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Power Up That iMac 131

JimRay writes: "A company called powerlogix has announced that they are offering a G-3 upgrade for those fruity iMacs. For a mere US$500, you can have an iMac running at 500mhz with 1mb of backside cache. Throw linuxPPC on that thing and you're ready to rock and roll. The press release is here and the specs are here."
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Power Up That iMac

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  • I love it when people rip up the iMac's and put bigger monitors and stuff on em :)

    Mike Roberto ( [mailto]) -GAIM: MicroBerto
  • It's great when you can make one of these little cuties go faster, but what about making one into an acqarium, has anyone done that yet? I'm just not ready to porr the $1000 down the drain, so to speak.
  • by Phroggy ( 441 ) <slashdot3&phroggy,com> on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @03:55AM (#990504) Homepage
    Why does everyone seem to assume that LinuxPPC is the only distribution of Linux that runs on an iMac? What's up with that?

    For a list of distros, check Apple's Linux page []. Of course, NetBSD [] and OpenBSD [] are available as well.


  • Finally, now you can have your iFruit and eat it, too. With a nice processor and the ATI Rage card that they come with, you can play a decent game of Quake on them now. (Yeah, you could install LinuxPPC, too. How cool would that be?) Too bad they don't offer 500 MHz G4 upgrade cards!
  • Whilst the iMac was at the time a decently specced machine, that wasn't the reason people went and bought it, and it certainly wasn't what Apple were pushing in their advertising campaigns. After all, it was meant to appeal to the family rather than the geek, and in that respect it certainly succeeded.

    But surely this kind of owner isn't really going to care one way or the other about upgrading their iMac so that it runs faster? After all, $500 is a fair bit of money to spend on something that intangible to most people, and there isn't quite the same situation on the Mac as on the PC where if you don't have the latest CPU/graphics card/whatever you can't run anything released within the last six months.

    No, it's a good service, but I can't see there being that much demand for it.

    Jon E. Erikson
  • I've seen photos of a plastic molding company's receptionist's iMac which they transformed to fill it's inner cavity (the clear space above the monitor tube) with a live tropical aquarium.

    The iMac's natural warmth keeps the water temperature at adequate level for the fish (1). The iMac's handle was detatched to provide access to the tank for servicing.

    The company uses it to prove a point: bring 'em a design, and they can mold it.

    They also refuse to sell kits, to preserve the uniqueness of the machine.
  • by Racher ( 34432 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @04:01AM (#990508)
    I don't know where you guys get your mac info but it is about the oldest in the world. If I knew the slashdot community was interested in this I would have submitted it a long time ago.

    And F.Y.I. there are two vendors of iMac upgrades the other one is Newer Technologies [].

    Except the way Newer Tech does is buy your old CPU/ROM combo card and replace the CPU.

    Powerlogix, My favorite Mac Upgrade company, has figured out how to pull the ROM and place it on the hard drive and then when you install the new CPU it will flash it into the one on their chip. Pretty sweet idea if I do say so myself.

    ...and I'm not sure we should trust this Kyle Sagan either.
  • so, you take out the old, 200 or 233 daughterboard from your imac, and what do you do with it? throw it out? no!

    you send it back to powerlogix (and get a refund off your purchase), so they can pop the processor loose and make another 500 mhz daughterboard out of it. i read about this a while ago in the mac media, and the thing that took so long to get started was that powerlogix needed to get a critical density of the older imac boards.

    that's the only way they can upgrade the imac's daughterboard without some serious reverse engineering of the apple proprietary boards. pretty smart, if you ask me.

  • Actually, the reason I got my iMac was that it was dirt cheap. I bought it off of a friend who got a powerbook, and I am quite intrested in upgrading my iMac rev.B. (I am also quite intrested in getting a G4 instead :-)
    -Mr. Macx

  • I want pictures. Are there pictures?

    It sounds like this was one of the newer 350-400MHz models, the ones that you can actually see all the way through?


  • Since the iMac's G3 just sits in a standard ol' ZIF socket, just like any other G3, this upgrade isn't terribly spectacular. The only change over a standard G3 that I can think of it that it's got to be multiplyer locked. The "jumpers" on the iMac that determine bus speed and CPU multipler require soldering to change, so this would be about the only obsticle to jump over. But then again, multiplyer locking is something that's pretty common place amugst other *coughIntelcough* manufactures, so R&D probably wasn't too big of a deal.

