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PowerMac G4 Graphite - Upgrade & Repair


PowerMac G4 Graphite

The PowerMac G4 Graphite brought the PowerPC G4 chip into production for Apple, and replaced the PowerMac G3 Blue & White as Apple's high-end workstation.

The first model, the PowerMac G4 PCI Graphics suffers somewhat from first revision syndrome, being in effect a Blue & White with a G4 processor upgrade and a different case, while the subsequent AGP Graphics model was the first machine truly designed around the G4 chip. Such upgrades for the Blue & White would soon enough be available on the aftermarket, making some who had replaced a Blue & White with a G4 PCI Graphics somewhat frustrated. Especially when much faster but incompatible CPU upgrades were released for the AGP Graphics.

The later Gigabit Ethernet model was very similar to the AGP Graphics, just with slightly faster clock speeds (and a dual processor option) and a faster ethernet socket. The Digital Audio was a more significant revision, upgrading the graphics socket from 2x AGP to 4x AGP and the memory bus from 100MHz to 133MHz, though curiously reducing the RAM slots from 4 to 3 (so reducing the maximum RAM from 2GB down to 1.5GB).

All in all, with the exception of the PCI Graphics, these machines were excellent workstations. They kept the fantastic easy-open hinged case of the Blue & White, and their socketed CPUs and third parties releasing processor upgrades for them (we upgraded many an AGP Graphics machine up to over 1GHz back in the day) kept many of these machines running for years. You can see an old overview we wrote during this era here (internal links are dead).

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