Xlr8YourMac.com's Macintosh Mods/Upgrades by Model
(Most recent first in each Category)
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Mac Pro/MacBook Pro/iMacs | Mac Mini |  G5 Macs | G4 Macs | G4 Cube
G3 Macs | PPC iMac/eMac/iBook | Powerbooks |  Old Macs | Misc.
Mac Pro, MacBook Pro & iMac (Intel) Articles
2009 Mac Pro 6-core CPU Upgrade (3.46GHz W3690)
(July 2014) Notes on upgrading a 2009 Mac Pro (4,1) using two 2.93GHz Xeon X5670 6-core (Westmere) CPUs. (Bought used for $370.) Includes tips on what to do when things don't go right initially and link to an instructional video on a similar upgrade. (2009 Mac Pro 6-core CPU support requires the "unofficial" MacPro 5,1 EFI update. That 2010 Mac Pro firmware also adds support for faster ram and HDMI audio.)
2009 Mac Pro 12-core Upgrade
Dual 2.93GHz X5670 CPUs
(July 2014) Notes on upgrading a 2009 Mac Pro (4,1) using two 2.93GHz Xeon X5670 6-core (Westmere) CPUs. (Bought used for $370.) Includes tips on what to do when things don't go right initially and link to an instructional video on a similar upgrade. (2009 Mac Pro 6-core CPU support requires the "unofficial" MacPro 5,1 EFI update. That 2010 Mac Pro firmware also adds support for faster ram and HDMI audio.)
Mac Pro Northbridge High Temperatures due to Broken Heatsink Retainer
(July 2014) Revisiting a problem that came up in the past. More recent reports of 2009 Mac Pro very high Northbridge Temperatures due to a broken plastic heatsink retainer. If you can't find a source for the OEM retainer, some have used screws instead. (Linked page includes photo of Heatsink location and link to freeware temperature monitor.)
2013 Mac Pro How-To/Upgrade Guides & Troubleshooting Tips
Apple articles on Installing/removing Flash Drive and Memory, Using Multiple Displays, Info on Ports/Connectors, Audio Tips/Troubleshooting, Power Usage and Bootcamp/Windows Installs / troubleshooting. (2013 Mac Pro CPU is socketed and can be upgraded. Here's a Step-by-Step Video on How to upgrade the CPU in a 2013 Mac Pro.)
2007 Mac Pro running OS X 10.9 Mavericks (w/Radeon 7970 card)
(Dec 2013) Reader report on a 2007 Mac Pro 2,1 running OS X 10.9 Mavericks (via Tiamo's Boot EFI patch) and a (PC) Radeon 7970 graphics card.
2006 Xserve Dual 3GHz Quad-Core X5365 CPUs Upgrade ($150)
(Dec 2013) Reader report on swapping Xeon 5160 dual-core CPUs in 2006 Xserve for 2 Quad-Core 3GHz Xeon X5365's. Includes a warning about the Xserve heatsink thermal sensor.
2006 Mac Pro Dual Quad-Core CPUs/EFI/PC 5770 Upgrades
(Dec 2013) Reader report on a 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 (original 2 dual cores) CPU upgrade to dual 2.66GHz quad-core Xeons ($70), PC Radeon 5770 card ($75) and EFI update.
2006 Mac Pro Dual CPU Upgrade
(2 Xeon Quad Cores $60)
(Jul 2013) Reader report on his 2006 Mac Pro (original dual cores) CPU upgrade to dual 2.66GHz quad-core Xeons. (Used for Logic Audio.)
2006 Xserve Dual CPU Upgrade
(2 Xeon Quad Cores <$50)
(Jun 2013) Reader report on his 2006 xserve (2x dual-core 2GHz) CPU upgrade to dual 2.33GHz quad-core Xeons (used/tested CPUs, under $50 delivered).
2006 Mac Pro 8-Core
(Dual x5365) CPU Upgrade
+ 2007 EFI/Bootrom Update
(Dec 2012) 2006 Mac Pro owner report on upgrading to Dual 3GHz Quad-Core (X5365's) CPUs and updating the EFI/Bootrom to the 2007 Mac Pro 2,1 version. (Using unofficial updater from netkas, posted here in Sept. 2011 w/early user feedback.)
2006 Mac Pro (1,1)
owner report/tips on
Mountain Lion Install
(Aug 2012) Reader's notes on installing OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on an 'unsupported' EFI32 2006 Mac Pro 1,1. He had other hardware upgrades also (video card, 16GB RAM, SSDs) and included Geekbench scores before/after the 10.8 install. (Includes 2 guides to OS X 10.8 installs on Mac Pro 1,1 & running 64bit kernel on EFI32 2006/07 Mac Pros.)
[Nov. 2013 FYI: OS X Mavericks on 2006 Mac Pro (1,1)]
2009 Mac Pro (4-core) 2.66GHz to 3.2GHz CPU Upgrade
(Jul 2012) Reader's before/after benchmarks of his 2009 Mac Pro 2.66GHz he upgraded with a W3565 3.2GHz Xeon bought at auction.
2008 Mac Pro Dual 3.2GHz (Quad-Cores) CPU upgrade
(Apr 2012) Wolf sent comments on his 2008 Mac Pro Dual Xeon X5482 3.2GHz CPU upgrade. (Two X5482 3.2GHz Quad-Cores bought at auction for $450 he said.)
2006 Mac Pro 8-Core CPU Upgrade report (Dual 2.66GHz Quad-Cores)
(Nov 2011) Yet another report on a low-cost Dual Quad-Core CPU Upgrade to a 1st gen Mac Pro. Upgraded from the original two 2.66GHz Dual-Core CPUs to dual Xeon X5355 2.66GHz Quad-Cores. ($350 paid for the Quad-Core CPUs at auction.)
