Power Macintosh G4 (AGP Graphics)
code name: Sawtooth
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"Wicked fast" is the phrase that best summarizes the breakthrough performance of the Power Mac G4 - the first personal computer classified as munitions and under export restriction because of its power.
Offering up to twice the performance of the G3 and three times the power of a Pentium III at the same clock speed, the G4 was Apple's first serious pro computer after Steve Jobs became iCEO.
Designed in graphite gray, silver, and clear plastic, it even looks professional. And with 1-4 gigaflops (billion floating point operations per second) performance at 500 MHz; by government definition when it was released in 1999, it was a supercomputer.
Note that there were two very different versions of the Power Mac G4. Even though both looked the same from the front, they have different motherboards and features. The "Yikes!" models use a modified Yosemite motherboard, while the model covered here is based on the "Sawtooth" motherboard.
The Sawtooth G4 not only has bootable USB, but it also has two separate USB controllers, "to better balance the throughput requirements of the individual USB devices on the bus." (USB Info and Benefits of Dual-Channel USB)
On October 13, 1999, Apple officially postponed the G4/500 until January due to problems Motorola was having producing a 500 MHz processor. At the same time, a G4/400 Sawtooth was introduced at the price of the G4/450 and the G4/450 was configured to replace the postponed G4/500. This could be the first time in personal computer history that any model saw a downgrade in performance without any reduction in price.
On December 2, 1999, Apple replaced the 350 MHz "Yikes" with a Sawtooth model of the same speed. Although selling for the same price, the newer model has DVD instead of CD-ROM, AGP video instead of PCI video, and the ability to accept an AirPort card. (See Apple Revs G4/350 for more information.)
The video card on G4 systems made after 1999.12.02 is "up to 40% faster" and includes a DVI interface for digital flat panel displays.
Because this model was created before Apple adopted the ADC port (which provides power to an external monitor), the Sawtooth G4 is unable to support ADC displays. It may also be incompatible with AGP 4x and later cards that include a retention tab. Because of voltage differences between the AGP 2x and 4x specs, newer cards may also be electronically incompatible with the Sawtooth G4.
Although the Sawtooth Power Macs support up to 2 GB of RAM, Mac OS 9 is only able to recognize up to 1.5 GB of RAM.
You should have the most recent firmware installed in your Power Mac G4. The newest version for this Power Mac is Power Mac G4 Firmware Update 4.2.8, which is only for Sawtooth, Gigabit Ethernet, and Digital Audio Power Macs. To install this firmware update, you must boot into Mac OS 9.1-9.2.2 from a writable partition
The "Yikes!" G4s (350 and 400 MHz) are covered on a separate page.
- G4/350 (Sawtooth) quietly introduced 1999.12.01 at $1,599;
G4/400 (Sawtooth) introduced 1999.10.13 at US$2,499
G4/450 introduced 1999.08.31 at US$2,499
G4/500 introduced 1999.08.31; available 2000.02.16 at US$3,499
- requires Mac OS 8.6 through OS X 10.4.x, 10.5 not officially supported
- CPU: 350/400/450/500 MHz PPC G4
- bus: 100 MHz
- L2 cache: 1 MB 2:1 backside cache
- Geekbench 2 (Leopard): 309 (450 MHz)
- Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 343 (500 MHz), 291 (450 MHz), 245 (400 MHz), 232 (350 MHz)
- Speedmark: 159 (500 MHz), 146 (450 MHz)
- MacBench 5 (Beige G3/300 = 1000): CPU/FPU: 1218/1438 (400 MHz), 1321/1609 (450 MHz)
- Speedometer 4.02 (Quadra 605 = 1.0): CPU: 23.4, FPU: 850 (350 MHz)
- RAM: 64/128/256 MB standard on 400/450/500 MHz models, expandable to 2 GB (although Mac OS 9 will only recognize 1.5 GB) using PC100 SDRAM (3.3V, unbuffered, 64-bit, 168-pin, 100 MHz) in 4 DIMM slots
- VRAM: 16 MB
- Video: ATI Rage 128 Pro in AGP 2x slot (was Rage 128 prior to December 1999); supports resolutions to 1600 x 1200 with 32-bit support, includes VGA and DVI ports.
