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

Used G4 purchase tips (pre-newbie)


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ExSkater
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Dear Sirs,
I am currently shopping for a used G4 power Mac (used, to keep costs down) in the NYC area. I have an ok idea as to the system requirements for the graphics programs I would use, photoshop, illustrator, etc. & the current "used rates" for G4's.

My questions is, as I am buying a used Mac, what are the things I should be on the look out for when inspecting the used Mac in person? Tell tale signs, warnings, etc.

Any response, insight, experiences would be greatly helpful. Thanks so much for your time!

All the best,
-ExSkater
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Padawan

 
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Well, I'd first take a look at the case and the overall condition of the machine. Does it look well taken care of? Does the seller seem like a Mac enthusiast, or someone who just beats his computers to the ground and then replaces them? If he'll allow you to, test out all of the ports that you're able to, to make sure they all work. Test out the optical drive, and listen for any odd noises coming from the machine (fan, HD, etc.). If you can, maybe even bring a blank CD to test the burner. Finally, if you have access to it, bring a copy of DiskWarrior, which should help find a major problem if one exists on the HD. That's about all I can think of right now...

Actually, I also just realized that if the seller still has the Hardware Test CD, it would be a good idea to run that too.

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MoltenLava
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Computer buying is somewhat similar to car buying. If you go to the dealer (computer reseller), you'll have a lot more choice. Many dealers perform inspection and back the purchase with some kind of guarantee. If you seek the individual seller, you can kinda figure out the condition of the car (computer) by the previous owner. You can tell how well the car (computer) is maintained.

But when it comes to the price, computer buying and car buying are almost opposite. When you buy a car, you typically get better price if you buy direct from an individual. But the computers are usually sold cheaper by resellers. I think the reason is that the proud owners refusing to admit the depreciation of their valued computers. The resellers buy bulk and pass on the saving. On eBay for example, the reseller price is routinely 10-20% lower than the individual sellers.

For that reason I prefer to buy from the resellers and save money. YMMV.

In general, computers don't break down easily. Most failures are due to manufacturing defects. In other words, if the computer doesn't fail within the first month, it's not likely to fail for years. For that reason used computers are more reliable than the new computers. Funny isn't it.
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Animatronica
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Yes, thats rather true...My Pentium computer has been running forever and has not had any problems at all and it still runs bearable. I've had 2 machines go on me so far one being an HP and the other an E-Machines. I have yet to have a mac die on me though. But like the poster before has said if you can - test the ports, make sure no funny noises occur, check the optical drive, check the temperature too, make sure their arent any bad spots on the board, make sure the optical drive works. If the seller is serious about selling the PowerMac then he/she would no doubt let y ou test the machine first.If he/she doesnt want to let you test the machine then i would be weary as they may be trying to hide something. Also resellers are not always the cheaper ones. I have seen individual sellers selling the same exact configuration for roughly 200.00 less then a retailer. it really all depends on the person, retailer and area of location.

C-ya
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Fstop36
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I posted a reply to rcsskier, as to a used G4 purchase...I bought from a reseller in Philadelphia...Dual 450 gigabyte, with a gig of ram...He was very very helpful and generous in sharing his knowledge with me...I would highly recommend him....Email me and I will give you info....Fstop
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New2Macs

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fstop36
I posted a reply to rcsskier, as to a used G4 purchase...I bought from a reseller in Philadelphia...Dual 450 gigabyte, with a gig of ram...He was very very helpful and generous in sharing his knowledge with me...I would highly recommend him....Email me and I will give you info....Fstop
I purchase an old G4 Powermac 5 months ago on ebay for like 250.00. Till this say knock on wood it works perfectly fine. I have done many upgrade as well (processor, hardrive, memory, and dvd burner) still purrs liks a kitten. Some people may tell you to stay away from that route or maybe I just got lucky but do what your wallet allows you to!
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kingcrowing2
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well depending on your price range and exactally what your looking for, the mini might be for you, ~$800 basically maxed out (with 523MB RAM) and you get the apple warentee for 3 years... it has a decent video card, i don't think there are any benches, but a 1.42GHz G4 should handle Photoshop pretty well, i'd wait for benches and see if that would work, also since you can now get a sup $1000 mac the prices on used macs might go down (Why pay $700 for a 867Mhz G4 when you can get a new one @1.42 for the same price... expandability is the answer)
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macsrule
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExSkater
Dear Sirs,
I am currently shopping for a used G4 power Mac (used, to keep costs down) in the NYC area. I have an ok idea as to the system requirements for the graphics programs I would use, photoshop, illustrator, etc. & the current "used rates" for G4's.

My questions is, as I am buying a used Mac, what are the things I should be on the look out for when inspecting the used Mac in person? Tell tale signs, warnings, etc.

Any response, insight, experiences would be greatly helpful. Thanks so much for your time!

All the best,
-ExSkater

i have a using a used G4/450 for 4 years now. I bought it sight un seen from a friend at work. She was a PC person and the people that owned it was sold it by a retailer, but the customers didnt really know what they wanted and my friend built them a really nice PC with the money i gave them for the Mac.

The only SW i use that you mentioned is Photoshop and it runs find on here.

If youre looking into one of the G4 towers, the nice thing about it is that you can get PCI card with USB/FW ports if the ones on the mac are shot.

Theres not much you can check for other then functionallity and look at the system profiler.

good luck on your choice.
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