    In other words, yea, you can upgrade an iMac's processor. It's not like it's soldered on the board or anything.
  • As IBM, Compaq, and HP move their PC business to a direct model, the promotional soft dollars that sustained corporate resellers have diminished dramatically and now jeopardize reseller channel viability. Since January 2000, major PC resellers (CompuCom, Inacom, MicroAge, Comark, GE Capital ITS) have suffered significant setbacks. For example, since selling its distribution arm to Compaq, Inacom has received numerous customer complaints about deteriorating service and poor morale. Therefore, most Component providers like PowerLogix must aggressively reposition themselves as higher-service-level providers (e.g., inventory financing) or face major business viability questions (e.g., MicroAge declared Chapter 11 in April). Bottom Line: Large PC buyers should quickly build direct relationships with component vendors like PowerLogix to insulate themselves from further (expected) reseller channel disruptions. This will allow products such as iForce to add true value to the market instead of merely providing parts.
  • For $300, you get a 400MHz board with 512k of cache - a much better deal for most. $500 to upgrade an older Rev. A through D iMac isn't such a big whoop, when you're constrained to Rage Pro graphics and a 66 MHz system bus. But for $300 (OK, $299), it's a nice way to kick a little life into the old iMac. I may get one for my wife's iMac, and then set her up with ViaVoice once she has the processor to chew through it properly.

    Just to point it out, the current 2.0 iMacs run at 350 and 400 MHz, but with a 100 MHz system bus and the ability to use standard SDRAM DIMMs (not the laptop SO-DIMMs the older ones use). This processor upgrade is only for the older ones.

    The one other thing to keep in mind is that Apple is almost a lock to announce new iMacs at Macworld next month, given that the current line dates back to October with no changes since then. At the very least, expect a speed bump in the current models, with possibly more RAM added, and maybe things like a DVD added to the low end model and price cuts as well. Apple makes a lot of profit on iMacs, relative to most low-end systems.

    - -Josh Turiel
  • I thought Apple pulled the plug on the hard ware clones. Now although this isn't a full blown Mac Clone, isn't it getting close to that "thin line"? Maybe someone here with more Mac-ese than me will remember the latest rules Apple has on their own downfall, oops, I mean policies.

    When did the iMac come out? I thought it was just last year, but then again, I have this 10 year old running around the house calling himself my son! Where the hell did that come from??

    If it was just a year ago, it seems awfully fast for it to be *so slow*. However maybe if it's 2 years ago, it's about time. Goes to show that the release of the iMac was all show & style (not necessarily a bad thing, i guess) but not much ooomph.

    I'm glad to have a cheaper PC solution, and allowed to buy any component I need to play the upgrade game. Certainly beats higher Mac prices, and mostly purchases that must include the whole kabang. It's certainly the deciding factor on my choice of platforms. Not only that, but if someone was willing to spend more, we can build & buy PC's that are server status and for business solutions... We've got SCSI solutions, RAID, multiple CPU's, GB of RAM, and more cache solutions. However, without a doubt, I could make arguments that IBM's miniframes could eat PC's for lunch...


  • by Racher ( 34432 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @04:05AM (#990516)
    I'm sorry but Powerlogix doesn't do that with the daughter cards, you are thinking of Newer Technologies []. They do that with the daughter cards, this post is incorrect. PowerLogix [] pulls the ROM off the original board and flashes it onto their upgrade board.

    CPU upgrades for the iMac have been around for a long time, the one from Powerlogix is actually semi-normal, instead of mailing off your daughter baord to be used in another upgrade.

    ...and I'm not sure we should trust this Kyle Sagan either.
  • Apple shouldn't mind. This will not reduce demand for iMacs at all. If they decide to bring out a 500MHz iMac, then it will be cheaper than a 233Mhz machine + a 500MHz upgrade.

    Besides, Apple have no tradition of preventing people from doing whatever the hell they want with their hardware. why would they start now?
  • doesn't newer tech have an upgrade for imacs. They had it a few months ago. Old news.

  • wrong. i have three words. complete hardware integration. i have never had 1) an irq setting problem. 2) hardware fry on me 3) ide/ata cards blow on my macs. have had bad hw is every pc i bought, and i NEVER bought off brand stuff.

    They still make the best hw. not the fastest chips mind you, but the best hw in terms of life of svc.

  • my mistake. that was newer tech that was doing that daughterboard swap. nevermind.

  • i agree that apple would probably like to respond in this way, but aren't these modifications legal? especially since they are only modifying apple hardware and not doing any reverse engineering or anything (which should be legal), isn't this unquestionably legal? by purchasing an imac, don't you have the right to do whatever you want with it (install software, upgrade hardware, hit it with a hammer, install a new processor, ...)? i guess not if it was a dvd, but i don't think that "virus" has spread this far yet...
  • by Penrif ( 33473 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @04:08AM (#990522) Homepage
    Apple will probably (sue them/modify future Imacs so this modification is not possible/otherwise behave in a fashion considered anti-social by the geek culture at large.) Pick one.

