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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Yet Another "which Mac?" Thread


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Audio.Trench

 
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I'm kickin' it oldschool, and the main purpose of this machine will be for audio engineering/recording in GB And Logic, with some web surfing and such on the side.

Here's the toss-up:

G4 Mac Mini - $200 CDN
1.25ghz
1gb RAM
40gb HDD

or

G4 PowerMac MDD - $150 CDN
dual 867mhz
1gb RAM
60gb HDD

I know about G4's being old and blah blah blah..

I just want an honest opinion of which one you'd choose for what uses I've listed

Keep in mind, this is just a "tie-me-over" system till I have enough cash saved for a 15" MBP

I'm going for cost-effectiveness.

Thanks!
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Nethfel

 
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In all honesty, if it were me, I'd spend the $200-$400 for a used Intel Mac Mini instead of buying a G4

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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Audio.Trench

 
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See, I've been scouring craigslist/kijiji for an Intel-based Mini, but every one wants $500+ CDN, so yeah..

I'm not worried about it being a G4, like I said, this is just a "tie-me-over" system till I have the rest of the $2200 saved for an i5 15" MBP.

I currently don't own any more computers, and I want another Mac, but cheap of course haha.
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thomas998

 
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I think you might get better info if you posted in the music forum.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio.Trench View Post
I'm kickin' it oldschool, and the main purpose of this machine will be for audio engineering/recording in GB And Logic, with some web surfing and such on the side.

Here's the toss-up:

G4 Mac Mini - $200 CDN
1.25ghz
1gb RAM
40gb HDD
Does this G4 Mac-Mini come with Airport and possibly bluetooth?

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Audio.Trench

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas998 View Post
I think you might get better info if you posted in the music forum.
I'm basically asking, if you were having to choose between the 2, which one would you pick? GB is pretty lightweight compared to Logic, so I'll be using GB for now until I get my MBP. I know each machine is capable of running GB nicely..

I'm mostly stumped at the dual 867mhz vs. single 1.25ghz in terms of performance. I'm obviously going to max the ram out regardless of which one I choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Does this G4 Mac-Mini come with Airport and possibly bluetooth?

- Nick
He doesn't have those features listed, and because of the proxy at work, I can't contact the seller from here to ask..

If it means anything, I don't have Internet at home and won't have it at my apt.. I'm moving again soon so there's no point.. And if I need to I can bring it to my mom's place who does have WiFi.. Bluetooth is also not a necessity for me as I've never used it, even when I had my G4 iBook a few years ago.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio.Trench View Post
I'm mostly stumped at the dual 867mhz vs. single 1.25ghz in terms of performance. I'm obviously going to max the ram out regardless of which one I choose.

He doesn't have those features listed, and because of the proxy at work, I can't contact the seller from here to ask..

If it means anything, I don't have Internet at home and won't have it at my apt.. I'm moving again soon so there's no point.. And if I need to I can bring it to my mom's place who does have WiFi.. Bluetooth is also not a necessity for me as I've never used it, even when I had my G4 iBook a few years ago.
The reason why it's important to get Airport with the Mac-Mini is...adding Airport later on is very very expensive...you need a custom card & special mounting hardware.

- As far as max. ram...the Mac Mini has a max of 1 gig...the MDD has a max of 2 gig. So as far as max. ram...the MDD gets the "thumb's up"!

- Of course the Mac Mini is MUCH smaller than the MDD if that's of any value.

- regarding the processor (dual 867 vs. single 1.25). You can't always be sure software is written to take advantage of dual processors...and the 1.25ghz cpu is around 44-45% faster than the 867mhz cpu. Don't let some folks fool you into thinking that a dual-processor 867mhz will run like a single cpu 1.734ghz (2 x 867mhz).

- the MDD is more expandable (video cards & can support up to 4 internal hard drives). We're talking dedicated video cards vs. the integrated video in the Mini.

- Airport is easy to add to the MDD if you want it

- I'm pretty sure Tiger or leopard will run faster on the 1.25ghz Mac-Mini (versus the dual 867mhz). 867mhz is the minimum for OS 10.5 "Leopard".

