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View Full Version : Is it worth investing in PPC Macs?...Still?




violindoug
Jun 21, 2010, 03:48 PM
I've had my iBook G4 for a little over a week and IT IS GREAT! The problems that might bug others don't even really bug me because I don't need a webcam all that much, iMovie HD cuts it for me, and Leopard is fine enough for me. What I AM wondering about is that as soon as Apple dropped PPC support in Snow Leopard, I feel the value lowered...A LOT because with OS X moving in another path, there are a lot of apps that now require Intel processors. So, if i want a second Mac, laptop or desktop, there are a lot on craigslist that are cheap ppc Macs. Should I get them? Some examples are and iMac G3 for $50 or an eMac for $50 (obviously I'd get the eMac because of the faster processor.) There are also things like a 17 inch PowerBook G4 for $350 or a PowerMac G5 (w/ display and mouse + keyboard) for $325. So should I invest in these or should I save up more cash for an Intel Mac?



MacHamster68
Jun 21, 2010, 04:02 PM
absolute your personal choice
ok i love the ppc Macs , they still do what i want them to do , so investing in a intel Mac would be money thrown out of the window for me , and with even the fastest G4 Mac's coming down in price its catch what you can before the good ones are gone

macgeek18
Jun 21, 2010, 06:13 PM
There still worth it,I mean I just invested in a dual 867 PM G4 and it's totally worth it.Btw,G5's still kick butt.

DesmoPilot
Jun 21, 2010, 06:34 PM
Its a mix of personal choice and what you want the system to do. One major thing to take into consideration is; if something in the system fails (PSU, logicboard for example) it can be difficult and expensive to find a replacement; in some cases you might simply be out of luck.

prss14
Jun 21, 2010, 06:44 PM
I just got an 12", 800mhz, iBook. I love it. Got it for $100. Perfect, "netbook", just better. It only really shows its age with videos. I don't know that I would put too much money into ppc, though, for the longterm. But for secondary devices they can't be beat.

Hrududu
Jun 21, 2010, 07:36 PM
Apple still has good support for Tiger (possibly because there were Intel Macs that shipped with it) so I would bet you Leopard support will still be around for a couple years to come. I personally don't see any problems with buying PPC Macs. If the price is right, its not a bad thing to buy. I'm personally looking for a quad G5 system. I like my MacBook Pro just fine, but I really want a tower thats got room for a couple internal drives and lots of ports. Used Mac Pro's just aren't cheap enough yet for me to afford one.

landscapeman
Jun 22, 2010, 07:02 PM
Why not. They still work great and most can update to leopard.

violindoug
Jun 22, 2010, 10:05 PM
I just got an 12", 800mhz, iBook. I love it. Got it for $100. Perfect, "netbook", just better. It only really shows its age with videos. I don't know that I would put too much money into ppc, though, for the longterm. But for secondary devices they can't be beat.

This is pretty much how I feel too, but I feel like even when some tasks like iMovie can edit pretty well, but well... they take a lot of time to import and export. I wonder why PPC was substantially slower than Intel.

Why not. They still work great and most can update to leopard.

I noticed under your reply it said:
"HP DV1300 Hackintosh 10.5.8
Lenovo S-10 Hackintosh 10.6.3"

I was also wondering if i wanted an Intel machine if I should buy a hackintosh or make one. I, being a little bit of a goody-two-shoes, was a little concerned of the legality, and even if I wanted to make one, I didn't know if an unused pc in my house would work. So, do you know how a Pentium II would run OS X?

landscapeman
Jun 23, 2010, 06:02 AM
Pentium II's are to old. Any Intel or AMD processor that supports SSE2 or higher. I have 10.5.8 running on a machine as old as a Dell Dimensions 4400(P4). You can build a machine using parts or outfit a compatible model. http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
Here is a HCL wiki for parts and computer models. As far a legality I dont understand why it wouldnt. As long as your not bootlegging the software, I dont see any issue. But if you decide to go this route, be prepared to do some reading. Since it looks like you have some experience with macs, it should come easy, but there is a learning curve. If you need help building your Hackintosh or any other questions, let me know. Good Luck bud.


CPUs supporting SSE2

AMD K8-based CPUs (Athlon 64, Sempron 64, Turion 64, etc)
AMD Phenom CPUs
Intel NetBurst-based CPUs (Pentium 4, Xeon, Celeron, Celeron D, etc)
Intel Pentium M and Celeron M
Intel Core-based CPUs (Core Duo, Core Solo, etc)
Intel Core 2-based CPUs (Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, etc)
Intel Core i3,i5,i7
Intel Atom
Transmeta Efficeon
VIA C7
VIA Nano

MacHamster68
Jun 23, 2010, 08:42 AM
hmhmmm yea a hackintosh is not as easy as it sounds , as its not just taking your osx leopard or snow leopard disk and putting it in the drive and pressing install ;) i think the easiest to install to ,if we could talk about easy are the netbooks

and thats the main reason why i never bothered about a hackintosh ,
there are always things that go wrong , ethernet or sound , or usb ,or whatever not working until you find the right cards or swap the motherboards
and then the matter of getting the right bootloaders and things like that have put me of totally
its just not as easy and plug and play as on ppc Mac's
ok parts are not that easy to get in some cases for ppc Mac's , but used and fully working ppc Mac's are just a click away at ebay or craiglist or other sites and as they are at a all time low now its the best time , they wont get cheaper as cheaper would mean the seller has to give you money if you buy one :D

zen.state
Jun 23, 2010, 09:52 AM
Its a mix of personal choice and what you want the system to do. One major thing to take into consideration is; if something in the system fails (PSU, logicboard for example) it can be difficult and expensive to find a replacement; in some cases you might simply be out of luck.

