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Thread: Memory and hard drive upgrade

  1. #1
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    Talking Memory and hard drive upgrade

    Hi folks. Am ready to begin shelling out on the upgrade I have been planning for awhile. Have ordered 2 x 512G4-133. Next the order for a 7K250 250GB SATA and controller card. CPU will have to wait till tax rebate time !!!!! OK so far? (Sawtooth, AGP Graphics 450MHZ.)
    Simple question. Once the drive and card are installed, I should see a prompt which will ask for a format I believe. What should I select? Second Question. What does formating mean and do the terms Formating and Initializing mean the same thing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Billington
    Hi folks. Am ready to begin shelling out on the upgrade I have been planning for awhile. Have ordered 2 x 512G4-133. Next the order for a 7K250 250GB SATA and controller card. CPU will have to wait till tax rebate time !!!!! OK so far? (Sawtooth, AGP Graphics 450MHZ.)
    Simple question. Once the drive and card are installed, I should see a prompt which will ask for a format I believe. What should I select? Second Question. What does formating mean and do the terms Formating and Initializing mean the same thing?
    Sounds like the G5 1.8DP Specials ($1699) would be suitable option. Get beyond 100 MHz fsb, better video and memory...

    I don't use OS 9 so I find unchecking "Install OS 9 Drivers" the filesystem is faster. But I do recommend leaving it as "HFS Extended (Journaling)" which is the default. In Disk Utility you can ERASE or PARTITION.

    Format use to be short for low level format and quick initialize would handle the first 100 blocks only and be the same as PARTITION in OS 9's Drive Setup. It depends on whether you are talking Disk Utility in OS X or not, or 3rd party. LLF (low level format) only applies to SCSI, and even today, and for quite a few years, most disk drives don't need to and takes quite a bit longer.

    Erase with "zero all" isn't LLF and doesn't verify writing, but is suppose to clear a drive of data. Some people do it hoping it will help. You would need an 8-way Erase (and days on a larger drive) to really remove data. Most used drives can have the data restored and an 8-way erase makes it almost impossible (harder anyway).

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    Wink Yup.

    I take your point about the G5, and not to be argumentative, but when all's said and dun, there isn't much wrong with the G4 processor even today, given that there are other factors to consider with a machine anyway. This old machine is my work in progress, and imagine my surprise, it really fascinates me.
    Will uncheck the OS9 option and thanks for the rest.
    Heaping that heap.
    Chris

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    I still upgrade my Beige and B&W from time to time - but they don't hold a candle to even the G4 MDD I recently bought... that front side bus really helps things buzz along. Even a 33 MHz boost in fsb helps some and I was hoping for 200MHz G4 fsb.

    You DID put this in the "Upgrade or Buy New" so I felt some obligation to play devil's advocate here.

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    I would beg to differ with TZ a little bit. The two Sawtooth G4s, the AGP and GigaBit Ethernet models, are still quite useful and able. With a suitable processor upgrade and faster storage they do a reasonable job of keeping up with the more bus speedy MDD. The difference is in the low teens in percentage lost to RAM bus. An AGP model with a 1.5 GHz processor does a fair imitation of a single 1.2+ MDD in most performance tests. As you increase the CPU speed and introduce Dual processors the gap widens a bit. But for all practical purposes one can accomplish most everything short of a full production environment with the upgraded Sawtooth.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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    Lightbulb

    I'm not saying it can't be done and deliver fairly nice performance. Or be fun. (It would.) But in the end, you could be investing $1200 if talking top end 1.5DP, RAM, and disk drives. On a system that will be 5 yrs old come tax time.

    I put $500 G4/1000 into a Beige and it almost was able to run applications comparable to a B&W G4/500.

    A single 1.4-1.5 for $370-410? is a nice 3x boost probably. We want to sell as many GigaBumps as possible. And I was assuming you wanted a dual.

    I would combine cpu and other upgrades into one common forum devoted to upgrades. 'Cause you can't really do just one!

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    Arrow Oh Yas oh yas.

    I ran the little French Utility and the Ole machine will take a dual CPU Upgrade. Wasn't 100% sure which one I would get yet, but was recommended the 1.5G M5-1215G. And yes the price difference is about $200 for a dual but just for informations' sake, would the performance be enhanced noticeably in this case by a dual processor? Even say the M5D-1012G? I checked the firmware notation in System Profiler and its up to date.

