Dealing with Macintosh power woes | SierraSun.com

Dealing with Macintosh power woes

Brian PrestowitzTech Talk

For a while now, I have been getting calls and questions about one common issue that has been going on with Macintoshs old flagship the true and trusted PowerMac G3 and G4. The primary question is How can I speed up my old PowerMac? The answer to this is an easy but expensive one.For starters, upgrade those hard drives with faster ones. Next, look into getting more memory. I always recommend you max out your memory and to never skimp because sooner or later youre going to wish you had that extra memory, especially when you look at your photos in iPhoto, listen to music in iTunes, edit and record a professional level movie in iMovie and make your own music in Garage Band programs. Even in the business office, youre going to wish that you had that extra memory when you use Microsoft Office for Macintosh or the iWork Suite for Mac.You may also want to check out your old AGP or PCI video cards. Make sure the card has more then just 128 MB of video RAM. While 256 MB is good, 512 MB is much better. The difference is astronomical when youre checking out a photo or watching a movie.

Finally, get that old and obsolete processor chipset out of there and upgrade with a Sonnet Technologies processor. Though processor chipsets are expensive, its well worth it. If you have a 400 MHz PowerMac, upgrade that PowerMac to a 1 GH or even higher. I myself have an old 1999 PowerMac at home that used to run a 533 MHz processor and now it is running a new 1 GHz Sonnet processor chip and Im loving it.So thats pretty much about it for getting that old PowerMac of yours up to speed. You may not have the same speed as the new Macs running the Intel chipset, but at least you bought yourself some more time with that old Mac that youre so used to running. Who knows, it could cause you to love your PowerMac even more.

Now comes the question, Just how much is this all going to cost me? Well, that depends on what you buy at what time and where you buy it. You can get these parts from several sources by searching the Internet, but be careful to order the right parts. Next, be sure you install the parts correctly, reading the instructions and warnings before you start. Electronic parts can be damaged if not handled properly. If you do not feel comfortable with ordering and installing, be sure to consult a professional. Ive seen too many of these botched, so enlisting the help of a certified Apple technician could save you time, frustration, and money in the long run. In the end, the cost of your upgrade will be roughly around $600 to $800, depending on what you would like to do. At this point you may want to consider buying a new Mac, however you could spend from $1,700 to $5,000 on a new system. If you are strapped for money, an upgrade is how you should go, but if you can swing the cost of a new one, this would be the time to make your move. The new Macintoshes are awesome. In fact, they are the best Ive seen yet.

The Sierra Tech Center, LLC tech team: Johnny Pierce, PC service and lead technician; and Brian Mac Surgeon Prestowitz, certified Apple specialist; welcomes customers from Truckee and the North Shore region. Sierra Tech Center is located at 10151 Brockway Road in Truckee, offering computer sales and service, commonly used parts and accessories, as well as wired and wireless networking solutions. Although they do not offer free technical support, they do offer consultation services and a free educational resource center. Contact them at 587-6682.