: iMac Owners....behold!

May 10th, 2003, 10:10 AM

AUSTIN --May 8, 2003 -- Industry leader PowerLogix today announced the iForce SL, the first CPU upgrade for second-generation iMacs. Utilizing the IBM 750FX processor, the iForce SL operates at 900 MHz and includes 512K of L2 cache also running at 900 MHz. This provides a speedup of nearly 3x depending on which model is upgraded. The upgrade is compatible with eight different iMac models which originally ran at 350 to 500 MHz using a 750 G3 CPU and 512K of L2. (iForce SL is not compatible with slot loading 500 MHz, 600 MHz, and 700 MHz models which shipped with the 750CX processor with 256K of L2.)



Price? About $500.00 CDN PLUS SHIPPING.

Anyone out there would consider this? I am interested to know how many iMac users out there would invest in such an upgrade.
I'm thinking about it. graemlins/heybaby.gif

May 10th, 2003, 10:24 AM
I wouldn't invest in this upgrade. First of all, Powerlogix has a bad habbit of making its G3 upgrades with 512k of L2 cache - which is just horrible for Mac OS X performance. Lacking a 1 MB L2 cache, which is already old and outdated enough, would of helped a lot. Also, since the iMacs aren't upgradable video (graphics card), I wouldn't invest in doing much more with it. For those people who don't need the video power, it might be a worthy upgrade, but those iMacs with 8 MB of video memory will suffer good OS X performance more from a poor graphics card than a slow processor.

Make a G4 upgrade card, give it a 1 MB L2 cache, and then come and tell me. Right now, this upgrade isn't worth it for most users.

May 10th, 2003, 10:34 AM
not sure... Been on the fence about getting rid if mine - although I'm on the verge as I'm entertaining an offer. And the longer we hold on to them, the longer they drop in MARKET value - though a historically significant piece. The eMac is the natural replacement. And is beyond affordable. So, having said all of that, would I make the upgrade? for $500? Not sure where that stands on the value chain. The small screen being the biggest downer. May be beating a dead horse here...

Anyone else care to comment on this?

May 10th, 2003, 10:43 AM
Unless you have invested already hundreds of dollars in your low-end iMac, this upgrade is NOT worth it. You will want a G4 processor nowadays (no matter how badly you want to deny it), and with such a small L2 cache, it's really dropping the value of the upgrade. And like I said earilier, the iMacs with such little video memory hold back your performance in OS X big time.

May 10th, 2003, 04:28 PM
i heard about an upgrade that you send in your logic board of a slot-loading imac and they upgrade it to a G4.... i'll post a link when i get back to canada :D !


May 11th, 2003, 10:11 AM
Posterboy is correct and Powerlogix is smart in sticking with the 350 and up machines and NOT offering G4s which would cook the iMac.

I would say if the price is right this is a reasonable move - and for day to day use would easily put it on a par with a 700 G4 iMac altho the video would be a bottleneck. There was a speed test around between the 867 12" Powerbook with 256 L2 and the 800 G3 iBook with the 512 L1 and the iBook easily held it's own and in some cases outgunned the G4.

Too bad a ZIF of this chip is missing as then a rocket Blue would be in the wind.

Lars -
on chip = 1:1 speed ( processor to cache that's the best and most expensive approach

L2 - 1/2 speed second best - middle expense
which is why a 533 7410 G4 with a 1 meg L2 outguns the 733 7450

L3 - 1/4 speed - better than nothing ( by only a small amount ) cheap -
Apple dropped the L3 in a couple of models as a single 1 meg L3 made little day to day difference - they then went to 2 meg L3s which did make a substantial difference for the 867 and 933 singles.

a 2 meg L3 will NOT do quite as well as a 1 meg L2 in enhancing performance ( it's close ) but stuff like an 800 mHz G4 with a 256L2 alone is an insult to Mac users. :mad:

Unlike Sonnet, Powerlogix usually makes upgrades that are practical instead of "just because it can be done" - I mean 800 G4 for a daughtercard Mac is ludicrous. :rolleyes:

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May 11th, 2003, 12:23 PM
Lars mis-stated:
Powerlogix has a bad habbit of making its G3 upgrades with 512k of L2 cache - which is just horrible for Mac OS X performance. Lacking a 1 MB L2 cache, which is already old and outdated enough, would of helped a lot.

The chip used in this upgrade, the IBM PPC 750FX has a 512K cache. Believe it or not, this is better than the older machines with 1 MB cache. Why? The 512K cache is on chip, which is much much much faster to access than the odler style backside cache that the processors with 1MB had.

In this case, as with many others (such as the Pismo), the components of the machine that will hold you back are the video card, the hard drive and the system bus, as one is not QE compatible (and has some other major limitations) and another is slow and small (unless already upgraded) and the last one is just plain slow.

Like Mhz, there is a lot more to processor cache than just numbers.


[ May 11, 2003, 12:33 AM: Message edited by: PosterBoy ]

May 11th, 2003, 01:21 PM
Here's another consideration. Does the upgrade operate with a fan? If so, your perfectly quiet iMac G3/350 or 400 (not sure about the later models), will no longer be fanless. While the fan noise wouldn't be loud I have thus far refused to consider an upgrade in my G4/450 cube solely because it's almost completely noiseless right now.

May 11th, 2003, 01:33 PM
There is a lot to be said for the quiet bliss of the Cube, I know that I have held off on the available upgrades because of the noise. :D :D