Pismo 400MHz vs. 500MHz G3: Is the difference worth it?

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unknown1's picture
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I now have THREE Pismos, unfortunately NONE are currently working:

Pismo 1 'Big Boy' ($66) went dead about an hour after I received it in the mail, I now have another processor, but haven't installed it yet. Needs other parts too.

Pismo 2 'Big Z Boy' ($46) was my main machine up till last week when the hard drive decided to ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk.... It works long enough in OS 9 to get the data moved to the PC storage drive on the network.

Pismo 3, tentatively named 'Pismo 3' ($31) was received yesterday. Supposed to be dead, I connected my power supply to it, got the single 'bong' for 'no RAM', installed a stick of 256M I thought was bad just for fun and it starts right up and boots to the DVD drive. Total luck-out! Still needs other parts though...

Anyway, there is a 500MHz processor ending on eBay in minutes (literally) for currently $43. If it goes for under $80 (like most 500MHz processors this month, down from $125-175 in May) is it a worthwhile upgrade?

I don't have the money till next month but will not be able to upgrade to a faster PowerBook or MacBook any time soon. Used 'Books are finally getting somewhat reasonable though: iBook G4s are usually under $400, MacBooks and 17" PowerBooks can be found for under $700.

Of course you can buy a low-end PC laptop with a Duo-Core 1.4GHz for $400-500 NEW!

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GEOS's picture
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I can't tell you for sure sin

I can't tell you for sure since most of my G3 computers are desktops, but I sure do notice a difference between using a 400MHz iMac and a 500MHz iMac. Seems like with a G3 processor, every little bit helps and 100MHz is quite a step in the G3 world. If this is a computer you plan on using for a long while, then YES its worth it if you don't mind blowing $50+ on severely obsolete technology, then go for it. Personally I'd just save up a few more bucks and buy a faster G3 or G4 iBook.

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unknown1's picture
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Faster 'Books

That is kind of what I felt. It went for $58.99, a new low for a Pismo 500MHz processor! I guess a 20% increase in processor speed should do some good at least... One thing is, complete Pismos still have great resale value, so whatever I put into it I SHOULD be able to get out of it, if I shop wisely.

The next step up is a Pismo G4 550MHz upgrade which is about $200. After that, I think the next step up is a 1GHz G4 iBook at about $350-400. That will all have to wait for now.

I had been using a Powerbook 3400 180 MHz up until 2005 and I could surf the web and listen to iTunes without much problem. With my 400MHz Pismo, which should theoretically be about 3 times as fast as the 3400, I cannot surf the web while listening to iTunes without hiccups.

It plays youtube videos at about 1 frame per second and Firefox 2 (a memory hog) takes all available resources on my 384 MB of RAM. Now they have Firefox 3, but it will only run on 10.4! Another $100 upgrade!!!

This is kind of frustrating as even my wife's old Pentium 3 333MHz with 256 Megs of RAM could do better than that! What is up?

By the way, OS X 10.3 works great, fast and smooth. It is just amazing how much resources the modern multimedia internet takes!

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GEOS's picture
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Re: Faster 'Books

unknown1 wrote:

That is kind of what I felt. It went for $58.99, a new low for a Pismo 500MHz processor! I guess a 20% increase in processor speed should do some good at least... One thing is, complete Pismos still have great resale value, so whatever I put into it I SHOULD be able to get out of it, if I shop wisely.

The next step up is a Pismo G4 550MHz upgrade which is about $200. After that, I think the next step up is a 1GHz G4 iBook at about $350-400. That will all have to wait for now.

I had been using a Powerbook 3400 180 MHz up until 2005 and I could surf the web and listen to iTunes without much problem. With my 400MHz Pismo, which should theoretically be about 3 times as fast as the 3400, I cannot surf the web while listening to iTunes without hiccups.

It plays youtube videos at about 1 frame per second and Firefox 2 (a memory hog) takes all available resources on my 384 MB of RAM. Now they have Firefox 3, but it will only run on 10.4! Another $100 upgrade!!!

This is kind of frustrating as even my wife's old Pentium 3 333MHz with 256 Megs of RAM could do better than that! What is up?

By the way, OS X 10.3 works great, fast and smooth. It is just amazing how much resources the modern multimedia internet takes!

