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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Power Mac - is it worth it?


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franciscog_chin

 
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So I saw an add for a Power Mac G4, for like 100 dollars. I got it for 80. It has 500mhz, less than 1gig ram (not sure what it is, I am not on that computer at the time), and 20 gig hd. I am thinking of upgrading the ram to 2 gigs, the processor to 1ghz, the hd to 160 gigs, and upgrading from os x 10.3.9 to 10.5 leopard. in the end this computer will end up costing a little under 600, is it worth it, or should I just stop now before I waste more money?

edit: btw this is a hardwear question...
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Alexis

 
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Ok, well Leopard won't work on it, and the maximum RAM you can fit is probably 1.5gig.

You should be able to up the RAM quite cheaply and pick up an inexpensive copy of Tiger on ebay (although you'll need a DVD drive or another Mac to install it through Firewire).

The external HD would be useful because you can use it on any subsequent machine.
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Luminosity

 
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I wouldnt do it. I would rather sell it while you can, or use it for the little it can do.
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dtravis7

 
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That Power Mac is a Sawtooth as it was the only Powermac G4 with a single 500Mhz G4. It will take 4 512Meg PC100 Dimms. It will use all 2GB as I have one here and tried it. The question is, worth. Upgrading the RAM would be a good thing. The CPU though might cost you quite a bit. The Maximum hard drive size the older G4 systems will read it 128GB. I would purchase a 120GB ATA IDE drive. You can purchase an PCI IDE controller that will allow larger drives but for OSX they cost an arm and a leg.

IF the OP does go with a 1Ghz CPU 10.5 will install but with that slow video card in the Sawtooth and slow bus I am wondering just how fast 10.5 would run. Since you already own the machine, I would up the RAM and install 10.4 Tiger.

Are you using this just to try out OSX and Macs? In the end it's up to you, but I would not put a lot of $$$ into that old system as you can get a Mini for not much more after all the upgrades and it will blow it away in performance.

10.5.5 Leopard does run very nice on my newer G4 Digital Audio but first off it has a 133Mhz Bus compared to the 100Mhz Bus in the 500Mhz Sawtooth, an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro with an AGP 4x Slot, 1.8Ghz G4 and many other improvements. It cost me quite a bit but I did it as a project for fun and to see how much I could pump it up. It's really quite nice but not worth the $$$ I put into it and I got some very good deals on the parts.
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franciscog_chin

 
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ok thanks for the comments. Like I said, it would be under 600 for the whole thing in the end. the processor is only like 180...I looked at the next cheapest thing, and I saw the mini. but the thing is that that one would have less ram, samg ghz, no monitor, same os (leopard)...and it would cost me around 1000...
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dtravis7

 
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Ghz means nothing by itself. A G4 is DOG slow compared to a Core Duo and Core 2 Dual CPU. They are not even in the same ball park.
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To disagree with dtravis it could well be a Gigabit Ethernet model also. They were made in 400, 450 and 500, and 450DP and 500DP's. Specs for that are:-

Apple Power Macintosh G4 400 (Gigabit) Specs (Gigabit Ethernet - M7891LL/A) @ EveryMac.com

Have used Mercury Extreme 1.3GHz CPU Upgrade with an ATI Radeon 9600 Mac Pro graphics card, 7200 RPM 8MB cache hard drive and 2GB maxed out PC133 memory. It ran Leopard quite well but will never match the Core Duo but then again they cost a factor of three times your G4 when tricked out.
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franciscog_chin

 
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so I have spent now like 160 for the tower and a new hard drive and I also bought the os x leopard thinking it would work without having to modify anything...should I not upgrade it anymore? save up for a new computer with a core 2 duo? maybe a mini...although I hear that they arent that good either Server: Powermac G4 vs. Mac Mini - Mac Forums

idk what I should do
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dtravis7

 
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I looked at the OP's first post and he did say it's a 500Mhz G4 and the Gigabit 500 was a Dual G4 CPU.