2006 Mac Pro 8-Core CPU Upgrade report (Under $60)
(Oct 2011) Another report on a (very) low-cost Dual Quad-Core CPU Upgrade to an early (2006) Mac Pro. However the Quad-Core CPUs were only 1.83GHz models.
2010 MacBook Pro 15in Video Update (fix for intermittent black screen/no video)
(Oct 2011) Hopefully a fix for this issue noted here on Oct. 13th. I wrote a reader with an affected MacBook Pro that had commented on the problem here on Oct. 14th to ask if the update solved the problem on his machine.
Early MacBook Pro Upgrades
(5GHz WiFI card w/AirDrop, SSD & Improved Cooling)
(Sept 2011) Article on a reader's upgrades to his MacBook Pro 2,2 including swapping in a Dual-Band (5GHz and 2.4GHz) Airport card with Airdrop Support, SSD drive and Thermal Paste to lower chipset temperatures.
(Unofficial) Mac Pro 1,1 to 2,1 EFI Updater Feedback
(Fix for KP's in Lion/10.6.8 w/Quad-Core CPU upgrades?)
(Sept 2011) Reports that -some- Mac Pro 1,1 owners that upgraded to Quad-Core CPUs had Kernel Panics in Lion (and in some cases 10.6.8). For those that did, using the 'unofficial' Mac Pro 1,1 to 2,1 EFI updater solved that they said. (Updated w/later notes.)
Another (Low-Cost) Early Mac Pro 8-Core CPU Upgrade
(June 2011) Another reader report on low-cost 8-Core (Dual Quad-Core) CPU Upgrades to earlier Mac Pro models. (Also Includes links to several other Mac Pro CPU Upgrade reports from 2011.)
Notes on 2009 to 2010 Mac Pro EFI Bootrom Updater
(w/6-core CPU & 1333MHz RAM, and MDP Audio support)
(May 2011) Notes and Tips regarding the "unofficial" EFI/BootRom updater for 2009 Mac Pros to flash a 2010 Mac Pros Bootrom. This enables support for 6-core CPUs and 1333MHz Memory. (Also reported to enable MiniDisplayPort Audio.) See notes in the post on tips and a FYI for 2009 Mac Pro owners that have "B08" bootrom.
2010 Mac Pro CPU Upgrade
2.8GHz 4-core to 3.2GHz 6-Core
(Apr 2011) A 2010 (single cpu) Mac Pro owner report with notes/links to CPUs, simple benchmark comparisons, etc on his 3.2GHz 6-Core CPU Upgrade.
Water Cooled 2006 Mac Pro
with 3.3GHz (OC'd 2.66GHz)
Quad-Core CPUs
(Mar 2011) A follow-up to his original post in Jan 2011 on his 2006 Mac Pro Quad-Core CPU Upgrade (5350's OC'd to 3.3GHz), this update includes notes on water cooling and a youtube video link. (BTW - See below for a older post from 2008 on a software OC util for mac pros like this.)
iMac eSATA Mod
(using Mini-PCIe Card)

(Sept 2010) iMac (intel-based) notes and pictures on swapping out the Airport card with the same 2-port SATA card for eSATA used earlier by Mini owners. (See article link below.)
(An earlier article on this mod is here.)
Info on iMac's HD + SSD Option w/service part info

2010 iMac owner's notes with Apple P/Ns on cables for adding a SSD to a 27in Mac with Hard Drive. (If any reader knows if the same parts are used for 2011 iMacs, send a note. Thanks.)
2008 Mac Pro CPU Upgrade (single 2.8GHz to Dual 3GHz Quad Cores)

(Aug 2010) Reader report on a (very cheap) 3GHz Quad-Core Xeon upgrade to his single CPU 2008 Mac Pro. (As with most earlier Mac Pro CPU Upgrades, he bought used CPUs.)
2009 Mac Pro CPU Core Temperature Tests
(OS X and Windows)
(Updated w/Apple fix for 10.6 in 2010) After some Apple forum thread/user concerns over higher than expected core temperatures with 2009 Mac Pros from simply playing audio in iTunes, I ran some simple tests in OS X vs Windows using freeware utilities for both OS's. Includes notes on Turbo mode, explanations from the author of OS X freeware Temperature monitor, notes on (turbo) core speeds reported in Windows and more.
Mac Pro FB-Dimm Pairing Guide/Tests (w/mixed 1GB, 2GB and 4GB pairs)
(Nov 2009) A reader sent his Mac Pro FB-Dimm Pairing Tests w/mixed 1GB, 2GB and 4GB pairs, noting the 4GB pair were not fully recognized if the OEM (Apple supplied) Hynix 1GB FBdimms were installed in the same riser, despite Apple's guide showing that pairing is OK. (Many times over the years I've had Mac Pro owners write their new FBDimms were not recognized properly. Other than some rare cases of bad FB-dimms, usually the problem was the FB-Dimms were not Paired properly (1st thing to check) and/or not fully seated (dimm or riser card). I've included links to Apple's PDF guides on memory and riser cards on the linked page.)
2006 Mac Pro Clovertown (Quad core) CPU Swaps Revisited
(July 2009) A 1st gen Mac Pro owner's notes on buying (used) Clovertown 2.66GHz CPUs to replace the original (dual core) 5150's. Includes notes on pricing (some new/service parts) and links to upgrade guides (article and video). (Updated to include links to later posts on 3GHz Clovertowns, 3GHz Dual-Cores and Low Power Quad-Core Xeon swaps.)
