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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Believe it or not, I actually have some extra cash that I may use for an upgrade. I have enough cash to get....

- 800MHZ G4 upgrade, more ram and a better video card
- 1.0 GHZ G4 upgrade, more ram

What do you people think? It's for my Digital Audio.
 

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the more RAM the better and a better video card always helps too (better screen redraws and decreased load to the CPU).

So .. it's my humble opinion that you increase RAM to the max, buy the best video card you can shoehorn into the box and if you have anyuthing left buy a CPU upgrade
 

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Which processor speed do you currently have? If it's at the low end, the processor upgrade might be worth the price. Unless you're a serious gamer, your current video card is adequate for most applications. You can never have too much RAM... unless you own a new G5 and stuff it full.

For my money, I'd wait a little longer, save a few more scheckles, and simply replace the entire tower with something new or newer.

note - $1800 buys a NEW G4/1.25!

[ January 27, 2004, 09:37 AM: Message edited by: Mississauga ]
 

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Unless he wants to save for a G5, there's no use in saving for anything else. Don't bother with buying a DDR RAM G4. Those Moto G4 processors and Apple mobos don't take avantage of the DDR bandwidth at all. A G4-upgraded Digital Audio will pretty well equal any similarly sped stock G4 Powermac.

Depending on what you do with it -- and that's an important question nobody has asked -- OS X likes RAM, but for average use you don't need to max it. 640 or 768MB would more than suffice. Upgrade your graphics card to take advantage of Quartz Extreme in OS X (minimum 32MB Radeon. if you play games, get a more powerful one). Then, drop the rest of the money into as fast a processor as you can afford. The more complex the functions you perform on your Mac, the more you should balance the RAM up and the processor down, as budget dictates.

My 2¢
 

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Oh, and depending on the work he does on his Digital Audio Mac, a dual G4 upgrade may be in order.

And FWIW, I wouldn't buy anything new other than dual G5, if you really wanted to take advantage of the new Powermac's much vaunted speed improvements. Sometimes as of this date/OS capabilities (OS X is still 32 bit), the fastest dual G4 can beat the slowest single G5 -- for now.
 

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As you say - depends on what iLabman is using the computer for.

The MDD G4s may not be able to take full advantage of DDR RAM... but they have two built-in ATA hard drive busses (66 and 100) with a capacity of up to four drives - which gives you a variety of RAID options - and two optical drive bays. This is a great computer for audio production - the PCI bus can be dedicated to a soundcard, the firewire bus can be dedicated to firewire video (for film soundtracks etc) and you can have separate audio and video drives on different busses internally. The G4/1.25 goes a long way with audio. And the MDD can boot in OS9 - which may be useful to some people.

And at this price, it may be worth trading-in (or selling) the Digital Audio and getting an MDD rather than uprading the Digital Audio. That's the decision I made - it cost about $1000 to make the move from a B&W. Couldn't be happier.

However - the G4 is not as quiet as the G5 - mine lives in its own soundproof booth (built for the B&W).
 

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Right you are, vacuvox! The perks of having extra drive space and PCI expansion allows me to run 2 x RAID 0 arrays internally (one ATA PCI controller) plus a PCI USB 6 port card, with 2 PCI slots left.

For my purposes, the current G5 towers lack sufficient expandability.
 

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Excellent points, Vacuvox


On the issue of RAM, his Digital Audio Mac has four slots. if he wants to upgrade to a more recent used Mac, such as a Qucksilver (either original or the 2002 model), they (and the Gigabit powermacs) only have three RAM slots. For virtual instruments and sampling, his current four slot (or a MDD G4) can handle up to 2GB of RAm (under OS X).

He also already put a Superdrive in it.

