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Old November 3rd, 2005, 11:42 AM   #1
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To Keep or not to keep my G4!

I have a G4 (500Mhz), which I have been considering upgrading to a Dual 1.3 Ghz Sonnet processor. Add 1.5 GB or Sdram, DVD burner, ATI Radeon 9800 pro(250 MB) and 400 GB SATA HD and new 5.1 pro sound card. MY updates all together will cost about $1,400. I have Final Cut Studio and plan to use it for short and some features down the line (including HD).What do you guys think? would I be able to get some results out of this upgrade, specially considering the Dual 1.3 Ghz Sonnet procesor?

(should I save and get a G5?)
Thanks
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 12:56 PM   #2
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I wouldn't even consider that scenario with a machine of that age. I gave my 733 G4 power mac to a friend last year after getting frustrated trying to setup a DSL connection on her Win98 PC! These older machines are worth very little IMO, and it doesn't make any economic sense pouring $1,400 into machine that's only worth a couple hundred.

You can get a dual 2Ghz G5 for $2,000 and it will be much, much more powerful than the upgrade you're considering. It will also be genuine Apple and will be supported by all the software companies, and it will have a 1 year warranty. You could probably sell your old G4 for a couple hundred bucks to close the gap. Otherwise, look for a refurbished warrantied dual G5. You should be able to find one of those for the same amount you're considering.

I've owned Macs since 1985 and nobody has ever persuaded me that it makes any sense to upgrade CPU's on older machines.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 01:11 PM   #3
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hi alain. you don't have to get a new machine. you can get a used dual 1.8 or dual 2.0 g5 powermac off of ebay for that price.

maybe if you were in print or design, i'd suggest an upgrade, but for an editing machine it would not be worth it as you are still dealing with a g4 with the old architecture and slow bus.

re: upgrades, i upgraded a g4 cube from 500mhz to a 1ghz g4 with 1.5gb of ram and a 200gb hd. today, it's still an excellent photoshop/illustrator machine. it does not make for a good editing machine, however.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 01:32 PM   #4
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Wow, I would have thought that with these updates this machine would have rocked...how silly!!! I'll take the advice of serious Mac users, and since you have been using it since 1985 I'll take that!!! A.J..I'll look around for those offers!! I'll reconsider this upgrade..thanks

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Old November 3rd, 2005, 01:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.J. Briones
i upgraded a g4 cube from 500mhz to a 1ghz g4 with 1.5gb of ram and a 200gb hd
Well here we're into the category of "fashion statements" so it may make sense ;-) But a Mac mini would probably leave it in the dust...
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 06:55 PM   #6
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I've been a Mac user since March 1984. I've purchased 20 Macs in that time. I also installed 7 more in a Mac Lab at a local school from donated used Macs. I've upgraded 8 of all these including the original Mac 128. I would not say unilaterally that upgrading is not worth it. In many cases it is worth it but it just depends. Make sure you look at the whole cost. Jumping to a G5 means leaving all your memory and hard disks behind. Just upgrading the processor disk and memory as you describe leaves your system and application setups in tact.

If it were a production machine I made a living on then I would do as Boyd says....keep it stock Apple. If it's not something you depend on for your livelyhood, then consider your upgrade options. Here's a middle ground, there's a place in California where you can trade in your G4 and get credit toward anything they carry. That includes factory refurbished and used. There are G5's in each category. I've purchased from them and never had a DOA. They actually put the used machines on the bench and check them out. The name of the place begins with Power and ends in Max.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 07:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Well here we're into the category of "fashion statements" so it may make sense ;-) But a Mac mini would probably leave it in the dust...
yes, it's a beautiful machine, but i've had it for, what, 4 or 5 years now? of course a brand new mac mini will toast it. then again, you'd be surprised what a cube is capable of. if i were really into upgrading, i can put a dual 1.4 in there and smoke a mini, not to mention that since it doesn't use laptop hdds like the mini, it has faster disk access. if i wanted to go hardcore, i can also get a powerlogix big cube case and upgrade the video card to something that can drive multiple monitors and actually be able to use fcp 5 quite well... but it's not cost effective, and frankly, i have no use for it.

all that said, it's a 5 year old machine, and not my primary or secondary machine. i use it once in a blue moon to make dvd covers, surf the web or make montages in the rare occasion when both the g5 and my 17" powerbook are rendering.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 02:51 PM   #8
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While your system would "rock" compared to what you had, a new iMac would probably give you better performance. To use a SATA HD you would need a PCI card too, the bus in that PowerMac I believe only supports up to 120GB and ATA3 or 6 I think.

The Dual 1.3 G4 wouldn't handle HD very well either, so if you really want HD down the line, get a G5 (new or otherwise).
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