    Well, if history has its way, none of the above will happen. Powerlogix (and a handfull of other companies) have been making Apple processor upgrades for a rather long time. No sueing, no odd modifications, no underhanded tricks. Is it really odd to think that Apple might actually *want* you to be able to upgrade your computer without buying a new one? Apple offered accelerators like this for quite a while, I'm not entirly sure why they stopped, but they certainly aren't making any moves trying to stop others.

    It's not like they're Microsoft.
  • The reason it is so difficult to upgrade an iMac CPU is the Apple created a daughterbaord with the CPU, RAM slot, and proprietary ROM chip.

    The main reason it took this long is because the manufactures had to figure out a way to create a card that still uses the proprietary ROM code.

    If it was that simple as swaping ZIF G3s, I would have done that a long time ago.

    ...and I'm not sure we should trust this Kyle Sagan either.
  • Newer Technology [] has had iMac upgrades for several months. Theirs are 466Mhz w/1MB cache.

    The main difference is how the manufacturers got around the issue of the Apple boot ROMs being on the processor daughtercard. Newer has you mail back the original daughtercard, which they then solder a new G3 on. (So yes, your card is technically a refurb) They are a little cheaper, though -- $450.

    The guys from Powerlogix pulled a somewhat slicker trick. They apparently have a utility which reads the contents of the boot ROM and stores it on the hard drive. Their card uses flash ROM and the contents of the file are flashed to the card when you install it. Therefore you don't need to send your card back for them to make more upgrade cards -- and your card is brand new.

    I don't think you can use either card with a rev D iMac, but it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to spend big bucks to upgrade a 400Mhz machine to 466 or 500Mhz. It's a more attractive deal if you have a rev A or B model (233 or 266Mhz) especially since those two can take Voodoo2 upgrades (yeah, yeah, pretty old but still an improvement over the built-in ATI chipsets).

    What's of more interest is that Powerlogix may use the same technique to offer upgrades for the Wallstreet Powerbooks.

  • With one o' them, those lil' gumdrops would certainly need some cooling, wouldn't they.

    So much for fanless Imacs.
  • >Throw LinuxPPC on that thing and you're ready to >rock and roll.

    Without being disrespectful of LinuxPPC but these (and coming) upgrades are especially interesting in the perspective of the advent of MacOS X. Don't forget: it will offer the stability and technical quality of a *nix system (FreeBSD) combined with probably the most user-friendly interface (Apple's Aqua) and a bunch of apps (including the "indispensable" MS Office)


  • @*$@. I keep confusing my painted G3 with an iMac. My bad.

  • Apple will probably (sue them/modify future Imacs so this modification is not possible/otherwise behave in a fashion considered anti-social by the geek culture at large.) Pick one.

    Remember, the DMCA only applies to software, music and DVDs, not hardware. Fair use still applies. If you want to swap out your CPU, you can do so. Not only that, but as someone else pointed out, PowerLogix and Newer Technologies have been at this for a long time already, and Apple has no objections. The CPUs are expensive enough that the upgrade manufacturers aren't really detracting from Apple's hardware sales.

    As for releasing a new iMac, well, wait one month. I don't know about compatibility.


  • Except Apple did change the ROM in the "new world" Blue & White G3 machines to disable ZIF upgrading last year. The upgrade companies found a way around it, but it was Apple's first attempt at locking those companies out.

    Also, for $285 you can have a 450MHz 1MB 2:1 cache aluminum Motorola ZIF from OWC. Copper really is the way to fly, but it won't make a $200+ difference in an old iMac.
  • by B-B ( 169492 )
    tell that to the many g3-500 Mhz powerbook owners.
  • PowerPC 750 @ 400, or 500 MHz

    That's from the stats sheet. If my memory serves, a PowerPC 750 is a G3.

  • Oh, no... I can just see hundreds of people frying themselves on the monitor anode... and hundreds of iMac motherboards fried from inadequate anti-static measures. Eugggh....
  • Nope. The little heatsink would still pull it off. That's why 500mhz G3s are used in laptops.
  • It was a iMac DV Special Edition (like the one I have).

    The photos I saw were prints, at a trade show. So I dont have ditigal images or links to point to (I would have put them in, otherwise, if not only for karma reasons).

    The aquarium portion had a couple of tubes comming out of the side of the iMac for water filtering and bubling. There were barbles in the bottom, instead of rocks. This allowed "some" view of the underlying machine.