- hard drive: 10/20/27 GB 7200 rpm Ultra ATA/66 on 400/450/500 MHz models. Maximum IDE drive size is 128 GB without third-party support. See How Big a Hard Drive Can I Put in My iMac, eMac, Power Mac, PowerBook, or iBook? for three options.
- DVD-ROM on G4/350, 400, original G4/450; DVD-RAM on newer G4/450, 500
- internal Zip drive (optional on G4/350)
- 3 64-bit PCI slots
- optional internal 56k modem
- microphone: standard 3.5mm minijack, compatible with line-level input including Apple's PlainTalk microphone
- three 400 Mbps FireWire ports (one internal, not on latest revision of G4/400)
- two 12 Mbps USB ports for keyboard, mouse, and peripherals
- no ADB port
- 10/100Base-T ethernet connector on back of computer
- antenna and connector for AirPort card (same card used in iBook)
- size (HxWxD): 17.0" x 8.9" x 18.4"
- weight: 30.0 lb.
- Gestalt ID: n/a
- PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
- upgrade path: via CPU upgrades
- part numbers: M6921, M7232, M7824, M7825, M7827
Accelerators & Upgrades
- 8x SuperDrive DVD±RW upgrade, MCE Technologies, $149. 8x4x12x DVD, 24x24x40x CD. 2 MB buffer. Requires OS 9 or OS X.
- for CPU upgrades, see our Guide to Power Mac G4 Upgrades
- Best Power Mac G4 deals.
- Picking up a used Power Mac G3 or G4: Is it worth it?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.18. In some cases, shipping can cost more than the computer itself. Where are the best values?
- Best classic Mac OS deals. Best online prices for System 6, 7.1, 7.5.x, Mac OS 7.6, 8.0, 8.1, 8.5, 9.0, 9.2.2, and other versions.
- Best Mac OS X 10.0-10.3 deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3.
- Best Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.4.
- Best Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard deals. Best online prices for Mac OS X 10.5.
- Unsupported Leopard installation, Dan Knight, 2007.10.31. How to install Mac OS X 10.5 on unsupported hardware - plus field reports.
- Faking out the Leopard installer with Open Firmware, Dylan McDermond, Unsupported Leopard, 2007.12.06. You don't have to hack the installer to make the Mac OS X 10.5 installer run on sub-867 MHz G4 Macs by using this simple Open Firmware trick.
- What's the best version of OS X for my Mac?, Ian R Campbell, The Sensible Mac, 2008.02.28. Which version of Mac OS X is best for your hardware depends on several factors.
- Low End Mac's Compleat Guide to Mac OS 9, 2008 edition, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.05.12. Declared dead by Steve Jobs 6 years ago, Mac OS 9 remains fast and stable, but Classic software hasn't kept up with Web changes. What Macs support OS 9, where to buy it, and how to update to version 9.2.2.
- Know your Mac's upgrade options, Phil Herlihy, The Usefulness Equation, 2008.08.26. Any Mac can be upgraded, but it's a question of what can be upgraded - RAM, hard drive, video, CPU - and how far it can be upgraded.
- WiFi hardware compatible with desktop Macs running OS X, MetaPhyzx, Mac Daniel, 2009.03.11. USB, ethernet, PCI, and other wireless hardware compatible with Mac OS X.
- WiFi adapters for desktop Macs running Mac OS 9, MetaPhyzx, Mac Daniel, 2009.02.10. USB, ethernet, PCI, and other wireless hardware compatible with the Classic Mac OS.
- Boosting a 'Digital Audio' Power Mac with a 1.53 GHz dual G4 upgrade, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Reviews, 2009.03.11. Got a faithful old Power Mac that's reliable but feeling sluggish? A fast dual-processor upgrade can make a world of difference.
- Back to Pismo, Power Mac G4 CPU vs. video upgrades, faster YouTube with older Flash, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2010.01.20. Also still using an Apple IIGS, Delete vs. Backspace key, old iBook and PowerBook power consumption, iSlate speculation, and more.
- The future of up-to-date browsers for PowerPC Macs, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.08.31. With Intel-only "Snow Leopard" shipping, software support for PPC Macs will continue its decline. Also, a look at SeaMonkey 2 and Camino 1.6.9.
- Optimized software builds bring out the best in your Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac's Online Tech Journal, 2009.06.30. Applications compiled for your Mac's CPU can load more quickly and run faster than ones compiled for universal use.
