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Review: OWC's Mercury G4/500, G4/400 & G3/500
ZIF CPU Upgrades

How they compare in a Blue & White G3/350 System
By Mike
Published: 10/19/2001
(revised 10/26/2001 for G4/400 results)
Details of the OWC G4/500 and G3/500 ZIF Modules
Intro | Benchmarks  | Apps/Game Tests  | Installation | Specs/Design

Photo of G3/500 ZIF
OWC Mercury G3/500 ZIF Module

Photo of G4/500 ZIF
OWC Mercury G4 ZIF Module

OWC ZIF CPU/Cache Part Numbers: Here are the part numbers of the Mercury ZIF CPUs and Cache from the two review samples:

Mercury G4/500/1MB ZIF

  • CPU: Motorola XPC7400 RX500PK (CPU rev: 2.9)
  • Max Bus/CPU Ratio: 9x
  • Cache: Galvantec GVT71128DA36T-4 (x2)

Mercury G4/400/1MB ZIF

  • CPU: Motorola XPC7400 RX400PK (CPU rev: 2.9)
  • Max Bus/CPU Ratio: 9x
  • Cache: Galvantec GVT71128DA36T-4 (x2)

Mercury G3/500/1MB ZIF (has 10x ratio)

  • CPU: IBM PPC750L-GB500B3 (CPU rev: 3.2 Copper)
  • Max Bus/CPU Ratio: 9x
  • Cache: Galvantec GVT71128DA36T-4 (x2)

Note: CPU revisions based on PPCChecker v2.4 and GaugePro reporting.

All 3 of these ZIFs were reliable during extensive testing in applications tests and more than 40 hours of use for this review. OWC lists a 2 year warranty on these upgrades. (Note - results of apps/games tests at overclocked speeds are not reported, since tolerance for overclocking can vary by each CPU chip. The G4/400 and G4/500 did run at 50Mhz overclocked in limited tests, but without long-term testing I cannot report if they would be reliable at those speeds. See the reader reports in the Rate Your CPU Upgrade database for reader reports that often includes comments on running higher than rated speeds, however remember you can't assume another sample will duplicate their results.

Carrier CPU Card Usage Notes: If used in a Carrier card for older Macs, remember the G4/7400 CPU has a 9x max bus/cpu ratio - so you'd have to run higher than 50Mhz bus speeds (55.55MHz) to run the G4/500 CPU at its rated speed. The G3/500 has a 10x max ratio and would run at 500Mhz with the card's bus speed set to 50Mhz and the ratio set to 10x on the Carrier card. (Manyof my older Macs have run 55Mhz bus speeds fine, but the L2 cache and RAM installed can affect maximum reliable bus speeds. (For Macs with L2 cache on a dimm, it's best to remove it from the motherboard with most G3/G4 cpu upgrades.) Some Catalyst motherboard based Macs (i.e. PowerCenter Pro models and PowerTowers [not PowerTower Pros]) shipped with 604 CPU cards running a 60Mhz bus speed but Catalyst motherboards cannot use G4 CPUs due to a hardware issue. (Missing a signal that is required for the G4 CPU I'm told.)

For OWC ZIF owner reports, search my Rate Your G3 Upgrade database.
(Note: OWC ZIF owner reports will be found in listings for both CarrierZIF and Other World Computing card brands. Beige/B&W G3 owners should select 'Other World Computing' as the card brand and their Mac model (Beige or B&W G3). Older Mac owners should select 'XLR8 CarrierZIF' as the card brand to find OWC and other ZIF upgrade reports using the CarrierZIF as the base card.)

I stress that owners of any upgrade should use it for several weeks at least before posting an entry in my database. If there are problems - contact the vendor immediately, they often can provide a solution or identify the source of the problem.

Index of OWC Mercury ZIF Review Pages

Intro | Benchmarks  | Apps/Game Tests  | Installation | Specs/Design

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Copyright © Mike, 2001.

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