2006 Mac Pro Clovertown (Quad core) CPU Swaps Revisited
(July 2009) A 1st gen Mac Pro owner's notes on buying (used) Clovertown 2.66GHz CPUs to replace the original (dual core) 5150's. Includes notes on pricing (some new/service parts) and links to upgrade guides (article and video). (Updated to include links to later posts on 3GHz Clovertowns, 3GHz Dual-Cores and Low Power Quad-Core Xeon swaps.)
2009 Mac Pro Video card tests - EVGA GTX 285 Mac Edition vs ATI 4870 vs Nvidia GT120
(June 2009) Review/comparisons of EVGA's Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 Mac edition vs the Mac ATI 4870 and the base Geforce GT120 card, tested in a 2009 Mac Pro 8-core 2.66GHz system. Includes pages on apps/game tests, power (watts) usage, benchmarks and more.
First Impressions of 2009 Mac Pro (8-Core 2.66GHz/ATI 4870)
(March 2009) 2009 Mac Pro 8-core photos (incl. internals), notes on noise levels, initial benchmarks, links to Apple DIY Guides, Intel docs on Nehalem Microarchitecture, Turbo Boost, QuickPath Technology, OEM CPU chip pricing and dozens of 2009 Mac Pro comparisons to 2008 models. Also includes notes onBootcamp/OEM Vista 64-bit install.)
Using the Mac Pro's 2 extra onboard SATA Ports with an External SATA Case Kit
A Mac Pro owner's article on using the spare 2 SATA ports on the Mac Pro motherboard with Newer Tech's SATA cable kit and an external dual SATA drive case. (FYI - Includes reports on compatible (and incompatible) external cases - some ext. case bridge boards (w/multiple interfaces) are not compatible.)
MacBook Pro GPU/Video Failures
(Nvidia 8600M)
(Last Update Dec 2012) Article from July 2008 (updated 100+ times) on the issue of flawed (packaging defect) Nvidia GPUs- including the 8600M used in many MacBook Pros. Updated to include Apple's later doc on the issue that noted affected MacBook Pro model production ranges and a warranty extension. Also includes reader reports, links to info on the issue, actions by other notebook mfrs and more.
Feedback on (2008) Mac Pro (and Xserve) Overclocking Utility
(June 2008) Info/download link and initial feedback from 2008 Mac Pro and 1st Gen Mac Pro owners on using this freeware Overclocking Utility.
Mac Pro 2008: Guide to optical bay hard drive install
Oliver sent info/photos on installing his WD Raptor hard drive in the lower Optical drive bay. (A followup for the 2008 model to his article from June 2007 on How I "Silenced" a WD Raptor in a Mac Pro)
2008 Mac Pro Owner Feedback
Owner reports on the early-2008 Mac Pro systems. (Includes notes/tips on system lockups reported by early users.)
(2007) 8-Core Mac Pro
A page dedicated to 8-core Mac Pro owner reports on performance, power use, temperatures, compatibility, etc.
MacBook Pro (Core Duo) Guide on swapping in Mac Pro 802.11n Wireless card
A reader's guide to upgrading a Core Duo Macbook Pro using a $49 Mac Pro Airport Extreme card (802.11n compatible Mini PCI-e card). Apple's 802.11n Enabler is installed using Pacifist. The MacBook, Intel-based Mac Mini and iMac also use Mini PCI-e Wireless cards so this swap should work with them also. (For other Mac 802.11n reports/tests/tips, Apple Docs, Airport Extreme 802.11n and non-Apple 802.11n base user reports, see the Mac 802.11n page here.)
MacBook Pro owner reports on Express/34 Cards
A catch-all page for feedback from MacBook Pro owners on Express34 cards (eSATA, Firewire, Firewire/USB, Modems, flash memory adapters, etc.)
Info/Guides/Feedback on Sheep Shaver for Classic OS support with Intel Macs
Apple doesn't support running Classic on Intel Macs, but since early in 2006 there's been a build of "Sheep Shaver" for Intel Macs to run Classic, with some limitations. (See the page for more info, download links, tips, guides, etc.)
Guide to installing Bluetooth module in a Mac Pro
Reader's photo illustrated guide to installing a Bluetooth Module in a original Mac Pro.
Mac Pro owner reports on 3rd party FBDIMMs
Information on Mac Pro FBDIMM Memory (Apple's large heatsink type and others), tests of large heatsink vs standard heatsink 3rd party FB-Dimms and reader reports on 3rd party Memory in Mac Pros. (FYI: Page for 2008-2006 models, 2009 and later no longer use FBDimms.)
Mac Pro user notes on different OS X 10.4.7 Builds
Info on Apple's preferred build (for better video performance they say), although some Mac Pro owners (and developers) mention some issues with that build.
Final Cut Pro 5.1 Performance tests - Intel CPU Macs vs PowerPC Macs
2 Articles with Final Cut Pro 5.1 (Universal binary) performance tests of Intel CPU Macs (including MacBook Pro) vs PowerPC/G5 Macs.
PC vs iMac/MacBook Pro X1600 Clock Speeds
Reports on Overclocking X1600 (using ATItool)
Notes on (big) differences in the core/memory clock rates of iMac and MacBook Pro ATI X1600 graphics vs some PC/notebooks and reports on overclocking the Mac's X1600 GPU core/memory clocks using ATItool for Windows XP.