I guess you never go to ebay.

I use only PowerPC at home and do all I need without issue and at a respectable clip. I have a Mac Pro quad Xeon at work. Although it is very powerful it isn't so much so that it's worth buying one for me. I spent 350 on a G4 upgrade just a year ago and am even contemplating buying the dual that sells for 800.

Due to HTML 5 support in PowerPC apps like Safari that alone gives more life to the platform for average users.

It really all depends on just what your needs are combined with the hardware you have and being comfortable with your hardware.

MacHamster68
Jun 23, 2010, 10:44 AM
the thing with ppc Mac's is they work , they are reliable , and if apple would not have chickened out because windows could not run on them we could still enjoy new ppc Mac's , as the 7448 G4 can still keep up with the intels , so the ppc processors had potential ,just apple could not see it , seem windows customers had been more important the transition had in my opinion absolute nothing to do with speed

zen.state
Jun 23, 2010, 10:56 AM
the thing with ppc Mac's is they work , they are reliable , and if apple would not have chickened out because windows could not run on them we could still enjoy new ppc Mac's , as the 7448 G4 can still keep up with the intels , so the transition had in my opinion absolute nothing to do with speed

If the 7448 had come out sooner it could have solved the need for more power in the G4 PowerBooks. I think the fact there was no answer for a faster laptop cpu at the time was one of the main reasons for the switch. The last year or so of the PowerBook G4 was filled with users asking for more power. The G5 was just too much of a power hog to shrink down and function.

Freescale claims the 7448 is 40% faster than previous G4's but in my experiences it can be as much as 60% faster. It's also only 90nm which makes it the smallest G4 ever. It is also the most efficient G4 ever using only 18-20Watts @ 1.7GHz. So my 1.8 would only be 22-25.

Sadly only PowerMac G4 Sawtooth-Qucksilver and later model G4 PowerBooks can enjoy the 7448. The same 90nm chip works unmodified in desktops and laptops.

666sheep
Jun 23, 2010, 11:07 AM
I've "invested" today equivalent of $71 in two iMacs G3: 600 Snow and 450 Ruby :D
Was worth for sure. So much fun for that little money :p

My goal is to swap enclosures between them (i prefer Ruby look but Snow has better specs), overlock CPUs OFC and some other mods.
I got 750CXE datasheet with PLL settings so OC should be easy.

zen.state
Jun 23, 2010, 11:15 AM
I've "invested" today equivalent of $71 in two iMacs G3: 600 Snow and 450 Ruby :D
Was worth for sure. So much fun for that little money :p

My goal is to swap enclosures between them (i prefer Ruby look but Snow has better specs), overlock CPUs OFC and some other mods.
I got 750CXE datasheet with PLL settings so OC should be easy.

Great buy! I never owned an iMac but would like one to play with. Preferably a G3 400MHz+

mr1970
Jun 23, 2010, 11:28 AM
As is always the way with these things, it depends what you're using it for. We have:

- a purple G3 iMac used as an email terminal for guests
- a G4 Powermac (Gigabit Ethernet) used as a home media server
- my own 12" Powerbook 1.5 which I haven't found a reason to change
- a G5 which I use with two monitors - one for an Extranet session for my work, the other running iTunes
- my wife's Intel Macbook
- my 13 year old's Core 2 Hackintosh

Would I like something quicker / newer? Sure. But they're all quick enough for the purposes for which they're being used.

The key is paying the right price - picking things up locally can often make a G5 worthwhile, for example, while the postage buying it from eBay would start to take you into Intel Mac Mini territory as the G5 weighs about the same as my car. Also be careful on buying from the top or bottom of a range - running a G5 with 512MB memory isn't great, and buying a top-end watercooled G5 is getting riskier as they get older in case anything goes wrong.

MacHamster68
Jun 23, 2010, 11:49 AM
ok i make its quiet simple

Yes , its worth investing in a ppc Mac
if you do NOT cut films /work with photoshop or things like that on a COMMERCIAL basis where you absolutely need the latest 2010 software and if you do not want to play games in windows (because these are the only legitimate reasons to invest in a intel Mac )

longofest
Jun 23, 2010, 05:19 PM
I'm going to be a nay-sayer and say no, it's not worth it.

I've had 2 PowerMac G4's (Dual G4 1Ghz Quicksilver, 733 Mhz Quicksilver) and my PowerMac G5 Quad die. The Dual G4 and Quad G5 both died due to power supply failures, and the 733 Mhz died due to logic board failure. The only PowerPC Mac I have left is my PowerBook 867, and that barely runs with a bad hard-drive.

