Sonnet Encore Ziff G4 500mhz CPU for my Beige G3

After expecting a G5 in January - plans changed two weeks ago, and I now expect a Dual 3GHZ no earlier than Summer 2004. This has an upside and a downside. The upside is instead of a Dual 2.5GHZ on a 130nm CPU I will have a Dual 3GHZ G5 on a 90nm CPU - along with possibly Dual Optical drive bays and three to four hard drive bays. The downside is to get my work done over the next year, my Beige G3 won't cut it - even with maxed out upgrades (other than the CPU). So I was granted a CPU by my new job and last weekend I installed it with the help of Damien who has done several CPU upgrades on Macs.

The CPU installation went flawlessly, and we even vacuumed out my Mac, and redid the IDE cables since he said they were too tight. After he redid them they had more breathing room. We booted up into OS X and I did notice a performance boost, not super fast, but still a slight performance boost. The manual said to run an installer from OS 9, well since I had forgotten my ADB mouse on the Island (I use a USB mouse in X), we couldn't get the installer to work without a mouse. I restored OS 9 from a disk image I had made which was prior to having a USB mouse.

After an hour or so of not getting anywhere we just did the OS X Tune-up. After we went to dinner we came back and he left his OS X BootCD he made, and I ran it later that night. Well this didn't go so well. First it took over an hour to boot, second the screen was this grey tile look. I gave up on trying to do anything rebooted and BOOM my jag installation wouldn't boot. My only choice was to reinstall. No biggy. So I reinstall and boom after the first disc is done and Jag boots to the HD BANG the OS hangs. Reinstall again same thing. I gave up after 4-5 installs went to bed worked on it in the morning. Same thing install wouldn't work. I decided to try 10.0 got it installed then the 10.1 installer failed during the install.

v Well I went back to install 10.0 and then it failed to install. I then went back to try Jag, and finally got it reinstalled by late Sunday evening. It ran until Damien came over Tuesday morning to put new IDE cables in my Mac. Well that didn't do so well, the IDE connecter on the motherboard uses the extra pin that is blocked out. He also brought an ADB mouse and we ran Disk Warrior 2.1.1 via Mac OS 9 and it fixed the problems I was having on my HD... that was causing some kernel panics and stuff before I got the CPU.

He left and within two hours and BOOM! The Jag got hosed again. I called Damien again and he hit me with some harsh words. He said it was the CPU, and it's time to get a new Mac. Well to say the least, I went into shock when I went to bed just after midnight. His words hit me very hard. The first shock was realizing that I did need to let go of my beige G3. The next shock was that I could use the inheritance from my grandmother to get a G4 tower instead of an eMac. This was a good, with a G4 DP 1.25GHZ I could get through the next couple years.

Wednesday I got my Mac backup and stuck to basic stuff e-mail and web. Damien came over Thursday morning and extracted the CPU, put the old one back in and BOOM! My computer became rock solid, instantly. That proved it was the CPU.

So in conclusion, all upgrades to this point had been flawless other than the 4MB VRAM upgrade to the onboard video in 2001. Others have had successful CPU upgrades - but this CPU upgrade was the straw that broke the camel's back. I could have installed the OS 9 tune-up and maybe the CPU would have worked, but for me I need a rock solid machine, and don't need to go to the hassles to get my computer working when I reinstall it.