Apple BootCamp User reports,
Tests and Tips
User reports and tips on Apple "BootCamp" assistant for installing Windows XP (SP2) on Intel CPU Macs. Includes links to Apple docs/FAQ's, etc.
User Reports/Tips/Tests of Parallels Workstation 2.1b for Intel Based Macs
User feedback and tips on Workstation Virtual Machine software that allows running Windows, Linux, etc. in a window on Intel CPU Macs.
(Original) MacBook Pro Owner Reports
User reports from owners of the first model MacBook Pro, including installing Windows XP (natively), performance, usage, some OOB Problems and a section of related articles including take-apart guides and reviews.
Mac Mini Related Articles
2012 Mac Mini SSD Install
& Drive Cloning Notes
(Mar 2013) Late-2012 Mini SSD install (480GB Intel 520 SSD). Well worth the effort with a significant performance increase over the previous SATA2 SSD I'd installed in Nov 2012. Unlike some others, this 2012 mini (2.3GHz i7, SSD, RAM upgraded to 16GB) has been basically trouble-free so far. No HDMI/video issues and feels very fast. (Also includes notes on OS X 10.8.3 OpenGL CB score boost.)
Late 2012 Mac Mini HDMI Video Problems/Flicker, Tests, Tips
(2013) Catch-All page of Info/Tests/Tips on Late 2012 Mac Mini HDMI video intermittent dropouts/noise ('snow'), Apple EFI Update to fix HDMI flicker, my tests using HDMI to a Samsung LCD Display and LG HDTV (direct and via AVR), tips for washed-out displays, colorsync profiles, EDID mods including a EDID Patch script to Force RGB mode on external displays. Plus info on USB 3.0 interference with Bluetooth, SSDs/Fusion Drives and more.
2006-2008 Mac Mini CPU Upgrades (Socketed CPUs)
Intel-based Mac Mini owner's notes on Core 2 Duo CPU swaps (includes link to chip swap guide) and includes info on Mini 2,1 firmware updates and OS X Lion (10.7.x) install reports/tips.
2010 Mac Mini Server DriveTemperature Sensors Info/Pix
(Jun 2010) The June 17th, 2010 news page had some comments on special drive cables/thermal sensors in the new 2010 Mac Minis (and reminders on HD brand specific/temp sensor cables for late 09 iMacs). The takeaparts of the new 2010 Minis didn't include any info on that (but I suspect may be revised later). However a reader with a 2010 Mini server sent notes/pix on the cables/termal sensors during his dual SSD upgrade/drive swap.
2006-08 Mac Mini
(using Mini-PCIe Card)

Photos/Info and reports on swapping out the Mini-PCIe Airport card with a 2-port SATA card used for eSATA. Includes card info and some initial real-world benchmarks. Reports are from OS X 10.6.4 and 10.5.8 mini users.
(NOTE: 2009 and Later Minis DO NOT have a Mini-PCIe Airport card and can't use this mod.)
How to get 10.6.4 client working on 2010 Mac Mini Server Model
(Aug 2010) Tips (required) to get OS X 10.6.4 client working properly (w/ethernet and SDcard slot support) on a 2010 Mac Mini Server model. (Posted after a reader failed to get correct answers from several trips to Apple Genius bars.)
Original Mac Mini Mini-Review
Reader review w/photos of the first model (2005) Mac Mini. (PowerPC G4 CPU.)
Mac Mini G4 Owner Reports/Articles/Docs
PowerPC G4 Mac Mini owner reports, performance tests, Drive Upgrade tests.
G5 System Related Articles
Jumper Tips for Western Digital 6Gb/sec HDs in G5 Macs
(May 2011) Jumper setting tips for WD 6Gb/SATA III drives in G5 Macs (and any other SATA I/1.5Gb interfaces). Without forced mode reduction, drives were not usable/recognized.
Guide to Repairing a PowerMac G5 Delphi Liquid Cooling System
Expanding on his original article from fall 2009 here, Bill sent a 6 page Guide to Overhauling a PowerMac G5 Delphi Liquid Cooling System. (His specific model is a Dual 2.7GHz.)
PowerMac G5 Coolant Leaks/Repairs
Reader reports on some liquid cooled G5 towers leaking coolant (usually out of warranty). If not detected early the coolant leak can do substantial damage (blown PS, etc.) Includes reports from some owners that got repairs covered out of warranty and in some cases a new Mac Pro (where repair parts could not be procured). Also includes some DIY repairs some have done and photos of the 2 LCS designs.
G5 Tower Disassembly/Dust Cleaning (to lower temperatures)
A G5 Tower owner wrote an article on partial disassembly and dust cleaning that lowered temperatures, which usually reduces fan speeds also. (An Xserve G5 owner also noted similar benefits to cleaning - lower fan speeds/lower temperatures.)
Quad G5 Owner reports on CPU Sensor Temperatures
Quad G5 PowerMac owner reports/screenshots on CPU/Temperatures after after a post mentioning one CPU ran 20F hotter than the other (even at idle).
Feedback/Tips on PowerMac G5 Random Shutdowns
Some G5 tower owners reported problems with random shutdowns. Included are some tips and things to check, although frequently a repair was required.
Western Digital note on WD4000KD/YR and Raptor Drive problems with onboard G5 SATA
Western Digital finally confirms the problems noted with these drives from readers in the past. (Note - WD has now updated the tech note to include Raptor 36/74GB drive models, not just the 150GB Raptor.)
G5 Dual 2.5GHz 6800 Ultra Performance Tests
Dual 2.5GHz G5 w/6800 Ultra card owner report including performance tests and some comparisons to a Dual 2GHz G5 w/OEM 9800 Pro 128MB graphics card. (Not the 9800XT model.) The page also includesinitial impressions and comments onusing the file transfer utility that ships on new Macs and more.
