Power Macintosh

Guide to G4 CPU Upgrades for G3 and G4 PCI Power Macs

Updated 2007.11.06

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The G4 goes two steps beyond the popular G3, adding the Velocity Engine (formerly AltiVec) and support for a 2 MB level 2 cache.

If you have a Power Mac G3, whether the original beige model or the blue & white one, moving to a faster CPU is as easy as removing the current one and inserting a new one in the zero insertion force (ZIF) socket. The same goes for the "Yikes!" version of the Power Mac G4, which has the same 100 MHz system bus as the blue & white G3. (For faster G4s, see our Guide to Upgrades for Power Mac G4.)

The information is as accurate as I can find, but specifications and availability are subject to change; I suggest you check with the manufacturer to verify current models. Prices keep dropping, so these prices may be outdated. (Prices are in $US.) In fact, models are added and discontinued so often, it's impossible to keep track of which models are current.

NOTE: Not all upgrades are compatible with the Blue & White G3.

Discontinued accelerators are listed for historical reasons.

Manufacturer CPU
Speed
Cache
Size
Cache
Speed
Estimated
Street Price
metabox
joeCARD Z
adjustable bus
discontinued
500 MHz 2 MB 250 MHz disc
500 MHz 1 MB 250 MHz disc
450 MHz 2 MB 225 MHz disc
450 MHz 1 MB 225 MHz disc
400 MHz 1 MB 200 MHz disc
Newer Technology
MAXpowr G4
discontinued
533 MHz 1 MB 266 MHz disc
500 MHz 1 MB 250 MHz disc
450 MHz 1 MB 225 MHz disc
400 MHz 1 MB 200 MHz disc
OWC
Mercury
discontinued
450-500 MHz 1 MB 213-250 MHz disc
500-600 MHz 1 MB 213-250 MHz disc
Phase 5
G4 Power Booster
discontinued
450-466 MHz 1 MB 180/186 MHz disc
400 MHz 1 MB 200 MHz disc
350-366 MHz 1 MB 175/183 MHz disc
PowerLogix
PowerForce G4 ZIF
550 MHz 1 MB 220 MHz disc
450 MHz 1 MB 225 MHz disc
450 MHz 1 MB 225 MHz disc
400 MHz 1 MB 200 MHz disc
1.0 GHz 1 MB L2 disc
1.1 GHz 1 MB L2 disc
Sonnet
Encore/ZIF
updated 11/6/07
1 GHz 1 MB 250 MHz $299
800 MHz 1 MB 228 MHz disc
700 MHz 1 MB 233 MHz disc
500 MHz 1 MB 250 MHz $149
400 MHz 1 MB 200 MHz disc
XLR8
MACh Speed G4 ZIF
updated 11/6/07
600 MHz 1 MB 250 MHz $199
550 MHz 1 MB 250 MHz $199
500 MHz 1 MB 250 MHz $179
466 MHz 1 MB 250 MHz $139
XLR8
MACh Speed G4 ZIF MPe
discontinued
500 MHz 1 MB 250 MHz disc
450 MHz 1 MB 225 MHz disc
400 MHz 1 MB 200 MHz disc
350 MHz 1 MB 225 MHz disc

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