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Old Nov 3, 2007, 12:36 AM   #1
mBurns
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Power Mac G4

Hi fellow MacRumor users. I'm itching to buy a desktop and stumbled across on a Power Mac G4 Dual 450 Mhz for sale -- completely stock (128 Mb RAM, 16 Mb graphics, and a 30 Gb 7200 RPM HD, DVD-ROM. My question is: I'm considering buying this machine as a media server. I know I'll have to buy more hard drives but I'd like to use this machine with Hand Brake under OS X Tiger to rip my entire movie collection. Then, I'd like to connect this machine to my television (is this possible?) and use the machine to run my movies.

Will the machine be woefully under-powered for this task? How long will it take to rip a movie via Hand Brake with this machine (consider that I'm coming from a Core Duo MacBook Pro)? Is this a ridiculious purchase? This machine appeals to me because of the hard drive expandibility. Where would I be able to purchase inexpensive RAM for this machine? What about hard drives? I'm really looking for some advice..

Another big important question: how much should I be paying for this machine, max?

Thanks, mBurns
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 12:43 AM   #2
Eidorian
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That'll be some painfully slow DVD ripping. On my iMac G4 800 MHz I'm lucky to get 10-13 fps.
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 12:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mBurns View Post
Hi fellow MacRumor users. I'm itching to buy a desktop and stumbled across on a Power Mac G4 Dual 450 Mhz for sale -- completely stock (128 Mb RAM, 16 Mb graphics, and a 30 Gb 7200 RPM HD, DVD-ROM. My question is: I'm considering buying this machine as a media server. I know I'll have to buy more hard drives but I'd like to use this machine with Hand Brake under OS X Tiger to rip my entire movie collection. Then, I'd like to connect this machine to my television (is this possible?) and use the machine to run my movies.

Will the machine be woefully under-powered for this task? How long will it take to rip a movie via Hand Brake with this machine (consider that I'm coming from a Core Duo MacBook Pro)? Is this a ridiculious purchase? This machine appeals to me because of the hard drive expandibility. Where would I be able to purchase inexpensive RAM for this machine? What about hard drives? I'm really looking for some advice..

Another big important question: how much should I be paying for this machine, max?

Thanks, mBurns
(This is on www.baucomcomputers.com) G4/450 "Sawtooth" (256 / 20GB / DVD / Zip) . . . . . . . $145 - so for a dual I'd say $25-50 more so about $175 MAX is what I'd pay. Handbrake on that vs a C2D MBP? Oh I'd say probably 10-20 hours difference if not more. It takes about 4-8 hours on my iBook G4 (1.33GHz, 1GB RAM, etc.) so on the G4 450 Dual, probably about 10-15 hours depending on the length of the movie and that.
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 05:03 PM   #4
tokyostar7
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sup

you should

not by the powerbook g4 i own one and they suck to high heaven



ps: i like the anime picture.
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 05:36 PM   #5
GotPro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eidorian View Post
That'll be some painfully slow DVD ripping. On my iMac G4 800 MHz I'm lucky to get 10-13 fps.
And most of us here with the new pros are getting 150-300fps based on settings... just for a comparo
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 06:16 PM   #6
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I have a single 733Mhz G4 under the hood. Bought no country for old men on itunes the day it came out after seeing it in theaters back in november. the G4 had a lot of trouble, the video was very choppy. I dont know what the kb/s is for the itunes movies, but my G4 cant play anything above 450 kb/s without substantial choppyness.

Find a used mini (intel).
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 06:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotPro View Post
And most of us here with the new pros are getting 150-300fps based on settings... just for a comparo
Yeah it's much nicer on Intel machines. I get around 150-200 fps on my Q6600 tower.
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Old Mar 29, 2008, 07:05 PM   #8
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Stock, the machine's useless. But put in 1-2 GB of RAM, new drives, and upgrade your processor (yeah, you're going to want to) to at least 1 GHz, and you'll get a lot more mileage out of it.

To be honest though, I'd recommend a newer G4 than that.... Here is a Dual 867 MHz G4 with 512 MB RAM for only $300: http://www.macofalltrades.com/G4_867...p/g4867dp1.htm

Or possibly a G5. A dual 1.8 GHz G5 would probably serve you very well, like the one here, for $900: http://www.macofalltrades.com/Apple_..._p/g518dp2.htm (2 GB RAM, 64 MB video card)
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Old Mar 30, 2008, 06:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mBurns View Post
Will the machine be woefully under-powered for this task?
Very much, yes.