- Tips for installing or reinstalling Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger', Adam Rosen, Adam's Apple, 2009.06.10. Mac OS X 10.4 uses less memory than Leopard, supports Classic Mode on PowerPC Macs, and isn't supported on G3 Macs.
- Does using matched RAM make your Mac faster or more stable?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2009.04.28. Most Macs don't need matched memory modules and seem to run just fine with mismatched brands and capacities, but matching modules may be a bit faster.
- Hacking a WiFi PC Card to work in Apple's AirPort Card slot, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2009.04.21. Apple's AirPort Card has become expensive since it was discontinued. Here's how you may be able to adapt an 802.11b PC Card to replace it.
- Is Leopard slower than Tiger on G4 Macs?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2009.04.17. Truth be told, when you have 1 GB of RAM, Leopard benchmarks an insigificant 4% slower than Tiger.
- Is it worth maxing the RAM in old G3 and G4 Macs?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2009.04.15. Increasing memory can make your old Mac faster and make you more productive, but it probably won't improve resale value by the amount you spend.
- Dialup Is outdated, Eudora on Macintel, improving Tiger on low-end Macs, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.02.25. Ongoing frustrations with Eudora and dialup, ways to tweak Tiger for better performance, and problems with a WD MyBook external hard drive.
- Is Camino now the best browser for older Macs?, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2009.01.13. Camino 1.6.6 works very will with Mac OS X 10.3 through 10.5 and seems especially well suited for slower PowerPC Macs.
- 4 GB RAM problem persists after firmware update, TriBook concept MacBook, DIY Mac netbook, and more, The 'Book Review, 2008.12.19. Also using third-party monitors with 'Late 2008' MacBooks, MacMagSaver protects MagSafe cord, $25 802.11g USB adapter, bargain 'Books from $500 to $2,299, and more.
- The 'better safe than sorry' guide to installing Mac OS X updates, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.12.16. Most users encounter no problems using Software Update, but some preflight work and using the Combo updater means far less chance of trouble.
- Why you should partition your Mac's hard drive, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.12.11. "At the very least, it makes sense to have a second partition with a bootable version of the Mac OS, so if you have problems with your work partition, you can boot from the 'emergency' partition to run Disk Utility and other diagnostics."
- The very best Macs: Sometimes Apple just nails it, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2008.12.01. Apple has produced lots of good Macs, a few dogs, and some 'best of breed' models that stand apart from the pack.
- The long term value of a high end Mac, Andrew J Fishkin, Best Tools for the Job, 2008.11.21. Low-end Macs are more affordable up front, but the flexibility and upgrade options of a top-end Mac can make it the better value in the long run.
- Every working computer is useful to someone, Allison Payne, The Budget Mac, 2008.11.19. Whether it's a PowerBook 1400, G3 iMac, or Power Mac G4, it could be all the computer someone needs.
- Is running Leopard on a Sawtooth Power Mac G4 worth doing?, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.10.27. There are several ways to get Leopard running on an AGP Power Mac G4, but a slow CPU, limited RAM, a slow hard drive, and an old video card can bog it down.
- G3 and low end G4 Mac performance comparison, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.10.15. Factors that impact performance are the version of CPU, the size and speed of the Level 2 cache, and how much RAM is installed.
- How to clone Mac OS X to a new hard drive, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.10.07. Whether you want to put a bigger, faster drive in your Mac or clone OS X for use in another Mac, here's the simple process.
- The best browsers for older Macs running Tiger, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.09.25. A dialup user's overview of browsers for Mac OS X 10.4 puts the emphasis on reliability, downloads, and speed.
- 9 browsers for G3 and older G4 Macs compared, Simon Royal, Mac Spectrum, 2008.09.26. The latest versions of Opera, Safari, Shiira, iCab, Radon, Firefox, Demeter, Sunrise, and Camino that run on Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger".
- Reconfiguring and repurposing a Power Mac G4, John Hatchett, Recycled Computing, 2008.09.18. These 1999 'Sawtooth' Power Macs would be perfect for the science lab with more RAM, bigger hard drives, and a newer version of Mac OS X.
- Does running OS X system maintenance routines really do any good?, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.08.26. Mac OS X is designed to run certain maintenance routines daily, weekly, and monthly - but can't if your Mac is off or asleep.
- The compressed air keyboard repair, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2008.07.24. If your keyboard isn't working as well as it once did, blasting under the keys with compressed air may be the cure.
