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Thread: G4 Audio Dilemna

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    3

    Default G4 Audio Dilemna

    I posted this recently on Apple support forums...but didn't get much help. I'd appreciate any input into this matter. Thanx!!

    "Ok...I have a 466Mhz G4 Digital Audio and it's time for some upgrades.

    RAM - I need a definitive answer...can I install 1.5GB or 2.0 of RAM in this machine. I am using OSX 10.4 Tiger.

    Processor - I want a dual processor solution as fast and efficient (in regards to L2 and L3 cache) as I can get!!

    Video Card - I want a video card solution that will work nicely with my dual processor setup, yet be compatible with Core Image. That should leave only the ATI 9600 & 9800. According to ATI's website, they both require a 300 Watt power supply.

    Power Supply - If I have to, I am willing to upgrade this...but my question is to WHAT? I found this site online while googling *G4 power supply*

    http://www.nextro.com

    Here are the G4 power supplys listed:

    http://www.nextro.com/shop/catalog/d...?cPath=1_27_28

    They go up to 650W!! That should be plenty for running the *BADDEST* Dual processor upgrade as well as a 9800 or 9600 Video Card...but is it necessary? I'd rather not have to upgrade it if I don't have to. I read about some *low voltage* Dual Processor upgrades that would work with the ATI cards without bringing down the system. But if it is necessary, are there any Power Supplys that anyone can recommend? The website I listed is based out of Japan.

    Hard Drives - A minimum of 2 10K RPM Raptor Drives. Maybe 4 if I can do it. Or I might go 2 @ 10K and 2 @ 7200. Either way, I would *like* to have 4 drives in all, but I could get by with 2 if I had to.

    Cooling - Additional Case / CPU / Hard Drive fans if necessary to help disipate the heat.

    So that is my dilemna. Basically I need someone to spoonfeed me some ideas on getting a Dual Processor setup that supports Core Image out of my Digital Audio G4. I will do whatever necessary to do this. My main function of this machine will be to edit video and do alot of graphic / photoshop work, web design, etc. I'd like to have dual displays as well.

    Surely, if it can be done...it will be less than the $3,000 + tax that a new G5 would cost me. Secondly, I've read from several users that their upgraded G4's really rock the house and can "hold their own" against the G5's, and in some cases actually perform better!! Plus...I personally think the G4's look better and are very easy to upgrade. Just another great reason to keep my old G4 around even longer!! Thanks to everyone in advance for their input."

    Jimmy

    *Second Post* after the 1st wasn't answered completely

    "OK...I'll go with 1.5 gigs of RAM then.

    But my question regarding the CPU / Video combination wasn't completely answered. Before I shell out hundreds of dollars on them, I want to make sure they will *jive* together in my machine. I've read some people are having issues running Dual CPU's and the 9800 Pro *TOGETHER* in the same machine. I'm assuming those are the older G4 processors and not the newer 7447's. More specifically, I am looking at the GigaDesigns Dual 1.8 based on the 7447 chip:

    http://www.gigadesigns.com/products7AD1418U.html

    I've looked on their website and other so-called *review* sites...but can get a straight answer. So IS THERE a definitive answer on this? Can I use this "low power" Dual CPU with a Radeon 9600 or 9800 without crashing the system? If not, what ARE my options for a Dual setup with an core image compatible ATI card? Like I said, I can upgrade the power supply if necessary, just recommend some suppliers to me.

    Also, keep in mind I plan to be running a MINIMUM of 2 Hard Drives and possibly some extra cooling fans. I'm not trying to sound stupid...or pushy...but I've never done this before and I want to make sure I don't go out and waste 600 dollars then come to find out it won't work due to power constraints. Thanx again for the help and quick responses.

    And if anyone has seen any reviews for the new Dual CPU's @ 1.8Ghz with the Radeon 9600 / 9800 cards running on a Digital Audio G4...by all means...lead me to them. Thanx!!"

    Jimmy

    Again...thanx in advance for anyone's help / input on this!! Cheers!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,818

    Default

    Some quick answers to part of this.

    Ok...I have a 466Mhz G4 Digital Audio and it's time for some upgrades.

    Video Card - I want a video card solution that will work nicely with my dual processor setup, yet be compatible with Core Image. That should leave only the ATI 9600 & 9800. According to ATI's website, they both require a 300 Watt power supply.

    Power Supply - If I have to, I am willing to upgrade this...
    A G4 Digital Audio has a 300W+ PSU -- sorry can't remember exactly. So don't worry about that as far as the 9600 or 9800. In fact a DA requires a PSU that can drive the ADC port -- without it the DA won't even boot. Most people just stick with the stock PSU. The site you linked shows larger non-stock PSUs, so if they're going to work at all must have been modified. You can't just stick an ATX PSU in G4, wiring issues + those ADC lines. I'd double-check with them if in fact they've modified the PSUs if in fact you go that route.

    RAM - I need a definitive answer...can I install 1.5GB or 2.0 of RAM in this machine. I am using OSX 10.4 Tiger.
    1.5GB. You have 3 slots, each of which can take a 512MB DIMM max.

    Cooling - Additional Case / CPU / Hard Drive fans if necessary to help disipate the heat.
    Did you take a look my write-up?

    http://www.macgurus.com/guides/giga_da/part1.php

    My DA has Giga 7455 1.3GHz dual + ATI Radeon 9600, and all the other stuff listed. Haven't had any lock-ups. I'm pleased with my $130 9600 pulled from a G5 (earlier hack before ATI made a retail 9600 version with more VRAM). It's driving a 20" Apple Cinema Display Aluminum right now.I'm not a gamer.

    Only mention I heard at Apple's forums of people with 9800 + dual CPU upgrade problems is with 7455s in play, and they may not even have been the M-series Giga upgrades. The 7447s are lower powered and are M-series, so those perhaps you won't see an issue if you go the 9800 route. But that's the theory, don't know in practice in a G4 DA with the stock PSU.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    If you are trying to keep the cost down, heat down, and load on the PS down, go with the 9600. Outside of gaming, should not even be noticable.

    As for your HD solution, it really dpends on what you do with your Mac. What are the primary applications that you are trying to optimize for?
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Milan - Italy
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    525

    Default Some upgrading tips, if I may...

    Dear Jimmy,

    1.
    Quote Originally Posted by reservoir
    ...RAM - I need a definitive answer...can I install 1.5GB or 2.0 of RAM in this machine. I am using OSX 10.4 Tiger...
    2.
    Quote Originally Posted by reservoir
    ...Hard Drives - A minimum of 2 10K RPM Raptor Drives. Maybe 4 if I can do it. Or I might go 2 @ 10K and 2 @ 7200. Either way, I would *like* to have 4 drives in all, but I could get by with 2 if I had to...
    Before anything else, please, let me emphasise the following:
    1. Do your upgrades ONE-AT-A-TIME and test your machine thoroughly in between for a sufficient period of time which enables you to pin point any possible issues which the single, new upgrade may have produced.
    2. Backup ALL your sensitive data before starting ANY upgrade activity and test your backup(s) for both integrity and replacement (make a MOC data replacement if necessary): whatever is going to happen with your system, you'll know your precious data is safe; that will make you work with your mind at rest.
    3. Write down an upgrade plan, picking carefully the components you wish to add giving priviledge to RELIABILITY rather than performance. Investigate carefully other users' reports about the components you wish to add BEFORE buying them (e.g.:XLR8YOURMAC User Reports Database on CPU Upgrades).
    4. Read carefully the instruction manual of the new component you are about to install; look for eventual additional software and/or OS software settings you will need with it (e.g.: GigaDesigns Support Documents and Manuals).
    5. Make a copy of your current OS and/or software settings before installing your new upgrade: in case something goes wrong and you'll need to re-install the OS and or other main application, you'll find it that much easier to re-set your favourite settings.
    6. Make sure that any additional software or settings needed for the new component, does NOT conflict with other software or settings you currently want.
    7. Before putting your hands inside your computer case, unplug the Power Supply, the monitor and everything else connected to it. With your case open, first look carefully at all the components inside your case which you will need to manipulate (hard disk(s), sleds, cables, RAM sticks, screws, etc.). Try to follow what you'll need to do inside the case by reading the instructions which came with your upgrading component.
    8. Make sure you have - or download - all the software upgrades you will need with the new component (firmware, drivers, utilities, OSs, etc...).
    9. Make sure you have the following MINIMUM tools on hand:
      • A Philips screw driver.
      • A flat-head screw driver.
      • A pair of twisers.
      • A flash light (so as to see all those tight corners round your case).
      • An earthing strap.
    10. Make sure that, while you are "fiddling" inside your computer case with sensitive electronic materials, you have properly discharged all vacant static current from your body; if you have carpets around your home, AVOID walking around collecting static charges.
    11. Place your case on a clean cloth, possibly on top of a table, and make sure you have enough light to work at ease.
    12. Write down all the steps you are doing while upgrading: in case something goes wrong, it will be much easier to go back and see which step you've missed out on or you've wrongly performed.
    13. Once you've finished your installation, upon booting your machine up again, remember to flash your PRAM, so as to let your machine "know" about the new hardware you've just installed. Flashing the PRAM forces the booting sequence to re-scan all the various buses on your motherboard to re-establish the hardware hierarchy.

    Maybe you are very well aware about the above - in which case I apologise for having bored you - but I just thought useful to list it just in case...

    A1. You can have a maximum of 1.5GB of RAM installed into your machine, as you have only 3 RAM expansion "rails" on the motherboard and the maximum density SDRAM module you can fit, is 512MB each with DRAM density of 256Mbits. Don't buy just the cheapest SDRAM module you can lay your hands on: RAM expansion, especially with our beloved Apple machines, is probably the most "intimate" upgrade you can do inside your motherboard, after the CPU replacement. Buy your SDRAM components from known reliable sources, even if this means having to cough up some extra dough; e.g.: CRUCIAL or here over at MACGURUS.
    If you are mixing SDRAM modules bearing different specifications, place the SLOWEST in specification on your FIRST RAM rail.

    A2. You can have as much as four internal hard disks, and as many as you want externally (check out external SATA cases). Don't forget you even have an internal ATA-5 (Ultra ATA-66) IDE controller already fited on your motherboard, to which you can connect a nice 120GB (maximum) Ultra ATA hard drive with 8MB cache memory, which you could use for your main OS.
    Work out carefully your data storage strategy and DON'T put limits to the number of hard disks you may want or need: your PS unit will be able to take them all (external hard disk cases have their own PS units, in any event).
    If you are not scared doing some reading and like to have some useful tips or suggestions, please read through:


    Hope the above will be of some use to you.

    All the best.

    Ciao.
    Last edited by Costa; 09-13-2005 at 06:03 AM. Reason: Just wanted to add a few links....
    Costa
    ________________________

    Ab ovo usque ad mala

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    Concord, CA
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    Default

    G4 Digital Audio PS Maximum continuous power: 338W, according to this Apple PDF doc k

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Ok...sounds great. So I am now set on getting the Giga Designs Dual 1.8 processor upgrade that is based on the 7447 chips that "supposedly" runs cooler and takes less juice than the other upgrades.

    But which video card? I saw this was recently announced by ATI:

    http://www.ati.com/products/radeon96...mac/index.html

    Would that *jive* ok with my processor selection? Core Image compatible? I'm pretty sure that is the Processor / Video card update I'm gonna go with. Memory will be coming from Crucial (As ALWAYS!!), and my hard drives with be either Western Digital's, or Hitachi's new 500GB SATA's with a SATA controller card.

    Oh...and one last thing...this machine will be for making music with Protools / Garage Band / Reason and for editing video with Final Cut Pro and After Effects. There will little to no games being played on this machine. I just want to be able to run Final Cut Pro Studio (Motion) and have all the bells and whistles (Quartz extreme / Core Image) of OSX. Not sure if that will make a difference in the Graphics Card choice.

    Just let me know what you all think.

    ~reservoir~

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