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Old October 19th, 2003, 11:32 AM   #1
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Processor Upgrades

I have a G4/400 with AGP graphics and was thinking about upgrading my processor.

Any stories of their reliability or compatibility with FCP? I do alot of rendering and have heard some bad stuff but it mostly seems from G3 upgraders.

thanks,
elmer
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Old October 19th, 2003, 11:51 AM   #2
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I would wait to see if the different manufactures of upgrades offer OS 10.3 compatibility.. If they do, then a dual processor upgrade would show significant improvement in almost every measure of performance. However, if your stuck in 10.2.8 you'll lose many of the benefits of Panther (10.3). This is the third major revision in less than 3 years. The improvements are significant for FCP and DVD SP. It may me time to upgrade to a G5 to realize these significant improvements in performance and usability. But for now I would take a wait and see attitude.
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Old October 19th, 2003, 01:21 PM   #3
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I wouldn't wait for Panther. OS X works great right now and upgrading to Panther is optional. Panther is also likely to be buggy when it's released.

try searching the lafcpug.org forum for user's experience with processor upgrades. It seems that everyone is happy with their upgrade.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 11:27 AM   #4
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I upgraded my G4/350 with the Sonnet 1ghz last spring. The system is rock solid with every application except iDVD 3. I had absolutely no issues with FCP 3.0.4, but FCP 4.0.2 has a few hiccups. Overall, there is nothing out of the ordinary, except everything runs much more smoothly.

One side note - FCP 4 relies heavily on the graphics card. In order to playback programs without dropping frames, I have to disable the computer display of the program, and cross my fingers. I've been told that upgrading to a faster video card with more VRAM will solve this problem.

Rick
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Old October 20th, 2003, 12:32 PM   #5
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Rick and Elmer, do you have AGP video cards or PCI video cards. FCP 4 and later will require AGP video for many features. I would think twice about the upgrade if your machine doesn't have AGP video and the processor upgrade doesn't support Panther. You will be severely limited with future software upgrades if the hardware doesn't support AGP graphics cards and Panther.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 04:46 PM   #6
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Mine is an AGP (sawtooth) motherboard. I'm not even sure if the upgrade I purchased is compatibile with the PCI (Yikes) boards. Naturally, I did my upgrade a couple of months before the G5s were announced. If I had it to do over, I'd save my pennys and buy a new G4 DP for a little more than I spent on my total upgrade.

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Old October 20th, 2003, 05:42 PM   #7
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AGP Video and...

If I have AGP graphics would I have AGP video? If not, how does one check? PACMED specifications database shows I have either the ATI Rage 128 or ATI Rage Pro Video Card. Proably the former. Where does that leave me?

Also, having a G4/400 w/ AGP Graphics (bought 4/00), if I buy a processor upgrade is there anything else to buy: cards, etc

thanks
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Old October 20th, 2003, 10:43 PM   #8
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After the upgrades from a card there is the conflicts and the items that are truly not covered, as you never really get the throughput from the cache and the computer buss speed.

Looking at a dual G4 on the upper end is going to be cheaper that a G5 yet the dual would be better than an add-on card.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 05:22 AM   #9
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The AGP graphics is the new computer and will work with FCP 4. But you will probably need to upgrade your video card. Figure an additional $100. Suggestions of a G4 are worth considering. I would still save my pennies and get a G5, maximum future compatibility with future versions of FCP.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 08:50 AM   #10
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Re: AGP Video and...

<<<-- Originally posted by Elmer Lang : If I have AGP graphics would I have AGP video? If not, how does one check? PACMED specifications database shows I have either the ATI Rage 128 or ATI Rage Pro Video Card. Proably the former. Where does that leave me?

Also, having a G4/400 w/ AGP Graphics (bought 4/00), if I buy a processor upgrade is there anything else to buy: cards, etc
-->>>

The ATI Rage 128 and Rage Pro cards have 16MB of memory. If you do upgrade your card, you'll want to make sure it is compatible with a 2xAGP slot. Until FCP4, I got by just fine with my stock video card.

When I did my upgrade, I added the processor card and a Pioneer A-05 DVD burner. I already had 768MB of RAM, and a couple of 200GB hard drives. By the time I purchase Jaguar and iLife, I was almost up to $1000. It looks like my investment will have bought me another year with this system, but for $300 more, I could have purchased a new G4/1.25ghz system if I had waited a couple of months.

Rick
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Old October 21st, 2003, 11:35 AM   #11
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That's what I see more over I too went through the same build up a long time ago. After buying this installing that and configuring this and yes the crashes during a render I opted for a new G3 to which I loved the BW was good for awhile then I turned it over in a trade for a G4 450Mhz which was good until I bought FCP 4 then I needed the power of a Dual to which I bought a Dual 800 over a year ago for 1,000 from my partner in movies and now it runs smooth.

As for the G5 I will wait for the bugs to come out of Rev. A and get one next year maybe, or I might have to get it to run Panther, to which why do I need it if I am up and running now smoother than I have ever been.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 11:52 AM   #12
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You can put AGP 4X and 8X cards in a 2X slot, but you don't get the advantages of the faster card. Good 4X cards start at $100.
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