- Opera trumps Safari, flashed video cards for Macs, hacking Leopard for G3 Power Macs, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.07.11. Also expectations for future MacBooks, more power than expected from a CPU upgrade, ADB and QuickCams, Snow Leopard and PowerPC, and more.
- Turn your old Mac into a web server with Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.07.09. Step-by-step instructions for installing and configuring Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP on an older Mac.
- Turn your old Mac into a website server with free open source software, Jason Packer, Macs in the Enterprise, 2008.07.02. By installing Linux without a GUI, your old Mac can dedicate all of its resources to running Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
- 'Snow Leopard' and the death of PowerPC support, Carl Nygren, Classic Macs in the Intel Age, 2008.06.23. It looks like Mac OS X 10.6 will only support Intel Macs - and possibly only 64-bit ones at that. Should G4 and G5 owners start looking at Linux?
- How a heavily upgraded Power Mac G4 pulled me back from the Dark Side, Ben Zalutsky, No Windows for Me, 2008.06.23. Seduced by a quad-core Windows gaming rig, it was a 9-year-old Power Mac that brought him back to the Mac.
- With a 600 MHz iBook running circles around a 2.8 GHz Celeron, it was time to switch, Jason Dill, My First Mac, 2008.06.05. The author now has a MacBook, along with a couple of older, cheaper Macs for use around the house.
- Leopard on old Macs, Leopard nightmares, bargain Macs for kids, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.06.04. Also getting the right version of Mac OS 9.2.2 for Mirror Drive Door Power Macs, using PC disk images with Macs, and using an ImageWriter II printer with Mac OS X.
- Some G4 Macs not sweet enough for Leopard, low cost notebooks, SE/30 repairs, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.06.03. Also upgrading an AGP Power Mac, formerly broken iSub and Time Machine work after 10.5.3 update, and the story behind IBM compatibles.
- Upgrading a Digital Audio G4 to work better in Leopard, Carl Nygren, My Turn, 2008.06.02. In its original configuration, the dual 533 MHz Power Mac G4 was slow with Mac OS X 10.5, but add the right upgrades, and it runs Leopard quite nicely.
- SheepShaver brings Classic Mac OS to Intel Macs and Leopard, Alan Zisman, Mac2Windows, 2008.05.20. Mac OS X 10.5 doesn't support Classic Mode. Neither does Leopard. But SheepShaver lets you emulate a PowerPC Mac and run the Classic Mac OS.
- AirPort Base Stations rock, Sawtooth upgrades, when Leopard is not the way to go, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.05.19. Also running PowerBooks from Compact Flash and getting Leopard on Macs with PCI graphics.
- Leopard is the way to go, even on most old G4 Macs, Carl Nygren, My Turn, 2008.05.14. The useful and just cool features in Mac OS X 10.5 make this the biggest step forward in the history of the Mac OS.
- Macintosh peace of mind, PA Semi and the iPhone, $40 802.11g PCI card, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.05.01. Also Power Mac vs. Mac mini, more on DVD User Op Patch, 12" vs. 14" iBook, and VGA for a Power Mac 6100.
- OS X for PCs, Mac mini with HDTV, 802.11n options, upgrading from Mac OS 9, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.04.22. Also reviving a dead PowerBook 5300, Lucida Grande, external FireWire SuperDrive advice, OS X and the DeskWriter, and royalties.
- Leopard on a Cube, G4 CPU swap limitations, Power Mac G5 a good choice?, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.03.06. Also looking for a scanner that works with Panther and the hsitory of expansion slots in low-cost Macs.
- Penryn advantages, Leopard on a G4 Cube, scanner advice, upgrading Sawtooth, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.03.05. Also why no LED backlight on the new MacBook, Final Cut mostly works with integrated graphics, and Diablo II problems under Leopard.
- Safari 3.1 will be 'crazy fast', OS X 10.5.2 update, 20x SuperDrive from $35, and more, Mac News Review, 2008.02.15. Also Security Update for Tiger, Graphics Update for Leopard, Mac mini "as powerful as a larger desktop", TechTool Deluxe update, and more.
- Boosting an old Power Mac with NewerTech's 1.8 GHz G4 upgrade, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Reviews, 2008.02.01. Got a faithful old Power Mac that's reliable but feeling sluggish? A brain transplant well beyond the 1 GHz mark can make a world of difference.