G5 Owner Reports on Optical Audio
PowerMac G5 owner feedback on using the Optical Audio output - includes pro user comments on DAT tape, etc. and consumer quality speaker/ampl. systems (some which have amplifier hiss/noise - such as the Klipsch GMX series)
PowerMac G5 vs MDD G4
Article comparing the features, specs, design, CPUs, Memory, Expansion, etc. of the PowerMac G5 vs. MDD G4 Systems. (Page 2 has performance tests of G5/1.6GHz, Dual 2GHz G5s vs MDD Dual 1.25GHz G4.)
Using the G5 ATA/100 bus for (non-SATA) Hard Drive
Reader comments and photos on using the Optical drive bus for a 2nd parallel (standard IDE) hard drive.
Powermac G5 Hard Drive Heat/Cooling Tip
G5 Owner comments, tests and a tip on relocating the Hard Drive Cooling FanTemperature Sensor to better cool the G5's hard drives.
G5 RAM Tests - Photoshop performance w/512MB to 8GB of installed RAM
Dual G5 2GHz performance tests with 512MB to 8GB of RAM.
Retail Radeon 9800
BTO/OEM 9800

(tests in Dual G5 system)
Performance tests comparing the Retail ATI 9800 Pro to the BTO/OEM 9800 Pro card in a Dual G5 System. (See below for a previous article with 9600 vs 9800 tests.)
G5 Noise Reports/CHUD Tools Fix
This page has G5 owner reports on Beeping and other noises that often were fixed by using Apple's CHUD Tools to disable "Nap" mode. (See article for details and reports, including recordings of the noises.)
Dual G5 2GHz w/Radeon 9600 vs 9800 vs MDD G4 Dual 1.25GHz w/9800
First tests with a Dual G5 2GHz system with 9600 Radeon vs 9800 Radeon (retail) graphics card vs a Mirror Drive Door Dual G4/1.25GHz with Radeon 9800 card. Includes game tests (UT2003, Jedi II, Quake3, RTCW, UT X PR3) and a few apps tests and benchmarks. Also includes notes on installing the retail 9800 Pro card in a G5.
PowerMac G5
Tech Info/Software Updates
Compatibility Info
Catch-All page organized by Topic. Includes links to G5 System and CPU white papers, performance docs,Developer info (with system detail/specs), programming tech notes on the G5 (IBM PowerPC970) CPU, G5 specific OS, Application and Software updates. Also includes compatibility notes/reports/tips on PCI cards, RAM, USB and Firewire Devices
G5 Firewire and USB Device/Card Reports
This page has G5 owner reports on using Firewire and USB devices - includes some problem reports and tips. (Covers everything from devices using the onboard ports to PCI cards and Hubs.)
PowerMac Dual G5 2GHz
Photos/Test Results
The first photos and initial tests with a Dual G5 2GHz system.
PowerMac G5 First Impressions
First article on the PowerMac G5 systems announced at WWDC 2003 with reader comments and photo galleries of the new system.
G4 System Reviews and Related Articles
(most recent articles first)
Sawtooth G4 tower Bus Overclocking w/DIP Switch
A reader article w/photos on mods for an adjustble bus speed (via DIP switch) in a first model (Sawtooth) G4 Tower.
MDD Pwr Supply and ADC Video Card Mods in Sawtooth Tower
A reader article w/photos on mods to install a Mirror Drive Door tower Power Supply and ADC graphics card power mods in a first model (Sawtooth) G4 Tower.
G4 Tower to Dual P.S. ATX Case Conversion
A reader article w/photos on converting his Quicksilver to a Dual PS PC ATX case.
MDD Tower to ATX Case Conversion
A reader article w/photos on Mirror Drive Door system to PC ATX case conversion.
MDD Pwr Supply Mods for Digital Audio/Quicksilver Towers
A reader article w/photos on mods to a Mirror Drive Door system Power Supply for use in a Digital Audio or Quicksilver Tower system.
G4 (Sawtooth) Tower Media Center Project
A reader's writeup on his Sawtooth (1999 model) G4 Tower Media Center Project.
G4 to 20 Drive Server Cube Case Conversion
Doug Birling sent a writeup and photos of his "Son of FrankenMac", G4/AGP Tower to 20 Drive Server Cube Case Conversion. He includes comments on setting up a RAID 10 array in the system also.
Mirror Drive Door HD Bay CPU Heatsink Cooler Mod
Article on using a Hard Drive bay fan set to cool the MDD Heatsink. (Bottom of page also has links to other MDD Cooling articles here)
Powermac G4 Front Firewire/USB Ports Mod
A G4 Tower owner's mods (kit) to mount a front Firewire and USB port adjacent to the ZIP drive in the lower front bay. (Unlike the previous InternalFirewire/USB Hub Mod, you can still have a 3.5" drive in the lower bay.)
MDD Guide on upgrading to Dual 1.42GHz CPU module
A MDD (single G4/1.25GHz) owner's guide to replacing the CPU module with a OEM Apple Dual 1.42GHz MDD module (sold on ebay). Includes links/notes on replacing the heatsink with the Apple Copper one and changing the bus speed to 167MHz.
"Unreal" MDD Cooling Mod
A MDD system owner replaces the case speaker with a cooling fan (and a cool Unreal logo grille).
G4 Clear Case Conversion
Reader article and photos ofhis G4 conversion to a clear (and lighted) tower case.
MDD G4 "Glow" Mod
A reader's article on installing a cold-cathode light tube in Mirrored Drive Door (MDD) G4 tower. (the "snort holes" now glow red)
MDD Case Conversion
(G5-like Alum. case)
A reader's article w/photos detailing how he did a Mirrored Drive Door (MDD) G4 tower case conversion that looks a bit like the new G5 case exterior. (3 page article w/many photos.)
Quicksilver G4 Owner reports
on Big IDE Drive Support
Quicksilver G4 tower owner reports that Jaguar (OS 10.2) allowed "big" (>128GB) IDE drives to be used to their full capacity with the onboard IDE interface without needing 3rd party drivers or an IDE PCI card. (Apple as of May 2003 still notes only MDD G4s and Xserves have native big drive/48bit addressing support in the bootrom.)
MDD owner Feedback on CHUD Tools 3.5.x Nap mode (to lower CPU temperatures)
MDD Owner reports on enabling CPU "NAP" mode on Dual G4 MDD systems to reduce CPU temperatures. (Some noted stability problems - although not all.)
More MDD G4 Tower Cooling Mods
Reader article on MDD G4 tower Cooling mods.
Cheap MDD Cooling Tip
(PCI slot cooler)
Reader comments/temperature tests before/after using a low-cost PCI Slot cooling fan to help exhaust hot air out of the MDD G4 tower case.
MDD G4 Tower Copper Heatsink Swap
Article on swapping in the Copper Heatsink (w/heatpipe) from a MDD Dual 1.42GHz model into a previous MDD G4 tower (which has an Alum. heatsink w/o heatpipe).
Water Cooled MDD G4 Tower
Article with photos of a Water Cooled (CPU) MDD G4 Tower.
PowerLogix DUAL 1GHz CPU Upgrade
For 133MHz Bus Towers
Review comparing the Dual 1GHz CPU Upgrade to the original Digital Audio Dual G4/533 and a Mirrored Drive Door Dual 1GHz Tower. Includes Apps, Games and Benchmark tests and notes on installation.
G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors)
Dual 1GHz reader Review
Reader review of the G4 Mirrored Drive Doors Dual 1GHz system that focuses on features and impressions in use rather than benchmarks. (Also includes a list of past issues reported with the early G4 DDR systems such as PCI Audio Cards, etc.)
G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors)
P.S. Fan Replacements
(for noise reduction)
Article on replacing the Power Supply fans in the G4 Mirrored Drive Doors System. (Note: voids warranty and slightly lower CFM fans do not match Apple's original fan CFM specs. See warnings/disclaimers.)
G4 (MirroredDrive Doors)
CPU Module Speed Settings
Michiro Isobe's illustrated article on the G4 7455 CPU module design.
GVS9000 Dual 1GHz G4
Rack Mount System
Reader review and photos of the GVS9000 Dual 1GHz rack mount system based on the Apple Quicksilver 2002 Dual 1Ghz motherboard.
Review: Dual 1GHz G4 PowerMac (Quicksilver)
Reader Dave Linder sent a review of the Quicksilver Dual 1GHz PowerMac G4. He covers the new system'sfeatures, software included and comments on using Final Cut Pro 3.0, iDVD and iPhoto.
Quicksilver Dual 1GHz G4
Performance Tests
Results of tests in RC5, Quake3 (comparing Geforce4MX vs GeForce3), Stream, Throughput and more from owners of the Dual 1GHz PowerMacs.
G4/500 Dual Performance Tests:
OS X 10.1 vs OS X 10.0.4
Pshop Performance Tests
I compared performance in several areas (Classic/PShop 5.5, boot/disk tests, iMovie2, etc.) running OS X 10.1 vs 10.0.4 on my G4/500 Dual Processor system. Also included are tests in Quake3 for OS X with both a Radeon AGP card and a Geforce3
G4/733 w/GeForce 3
Performance Tests
Comments and Performance tests on a G4/733 (Digital Audio model) system with Nivida GeForce3 AGP graphics card. Includes Radeon vs GeForce3 performance, comparisons to a Dual G4/500 system and comments on GeForce3 game and apps compatibility. (Note this G4/733 is the model with 1MB L3 cache, the summer 2001 G4/733 has no L3 cache.)
G4/867 Memory Bandwidth Tests
Rev 2.0 vs Rev 2.1 CPUs
Benchmark Results
Regular readers will remember the very low memory bandwidth scores from the G4/733 (and all 2.0 revision 7450 G4 CPU chip based Macs). This page has some comparisons of benchmark rates with a rev 2.1 and rev 2.0 7540 CPU.
Quicksilver G4 (733 & 867MHz)
Benchmark Results
Several readers with newG4/867MHz and G4/733Mhz "Quicksilver" systems (summer 2001 model) sent results of benchmark tests. I've included some comparisons to a previous G4/733 Digital Audio system from a previous review here.
G4/867 Quicksilver
Quake3 Performance
First G4/867MHz system (summer 2001 model) comments on Quake3 performance. Includes OS 9.2 and OS X Quake3 FPS results at several resolutions.
G4/733 Overclocking to 800Mhz
Reader report and info on one resistor cut/change that sets the G4/733 module to 800Mhz speeds. Do NOT try this yourself - Voids your warranty and may not be reliable short or long-term.
Overview and Speed Settings of the 7450 CPU Module
(G4/667, G4/733MHz models)
Michiro Isobe's illustrated article on the G4/733 (and G4/667) CPU module design where he notes he overclocked his G4/733 to 867MHz. Do NOT try this yourself - Voids your warranty and may not be reliable short or long-term.
