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News Archive for Friday July 1, 2011:

Macs | CPU Upgrades | Video | Storage | Audio/HT | Apps/OS X/Software/Network
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Remembering the G4 Cube (and mods we did)
I didn't realize this Sunday is the '10th anniversary' of the Cube getting axed until seeing an article last night at the register UK site (The Cube: Apple's daftest, strangest romance.) And since it's the July 4th weekend, I posted a small pix of a reader's Flag Cube mod from 2001. (I did that mod for awhile, as well as some others like the Borg Cube, but later reverted back to stock.)

I know it didn't sell well (enough) apparently but I always thought it was a cool design, especially for its time. I still have 2 here that I bought as refurbs back then and don't plan on ever getting rid of them. (When I bite the dust, the wife can make one into an urn. Useful to the very end.)

I modified my first Cube with a Sonnet "Duet" (Dual) G4/500 CPU module (made for the G4 Tower), Geforce3 and 100GB HD (2001), but that one is in pieces now. IIRC either needing a VRM board/repair or (another) logic board. (I'd already replaced that once before.) But the other one (w/Gigadesigns G4 1GHz upgrade @1.2GHz) was still working last time I used it. (Which I think was in late 2004 - my review of that Cube CPU Upgrade was posted in Jan 2004.) Back then I must have taken them completely apart over 50 times at least. (For CPU module swaps, video card swaps, HD upgrades, repairs, fan install, etc.)

I had used several video cards in the Cube back then, but my favorite overall was the Geforce 3. It wasn't an original Cube option, but unlike some others it fit w/o any mods except for swapping the end bracket. (Cube had a non-std bracket.) I used an original Geforce2MX Cube card (no fan, underclocked from ref IIRC) in the 2nd Cube. I also had an original Cube Radeon card (with fan). Some later builds of that card were fanless, which some readers thought was a mfg mistake due to high temps seen with it in the Cube. (An article here from Aug 2001 on that subject.) Some other cards had ckt boards that were too tall, although some could fit with modifications. (There's an article here on Cube mods (VRM board relocation) to allow an ATI 8500 install.)

All this brings back a lot of fond memories and makes me want to go dig the working Cube out of storage. But I know this is all very 'trailing edge' stuff now, and boring I guess to many. But for the curious and/or those that appreciate the design (and mods) that are not long-time readers, here are some articles on mods and upgrades, including the first OEM Apple (tower module) Dual G4/450 Cube install and (Sonnet Duet) Dual G4/500 Cube install, two (retail) Cube CPU upgrade reviews (PL and GD 1GHz models), mods for ATI 8500 in a cube - of course there were tons of other Cube related posts back then that are not linked there.)

(And BTW - sponsor OWC still has some Upgrades for older Macs, including some for the Cube. Limited to stock on hand I think, as nobody's making those upgrades anymore that I know of.)
  

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