that department.

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how about this one?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-PowerMac-G4-Digital-Audio-533-mhz-256-CDRW-60gb_W0QQitemZ130089588806QQcategoryZ51034QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Im looking at this one. fairly fast for some video games plus it has a better video card. Tell me what you think?

well I read everyones advice and got it. By the way why is it called "digital Audio?" Don't all computers have digital audio? what am I missing?

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alk
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It looks like you've already

It looks like you've already got plenty of responses, but here's another one for the pot...

I've actually got that card in a B&W G3. I've also got an ATI Radeon 9200 PCI. Together, they make playing Quake 3 enjoyable and Return to Castle Wolfenstein bearable. But they don't compare at all to even an 800 MHz QuickSilver.

One thing commonly neglected when discussing the Crescendo upgrade is that it lowers your bus speed to 66 MHz. That's fine for a beige G3, but it cuts a lot of the performance out of the B&W where you have a 100 MHz bus to start with. I've heard (though not demonstrated myself ... yet) that the 600 MHz XLR8/Daystar G4 ZIF gives about equal performance as it retains the 100 MHz bus. I'm not certain if the 700 MHz or 800 MHz Sonnet jobbies keep the 100 MHz bus or not, but I don't think they do.

Regarding sniping, Dan K tipped off Vrane to me a few years back. I've been using it ever since. I consider it an invaluable eBay tool, and I've used it to win my most sought after auctions (PowerBook Mustang prototype, SGI Multilink adapter, etc) at more reasonable prices than I would have expected had I been caught in a bidding war. Sniping is an essential tactic for winning eBay auctions. It's a fact of life. Either learn to love it or prepare to lose a lot of auctions.

Peace,
Drew

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Re: Digital Audio

The Digital Audio was the first Mac to have the special mini plug on the back for the Apple digital speakers, that's how it got its name. There's also the standard 1/8 inch headphone plug back there as well. It's more important improvements were the 4x AGP and the 133mhz bus, as well as the 66mhz ATA bus.

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Huh? Did you post this as

Huh?

Did you post this as a reply to the wrong thread/post?

Peace,
Drew

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He's answering mac0s9user's l

He's answering mac0s9user's last post about why the DA is called the DA Wink

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Regarding bus speeds, I've go

Regarding bus speeds, I've got a Socket 370 machine here I've been working on. I picked it up with cap plague (thanks to ax0n for the diagnosis) and fixed it. Anyway, I put a Celeron 700 in it, with 256MB of PC-100 RAM (running at PC66). It was jerky and lagging watching streaming video from Google Video/YouTube on an otherwise plain Ubuntu 6.10 install. I swapped in a P3 733 and it's needed 256MB PC133 RAM, and all jerking and slowness was gone. Only a 33MHz jump in CPU speed, but a doubled jump in bus speed, and a doubling of cache. It makes all the difference.

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For what it's worth...

I'd recommend a mac mini. You may scoff, but I picked up my g4 1.42 mini a year ago from Micro Center in Cambridge Mass. I asked the mac department manager if they had any open box or returns, and they had a few. He asked what I wanted to pay, I said $275, he said $325, I ended up paying $290. Still got an apple warranty with it. I threw a 512mb ram stick in it, and it runs Final Cut well enough for me to not rip my hair out waiting for rendering. I'd seriously suggest picking one up.

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two versions?

Alk,I think I've read that there were two versions of the 1Ghz Sonnet G4 ZIF--one exclusively for the Beige, and one for the Beige, B&W, and G4. I'm just wondering if the one that's slowing your bus to 66mhz could be the Beige exclusive one. If not, that's very interesting. I've never heard about a slowdown before and of course, no one mentions that in the auctions. I've read that Sonnet's 500mhz G4 ZIF can have problems as well, but I'm no sure what they were. Never had a problem with my XLR8 ZIF's.

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I think that initially Sonnet

I think that initially Sonnet had one model for the beige G3 only, and then an update included compatibility w/ the Blue and White. Either way, the card I've got is compatible with both models.

Here's some performance info on the Sonnet 1 GHz upgrade from XLR8yourmac.com:
Introduction
3D Games

You can see that in most games the 1 GHz upgrade barely outperforms a 550 MHz G4 ZIF. I wouldn't recommend the Sonnet upgrade for any machine but a beige G3. The B&W and Yikes G4 lose the huge advantage of a 100 MHz bus, and bus speed is critical for gaming.

Peace,
Drew

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Sonnet + Video card Upgrades for my 2002 Quicksilver

I just purchased the Sonnet CPU Duet 1.8 Ghz and a AGP Nvidia 6200/256MB for Mac + Apple DVI to ADC adaptor. I am amazed how fast is my computer now and how the graphics look! I could not play Doom 4 smoothly, now, I have no problem and I plan to purchase the full game! Also, as a student in Graphic Design, my pictures and graphics are much better and I can run several applications at the same time without any problems (Photoshop CS+ Illustrator CS+ InDesign CS + GoLiveCS). The only problem I meet though is with InDesign CS... each time I launch ID, the resolution of the screen (Translucent Apple Cinema Display 22") is screwed up, the screen is "jumping" like if there was too much power, if someone can understand what I mean... (sorry for my English, I have been living in the country for a few years only). I think that it comes from the new graphic card and I am still trying to resolve the problem. Unsuccessfully so far... So, if someone has an idea, let me know. Otherwise, I am very happy with my upgrades and I hope to postpone the purchase of an Intel Mac in 2 years.

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so you got a new DA eh?

I see mac0s9user bought that 533 DA they mentioned earlier. Good deal from what I can see, at least since the vendor appears rock-solid.

You'll be quite happy with the speed boost for your less-than $200 purchase. You'll for sure want more RAM in there than the 256MB it comes with, but hopefully some or all of your B+W's sticks are the required 133.

Once you try out some apps and games, you'll see if the graphics is adequate. If not, there are some pretty decent choices available for upgrades, though the most cost effective are flashed PC cards. I was very happy with my 64MB GeForce3 I got for ~$25, it performs nearly as well as the $175 128MB GF4 Ti that replaced it.

dan k

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Yeah, I bought it I figured i

Yeah, I bought it I figured it's a pretty good deal. I just bought a stick of 128 for my G3 (well like 9 months ago) and am hoping its 133. I'll check from where I bought it. I'll probably get quake and doom once it's going. Now I need to do something with my G3. Maybe keep it as a collector? Thanks for everybody's help here. It's been great!

edit*
Just checked the RAm from my G3, so far one is 100. Is there any way to check by looking at the RAM?

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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SDRAM specs

Go here:
http://www.chipmunk.nl/DRAM/ChipManufacturers.htm

But whatever DIMM First Aid says should be correct, too.

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Yep, all 100 mhz... oh well g

Yep, all 100 mhz... oh well guess ill be getting ram too Smile