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Old Jan 23, 2013, 02:13 PM   #1
leahkat
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My G4 is finally on it's last leg & I need an inexpensive replacement!

After many great and faithful years, my G4 Power Mac is starting to squeak and make random chirping sounds... and it is of course very SLOW. I'm afraid it's about done, and I need a replacement. I do part-time graphic design/photography work and use Adobe Creative Suite products. I'm not looking for latest and greatest right now. Looking to spend $500-$800. What can I expect to find in this price range? My instinct is to look for a used MacPro although an imac might work too.? As you can guess from the fact that I'm still working on a G4, I tend to stretch it as long as I can and from what I have heard, imacs are not as upgradeable.? I'm assuming I'll be looking to CL or ebay and I'd appreciate any advice or warnings about buying this way.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 02:20 PM   #2
-jc
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You could consider a Mac Mini, might sound strange but they are very reliable and powerful these days.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 02:35 PM   #3
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a brand new mac mini would be leaps and bounds above your G4.
trust me, I'm a collector, and still have about 5 G4 towers sitting around that still work, as well as many other machines.
$600 will get you in the door with the new Mini, right in your specified budget.

you can plug it into your current monitor, or even your flat screen tv if you wish, but then I'd recommend a wireless keyboard and mouse/trackpad.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 02:49 PM   #4
phoenixsan
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I think....

a new Mac mini can be a nice upgrade to you. Buying it new from Apple....

1)-No scam artists and lenghtly dealings as in CL and Ebay
2) 1 yr warranty, upgradeable later if you want/cant with AppleCare
3)- Right in your budget range
4)-As I had said, nice upgrade in terms of raw power/tech

But.....

1)-If you do intensive tasks with the processor/graphic card maybe you can run in problems....

2)If you, like me, have a host of legacy equipment/peripherals (as FireWire ones), maybe that equipment is outdated to work with the mini...

Because of the above said, I also can recomend a 2009 iMac. Maybe you can get a deal in a nice one

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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I'd suggest you buy a new Mac mini from apple. It'll smoke your G4 10x over and over and over...
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:17 PM   #6
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I'm going to echo everyone else and suggest a Mac Mini. If you've gone this long with a G4, the current Mini should last you a while. I just got one and its great for running Adobe CS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixsan View Post
2)If you, like me, have a host of legacy equipment/peripherals (as FireWire ones), maybe that equipment is outdated to work with the mini...
The Mini has firewire so that shouldn't be an issue, you just might need a different cable or adapter to connect it to the newer 9-pin port.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:26 PM   #7
Designer Dale
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You can get a lot on the used market for that price if you are replacing a G vintage Mac. The link I have included is from a good reseller that backs its stuff with good service. Moving from PPC to Intel will require upgrading your software unless you stick to an OS version that supports emulation. I upgraded my intel MBP to Mountain Lion and had to move from CS3 to CS6 to avoid crashes.

Note: A dual 2Ghz G5 Pro can be had for $500.

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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Designer Dale View Post
You can get a lot on the used market for that price if you are replacing a G vintage Mac. The link I have included is from a good reseller that backs its stuff with good service. Moving from PPC to Intel will require upgrading your software unless you stick to an OS version that supports emulation. I upgraded my intel MBP to Mountain Lion and had to move from CS3 to CS6 to avoid crashes.

Note: A dual 2Ghz G5 Pro can be had for $500.

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Be sure to browse Craigslist for used PMG5's. I found one that had an alleged bad power supply for $20 and jumped on it. Brought it home, triple-zapped the PRAM, installed Leopard and got tons of faithful service from it. You may not have the same luck, but you never know!
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 04:07 PM   #9
keysersoze
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Originally Posted by leahkat View Post
After many great and faithful years, my G4 Power Mac is starting to (blahblabla) this way.
What display are you currently using? Is it an old Apple model with an ADC connector? It's worth checking if you want to use it because adapters can be pricey.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 04:29 PM   #10
The Man
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Please note that PowerPC applications won't work on new Macs running Mountain Lion. Last Mac OS to run Rosetta PowerPC emulation is Snow Leopard. If you still need to run PowerPC on Intel, buy a Mac that runs Snow Leopard. Else, a new Mac mini is good. As said, ADC monitors can be tricky to connect. Need an adapter.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 04:38 PM   #11
-jc
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Even at $100, a G5 is a bad buy, makes no sense in 2013.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 06:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by -jc View Post
Even at $100, a G5 is a bad buy, makes no sense in 2013.
True, PPC is dead ... don't bother spending money on it unless you like the charm

If new get a Mac Mini, otherwise a 2nd gen mac pro or iMac
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 06:18 PM   #13
n8mac
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Since you are on a budget (like me), the main question is what version of adobe CS will you need to have for the next several years. The cost of that can cost more than the Mac. Assuming you are going to get a newer version of adobe CS, look at some prices on those and get a Mac that will run it well.

