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9/12/01 Wednesday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

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Detailed Comments on Dual G4/800 System w/ZIP Drive:
Last Updated: 9/13/2001

Jarod Wilson sent a detailed listing of comments on his new G4/800 Dual Processor system, comparing it to his previous Dual G4/500. He also included comments on the drive bay and ZIP drive bezel as well as some Quake3 tests with a GeForce 3 vs Radeon graphics card. He also said the keyboard has some changes over the previous model.

" Mike-
I would just like to share my experiences upgrading my personal system from a G4/500DP to a G4/800DP. There are some small differences here and there that I haven't heard mentioned before, and some I have, but will reiterate.

  1. The new case really does look much nicer than the old case.

  2. Despite the complaints about noise I've heard from others, I don't really hear much difference between the 500 and the 800.
    [There have been several articles here on Quicksilver noise reduction, from owners that complained about fan noise. The Systems page links to the first one, which has 4 other links in it to the other articles.-Mike]

  3. The new machines require a bit of customization to the front bezel of an optical drive (CD/DVD) to get them to fit. The front cover of most CD trays won't fit through the opening on the case.

  4. The version of OS X on the machine is 10.0.4, build 4S10, rather than 10.0.4, build 4Q12. OS 9 version is 9.2.1.

  5. Despite people's comments that the motherboard looks as if it might have been intended for a different case, I think the shifting of components simply looks like Apple wanted to get the processor in a position where they could draw air in directly across the processor to reduce temperatures. The old layout had various ports (mainly the FireWire ports) in the way of being able to do this.

  6. For those who were wondering (I was, anyway) how the internal Zip drive worked, the solid bezel is just replaced with one that has a hole in it for Zip disks to be inserted (with a black door covering the hole), which sort of detracts from the appearance of the front of the machine.

    zip drive view

  7. The QuickSilver that I got came with a different keyboard than the one with my old 500. Just 3 weeks ago at work, I got an Apple USB keyboard from the Apple Store that was identical to my old 500 keyboard, but the one that came with the 800 is a bit different. It actually feels even better than the old keyboard, with a slightly more responsive feel. Additionally, the markings on the keys are a brighter white, making it easier to see the keys, especially in low-light situations.

  8. I simply pulled the hard drives out of my 500 and moved them over to the 800 (which meant just swapping the main hard drive bracket with drive(s) on it between the two machines, very easy). When I tried to install the GeForce drivers (GeForce 2.1.1 update from Apple), I was unable to do so. I was informed that this driver was not intended for my system, despite the fact that the 800 has a GeForce 3 in it. I ended up manually extracting the nVidia drivers with TomeViewer, and all is well, as far as graphics acceleration. The 500 has/had a Radeon installed... Even removing all ATI drivers and trying the GeForce update failed, as did running the GeForce update after manually installing the nVidia drivers. Installing 9.2.1 from the included CD over the top of my current install may cure some of the problems.

  9. Under OS X, Quake 3, running exactly the same config, went from 58-59 fps on the 500 w/Radeon, to 90 fps on the 800 w/GeForce 3. Later, I intend to try out the Radeon in the 800 to get a more direct comparison between the two cards (both are OEM from Apple, btw). I haven't tried Q3 under 9 yet (or any other games for that matter, just haven't had the time yet).

  10. The power supply no longer has a monitor power receptacle (for powering a non-ADC monitor through the computer), since Apple wants everyone to go ADC.

  11. The 500 has plastic stick-on feet on the bottom of the case (one on each of the bottom two handles), while the 800 does not. The recess into which the stick-ons would go is still there, but no feet.

  12. The handles no longer have grooves in them. The handles are clear and solid (but not to be mistaken for an anti-perspirant).

For reference, the full setup of the new machine is as follows:

  • -Dual 800MHz PowerPC G4 processors
  • -1.5GB of PC133 CL3 SDRAM ($55 per 512MB @ OWC!!!)
  • -30GB IBM DeskStar 75GXP as primary drive
  • -60GB Maxtor DiamondMax for storage (mp3's, downloads, etc)
  • -Internal Iomega Zip 250
  • -Internal Sony 12x CD-RW (now I'm kicking myself for not just spending the extra cash for the SuperDrive, since it doesn't look very easy to swap a new drive in to this machine)
  • -GeForce 3
  • -SoundBlaster Live! (when will we see OS X drivers?!?)
  • -LiteOn 16/10/40 CD-RW drive in a QPS FireWire case (which works fine with iTunes under both OS 9 and X with the modified plugins I submitted earlier)

And the old machine, as it now stands after being stripped of things that moved to the 800:

  • -Dual 500MHz PowerPC G4 processors
  • -384MB PC100 SDRAM (also had one of the 512's in it, but I moved it to the 800)
  • -40GB IBM DeskStar 5400rpm drive (the OEM drive from the 800)
  • -DVD-ROM
  • -Internal Iomega Zip 100
  • -Radeon

If there are any questions anyone has, or any further testing/comparison information someone would like, I would be happy to try and satisfy such a request. Thanks for the wonderful site! It is the first thing I read every morning.
-Jarod Wilson
[he later wrote]
I should have some time this evening to play around with the two video cards for a direct comparison of them in the 800. For a completely thorough analysis, it may have to be put off until the weekend, when I can actually devote a large enough chunk of time to it, but I'll see what I can accomplish tonight. I also have a GeForce 2 MX in my Athlon PC that I have been considering replacing with a GeForce 3, which would make the MX available to flash and test out in the 800 as well... "


Dual 800 and Dual 500

800DP vs 500DP Front
800DP vs 500DP Backs

Dual 800 Motherboard

800DP motherboard

Dual 500 Motherboard

500DP motherboard

For other Quicksilver system related articles, see the G4 Macs section of the Systems page. (The systems page also has articles on previous G4 models, G3 macs, Powerbooks, iBooks, iMacs, Cubes and older mac models.)

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