Its true, modern internet is a major resource hog. With all the flash and whatnot, Macs like my clamshell iBook are just about useless. My B&W's have plenty of RAM so its not as big a deal, but still. If it was me, I would sell the Pismo's and buy a newer Mac. My 867MHz G4 Powerbook is a great machine even when running 10.5.4. I can't honestly say I'd bother with anything much slower than that unless it was dual processors, but you're not gonna find that on an older laptop. If you're set on keeping and using the Pismo, then I would say go for the 500MHz G3. I really don't think you'd see a huge difference between that and the 550MHz G4. As long as you're running 10.3 you're probably okay with 384Mb of RAM, but I would definitely suggest 512Mb if that is your main Mac. Omnitechnologies.com has great prices on RAM.

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Jon
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At these speeds that 100MHz j

At these speeds that 100MHz jump is a 25% increase in speed. To see the same jump in a modern machine you would be jumping from 2GHz to 2.5GHz, and we all know that that is noticeable. Of course the issue is the speed at the end. 500MHz is still fairly slow. My 600Mhz iBook on 640MB RAM runs the web ok, but doesn't handle large Flash or streaming video like my G4 mini does.

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Macinjosh's picture
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Not to Thread-Jack... or be lazy...

But I'm still thinking of throwing a few updated components in my B&W, Sometime in the Future. Anyone have eBay estimates on these?

1) 400-500MHz G3 ZIF
2) 900 MHz G3 ZIF (no G4, they kill the bus down to 66MHz in the higher speeds, dont they?)
3) ATA/100 ... ish PCI card.. cheaper @ ATA/66 maybe?

I have been looking, but it seems everytime I look, the current auctions are few and far between.

unknown1's picture
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Re: Building a Faster 'Book

GEOS wrote:

Its true, modern internet is a major resource hog. With all the flash and whatnot, Macs like my clamshell iBook are just about useless. My B&W's have plenty of RAM so its not as big a deal, but still. If it was me, I would sell the Pismo's and buy a newer Mac. As long as you're running 10.3 you're probably okay with 384Mb of RAM, but I would definitely suggest 512Mb if that is your main Mac. Omnitechnologies.com has great prices on RAM.

The actual address is omnitechnologies.biz

Now what about their 'HyperFormance' RAM: How much difference can it make if you are not overclocking or anything like that? It costs $30 more per Gig, how can that be worth it?

I have seen PC-133 SODIMMs for as little as $59 for 2x512MB on eBay. Is it worth it to pay DOUBLE the price just because they 'guarantee' it to work in my Pismo and another 50% for HyperFormance?!?

I think a good plan for me is:
5400 rpm Hard Drive - Many say this will speed it up a lot and I need one NOW!

1 GIG of RAM - Less HD swapping = speed increase

Later, maybe:
500MHz G3

I could then use the leftover parts to get my other two Pismos complete and running. Sell them and use that as a down payment on whatever is in my price range at that time (1GHz G4 minimum).

Being as LowEndMac says currently about 65% of Macs in use on the web are Intel-based, that would explain why PowerPC Macs are coming down in price rather quickly!

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Re: Not to Thread-Jack... or be lazy...

Macinjosh wrote:

1) 400-500MHz G3 ZIF

$12 and flat $5 shipping for a 500 from ebay seller IC-China right now. He's reliable - I've bought from him a few times and so have others. The chips are supplied "as is" but at that price, what the hey.

Look under chips/motorola and chips/ibm - the ones with 750 in the serial number are G3s.

Quote:

3) ATA/100 ... ish PCI card.. cheaper @ ATA/66 maybe?

Definitely cheaper at 66. Also, consider a Firewire drive.

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DrBunsen's picture
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Re: Building a Faster 'Book

unknown1 wrote:

I think a good plan for me is:
5400 rpm Hard Drive /
1 GIG of RAM /
Later, maybe: 500MHz G3

I could then use the leftover parts to get my other two Pismos complete and running. Sell them and use that as a down payment

This does indeed sound like a good plan. Even a single 512MB stick and the larger of your two existing sticks in the other slot would make a big difference. I noticed a profound drop in beach balls when I went over 512MB

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