Upgrading a Blue and White G3 with a G4 processor

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moros's picture
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Upgrading a Blue and White G3 with a G4 processor

HI,

I've been thinking about upgrading my Blue and WHite G2 with a G4 processor. However I have read conflicting reports on a "rom block" that apple implemented to stop the upgrade. What I want to know is this:

–Is it possible to just take a G4 processor from one of the early powermac G4s with the zif socket and stick it in the BLue and White?

Thanks,

Joel

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Been there, done that.

The hardware is a one-for-one swap. However, the rumors of a firmware block are true. Unless your machine has the *original* firmware (Which basically means it's never run under OS 9.0 or newer) it'll beep a few times and die unless you patch your firmware.

I forget precisely, but I believe I used the XLR8 firmware patching utility you can get here:
http://daystartechnology.com/Daystar_Technology_Mac_Support/Daystar_Technology_Mac_Downloads/XLR8_Mac_Support_Downloads/XLR8_Mac_Software_Downloads/Apple_Mac_Software_Download_Index.html

(It works for Apple OEM G4s, not just specific upgrades.) It's scary as heck to install, but it did the job.

Remember you need to do this *before* you swap CPUs, of course. The machine will still work with G3s after you've done it.

--Peace

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Firmware update

and if it goes wrong somehow?? what would then happen?

Joel

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Re: Firmware update

and if it goes wrong somehow?? what would then happen?

It's re-writing your system's firmware. If it screwed up, well... your motherboard would be a doorstop until you replaced or reprogrammed the flash memory chip it's stored in. The procedure the same as Apple's for installing a Firmware upgrade (run a program, reboot while holding down one of those little buttons on the front of the box, wait for the beeps, etc.), so I doubt it's any more risky, but, eh. It *is* a reverse-engineered unsupported third party patch you're installing, not something Apple QA'ed, so... it'll be out of your pocket if it goes horribly awry.

(Admittedly at their current prices a B&W isn't much to lose.)

In all likelyhood you'll be fine as long as you don't kick the power cord out in the middle of it.

The other thing to note, incedentally, is that swapping the ZIF alone will leave it running at the same frequency as the G3 you replaced. I.E., if you take a G4 ZIF out of a 400Mhz Yikes and stick it into a 300Mhz B&W G3 you'll end up with a 300Mhz B&W G4. You'll have to change the motherboard jumpers to clock the machine higher. A jumper reference:

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G3-ZONE/yosemite/OC.html

Another warranty voider, of course, but considering even the Applecare-extended warranties on the newest B&Ws expired in 2002 I wouldn't worry too much about that.

--Peace

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Thanks…

I'm not sure whether I'll bother or not, it seems a lot of hassle for a upgrade which may not be much faster (i.e. a 400MHz G4 vs a 350MHz G3) and I've just shelled out £100 for this BLUe and White which is quite a bit for me Blum 3

However, if it were to give a noticeable speedup then i mught consider it, and especially if there's a way that the flash rom with the firmware on can be erased and reprogrammed somehow…

THanks,

Joel

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Re: Thanks…

I'm not sure whether I'll bother or not, it seems a lot of hassle for a upgrade which may not be much faster (i.e. a 400MHz G4 vs a 350MHz G3) and I've just shelled out £100 for this BLUe and White which is quite a bit for me :-p

I did a straight swap at 400Mhz (A 400Mhz G3 for a 400Mhz G4), and, well... if you're running OS 9, it probably isn't worth it, unless you're using a *specific* application that would use it. Under OS X it almost definately is. All the "pretty stuff" in the UI seems to hurt the machine considerably less with a G4. It's not a day and night difference or anything, but there's definately less "chugging".

Basically I'd leave it to how much the G4 is costing you. I got mine for free, so it was a no brainer. If it's more then a trivial amount, save your money for a Mini.

However, if it were to give a noticeable speedup then i mught consider it, and especially if there's a way that the flash rom with the firmware on can be erased and reprogrammed somehow…

Well, it really can't be unless you know someone with a programmer. (A particularly well-stocked PC repair shop or a dedicated electronic hobbyist near you might have one. They cost about as much as a new Macintosh.)

Again, I wouldn't worry too much about applying the patch. It's just sort of spooky, speaking as someone who has seen motherboards turned into doorstops before during flash upgrades. No Mac motherboards yet, however.

--Peace

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