Mystic Power Mac G4

Claiming “two brains are better than one,” Apple introduced the first dual processor Power Macs since the 9600MP, which had two 200 MHz 604e processors. Although Mac OS 9 has some multiprocessing support, until OS X shipped, only a few applications – such as Photoshop – took advantage of the second processor.

Power Mac G4 Gigabit Ethernet Mystic

Fortunately for buyers, Apple added the second G4 processor without raising the price of the Power Mac G4. This meant that anyone buying a Mystic G4 (a.k.a. Gigabit Ethernet) would be ready for the multiprocessor enabled OS X.

Although Mystic supports up to 2 GB of RAM, Mac OS 9 is only able to recognize up to 1.5 GB of RAM.

Because of voltage differences between the AGP 2x and 4x specifications, AGP 4x cards may be electronically incompatible with computers designed for AGP 2x cards, although many cards are designed to work in both 2x and 4x slots. Be sure to check compatibility before purchasing any AGP 4x card for this Power Mac.

You should have the most recent firmware installed in your Power Mac G4. The newest version for this Power Mac is Power Mac G4 Firmware Update 4.2.8, which is only for Sawtooth, Gigabit Ethernet/Mystic, and Digital Audio Power Macs. To install this firmware update, you must boot into Mac OS 9.1-9.2.2 from a writable partition (not a CD).


  • introduced 2000.07.19 with 400 MHz single-CPU model (see specs for Sawtooth), 450 MHz dual at US$2,499, and 500 MHz dual at US$3,499; replaced by Digital Audio on 2001.01.18
  • code names: Mystic, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Requires Mac OS 9.0.4 through OS X 10.4 Tiger; 10.5 Leopard not officially supported but runs
  • CPU: dual 450/500 MHz PPC G4
  • Bus: 100 MHz
  • Performance:
    • Geekbench 2 (Leopard): 484 (500 dual), 437 (450 dual)
    • Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 497 (500 dual), 421 (450 dual), 261 (400 single)
    • Speedmark: 165 (500 dual), 158 (450 dual)
  • L2 cache: 1 MB 2:1 backside cache per processor
  • RAM: 128/256 MB standard on 450/500 MHz models, expandable to 2 GB (although Mac OS 9 will only recognize 1.5 GB) using PC100 SDRAM (3.3V, unbuffered, 64-bit, 168-pin, 100 MHz) in 4 DIMM slots
  • VRAM: 16 MB
  • Video: ATI Rage 128 Pro in AGP 2x slot; supports resolutions to 1600 x 1200 with 32-bit support, VGA and ADC connectors (no DVI).
  • Hard drive: 30/40 GB 7200 rpm Ultra ATA/66 on 400/450/500 MHz models. Maximum IDE drive size is 128 GB without third-party support. See How big a hard drive can I put in my iMac, eMac, or Power Mac? for three options.
  • DVD-ROM on G4/450 MP
    DVD-RAM on G4/500 MP
  • internal Zip drive optional
  • three 64-bit PCI slots
  • internal 56k modem standard
  • Microphone: standard 3.5mm minijack, compatible with line-level input including Apple’s PlainTalk microphone
  • two 400 Mbps FireWire ports
  • two 12 Mbps USB ports for keyboard, mouse, and peripherals
  • Ethernet: 10/100/gigabit
  • antenna and connector for AirPort card
  • size (HxWxD): 17.0″ x 8.9″ x 18.4″
  • Weight: 30.0 lb.
  • Gestalt ID: n/a
  • PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
  • upgrade path: VIA CPU upgrades
  • part numbers: M7891 (400 MHz), M7892 (450 dual), M7893 (500 dual)

Accelerators & Upgrades

Online Resources


  • Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard boot times for Power Mac with GeForce 6200 fall into the 4-5 minute range, and it was initially suggested that you install Leopard with the Mac’s original video card to avoid slowing down the process. “gotoh” has posted the fix in The Mac Elite Forum. The delay is due to Leopard not supporting temperature sensors in G4 Macs. Simply remove AppleHWSensor.kext from /System/Library/Extensions, and the delay goes away.
  • Power Macs earlier than the Quicksilver 2002 models do not have built-in support for IDE hard drives with capacities over 128 GB. Without a third-party solution, larger drives can only be formatted to 128 GB in these models. There are three options:
  • Power Mac G4 (AGP): Single channel SCSI cards may interfere with wake from sleep, Apple Knowledge Base, 2002.07.22. Computer may incorrectly assume card supports power down mode and not wake properly from sleep under OS 8.6.

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