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View Full Version : iMac G5 for $150 a good deal?




markp9114
Nov 15, 2009, 12:13 AM
My community college is selling the old white 20 in imac for $150. Do you think this would be a good deal? This would be my first mac purchase but I dont know if i should save up for a newer one which might be awhile. It uses the powerpc processor which im not familiar with..suggestions please! :)



DannySmurf
Nov 15, 2009, 12:23 AM
Yes, it's a good deal. I'd certainly buy a G5 for that price, as long as it's in good condition.

Buying this doesn't stop you from saving up for a new one, and you'll have a Mac (though not the speediest, to be sure) in the meantime.

markp9114
Nov 15, 2009, 12:31 AM
Ya i need to see the condition of it before i buy. They only have 17 to sell and 1 per person. They start selling at 7:30 in the morning Monday and i wont be able to make it there til 2 because i have class at the other campus. So hopefully they have some left!

cfitz7111
Nov 15, 2009, 01:46 AM
Be late for class....lol...seriously it should be ok for a lot of what you will need it to do.

DSPalpatine
Nov 15, 2009, 09:47 AM
For $150, it sounds like a good way to become familiar with OS X. My G5 iMac, a 17", runs Leopard just fine, and is great for everyday tasks such as email, web browsing, Office, iWork, iLife, etc. It's not going to cut it for cutting edge games, and you're not going to render movies with blazingly fast speed, but it's still a solid machine.

If you're looking over the machine before you buy it, there are a few things to look out for. First, obviously, boot it and make sure it loads into the OS. Check the screen for artifacts- a failing video card can cause some strange display issues. Check the back of the machine for black dust around the exhaust port- a thick layer of the stuff is an indicator that the power supply may be on its last legs. If you have the opportunity to open the case (and depending on the model, it's either really easy and quick or more of a involved process), look for any bulging or leaking capacitors. Bad caps, if you're not aware, has been a significant point of failure for many G5 iMacs.

Assuming the machine isn't in awful condition, I say take the plunge. If you can find RAM cheaply, the machine definitely will benefit from running at 2 GB. Make sure you let us know what you decide!

markp9114
Nov 15, 2009, 11:14 AM
For $150, it sounds like a good way to become familiar with OS X. My G5 iMac, a 17", runs Leopard just fine, and is great for everyday tasks such as email, web browsing, Office, iWork, iLife, etc. It's not going to cut it for cutting edge games, and you're not going to render movies with blazingly fast speed, but it's still a solid machine.

If you're looking over the machine before you buy it, there are a few things to look out for. First, obviously, boot it and make sure it loads into the OS. Check the screen for artifacts- a failing video card can cause some strange display issues. Check the back of the machine for black dust around the exhaust port- a thick layer of the stuff is an indicator that the power supply may be on its last legs. If you have the opportunity to open the case (and depending on the model, it's either really easy and quick or more of a involved process), look for any bulging or leaking capacitors. Bad caps, if you're not aware, has been a significant point of failure for many G5 iMacs.

Assuming the machine isn't in awful condition, I say take the plunge. If you can find RAM cheaply, the machine definitely will benefit from running at 2 GB. Make sure you let us know what you decide!

wow thanks for the tips! I will make sure I look out for that. I did just run a simple google search about the G5 and saw many people had problems with failing capacitors. That was the only thing that was steering me away since so many people have had problems. I didn't want to pay $150 for it to run a week and die. I'll make sure to ask if there has been any problems with it. Not many students at my college use mac desktops. We don't even have them avaliable in libraries. They are reserved for multimedia students only, so hopefully they haven't recieved much wear and tear.

Here are the specs from my school's site:
iMac A1076 20"
Processor: 1.8 Ghz PowerPC G5
Memory: 1GB DDR SDRAMM
HD: 160GB SATA
OS: Mac OS X v. 10.3.5

bagelche
Nov 15, 2009, 11:30 AM
That's a great price for the machine. I'd take one.

DSPalpatine's suggestions are all good, though depending on the demand at the time, they might be a bit impractical as the machines are simply swept away by other takers. You might spend all your time on one to find out it's bad and not have a chance on the others. Having said that, a cursory look along those suggestions is a good idea.

The community radio station I work at bought a used G5 20" imac about 4 years ago. About a year or so later the capacitors on the logic board did go. It was covered under an extended return for that failure, so the replacement cost us nothing. I'd be surprised if they're still honoring that at this late date, however.

Still, I think it's probably worth the risk. It's a capable machine for most basic tasks (we still do plenty of audio editing/recording on it at the radio).

I'd recommend being late for class. They won't be there by 2pm, I would imagine.

mrsir2009
Nov 15, 2009, 11:39 AM
If there was nothing wrong with it its a great deal!:D

markp9114
Nov 15, 2009, 11:43 AM
grrrrr well I have a very big test tomorrow so I don't know if I can miss. If it starts at 7:30, maybe I can get there early, buy it at exactly 7:30 and get out of there, and speed to class and be like 20 mins late. Or take the test and skip the rest of my lecture and lab. decisions decisions! lol

bagelche
Nov 15, 2009, 12:34 PM
grrrrr well I have a very big test tomorrow so I don't know if I can miss. If it starts at 7:30, maybe I can get there early, buy it at exactly 7:30 and get out of there, and speed to class and be like 20 mins late. Or take the test and skip the rest of my lecture and lab. decisions decisions! lol

That's a decision I couldn't make for ya. Do you have a friend who could do it for you (not the test, that is)? Even buying 'em lunch makes it worthwhile.

ClassicII
Nov 15, 2009, 12:44 PM
Ya my guess is they will be all gone by 2:30/

The 20" version is very nice and they go for 3-400$ on ebay.

Pick it up you will not be sorry!

Carl Abudephane
Nov 15, 2009, 01:03 PM
.

MTI
Nov 15, 2009, 01:12 PM
Such a simple question really.

Buddy, what else can you buy for $150 that has a 20" LCD, runs Leopard and lovely Apple design? You can't even get into a Netbook or Hackintosh at that price point.

markp9114
Nov 16, 2009, 01:23 PM
dang. I decided to go before class in the morning. Got there at like 7:20 and there was a line of about 100 people waiting for doors to open. People up front had chairs and blankets and umbrellas. They must have been there really really really early.

Once I saw that line, I walked right back out and drove to class. Obviously all those people were not going to get a computer when there are only 17 for sale, so I wasn't going to waste my time.

All they have left is the Macintosh G5 Pro desktop tower for $200. Not interested in that as much so I'd rather save my money.

Oh well, better luck next time I guess.

bagelche
Nov 16, 2009, 01:48 PM
Too bad. You get your hopes up and then you see that line. Ah well...on to the future, I guess. I was experiencing vicarious excitement and the find and subsequent disappointment.

I don't know the specs of the G5 Pros, but even then at $200 it could be a good machine for some purposes (not necessarily yours). I still use one at work for FCP, though the C2D 24" iMac in the next bay beats the pants off it on most things.

markp9114
Nov 16, 2009, 02:08 PM
I know :( stinks. BUT just found out some good news. I talked to a friend of a friend that works at the bookstore this year and she said she thinks they clear out old computers every year. So maybe next year I can be one of those nerds camping outside my school in the darkness. :cool: