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Thread: Dual 500 board works with a AGP G4?

  1. #1
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    Default Need new drive for AGP G4!

    I've got an AGP G4, 400MHz, 1Gig RAM. I've got a free dual 500MHz processor from a Gigabit G4 that will be replacing the current 400MHz processor, but I also need to install a new HD since my 80Gig is nearly full.

    Any suggestions? Will something like a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320 GB ATA 16 MB cache do the trick? It doesn't have to be blazing fast, I just need an upgrade that is functional with mainly CS2 applications and Garage Band.

    Keep in mind, this machine/upgrade is a stop-gap measure for the next 6-10 months until I purchase a Mac Pro system when Adobe CS3 comes out and goes Universal.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Your G4 can't handle drives bigger than 137 GB if you plug your drive into the ATA controller of the G4. It will only see the first 137 Gb of it. (Unless you install speedtool driver which lets G4 recognize the whole drive => here ). You need another controller (ATA or SATA).

    I have a G4 AGP, I tried a PCI Sonnet Tempo ATA 133,PCI Sonnet Tempo SATA and PCI Seritek 1s2 SATA 150 card (good advice from Macgurus ).

    Just to let you know some bench I made with these cards.

    Original drive (10 GB don't remember which brand)
    Read : 30 MB/s
    Write : 20 MB/s

    Maxtor DM10 160 GB, 8MB cache ATA133
    Code:
    Sonnet Tempo ATA 133 
    Read : 52 MB/s
    Write : 31 MB/s 
    
    G4 ATA 66 controller (faster, but only first 137 GB recognized)
    Read : 47 MB/s
    Write : 42 MB/s

    Maxtor DM10 200 GB , 8MB cache SATA 150
    Code:
    Seritek 1s2  
    Read : 60 MB/s
    Write : 50 MB/s 
    
    Sonnet Tempo Serial ATA
    Read : 55 MB/s
    Write : 35 MB/s
    Raptor 74 GB with 16MB cache SATA 150
    Code:
    Seritek 1s2 
    Read : 71 MB/s
    Write : 77 MB/s
    (yes write is faster than read).
    In my case, Sonnet always got bad performance. Maybe you should consider a firmtek controller. Moreover you should be able to reuse it in your next machine.

  3. #3
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    Starski,
    If you're putting the new HD on the onboard ATA bus, it will only read 137GB of anything larger, unless you're also going to add a PCI ATA controller-card. (My Sawtooth suffered under that limitation until I bought a cheap, hold-down-the-fort-until-the-new-machines-arrive Acard).

  4. #4
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    Lightbulb

    Anyone on a G4, other than maybe a tricked out MDD 1.42DP, would benefit from a Mac Pro today for CS2 etc. with 4GB RAM. It is only the G5 2.0DP and above where it makes sense to wait.

    I just got mine. This thing kicks some serious butt!

    There are some excellent folks and threads on Apple's Mac Pro discussion. Benchmarks and tests on Barefeats and others.

    I would only buy SATA drives at this point even if I did stay with a G4, but have to spend $49-65 for a controller - so I could use the drive(s) on the Mac Pro.

    I got the 2GHz model. Threw in an extra GB RAM for now, 10K Raptor. Before my MDD 1.25SP 2GB RAM would "bog down" - a lot - doing some basic tasks. Now, I can be doing backups, tests, surfing etc. Heck, I went to print a 8 page PDF that should have taken 10 seconds anyway to send to a laser printer. Was out in under 1.5 seconds tops.

    This is way better than running OS 6 on SE/30 the first day. Way better. And for half the price.

    One of my holdups was in Graphic Converter when making changes and then saving 1MB file. Now, poof! no more 5 to 10 second delays.

    So think about your plans. Normally I would be a hold out until all the bugs and a rev 2 was out, if possible. I don't think that is an issue (unless you want to run Windows XP).

    The disk drives, even stock, are plenty fast, whether the 160GB Seagate or the 250GB it comes with. And room for three more.

  5. #5
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    Thanks. I totally agree with your reasoning for getting a new Mac Pro system, and believe me, when I have the available funds next year I will snap one up... with or w/o the Universal CS3 roll out.

    But that time isn't quite yet here, and in the meantime I just need to get by with the G4 for 6-10 more months. I'm looking to spend $250..... not $2500!

