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Category: Take Apart and Upgrade

Reviving a fried Power Mac G4 CPU card

Reviving a fried Power Mac G4 CPU card

Once in a while I take on a project that involves something I’ve never done before. This time it is the revival and overclocking of a Power Mac G4 (MDD) dual 1.25GHz CPU card. This card was working fine until someone decided to take the world’s biggest soldering iron to it in an attempt to overclock it to 1.5GHz. Just like making a sandwich with an excavator, this was doomed to fail. The card fried, pads and traces burned right…

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Project Maya – Full Body Transplant

Project Maya – Full Body Transplant

This is a post in the Project Maya series. To see all related posts go to the index page here. You may recall me writing “Project Maya, named so by my son when I asked him what a fun codename would be, is the restoration, rebuilding and upgrading of a 2002 Power Mac G4 Mirrored Drive Doors. This is the first generation so doesn’t have FireWire 800. I wanted a 2002 model specifically because it is the last model to…

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Project Maya – Upgrading the graphics card again

Project Maya – Upgrading the graphics card again

This is a post in the Project Maya series. To see all related posts go to the index page here. No, I didn’t mess up and accidentally named this post the same as the previous one. And no, you’re not seeing double. I am upgrading the graphics card yet again. The ATI Radeon 9600 performs really well, handling the games I play without issue but it being a card designed for the G5, it simply doesn’t get enough airflow in…

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Project Maya – Upgrading the graphics card

Project Maya – Upgrading the graphics card

This is a post in the Project Maya series. To see all related posts go to the index page here. This MDD being a gaming machine, the stock ATI Radeon 9000 with 64MB of VRAM was not cutting it. Sure, games would run fine but with settings way down, and even then I often dipped below 10fps. It’s very hard to shoot people at 10fps or less. I needed something a little better so the search began. A few good…

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Project Maya – Overclocking the Sonnet Duet 1.8

Project Maya – Overclocking the Sonnet Duet 1.8

This is a post in the Project Maya series. To see all related posts go to the index page here. I was in good shape. Brand new processor board, running the goal temperatures even with the case closed and during an Unreal Tournament server test, no higher than 54C. Time to move on to the next upgrade! Then there was a Greg Hrutkay, a fella notorious for being a bad influence. He suggested the Sonnet could be overclocked to 2.0Ghz…

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Project Maya – Installing a new CPU

Project Maya – Installing a new CPU

This is a post in the Project Maya series. To see all related posts go to the index page here. While looking for a new CPU card I did some more testing with the fried 1.25Ghz chips. They ran long enough for me to do some basic testing and I ended up removing the internal speaker. This made a surprisingly big difference in the heat output of the power supply as it was now able to draw some fresh air…

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Project Maya – The first upgrades

Project Maya – The first upgrades

This is a post in the Project Maya series. To see all related posts go to the index page here. With the Mac clean and functional, it was time to install a few upgrades. The reason I wanted a FW400 model was native Mac OS 9 compatibility but I really wanted FW800. So a 64-bit (bootable) card was found and installed. Even though I will probably never need it, I also wanted USB 2.0 available just in case so this…

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Project Maya – The find and first hands on

Project Maya – The find and first hands on

This is a post in the Project Maya series. To see all related posts go to the index page here. Finding the MDD I wanted was not hard, they are readily available on sites such as eBay. Finding one where I would not pay more than it’s worth however was extremely difficult. I’d find one for $50 (the most I’d pay for one) but shipping ranged anywhere from $40-$130 which put it way out of my price range. Locally I’ve…

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Project Maya – The 2002 MDD

Project Maya – The 2002 MDD

Project Maya, named so by my son when I asked him what a fun codename would be, is the restoration, rebuilding and upgrading of a 2002 Power Mac G4 Mirrored Drive Doors. This is the first generation so doesn’t have FireWire 800.  I wanted a 2002 model specifically because it is the last model to boot Mac OS 9 natively. Sure the FW800 can boot Mac OS 9 by running a modified version and it works well, I wanted the…

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Mac Pro Pixlas Mod

Mac Pro Pixlas Mod

Parts you need: – A graphics card of choice – Open-end to dual 8 pin cable (ships from China) – Quick splice taps Tools you need: – Screwdriver with flexible extension – Phillips screw bit (PH1) – Hex screw bit (2.5) – Knife to cut wire insulation – Crimper – Compressed air (if you want to give your Mac a good cleaning while you’re at it) – WD40 (optional but cleans really well) – Multimeter (recommended) I also put a Kit…

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