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

Power Mac G4 (QuickSilver or MDD) vs Mac Mini


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pcjabber
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Before we even begin, let me start by saying that I am [not quite] 15. Therefore, my budget is limited.

Anyway, I am looking on eBay for a Power Mac G4, QuickSilver (QS) or Mirrored Drive Door (MDD). I am looking for some suggestions and kind of just thinking 'out loud' to see if I can figure out what I want.

First, the price concern. I'd really can't spend more than $500-600. It's just not in the cards. I don't have a "job", per se because I don't have my driver's license (I'm not yet 15). I do make some money working on computers.

Second, the space/heat concern. I have a lot of computers in my room as it is. I have a Windows tower (the one I'm typing on now), an iBook G3 (which I won't give up until I can afford a PowerBook), a FreeBSD server (which isn't really being used all that much), and a Linux system (used as my DVR, using MythTV). Adding another computer will only make it warmer in this room, which I am prepared for, but I need the space for the new Mac. If it's a mini, it can go right underneath my monitor (it's on a shelf about 4" off the desk). If its a Power Mac, it has to go under my desk. If it has to go under my desk, I have to move my server (or my subwoofer, but I'd rather move the server). I can either a) relocate the server, or b) get rid of the server. I don't really want to give it up, but I don't know where I can put it.

Third, I need to know which will give me more bang-for-the-buck. A Power Mac G4 or a Mac Mini. Yes, I know, it varies a lot based on the processor speed, etc. Let's say I went for one of these:
733 QS, 800 QS, 867 QS, Dual 800 QS, Dual 867 MDD, 1.0 MDD
Is the value better for one of those (at, say $300-500) than the value for a Mac Mini at $500?

Sorry for the very long post, but this is kind of a one-time shot. I am not entirely sure I'll even get a desktop G4 mac yet, but I want to have some info.

Thanks!
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Texasmeat

 
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I have never liked the mini due to expandability issues and a laptop hard drive. As far as performance, they'll fare about the same. In 3d tests, the quicksilver will probably pull ahead of the mini but not by a huge margin unless you upgrade the video card. Since the mini is compact and designed to just be used and not tweaked and upgraded, your choice becomes what you want to have. Personally, I'd buy the powermac and upgrade the proc to a sonnet 1.4ghz 2mb L3. Throw a video card on that thing and it'll smoke any mini. Although the proc upgrade is almost the cost of the mini, you'll have a better system in the long run. My $.02
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pcjabber
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Cool. And of course, the G4 can be upgraded pretty easily, since it has AGP and PCI busses, and of course the optical drives and HDs are standard, IDE, 3.5"/5.25" drives. And there's lots of processor cards available. I think I'll go with the QuickSilver (I'll either get a 733, 800 or 867 for now. I have a few eBay item #s but I am somewhat afraid to post them (I don't want the prices to spike...). Theres one on there, 867, but its noisy as ****. I _think_ the processor fan is dying on it (that's how the guy describes it). How much, and how hard is that to replace? If its under $10-20 to fix, then I'll bid on it. If its like $100 or more, then forget it. But for a simple fan, I am thinking its pretty cheap, but I don't know what kind of fan (size, connector, etc) it is, else I could check it myself =) Any info is appreciated.

Thanks!
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Avalon

 
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If your budget is 500-600$, all you can get is a mini. Quicksilvers sell still pretty high, and MDDs are too recent...don't expect less than 900$ for one.

Plus the QS and MDD are pretty noisy beasts...the mini is totally silent compared to my MDD (which I already have made more silent by changing the fans).
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pcjabber
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I have found some used QSes that are in my price range, including the one that has the dying processor fan, and therefore is quite noisy. Noise isnt really an issue for me, but I would like to know:

How much will it cost to replace the processor fan? If it is a standard type of fan, can someone provide me with the size and connector type? I assume its probably an 80mm fan, but I don't know what type of connector it has.

Thanks!
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FSTP
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I have a 733 QS and I think I love it, I've been looking online and it seems to have some cool upgrades available. It is rather large though.
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