03-15-2006, 01:38 PM
The PowerMac G4 won't be a bad choice, it won't be amazing -- but one key difference to any iMac is its upgradeability. This means you can pretty much expand every part of the system should you wish to do so. To start with however it will have enough power (depending on the level of RAM, 256MB for Panther—10.3 or 512MB for Tiger—10.4) to browse the net and iTunes; though for much else it won't be as slick as other new Macs.
Take for example the Power Mac G4 I have, a graphite one like those 400MHz ones you have seen; except mine was the so-called Digital Audio variant. It started off quite meagre, but it had potential. The only thing to make sure of on a G4 Power Mac is to ensure you get an AGP or later version, not the PCI only one—those are a dead end.
So my Digital Audio G4 started with 256MB RAM, a 466MHz G4, Rage 128 Pro 16MB graphics, 40GB Hard disk, CDRW drive, Zip 100 and that was it.
I first added more RAM, I maxed it to 1.5GB; that made a good difference in Tiger. Then I added a second hard disk, a Western Digital Caviar 120GB drive and a DVD±RW/DL drive—it worked well enough.
Then I wanted a better graphics card; and lost the Rage 128 and instead got a Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB with VGA/DVI/SVideo output—this made a big difference alone with the slickness of graphics. I hooked this up to my Dell 2001FP monitor I already had for my PowerBook G4.
I then added a Belkin wireless card that was Mac compatible, and now I have 802.11b/g wireless that functions the same as Apple's Airport Extreme wifi card.
Still; the thing was all hinged around a 466MHz G4; and that was turned around with a Dual 1.8GHz G4 upgrade; and now the machine absolutely flies along.
My next upgrade will be another Dell 2001FP for dual displays, and in the future a SATA card to increase hard disk space and speed.
Sure, this hasn't come cheap but the point I am emphasising is that with a PowerMac G4 you may get a pretty basic machine to start with, albeit cheaply. It won't give you the best Mac experience. But over time you can tweak it more and more, as it is expandable and in the end you will have a really good machine; as those G3 iMacs cannot be expanded in the same way.
Food for thought.
Plus the Graphite G4s look gorgeous in my books :flower: