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

My First Mac - PowerMac G4 1.25GHz DP MDD. Have questions.


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GameGuru

 
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Hello all, I finally got my first Mac. A coworker had this Mac in their basement in a box and didn't even know if it worked. They brought it in for me and I took it home and last night I hooked it up and it works! Seems to work great.

From the "About this Mac" it shows I am currently running Mac OS X 10.2.8, what is the latest version of OS X I can run?

Also it shows I have three sticks of RAM, a 1024, a 512 and a 256. Wow isn't that random. It looks like 2GB is the max RAM I can install, should I get four sticks of 512MB? Does this Mac have dual channel RAM and I should have all matching pairs for best performance.

It has a Radeon 9000 Pro, what is the best video card I can get for this Mac?

I need to use wireless since this is in the basement, what wireless card should I get?

Could someone post links to what I need for RAM, video and wireless please?

And thanks in advance.
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It appears that this is the model you have:
Power Macintosh G4 1.25 DP (MDD) Specs (Mirrored Drive Doors, M8573LL/A, PowerMac3,6, M8570, 1914) @ EveryMac.com

I would definitely look at installing RAM in matched pairs. That page lists the exact RAM specs you need. They also link directly to a reseller's page for that RAM. OWC's pricing is reasonable and they have a good rep. They also may take your old RAM for a partial trade-in.
http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Upgrades.cfm?model=171

You can run Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) on it just fine. It's also the last version of OS X that was developed for PPC-based Macs. Here's the system requirements for 10.5:
Requirements for Mac OS X v10.5

I don't know what is absolutely the best graphics card that will run on that particular model, but there was an upgrade option available when it was new… to the "NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti graphics card with 128 MB of DDR SDRAM".

I found an interesting article that tried to find what hardware upgrades would push the G4 Power Macs to their limits:
Fastest Graphics Cards for G4 Power Macs?

As for wireless networking… the Airport card only supports the 802.11b standard, which has long since been superseded by 802.11g and n. Are you sure you want to do wireless at that speed? Are you sure it doesn't have an Airport card in it already?

Here's the install guide for the Airport card:
Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics): Installing AirPort Card

And here it is on OWC:
Apple 630-2883 Airport 802.11b Wireless Card -... in stock at OWC


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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That machine would support Leopard (10.5) which was $129 originally, but will be somewhat hard to find. Try calling Apple directly (they won't have it in stores.)

That system does not support dual-channel memory. You already have 1.75 of the maximum 2GB; unless you can fill out that last 0.25GB for free, I would not bother with it.

There's a list of video cards here:
Compatibility - The Mac Elite

Ideally, you'd want an AirPort Extreme card, but they are no longer manufactured. You may find one used, or you can try to find a PCI wi-fi card with Mac support, like the Sonnet Aria Extreme n

This machine is already 8-9 years old. I would think carefully about how much you are willing to invest in it. You could easily find a much more capable used Intel Mac for less than the cost of "maxing out" this old machine.
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This was free so I don't mind putting $100 or so into it.

Ok, the monitor is missing the rear tripod leg so I have to lean it against something. Is there a way to buy a replacement leg?

Also there was no keyboard or mouse so I am using a microsoft keyboard and mouse but would like Apple. What keyboard and mouse came with this so I can complete my set.

I don't plan on really playing games on this (might want to play World of Warcraft) but would like a decent video card. What do you think they run?

I know I am almost maxed out in RAM but whoever upgraded it did it weird ha ha. Performance wise, if I had 512MB in each slot would it run better than how it is setup now?

All my PCI slots are free so an internal wireless card would be great. I have a Linksys 802.11G router, what Mac wireless card should I get?
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I know this says G5 but will it work in my G4?

PowerMac G5 ATI Radeon 9600 128MB (DVI/ADC) (8X AGP) Video Card | eBay
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Also if I get OS X 10.5 and do a clean install do I then have to go and download video drivers, audio drivers, chipset drivers etc like I do for Windows systems?

If so where do I get them for my Mac?
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Oh an can I run any version of OS X 10.5? It looks like 10.5.8 is the latest Leopard, is that compatible with my G4?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GameGuru View Post
Also there was no keyboard or mouse so I am using a microsoft keyboard and mouse but would like Apple. What keyboard and mouse came with this so I can complete my set.
I'm of the opinion that Apple's mice outright suck. Use any multi-button USB mouse of your liking. It'll work fine. As for a keyboard… search for any Mac keyboard to find one to your liking and price point. This one is likely exactly what came with it originally:
Amazon.com: Apple G3, G4, G5 109-Key White USB (Version 2) Keyboard (p/n 1003199): Electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by GameGuru View Post
I know this says G5 but will it work in my G4?

PowerMac G5 ATI Radeon 9600 128MB (DVI/ADC) (8X AGP) Video Card | eBay
Apparently it will IF modified correctly:
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro AGP Mac Edition

Quote:
Originally Posted by GameGuru View Post
Also if I get OS X 10.5 and do a clean install do I then have to go and download video drivers, audio drivers, chipset drivers etc like I do for Windows systems?
The only time you "may" ever need to download drivers is for some 3rd party items like printers. Never for the base hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GameGuru View Post
Oh an can I run any version of OS X 10.5? It looks like 10.5.8 is the latest Leopard, is that compatible with my G4?
The point updates (10.5.1, 10.5.2, etc) are all the equivalent of service packs. You can and will want to update once you install 10.5. The option to check for updates is up top in the Apple menu.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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Power Mac G4 (Mirror Drive Door)

That tells a lot about your system. Pretty much everything you asked has been covered by others here. Check OWC (Other World Computing) for some upgrades.
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Am I reading this right that my dvd drive will not read DVD+R? If so then does that mean it won't read DVD+R DL?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GameGuru View Post
Am I reading this right that my dvd drive will not read DVD+R? If so then does that mean it won't read DVD+R DL?
Your computer is from 2002...I don't even think they were dual-layer DVD's back then. So if it still has the original DVD drive in it...I'm pretty sure "no" is the answer.

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Originally Posted by GameGuru View Post
I know I am almost maxed out in RAM but whoever upgraded it did it weird ha ha. Performance wise, if I had 512MB in each slot would it run better than how it is setup now?
No, there's only a single memory channel. Any combination of memory sizes will work the same way. No matter how you arrange them, a G4 is always memory-starved. The G4s frontside bus ran at only 166MHz, single-channel. The DDR 333 memory actually delivers data twice as fast as the CPUs can read it.
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How do I figure out if I have the 2002 or the 2003 version?
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On that 2003 model the system bus was faster @167Mhz. Check that and also there was a FW800 model of the 1.25 Dual and 1.42 Dual. Click on the Apple and see the basic specs. With 10.2 I believe to see all the hardware you have to find System Information in Applications/Utilities and run that. When you click on the Apple and on About this Mac, if you see a clicker for More Info, click that. I sometimes confuse 10.1 and 10.2.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GameGuru View Post
How do I figure out if I have the 2002 or the 2003 version?
Answer: Depends whether it has a single firewire 800 port. If it does...than it's 2003.

Question: "How do I know if I have a firewire 800 port?"
Answer: By the shape.

Question: "What does a firewire 800 port look like?"
Answer: Google It!

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