Quote:
How long will it take to rip a movie via Hand Brake with this machine?
Several hours depending on movie length and encoder choice.
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Old Mar 30, 2008, 06:29 AM   #10
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the model you posted can only handle up to 120GB hard drives with the on board drive controller. If you want larger drives you would need to install a PCI hard drive controller card.

Having recently upgraded from a similar model G4, I second most of the other posters in that you should look at either a later revision G4 or a G5.
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Old Mar 30, 2008, 09:54 PM   #11
Firefly2002
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Actually there's software that lets you get around the 137 GB limitations of the older ATA controllers. But they do cost like, $30, I think.
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Old Mar 31, 2008, 05:54 AM   #12
Lord Zedd
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Please link to it.
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Old Mar 31, 2008, 08:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Zedd View Post
Please link to it.
http://www.speedtools2.com/ATA6.html
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Old Mar 31, 2008, 08:04 AM   #14
krye
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Don't do it. Put the money towards a better, more up to date machine.
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Old Mar 31, 2008, 10:04 AM   #15
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The machine is useless to a certain extent.

I would not even dare encoding videos on it. It's a true waste of time.

It took me a while to rip 300+ dvd's from my Mac Pro. But I was able to get 2 done within 1 hour in H.264 (2 DVD drives helps!). I'm 90% done of transitioning all the DVD's to iTunes/Apple TV.
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Old Mar 31, 2008, 02:16 PM   #16
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I would not spend more than $75 on it due to the ending prices I had seen on several different auctions on ebay for various models of G4's. However, I would recommend against this model since you will be encoding with handbrake and not just using it as a data server. The upgrade costs would offset the low initial price.

I have compiled a breakdown of several different G4's and omitted Hard Drives sine would be the same in all instances:

Dual 450mhz (Gigabit Ethernet) $75
Uses SDRAM and has a hard drive limit of 137GB
Needs: $130 Dual 800mhz CPU Upgrade, $160 2GB RAM, $50 Hard Drive Controller
$415
The CPU upgrade would be modding a Quicksilver CPU Module and would require running a 12 volt lead and soldering a Dip Switch, 3rd party accelerators are more expensive.

2001 Quicksilver: Dual 800Mhz $140
Uses SDRAM and has a hard drive limit of 137GB, 1.5GB RAM limit
Needs: Single (CPU Upgrade, HD controller, RAM), Dual ($50 HD Controller, $120 1.5GB RAM)
$280
I am leaving out the single processor Quicksilver's since making them Dual Core costs more than simply getting the Dual Core in the first place.

2002 Quicksilver: Dual 1Ghz $300
Uses SDRAM but can use hard drives larger than 137GB, 1.5GB RAM limit
Need: Single (CPU Upgrade, RAM), Dual ($120 RAM)
$420

Mirror Drive Door G4: Dual $250 867mhz/$300 1Ghz/$325 1.25Ghz/ $ unknown 1.42Ghz
Uses DDR 333mhz RAM and can use larger than 137GB Hard Drive some have Firewire 800
Needs: RAM (many are all ready maxed out) otherwise $30 per gigabyte
I just saw a dual 1.25 with 2GB RAM go for $350

Prices do not include shipping and handling

My recommendations would be for one of the Mirror Drive Door G4's (look for a Firewire 800 since they also can use Airport Extreme) These would require the least messing with and offer faster system bus speeds, are the most upgradeable, can use dual optical drives and with everything considered offer the best value. Even without the CPU upgrade that Dual 450 will cost you $285 maxed out while a Mirror Drive Door dual 867 would cost about $300 maxed out and be much better, for an extra $50 you have dual 1.25ghz.

edit: I would recommend against thoughts of anything beyond a PMac G4, since G5's are much more expensive and have only two hard drive bays. Anything beyond a G4 and I would say an Intel Mini with external hard drives. Now if you where not to use video encoding and just used the G4 for networked storage than get any low end G4 and throw in 512mb RAM, OS 10.4 and a Hard Drive controller
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Last edited by velocityg4; Mar 31, 2008 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Other thoughts
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Old Apr 1, 2008, 02:32 AM   #17
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Well, the $300 dual 867 I linked is a good deal. So's the $900 dual 1.8 G5.

I personally would feel weird buying anything above a dual 1 GHz G4 or below a Dual 1.8 GHz G5, simply because the G4s were so pitifully underpowered when they came out, and the idea of buying a single CPU Mac these days rubs me the wrong way.

One benefit of a dual 867 is that it can boot into OS 9 too.
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