The simple fact is, any PowerPC-based mac you get is going to be old - at least 4-5 years. While some Macs go well beyond their expected lifetime, many die of old age just like all things technological: wear and tear is a way of life. PowerPC macs will have harder-to-find components, and software support is already going away.

Unless you are going for a collector-item (I personally wouldn't mind getting a G4 iMac... it was an incredible design), I'd go with an Intel Mac if you need usability.

MacHamster68
Jun 23, 2010, 06:21 PM
i have 2 iMac g3's and they are more then reliable and both from summer 2001
and spares are extremely easy and cheap to get same for my eMacs from 2006 or my mini's from 2005
and you can take some precautions for example give them a clean inside , change the heat compound as it tries out after a couple years , do regular backups as yes the harddrives might go or the ram

it all depends where you buy them from
if they had been abused in a school or in a office for years before they land on ebay, sold by a dodgy dealer who has no idea about the difference between a rubber duck and a computer

or if they came from a caring owner who cherished them like a pet and ran to the apple store for a service more often then he went to the dentist

MacNut
Jun 23, 2010, 06:47 PM
PPC's are fine but they are not worth it long term if you want to be up to date software wise. You can still do plenty with a well stocked PPC machine, just don't expect to be using Apple's new goodies on it.

gyus
Jun 24, 2010, 12:04 AM
It totally depends on what you are planning to use your computer for! If its just for email, surfing the web and some light computer work- say word processing, my suggestion would be to pick a PPC computer that would support a web browser for some time. For example, if you run a G4 then 10.5's Safari 5 will be supported on that OS for a while. Once the web browser support ends, it the death bell for the computer! So a PPC could be a tremendous value if thats what you will be using the computer for. Matter of fact i'm typing this from an indigo iBook, running Panther (safari 1.3) and it s fine for that!

If your doing anything that requires more cpu than that then Intel is a better choice.

MacHamster68
Jun 24, 2010, 03:37 AM
there will always be some nice people who like to hold on to the ppc architecture ,and even in 2010 there is development going on for a operating system to work on PPC Mac's ....Morph OS , just in case apple dumps us totally
there are others outside who care more

drewdle
Jun 24, 2010, 11:54 AM
PPC is a good platform. As an investment, I'm not sure. It depends on where your priorities lie.

Both my PPC Macs are serving me well. My iMac just got a full teardown/rebuild with a new hard drive, maxed out memory, and a fresh DVD burner, and for daily use it rarely shows it's age. It does everything I need, so much so that I sold my MacBook and am contemplating going back to school the "old fashioned" way. If this proves to be a pain, however, a G4 notebook may be in the cards.

My G3 is a slightly different story. I have tried to use it as a daily machine when I had no other choice (the MacBook was in the shop and the iMac hadn't happened yet) and I found it painful. I've made attempts at getting more RAM for the beast, but it refuses to accept anything I've tried. My wife almost went insane having to use it for a month after she killed her MacBook with a glass of water. Thus, until more recently, I hadn't found a use for it. It's now a remote terminal (I use Remote Desktop to play with it) behind my stereo system and functions well as a poor man's AirPort Express.

Intel Macs are nice, but cheap computers that do what I need of them are better than dropping $1000+ on a laptop or desktop with many times more horsepower than I require, thus I've decided to stick with my PPC systems.

I won't do Hackintosh for many reasons, one being I think Apple has every right to restrict usage of their software to their hardware. It's the same as an artist putting up a gallery display, but you need to go to that particular gallery to see the art.

violindoug
Jun 24, 2010, 01:11 PM
Pentium II's are to old. Any Intel or AMD processor that supports SSE2 or higher. I have 10.5.8 running on a machine as old as a Dell Dimensions 4400(P4). You can build a machine using parts or outfit a compatible model. http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
Here is a HCL wiki for parts and computer models. As far a legality I dont understand why it wouldnt. As long as your not bootlegging the software, I dont see any issue. But if you decide to go this route, be prepared to do some reading. Since it looks like you have some experience with macs, it should come easy, but there is a learning curve. If you need help building your Hackintosh or any other questions, let me know. Good Luck bud.


CPUs supporting SSE2

AMD K8-based CPUs (Athlon 64, Sempron 64, Turion 64, etc)
AMD Phenom CPUs
Intel NetBurst-based CPUs (Pentium 4, Xeon, Celeron, Celeron D, etc)
Intel Pentium M and Celeron M
Intel Core-based CPUs (Core Duo, Core Solo, etc)
Intel Core 2-based CPUs (Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, etc)
Intel Core i3,i5,i7
Intel Atom
Transmeta Efficeon
VIA C7
VIA Nano


Thank You!
I'm just noticing also which processors do old IBM ThinkPads have because when I looked up a how to video on YouTube, it was someone from cnet using a ThinkPad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8oVU5AjqhU.)In that video it also says that even if you're using a legal copy of OS X, because of the EULA or whatever, Apple says OS X can only be on Apple branded machines. Also, I'm not that too much of an expert on Macs but ever since I was 8, I've been obsessed with them and I've been doing my "research" on Wikipedia and other random sites on Macs.

