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Accelerate Your Mac! - the source for performance news and reviews
The Source for Mac Performance News and Reviews
Review: Powerlogix's Series 133 Dual 1GHz G4 Upgrade
Tests vs Original Dual G4/533 and Dual 1GHz MDD G4
By Mike
Published: 12/24/2002
Installation Notes, Photos and Observations
Intro | Benchmarks  | Apps Tests | Game Tests | Installation | Specs/Design
 


PowerForce G4 Series 133 Upgrade Includes:

  • CPU module w/attached heatsink
  • Fan w/2 screws (attaches to heatsink)
    (Panaflo FBA08T12H, 80mm x 15mm)

Note: The QT movie/slideshow pictures show a Quicksilver G4 heatsink fan. My Digital Audio G4 has the plastic heatsink cover/fan mounting, and therefore its not possible to remount the original cpu heatsink fan. (It's not needed anyway, verified by Powerlogix.)

Installation: A basic outline of the steps involved for a Digital Audio G4 is:

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

  2. Remove the 2 screws that secure the original CPU fan's plastic housing/cover from the back of the case.

  3. 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.)

  4. Remove the 2 heatsink retaining clips, then the 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 Powerlogix module's connector on the bottom of the board.

  7. Visually align the Powerlogix CPU module over the 3 mounting screw holes and press down to seat the connector.

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

  9. Attach the Fan to the heatsink using the 2 screws provided (label side down for this Panaflo fan, but they may change fan brands in the future). Fan must be blowing DOWN on the heatsink for cooling

  10. Connect the wiring to a spare hard drive power connector. (Fan wiring and green wire from CPU module.)

The start to finish installation took about 10-15 minutes (not rushing). Here's a photo of the installed CPU upgrade:

PowerForce Series 133 Installed
Installed

The photo below shows the connections Fan and CPU module Power (the supplied wiring connects to a spare hard drive power connector).

PowerForce Series 133 Fan/CPU Module Wiring
Fan wiring

Noise and Temperature Tests:
Although I don't have access to calibrated lab instruments or a thermocouple, I did try to perform simple tests of heatsink temperatures and noise levels. (These are crude tests and I almost hesitated posting them because of that.)
Since the (borrowed) Radio Shack Digital Audio Meter's lowest reading possible was 50dB, with the meter in front of the Digital Audio system, noise levels were under the limits of the meter and therefore could not be measured. Until I can obtain a meter with wider range, all I can say is the Digital Audio system (before and after the upgrade) was noticeably quieter than the MDD system. This won't come as any surprise to anyone that has owned a MDD system of course. It's not just the volume of noise, I think it's the frequency of the MDD's fans that (in comparison) have an almost irrating effect on many people. The movie at www.G4noise.com/fans/drswitch.mov is a perfect example of what I mean. (For more info on the MDD noise issue, see this previous article on fan replacements/links to movies/tests on its noise, etc.)
I will say that the Digital Audio with the PL Dual 1GHz upgrade was no louder (and maybe a bit quieter) than the stock system, probably because the stock rear CPU fan was removed. Rearward noise generation was less with the stock CPU fan removed (a lot less per the meter - more than 3dB less, which means volume was reduced in half in that area). From the front (working position), the difference was less noticeable however, but at least it wasn't louder than before.

Heatsink Temperatures:
I used a low-cost (cheap) IR Thermometer to check the heatsink temperatures after the long Photoshop filter tests (63 filters run).

  • Original Dual G4/533: 34C
  • PL Dual 1GHz: 37C
  • MDD Dual 1GHz: 40C

Of course the CPU's internal junction temperature would be higher than the heatsink temperature and the above is just a FYI. As noted in Motorola's own spec docs, the G4 does not provide accurate CPU temperatures (using software utilities), so I didn't bother using them. (they note a large variation/inaccuracy, and an engineer has also noted in the past that there can be wide variations from chip to chip, even on the same CPU module when both CPUs are being exercised - as much as 19C variation.)


System Compatibility:
The PowerForce G4 1GHz Series 133 is compatible with the following Mac models:

  • Apple G4/AGP "Digital Audio"
  • Apple G4/AGP "Quicksilver"
  • Apple G4/AGP "Quicksilver 2002"

Powerlogix also has a Series 100 for the 100MHz bus Cube, G4/AGP Sawtooth and Gigabit Ethernet Tower models.

    OS Requirements:
  • OS 9.2.1 or OS 9.2.2
  • OS X 10.1 or later


The next page has information on the Powerlogix Dual 1GHz CPU revision and cache. 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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