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    TZ, I agree you were 'devils advocate' there and well within reason on your posts. I just wanted to get my fair share of 'opinionating in as well'

    Chris, what applications are you running? Are you all OSX? If you are running mostly flagship apps like Final Cut or Photoshop then a Dual is worth its weight. If you are running in OS9 or just browsers and word processors then a faster single will give better results.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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    If you run OS X, it does a good job of cpu load balance, and even Safari knows how to balance loads on a dual, as do other apps. The chips have a base rate and tested rate. The 7455B is what you want. Don't know if there is or will be a 7457.

    1.5GHz vs 3.0GHz if OS X and the apps you use were 100% efficient. Also, if you have four DRAM slots, OS X can use full 2GB of RAM (some models had only 3 RAM slots).

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    Talking Ok.

    I have no Apps that need OS9. I am a painter moving to work in digital process. I have a heap of 35mm slides I just scanned and loaded onto disk. I don't know which application is going to be the most usefull, but obviously I have to look at Photoshop. The software issue is one I haven't adressed on your forum, because my approach to the work is extremely idiosyncratic and I don't know which software is going to open up for me. Also, it's kinda one thing at a time!! I want my rig to be as flexible or versatile as possible given limitations which you guys have a far better handle on than I. Thats why I will put in as much storage as possible ie. 2 full GB of ram by the time I'm done, 250GB SATA hard drive (plus the 20GB OEM). I don't think at this point I will need more drives, but there are bays for them. And as I say a CPU upgrade to maximise wot I got. Makes sense, No? I read all your suggestions with real interest, knowing full well I will make decisions somewhat in the dark for now. But learning. Oh yes definatelylearning.

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    Arrow Sorry. Pee Ess.

    I bought the machine for $600 12 months ago. Since put in a Radeon 9000, Pioneer DVR-107, 256 MB Ram (now realising that was naively inadequate). Wanna buy some Apple RAM anybody? 4 x 128MBs?!?
    Chris

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    Lightbulb

    Keep your eye on USB2 and FW cards or a combo. It is amazing what you can find in scanners today using either interface. And scanning is one task that tends to need RAM and generate the most swap files. It is amazing what an app like Graphic Converter can do. Not PS but handy tool and for some, all they need. Best $35+ shareware.

    I had Radeon 9800 Pro but the fan added heat and noise, but I do miss it. Esp when waiting for resizing and saving large scans. There are times I wish I had a dual, but $$$ and my needs and wanting to avoid more heat internal I opted for MDD 1.25SP.

    We tend as a group to favor having an OS/Apps drive, one for scratch/backup and #3 for media or home directory. Spreading the I/O and work across multiple drives to improve overall system performance also avoids delays.

    I would replace the OEM 20GB drive early on. Move it to FW.... maybe. But wait and get 80-120GB ATA drive w/ 8MB cache. Who knows, there may be drives with 16MB cache for non-SATA. SATA 300GB drives for under $300. Samsung has the quietest SATA drive out now, very low operating temperature, and yet capable of 63MB/sec. Not bad and inexpensive, too.

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    Question Tz

    About four posts back you say a 7455B is what I need. I see 7455 in the dual processor spec page, but no 7455B. Could you clarify, and if necessary specify a model sold here so I can see some specs?
    Thanks. Chris.

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    Lightbulb

    If you look in the Processor Forum you'll find an informative thread on how to read and decipher model numbers and what the base is. I understand that there are now 7457s being used so things change. The 7455B is what the later MDD 1.25 and 1.42DPs used and seem to have some "head room" for doing 1.5.

    Just got back from errand to the doctors etc and just trying to catch up and place some orders... but check Giga and the GigaBump specs in the meantime until someone else can chime in...

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    The 7457 processor dual upgrades require a firmware update so the computer knows what a 7457 is. A 7457 is a low power use version of what basically is the same architecture as a 7455, so the firmware update tells the system to treat it nearly the same. I don't believe that in use you actually would see any difference between a 7457 Dual 1.4 and a 7455 Dual 1.4 upgrade. Unless you have a full PCI bus and a high power graphics card that would make you worry about power supply capacity, the upgrades should work identically for you.

    There is still a lot of room to speed up the 7455 CPU line. Improvements come seemingly on a weekly basis. I'd pick the upgrade that satisfies your need regardless of which processor it has.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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    Thumbs up Thanks Ricks.