violindoug
Jun 24, 2010, 01:15 PM
the thing with ppc Mac's is they work , they are reliable , and if apple would not have chickened out because windows could not run on them we could still enjoy new ppc Mac's , as the 7448 G4 can still keep up with the intels , so the ppc processors had potential ,just apple could not see it , seem windows customers had been more important the transition had in my opinion absolute nothing to do with speed

Well, I also think with competition between companies, I think Apple transitioned because it was something like IBM wasn't developing the processors fast enough to be competitive. There's that whole big article on Wikipedia about the transition.

violindoug
Jun 24, 2010, 01:21 PM
ok i make its quiet simple

Yes , its worth investing in a ppc Mac
if you do NOT cut films /work with photoshop or things like that on a COMMERCIAL basis where you absolutely need the latest 2010 software and if you do not want to play games in windows (because these are the only legitimate reasons to invest in a intel Mac )

I love my iBook for websurfing but now I realize, I'm saving up for a MacBook Pro WITH Photoshop and also so I can use iMovie '09 without trying to hack my iBook and risk messing up the graphics card.

violindoug
Jun 24, 2010, 01:23 PM
i have 2 iMac g3's and they are more then reliable and both from summer 2001
and spares are extremely easy and cheap to get same for my eMacs from 2006 or my mini's from 2005
and you can take some precautions for example give them a clean inside , change the heat compound as it tries out after a couple years , do regular backups as yes the harddrives might go or the ram

it all depends where you buy them from
if they had been abused in a school or in a office for years before they land on ebay, sold by a dodgy dealer who has no idea about the difference between a rubber duck and a computer

or if they came from a caring owner who cherished them like a pet and ran to the apple store for a service more often then he went to the dentist

I'm kind of laughing at myself about what I'm thinking about the last part because if I bought from an owner like that, it would be extremely nice if he went to the dentist VERY frequently haha.

MacHamster68
Jun 24, 2010, 01:33 PM
hmm as far as i know ibm thinkpads are using these intel centrinos which are i think pentium M ,on older thinkpads but centrino means also the core sole core duo core 2 duo in later thinkpads , they all had been branded centrino , centrino means the whole thing motherboard chipset and the lot ,
centrino means its safes energy or so and is very confusing as for me there is a tiny difference if i buy a laptop with a pentium M 1.7ghz or with a core 2 duo 1.7ghz , but ibm just branded everything as centrino 1.7ghz for example

drewdle
Jun 24, 2010, 01:47 PM
hmm as far as i know ibm thinkpads are using these intel centrinos which are i think pentium M ,on older thinkpads but centrino means also the core sole core duo core 2 duo in later thinkpads , they all had been branded centrino , centrino means the whole thing motherboard chipset and the lot ,
centrino means its safes energy or so and is very confusing as for me there is a tiny difference if i buy a laptop with a pentium M 1.7ghz or with a core 2 duo 1.7ghz , but ibm just branded everything as centrino 1.7ghz for example

There's Centrino and Centrino 2, of which I'd probably recommend the second one, as they primarily shipped with Core2Duo chips. But basically the above is exactly it; Centrino just means it's an Intel chipset running Intel components.

Technically, Macs aren't Centrino based because Apple typically goes to other vendors for their wireless, sound, and video solutions, and they use their own motherboard designs (with input from Intel).

D4F
Jun 26, 2010, 05:25 PM
About a week ago one of my friends wanted to throw out a iMac g5 (light sensor) so I took it. It wouldn't boot and apparently the owner thought of it as super old.

I took it apart, cleaned, replaced memory and installed Leopard.
Apart that video gets a bit laggy sometimes especially using youtube that thing is great.
Installed iTunes, loaded all stuff and i find it as a great email/surfing machine.
Also the speakers are doing great job so I'm happy with this free gift :)

chrismacguy
Jun 27, 2010, 06:42 AM
Personally, I have to say the PowerPC still has its place, even in professional settings. I use a PowerBook G4/1.67Ghz to do Audio Editing, using SoundTrack Pro and Logic Pro, sure its not the latest version, but it gets the job done for my video projects, heck I even use my G4/450 tower to do some light titling work (I use a variety of freeware products, and also an old version of Final Cut (v3)), it all works great, and Im not going to move from PowerPC for a long time. (I have a MacBook too, but thats just for the internet and to speed up encoding - I still do say 65% of my editing on PowerPC machines, and am intending on moving them to a G5 soon, long live PPC! :D )

Carnage Asada
Jul 3, 2010, 03:27 AM
My g5 1.6 ppc gets the job done! Great for web and iTunes although video seems to struggle but regardless it was my first desktop Mac and I've had it for 7 years. I work on an 8-core at work and would love to upgrade to an intel mAc but cant justify the purchase unless I start getting some more work from home.

mire3212
Jul 3, 2010, 03:35 AM
I have to disagree with continuation of PPC just because the architecture is not only dead, but was also very inefficient and never got better, even in the G5. I do tech work for Mac clients and see quite a few people still hanging on to the PPC chips, but they don't cut it anymore. Anything on the web that uses flash version 8+ will cause CPU power to get anywhere from 65% to 90% just for some stupid add. Forget flash games, hulu, youtube or anything with HD content. If you're using 10.4, and don't bother with flash, then yes performance will be fine, because it was fine back in 2005 with 10.4 and a lot less intense flash/web 2.0 tricks.

Bottom line is, technology doubles practically every couple years, given that the most recent PPC computers are now at least 4 years old, that puts PPC WAY behind technology. I'm not saying that it doesn't have it's place, such as people who won't give up OS 9 (or even previous) and some of those who use really old software, 'cause it gets the job done,' but it's more worthwhile to invest in a newer intel machine. Plus anything from pre-2006 will be considered Obsolete/Vintage and won't be serviceable by Apple.

Most PC users buy a computer every 18 months. Apple's machine generally last 3-5+ years easy. But that doesn't mean the tech, or ability does.

Just my opinion.

Fishrrman
Jul 3, 2010, 08:40 AM
"So should I invest in these or should I save up more cash for an Intel Mac?"

Hmmm.... to "invest" suggests you are spending today's capital with the hope for future gain. You are putting your money into something that will "grow", that will "give you back more" than what it is worth _today_.

If you already _have_ a g4 Mac that is working fine, it doesn't make sense to "invest" in more old technology. It does make sense to keep the older tech around for "legacy needs" and a "link backward".

But insofar as buying more hardware is concerned, you should be "looking ahead".

A g4 may work ok in today's environment, but it cannot "grow" in the sense that it can be anything more than "what it is now".

Keep the g4, of course. I'm typing this message on a 2004-vintage PowerMac g4 tower that I still use for most of my day-to-day things. But when I finally decided to get my first Mac laptop (after using Macs for 23 years!), I bought a new MacBook Pro.

Five or six years "down the road", I hope it remains as usable a computing tool as my 6+ PowerMac is today!

mrchinchilla
Jul 3, 2010, 09:57 AM
Anything on the web that uses flash version 8+ will cause CPU power to get anywhere from 65% to 90% just for some stupid add. Forget flash games, hulu, youtube or anything with HD content.

Computers' purpose is not solely watching videos on the internet. For many CPU-heavy tasks, a G5 can sometimes outperform an Intel chip. Most of the people who are "hanging onto" their PPC Macs aren't the type of people who endlessly watch videos on YouTube.

it's more worthwhile to invest in a newer intel machine.

The price of Macs, since the transition to Intel, has skyrocketed even by Apple's standards and it is only increasing. And if it is outdated after 18+ months, well, you do the math.

Plus anything from pre-2006 will be considered Obsolete/Vintage and won't be serviceable by Apple.

This may be true, however, PPC Macs aren't shiny inaccessible little boxes. Most of the people who still use PPC Macs regularly are perfectly capable—if not more so than the Apple 'engineers'—of servicing/repairing their machines if they should ever encounter a problem, which is far less probable than with an Intel machine.

RebelRed
Jul 22, 2010, 03:34 AM
I work with Adobe's CS4 suite all day long on a Power Mac G5 that I bought off eBay used for a song (2 of them actually).

I'm sure my video encoding with screen flow might be a little longer, but big deal.

Sure, some stuff is going Intel only (lazy windows programmers), but I've yet to miss out on anything.

Maybe in a couple more years it will be time to move on. We will see.

kernkraft
Jul 22, 2010, 03:51 AM
From the list, I'd get the ridiculously cheap eMac. If you can, spend the premium on that one and buy a 1.42GHz one.

But it's not an investment, it's an expenditure. I wouldn't bother with the portables and the Mac Pros need more dedication - in theory, several of them can have more RAM than today's mainstream computers, but they do fail occasionally.

76ShovelHead
Jul 22, 2010, 06:11 AM
PowerPC's are definitely worth it. I just got my eMac 1.2ghz, right after my Intel PC's Seagate hard drive died and its in for its second RMA, leaving this little eMac my main computer for at least a month, and i have no complaints.

blunderboy
Jul 22, 2010, 12:13 PM
It depends on what you need. If you don't need to use the latest applications and are comfortable using an older platform, then yes, do use a PPC. All my Macs were PPC up until this week, mostly because it was what I could buy. If you want to run the newest versions of certain applications, then you'll probably want to get an Intel Mac. A lot of developers (Apple themselves, Adobe, Microsoft, Google) are moving towards Intel-only apps, which might be harder for PPC users to deal with. It's annoying—many PPC Macs are well within their usable life and could conceivably run some of these apps—but it's the cycle of technology.

mrsir2009
Jul 22, 2010, 01:32 PM
Yeah, a powerful G4 machine would probably cut it for what I do :D

Even G3s can still serve a purpose, as long as they have a decent amount of RAM (1GB) and a decent speed ;) I have a G3 iMac and a G3 iBook and they both work fine for gaming and writing.

