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Ask Max: How can I connect a USB monitor to my new G4 PowerMac?

Asked on 03/26/2010:

Hi Jacob,

I was wondering if you could help with a few questions.

I replaced my old Power Mac G4/400 with a G4/800 and have a Dell 24" monitor that I use to connect DVi to DVi to the old CPU, but this model does not have a DVi connection. (bummed about that...why not?)

I am using the D-sub connection and I would like the digital image quality I had before to work on my Photoshop projects, so how can I connect to the DVi to get better image quality on my monitor?

Do you sell an adapter that will work? If so how much does it run? Will I still be able to get digital image quality from an analog connector using an adapter? Also I am getting a buzzing noise that is coming from the computer. (This machine is louder than my last one) It is not constant. Maybe more of a vibrating noise? Perhaps the fan or something is loose. It seems to get worse (louder) after the computer has been on for a while. If I press on both sides of the CPU it seems to make it less. Sometimes if I just give it a good bang it quiets back down, but probably not the best way to correct it, eh?

Any suggestions on how to fix this? It is starting to drive me crazy. I currently have my yoga strap tightened around it. Works most of the time.

Also one last note. This computer was advertised as having 3 FireWire ports but it only has 2. Am I missing one somewhere? Really bummed about that. I needed 3 for my printer, scanner and back-up drive, so I constantly don't have to unplug the printer to use the scanner and exchange it back again. Any reason for the incorrect information listed?

Thanks for your help,

- Toni


Apple's ADC to DVI adapter.The ADC video port on your Quicksilver G4 Mac is actually DVI with power and USB connections bundled in with it. So a simple adapter should let you hook up your Dell display via DVI. This Apple ADC to DVI video adapter should do the trick.

As for the buzzing noise, open up you computer and make sure that there are no cables resting on the various fans in the computer. You can have a G4 running when the case is open, just make sure not to touch any of the circuitry. Look to see if there is a fan on the video card. Those little fans can make extra noise as they age. There could also be some loose drive sleds on the bottom of the case making a metal on metal noise.

The G4 PowerMac only came with 2 USB and 2 FireWire ports.I was not able to see where we listed the ports on this G4 PowerMac, but these Macs have two USB ports and two FireWire ports on the back of the units. I think you might have confused USB and FireWire, as most printers and scanners use USB and not FireWire. Apple often lists the computers as having additional USB ports because the Apple keyboard comes with two USB ports built in. So the one USB port that the keyboard uses, is replaced by two extra on the keyboard. That would give you a listing of three USB ports. Perhaps that was the discrepancy you saw in the description.

A good option to get extra USB connections at a higher speed than the internal USB 1.1 ports, is with a Sonnet USB 2.0 PCI card.

- Jacob

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