    Indeed, I have read the Info on the Giga page a couple of times now, plus downloaded the installation guide from Giga. This is helping me to understand what is involved. Cost will play a part in this, and I was encouraged therefor to see the 'overclocking' aspect with the single processor. The issue I guess is with the 'architecture' of the dual versus the straight forward speed of the single. Over simplification? Again I am reaching for some understanding here in order to connect the hardware with the process (ie. eventual software issues and how it will handle for me.) This forum has been very very helpfull.

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    Lightbulb

    Any 7455's out there are going to be the 7455B. I was mistaken and forgot about the 7457 being the low-power/heat version.

    We talked to someone else (thread I was trying to direct you to look for) - with feedback and comments from Giga about the issue of whether it is good or safe to over clock or not and the "value" of the different chips.

    I don't drive a car with the pedal to the metal - at least not more than for a short burst (to clear out the pipes of course!) but like knowing it is there if I "need" it - to pass another car quickly in an emergency.

    The OS is optimized to make good use of a dual, as are Apple apps across the board: Mail, Safari, iLife Suite. I found that because the computer could do more, that I would.

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    Hi Chris,
    I am a painter moving to work in digital process. I have a heap of 35mm slides I just scanned and loaded onto disk. I don't know which application is going to be the most usefull, but obviously I have to look at Photoshop.
    Cool Chris. I'm coming from the same place-
    I use the Mac both as prep for traditional media painting and original digital artwork.

    The issue I guess is with the 'architecture' of the dual versus the straight forward speed of the single. Over simplification? Again I am reaching for some understanding here in order to connect the hardware with the process (ie. eventual software issues and how it will handle for me.
    One thing I can say is the choice of hardware, image software, and the configuration of the various sub-systems has a definite influence on the creative process.
    for instance, the stability of OSX in contrast to OS9 makes doing creative work on the 'puter far more enjoyable. Less time futzing with software issues for sure.

    I went from a single processor G4 733 to a dual G5- like night and day in terms of speed and power. Really helps an uninterrupted flow when your in the thick of it with some project. It also tends to expand one's sense of what is possible and doable in a normal workflow.

    Though I had beefed up the 733 with 1536MB RAM, a dual-channel ATA pci card, two fast 120GB 8MB cache drives, and a fast SCSI 2-drive striped RAID for scratch- it seemed like I was always bumping up against the limitations of the single processor. I've learned through lots of testing that large amounts of RAM and a dual processor for Photoshop really makes a difference in speed of operations. As does a fast and independantly-bussed scratch disk.

    In general the painting and drawing programs all benefit measureably with as much RAM as possible, fast and dual processors, fast and multiple hard drives. And a high-bandwidth frontside bus.

    Photoshop is the de facto standard for pro-level digital painting. It's worth the steep price tag because it can do so many things and do them well. Painter is a great program also. Sometimes Wacom graphics tablets come bundled with excellent "lite" versions of these programs. A good place to start maybe.

  19. #19
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    Talking Yaaaa Hooooo

    Now that's about as intuitive a connection as I have got anywhere, let alone on a techie forum. I hope thay pay you well for this stuff!!!!!
    Come tax rebate time it seems to me I will look at a dual. I can't shell out for a G5. Not only are they a bit on the pricy side, they are still bare bones if I can put it that way, and would need some beefing up as far as I can assess anyway. Extra cost. Software cost. Cost cost cost. Gonna do the best I can with the G4 I think and see where I end up. An adventure. So in a round about way this all does belong in the 'Upgrade or buy new" forum anyway. Hooduv guessed?

    Chris

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    Talking Success!!

    Well, logging in to report successful installation of 160 GB SATA drive and card. No hitches. Ran Disc Warrior before on OEM, and after on SATA. Repaired permissions. Have SATA set as boot up drive. Worked perfectly on restart. Apps opening normally. Very very pleased with the whole thing. Hey TZ!! I'm nowhere near your league, but thanks for all the info, advice and patience. Plan to use the OEM as back-up (Back Up 2.0.2) for now. Still plan to install new CPU (when funds allow) another 512 MB ram, and a second 160GB SATA. I read here a reminder that old drives do break, usually without warning. So I have in mind the idea to replace the OEM, but funds........
    Which brings me to a new question. The dual CPUs illustrated on the Giga page have fans. There is no fan on the CPU in this rig as far as I can tell visually. Hope I'm looking in the right place. Huge heat sink? The duals don't come with a cooler. Should I plan to be installing one (or two) fans? If so, do I buy them here? Comments or advice gratefully accepted.

    CB

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