Apple's Comments & Tests
on G4/733 System
Apple's performance product manager sent comments and their test results comparing the G4/733 to other systems.
G4/733 Owner Report
Reader impressions and performance tests (often puzzling) of a 2001 G4 733MHz system with GeForce2MX graphics card.
G4/667 Owner
First Impressions
A reader's impressions ofhis 2001 G4 667MHz system (not a detailed report).
Review of G4/533
Detailed review of a 2001 G4 533MHz with GeForce2MX graphics card.
Dual G4 Processor
CPU Module Swap
Illustrated article on swapping a single G4 CPU module for a dual processor module. (AGP G4 Gigabit Ethernet Tower System)
Quicksilver G4 Tower Fan Noise Reduction Mods
Illustrated article from a reader on his fan mods (several) to reduce noise in a Quicksilver (summer 2001) G4 Tower. (Updated to include links to several other fan noise reduction articles in the "related links" at the bottom of the article.)
How I Quieted the Fan
Noise in my G4 Tower
Illustrated article on how I added padding for fan isolation on my G4 dual processor system to reduce noise. (Blue & White G3s also use the same fan/bracket design.)
Adding a 2nd IDE Drive
to a G4 system
Photo illustrated Guide to adding a 2nd IDE drive to a G4 Mac.
Sawtooth G4/AGP CPU
Module Speed Settings
(100MHz bus systems)
My friend Michiro Isobe details the speed settings, core voltage, L2 level control and Bus clock configuration of the Apple G4 Sawtooth system. [Updated to include 133MHz bus speed info]
Gigabit G4/AGP to 9600
Case Conversion
A multi-page article on converting a G4/AGP (Gigabit Enet) system to a PowerMac 9600 case, which has more external drive bays. Due the risks involved, this article is for entertainment purposes only.
"Sawtooth" G4/AGP to PC ATX
Case Conversion
A Reader describes how he converted a G4/AGP system to work in a PC ATX case (more drive bays, etc.). Page 2 includes notes on using PC ATX Power Supply in "Sawtooth" (only) Tower. (Later G4 towers had different PS's with ADC power, etc.)
G4 Cube Related Articles
(FYI: Old articles have many obsolete links now from Apple and other mfrs.
However Apple has some G4 Cube related Manuals/Guides here.)
Review: GigaDesigns G4/1GHz-1.2GHz CPU CUBE CPU Upgrade
Review of the first GigaDesigns Cube CPU upgrade w/2MB SDR L3 compared to the stock Cube G4/450 CPU. Tested at 1GHz and 1.2GHz.Apps, Games, Benchmark comparisons to the stock G4/450 Cube as well as installation/jumper settings info and core temperature tests.
G4 Cube Mods for
8500 Radeon Card
Reader Photos/Info on how he modified his Cube (moving the Power Supply board) to be able to install a Radeon 8500 AGP card. (Note - 80mm case fan also installed for cooling.)
Review of Cube 1GHz
CPU Upgrade
Review of the Powerlogix 1GHz CPU Upgrade for the Cube. (Tested in apps/games/benchmarks vs the original G4/450 and a dual 500MHz CPU module in the Cube)
Dual G4/500 Cube
Photos of how a reader installed a Sonnet Duet Dual G4/500 in a G4 Cube. (I later did the same mod myself.)
Dual G4/450 Cube
Photos of how a reader stuffed an Apple Dual G4/450 CPU module in a G4 Cube.
"All American" Cube
w/U.S. Flag Design
William Rivas sent photos and info on how he customized his Cube with an American Flag inside the clear housing.
G4 Cube
Owner Comments
In June 2001 there were some rumors of the Cube being discontinued, so I asked for Cube owner comments on how they liked their machines and if they had seen any problems. I received many more reports than I expected the first day.
G3 System Reviews and Related Articles
Case Conversion with 2 Mac Motherboards inside
Adrianna L. sent photos and info on her unusual Case Conversion with 2 Mac Motherboards inside - a B&W G3 and PowerTower Pro logic board in the same case
Adding a 2nd IDE Drive
to a B&W G3 Rev 2
Photo illustrated Guide to adding a 2nd IDE drive to a Blue and White G3 revision 2 system.
B&W G3 to PC ATX
Case Conversion
Reader Tim S. describes how he converted a B&W G3 to work in a PC ATX case.
Beige G3 to PC ATX
Case Conversion
Reader Tim Seufertdescribes how he converted a Beige G3 motherboard to work in a PC ATX case.
Powerbook System Reviews and Related Articles
Review of Daystar 1.92GHz CPU Upgrade for AL PowerBook G4
Reader review of the upgrade tested in his 2003 Powerbook G4 (originally 1.25GHz). Includes notes on heat, performance, pros/cons, VirtualPC,and some issues he saw when running at full speed.
Alum Powerbook G4 Finish Wear
Aluminum PowerBook G4 owners reporting on how the finish is holding up (some noting pitting/black spots/wear, others not).
PowerBook G4
Hard Drive Upgrade
Photo Illustrated Installation Guide for PowerBook G4 hard drives. Includes a page on drive setup formatting also.
PowerBook Firewire
G3/500 Review
Detailed review of thefirewire PowerBook G3/500 including application and game performance comparisons and much more.
PowerBook Firewire
Hard Drive Upgrade
Review and Installation of an IBM 32GB Travelstar drive in a PowerBook G3 Firewire model. Includes photos of the installation and comparisons of performance with the original 12GB drive, and IBM 20GB and 32GB drive.
