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My Official "Help me buy a Mac" Thread

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My old thread was originally about an emac which turned into a power mac, so I will just create a thread to help me through my first purchase.

Well I can pretty much assume that my G4 867MHz deal is dead, so I went looking for another mac. I have a guy who wants $100 for a nearly identical power mac except it has a superdrive and dual 450MHz g4.

How does the Dual G4 compare with the single? I know that with dual core processors it is not a double gain, does that same principle hold true to dual processors?
 
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It is nowhere near the specs of your late MDD so be careful. Dual Processors, and that is what it is NOT DUAL CORE, are an advantage for some applications only that can take advantage of the DP, however at the end of the day it is still a Gigabit Ethernet with the slow old 100MHz system bus speed and $100.00 is simply too dear for a machine using PC100 memory.

For web browsing etc a DP will perform very similarly to a single.
 
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It is nowhere near the specs of your late MDD so be careful. Dual Processors, and that is what it is NOT DUAL CORE, are an advantage for some applications only that can take advantage of the DP, however at the end of the day it is still a Gigabit Ethernet with the slow old 100MHz system bus speed and $100.00 is simply too dear for a machine using PC100 memory.

For web browsing etc a DP will perform very similarly to a single.
I guessed that, so I took a pass on it because he refused to budge on the price even after I showed him a quote of his mac that listed it for $50. I am waiting on 3 people who should send me some specs. one has a G4 mini looking for $120, another has a G4 powerbook, hasn't released processor, but for $150.
 

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I guessed that, so I took a pass on it because he refused to budge on the price even after I showed him a quote of his mac that listed it for $50. I am waiting on 3 people who should send me some specs. one has a G4 mini looking for $120, another has a G4 powerbook, hasn't released processor, but for $150.
The G4 Mini might be an interesting buy for $120 bucks.

One thing to watch out for...ask if the Mini has built in Airport for wireless networking. If it doesn't, and it's important to you...you need some specialty parts to upgrade the Mini for wireless Airport...and this can easily set you back I think in the neighborhood of $125-$150 bucks!!!:(

If it does come with wireless internet...for $120...I would snap it up in a heart-beat!!!:)

But even without Airport it would be a decent deal.

Good luck,

- Nick
 
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The G4 Mini might be an interesting buy for $120 bucks.

One thing to watch out for...ask if the Mini has built in Airport for wireless networking. If it doesn't, and it's important to you...you need some specialty parts to upgrade the Mini for wireless Airport...and this can easily set you back I think in the neighborhood of $125-$150 bucks!!!:(

If it does come with wireless internet...for $120...I would snap it up in a heart-beat!!!:)

But even without Airport it would be a decent deal.

Good luck,

- Nick
I am not that worried about the airport, though it is a huge plus if it has one. I have a USB adapter that goes with my router so that isn't a big deal as long as I have the open usb port, because I do not plan on running both my PC and my mac at once, so it is just a matter of unplugging it from my PC and moving it to the mini. My main concern is whether or not they have the DVI to VGA adapter, I do not have a single monitor with DVI input, only VGA.

However I still have not gotten a reply yet through email. I will try the number tomorrow, I don't know why I don't try numbers first anyway :p
 

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My main concern is whether or not they have the DVI to VGA adapter, I do not have a single monitor with DVI input, only VGA.
I wouldn't "kill" the deal if it doesn't come with the adapter. They're only $19.00 at the Apple store...or maybe cheaper on e-Bay.

What's the CPU speed of the Mini...1.25, 1.42, or 1.5ghz?

- Nick
 
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I wouldn't "kill" the deal if it doesn't come with the adapter. They're only $19.00 at the Apple store...or maybe cheaper on e-Bay.

What's the CPU speed of the Mini...1.25, 1.42, or 1.5ghz?

- Nick
Yes but when I get into the $120 range I am literally spending all I have and I still need to get a keyboard and mouse that are USB capable.

I am awaiting a response, I will probably have to call tomorrow, but I'm guessing 1.25 since it is so cheap. usually people overprice the mac minis, in fact I am a little worried it has already been taken since it is deal that is hard to come by.
 
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One thing before you part with the readies, make sure it is a 1.25, 1.42 or 1.5GHz processor. Have seen some people advertising a G4 Cube as a Mini, maybe they were confused, and it is totally different species. Here are Mini Specs for 1.2GHz:-

Apple Mac mini G4/1.25 Specs (Mac mini - M9686LL/A*) @ EveryMac.com

And this is what a Cube is:-

Apple Power Macintosh G4 500 Cube Specs (Power Mac G4 Cube - M7642LL/A*) @ EveryMac.com
There is a picture with the ad, it is a mini, unless they took the wrong picture that is :p. And thanks for the specs page.
 
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No speaker grille, no keyboard and mouse, scratched, broken catch, no system install discs ~ suggest you look for a better machine. The next model 933MHz or a MDD will also run Leopard, the last OS for PowerPC machines.
 

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After factoring in the shipping it's an ok deal...but nothing to go "crazy" about!;)

But when you're talking under a $100 bucks for a computer...who can complain.

- Nick
I was thinking about it before I was outbid. I figured with a 30 day return policy it was at least worth trying to buy it. I do not think someone would put in a 30-day return policy if the item was damaged in any sort of mechanical way, I could care less about the cosmetic scratches and missing speaker grill, it's not as if they do anything other than protect the components inside. I tried to get another deal through craigslist but the guy insisted that $225 was a good deal for a Dual 867MHz g4 with a 80gig HD and no OS keyboard, or mouse. Needless to say I turned down the offer.

I left a message about the mac mini because I honestly do not expect to win the ebay mac, people always bid more in the final hours.

I was also thinking about this one (No stealing it from me :p) Apple PowerMac G4 1.25GHz w/1GM RAM and combo drive - eBay (item 160364028327 end time Sep-27-09 14:00:37 PDT)
 
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I hesitate to put this on here where everyone can see it since it is from ebay, but is this a good deal? Apple PowerMac G4 800MHz QuickSilver,1GB,80GB,DVD-RW - eBay (item 260477725247 end time Sep-22-09 13:47:29 PDT)

Any questions I should be asking about this one?
I see some issues but its not bad. No ones bid on it yet. The mark on the side is may clean up some and the latch can be repaired if your handy with some tools. The one I got for $26. Was missing the HD but I got the whole thing for $65.
 

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I left a message about the mac mini because I honestly do not expect to win the ebay mac, people always bid more in the final hours.

I was also thinking about this one (No stealing it from me :p) Apple PowerMac G4 1.25GHz w/1GM RAM and combo drive - eBay (item 160364028327 end time Sep-27-09 14:00:37 PDT)
Like you mentioned above...there's really no sense in getting excited about an e-Bay auction until the last hour...or even the last 5 minutes of an auction due to last minute bidding.

The auction you posted above for the PowerMac G4 1.25...has more than 5 days left in it...and I can almost guarantee that it will sell for close to $200 or more. The power supply in it is worth at least $100.

Basically...you can almost forget about getting any "great" deals on e-Bay! There are just too many other bidders out there with more money to spend. Sure...occasionally you will get lucky.

The best way to get a great deal on a computer is to shop locally...and this may primarily be Craig's List....but also Thrift Stores, newspaper classifieds, garage sales, and maybe even a "flea market".

Good luck,

- Nick
 
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Like you mentioned above...there's really no sense in getting excited about an e-Bay auction until the last hour...or even the last 5 minutes of an auction due to last minute bidding.

The auction you posted above for the PowerMac G4 1.25...has more than 5 days left in it...and I can almost guarantee that it will sell for close to $200 or more. The power supply in it is worth at least $100.

Basically...you can almost forget about getting any "great" deals on e-Bay! There are just too many other bidders out there with more money to spend. Sure...occasionally you will get lucky.

The best way to get a great deal on a computer is to shop locally...and this may primarily be Craig's List....but also Thrift Stores, newspaper classifieds, garage sales, and maybe even a "flea market".

Good luck,

- Nick
I am looking at one more, it is another 867MHz with 512MB RAM, 40GB HD, and OS Leopard, all for $89.99 + $35 Shipping. The good news is that it is a buy it now, so I do not have to worry about being outbid. If it has iLife on it I'm taking it, even though it has no keyboard or mouse, I can just buy a cheap USB keyboard and mouse from the goodwill nearby.
 
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I officially bought one!

I finally bought one!

PowerMac G4. Nice shape - eBay (item 230380555954 end time Sep-22-09 18:39:17 PDT)

The seller and I had been shooting questions back and forth all day, and in the end, I placed a bid on a G4 and WON! (Ok, so it was a buy it now, but still :p). Here are the specs according to the guy and he has the screenshots to match, I also drew a comparison of what I was looking for:

G4 Dual 867MHz processors/Wanted an 800MHz G4
-512KB L2 (256 per processor)
-2MB L3 (1MB per processor)
-133MHz Bus speed (I have no idea how fast that it, but it sounds slower to me, isn't the norm now 1066MHz?)
OS 10.5/OS 10.4
512MB RAM/Wanted 512MB+
80Gig HD/Wanted 40GB+
Keyboard/Wanted Keyboard and Mouse (My office will sell me one for $3)
No Monitor/Not needed
iLife/iLife wanted for Garageband and iMovie
FREE SHIPPING!/No shipping ( :p That didn't work out :p )
AirPort Card/AirPort preferred, but not a necessity
Superdrive/CD-RW Drive
GeForce 4 MX w/ DVI/VGA Port (Adapter from walmart is $7)

Total: 130.00 for mac, $10 for peripherals (Purchased separately)

So here comes the big question: Do you think it was a decent deal? Mac2Sell listed this system as valued at $160

The Mac2Sell guide to used Macs - second-hand Mac worth

And everythingmac.com had it valued at $300-$450 (Why?)

Apple Power Macintosh G4 867 DP (MDD) Specs (Mirrored Drive Doors - M8787LL/A) @ EveryMac.com

What do you think? How will the performance be? I should get it in two weeks.


EDIT: and wouldn't you know it, my graphics card just overheated on me. How does that even happen? It was working perfectly fine until today. I have a spare, luckily (And I was just about to sell it too :Shouting: ) Anybody know how hot a graphics card should get, I had to wait a minute for it to cool before I could pull it out! Then again, my PC has been on for several hours, but still :(
 
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PC graphic cards will not work in a Mac, unless it is a ATI Radeon 9600 PC/Mac Pro 256 memory card. Whether or not a decent deal, if she runs nicely the answer is yes. Ask for the Tiger install discs. The memory I doubt will work from his description of it and be aware this model is most particularly about using PC2100 Mac compatible memory.

It will take 4x512MB and be quite respectable and of course, f you get leopard later it will run on it reasonably well. Graphics card should not get that hot they are too hot to handle. Problem with cards with fan units is they have a fairy high failure rate which cooks the card.

Search eBay and such for a Mac Pro ATI Radeon 9000 or 9600 as they do not have fan units and run cool and silent.
 
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PC graphic cards will not work in a Mac, unless it is a ATI Radeon 9600 PC/Mac Pro 256 memory card. Whether or not a decent deal, if she runs nicely the answer is yes. Ask for the Tiger install discs. The memory I doubt will work from his description of it and be aware this model is most particularly about using PC2100 Mac compatible memory.

It will take 4x512MB and be quite respectable and of course, f you get leopard later it will run on it reasonably well. Graphics card should not get that hot they are too hot to handle. Problem with cards with fan units is they have a fairy high failure rate which cooks the card.

Search eBay and such for a Mac Pro ATI Radeon 9000 or 9600 as they do not have fan units and run cool and silent.
Right, well the card I had was a GeForce FX5200, no fan, just a heatsink. I now have my PC running with a backup GeForce 4 MX 440. I know the mac graphics card will not work on my PC, I don't plan on trying it anyway, supposedly the Mac card is about the same as the current one anyway, if not worse. My Dell runs a 9600, not sure about the Mac but mine has a fan, and it is loud, louder than the other 3 fans inside combined, and the GPU fan is tiny!

I really do not think I will be upgrading anything in the power mac other than the RAM, and thanks for the tip about the PC-2100. Oh, and it has leopard, not tiger, and I have tiger disks I can borrow from a friend if I want to, the guy has no disks with the mac.

How about memory, will any PC-2100 RAM stick work? I have a 256MB Pc-2100 stick around somewhere.
 

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No speaker grille, no keyboard and mouse, scratched, broken catch, no system install discs ~ suggest you look for a better machine. The next model 933MHz or a MDD will also run Leopard, the last OS for PowerPC machines.
Harry, my Mint QS has no speaker grill and every pic I have seen of the QS shows the speaker exposed like that.

Also, what happened with that dood you met and his mac? Did he give up?
 
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