- Restoring a Blue & White G3 and a 'Mystic' Power Mac G4, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2008.01.30. Both of these Power Macs had been unreliable since they were purchased (used). Patience plus trial and error got them both working reliably with Mac OS 9 and X.
- G3 and G4 Power Macs and Clamshell iBooks still useful, Ben Zalutsky, No Windows for Me, 2008.01.29. Intel CPUs may be blazingly fast, but the old G3 and G4 Macs have plenty of usable life left in them.
- MacBook Air vs. ThinkPad X300, moving from MacBook to PowerBook, USB 2.0 cables, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2008.01.22. Also another crumbling G3 iMac, a Rev. B iMac brought back from the dead, 'fencing in' type in HTML, and Leopard on an AGP Power Mac G4.
- Upgrading a Power Mac G4 on the cheap, Mark Garbowski, My Turn, 2008.01.04. For under $200, the author upgraded memory, dropped in a SuperDrive, added a better video card, and moved up to USB 2.0.
- Flash drive reliability, going back to Tiger, Classic emulation, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.12.19. Also looking for good video card options for use with Leopard on older Macs, and one more unsupported Leopard report.
- Leopard on a G3 iMac (with a G4 upgrade), flashed video card problems, the cheapest G4 Mac, and More, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.12.03. More unsupported Leopard reports point to the importance of a good video card, success on a CRT iMac with a G4/550 upgrade, and whether Sawtooth or Quicksilver is a better buy.
- Cooler laptops, a G4 recording studio, a fast Unicode text editor, and phantom email, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2007.12.03. Quieter, cooler running notebooks, a Power Mac G4-based recording studio using Mac OS 9, a fast text editor with great Unicode support, and phantom email in Mail in OS X 10.3.9.
- Leopard with 384 MB RAM, on a PowerBook G4/550, benchmarked, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.11.06. Leopard on Digital Audio, Quicksilver, and Sawtooth Power Macs. Questions on CPU load in OS X 10.5 and whether beige G3s and PCI Power Macs might run it.
- Best AGP Mac video card, Leopard on 667 MHz PowerBook G4 and 'Sawtooth' Power Macs, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.11.01. Also questions about booting a Pismo PowerBook from Compact Flash in a PCMCIA reader and whether Leopard might run in a G4-upgraded Power Mac 7500 or G3.
- Unsupported Leopard reports: Sawtooth, Mystic, Digital Audio, Quicksilver, and TiBook success, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.10.31. Readers report that Leopard can be installed for PowerPC Macs from Intel Macs. Also success stories for AGP, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio, Quicksilver, and a 400 MHz PowerBook G4.
- CF in a clamshell iBook, Leopard on a 400 MHz AGP Power Mac, VGA ports on Macs, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.10.30. Also graphics card options for AGP Power Macs, KompoZer and Claris Home Page, installing Mac OS 8.6, and Zune price drop.
- Leopard faster than Tiger on Intel, slower on PowerPC, and possible below 867 MHz, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.10.29. Early benchmarks indicate Mac OS X 10.5 is 10-15% slower than 10.4 on PowerPC, while 64-bit Leopard on Intel Core 2 hardware is over 5% faster. Also Sawtooth and Cube success stories.
- Leopard on a 1999 AGP Power Mac, Leopard upgrade problems, fixes for Menu Bar and Dock, and more, Mac News Review, 2007.10.29. Also software updates from Apple, tips on using Time Machines and Spaces, a better volume control for OS X 10.5, and more.
- Unsupported Leopard installation and the truth about Leopard DVD Player system requirements, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.10.25. How to create a hacked Leopard installer, and exactly what benefit you gain from a 1.6 GHz CPU with DVD Player under Leopard.
- The future of early G4 Power Macs in the Age of Leopard, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2007.10.04. Mac OS X 10.5 ships this month. Even if it can run on Yikes, Sawtooth, and Mystic Power Mac G4 models, can you expect it to run well?
- APG Card Compatibility, The Mac Elite, 2007.08.09. Guide to which ATI and Nvidia AGP video cards are compatible with which AGP Power Macs.
- Importance of G3 support in 10.5, clever USB/FireWire solution, upgrade options, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.05.01. Also the loss of the PowerBook brand, upgrading to an Intel iMac, Korg and the Mac, Quadra boot problems, and the value of a Mac Classic.
