Limits of a PM G4/1.25 DP (Mirrored Drive Doors)

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355

With the recent death of my iBook, I finally got my parents old PM G4/1.25 DP (Mirrored Drive Doors) aka "Wind Tunnel". It currently has a 180G and an 80G drive installed. It is running X.4.something. Because I have a number of things I still do in Classic, I initially plan to keep this as a dual-boot machine.

My parents did little past bumping up the RAM and the 23" Cinema (score!), and this is my first REAL X machine (since the Bondi iMac was my "newest" mac I have actually owned since the second-coming-of-Jobs)

What is the largest hard drive this machine will recognize? I see where it will happily take 4 internal drives, plus to opticals/5.25" drives, but is this all?

Max RAM is 2G, right?

What about Bluetooth support?

Internal firewire ports?

Any suggested upgrade/expansion path?

I noticed a fair amount of dust in the case when I poped it open to do a quick check - any advice on how to keep this down (considering that my parents house was virtually dust free and this machine was there for three+ years)?

TIA
--DDTM

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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eeun's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
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Re: Limits of a PM G4/1.25 DP (Mirrored Drive Doors)

doug-doug the mighty wrote:

Max RAM is 2G, right?

Everything I've read says yes, 2G, Apple's specs are often based on what RAM is available at the time of release. YMMV.

Quote:

What about Bluetooth support?

With a cheap-o USB dongle, no problems under OS X. Under OS 9, looks like you're out of luck.

Quote:

Internal firewire ports?

With an external card, yep. Built-in, no.

Quote:

Any suggested upgrade/expansion path?

There are no third-party CPU upgrades for the MDD. You might be able to find the rather rare Dual 1.42 GHz CPU card, but be prepared to pay as much as you'd pay for a whole G4 mini.

Quote:

I noticed a fair amount of dust in the case when I poped it open

That's an inappropriate use for His Holiness, don't you think? Wink

I've seen shrouds built using furnace filters and such - even one that used a car air filter - but it just adds more junk around your computer. I use my air compressor and blow out the insides a couple times a year. A moisture trap on the compressor is a good idea if it's humid.

Don't know about the max hard drive size, but you'll need a smaller partition size for OS 9 above a certain limit ... the number escapes me at the moment.

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Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003
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"Reasonable" upgrades.

Pretty much the first thing I'd recommend getting for the thing is a USB 2.0 card. It's cheap and it'll let you use inexpensive external drives/flash memory sticks/whatever "properly". I'd also probably consider maxing out the memory (assuming you want to) sooner rather then later, since DDR RAM is starting to get to the "they ain't making it anymore" stage of its pricing lifecycle. (Best price I could find on a DDR SO-DIMM for a similar vintage Powerbook recently was over twice-as-much-per-megabyte as "current" DDR2 RAM.)

As for Bluetooth just about any $6 dongle will do ya, if you have a use for it. For hard drives that machine should take any size PATA, at least on the ATA/100 ports. (The MDDs are sort of weird in that they have both ATA/100 and ATA/66 connectors internally for hard drives, a consequence of Apple's halfhearted chipset engineering.)

As for other upgrades, forget it. CPU upgrades faster then 1.25Ghz are stupid-expensive and at best might give you a 30-40% performance boost, and 40% faster then "pretty darn slow these days" is still slow. It's also probably pointless to upgrade the video card unless a "better" one, which would mean a "Core Image" supporting GeForce FX 5200/Radeon 9600-or-better, just fell into your lap *and* didn't cause complications with running your Cinema display. (You didn't specify if it was an ADC or DVI model.)

Basically, don't sink more then a couple hundred bucks in it. (Wise shopping could get you a full compliment of RAM, USB 2.0 card, and a *big* hard drive for well under that much scratch.) It's going to be "officially obsolete" when OS X 10.6 comes out anyway. It'll be good for a few more years of web surfing and whatnot after that of course, (probably with a forced Leopard upgrade at some point to keep current on web browsers) but it's not a long-term enough investment to dump lots of money into just to "max it out".

--Peace

doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
cool

The RAM is already at 2G. The video card is a GeForce4 Ti 4600 with 128 MB VRAM. As I said, I only have one poor little 20" cinema display. (not the same as the 800x resolution of my clamshell iBook I am so used to...)

I am unsure of how to tell if the thing is ADC or DVI, but the monitor does have the keyboard plugged into it.

I may have a USB card lying around, but since I make sure all my thumb drives are backwards compatible to 1.1 and OS 9, I do not think I will have a problem until those drives become harder to find. My specific OS is X.4.11.

Thanks guys!

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: cool

doug-doug the mighty wrote:

I am unsure of how to tell if the thing is ADC or DVI, but the monitor does have the keyboard plugged into it.

If the monitor connects to the computer with just one port and has no separate power plug to the wall, it's ADC. If it has a "spider cable" which plugs into the video card, USB, (and firewire), and a brick power supply it's DVI.

Sounds to me like other then possibly a bigger hard disk there's not a whole lot left worth doing to that machine. Have fun or whatnot.

--Peace

madmax_2069's picture
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i think it would be safe to s

i think it would be safe to say that a MDD G4 could take a 500gb HDD and bigger in OS X, a drive that size might play havoc in OS 9 ( i think it was the FW800 model that no longer had OS 9 booting) . i think it was the quicksilver 2002 model that gained large HDD support and your G4 is newer then this.

The biggest HDD i have is my WD 120gb i had since my Beige G3 AIO, it worked great in OS 9.x . i cant tell you what size is the limit that OS 9 can see if you plan on booting into OS 9 with a large unpartitioned HDD (say like 500 or larger as a example)

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cwsmith's picture
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Re: i think it would be safe to s

madmax_2069 wrote:

i think it would be safe to say that a MDD G4 could take a 500gb HDD and bigger in OS X

Yes. Any MDD supports "large drives" over 128GB.

Quote:

a drive that size might play havoc in OS 9

Again, yes. OS 9 can't see a partition larger than 200GB. The solution here is to divide the drive into partitions 200GB or smaller; or to simply be aware that OS9 can't boot to or mount the larger partitions.

Quote:

i think it was the FW800 model that no longer had OS 9 booting)

Again, yes. The first MDD was OS9 bootable; the MDD FW800 was not.

Quote:

i think it was the quicksilver 2002 model that gained large HDD support and your G4 is newer then this.

You're on a roll. The original Quicksilver did not support drives over 128GB; Quicksilver 2002 supports large drives. But again, OS9 can't see, mount, or boot to partitions larger than 200GB.

Quote:

The biggest HDD i have is my WD 120gb i had since my Beige G3 AIO, it worked great in OS 9.x . i cant tell you what size is the limit that OS 9 can see if you plan on booting into OS 9 with a large unpartitioned HDD (say like 500 or larger as a example)

120GB is just under the Beige AIO's 128GB drive limit, and well under OS9's 200GB partition limit. The only workaround here is to use a third-party ATA card, which does not have the 128GB limit that constricts the Beige's built-in ATA bus. This workaround would also work for the B&W G3s, early G4s (Yikes, Sawtooth, Gigabit, Digital Audio, Quicksilver).

I hope this extra information is more helpful than confusing.

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OS 9 limit

Yes, very helpful, for some reason I was thinking the OS 9 limit was 128 GB also. I don't know where they came up with the 200 GB limit but oh well...

Thanks again,

Laters...