- It would be possible to upgrade the cpu to as much as a dual 1.42ghz cpu with stock Apple cpu cards on e-Bay (Apple cards pulled from working MDD computers)....with a lot of options in between 867mhz & dual 1.42ghz. And even faster with 3rd-party aftermarket cpu cards. The trick would be finding that cpu upgrade cheap.

I think that with all of that stuff said...there are plus's & minus's to each system. If you needed the small footprint of the Mini...then the mini wins. If you prefer expandability...then the MDD wins.

I think that if I was choosing...I would go for the MDD...and hope that I could find a cpu upgrade cheap.

Hope this helps,

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Audio.Trench

 
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Thanks for the input pigoo!

Form-factor/size isn't an issue, and to be honest, the only thing I use WiFi for are laptops.. Everything else gets hardwired.

Expandability is a good plus, especially if I could get an upgraded dual-cpu card.. I remember I was going to upgrade my old Sawtooth a few years ago and they weren't cheap.

Having a dedicated video card would also be a plus, mostly because I'm still addicted to Warcraft 3 after all these years, and I know the stock card in it will handle it, because an Mirage S3 gfx chipset can handle it. A new video card isn't necessary, but more RAM is a must, of course.

But yeah, it's going to be used strictly for Garageband with an M-Audio Firewire Solo interface, and for my music library.

Does any one know if GB takes advantage of 2 cpu's? I've been trying to find answers on Apple's website/Googling, but to no avail, of course. Haha..

Also, will any MDD cpu card work? I found a dual 1.25ghz on eBay for $70 USD from a MDD.. Or are they picky and model-specific? And do I have to replace the heatsink/fan if I buy a new cpu, or can I use the existing one?

Anyways, thanks again for the input!
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio.Trench View Post
Form-factor/size isn't an issue, and to be honest, the only thing I use WiFi for are laptops.. Everything else gets hardwired.

Also, will any MDD cpu card work? I found a dual 1.25ghz on eBay for $70 USD from a MDD.. Or are they picky and model-specific? And do I have to replace the heatsink/fan if I buy a new cpu, or can I use the existing one?
Yeah I keep forgetting about networking via ethernet! I'm so used to the flexibility of having wireless networking...that I almost want all of my computers to be wireless (if they're capable of wireless)...but of course ethernet works just fine if you have an ethernet cable handy where you want to put the computer.

As far as the processor cards. There were about 7 different MDD model computers (5 dual processor & 2 single processor). All of them had a 300 pin "daughter card" for the cpu (so the cpu card should fit into any MDD computer)...but I'm not sure if the heat sinks were different or not.

As far as that $70 (US) dual 1.25ghz you found on e-Bay. If you're already spending $150 (CDN) for the computer + $70 (US) for a cpu upgrade...add all of that money together, and you might be able to purchase a MDD with the stock dual 1.25ghz cpu already configured!

As soon as you start purchasing individual parts...you start losing value vs. an already configured computer. If processor speed is important. Maybe increase your budget a bit for a used MDD...and look for a faster processor than the dual 867mhz unit you're considering.

HTH,

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Audio.Trench

 
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Yeah.. I actually found this and thought it was a good deal, but I'm afraid of the shipping costs, haha!

# Apple PowerMac Dual G4 CPU 1.42GHz 1024MB 160GB M8570 on eBay.ca (item 130415083853 end time 31-Jul-10 17:30:26 EDT)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio.Trench View Post
Yeah.. I actually found this and thought it was a good deal, but I'm afraid of the shipping costs, haha!
Yeah...getting a dual 1.42ghz MDD would be the way to go (top of the heap for MDD's)! I know what you mean about the shipping. $39.99 is really not too bad or unfair for a U.S. based buyer...but to Canada...like you said...it would be pretty "SCARY"!!! I was told by my local FedEX place that everything shipped internationally has to go by air...and that would be pretty "friggin" expensive for a MDD!!!

Too bad the seller isn't in Buffalo, NY. From your location in Ontario that would drivable if the computer was that important to you!