    I guess anyone with the guts and plexiglass could do it. I sure wont try before my warantee is over (and even then... maybe just a hamster cage).
  • According to their web page [], the PowerPC port is relatively new and only a few machines are supported. In the list of hardware platforms under development, they claim:

    • Apple PowerMac systems with at least a 603 processor and OpenFirmware.
    • Only the Apple imac (333Mhz) currenly has driver support.
    • Other systems supported with hardware availability and driver information. more recent systems will be given priority over older/slower systems.

    This isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. Stick with NetBSD.

  • OK, sorry to reply to myself, but I think I have my iMac revisions crossed up -- I can't keep track anymore.

    rev A - original 233Mhz
    rev B - still 233Mhz, VRAM upgraded to 6MB
    rev C - 266Mhz, no more mezzanine slot
    rev D - 333Mhz
    rev E - current 350/400Mhz, fanless models

    I probably forgot something, but I *think* this is correct. The upgrade cards work in revs A-D.
  • Actually, the fanless iMacs also use G3 processors. The G3 uses considerably less power than any of the Intel/AMD chips. The G3's use around 5 watts while an Intel mobile Pentium III consumes around 7.5 watts. The G4's are only slightly higher than the G3s. I believe (this part I'm not sure of) that they consume 6-7 watts. Motorolla and IBM have done an excellent job with the PowerPC family.
  • not the fastest chips mind you, but the best hw in terms of life of svc.

    The processor speeds are NOT meassured by Mhz. Comparing PowerPC 750 and Intel chips on a Mhz basis is not even close to adequate. There is much more involved in the "speed" tests.

    Check this [] for information regarding Processor comparisons.
  • Apple actively encourages the development of third party upgrade solutions. It is one of the great benefits of a swapable chip board which Apple implemented 6 years ago when PCs were still gloating over ZIF sockets.

    I am very intrigued that there is still someone out there who takes pleasure in beating a dead horse, shouting Apple is dying!

    Instead, I would recommend giving hearty thanks to the inovators who have single-handedly put both USB and FireWire on the development map. Today you and I both have better, faster and more interesting computers thanks to Apple.
  • Posted by 11223:

    Why would I put Linux on a 500mHz G3 in the first place? Geez. You'd think the world revolves around linux - nope, I'm sticking MacOS X on that sucker. Why not Linux? Any sort of box can run Linux. A 500mHz G3 is good for running MacOS - that's it, running MacOS and heavy-dudy media software. (Or take a PCI 604-based mac and make it a G3 - and run BeOS!). While I respect Linux as a platform, you shouldn't put Linux on everything, because it becomes just another Linux box.
  • Actually you don't have to get anywhere near the anode cap to do anything to the processor on both the older iMacs and the newer slot loading cdrom ones. The monitor, or analog section as Apple likes to refer to it, is completely separate from the rest of digital stuff inside. I guess you could accidently jab a screwdriver into the flyback or something but it would take some talent. Of course, your ESD concern is valid.
  • Boy am I glad I sold my imac and bought a pc! Sheesh, $500! And no half life!

    What a huge mistake apple made when they didn't allow clones to be made of macs. Even when they started them late, they were going so great! Oh well, I guess they'll just remain a niche market for a long time to come.

    Michael Cardenas
  • NeXTStep isn't FreeBSD, and never was.
    As to if OSX Consumer will actually offer the
    *power* of a unix system, that's something I'll
    wait to see. It seems likely to me that Apple will
    hide from people :(
    It seems to me that the way they're handling
    the dock is a bad sign for the OSX interface --
    I'd rather have had them just adopt NeXTStep
    almost as-is...

    MS Office just isn't interesting. It'll be a
    casualty of the revolution soon anyhow.
  • I have a Lombard 400 Mhz G3 PowerBook. I know it only has a 66 Mhz system bus, but the only thing that has kept me from upgrading is the fact that the new 2K PB's killed SCSI in place of FireWire. I'd rather have SCSI, and I can get a FireWire PCMCIA card. What really kills me though, is the fact that the new PB's have AirPort antennas built in...

    Anyway, I'd like to see somebody make an upgrade for Lombards...the only thing holding 'em back is the ROM issue.

    Hopefully, we'll see some Wallstreet/Lombard upgrades soon...

    Kevin, MCSE+I/MCT (I'm no bigot, waiting for MacOS X, hehe)
  • NeXT wasn't FreeBSD, but OS X is largely based on a Mach/FreeBSD hybrid.