....And I've also got a Mac Classic just for the novelty....

tayloralmond
Jul 22, 2010, 10:49 PM
I definitely believe that PPC Macs still have a purpose. I bought an iMac G4 off of PowerMax a couple months ago for $270 and bought a 500GB HDD and 2GB's of RAM and installed them myself. I actually use my iMac G4 as my primary desktop computer because it has everything I need for my everyday tasks. It's got:

OS X 10.5 (Can run most apps out there)
Bluetooth (I can use my Magic Mouse)
Airport Extreme (I don't need any ethernet cables)
USB 2.0 (I can sync up my iPhone, etc.)
500GB HDD (I can store all my music and files)
Superdrive DL (I can burn DVD's if I need to)

I've always loved the iMac G4's design, so as long as iTunes and a good internet browser are supported on my G4, I'm going to keep on using it. I don't edit video or play any intense games, so there's no real reason for me to ditch PPC (not to mention that I always have my MacBook Pro for games/Intel only apps :D ).

Mike Macintosh
Jul 22, 2010, 10:54 PM
Are they worth it, well thats a personal choice and it depends on what you need it to do, my Powerbook G4 has been with me for 5 years.

Although I have moved on to my iMac 27" i5 as my main computer, the PPC Powerbook G4 holds up as my laptop and I have no plans on replacing it with a Macbook anytime soon, it does all I want a laptop to do, surf the net, watch my DVD's, and be there to look up info on local attractions at my Hotel when I travel.

Coldacre
Jul 23, 2010, 03:18 AM
they're great to have around. I still play alot of games in the classic environment - can't do that on an Intel machine. my G3 450 DV is still running as strong as it did the day I bought 10 years ago. I've got 120g worth of ALAC files sitting on it - streaming to my Intel iMac.

PowerGamerX
Jul 23, 2010, 10:26 AM
I hate the forced obsoleteness of computers. This PowerBook has been my main machine since 2006, sure it shows a few minor signs of age (there's a little scuff on the apple on the lid and a scratch on the bottom) and sure it might not be a quad core, 8gb of ram, super-gameaholic machine. You know what though, I'm typing on it right now, it works well, it's very responsive. It's not like it takes 5 seconds to open Safari (just as fast as my friends MBP). Sure I avoid flash content when possible (I'll still watch YouTube occasionally), but for everything else I do, which includes MacRumors, Mail, iTunes, Pages, Skype, PhotoShop CS3, WoW, some Garage Band work and a few other little things here and there. It feels great. Even without the SSD that I had been using for the last year that just died (and just out of warranty :()

Anyway, the average Joe or Mary isn't going to see the difference between Snow Leopard and Leopard. Snow Leopard mostly just cut out the legacy code needed for G4 and G5 processors.

Not to mention, the G4 and G5 era of Mac's are just filled with great design choices that you some of which you can't find today.

mrsir2009
Jul 23, 2010, 03:17 PM
About a week ago one of my friends wanted to throw out a iMac g5 (light sensor) so I took it. It wouldn't boot and apparently the owner thought of it as super old.

I took it apart, cleaned, replaced memory and installed Leopard.
Apart that video gets a bit laggy sometimes especially using youtube that thing is great.
Installed iTunes, loaded all stuff and i find it as a great email/surfing machine.
Also the speakers are doing great job so I'm happy with this free gift :)

Your in the sam boat as me! I got given a free iBook G3 from someone who thought it was useless because it was too old. Turns out to be a fine machine for writing and playing classic games :D

drewdle
Jul 25, 2010, 01:38 AM
I have to disagree with continuation of PPC just because the architecture is not only dead, but was also very inefficient and never got better, even in the G5. I do tech work for Mac clients and see quite a few people still hanging on to the PPC chips, but they don't cut it anymore. Anything on the web that uses flash version 8+ will cause CPU power to get anywhere from 65% to 90% just for some stupid add. Forget flash games, hulu, youtube or anything with HD content. If you're using 10.4, and don't bother with flash, then yes performance will be fine, because it was fine back in 2005 with 10.4 and a lot less intense flash/web 2.0 tricks.

Bottom line is, technology doubles practically every couple years, given that the most recent PPC computers are now at least 4 years old, that puts PPC WAY behind technology. I'm not saying that it doesn't have it's place, such as people who won't give up OS 9 (or even previous) and some of those who use really old software, 'cause it gets the job done,' but it's more worthwhile to invest in a newer intel machine. Plus anything from pre-2006 will be considered Obsolete/Vintage and won't be serviceable by Apple.

Most PC users buy a computer every 18 months. Apple's machine generally last 3-5+ years easy. But that doesn't mean the tech, or ability does.

Just my opinion.

Hate to bust your chops here, but let's go trough the list, one by one.

First: "PPC is very inefficient and never got better". Okay, let's talk efficiency. Do you know what the TDP on average for an Intel mobile chip (say Core2Duo class) is? 35 watts. Average PowerPC rating? Anywhere from 3.5 watts (my iBook 466Mhz) to around 10 watts. Also, Google comparisons of floating point operation between PowerPC and Intel chips of the same era. I'll wait.

