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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm a new member.

I have a G3 MiniTower (beige). I've got lots of memory and am running OS X 10.2 with no problems other than speed.

I'd like to get some feedback from people that have upgraded to a G4 chip - which board did you choose, was it easy, does it really make things faster - particularly PhotoShop and iTunes.

Thanks in advance,

Francis
 

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I would avoid upgrading a Beige G3 to a G4 if you are using Mac OS X.

PowerLogix has a nice 800mhz G3 upgrade though,
 

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I've upgraded two beige boxes to G4's. One to G4 350 and the other to G4 400 Mhz.

For some reason it is very difficult to install OSX on these machines once the G4 zif is installed. It was also difficult to switch startup disk from OS 9 to OSX. I got around this by using XPost facto, but I can't explain why this should be necessary. If you don't switch back and forth between OS9 and X then this shouldn't be an ongoing problem.

The speed increase was underwhelming. The built in video on the Beige just won't cut it in OSX. The slow IDE controller is also a bottleneck.

I gave one to my father. He likes the OSX interface but he only uses it to browse the web and send email, so the slow speed doesn't bother him. I have the other machine set up as my OSX test box, but I rarely use it since I find it unbearably slow.

The beige boxes are great in OS9 but just won't cut it in X unless you have low expectations. The G4 upgrade doesn't help as much since the rest of the hardware is limiting the improvement.

If you really want to use X then I would wait till the G4's at 800 Mhz or higher drop to a reasonable price on the used market. You may not have to wait long since the new G5's will put downward pressure on the used G4 market.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rob, Trevor,

Thanks for your input.

I have had OS X on my G3 for a few months and besides it being slow I can't complain.

What is so different about upgrading to G4?

I've installed USB and Firewire cards to the G3. Will I have trouble with them when upgrading to G4?

Do you think upgrading to G3 800 is worthwhile? I'd like to see speed increases in PhotoShop 7.

Thanks a lot,

Francis
 

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My beige G3 333 is upgraded to a G4 500 from Sonnet, and running Jaguar. I had no problems with it. Except when I installed Sonnet's "Tune-Up" software. When I did that I had a lot of screw-ups. I finally ended up reinstalling OS 9 and Jaguar -- no tune-up -- and everything was fine again.

I got the G4 upgrade primarily for software that would be enhanced by it. For your purposes I would go with a G3 upgrade. You'll likely get more speed for less money.

You still have a lot of life left in that machine. If you're primarily using Photoshop and iTunes, you should be fine.
 

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Good suggestions... but that's a lot of upgrading to do at once if you're on a tight budget. How much are you looking to spend? As little as possible ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Klaatu,

This may be a stupid question, but what does the G4 upgrade do for you? Do you use your Mac for Video editing?

I was considering a video card upgrade. I have an external firewire 80gig hard drive and a firewire CD burner so I don't need to upgrade the bus.

Thanks for all the ideas.

Francis
 

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The G4 processor enchacnes the overall performance of Mac OS X, but certian applications, which take advantage of the G4 Velocity Engine, such as Photoshop 7, get great speed boosts from the G4 processor. Keep that in mind.
 

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I would see if you could get a Radoen 7000 over a Rage 128 video card - you will notice a pretty good speed increase with overall OS X performance with a Radeon 7000 graphics card installed.
 

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For video editing the video card is essential. I use iMovie for video editing but keep the 2.1.2 version that comes with Jaguar. Don't upgrade to version 3. For that you probably need something like an original G4 processor of at least 700 MHZ.

Back to the video card... if you're using Photoshop it's also great because you get a *much* crisper monitor image then the stock card.

The above suggestions are good but I didn't notice much of a speed increase from 256 to 512 RAM. A new IDE drive is great because, for about $200 I had 120 GB and a faster machine; two values for the price of one upgrade.

I was using Photoshop 7 before the switch to a G4 upgrade and, again, I didn't notice a significant difference. It was still a pretty fast application, especially after my first RAM upgrade to 256.

So I would at least upgrade to 256 RAM, go for the video card... you say you have an external drive but I'm assuming you still you the stock drive for system and application software? Installing that on a faster IDE drive will make a world of difference.

You also say you have lots of memory. Are you talking about RAM or disk space?
 

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There are lingering compatability issues that make G4 upgrades in G3's in Mac OS X less than 100% reliable. And since they would seem to be related to X rather than the upgrades themselves they will probably remain that way.

Over all day-to-day you would be happier with a fast 800mhz G3 than you would be with a 500 or 533mhz G4.

And faster G3 upgrades are comming,

A Radeon 7000 upgrade is also a good idea, you can get a retail boxed PCI Radeon 7000 for about $70 and then flash it with the Mac firmware and use PCI Extreme to enable QE.
 

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They are painfully basic, which is a good thing.

They are still a little expensive because only PowerLogix is offering them. but GigaDesigns and Sonnet should have their own this summer.

They only have 512kb of cache, but that 512kb is almost 3x faster than the 1mb of cache on the G4 cards.

Sonnet has a 1ghz G4 ZIF upgrade, but that thing is just crawling with potential compatability problems.
 

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Sonnet has a 1ghz G4 ZIF upgrade, but that thing is just crawling with potential compatability problems.
And since you never did test that yourself, you'd know how?
 
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