For example if you go for CS 4, 5, or 6, a new Mac Mini would be best (assuming CS 4 runs fine on ML, correct me if it doesn't). If you can only afford CS 2 or 3 then you would be running a used G5 or Intel Mac with Snow Leopard. You can get dual G5s cheap with a couple of big HDDs but I wouldn't count on it lasting you too long. So go Intel if you can afford it. Minis are a good deal.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 06:44 PM   #14
aidanpendragon
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I second the Mini idea and suggest you might look at the 2011 model with the discrete graphics card. It's still powerful, esp. if you find one with the i7 upgrade. Amazon can be a good place to look, too, and might have more protections for buyers than CL or ebay.

But as the previous poster said, the CS upgrade will be as big or bigger a cost.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 10:17 PM   #15
leahkat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8mac View Post
Since you are on a budget (like me), the main question is what version of adobe CS will you need to have for the next several years. The cost of that can cost more than the Mac. Assuming you are going to get a newer version of adobe CS, look at some prices on those and get a Mac that will run it well.

For example if you go for CS 4, 5, or 6, a new Mac Mini would be best (assuming CS 4 runs fine on ML, correct me if it doesn't). If you can only afford CS 2 or 3 then you would be running a used G5 or Intel Mac with Snow Leopard. You can get dual G5s cheap with a couple of big HDDs but I wouldn't count on it lasting you too long. So go Intel if you can afford it. Minis are a good deal.
If I can get a used mini 09' or so... Will CS2 & 3 run well on Leopard? Snow Leopard? I am not in a position to upgrade the software right now and need to use the CS2/3 I have now ALL THE TIME... so, if it might not work well... I may be stuck with PPC until I can afford the new software. ?
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 10:15 AM   #16
jjhoekstra
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Apart from the obvious advice of a new mini, you could consider buying a used mini. One with a core duo processor and internal DVD. It is much slower than those lovely new minis, but way, way faster than your G4 and are easy to expand and open and play with. I have 3 of those for my kids and they still are great machines and will be for years to come. Just a thought...
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 11:12 AM   #17
Fishrrman
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I just replaced my own 2004-vintage PowerMac g4/1.25 MDD tower with a "mid-level" Mac Mini with the i7 CPU (I spent a little extra for the 2.6ghz processor).

The transition was relatively easy and the Mini is a great little performer. It's also in your price range (the mid-level with the i7 will be at the top of your price range).

I think you'll be quite pleased with it. All my old peripherals work as intended.

You -WILL- need to upgrade software, no way around that.

Also -- you didn't say which version of the system you're using, but be aware that you need to be running Leopard (10.5) in order for Migration Assitant to work properly. I discovered that MA wouldn't connect with OS 10.4 -- just wouldn't do it.

I had a very good buying experience from this vendor:
http://www.portableone.com
(thanks to another poster here at MacRumors for mentioning this site)

This is the Mini I'm talking about:
http://www.portableone.com/_e/Apple_...AM_1TB_HDD.htm
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:53 AM   #18
Yebubbleman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leahkat View Post
After many great and faithful years, my G4 Power Mac is starting to squeak and make random chirping sounds... and it is of course very SLOW. I'm afraid it's about done, and I need a replacement. I do part-time graphic design/photography work and use Adobe Creative Suite products. I'm not looking for latest and greatest right now. Looking to spend $500-$800. What can I expect to find in this price range? My instinct is to look for a used MacPro although an imac might work too.? As you can guess from the fact that I'm still working on a G4, I tend to stretch it as long as I can and from what I have heard, imacs are not as upgradeable.? I'm assuming I'll be looking to CL or ebay and I'd appreciate any advice or warnings about buying this way.
A brand new Mac mini would give you way longer mileage than any iMac or Mac Pro that you'd buy for $500-800.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 03:28 AM   #19
marioman38
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Ivy Bridge Mini and since CS6 is out, I'm sure you could pick up a CS3 or CS4 license at a steep discount!
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