Second: "Forget Flash games, Hulu, YouTube, anything with HD content". This is assuming that the measure of a computer is how well it handles the internet. I think most people have forgotten that a computer can do more than just be a portal to the nebulous nether-worlds. There are many ways to get YouTube on these machines other than just showing up on the site and expecting 720p content to play in the browser window. And on that topic, why do I need a high-definition video of a kid cracking his head on a half-pipe? Wasn't that already retarded in standard definition?

Third: "PPC computers are now at least 4 years old, that puts PPC WAY behind technology". Define technology. I define technology as a tool that helps accelerate work that I do that would otherwise be laborious. Judged by this definition, how is PPC "way behind"? The entire point of software and hardware development in a consumer driven society is to compel you to buy the new stuff, whether or not you actually need it. This is why Microsoft is wrestling the bear when it comes to Windows XP. That system hasn't come pre-loaded on any new computer for almost four years now, but 70% of the market is still running it, because for them, it still does everything they need it to. If Mac users were as resolute as their Windows brethren, Apple might not have been able to axe PowerPC support from Snow Leopard.

Fourth: "Anything from pre-2006 will be considered Obsolete/Vintage and won't be serviceable by Apple". Wrong again. Apple products are FULLY supported by Apple Authorized Service Centers for a full FIVE YEARS from date of build. They are then classified as "Vintage", and parts are still available for two more years. That's SEVEN years total, and only then do they get classified as Obsolete. Any tech that informs his/her customers that Apple won't support their machines within that seven year timeframe are lying hounds, and give the rest of us technicians who otherwise want to help our customers a bad name. It's one thing to suggest replacing a computer if repairs are more than what economically could be spent on a newer system, but it's another thing entirely to dismiss repair of a perfectly usable system simply because of it's age.

Fifth: "Most PC users buy a computer every 18 months. Apple's machine generally last 3-5+ years easy". So then why not use them for the full extent of their lifespan? Any technology is a poor investment, not just old computers. In fact, new machines are probably the worst thing to invest in. You will never, ever get the money back you spend on a brand new MacBook. However, the $100 I spent on my iMac G4 might come back to me if it still works in a few years and someone wants it for a collectible, and in the meantime, its been a perfectly usable computer.

Technology is only as obsolete as you make it. If everyone hung onto their computers for longer periods of time, they wouldn't become obsolete as fast because the powers that be (Apple, third parties) wouldn't have much choice but to support older machines since they represent a larger portion of their user base. That aside, if the computer is valuable to you as a tool, the investment is only as foolish as buying a computer five times more powerful than what you need in the first place.

wesrk
Jul 25, 2010, 03:14 PM
Technology is only as obsolete as you make it.

This.

I was playing around with an imac g4 last night and it handled everything pretty well, I was just checking my email, chatting and reading these forums for about three hours overall, but I never felt like I was using a dated computer. So, for some things it's still more than just good, for others not so much. So yeah, the comment in quotes holds.

MacHamster68
Jul 26, 2010, 01:53 AM
i hate the word obsolete
the industry will always make you think you absolutely need to buy new every year , for obvious reasons ..they want to make profits

and to give ppc users a bit of confidence back , it needs a bit of brain to get things working on ppc Mac's but its possible if you use that thing inside your head ,
i mean for a single mouse click on a youtube video to play it you do just not need much more brain then a ant ,
but for finding a way how to play that youtube video outside their website it needs brain , same for other "older apps" you can do the same as with newer app's , you just have to use that thing inside your head called brain for that ;)

666sheep
Jul 26, 2010, 03:38 AM
From other side, thinking about PPC "obsolete, vintage" etc is giving lower prices to rest of us. I've expanded my collection with eMac 1.42 1GB RAM last days. I've paid equivalent of $65 including shipping :p

MacHamster68
Jul 26, 2010, 05:08 AM
:D:D ok thats the advantage as the brainless people get rid of their ppc Macs because they cant handle them any more :rolleyes: the ppc Mac's are getting cheaper for the rest of humanity :D

crobbins
Jul 26, 2010, 04:57 PM
A friend gave me an old PowerMac G4 (733MHZ). I didn't expect to ever own another PPC (I sold my iBook G4 during the initial Intel Transition) It's not the fastest thing in the world, especially compared to my MacBook Pro. That being said, it's not a bad machine. It does basic tasks and is a nice little desktop to fiddle around on. I feel like having a PPC Mac puts you in a whole different category of mac user! :D

thunng8
Jul 27, 2010, 10:25 PM
I have to disagree with continuation of PPC just because the architecture is not only dead, but was also very inefficient and never got better, even in the G5.

Just a bit clarification on this point. IBM has continued on with the PPC architecture (POWER is 100% backward compatible with the G5) and released the POWER7 in Feb in the year. The POWER7 smokes the Intel Nehalem/Westere chips.

For example, the 2x6core 2.93Ghz Westmere chip does 297/197 in SpecInt_rate/specfp_rate

http://www.apple.com/macpro/performance.html

A 2x8 core 3Ghz POWER7 chip does
520/434 in the same benchmark
http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/bladecenter/hardware/servers/ps700series/perfdata.html

The top end 2x8 core 3.8Ghz POWER7 does
652/586
http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/780/perfdata.html

Note that fp_rate in this chip is ~3X that of the Intel chip.