    And how exactly are they "handling the dock?" At the WWDC, Apple employees were scribbling like mad jotting down developer complaints about OS X.

    And MS Office may not be interesting to you, but it's naive to think it's going away.
  • iMacs are cute. I'd like one as a decorator, and if it ran Linux I could justify if as having some sort of useful function, even just as a web client.

    But make me use a monitor that size ? That's Cruel and Unusual Punishment in my book.

  • well i already have a voodoo 2 in this thing, and i'm posting this from linuxppc, so looks like this thing is right up my alley :) (even with just the v2, i get playable framerates w/ q3, this'll just make it comfy.)
  • Everything I've heard about the system indicated
    that the kernel was going to be a custom-modified
    version of Mach 3.0 . If there's anything at all
    from FreeBSD in the OS, it's no doubt in userland
    Unix utilities, which are hardly a significant
    part of this OS.

    WRT the dock, Apple at least seems committed to
    the dock, and to it being a hybrid of Windows'
    task mangler and the NeXTStep dock. That's just
    a fundimental misdesign -- the very act of having
    them together will create confusion.

    MS Office may be interesting to you now, but it's
    naive to think that it'll still be big a few years
    from now.
  • newertech has a boneheaded distributor that refuses to ship anything outside the us. i'm a us military member overseas in korea, and they still won't even ship it to me. their loss.
  • Preaching to the choir here. I still bleed in 6 colors. But even according to Mac Addict tests the 1GHZ Athlon beats the 500 MHz G4, even with Altivec enabled. Yes, the 500 G4 would stomp all over even an 800 MHz Athlon...but fair is fair. Apple lost the speed crown.

    This says nothing about their totally superior HW, though.

  • Wow, CPU upgrades for personal computers. What will they think of next?

  • The iMac was released on August 15th, 1998 at 233 MHz. Since then there have been several updates, and current iMacs are 400MHz (or 350MHz for the $999 ones). The PowerPC [] 750 is not a slow CPU, but at 233MHz, some people want faster.

    Apple did pull the plug on Mac clones in '97, but they've never had a problem with other companies selling Mac-compatible hardware. Remember that every Mac clone has an Apple-licensed (not just approved, but licensed, as in copyright) motherboard and ROM. The Mac OS wouldn't work without that ROM, so it would only work on Apple or Apple-licensed systems. However, Mac OS X removes this limitation (it may take a little hacking to get it to work on non-Apple mobos, but hey, it's open source [] so you can do that), so we should be seeing Mac clones with no Apple-imposed restrictions popping up within the next few years.


  • I can just see hundreds of people frying themselves on the monitor anode

    Nope! The logic board slips our from under the CRT enclosure, both on the older C1-type iMacs and the later ones. No need to go near the anode cap or the PSU ...

    Pete C (wrote some of the iMac diagnostics ...)
  • Significant portions of the Darwin codebase were lifted from FreeBSD. I don't believe it is just user-space programs.

    I don't agree the dock is a mis-design, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here.

    And I didn't say MS Office would be "big", I said it won't go away. Excel is way, way entrenched.
  • To make things even more interesting...
    Apple sold some Powermacs 9500 and 8500 with dual processor cards made by Daystar.
    Apple always provided the specs of the processorcards to everybody.
  • how did you put a voodoo2 in a computer with no open PCI slots?
  • $1299 is 'dirt cheap'?

    Or did you get one when they were $999? Well, I'm sure they're cheaper now, but a PC of that 'class' would cost like, $400...
  • But make me use a monitor that size ? That's Cruel and Unusual Punishment in my book.

    Well, it's not too bad considering they'll easily go to 32-bit 1024x768 @ 75Hz and still remain crisp and clear. I've one in front of me here .... Using one for development is a bit eye-boggling, tho'!

    Pete C
  • It's called a Mezzanine slot, and is no longer part of the iMac's motherboard. It was there for the first 2 generations.


    Freedom is Slavery! Ignorance is Strength! Monopolies offer Choice!
  • Posted by 11223:

    There's something special about a 500mHz G3 - you can run MacOS on it. You can't run MacOS on an Alpha, or an Intel box. A 500mHz G3 is good because it's the fastest avaiable MacOS box, not because it's the fastest available BeOS, BSD, or Linux box. It's not for any of those.
  • if it ran Linux I could justify if as having some sort of useful function, even just as a web client.

    Silly rabbit, FUD is for kids! It does run LinuxPPC [].
  • Apple will probably (sue them/modify future Imacs so this modification is not possible/otherwise behave in a fashion considered anti-social by the geek culture at large.) Pick one.

