forgive my ignorance-many questions G4

11 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: Apr 17 2007
Posts: 6

Don't know where to begin. New to macs, very new. Bought a G4 on ebay for $40. Listed as a G4 AGP, etc. Did a little research using the info in the listing and settled on it being a sawtooth. Specs 400, rage 128 pro, DVD, 128MB, 40gig, SCSI card, 10.3, only software pre-loaded was adobe design suite CS.

Now all is well and given that i only paid forty bucks for it. runs very well, i've upgraded the memory to 832MB and the hd up to 120.

Well, I bought a 550 cpu on ebay (waiting for it to arrive). recently doing a bit more research and found that my order #M7891LL/A isn't a sawtooth, but a gigabit.

I know gigabits ran duals. so my questions are this (please keep in mind i know little about macs)

1. is this a good model?
2. can i upgrade to duals or
3. should i keep the 550?

I tend to run photoshop, of course surf, and office. since i'm learning the ins and outs of this os.

I know i may sound stupid, but i've used pcs all my life, building etc. thought it'd be nice to use a mac for once. another forum has been really helpful, but after reading this forum i felt that it was going to lead to modding questions as well.

and i've bugged them enough.

thanks in advance.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
Decent machine. Only 2x AGP,

Decent machine. Only 2x AGP, though, so video upgrades are limited. Here's a good page for you:

http://www.lowendmac.com/ppc/g4mp.html

Offline
Joined: Apr 17 2007
Posts: 6
thanks for the link. was actu

thanks for the link. was actually on that page when I checked back here.
i'm assuming (prob shouldn't) by that the dual is a simple plug in.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
Here's another page:

Here's another page:

OWC

Maybe you should give us a link to the ebay auction for the processor.

Oh, and welcome to Macs! Life gets better from here on. Wink

Offline
Joined: Apr 17 2007
Posts: 6
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayIS
Offline
Joined: Oct 17 2006
Posts: 84
To keep or not to keep?

Hello Vader:

I, too purchased a Sawtooth 450 AGP on Ebay for about 2X the price.
Mine was used in a graphics department that recently upgraded their department at a company 40 miles away. Mine came with 1GB Ram, a single 450 CPU and a SCSI Card with the OEM Rage Pro video card.

True they just replaced this computer ... but they were using through about 9/2006.

That said, there was a test I ran on mine that says it will handle the dual processors.
There are several models of the Powermac G-4s: Yikes, AGP, Digital/Audio, to name some.

I do not have the link off hand for that test, but if yours is the AGP and will handle the dual CPUs: start looking at the dual and your $$$. There are threads on upgrading teh AGP in the last few months here. Try doing a search in the forum window for AGP to get started. You will probably find a lot of threads to loook at with links to places like low end macs etc.

I have been watching for an inexpensive dual, but they seem to run over $150 and up new, typically. Dual Sonnet Encore 1.6 GHZ lists $249 at one vender for example.
Going from 400 to 550 is more than 25% increase in MHZ.

If you can return it for full price, and also add more money to do a single major upgrade to duals [instead of 2+ CPU upgrades over a relatively short time] ...... you might also do well simply looking for a different tower at bargain price instead, too.

Yes you just purchased this tower ... but sometimes a still better machine is available for less than the dual upgrades.

Bottom line: Decide what you need a computer to do for you, then the software required to complete the tasks, then the hardware to run the software. If the 400 mhz tower runs the software you need good enough ... just keep the eyes and options open unless you must act immediately.

Jumping to a different tower format (Mirror Door Drives, or the like) would include upgrading different features, too (like the front bus speed) that can also increase performance.

You will find a lot of information mining the forums and the pages the posts lead to ... a whole lot!

Enjoy!

__________________

David Johansson
DHJ'S LLC
1 person computer services co. in Pryor, OK.
[http://360.yahoo.com/dhjsllc]
G4 AGP 450 Sawtooth
1 Gig Ram 80G HD + Tiger
"Darkside:" Dell Inspiron 9300; 512 RAM, 60 G HD Win XP
Also Trayloader G3-333, EMac-700mhz

Offline
Joined: Apr 17 2007
Posts: 6
right now, i'm just trying to

right now, i'm just trying to get my feet wet with macs. the idea at first was to use this machine to learn the hardware-os and later move up to either a later model G4 or a G5 (if i have the money). i figured the $40 spent was decent for this.

I've seen the 1gig plus upgrades, and feel that if i go that route than i would be better off just buying a new machine. but being a tinkerer (sp?) at heart, i figured this would be more fun as well.

i sort of want to stay in the 500-600mhz range. not sure why, maybe i figure if i hose the whole thing there's not much lost. may not make sense, but i've blown big cpus in win machines, and just don't want that heartbreak.

so far i love this little machine. case has been painted (would post pics, but wife got the camera in the divorce...along with a 1 gig machine...eh).

also something about a dual that really interests me, although for no real practical reason. that being said, if it's a waste i'll stick with the 550 that's on the way.

right now, photoshop and web are about it. would like to dabble in some other stuff (3-d modeling, primitive stuff).

like i said, this whole thing is to learn. i'm old, hell my 6 year old knows more than i do now when it comes to computing....

eeun's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891
I had a Gigabit dial-450 for

I had a Gigabit dual-450 for a few months, and I have to say I really didn't notice any speed difference over a Sawtooth @400.

Granted, I didn't encode video or mp3s, nothing beyond using database software, a bit of 3D work on my ancient version of StrataStudio, and usual web browsing/desktop stuff.

I have noticed a speed-bump in regular usage by moving up to a Digital Audio at 733.