PowerBook Wallstreet
Hard Drive Upgrade
Review and Installation of an IBM 20GB Travelstar drive in a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet. Includes photos of the installation and comparisons of performance with the original 4GB drive and the new 20GB drive.
iMac, eMac & iBook System Related Articles
iMac eSATA Mod
(using Mini-PCIe Card)

(Sept 2010) iMac (intel-based) notes and pictures on swapping out the Airport card with the same 2-port SATA card for eSATA used earlier by Mini owners. (See article link below.)
(An earlier article on this mod is here.)
Info on iMac's HD + SSD Option w/service part info

(July 2010) 2010 iMac owner's notes with Apple P/Ns on cables for adding a SSD to a 27in Mac with Hard Drive. (If any reader knows if the same parts are used for 2011 iMacs, send a note. Thanks.)
2007 iMac 20in LCD Feedback/Tips
(viewing angles/washed out color)
A catch-all page with notes/specs/tips on the first Intel-CPU 20in iMacs Display which has less viewing angle than the previous 20in (or the 24in). Includes notes on custom display calibration/gamma that can help with the washed out color/overly bright display.
iBook G4 Vreg Chip Solder Joint Repair
Article on repairing cracked solder joints on the iBook G4 motherboard voltage regulator chip (prone to cracks over time.)
Article on iBook G3 Video Repair (may not be a permanent fix)
April 24th, 2006 news page item on iBook G3 graphics problem repair (where BGA chip solder joints break). Includes notes it may not be a permanent repair.
iMac G5 Cooling Fan Mod/Temperature reports
iMac G5 owner's mod to add a cooling fan on the rear to prevent overheating. Includes many other iMac G5 owner reports on internal temperatures, etc.
Review/Performance Tests of iBook G4/800
Full review of iBook G4/800 with apps, games and benchmark tests. Includes comparisons to other systems.
iMac to ATX/PowerCenter Case Conversion
Reader article on converting early iMac (233-333MHz) to an ATX/PowerCenter case including soft power on/off.
iMac G3/233 Clear Cube Case Conversion
Reader's home-made large clear Cube case conversion for an early iMac.
iMac to Mac IICI Case Conversion
Pat Sullivan sent a Word doc that I converted to HTML with photos and info on his iMac to IICI case conversion he performed on a used iMac with analog board failure
IDE External CDRW mod
for early iMacs
Reader mini-guide for installing an external IDE CDRW drive with an early iMac.
iBook (Radeon)/eMac (ATI)/iMac G4/G5 - Dual Monitor Support Firmware Mod
Reader reports on a firmware mod (unsupported by apple) to enable dual display support for iBook's w/Radeon Mobility chip, eMacs w/ATI graphics and iMac G4/G5s. (Does not work with Mac Mini and some other later models, nor older iBook/iMac models that had older graphics chips.)
iMac G4 Take-Apart
Reader article w/photos of disassembling the iMac G4 (flat panel 2002 model) for things like RAM or Drive upgrades.
iBook 2002 Overclocking via Hardware
Reader article on iBook 2002 Overclocking via resistor mods.
iBook 2002 Overclocking via Software?
Reader reports on software overclocking of the iBook 2002's IBM 750FX CPU.
iBook 2001 Overclocking Guide - 100Mhz Bus Speed/600MHz CPU Tests
A reader sent a guide to how he modified his 2001 iBook to run at 100mhz bus speed and 600mhz CPU speed. Includes before/after performance tests and photos.
iMAXpowr G4/433
G4 upgrade for G3 iMacs
A detailed review of Newer Tech's G4 CPU upgrade for rev A to D (233-33Mhz) iMacs. Includes application and game tests using my rev A iMac with Game Wizard graphics card.
Older Mac System Reviews and Related Articles
Case Conversion with 2 Mac Motherboards inside
Adrianna Lane sent photos and info on her unusual Case Conversion with 2 Mac Motherboards inside - a B&W G3 and PowerTower Pro logic board in the same case
Inside the Daystar Genesis
(1998's Project Mac)
A look inside my loaded Daystar Genesis, the 1998 Ultimate Mac project system. Nicknamed "Elvis" since it's the King of expandability and installed components. 6 internal SCSI drives (incl. 4-drive RAID stripe), Dual SCSI cards, 768MB of RAM and much more. (Currently running a Newer Tech G4/400 CPU card)
The Mach 5 Page
Differences in the Mach 5 motherboard/CPU cards and more. Info on the lower video/memory performance of the Kansas motherboard.
8500 Cache Dimm
Upgrade Guide
1997 article on how to replace the L2 cache dimm in a 8500 (9500 case is similar). Also useful for adding RAM. Read the warnings on potential damage from handling the motherboard. (8600/9600 cases flip open. 8600/250 and up systems have no L2 cache dimm - it's on the CPU card.)
Inside the
PowerCenter Pro
My 1997 review of the PowerComputing PowerCenter Pro. The review covers performance of the 180/210/240 models, compatibility notes, upgrade tips and more. Also includes pages with photos inside the system identifying various components like CPU card, cache, video riser and more.
PC ATX Power Supply Conversion for 8600/9600
Reader Dick Moore shows how he converted a PC ATX power supply for using in his 8600 (9600 similar).
8500 to PC ATX
Case Conversion
Reader Dan Calhoun shows how he converted his 8500 to work in a PC ATX case for easier access and more drive bays.
7500 to PC ATX
Case Conversion
Reader Paul de Haan shows how he converted his 7500 to work in a PC ATX case.
Misc. Articles
Recent Posts/Articles/Updates
A listing of reports/tips/articles, etc. you might find useful.

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