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Old Dec 31, 2012, 03:35 AM   #26
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PowerMac G4's you can sometimes get for free if you can arrange pick up so if just want to have cheap Mac and possibly run Leopard on it for testing or something then get one. MDD's had their share of power supply problems. I had FW800 model with Samsung power supply and that did work fine, bit loud as those tend to , someone bought it for server use, hopefully it lasts atleast couple more years.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 03:35 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Starfighter View Post
Are they?
There are power supply issues at a rate above average for the rest of the G4 towers, but I'd hardly call them unreliable. That scarcely registers as an issue, as far as I'm concerned, since you can easily replace the factory supply with a standard ATX supply like this.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 07:27 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by SuperJudge View Post
There are power supply issues at a rate above average for the rest of the G4 towers, but I'd hardly call them unreliable. That scarcely registers as an issue, as far as I'm concerned, since you can easily replace the factory supply with a standard ATX supply like this.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 07:38 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Lil Chillbil View Post
An mdd is not a good idea as those are unreliable as well
I've had one for years without problems, many people here have as well. The only issue they had when released was the power supply was very loud, but most of those have been swapped out when Apple did a replacement program. (They're still louder than a G5 PM) But they're very reliable.

G5 Power Macs have high failure rates, with the logic board being one of the main problems. But if they were going to die they likely did early on in the Mac's lifetime. Anyone still working today is likely in decent shape.

Here's the main reliability survey people point to about the G5 Power Mac:


Note that this was taken in 2006. We're almost 7 years later now, so I'd say any G5 PM that is still in working order is likely fine, although the liquid cooled models have their own problems with leakage.

The G5 iMacs also appear to have high failure rates, but that's from the excessive heat the G5 chips put out that causes the capacitors on the logic board to swell up and burst. I'd avoid a G5 iMac.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:07 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by snickerzz View Post
I've been wanting a mac for a long time now but I really don't want to put forth a lot of money so I was thinking of getting a power mac G5 and was wondering how upgradable it was, more specifically the gpu, what's the best gpu I could get to work in it? nvidia or amd, doesn't matter. Thanks
OP, while not contradicting what some of my peers here have already mentioned, I'd like to point out some things:

- not only are the last powerPC operating systems (tiger and leopard) formally unsupported, especially when trying to work them with new mobile Mac devices (phones, pads etc.) you will hit big trouble sooner or later.

- power pc macs are old machines. If they were wintel PC's, they'd already be in the scrapyard, so don't expect real processing power, but FWIW, they are really good machines and if they have not broken yet, they'll probably keep working quite reliably (but if you plan for mission critical use, get an identical machine for backup).

- a power pc machine may be the cheapest way to get into macs, but as many have pointed out, it may not be the best. Unless you know the quirks, you might be safer going for an intel machine. Now that the prices of first and second generation Mac Pros have landed (are more reasonable for starters), I strongly suggest you have a look at those systems, especially as they offer a workable windows fallback.

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Old Dec 31, 2012, 06:37 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Jessica Lares View Post
What would you be doing with it exactly? What do you currently use your iPad and iPod for?
To the OP: I'll echo this quote, and the others who are pointing out that if you want to get to know the Mac OS, you would be better off with a more modern computer.

Any resemblance of the PPC-era Mac's to today's Mac's are purely superficial, really. The best comparison I can think of is a car example (with apologies to the rest of my PPC brethren here), you wouldn't buy an old 70's junker to learn about today's cars...

Most, if not all of us, have had years previous experience with old PPC's and have either hung on to the old one's, picked up an old one we regretted selling in the past, or simply jumped at the chance to get the computer of our dreams (from a decade ago) for a $100 or so...
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 07:38 PM   #32
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The nice thing, and this is why I mainly keep these machines around, is that I have a little network going on. I don't do a lot of stuff that requires Adobe's CS6 features exclusively, and I have every different version of CS running on my machines (passed down to me when they threw out the machines, CS6 is my first official purchase/subscription). So my MacBook Pro acts like the host (I only use it when I'm on my bed - I'm lazy, I pretty much do 100% of my work under my covers, lol), and then I can pull out my files if I want to work at my desk with my G5, or if I need to sit in the living room for whatever reason, I can do the same on my iMac G4.

Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash (creating it anyway! ), and Dreamweaver are perfectly fine still. You can't use the new versions, but they're pretty much all the same, except minus all the obscure features that most of us here don't use anyway.

A lot of the really cool apps came out during the Leopard era too. You might have to find the specific versions that work, but there is Evernote, CloudApp, Espresso, LittleSnapper, Pixelmator, AudioHijack Pro, Cyberduck, and a few more that I can't remember at the moment. You can also use something like Fluid to make web apps that open like an actual app to take advantage of thing like Pocket, Cloud Reader, iCloud, etc (I actually do this on my MBP).
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:32 AM   #33
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Here is another pro to add to the list for using PowerPC:
My kids both have powerMacs in their rooms with office 2004. Between that and web browsing, it's all they need. If hey manage to kill the unit I have a shelf of spare powerMac towers.
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