View Full Version : Benefits replacing my eMacG4 with a PowerMacG4? Many eBay options, but which one?

Jun 27, 2008, 05:06 PM
Hello all.

I'm an actor/film-maker/musician and home user. My computer needs to be fast and efficient enough to run FinalCutPro, FinalDraft, Cubase, Frontpage, MS Office, Toast/DVD burning, and be quick and easy with the internet (we use cable internet). I need efficiency and the power to use programs like FinalCutPro and Cubase effectively, without huge slow down times while the computer chokes along trying to run the apps.

What I don't use my machine for, is programming or AutoCad/3D or as a server, etc.

I currently have an eMac, purchased about 4 years ago directly from Apple
Machine Model: eMac, Running OS X 10.3.9
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (1.1)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1.25 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 768 MB
Bus Speed: 167 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.8.2f1

I have 2 external drives piggybacked on the machine, so I'm fine with the storage issue. I like it, but I am finding that my eMac is getting slower and slower. And that there are a number of programs that I'd like to use for film editing, DVD burning, etc. that require at least OSX 10.4 or higher, and would do better with a faster more powerful machine. But you add in the starving actor/starving film-maker thing and there isn't the budget to get what I "should" be using.

I plan to upgrade the eMac OS. But I'm wondering if it would be smart for me buy a used G4 from eBay for $300 or $400 that can at least have hardware upgrades (as I have the money to do that), instead of sticking with this all-in-one eMac as my main computer. My film-maker/musician friends all laugh at me for using an eMac for film editing and music editing.

If I were to purchase a PowerMac from eBay, there's one, for instance, priced under $400 that is:
Apple M8570 Power Mac G4 1.25GHz 1GB 80GB DVD-R
1.25GHz PowerPC G4
L3 Cache 1MB SRAM Per Processor
167MHz System Bus
80GB Hard Drive
ATI Radeon 9000 Pro w/ 64MB RAM
Tiger 10.4
Keyboard and mouse

Would something like that be more beneficial to me in the long run?

I don't want a lateral move from eMac to PowerMac; I'd like a faster more efficient machine at a starving film-maker price. Being fairly new to Mac's (the eMac was my first non-PC), I'm not sure how upgradable a PowerMac is and what exactly makes it a better faster machine for my uses. In my mind: more Ram=better; more gHz processor=better (but not even sure what that means, exactly, and if a 1.25 GHz PowerMac can be upgraded or made faster than a 1.25 GHz eMac)

I know this is Pandora's box and that there are no definitive answers. But I'd hate to have it in my mind to buy a PowerMac (or some other desktop version of a Mac), thinking I can do more to speed it up and make my work move faster and more efficiently, just to find out it's been a lateral move or even a move backwards.

Thanks everyone!

Jun 27, 2008, 10:40 PM
I'd really recommend, if it doesn't cost too much, a dual processor system. Those dual G4's are really capable even today... though the Mirror Drive Door's do make a ton of fan noise. I've also seen some inexpensive single processor G5's on ebay, but I don't have much experience with those. I've heard they match the dual G4 MDD's in performance. G4 Towers can have their components upgraded (even the CPU daughterboards), though upgrade cards are often ridiculously priced.

Jun 27, 2008, 11:44 PM
I think a used Intel Mac Mini would be a better value for you.

One 1.25GHz G4 system will not really be dramatically faster than another for most tasks. You can do some upgrades on a PowerMac G4, but doing extensive upgrades isn't really economical, and even the fastest possible G4 system is much slower than a modern Intel system.

It looks like you could get a Core Duo Mac Mini for about the same price as the system you're looking at. It would be significantly faster, and it's more likely to be compatible with future software. It obviously isn't as upgradable as a tower system, but you can upgrade the RAM up to 2GB, and you could replace the hard drive. You can also use external hard drives for additional storage, as you're doing with your eMac. I think getting an newer Intel system is a better idea than replacing one G4 with another.