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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Can my G4 cut the mustard?


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afghanwhiggle

 
Member Since: Apr 11, 2007
Location: Cleveland
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Mac Specs: MacPro 2.66 3GB RAM 3x 250 SATA

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I've just upgraded to a MacPro, and would love to put my old G4 to work downstairs as a media-center.

Here are the specs:

Dual G4 533
1.5 GB RAM
GeForce 2 MX 32MB AGP
ATI Raedon 7300 64MB PCI
3 drives, 40, 80, & 120 7200 IDEs

The G4 would be driving a 42" 1080p LCD, which I have yet to receive. Ideally, I would connect the G4 to the LCD via DVI.

The question is, is a dual 533 enough to pump the pixels to this monitor? Prolly not for 1080p content (which is pretty rare as it is), but will my 720p vids choke? Which vid card do you think I should be using? Will the AGP bus with 32MB negate the benefits 64MB gets me via PCI? Do you think slimming down the system in some way be of use?

I've been a long long time reader, and just registered today to post this question. I hope somebody with perhaps some similar experience can weigh in with their findings, suggestions etc.

Finally, if the G4 can't cut it, would a mini? Thanks in advance!
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dtravis7

 
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The G4 will not play 1080i or p videos without major frame dropping. That is why I bought a Mini Core Duo. The Core Duo mini will play any 1080p video smoothly I have thrown at it. If that is what you want to to then yes, The Mini would be perfect and also because of it's small size!

I have the same G4 you do but with a 1.8Ghz Giga Designs G4 CPU and Radeon 9800Pro AGP 4x card and it still can't cope with 1080p video.
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afghanwhiggle

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
The G4 will not play 1080i or p videos without major frame dropping. That is why I bought a Mini Core Duo. The Core Duo mini will play any 1080p video smoothly I have thrown at it. If that is what you want to to then yes, The Mini would be perfect and also because of it's small size!

I have the same G4 you do but with a 1.8Ghz Giga Designs G4 CPU and Radeon 9800Pro AGP 4x card and it still can't cope with 1080p video.
Thanks for the reply. Truly a bummer that even with the beefier G4 CPU and vid card you're still getting enough dropped frames that it's out of the question, as far as 1080p goes.

What is your experience with 720p vids, VIDEO_TS rips etc? I would essentially be streaming most of my content via gigabit from the MacPro's drives, if that makes any difference.

I guess I would love to put the thing to use, other than as an email and web terminal for the Mrs.
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gregjp48

 
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my 1.33 ghz ibook g4 seems to handle 720p video fine, so I'm guessing your powermac would with a good video card (mines only 32meg)
but for 1080p, whole different ballpark. A G4 won't cut it.
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dtravis7

 
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Video_TS not a problem. Even my G3 350Mhz Blue and White plays DVD's just fine, but the video card has a hardware DVD decoder built on it.

720p will work on my modded PM G4 and G4 mini.
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gregjp48

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
Video_TS not a problem. Even my G3 350Mhz Blue and White plays DVD's just fine, but the video card has a hardware DVD decoder built on it.

720p will work on my modded PM G4 and G4 mini.
dvds max out at 480p (unless upscaled), so you should definitely have no problem with those, and even 720p, which i think you are saying most of the videos on your drive are

but again, you may want to upgrade to a core duo mini for less choppy 1080p playback if that's what most of your videos are, or even if you want better framerates with 720p

the monitor's rez is 1080, and 720 looks alright upscaled, but of course any monitor is going to look better in it's native resolution than something scaled, so 1080p content wouuld be best, but again, I think you said most of your videos are 720.

It all comes down to what the majority of your content is really, your video card, and what your version of an acceptable frame rate is.
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dtravis7

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregjp48 View Post
dvds max out at 480p (unless upscaled), so you should definitely have no problem with those, and even 720p
but again, you may want to upgrade to a core duo mini for less choppy 1080p playback
but 720p looks just as good if the native rez of the monitor is 720p
if it's 1080p 720 looks alright upscaled, but of course any monitor is going to look better in it's native resolution than something scaled.

Of course you'll see little difference with 1080 output on a 720p monitor
Yes, my Core Duo 1.66Ghz Mini is perfectly smooth on 1080p. It's a good deal and it's small size makes it fit in easily also
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