The How-to Guide to Upgrading the Apple G4 PowerMac, with more Muscle.
March 24th, 2003

Mac’s are forever; well at the very least they out live a Windows PC’s useful life by more than a factor of four, as it appears if you look at all the early G4, G3 “Blue & White” or “Beige” models and even some Pre G3’s still used by many home users or professionals alike.

Not ever Mac is kept in operation by it’s original owner of course; a lot of you trade in or sell your Mac as soon as a newer faster one is released by Apple. Shame on you, you’ve bought into the Intel Syndrome – “Keeping up with Jones’ newer and faster one”. Doesn’t matter, used Mac are scooped up faster than burgers at a picnic, and for pretty respectable prices too!

For those of you that keep yours for three, five or even ten years as a useful tool, you don’t have to live with its original state of configuration from Apple. Sure, if your Mac is the only one you ever use to do you work and projects, you probably have no concept of it being slower than a new one you used somewhere else, perhaps just a friends recent 1GHz G4 or an outrageously priced Dual 1.42GHz “Mirror Door” G4.

So what are we talking about? Upgrading your desktop Mac “mini tower” computer is in most cases easy, satisfying and in many conditions cost effective too (depending on what your target is and the state of the accessory market). If you wait for bargains to upgrade, it may be better for you to upgrade instead of running out and buying a new one when all considerations are made.
Stick a much better "iceKey" board on your G4; so is it Hot?

“Considerations” you say? What considerations are there? Well, lets just assume that you are you are a “power user”, a term frequently applied video, audio or graphics “media” producers. You have undoubtedly spent a fair amount of time and money on the necessary hardware and software installed on your highly customized Mac. Some of that hardware may not work on the new Mac G4’s. There is also the nuisance factor of tearing down a perfectly functioning system to move hardware that may have problem, it works at all, and reinstalling all that software.

There is a third reason for upgrading; a lot of us love our Mac family member, especially if that baby has been your reliable mainstay. There is also the satisfaction of breathing a fresh breath of newer and younger life into your “love”. This is something that Wintel clone box owners will never understand, as they pitch their obsolete




year old PC’s into the over flowing trash heaps. In the PC world a six month computer is “my old” system and a year old PC is a slow “antique”.

By the way, a lot of these reasons listed above may well apply the average home Mac or Corporate user. So don’t think that you’re not above coveting your Mac enough to upgrade it.
" Upgrading your desktop Mac “mini tower” computer is in most cases easy. . . . "
Our focus -
There are a lot of upgrade possibilities out there for anyone with an old 9500/200, “B/W” or Beige G3, to a G4 Tower that’s only a couple years old. Besides the myriad of after market video cards, faster Ethernet NIC’s, a better mouse and keyboard, USB Wireless Ethernet Bridges, bigger/faster hard disk drives and RAM, you also have the many manufacturers of ZIF – PCI – Daughter Card processor upgrades available to you to supercharge your beloved Mac.

One of the processor upgrades that'll pump up your G4! See the full test results here.

We wish that we could cover all the possible Macs you can upgrade, but we just don’t have the time or budget, so we have to focus on a good representative Mac. We decided on and oldie but a goodie that were made and purchased in volumes by home, corporate and power professionals.

The other processor in the upgrade is Sonnet's new 1.25GHz Encore ST G4

We located two identical G4 400MHz “Sawtooth” mini towers; one belongs to a local school district and the other we bought from a Apple dealer for US$600., we’ll donate that one when we’re done too. And so as we said in our very popular Upgrade your G3 PowerBook series, “buckle up your seat belt” we’re off to the races in How-to Upgrade your early Mac G4 PowerPC.

Stay tuned for this series on upgrading these two identical G4 400 Sawtooth Macs, which starts on April 30th.

Easy Performance Boosts First
Processor Performance Boosts
Video Cards and the nice bits.



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