Performance per watt of the POWER7 is also better as the 3.8Ghz 8 core chip is a 200W chip while the 6 core Westmere chip is 95W. The POWER7 3.8Ghz uses about 2x more power but is more than 2x faster.

dandeco
Jul 28, 2010, 09:23 AM
I have a couple of PowerPC Macs that I use quite a bit. There is my eMac desktop, which is the 2005 version (1.42 GHz G4 processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, 160 GB hard drive, SuperDrive and ATI Radeon 9600 graphics processor with 64 MB VRAM). It is my main computer, and while it may not even be as fast as a Windows 7 machine of today, let alone an Intel iMac, it still is a very good, responsive computer, and in some ways outperforms my brother's Dell Pentium 4 computer. I have Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard installed on it, as well as iLife '09 (I even got iMovie '09 working on it without much hassle!)

There is also my aluminum 15" PowerBook G4 I just recently got, to replace my dead HP Pavilion notebook. (It has a 1 GHz G4 processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 60 GB hard drive, SuperDrive, and ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 graphics with 64 MB VRAM.) So far it's a pretty good notebook computer, but it does need a few upgrades (it doesn't even have a battery right now!)

Incidentally, both can play YouTube videos pretty well.

thunng8
Jul 28, 2010, 08:01 PM
I still have my Powermac G5 Quad which I love and has been very reliable. Still runs everything I throw at it very well.

I used to have a Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz, but have sold it ~1.5 years back for a 13" Macbook 2.4Ghz unibody aluminium. It was just not fast enough for my needs.

macnerd93
Aug 1, 2010, 02:06 AM
I'd say so yes : I have 8 Macs myself five of them being intel the rest are PowerPC, I Love apples older tech, just seems interesting I collect them. :D I mean I use my eMac & Quicksilver G4 as secondary systems with my MBP being my main system

afrodiziyak
Aug 1, 2010, 05:43 AM
Hello peeps,
hope am in the right forum,cant seem to start new post or thread or whatever its called.
I bought iphone 4 yesterday and have,to my consternation found that i cannot sync/activate my new phone on my old machine.To activate i require 10.5 or later.My machine is a 10.4 of which the hardware overview is:

Machine Name: PowerBook G4 15"
Machine Model: PowerBook5,8
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (1.5)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1.67 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed: 167 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.9.5f3

The question is can i upgrade to 10.5 online or by buying a disc? Dont think i can afford or really want to buy another machine as this one works just perfectly for me,apart from iphone4 sync ofcourse.
So what do you wise people say,upgrade possible or do i just return the phone?

MacHamster68
Aug 1, 2010, 06:08 AM
you need to buy a disc unfortunately , look up ebay or craiglist , or some other websites who sell software for Mac's ,as apple does not sell leopard 10.5 any longer

afrodiziyak
Aug 1, 2010, 07:05 AM
Cheers MacHamster68, for your speedy response.So there will be no problem upgrading my machine to a 10.5 with disc ?

bartelby
Aug 1, 2010, 07:08 AM
Cheers MacHamster68, for your speedy response.So there will be no problem upgrading my machine to a 10.5 with disc ?

I run 10.5 on my 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook with no problems. You might want to get more RAM though.

afrodiziyak
Aug 1, 2010, 07:10 AM
Have just found Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard on amazon could this work or do i have to get the 10.5 seeing as i'm a 10.4 at the mo ?

bartelby
Aug 1, 2010, 07:11 AM
Have just found Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard on amazon could this work or do i have to get the 10.5 seeing as i'm a 10.4 at the mo ?

Snow Leopard is Intel only. It won't run on a PPC machine.

afrodiziyak
Aug 1, 2010, 09:41 AM
Cheers for that bartelby

raysfan81
Aug 2, 2010, 05:51 PM
hmhmmm yea a hackintosh is not as easy as it sounds , as its not just taking your osx leopard or snow leopard disk and putting it in the drive and pressing install ;) i think the easiest to install to ,if we could talk about easy are the netbooks

and thats the main reason why i never bothered about a hackintosh ,
there are always things that go wrong , ethernet or sound , or usb ,or whatever not working until you find the right cards or swap the motherboards
and then the matter of getting the right bootloaders and things like that have put me of totally
its just not as easy and plug and play as on ppc Mac's
ok parts are not that easy to get in some cases for ppc Mac's , but used and fully working ppc Mac's are just a click away at ebay or craiglist or other sites and as they are at a all time low now its the best time , they wont get cheaper as cheaper would mean the seller has to give you money if you buy one :D

I tried many times to make a hackintosh but none of my attempts got me anywhere. People talk about it being easy but its really not especially if you dont use the exactly right hardware.

DesmoPilot
Aug 2, 2010, 06:43 PM
I tried many times to make a hackintosh but none of my attempts got me anywhere. People talk about it being easy but its really not especially if you dont use the exactly right hardware.

People talk about it being easy because, well, it is easy. Follow the instructions, use the proper hardware and really the only way it could be easier was if Apple had an official distro for PCs. Admittedly though, its not for everyone.