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rastalin94
Mar 21, 2002, 02:30 PM
I want a Mac, and I would love an iMac, but I am not sure I can wait that long to save up $2000. I really want to start using OS X. I am so tired of using Windows and want to get on a Unix based platform. What I do not know is what are the basic requirements to run OS X at a reasonable speed. I would like some opinions on what would be the base specs to run OS X and not be frustrated? As in MHz, RAM, Etc….. I do not plan on doing anything hard core, just using all the iSoftware is about it. Also are there any old Power Macs I should stay away from because of OS X compatibility reasons, and if I wanted could I add a superdrive and not run into compatibility problems?.

Bottom line is what is the least amount of money I can spend on a decent OS X compatible Mac.

dualburn001
Mar 21, 2002, 02:52 PM
i say go for the 733 g4 (quicksilver)
it has a nice design + it'll run os X as fast as you'll need it. It will run faster than the iMAC because the Powermac has a better bus speed then the imac (133 vs. 100). So for 1,150 you can get the tower and then get an apple LCD or an average CRT and you'll be set to go at under 1,500.

AlphaTech
Mar 21, 2002, 03:03 PM
Go for the 800MHz G4 tower ($1599) if you have the scratch for it. Go with the factory memory, unless you can afford additional (don't get that from the Apple store since they want a bit more then you can find elsewhere). Unless you are going to be using the modem, opt to delete it (I will on my next tower since I have DSL).

If you already have a good monitor, you will be able to continue to use it. You can go and get any currently produced monitor and connect it to the G4. I tend to favor ViewSonic brand since they are a quality product and have excellent support. They might be a few dollars more then other brands, but this is another case of you get what you pay for.

Personally, unless you know the person that you are getting a used system from, go new. Not models that are not in production anymore (like the slower G4's). Also, DO opt to get the Applecare protection. For the extra $$ you get ON SITE service for three years, as well as free phone support. Without it, you get one year of phone, and you have to carry the computer in to get it serviced.

mischief
Mar 21, 2002, 03:12 PM
I'd stay away from any pre AGP tower.

RAM: no less than 512Mb

HD's: OS X ans OS 9 do best each with their own drive, not just volume but a whole seperate drive. This is mainly cuz it's easier to recover from a freak catastrophe if you can boot from a whole other drive.

rastalin94
Mar 21, 2002, 03:23 PM
Is it possible for me to pick up a 500MHz old tower and maybe throw in a super drive later down the road. I really just want to start using OS X to get a feel for the OS, and than purchase something new a year down the road.

Or would I just be shooting myself in the foot by trying to go cheap and just be better off being patience and save up for something new.

I have a monitor and very proficient with PC's so hardware installs and OS installs do not scare me at all.

AlphaTech
Mar 21, 2002, 03:43 PM
OS installs on the mac are breeze compared to the pc... for the OS, if you boot into 9 and want to install OS X, just put the cd, double click on the installer and it walks you through what little it needs from you and does the rest.

As for the hardware... again, Apple is 100x easier. I wouldn't get the older system more because I want the higher spec.'s that the new ones have. Not because there is anything wrong with the older. OS X will run just fine on a G4 500 (single) AGP system. You will want to crank up the RAM though. I had 0 issues with OS 9 and X installed on the same hard drive and partition on my G4 500 tower (just sold it last week). Most of the G4 500's came with dvd-ram drives, which will read any dvd disc as well as cd's. If you do get that, make sure it is 100%, and doesn't have any 'issues'. Ask for all the cd's that came with it, and see if you can get the person/company you are getting it from to toss in OS X.

Figure the average lifespan of a Mac system is 4 years or more.

DakotaGuy
Mar 23, 2002, 09:13 AM
Get a new iMac. It has power to spare with the 800MHz G4 and everything comes with it. You don't have to run around and find a screen, etc. I finally looked at one last weekend and was totally impressed with the package. If you did not want to spend as much I think you would find the base 700MHz model to be more then enough to do what you are looking to do.

buffsldr
Mar 23, 2002, 09:35 AM
Get what you want or think is best, but I have 466 G4 with 896 mb of ram and OS X is awesome. I have used my wifes work comp, it is 733 with 640 mb and I dont really notice much of a difference. I mean I wait 5 seconds for office x apps to open. Do I really need it to open in 4 seconds? Go to powermax.com and you can get a used or refurbished mac. Or..... go to apple.com and click on the special deals section and get one of their refurbished comps, ask about warranty and support options first.

Ensign Paris
Mar 23, 2002, 09:38 AM
The G3 isn't perfect for using OSX on but just for learning on (if you don't want to be impressed) I would buy the iMacG3 (Its on the AppleStore)

I would personally go for the 733 Powermac (If you have any Education contacts go for the Edu prices, they are sooo much better!)

Personally I would not run OSX on anything but a g4+ (COME ON G5!)

Ensign paris

buffsldr
Mar 23, 2002, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by rastalin94
Is it possible for me to pick up a 500MHz old tower and maybe throw in a super drive later down the road. I really just want to start using OS X to get a feel for the OS, and than purchase something new a year down the road.

Or would I just be shooting myself in the foot by trying to go cheap and just be better off being patience and save up for something new.

I have a monitor and very proficient with PC's so hardware installs and OS installs do not scare me at all.

Yes, you can add the superdrive later. Macs are not as bad as pcs when it comes to bacward compatibility. You are asking the right questions.

rastalin94
Mar 23, 2002, 01:19 PM
Looks like I am going to try to pick up a power mac 400MHz or 500MHz for around $800. I have a 60 GB hard drive that I plan on throwing in, so what every hard drive it comes with I will just use for an OS X install. And as far as RAM I work at a local PC store so I get a decent price and I will just max it out as I get the money. Overall I like the idea of a tower over an iMac just because I can play with it a little more ;)

Plus this way instead of having to wait almost a year I can start playing with OS X in a few months.

mmmdreg
Apr 22, 2002, 12:59 AM
If you're just a normal consumer, an iMac should do fine..like really fine...but if you want the best, and you have the money, go for the Powermacs..

kishba
Apr 22, 2002, 05:26 AM
i don't think you can add the superdrive (internally) later

my friend added it to his 733 but he had a hard time finding it on ebay... i'm not even sure if the older 500s would be able to use it (apple has always put the superdrives in faster machines)

i'd double and triple check before you bought a 500 and planned to put a superdrive in it later