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Category: Mac

Sonnet G4 Duet is Teh Snappy™

I found some time this weekend to install the [Sonnet Encore/ST G4 Duet]( processor upgrade into my Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio), raising the processor speed from 533 MHz (x2) to 1.267 GHz (x2).

Objectively, I did some benchmarks before and after the upgrade, per the request of [Accelerate Your Macintosh]( I’m waiting a week or so to post my review there (also by their request), so I know whether everything’s working OK, but I’ll append it below.

Subjectively, there’s a noticeable improvement in performance — startup time is reduced, applications launch more quickly, Virtual PC is actually usable, etc. Only two minor glitches on installation:

* I took the opportunity to offer my five-year-old daughter the chance to “look inside Daddy’s computer”. This was well-received, and actually she was more interested than I expected, but she kept up her usual running chatter enough that I plugged the power card into the wrong side of the processor card. It was obvious that it wouldn’t fit that way, and after a moment’s thought I realized what I’d done. After that the physical installation proceeded smoothly (except that it’s hard to see the connector plug underneath the daughterboard, and you have to take it on faith that it’s making a good connection once it’s been screwed down).

* The first time I plugged it in and powered it down, I got no reassuring “bong” sound, and no error chimes either. I quickly shut down and opened it up again. Hmm, nothing obviously wrong… Oh, look, here’s the Cuda switch — I seem to recall you’re supposed to press this after doing a processor upgrade. Even thought the Sonnet instructions didn’t mention this, I gave it a good long push, and on the second startup I was rewarded with a lovely “bong”.

[I suppose this will get me filtered out for drug references, but honestly, “bong” is the sound a Mac makes.]

Summary: Recommended. I took the plunge and ordered it from a low-cost Internet vendor, instead of sticking with a Mac-oriented dealer, but I saved almost $100 that way.

[Oh, and “Teh Snappy” comes from the forums at [Ars Technica](]

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