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View Full Version : Going out to take a look at an iMac G4 today.. will it be good enough?




TheSVD
Sep 12, 2010, 05:37 AM
Hello :)

I'm going out to take a look at an iMac G4 today, my friends dad is selling it. It's the 700MHz, 256 RAM model.

All I want it for is a kitchen computer, and all it needs to do is browse facebook, macrumors, and stream from iTunes on my Macbook Pro upstairs, wirelessly.

Will it be able to handle those tasks alright?

I know it sounds stupid but i hate laggy web browsing, just want to make sure it can do everything fine before I buy it and take it home.

Thanks! :)



Paulywauly
Sep 12, 2010, 09:42 AM
Yeah should be fine for basic stuff, I have one of the later model iMac G4s (1Ghz, 1GB RAM) also as a kitchen computer streaming from upstairs works a treat :)
Mine has leopard on but I'm sure Tiger would run fine on the one you are looking at.
The age of them is a little limiting though, basic web browsing is fine but any sort of Flash content will grind it to a halt!

raysfan81
Sep 12, 2010, 12:17 PM
Hello :)

I'm going out to take a look at an iMac G4 today, my friends dad is selling it. It's the 700MHz, 256 RAM model.

All I want it for is a kitchen computer, and all it needs to do is browse facebook, macrumors, and stream from iTunes on my Macbook Pro upstairs, wirelessly.

Will it be able to handle those tasks alright?

I know it sounds stupid but i hate laggy web browsing, just want to make sure it can do everything fine before I buy it and take it home.

Thanks! :)

I would think it would be fine. You might want to get some more ram at least 512+ mb so it won't get as easily bogged down.

MacHamster68
Sep 12, 2010, 03:02 PM
it will do the job , the iMac G4 700 mhz should be fine for basic surfing (just install clicktoflash to disable all the flash adverts when using safari or install camino browser optimised for PPC ) , and streaming itunes is perfect , but give it the full ram it supports, its worth it ,as Mac's love ram more then anything else ;)

Paulywauly
Sep 12, 2010, 03:05 PM
it will do the job , the iMac G4 700 mhz should be fine for basic surfing (just install clicktoflash to disable all the flash adverts when using safari or install camino browser optimised for PPC ) , and streaming itunes is perfect , but give it the full ram it supports, its worth it ,as Mac's love ram more then anything else ;)

+1 on the Camino browser recommendation, doesnt always render pages perfectly but is ultra lightweight on system resources

Hrududu
Sep 12, 2010, 05:52 PM
Get it up to at least 768MB of RAM and you should do great with 10.4 Tiger on there.

drewdle
Sep 13, 2010, 12:39 AM
I run the original 15"/700Mhz flowerpot and it works great. Load any system you buy to the gills with system memory, as unless money is extremely tight there's just no reason not to. Tiger runs fantastic, Leopard not so much. If you find a 1Ghz machine or faster that uses DDR memory, then Leopard might be doable while maintaining sufficient speed, but I found that, even tarted up, my iMac wasn't really happy running Leopard.

Also, yet another recommendation for Camino. You can find processor-optimized versions and they nick Safari's lunch money. You'd be looking for the G4-7450 build, which is what I run.

If it's in good shape and you like it, go for it. Just remember you may need to put some money into memory, and I would strongly recommend a new hard drive as well if this machine needs to be reliable. If the machine has the original 30-60Gb hard drive, remember it's at the very least now seven years old. I use mine for school so I got a new WD 160Gb drive, but you can find 500Gb drives that will work.

MacHamster68
Sep 13, 2010, 04:16 AM
+1 on the Camino browser recommendation, doesnt always render pages perfectly but is ultra lightweight on system resources

thats why i recommended the optimized version
its even more resource friendly
http://pimpmycamino.com/
does a fantastic job on my 700mhz IMac G3 !!!

and at least get a backup harddrive (firewire ) that you can in case of emergency just swap with the internal one , safes a lot of trouble if the original drive says goodbye and all your data goes with it ..i know its a old story told to many times , but backup really is not just wasting money on another harddrive

DolemiteJackson
Sep 13, 2010, 06:09 PM
As long as the price is right, it will chug along fine for what you're looking for it to do. I still use a g3 500 ibook for light computer work, and it shows no sign of slowing down.

sgrddy
Sep 13, 2010, 10:32 PM
I've seen used iMac G5s for very little coin on eBay. Myself, I would much prefer a Mac Mini and a dedicated monitor. I've never regretted buying my 1.25Ghz Mini back in '05 or '06 - that was my first new Mac ever. Since then I've gone from a 17" Sony LCD to a 24" Dell UltraSharp. I wouldn't for a second underestimate how a newer monitor will make your G4 Mac still shine. I mean the Mac OS looks just so damn fine on this Ultrasharp. LCDs in general have come a long way since back with that iMac was built.

mutantteenager
Sep 14, 2010, 05:56 PM
A word of warning, that model has 256MB of RAM split across 2 x 128MB chips.

One is physically inside the machine - which you can't get to without disassembling the machine - not easy. The other is in the base, which is easy to get to. However, this user-serviceable slot only takes a SO-DIMM (laptop memory), so it will cost more to upgrade.

The maximum you can have in the machine, without taking it apart is going to be 640MB, which should be fine for basic browsing.

For my money, if you're set on this design, try and get a later model with more pre-installed memory.

ault45
Sep 15, 2010, 10:04 PM
It will work for those things. If the price is right, go for it.

drewdle
Sep 16, 2010, 11:22 AM
A word of warning, that model has 256MB of RAM split across 2 x 128MB chips.

One is physically inside the machine - which you can't get to without disassembling the machine - not easy. The other is in the base, which is easy to get to. However, this user-serviceable slot only takes a SO-DIMM (laptop memory), so it will cost more to upgrade.

The maximum you can have in the machine, without taking it apart is going to be 640MB, which should be fine for basic browsing.

For my money, if you're set on this design, try and get a later model with more pre-installed memory.

A few words on this. Apple didn't seem to think that anyone would ever need to upgrade the second dimm slot, thus one slot is easily accessible under the bottom cover, and it takes SO-DIMMs (laptop) memory. The internal slot requires opening the bottom of the case, which is tricky but not difficult. The memory in the internal slot is regular DIMM, or desktop, stuff. The memory for a 700Mhz machine is PC133, and the maximum memory is 1Gb. I'd get it here:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/133SO512328/
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/133SD512328/

To get in there, all that needs doing is to gently pull the bottom of the case off after having removed the anchor bolts, and your memory module is visible on the motherboard. You will have to re-apply thermal grease to one metal surface, but this too isn't difficult, in fact any of these machines would be due for a re-greasing considering their age. The reason for these heat transfer surfaces (instead of them being on the chips, etc) is because the top of the case is used as a large heat sink (it's all metal on the inside). My machine never heats up unless I'm trying to play YouTube now that I've replaced the thermal grease.

There are a few guides on the internet for the process as well. Just don't negate the important of re-greasing if you want the machine to last.

GimmeSlack12
Sep 16, 2010, 11:28 AM
I dunno, my iBook G4 1.33GHz w/1.5gb RAM doesn't run Firefox that great anymore (10.5.6).

Don't get your hopes up that this iMac will run a web browser without lagging. And forget about flash (youtube, vimeo, etc.) cause you'll skip more frames than you'll see. That 256mb of RAM is going to hurt you.