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

Power Mac - Advice for a Newbie


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rieg77

 
Member Since: Jan 06, 2008
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Hi all

I have a confession to make. I'm a MAC virgin. But after finally tearing the remains of my hair out after my Windows PC crashed on me for the umpteenth time, I've decided to take the plunge and move over to MAC.

With price being a massive factor (lets face it you can put a new PC together for 200 or so) I would like your help/advice on the best option.

Primarily I hope to run OS X 10.4 and use it for general office stuff, email, internet, chat and the occasional Photoshop, Fireworks and Dreamweaver work.

Ultimately, I'd like to be able to move to Leopard, but its not essential.

I've seen a lot of G4'sw about which sound like they're just the job. I've been focussing on the G4 QuickSilver 933 MHz, but theres also the Mirrored Drive Door dual 1 GHz option.

My problem is I'm not sure what my best option is. Cany anyone help?
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louishen

 
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I take it you want a base unit so you can use yur existing monitor and PC keyboard etc

A mirrored door G4 will be a great and cheap intro mac. However, you will not be able to run windows on it (there are emulators but they are very very slow)

It will be fine for all your needs.

Office - you can buy office or just use the free NeoOffice
Email - Macmail or THunderbird - both free
Internet - Safari or Firefox are fine
Chat - there is iChat plus many other great chat programs

If you feel you may need to run windows then the Intel Mac Mini may be the one for you

Check out all the stickies on the Switchers forum for more comprehensive info
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bryphotoguy

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rieg77 View Post
Hi all

I have a confession to make. I'm a MAC virgin. But after finally tearing the remains of my hair out after my Windows PC crashed on me for the umpteenth time, I've decided to take the plunge and move over to MAC.

With price being a massive factor (lets face it you can put a new PC together for 200 or so) I would like your help/advice on the best option.

Primarily I hope to run OS X 10.4 and use it for general office stuff, email, internet, chat and the occasional Photoshop, Fireworks and Dreamweaver work.

Ultimately, I'd like to be able to move to Leopard, but its not essential.

I've seen a lot of G4'sw about which sound like they're just the job. I've been focussing on the G4 QuickSilver 933 MHz, but theres also the Mirrored Drive Door dual 1 GHz option.

My problem is I'm not sure what my best option is. Cany anyone help?
Welcome. When you are looking at older machines like that, I would consider a model with dual processors. I had a dual 1GHz MDD. It was a nice machine. First thing I would do though would be to add a USB 2.0 PCI card. All G4 PowerMacs only support USB 1.1. A PCI card would be the only way to get USB 2.0. If you could put up a little more money and get a Dual 1.8GHz G5, I would do that. It's going to be significantly faster and it will last you longer than a G4 would.


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rieg77

 
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Thanks for your help.

Its been suggested I look at a Mac Mini instead of a G4 Power Mac. Unfortunately I can only afford to get a second hand Mac Mini G4.

Can anyone give me some advice as to which is the best way to go given what I want to do with it. Obviously I would expect basic stuff such as web, email and MS Office to work equally as well on a Power Mac G4 QS 933 when compared with say a Mac Mini G4 1.25.

My problem is with which one is going to be the better option when I want to do more, such as use Photoshop, Fireworks and Dreamweaver, and of course which one will upgrade to Leopard better?

I appreciate your help a great deal. Obviously I'm new to this and I don't know enough about it, but I'm trying to get the best option within a budget.
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Welcome to Mac-Forums, rieg77.

Keep in mind that OS X Leopard minimum requirements ask for a G4 867MHz CPU or faster. This is of course the minimum which means it might not be too thrilling to use (no speed demon here). And if you do go for a slower, older Mac, you will most undoubtedly need to max out the RAM.

It all depends on how much you're willing to pay.

A good compromise would be to go for an older Mac like you are looking at at the moment but stay with OS X Tiger specs. In terms of the OS features, you won't be missing out on much and Tiger is still very much contemporary. Heck! I'm still using it myself. But the more RAM, the merrier.

You can always upgrade at a later date when money is more abundant.
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rieg77

 
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Thanks for your help.

Is the Mac Mini no good for what I need. I've found a good G4 1.42 MHz at the right price
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harryb2448

 
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If it is a DP go for it and assume you mean the 1.42GHz.

Max out the RAM to 2GB, as that model takes 4 x 512MB modules, use a Sonnet USB 2 card and perhaps a 7200RPM 8MB cache HDD of 250GB or so.

An ATI Radeon 9800 video card would also improve things greatly.

It will run Leopard very well when the time comes.
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bryphotoguy

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rieg77 View Post
Thanks for your help.

Is the Mac Mini no good for what I need. I've found a good G4 1.42 MHz at the right price
The 1.42GHz Mini is slightly slower than a 1GHz DP MDD.
I like the Mini for it's size but the PowerMac would make for a better machine. You can toss in more HD's, a DVD-RW drive, a better video card, and whatnot in the future when you have more money.
The PowerMac is a lot more expandable than the Mini so it will last longer.


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Tanner31593

 
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Well, I just wanted to add that processor upgrades for DP PowerMacs are VERY expensive from what I have seen, about $500 at the least.I currently have a dual 533 and its really fast-i run tiger, i have no complaints at all. Mine only has 896mb of ram, which i will probably upgrade soon. In the next year or so I may go for a Mac Mini, when Leopard is more stable and when I refurnish my bedroom so I can have a smaller desk.
Right now- without thinking about Leopard, I would go with a DP PowerMac. Mine has been great- I would get a MDD just because if i remember correctly it's easier to add front USB ports and a card reader, someone else can correct me if i'm wrong. My dual 533 still seems as fast as the day i got it, I thought it would slow down over time like my old iMac did, but that doesn't seem to be the case with the DP models.

Good luck!

Oh i notice this is my 300th post.....sweet!
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bryphotoguy

 
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There are only two or three MDD processor upgrades. The cheapest one is close to $500 or something.


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