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The Source for Mac Performance News and Reviews
Review: Giga Designs G4/800 and 1GHz CPU Upgrades
By Mike
Published: 1/24/2003
Installation Notes, Photos and Observations
Intro | Benchmarks  | Apps Tests | Game Tests | Installation | Specs/Design

The start to finish installation should only take about 10 minutes tops. Here's a photo of the installed CPU upgrade:

Giga Designs G4 Upgrade Installed

Giga Designs G4 CPU Upgrades Includes:

  • CPU module w/attached copper heatsink/fan
  • Printed docs/warranty (text)

Adjustable Upgrade/Jumper Settings: Both the Giga Designs 800 and 1GHz were adjustable for 100 or 133MHz bus speed Towers. See the Specs/Design page for a listing of bus multipliers and CPU voltage settings. (Note: Giga Designs note the warranty is valid for rated CPU speed/default settings). You're welcome to overclock and I'm glad they provided the jumpers for both bus/cpu ratio and core voltage which is a lot easier than solder/desoldering resistors or using conductive pens, etc.

These upgrades are compatible with the G4/AGP towers (Sawtooth thru Quicksilver 2002 models.)
Note - the G4/800 model with no L3 cache will have a cache error dialog when booted to OS 9 (not seen when booting to OS X). It's not an indication of a problem, just the system not recognizing the configuration of the CPU upgrade. (I noted this same error was seen with the single G4 Powerlogix upgrades, however with the Giga Designs model w/L3 cache, the error dialog is not seen. Like the Sonnet G4 AGP and Dual G4 Powerlogix upgrades, the Giga Designs models have firmware to enable the L3 cache.)

Installation: Giga Designs has an online copy of their printed installation instructions, but here's a basic outline of the steps involved for a Digital Audio G4 model with heatsink fan/cover. (For other models ignore steps 2 and 3):

  1. Shut down Mac, discharge your static electricity (touch metal part of case), then unplug the AC power cord.

  2. If you have a Dual 533 or single 733 DA model, Remove the 2 screws that secure the original CPU fan's plastic housing/cover from the back of the case. (not required with sawtooth or gigabit models, or the single G4/466.)

  3. If you have the stock Heatsink fan w/plastic cover, lift the plastic tabs on the heatsink cover/fan assembly to allow removing it from the heatsink. (Dual G4/533 and Single G4/733 Digital Audio model had this heatsink cover/fan assembly - not the G4/466 model, nor the Quicksilvers, Sawtooth or Gigabit Ethernet models.)

  4. Remove the 2 heatsink retaining clips, then the Apple heatsink.

  5. Remove the 3 philips screws retaining the original CPU module and lift it off the motherboard connector.

  6. Remove the protective cover from the module's connector on the bottom of the board.

  7. Visually align the new CPU module over the 3 mounting screw holes and press down (on the board, not the heatsink) to seat the connector.

  8. Install the 3 screws to secure the module to the motherboard.

System Compatibility:
These upgrades are compatible with the G4/AGP Towers (Sawtooth thru Quicksilver models).

    OS Requirements:
  • OS 9.2.1 or OS 9.2.2
  • OS X

The next page has information on the Giga Designs module design and jumper settings. Or you may use the links below to jump to a specific page.

Index of PL Dual 1GHz Upgrade Review Pages

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

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