- Format any drive for older Macs with patched Apple tools, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2007.04.25. Apple HD SC Setup and Drive Setup only work with Apple branded hard drives - until you apply the patches linked to this article.
- Is Apple TV a Mac?, upgrading a Power Mac G4, troubleshooting a Beige G3, and more, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Mailbag, 2007.04.12. Also accessing files on floppies and old Mac on a new Mac, satisfaction and consumerism, and 10th anniversary feedback.
- 2 GHz upgrade for G4 Power Macs, Apple named in Bluetooth suit, Boot Camp gains Vista support, and more, Mac News Review, 2007.03.30. Also Macs vs. Windows for gaming, Apple's share of high-end market, upcoming Core 2 CPUs to pass 3 GHz, 802.11n for Intel Mac mini, and more.
- Allegro USB 2.0 a great way to add several USB 2.0 ports to your Power Mac, Dan Knight, Low End Mac Reviews, 2007.03.28. You can never have too many USB ports. Whether your Power Mac has no USB 2.0 ports or too few, this $30 card is a great way to add the ports you need.
- 11 ways to optimize your Mac's performance, Ed Eubanks Jr, The Efficient Mac User, 2007.03.12. If your Mac is getting sluggish, here are 11 tips that can help restore its original performance.
- $25 802.11g card for PCI Macs, drive support for 802.11n AirPort Extreme, Adtron ups flash disks, and more, Mac News Review, 2007.03.02. Also firmware update info for Intel Macs, washable medical mouse and keyboard, TechTool Protogo, and more.
- Adding an Intel Mac mini can be cheaper than upgrading a Power Mac G4!, Dan Knight, Mac Daniel, 2007.02.14. Looking at the cost of upgrading memory, adding a fast hard drive, and a GHz-plus CPU upgrade, buying a new Core Duo Mac mini makes a lot of sense.
- Upgrade the Power Mac or buy an Intel Mac mini?, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.11.30. With 1.8 GHz dual G4 upgrades selling for US$600, it might make more sense to add a Core Duo Mac mini than upgrade the processor.
- AMD rumors gain traction, 2.0 GHz G4 upgrade, JukeDock for iPod, FireWire/USB 2.0 combo drive, and more, Mac News Review, 2006.11.22. Future Macs may have AMD CPUs, MAXPower G4 upgrades hit 2 GHz, Apricorn's new combo hard drive, colorful JukeDock, and more.
- How much Mac do you really need to run OS X?, Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2006.11.16. You don't need dual-core Intel processors to read email or use the Web. Here are some 1999-2001 Macs that could be all you need.
- Disabling deep sleep on MacBooks, 'Other Red' a scam?, mixed RAM can reduce performance, and more, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.11.13. Also other disk utilities Mac owners should know about, Lombard cooling, Netscape 7 on OS 9, Final Vinyl for ripping LPs, and more.
- Why a 7-year-old Power Mac G4 replaced a Mac mini, Andrew J Fishkin, The Mobile Mac, 2006.10.31. There's a lot more to productive computing power than CPU speed. The old Power Mac lets you add a second video card, a fast hard drive, and lots more that the Mac mini can't.
- Using FireWire Target Disk Mode to install OS X on Macs without DVD drives, Charles Moore, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2006.09.14. Two methods for using FireWire Target Disk mode to install OS X on a Mac that can't read DVDs.
- Customizing Mac OS 9, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.08.01. Fiddling with themes, picking a browser, and making the Classic Mac OS work just the way you want it to.
- End of G4 models points to unprecedented value for used G4 Macs, Leaman Crews, Plays Well with Others, 2006.06.02. The PowerPC G4 may no longer have a place in Apple's product line, but that's a far cry from saying G4-based Macs are obsolete. If anything, their value is going to increase.
- Making the move from Jaguar (OS X 10.2) to Panther (10.3), Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2006.04.11. One advantage of Apple's "no upgrades" policy for OS X - someone can give you their old copy after upgrading without worrying about violating their license.
- Chronically ailing Yikes! G4 cured while overclocking, Hardy Menagh, Empowered, 2006.04.05. This PCI Power Mac G4 had been acting up for years and resisted all attempts to bring stability. But when the new owner attempted to overclock it, things became clear.