Really though since the Gigabit has the same 100Mhz Bus and AGP 2x of the Sawtooth, the speed would be the same. The DA was the first of the series to go AGP 4x and 133Mhz bus. It does make a noticeable difference here. I tried the same RAM, Video card and CPU in my Sawtooth and while it was fast, the DA with the faster bus and AGP was for sure faster.

I agree Leopard will run ok for basic stuff on an upgraded G4 with his specs but if he puts too much into the upgrade any Core Duo mini will walk all over it. I have both here. The G4 1.8Ghz takes 3 hours or more to compress or convert some videos I work with where the 1.66Ghz Intel Mini is like under 50 minutes for the same video with the same programs.

I like modding computers but there a limit sometimes.

To the OP, if you lived near me I would invite you over and show you what I am talking about. Since you already did put out some $$$, I guess you should at least get the CPU as 10.5 will not run on that stock CPU. 10.5 wants a minimum of a G4 867Mhz CPU to install.

I disagree with that URL on the Mini Vs a G4. I have many G4 towers here, modded and stock and both a stock and modded intel Mini and it's no contest for getting things done, but I still enjoy working with my modded G4 for other things. Up to you in the end, just saying don't put too much $$$ into it. I just don't want to see you put out too much money and then be disappointed with the results if you get what I mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
To disagree with dtravis it could well be a Gigabit Ethernet model also. They were made in 400, 450 and 500, and 450DP and 500DP's. Specs for that are:-

Apple Power Macintosh G4 400 (Gigabit) Specs (Gigabit Ethernet - M7891LL/A) @ EveryMac.com

Have used Mercury Extreme 1.3GHz CPU Upgrade with an ATI Radeon 9600 Mac Pro graphics card, 7200 RPM 8MB cache hard drive and 2GB maxed out PC133 memory. It ran Leopard quite well but will never match the Core Duo but then again they cost a factor of three times your G4 when tricked out.
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franciscog_chin

 
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Buy PCNation.com Products: Sonnet Technologies >> (SG4-1000-2M) Encore/st G4 1.0g 256kb 2mb L3 Proc Upg Card For Agp G4s

will this processor do?
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dtravis7

 
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It should work but a while back there was a user here with an older Sonnet around that speed and leopard kept telling him it was still too slow. He found a fix. Let me see if I can find the post.
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justin_clark93

 
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IMO, an upgrade is not worth it. you will end up spending hundreds of dollars, for something that is not even in the ballpark with a Core 2 Duo. you might as well save for a new mac. i, on the other hand have recently bought a new HP Turion X2 pc, and am happy with it for much less money than a new mac.
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franciscog_chin

 
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maybe I can save for a mac mini, but is it really that much better? because all I need now is the processor and the ram, that might come up to 300 tops. if I go for the mac mini it will cost me 700ish. really what is it that will make the mini so much better?

maybe it is because you guys need more speed or something, idk. for now I dont plan on video edeting much...I only want a computer that will play my cds, keep my files in, easier than pc, and maybe later record songs (I play guitar and sing..). maybe in the future I might like to edit, if I ever get a good video camera.
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hempcamp

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franciscog_chin View Post
maybe it is because you guys need more speed or something, idk. for now I dont plan on video edeting much...I only want a computer that will play my cds, keep my files in, easier than pc, and maybe later record songs (I play guitar and sing..). maybe in the future I might like to edit, if I ever get a good video camera.
I would just stick with Tiger unless you specifically want the challenge to upgrade to Leopard.

A moderately upgraded G4 with Tiger will run just fine for playing music, word processing and internet. I use Tiger on my G4 PowerBook 1.5 and an old 800Mhz G4 iMac.

--Chris

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Portable: 12" PowerBook G4 1.5/1.25/80/Tiger / iPhone 3G White 16GB
Former: PowerMac G5 Dual 1.8 / iMac G4 800 / iBook G3 700 / PowerMac 7500, 3G iPod 10GB, 5G iPod 30GB
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