G4 Cube CPU upgrade options...

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Joined: May 11 2007
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Recently I have decided that my Cube either needs to be replaced, or upgraded. I am a poor Oklahoma boy, so I am working on a budget.

On my to get list is a flat panel monitor, so that is a dent in my budget too.

So, my question is which CPU's are are compatible with my cube? I realize that there are still a few aftermarket CPU upgrades available, but they are rather expensive. I also realize that the cube shares it's architecture with other Powermacs. So which are compatible? Would a modest upgrade from another Macintosh be cheaper?

Thanks,

Thomas

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
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Beating Eudi to the punch...

What kind of budget do you have planned for these upgrades? If you can afford to save up $400 or so (maybe less), you could get yourself a nice used Intel Mac mini and end up with a more powerful, usable machine. Really, throwing money at anything PowerPC-based is going to be a waste if you want to be able to/continue to use the machine for daily tasks....that architecture is dated and software support is quickly fading.

(I was looking for a classic Eudimorphodon rant about upgrading old computers, but couldn't find one generic enough. Maybe we should write one? Wink

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Joined: May 11 2007
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The cube...

Trying to stay under $200.

Yes, the cube may be a dinosaur. But it is a very pretty one.

I suppose if I could unload the cube I could get a mini. The thought has crossed my mind. Where would be the best and cheapest place to pick one up?

Thomas

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: Beating Eudi to the punch...

Dr. Webster wrote:

(I was looking for a classic Eudimorphodon rant about upgrading old computers, but couldn't find one generic enough. Maybe we should write one? Wink

Snirk. Am I so predictable? ;^)

Here's a generic FAQ-able entry on the subject:

Q: I have a Power (Macintosh|Book) (7/8/9/xxx|G3/4/5|Cube), and it's too slow. What are my CPU upgrade options? I'm on a budget.

A: Take the age of your computer in years and multiply by $150. If the result is less then $600 add $300 for each $100 you're under $600 by, since clearly you have high expectations and need something fast. Alternatively, if your computer is eight or more years old you may decrement $100 for each additional year over eight, since clearly you have *low* expectations. Once you've arrived at your number, go to the Apple store, click "Special Deals", and then buy whatever refurbished unit is closest in price to your mathematically determined budget.

Once you've received your new unit and transferred your data to it, you may partially reimburse yourself for the cost of the upgrade by participating in a creative writing contest. Go to www.ebay.com and look for completed auctions of machines similar to yours. Sort by final bids. Then attempt to better the description attached to the highest auction. (Be sure to emphasize what a rare and fabulous collectors item your particular machine is. Everything manufactured by Apple is a timeless work of art, but yours is *extra special*, right?) Post the auction, and with any luck you'll make money on the upgrade.

The only worthwhile upgrades on PowerPC machines anymore are either "free" ones (a part lands in your lap), or ones that add material resources to a system that is still serving its purpose adequately. (A bigger hard disk in a PowerMac acting as a server, say.) CPU upgrades occasionally fall into the former category, but never the latter. "Too Slow" is a systematic problem that justifies a new computer. You're just not going to get enough additional life out of the machine to justify the investment.

--Peace

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Re: Beating Eudi to the punch...

Eudimorphodon wrote:

Here's a generic FAQ-able entry on the subject:

Fantastic.

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resman's picture
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Joined: Feb 9 2006
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Some ideas...

If your Cube is bone stock and you only want to spend $200, a CPU upgrade is probably not going to happen. There are a few options that might (slightly) extend the life of your Cube. The most obvious is getting at least 1GB of RAM in there. PC-133 memory is cheap and *most* will work as PC-100 (which the Cube uses). A faster hard disk is an easy upgrade, but the Cube won't recognize anything more than 120GB without a third party driver. It's getting harder to find drives that small (but could be cheap on ePay). A video card upgrade to a Mac version of the GeForce2MX will give a little pop to the UI. Again, they are getting hard to find too. Lastly, if you want a modest, but free CPU upgrade, you can overclock the stock 450 MHz CPU to 500 MHz if you have a steady hand, good eyes, and a soldering iron with a small tip. It requires moving a resistor the size of a flea.

I've done all of the above to one of my Cubes, and it did make a modest, but noticeable difference. However, I don't use that machine on a daily basis. I do have a decked-out 1.4 GHz Cube as my main desktop machine and it is useable running Tiger for email and web browsing. But the brand new Mac Mini I bought for my media center blows it so far out of the water I couldn't imagine putting another cent into a Cube. I say: get a nice flat screen and live with the Cube while saving for a modern computer.

Dave...

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Eudimorphodon.....

I really enjoyed section two of your FAQ in particular. lol Of course you are absolutely correct about ebay. Smile

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