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FYI, in addition to publishing Low End Mac and doing some Mac consulting, I'm working a third shift job 2 to 4 nights a week, so replying to emails and phone calls may take some time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Early iMac G4 Mini FAQ

I've received some inquiries lately regarding early G4 iMacs (the 2002 and Early 2003 models) that don't quite meet the hardware requirements for certain apps.

Can I upgrade or overclock the CPU?
There are no CPU upgrades available, and the general consensus among overclockers is that it's not worth the effort for the small boost in speed. If you need more processing power, you need to move to a more powerful iMac.

Can I upgrade the USB 1.1 port to USB 2.0?
There is no practical way to upgrade the ports on G4 iMacs. If you want or need USB 2.0, you need to buy a last generation (15" 1 GHz, 17" or 20" 1.25 GHz) model.

It's sluggish under Tiger or Jaguar. Can I install more than 1GB of RAM?
No, the early models do not support that. Only the Late 2003 G4 iMacs support 2GB of RAM - and that will improve performance.

Can I upgrade the video card?
No, there is no separate "video card" in G4 iMacs. The last generation G4 iMacs have GeForce 4MX video, which is a step up from GeForce 2MX in earlier models.

The final revision of the G4 iMac is the best of the bunch - it runs a faster CPU, supports more RAM, has better graphics, and supports USB 2.0. If you love the iMac G4 design but have run up against the limitations of the 2002 or Early 2003 models, your only real upgrade option is a Late 2003 iMac.

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