- What to buy when the old Beige G3 is just too sluggish, Ted Hodges, Vintage Mac Living, 2006.03.27. When your old Power Mac G3 just can't keep up with your needs under OS X, it's time to look at the used Power Mac G4 market. The difference in speed can be astounding.
- Picking a Power Mac G4: How much Mac do you need?, Charles Webb, PowerBook Beat, 2006.03.22. Today's laptop computers can be great primary computers, but sometimes you need things only a desktop model can offer. A used Power Mac G4 can be a good choice.
- Web browser tips for the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2006.01.03. Tips on getting the most out of WaMCom, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, iCab, Opera, and WannaBe using the classic Mac OS.
- The best browsers for PowerPC Macs and the classic Mac OS, Nathan Thompson, Embracing Obsolescence, 2005.12.16. Two browsers stand out from the pack: iCab 3 is modern and remains under development, and WaMCom brings Mozilla to older Macs.
- Adding a DIP switch and overclocking Sawtooth's bus speed, Chris Placzek, Mac Daniel, 2005.11.30. How to install a DIP switch and overclock Sawtooth's system bus to 120 MHz.
- How Big a Hard Drive Can I Put in My iMac, eMac, Power Mac, PowerBook, or iBook?, Dan Knight, Mac Daniel, 2005.10.24. A lot of older Macs don't know how to deal with drives over 128 GB in size. We look at three options.
- Picking an older Power Mac: Go G4, Adam Robert Guha, Apple Archive, 2005.04.18. If you plan on running OS X, the G4 processor makes a big difference - and older Power Mac G4s are very affordable these days.
- Sonata SD, Sonnet Tech, 2004.06.01. First new PCI video card for the Mac in ages sells for just US$99, supports OS 7.5.3 and later plus OS X 10.1.5 and later, works with VGA or old Mac monitors, 16 MB VRAM.
- How about giving your old Sawtooth a faster graphics card?, Rob Art Morgan, Bare Feats, 2002.08.22, since updated. Recommends ATI Radeon 8500 Mac Edition as the "best bet" video upgrade card for Sawtooth.
- Shot in the foot again: Firmware update disables RAM, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2001.03.25. "...we should not be at risk of losing some or all of the memory in our Macs because of a firmware update."
- SCSI and FireWire Disk Modes, Paulo Rodrigues, Tangerine Fusion, 2000.11.29. How to use SCSI Disk Mode and FireWire Target Disk Mode for ultrafast file transfers.
- Upgrade G4/Sawtooth to 500 MHz or buy new dual processor G4?, Bare Feats, 2000.09.15. Considering resale value of a slower G4, which gives more bang for the buck?
- Review: Sonnet Tempo Ultra ATA66 Macintosh PCI Host Adapter, Dan Knight, 2000.07.28. The most economical way to put IDE support in a PCI Power Mac.
- Benchmark: Rage128 Pro vs. Rage128, Accelerate Your Mac, 2000.02.05. Compares original G4 AGP video card with current version (available from Apple for $99 with OS 9).
- Benchmark: Yikes vs. Sawtooth G4/400, Bare Feats, 1999.12.17. How much faster is the new motherboard?
- Is G4/400 a good value?, Charles Moore, Applelinks, 1999.09.02
- Power Mac G4: How to Differentiate Between Models, Apple TIL 58418
- Apple Spec: Power Mac G4 (AGP graphics)
- Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) boot times for Power Mac with the GeForce 6200 fall into the 4-5 minute range, and was initially suggested that you install Leopard with the Mac's original video card to avoid slowing down the process. "gotoh" has posted the fix in The Mac Elite Forum. The delay is due to Leopard not supporting temperature sensors in G4 Macs. Simply remove AppleHWSensor.kext from /System/Library/Extensions, and the delay goes away.
- Power Macs earlier than the 2002
Quicksilver models do not have built-in support for IDE hard drives
with capacities over 128 GB. Without a third-party solution, larger
drives can only be formatted to 128 GB in these models. There are three
options (as noted on
Accelerate Your Mac):
- Intech's ATA Hi-Cap Support Driver
- A PCI IDE card that supports big drives
- A FireWire enclosure that supports big drives
- Power Mac G4 (AGP): Single channel SCSI cards may interfere with wake from sleep, Apple Knowledge Base, 2002.07.22. Computer may incorrectly assume card supports power down mode and not wake properly from sleep under OS 8.6.
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