    Think again, Greyfox. Consider that this won't really hurt Apple's business, since the cost of buying an iMac and accellerating it to a 500Mhz G3 could buy you a 400Mhz G4 and half a decent monitor (although, granted, not from Apple).

    Then consider the goodwill that Apple customers usually hold for Apple as their machines last them around twice what a PC would. And how much more an accerator card adds to that.

    Ushers will eat latecomers.

  • haha I haven't fallen for that one in a while... nice to see its still goin strong.
  • A hamster cage with the back of a CRT monitor in the middle of it... that does not sound like a very good idea to me, unless you really don't like hamsters.
  • What a huge mistake apple made when they didn't allow clones to be made of macs. Even when they started them late, they were going so great! This makes no sense.

    1) The clones took away their market share, low as it already was.

    2) The Second Coming of Steve Era has been a financial success compared to the previous 3-5 years or so.

    Sure, people thought it was a bad choice to stop the clones then, but now history has shown otherwise.

    dman123 forever!

  • Its for an mac SE but it could be modified instructions []
  • by MacSlash ( 200029 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2000 @06:33AM (#990567) Homepage

    Over at MacSlash [] we covered the news last week in this story []. We've got some more details, and some good links for more information.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that Newer Technologies [] makes a pretty sweet iMac upgrade, too. Their videotape installation makes it easy to pop in and go, although it's only 466 mhz, as opposed to the 500 discussed in the article above.


  • I recall that this story was on slashdot last year. I'd look it up if I wasn't such a lazy fuck.

    Seemed to me Apple didn't like other companies monkeying with their hardware. And as sue happy as the industry is these days, nothing would surprise me.

  • For a 500 MHz... I'll stick with PC's where I can get an entire new 500 Mhz for less than a 300 Mhz iMac.
  • by keepper ( 24317 )
    The lead devloper of the darwin , the basis of MacOS X, is a FreeBSD developer, enough said....

    The kernel started being a mach/Next System, then , some stuff was taken from netbsd, and now, then they started a full source sync with FreeBSD, now mostly finished ( to their purpose of course )... well, the recognize quality when they see it ;)

    Read, people, read before you post :P []
  • Or the corollary:

    Why does everyone assume that people want to run something other than a MacOS on Apple hardware?
  • Amen. Another source of PPC distros is [].

    --Tom Geller
    Co-founder, The OpenPPC Project []

  • Who cares if the g4's clockspeed isn't as high? The fact that everybody is so opssessed with their clock speeds is a result of intel's indoctrinization of 'clock speed good- archetectual advanced bad'. The mac g4 can't be exported because it's legally classified as a supercomputer, and therefore has 'stratigic military value'. It has a 128-bit RISC processor, while intel's still living in 32-bit CISC land (but they're comming out with the IA-64 soon. really. they said so =).

    Mac's are also SCSII internally, which increases disk performance, etc., etc..
    The only reason not to get an iMac is because they don't come in black...
  • They don't say anything about whether the iMac's fanless cooling system can handle this speed upgrade. Not quite such a good deal if you fry the new processor or some other part. I wonder if they've done any testing along those lines; anyone have any information about cooling issues with this?

  • Because they can.

    MacOS is fun but playing with other OS's is fun as well and is a good learning experience. MacOS just can't do all the things you can do in linux (as easily anyways). Say I wanted to set my G3 up so that my dialup connection could be used from all 5 computers on my network. In MacOS, I'd have to get Apple IP or something like that and configure it.... you have to pay for stuff or find warez. In linux, you'd just set up your modem, like you would anyway. Set up your ethernet card like you would anyway. Then set up masquerading and you're done. No extra software needed.

    Mac hardware is great but often MacOS can't handle the things I want to do. Therefore, I use linux. (virtual desktops...mmmmm... i know there is shareware that does it but they suck).

    I have been tried out MacOS X (thank you hotline) and I must say that it is *very* slick. Network configuration is a snap. Turning on extra services services such as Apache is a snap (one click of a button). Everything looks great and flows smoothly. is pretty good although I prefer ksh to tcsh.

    My only complaints are the mouse speed and lack of virtual desktops. MacOS X is going to be really good, but it is different and right now I think there is a steeper learning curve than say, MacOS 9.

    Thank you. Sorry for the long, sort of offtopic, post.

  • first of all, there's no such thing as a 128bit risc cpu. and by 128bit i mean either 128bit wide interger registers and/or 128bit vm addresses. both x86 and ppc chips are 32bit.

    also, all recent macs have internal ide interfaces NOT scsi.

    thirdly, afaik, the g4s are not export controlled AT ALL. the export rules where updated a few years ago, iirc.
  • > This says nothing about their totally superior HW, though

    That's been my perception for a LONG time, but I recently made an honest comparison between the G4 500mhz and what's available on the Intel/AMD side.

