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Buying an old(er) G4

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filburt1

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I'm looking to buy (not from here, hence posting in this forum) an old/used PowerMac G4. The main purpose of it is to test web pages in Safari. I already have other machines I need to do all of my other work; this is for generally web design only.

My bare minimum requirements are:
  • 300 MHz processor (G4)
  • 10 GB HDD
  • Compatible with 10.3 and, when it's released, 10.4
  • Optical drive (CD-ROM bare minimum, Combo drive strongly preferred)
  • 256 MB RAM
  • LAN
  • Video card (don't care about AGP/PCI or speed)
  • All ports working
I don't care about SCSI drives, ZIP drives, a monitor, or even a power cord. However, a USB keyboard with the extra Mac keys like Cmd would be a good addition. And, of course, if extra peripherals are included, that's not a deal breaker.

I've perused eBay and found prices around $300 for this configuration. Any suggestions on these specifications, the price, and where to get one?

I do not want a Mac Mini unless it can be found in the same price range. I cannot justify spending more than $350 for a system when pretty much all I'll be doing on it is viewing web pages.
 

dtravis7


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The Mini would be great for what you want to do, but since you want to spend less, Try go get a Sawtooth based G4. There are the Yikes G4's at 350 and 400Mhz but they are based on a G3 motherboard with a G4 installed and PCI Video and are a lot slower than the Sawtooth based G4 with AGP video. The Sawtooth G4's start at 350Mhz also but always have an AGP slot and video card. I am sure you if you look hard enough on Ebay, find a slower AGP G4 for $350-400. That should get you by and also run Tiger when it comes out.
 
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filburt1

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On a related question, I assume 10.4 will be available on CDs (as opposed to only DVDs)?

So, should I update my requirements to include:
  • 350 MHz G4 processor
  • AGP slot and card

Would any of the standard AGP cards that shipped in those Macs support 1600x1200, 32-bit color at 75 Hz?
 

dtravis7


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I will check on the stock AGP card and resolutions and Refresh rates and get back to you. I updated to a radeon so I will pull it and put in the stock card real fast.

On Tiger 10.4 am not sure but I have a feeling it will be on DVD's but could be wrong. A lot of the AGP Graphic G4's come with a DVD ROM stock.
 
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prasys

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a okay specs..mine was 350mhz g3..so i bought the upgrade card and upgraded into 1ghz..pci graphics card sucks...(why ?)...many programs lags a lot and there is not quartz exterme

i am still on the stupid rage 128 card :(
 
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filburt1

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I would actually prefer Quartz Extreme quite a bit...would any of the default AGP cards for a G4 support it?

Even my iBook 600 MHz G3 with its horrible Rage graphics chipset supported it, so I'm assuming new ones would.

You mentioned upgrade cards. Aren't some versions of OS X incompatible with them? Should I ensure that it's a stock G4 processor and not some upgrade kit?
 
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Have you considered a refurbished eMac?
 

dtravis7


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I checked on the resolution thing for you. With the Stock AGP card in the 500Mhz Sawtooth G4 it will go 1600x1200 85Hz. I was suprised but it does it. I put a Radeon Mac Edition in the G4 500 in it's place. It does Quartz Extreme and is a LOT faster. Cost me around $35 on Ebay.
 
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filburt1

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witeshark said:
Have you considered a refurbished eMac?
I do not have the space for another monitor on my desk. Plus I prefer working at resolutions not supported by eMacs to my knowledge. Although, to humor me, how much would a refurbished eMac cost (direct from Apple, I assume)?

I've been looking at G4 Cubes also--the small form factor is greatly appealing to me, and I don't care much about upgradability because I will never be upgrading the system given my intended purpose. Any reasons I should avoid getting one? I do remember that one of the reasons it was discontinued other than its underwhelming success was that the casing developed cracks.

I've looked at SecondhandMac but there is nothing suitable for my needs nor my area (Maryland). The prices on PowerMax are too high for my liking given the specs on each system--about $100 too much.

Thanks for the detailed and personal assistance, everybody!
 
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I don't know how much a eMac would cost, but did you try looking at used mac Minis since they would be lik 400 for a used mac mini....and it would be alot more powerfull then the other powermacs you are looking at, just trying to help you keep your options open...
 
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i dont have no mac's
there is a new guy int he classsifieds parting with many imacs/emacs/ and a few powermacs....you should check that out. (note: buyer beware since we dont know him to the best of my knowlege)

-chris
 

D3v1L80Y


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filburt1 said:
I've been looking at G4 Cubes also--the small form factor is greatly appealing to me, and I don't care much about upgradability because I will never be upgrading the system given my intended purpose. Any reasons I should avoid getting one? I do remember that one of the reasons it was discontinued other than its underwhelming success was that the casing developed cracks.
The Cube did not develop cracks. This was a misdiagnosed problem that many people made. The "cracks" that people saw were nothing more than the hairline joints between the case halves. The outer shell of the Cube was made in two halves, the "mold lines" as Apple called them, were virutally invisible. It wasn't until things like dirt and dust and other everyday things in the air began to settle in those lines that anybody could really see them.
 
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filburt1 said:
I would actually prefer Quartz Extreme quite a bit...would any of the default AGP cards for a G4 support it?

Even my iBook 600 MHz G3 with its horrible Rage graphics chipset supported it, so I'm assuming new ones would.

You mentioned upgrade cards. Aren't some versions of OS X incompatible with them? Should I ensure that it's a stock G4 processor and not some upgrade kit?
I don't think the first two or three generations of G4s had quartz extreme capable graphics cards. If you want a good price for a used g4 check out www.macofalltrades.com. For used graphics cards try www.wegenermedia.com or www.baucomcomputers.com (or ebay).

I have a first generation g4 agp 450 mhz with a radeon 9000. Its a fine machine... at least for what your looking for.
 
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filburt1

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I actually got a G4 Cube last night on eBay. Other than a low amount of memory, it was pretty much what I wanted. :)
 
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