- Nick

p.s. Of course that price on the e-Bay auction is the starting price...the price may be much higher when the bidding ends tomorrow. But I wouldn't expect it to go much higher...$199 is probably about what it's worth.

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Audio.Trench

 
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Yeah.. I'm not in desperate for a computer, I'm just nickin' to start recording some music I've been writing on this huge creativety boost I've had lately haha.. I've been using the video cam on my Sony phone to make videos, but of course, I can't plug in so it's all acoustic (for bass), and having no amp makes it difficult haha..

I mean, I'm sure the dual 867mhz alone would more than suffice, it's not like I'm recording multiple tracks at the same time, or using a lot of effects.. Just raw bass t0nez haha!

Maybe if I do buy it, and I forgot to mention, I have to travel to pick it up (looking at about $60 at least for the round-trip), I'll keep it, then once I get the MBP, I'll turn it into a project for something, or use it as a backup, or just upgrade it and flip it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio.Trench View Post

I mean, I'm sure the dual 867mhz alone would more than suffice, it's not like I'm recording multiple tracks at the same time, or using a lot of effects.. Just raw bass t0nez haha!

Maybe if I do buy it, and I forgot to mention, I have to travel to pick it up (looking at about $60 at least for the round-trip), I'll keep it, then once I get the MBP, I'll turn it into a project for something, or use it as a backup, or just upgrade it and flip it.
Yeah...the dual 867mhz MDD may be fine for your needs. Of course us computer folks always want more POWER...so that's when maybe the thread gets off-track talking about faster machines or upgrades. Maybe it's best to just spend the $150 CDN for the 867mhz MDD...and "deal with it" (good or bad) until you're able to get the MBP.

Those travel costs...is that to get the 867mhz computer or the 1.42ghz?

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Audio.Trench

 
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To get the 867.. Toronto is about 2-3 hours West of me.. I could take the train, but that'd be crazy-expensive.. If I can convince one of my friends to drive me to the hearest GO Train station ($16 return from Oshawa to Toronto), then toss like $20 for gas to bring me to the station and back, I figure would be the best..

It's just the local craigslist doesn't have any older Macs, just new stuff with people asking waaaay too much for, so Toronto has a lot more selection..

After browsing CL today, I found a couple DP G5 PowerMacs for around $450-$500, which would totally be worth the travel cost.

I couldn't even get to the 1.42 if I wanted, I don't have a passport lol
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Originally Posted by Audio.Trench View Post
To get the 867.. Toronto is about 2-3 hours West of me.. I could take the train, but that'd be crazy-expensive.. If I can convince one of my friends to drive me to the hearest GO Train station ($16 return from Oshawa to Toronto), then toss like $20 for gas to bring me to the station and back, I figure would be the best..

It's just the local craigslist doesn't have any older Macs, just new stuff with people asking waaaay too much for, so Toronto has a lot more selection..

After browsing CL today, I found a couple DP G5 PowerMacs for around $450-$500, which would totally be worth the travel cost.

I couldn't even get to the 1.42 if I wanted, I don't have a passport lol
Ahh...I understand now. I was sort of assuming you were in the Toronto area. Yes...the BIG city of Toronto would have a much larger selection (just like all bigger cities on Craig's List).

If you were to get a G5 ($450-$500 CDN)...that would be nice...but that would be a heck of a lot more money than the $150 CDN you were going to spend on the G4 MDD. But if you went all the way to Toronto that would make your trip more worth while...but wouldn't spending that sort of money "drain" your MBP budget?

Also don't forget that a G5 is one BIG computer...and HEAVY!!! Maybe not something you would want to carry on public transit/train. And if you need to walk far from the train station to your car or home...you're going to be one tired sweaty "puppy" by the time you get home.

Actually the weight of the MDD is 19.1kg (42.0lbs.), and the Powermac G5 20.2kg (44.4lbs.)...are pretty close...but the Powermac G5 is larger & could be more clumsy to carry.

Yeah...guess you need a passport to cross the border now. The last time I was crossing was before a passport was required.

Hopefully someone else will be able to answer your other questions.

Good luck,

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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