View Full Version : Rebuilding Mac

07-03-2001, 04:43 AM
Hey, Guru-guys!

I recently received a non-functioning G4/350 ("PCI Graphics/Yikes") Mac from my employer (we retail Macs and audio recording gear, software, keyboards, etc). who said "if you can fix it, it's yours". Now, I haven't been inside a Mac since '95 so I'm not up to speed on the G3/G4 technology, but not being one to resist a challenge, I took it home, figuring the problem would be cured by cleaning up the drive, new OS, driver updates, reseat cards, swap out bad RAM, blah blah, blah, but it wouldn't even light up. Opening the box I saw...Nothing! No RAM, no video card, and no CPU module! Even the heatsink was removed! Yikes, indeed!

So I went to work over past several weeks researching the best answer to create the most bitchin' DAW in town for my home studio, and you folks seem to be the most capable and intelligent source for advice and product. So here's the deal...

I would like a dual video card (even tho' I'll add the 2nd monitor a bit later on), however, it seems that there isn't one available for the PCI graphics slot. Suggestions? How much RAM is recognized (1GB?, more?). Will OSX allow for more, or it this limitation imbedded in ROM? Because all of my external SCSI drives date back to the Nubus Age of the MacII, what will be the most effective way to xfer my archives to the G4 and still be able to use a 10K rpm drive (or two)? Finally, based one what I've been reading, the Gurus recommend the XLR8 products. "evertbodty wants to rule the world", as the song goes so the MACh G4 500MHz Velocity MPe 100 (Solo or Dual) seems like the choice. However if I plan to use Final Cut Pro and MOTU 2408 / Digital Performer 3, is this overkill? When using dual CPU modules, will I need 2 heatsinks? I have spent 2 months tryin' to find the one that was stolen from my G4 so is one provided for the 2nd G4 module? I have read in Tech notes pages that thermal paste would improve cooling and increase longevity. Is this substance included w/ the XLR8 products? Do I need it, considering what I plan to use the Mac for? Where do I find It? Is there anything else that I need to consider?

I am itchin' to rebuild this Mac ASAP, and as you can tell, it is important to me that I understand how and why the components complement each other. My IIcx is still running after a I installed a IIci motherboard, an accelerator and new power supply, and I hope that you can help me bring this one back to life as well.

My apologies for havin' so many elementary tech questions,
Thank you for your collective time and expertise


07-03-2001, 12:31 PM
1) PCI video is available. The only new card with support for X is the RADEON PCI. This runs from $179 to $230 and there is a $30 rebate. Gurus does sell this, but they dont advertise as the driver are not yet up to their specs. It should work fine with the stock ATIRAGEPRO AGP card though. You could also get the

a) Voodoo 3 PCI - you may need to flash this to Mac BIOS/Firmware, but they work up to 8.6 to 9.1. No support for X, but I think these have the best chance of working with X - for the Voodoo series - $50 max

b) Voodoo 4 & 5 - basically the same as the 3, but more RAM, a few extra features like FSAA and offical Mac support. Unfortunately 3Dfx was bought out by nVidia before the drivers for X were released. - V4 should run $75 max, V5 should run $100 max

c) get a used ATI RAGE 128 PCI. Good 2D, not very good for fast 3D. Solid drivers. $100 to $150, although I really wouldnt want to pay over $100 for this. ATI RAGE 128VR, same as the regular 128, but has AV abilities. Worth about $50 more. Should come with an AV 'breakout box'.

d) nVidia GF-2mx or GF-3 The GF-2mx is a low cost card. There are some PCI versions floating around, but only for the PC. Rumor is that some work with the Mac out of the box and others can be flashed. YMMV though. The regular GF-2 is not compatible and is AGP only anyway. The GF-3 has replaced the GF-2 and runs about $400 to $500 and again is AGP only. GF-2mx should run about $115 or less.

2) You have 4 PC100 DIMM slots. The Yosemite (previous board) was limited to 256MB DIMMs - so if this is the case then you can put in 1GB of RAM. If Apple increased the max DIMM size then you could probably stuff 2GB in but Mac OS Classic will only recongize 1.5GB and each app can only have 999MB of RAM. I'm not sure what the limit is for X.

3) You should be able to xfer old data via ethernet. Either a crossover, hub or switch.

4) I do not think that dual G4's are yet available for the YIKES board. You can get a single MPe G4 and then add one later. They should come with their own heatsinks. Often you can get a PC heatsink/fan combo and modify it to work with the G4/PPC. Since the 733 is now the fastest G4, I wouldnt think a 500Mhz G4 would be overkill. You should be able to add one later for a DP set if you need. Thermal paste is included, but they dont give you much, but then you dont need much. You can check the forums... you can get additional thermal past from RADIOshack or online - ARCTIC FOX is supposed to be the best... there is a link somewhere in these forums.

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