    Memory tech
    G4 100 mhz bus
    PC 133 mhz bus
    PC Tech Faster

    CPU Level 2 Cache Tech
    G4 1mb at 1/2 CPU speed
    PC 256k at full CPU speed
    Toss Up (depends on the application)

    Graphics Speed
    G4 AGP 2X, ATI Rage 128 Pro
    PC AGP 4X, GeForce2
    PC Tech MUCH Faster

    PCI slots
    G4 66mhz PCI slots
    PC 33mhz PCI slots
    G4 Tech Faster

    Disk Tech
    G4 UDMA 33
    PC UDMA 66
    PC Tech Faster


  • Well, we are talking about the iMac, so....


  • Touché. To be honest, I don't think I could survive for very long without at least one Mac OS box, and I use cheap PCs for all my UNIX/Linux needs, but if you've got an extra iMac or two floating around, it'd make a nice Linux box. If all I had was a Mac, I'm sure I'd dual-boot.

    Can't wait for Mac OS X to make all the problems go away. :-)


  • *ALL* iMacs have G3 CPUs, but it's only the recent slot-loading model that's fanless. The first generation if iMac DOES have a fan in there.

    The new generation has a different case design than the first to allow for convection cooling. I beleive the kicker was adding RF shielding into the plastic so you could get rid of those big aluminium shields that block circulation.

    So if you've got a first gen iMac (tray loading), you'll still need the fan in there (case fan, NOT a CPU fan) to allow adaquate circulation. But if you're talkin about the current generation (slot loading) you won't need a fan any more than you do now.

    Resistance is NOT futile!!!

    I am not a drone.
    Remove the collective if

  • My goodness.. If I could pull buzzwords out of thin air like that, I'd be a CIO by now...

    The Dogbert World Domination Police have been dispatched to your location, and have been instructed to give you a brutal wedgie! :)

    Interesting post, but I had to read it a few times to cut through the thicket. For future reference, the Bottom Line is called an Executive Summary and goes at the beginning.
  • Dual booting is a good thing:
    • Mac OS 9 has NO memory protection, not even the rudimentary everybody's-root memory protection in Windows 3.1 and 9x. A buggy app can bring down the system.
    • Mac OS 10 Workstation, a system that's pretty much OpenStep on BSD on Mach, isn't out yet (a public beta is coming out RSN though).
    • Why does everyone assume that people want to run something other than a Windows OS on PC hardware?
  • a PC of that 'class' would cost like, $400

    A lot of the "$400" computers require you to pay $800 for three years of AOL or some other online service. This is especially ridiculous considering that even M$N is only about $10 a month now and that there is free DSL.

  • This is flamebait?

    The guy's user name was dingbat_hp!

    The last line was for those who think that I would have the gall to claim Steve cares about me or what I would email to him.

    C'mon people!

    dman123 forever!

  • Actually, the new macs have both SCSI and IDE internally, allowing them to use either fast or cheap internal drives.

    Also, the G4 is not a 128-bit processor, it is still 32-bit. The Velocity Engine, on the other hand, is 32-bit, although I haven't read up on how that is integrated with the rest of the system.

    I personally don't like the clock speed argument, as I only have a 350 MHz G3, which many Intel users practially laugh at, even though it runs faster than most of their computers. But I would like to see a 500 MHz G4 upgrade to the iMacs to turn them into real powerhouses. (Of course, by that point I suppose you could just buy a G4.)

    And some of the newer iMacs do come in Graphite, which is close enough to black for me. :-)
  • These cpu upgrades will only work with the older iMacs and not the newer ones with the slot loading cdroms and no cooling fans. The older iMacs had a cooling fan, so it should be not problem. The newer iMacs not only lack a cooling fan but the processor is also soldered to the logic (or mother...whatever) board so they will not be as easy to upgrade.
  • I'll stick with PC's where I can get an entire new 500 Mhz for less than a 300 Mhz iMac.

    A 300 MHz iMac's G3 is about as fast as a 500 to 600 MHz Celery.

  • Well, it is the only distro that works stably and useably on all imacs, aside from YellowDog, which is essentially indistinguishable from LinuxPPC, except for the fact that one gets the feeling that they are no more open source than the various licence agreements absolutely force them to be.
  • Those upgrade makers are pretty sharp. There was an older Mac that they made an upgrade for - the mac was supposedly not upgradable, but the upgrade plugged into the L2 Cache slot.