    Sounds like SATA is the way to go. Faster and transferable to the Mac Pro once I get it. Doesn't make sense to buy an obsolete HD at this point with my plans is what I hear you saying.

    If that's the case, what combo of controller/drive is recommended?

  6. #6
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    Lightbulb

    For close to your budget price of $250 I would throw in two 250-320GB SATA drives, Maxtor DM10 300GB or WD RE 250GB. SeriTek controller.

    Or go with four drives and break the budget but have 200MB/sec scratch RAID or even to run from. If you can boot from RAID all the better. Not sure if your model can though - only one way to find out, play with a couple matched drives.

    For $500, 4 x 250GB WD REs as a RAID and 4-channel Seriek.
    For $420, 4 x 160GB WD REs as RAID also.
    Either would deliver 200MB/sec.

    I don't know anything about OWC's "el cheapo $49," or SIIG or ACard Serial ATA controllers.

    Do you have FW800 PCI?

    Make sure you plans include a couple backups, and there, ATA drives do serve a purpose. For $110 there is a FW/SATA interface external drive case for that spare SATA drive someday.

    I was going to wait. Or I thought I was. I planned to. And put $xxx aside each month for 6 months. Then realized, I could do it now and get this thirst quenched. Glad I did. One selling point was... near quiet. Close as you can come. A soft hum is all the noise normally, unless the Raptor is crunching and seeking quickly.

  7. #7
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    For close to your budget price of $250 I would throw in two 250-320GB SATA drives, Maxtor DM10 300GB or WD RE 250GB. SeriTek controller.
    Are these drives available here from Mac Gurus? I didn't see them on the store home page?

    Thanks for all the help!

  8. #8
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    Question IS THIS A STUPID QUESTION? (regarding processor speeds)

    I have a AGP G4 with a 400MHz processor.

    I have a free dual 500MHz board from a Gigibit G4.

    If I put this in the AGP G4, will the speed increase be similar to a 1000MHz board, or just a little more "juice" than the 400MHz?

    What I'm asking is will the dual 500MHz board effectively double the speed of what I have now?

    Thanks for any input.

  9. #9
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    No it won't feel twice as fast as the single 400, but you can load it up with more processor intensive tasks before slowness sets in.

    This is assuming of course that you're using OSX. Even if the app you're usuing is not dual-processor aware you will still see some benefit. If you're using a dual-aware app it will be a significant boost.

  10. #10
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    Ya, what Brane said. oh and Welcome to the Gurus forums. I think you'll be surprised.

  11. #11
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    Yup, worth the swap for sure on OS 10. I would guess the DP will feel almost 1.5 times as fast as the SP, so about 500 x 1.5 = ~750. Not 1000, but a big boost up from 400. 10 is pretty good at using dual (and quad) CPUs. And as Brane said, for apps that can harness both CPUs, you do get all 1000.

    OS 10 really starts to feel good somewhere around 700MHz, and is nice and slick at about 1200....anything more than that is plenty for most typical users. And 10.4 is fastest of all, generally speaking, on all hardware that can run it.

    After the CPU, you should also consider RAM and a newish HD, and maybe even a video upgrade to really make 10 sing.

    Oh, yeah.....welcome aboard.
    "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

  12. #12
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    No. The drive world has been pretty crazy recently, with constant changes and updates, so there is an almost endless number of drives out in the wild these days, if you count the close-out sale stock that is new, but not current.

    TZ is a real speed demon and likes to get every last bit out of his drives. Not a thing wrong with that!

    Rick - who runs MacGurus - sells what he has tested and found to be the best overall drives. I would expect his criteria would include: overall or general purpose speed (most drives have specific strengths and weaknesses when bench marked) and reliabilty.....but would also include criteria like warranty, rate of returns of defective products, compatibilty, noise, heat, and overall customer satisfaction.

    He only sells drives he can stand behind. Doesn't mean there aren't any other good drives out there, but that these are the models he trusts to sell. If you want to do your own homework, check out storagereveiw.com.
    "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

  13. #13
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    Lightbulb

    Rick (and MacGurus Store, which is separate from the forums) focuses on drives that will work with various controllers and RAIDs that are sold.

    I was shopping for a drive, and noticed that there was one that I had never seen before over on WD. Enterprise RAID drive 320GB 16MB cache $129. Snapped it right up!

    WD currently has the quietest even 500GB (5 platters). Maxtor's 300GB has been popular and excellent, and used in a lot of systems and tests (check AMUG reviews) but two years ago almost, they added a feature of SATA, staggered delay spin-up that wasn't supported or working across the board with all controllers and drive cases and causing problems. Some problems don't show up for a couple months which makes it harder to diagnose.

    I had to be forced to leave behind and give up $3000 worth investment in now legacy Ultra160 SCSI drives, controllers, cables, etc. and move on to SATA, which is finally in good steed.

    But .... there are still things to work out.

    I first saw a disk drive in '67. It was the size of a large washing machine with glass enclosure so you could see the drum rotating. It held 5MB of data and that was a phenomenal piece of equipment and technology!

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the help. I'm loving the forum. Lots of good info for someone not as technically savy as myself.

    I will be adding a new, faster, bigger HD as well to this machine. Wonder if it's a noticiable difference to spend a little more for a controller card and go SATA, or just drop another ATA in there?

    I've got an 733MHz G4 and a Dual 2 GHz G5 at work, so it will be interesting to see where this newly upgraded G4 performs compared to these two.

  15. #15
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    I always like to keep an upgrade "project" in one thread - over-lap and topics can duplicate and go everywhere - easier to tie it together.

  16. #16
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    Thanks. Relating to the processors (my original question).

    A local Mac authorized service center told me I couldn't put the old mac 2X500 board in my AGP, it had to be a 3rd party board. Does that ring true to you?

    And will Garage Band work with that 2X500 board? The same local tech said it will only see one 500MHz processor and GB wants 700+, so it wouldn't work.

    I'm thinking the Mini is not looking so bad right about now.

  17. #17
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    I will be adding a new, faster, bigger HD as well to this machine. Wonder if it's a noticeable difference to spend a little more for a controller card and go SATA, or just drop another ATA in there?
    They will be very close unless you go with an SATA Raptor.

    And will Garage Band work with that 2X500 board? The same local tech said it will only see one 500MHz processor and GB wants 700+, so it wouldn't work.
    My friends college boys use GB on a PCI "YIKES" G4 400MHz, no AGP graphics..... I am sure it's slow but works.

    I still think it will read the Dual 533MHz.

  18. #18
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    After rereading your first post....

    Are you planning to put a mobo and processor in a G4? Which one? Look right here.

  19. #19
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    I was going to put a dual 500MHz board from a Gigabit machine into my 400Mhz AGP machine, and drop in a new HD since my original 20GB is full.

    The question now is, for what I'll spend on that upgrade, is it worth it to just buy a Mini instead.

    I want to be able to legitimatly run Garage Band as well as CS2 apps. Might be worth it to have the Intel machine now, especially when CS3 is released in the fall as a Universal app?

  20. #20
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    Hi there,

    The Dual 500 is a pretty good CPU module. I used to have a Gigabit Ethernet Dual 450 and I was always amazed how much the longevity of this Mac was extended by having a dual. As others have mentioned, OS X loves duals. I eventually had the chance to replace that machine with a slightly newer Mac, a "Digital Audio" Dual 533, which is what I still have now, and it's still a good performer.

    To give you an idea of why duals are so great: back when I had the dual 450, I tried a CPU upgrade: it was a 1.4GHz G4 (single). Obviously, the single 1.4GHz G4 was way faster in raw power, but it really didn't "feel" that much faster. It's true that it blew away the 450s at large individual tasks, but overall responsiveness in general use wasn't much different. With a good amount of RAM and a newer hard drive, these machines can still get the job done.

    Just to be sure though: have you verified that your particular model will accept a dual-processor module? If you have a Gigabit Ethernet 400, it definitely will. If you have a Sawtooth, however, you'll need to check the revision. Here's the info from MacGurus' CPU upgrade product page:

    "*Note: If you are upgrading an early AGP Graphics G4 model you will need to determine if your system is dual compatible. You must have a Uni-N revision of 7, or greater, for your system to utilize both processors. To determine your uni-N please follow the directions under the correct section below. For OSX users, download This Utility to determine your Uni-N Revision. For OS9 users go to Giga Instructions page to determine your AGPs ability to accept Dual CPU upgrades."

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