__________________

"Give a man a fire, he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life."
(Terry Pratchett)

MacTrash_1's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 318
Re: right now, i'm just trying to

vader wrote:

right now, i'm just trying to get my feet wet with macs. the idea at first was to use this machine to learn the hardware-os and later move up to either a later model G4 or a G5 (if i have the money). i figured the $40 spent was decent for this.

I've seen the 1gig plus upgrades, and feel that if i go that route than i would be better off just buying a new machine. but being a tinkerer (sp?) at heart, i figured this would be more fun as well.

i sort of want to stay in the 500-600mhz range. not sure why, maybe i figure if i hose the whole thing there's not much lost. may not make sense, but i've blown big cpus in win machines, and just don't want that heartbreak.

so far i love this little machine. case has been painted (would post pics, but wife got the camera in the divorce...along with a 1 gig machine...eh).

also something about a dual that really interests me, although for no real practical reason. that being said, if it's a waste i'll stick with the 550 that's on the way.

right now, photoshop and web are about it. would like to dabble in some other stuff (3-d modeling, primitive stuff).

like i said, this whole thing is to learn. i'm old, hell my 6 year old knows more than i do now when it comes to computing....

$40 is a good price for a Gigabit G4.

As for swapping CPU's in G4's it can get complicated. Some of the G4 boards cannot use dual CPU's (David, a link for that software to check for dual compatibility would be great)Most of the G4 CPU's won't swap from model to model. Anybody have a detailed compatibility list anywhere ?

I have the same G4 and it's a good machine for it's age. Photoshop will take advantage of the dual processors but with most applications you won't see any difference over a single CPU. As you have seen what dual CPU's are listed for.... it ridiculous. I wouldn't pay more than $50 for a dual CPU and heatsink personally. Any more and you start approaching the cost of a better g4. The DA G4's and later are coming down in price and an aftemarket fast CPU would certainly cost almost as much as a faster g4 with faster AGP as mentioned.

__________________

Krow,

Apple Art & Project Black Mac LC5500/225 at:
http://krowmagnum.4mg.com/photo6.html

Offline
Joined: Oct 17 2006
Posts: 84
Link: Dual Processors ??

Since I am providing a link for people to consider running on their own computer, I must start with a couple important disclaimers/details:

1. Disclaimer: I am not an Apple certified tech. In fact I am fairly new to the hardware aspects of Macs. [Most of my experience relates to PCs.]
Thus, I will defer to experienced/Certified Apple Techs judgements/opinions about the free download noted below.

2. A certified Apple Tech that has much more training -- both textbook and practical -- would be a better source to verify whether there are infact uni-north chip sets that shipped on the early boards, whether the linked program is in fact an accurate test, and if there are other details to check, too.

3. Use at your own risk.
[From my limited knowledge of Apples, and research to increase my knowledge, I came across this download. I have run it on my AGP 450, and it indicated my motherboard would accept the dual processor upgrades. Each user will need to reach their own conclusions regarding this free download, however.]

That said:
--------- section 1

Developer: MacBidouille
Downloads: 2,225
- Version d/l: 1,052
Utilities: System
License: Free
Date: 12 Dec 2003
Platform: PPC

The download location summary says:

DESCRIPTION
UniNorthASICChecker tells you if your G4/AGP is able to support dual CPU cards.
Some early Sawtooth (G4 - AGP) models shipped with a uni-north chip on the motherboard which does not properly support dual CPUs.

REQUIREMENTS
PowerMac G4 with AGP slot, Mac OS X.

www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/13551/uninorthasicchecker

-------- section 2 more info simply quoted for consideration:

UniNorthASICChecker 1.0 - Check if your sawtooth G4 is dual processor upgradable. 38 K Free 12/12/2003

user comments from associated pages:
Doesn't work on a 400 Sawtooth (UNI-N Rev. 7) (3/9/2004, Version: 1.0)

thats good , my sawtooth supports upgrade. Developer included link to his site where you can purchase upgrades etc. I guess that's why the programm was developed in the first place BUT the site is in FRENCH....... how smart to place an add on English site....magnificent idea. (4/22/2004, Version: 1.0)
----------------

David

__________________

David Johansson
DHJ'S LLC
1 person computer services co. in Pryor, OK.
[http://360.yahoo.com/dhjsllc]
G4 AGP 450 Sawtooth
1 Gig Ram 80G HD + Tiger
"Darkside:" Dell Inspiron 9300; 512 RAM, 60 G HD Win XP
Also Trayloader G3-333, EMac-700mhz

MacTrash_1's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 318
RE: Link: Dual Processors ??

Thanks for the info David.

I ran the app and it looks like my Gigabit 400MHz G4 logicboard is good for a duallie CPU. That's nice to know because I have a couple of boards & CPU's coming in the mail and a CPU swap is easy cheesy.

__________________

Krow,

Apple Art & Project Black Mac LC5500/225 at:
http://krowmagnum.4mg.com/photo6.html

Offline
Joined: Oct 17 2006
Posts: 84
Dual Processors 2

Krow et al:

Glad to provide the link [with a disclaimer] to what seemed like a pretty good thing going.

The fact that a reviewer noted the tester would not run on the type of board being tested for was an added bit of irony, though.

I have not actually installed a dual processor to verify first hand one would in fact work on my board. But I have no reason to believe there would be any problems doing that upgrade [yet!]

David

__________________

David Johansson
DHJ'S LLC
1 person computer services co. in Pryor, OK.
[http://360.yahoo.com/dhjsllc]
G4 AGP 450 Sawtooth
1 Gig Ram 80G HD + Tiger
"Darkside:" Dell Inspiron 9300; 512 RAM, 60 G HD Win XP
Also Trayloader G3-333, EMac-700mhz