    Next thing you know, you'll be plugging the damn things into the power socket (which may be the only plug left on them after Steve Jobs gets done with it all).

    If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is!
  • Sorry, I meant "it" meaning the instance of "my hypothetical iMac", not the class of "all iMacs". I'm well aware that they could do it, but as it's just too damn small for me, the question is academic.

    Does YellowDog run on iMacs ? - or is it just G4s ?

  • 'cept you're wrong on the disk tech: the G4 is UDMA 66. The iMac is only UDMA 33... Now put prices next to everything, and count your time to assemble/debug the hardware and settings. And include fireWire and USB ports, 56K modem, and 10/100 ethernet.
  • The only reason not to get an iMac is because they don't come in black...

    A can of black spray paint will take care of that.

  • Then consider the goodwill that Apple customers usually hold for Apple as their machines last them around twice what a PC would. And how much more an accerator card adds to that.

    Yes, this is true. Until recently, I was using an old PowerCenter 132 (132 MHz 604 clone of the 7[5|6]00 architecture. It ran well, but eventually I added a Voodoo 3, a newer harddrive (10 gig SCSI), and topped it off a G3-250 card (that I clocked to 270 MHz, and upped the bus from 40 to 60 MHz). Upgrade cost: $500 (half of that for the SCSI drive).

    Suddenly, Unreal Tournament, SimCity 3K, and Descent 3 were playable!

    Now this PowerCenter cost me $3000-some, when it was an upper-mid-range (or lower-high-end) model. The only things that have gone wrong with it are a bad fan at one point (easily replaced for $10), and the floppy drive died after about 3 years (no big deal; it barely ever got used). Over time I also added more memory (from initial 16, to 148 once it became cheaper), and upped the CD rom from 4x to 24x with an off the shelf one at Best Buy.

    Now, why am i telling you all this? Because the machine is still useful. It still chugs along nicely, and it still outperforms my friends 2 year old P2-300 Acer at everyday tasks (and UT framerates). Nowadays I dont use it for much, but its still a reasonable system for everyday usage. It'd make a nice server, if I wanted to use it for that.

    I dont know anyone who can upgrade a 4 year old PC, to someting that can still play some of the newer games.

    - MaineCoon
  • Also, this does not take into account mean time to failure. I would love to see studies, if just to confirm my anecdotal experience, showing mtf between standard PCs and Macs.

    Like I said, I have NEVER seen Apple HW fail. Have had many Macs oer the years, and a couple three PCs. The PCs all crapped out within a matter of 2 years. I still have Centris and SE/30, all original parts, all without a single failure.

  • faster at what ? as far as I've seen, they can't do anything! Besides access the internet, of couse.
  • One of the cool things about the Mac Shareware community is that there's *tons* of stuff out there that a lot of people don't know about. (Try []).

    IP masquarading takes about 2 minutes to set up with a cool utility called IPNetRouter avaiable from Sustworks [] for pretty cheap. (Shareware).

    There's a solution for pretty much everything out there on the Mac, if you just know where to look.

    (Also, do a search for Virtual on the pure-mac site... you'll find virtual desktops, too!)

  • The link for SuSE on Apples page is broken. The correct link is usesoft/PPC/index.html [].

    The full release version of SuSE Linux 6.4 for the Power PC is due out any day now according to SuSE and it is looking pretty good. It's going to give LinuxPPC some real competition.

  • That's my question. And the answer? No.

    Will you be able to? Maybe. But not likely.

    LinuxPPC 2000? Heck yeah!, baybee!
  • Thanks, I'll update the engine.
  • (I hope this isn't "another" post -- I was on a Windoze box earlier, which has the unstable and unreliable Internet Exploder.. bleh!)

    It's good stuff. We've been doing it for years. It used to be the only native Linux on the PowerPC. (MkLinux goes through the Mach microkernel, which slows it down. I think OS X does, too.)

    We've been at it for years, as I've said, and we've done generally good work. We just released a new version of Netscape Communicator, which should improve user's security and general experiences.

    And if you knew how badly Apple treated us, you'd probably feel better about supporting us -- and mad at Apple! (It's just a few people, really. but still...)

    LinuxPPC simply rocks. It's faster than the MacOS, and more stable. And it can run the Mac OS now.

    I just have one question: will Mac OS X be available as a free download? I doubt it. :) LinuxPPC always _has_ been available that way, and always will be! Enjoy.
  • we have a pair of them here at the mucow residence -- very happy with them indeed. They are fine tools for many purposes.

    I would be even happier to see the Bondi blue iMac souped up, and probably will cough up $500.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann