Charles Moore's Mailbag

WallStreet CPU Upgrades, Quartz Extreme on Pismo, 64-bit Intel Future, Bad iTunes Track, and a TV/Monitor Solution

Charles Moore - 2005.06.27 - Tip Jar

WallStreet Upgrade Question

From Cliff Dickerson:

Charles,

Hello. I enjoyed your article on upgrading PowerBook G3s. It was very helpful. I have a question maybe you have some time to answer for me.

I bought a PowerBook G3 Wallstreet II (233 MHz, 512 KB cache) for $100 for my mom who is leaving to Africa and needed something sturdy for email and journal entrees. Also she is new to computers, and making her use Windows XP was not an option.

I have added a low profile 256 meg chip to the "service tech" RAM slot on the CPU board and another "taller" 256 chip to the user accessible RAM slot. I have also added a 40 GB Toshiba hard drive and USB 2.0 and 802.11b PCMCIA cards.

My question is what CPU boards from other PowerBook G3s can I purchase, either from an "upgrade" company or used from eBay or something, for example a Pismo or Lombard CPU board? the 233 MHz is still very slow, even for just email and text file editing.

Thanks very much for your time!

-Cliff

Hi Cliff,

You might be able to swap in a processor daughtercard from a faster WallStreet II (266 MHz or 300 MHz). The Lombard and Pismo daughtercards will definitely not work.

My suggestion, if you want more processor power without spending too much money, would be to check out the modestly priced to G3 WallStreet upgrades from Wegener Media:

  • G3/400, $99.99
  • G4/500, $219

Charles

Enabling Quartz Extreme on Pismo

From Jonny:

Hey Charles,

Long time reader, first time writer. I wanted to bring this program [PCI Extreme!] to your attention, as I figured it may work on your Pismo, as my friend has ran it fine on his 500 MHz iBook, which has the same graphics board and 8 MB of VRAM.

I have also ran this on my Power Mac G4 PCI and a Radeon 7000, and it works beautifully. The Fast User Switching works smoothly, Dashboard has no jitters, etc. Its a great program. I figured you may wanna give it a shot on your Pismo. :)

Enjoy!

- Jonny

Hi Jonny,

I had heard of this hack but didn't realize that it might work on laptops. Sounds like it's worth a try. Thanks for the tip!

Charles

UPDATE: Several readers have reported that PCI Extreme! requires ATI Radeon video and does not support earlier ATI video chipsets, such as the ATI Rage video found in older Macs.

64-bit Intel Future

From Scott Selby:

Perhaps Steve knew this before the announcement.

Intel Shifts Pentium 4 to 64 Bits

ExtremeTech reports:

"Intel shifted the majority of its Pentium 4 processors to 64-bit capability over the weekend.

"Intel quietly introduced the Intel 5x1 series, which shifts the existing 775-pin, 32-bit Pentium 4 line - known as the 5xx series - to 64-bit memory addressing."

Perhaps you might not need 64 bits, I know that I don't need much more than my 400 MHz iMac to do most of the work that I do with a computer. It is nice to know that Apple isn't taking a step backward from the G5 to a 32-bit processor.

Scott Selby

Intel Already Has 64-bit CPUs

From Ed Hurtley:

This is a response to one of your "Macintel letters" - from Scott Selby.

Scott writes: "As of the last time that I checked, Intel still has not released a 64-bit [x86] processor. What justification is there for going with a 32-bit Intel when the [64-bit] Athlon exists?"

Intel does, indeed, have 64-bit x86 processors. Their Xeon line has used the x86-64 extension for months now (Intel calls it 'EMT' for 'Extended Memory Technology', but it really is an implementation of AMD's 64-bit extensions to the x86 ISA.) And 64-bit Pentium 4's are just now hitting the market. With a year to go before even the first Mac, Intel will likely have their entire line of processors supporting 'EMT', making them 64-bit.

Some links that show 64-bit support:

(Some models support 64-bit.)

Ed Hurtley

Bad iTunes Track Update

From Owen Strawn:

Apple was kind enough to offer me a refund (though they haven't posted it yet), so I deleted the tracks from my library and ordered the CD from Amazon. Guess what? The clipping is just as bad on the CD - as far as I can tell it is identical (not hardly surprising, I suppose). So it isn't actually an iTunes problem.

Owen

Thanks for the update, Owen.

Charles

19" Samsung LCD Monitor/TV

From Marion in response to Pismo Upgrade and TV Tuner Question:

My husband bought a Samsung 19" LCD from Sam's (he bought at $540, I think). I has a place to plug in a TV cable and works a treat. I just bought a second one, and it was $499. Great screen, big, clear and TV.

Marion

Thanks Marion.

Charles

Re: Pismo Upgrade and TV Tuner Question

From Ben Funk:

Oh, neat! I'll check in to those.

The route I ended up taking was an ATI Xclaim VR/TV combo. When it comes time for a new monitor, however, I'll certainly check out LCD's with the built in tuner.

Thanks for passing that along.


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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at Applelinks.com and a columnist at MacPrices.net. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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