Hmmm.... a tough call, non?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hum. Lot's to think about. Here's the full configuration for you all to read....and advise accordingly:

466MHZ G4 Digital Audio
512MG of RAM
Superdrive
60 gig Maxtor 7200 rpm internal drive
4 gig Toshiba internal drive (ok....I know it's a little pokey drive, but it holds all my MP3s and little movie clips)

The prices for the Dual G4 upgrades seem quite steep. Considering the current rate of exchange, an upgrade may be in the upper $700s or even a lot more.

How much would it be to go the MDD route? How many versions of the MDD were made? What MDD should one seriously look at?

Here's my list of frequently used Apps:

FileMaker Pro
AppleWorks
Microsoft Office
Safari
GarageBand (woo-hoo)
Flash MX
A few Classic apps

...and I want to play HALO!!!!
 

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sell your machine. buy a new g4. you'll have a new machine for the cost of upgrading the old one. repeat every couple of years.

on the whole issue of upgrading, i can understand topping up ram and maybe adding a better video card but in general it doesn't make sense to completely overhaul a machine.

if you want the performance of a new machine you should buy one.
 

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Generally, I don't think the G4 architecture effectively takes advantage of the FSB and DDR specs as they should. Drive speed is certainly a consideration -- as is the 2X AGP if you want to REALLY be poicky about game resolutions. But I think processor upgrades are of more value than they're given credit -- depending on the needs of the user.

Given his needs (no Photoshop or pro audio or video and mostly office functions), I believe that it's cheaper to upgrade to a fast single processor G4 upgrade. Almost all the functions he intends to perform are not dual processor capable.

Up your RAM to at least 700 meg, get an ATI Radeon 9000 Pro and, if your DA G4 is a single processor G4, I recommend a 1GHz G4 upgrade for US$400.00 at Otherworld Computing. Sorry Canadian Mac dealers, but upgrade prices -- at least at Carbon and Mac Warehouse-- are pricey, and our dollar is faring better against the yankee buck these days.

If he was doing heavy digital audio video or Photoshop, the story might be different. Even as it is, however, I'm upgrading my Sawtooth with a dual 1.2GHz upgrade for my music needs (which are mostly virtual and very little disk-based loads). It is still cheaper than buying a used Quicksilver (which can accomodate less RAM than my Sawtooth) and it will be faster than a Quiksilver -- and a lot cheaper than a dual MDD G4. BTW, Rob Morgan at barefeats.com found after repeated testing that,quote: "To my surprise and chagrin, the new Power Mac with DDR RAM has no performance advantage over the old SDR Power Mac running at the same clock speed. The 25% faster system bus seems of no help, either. Depressing. Scandalous!"

Anyway, that's the extent of my input. Good luck!
 

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I don't know how much money you have to spend. But if you have around 1000-1200 dollars, my advice...upgrade to a whole new G4 or G5. If you put more money into your G4 466 in a year from now you'll be even further behind in CPU horsepower, video power, and architecture. If you are going to spend the money on upgrading CPU and ram, that might equal the price of trading in and getting a better computer. Especially if you want to play Halo, the better the powermac you have, the more enjoyment you will have. I upgrade with Macdoc every year and I've never regretted it. I never have an out of date Mac that will not play or be able to run applications that have new specifications. I'm not saying everyone needs to do this every year, I just do this because the tower is worth more on trade in before it gets two or three years old.
I used to upgrade the CPUs in powermacs I owned and looking back now I was putting money into a system that I never recouped. Ram standards are always changing so you usually can't transfer that to a newer Mac and now even the hard drive standard has changed. The new G5s have SATA ATA drives. All the older G4 and G3 drives will not work inside the G5.
I'm not sure what the trade in value is for a G4 466, but I know the longer you own that Mac, eventually the value will drop to the point that it's probably better to keep it for ever and not bother trading becuase you spent your money on buying and upgrading that system. I have a closet in basement with 5 old powermacs that can barely surf the net today and definately will not run OS X (lol). They would cost more to ship somewhere than what their worth.
Another 2 cents from the bleechers.
 
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