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Old Sep 6, 2008, 07:23 PM   #1
snickrep
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Upgrading a older imac G4

Hello, I own a imac G4 Superdrive with a 800MHz CPU,
256MB of RAM, a geforce2 MX 32MB of RAM, and I believe it has a 60GB hard drive.

I'm aware that those specs are highly outdated, but I'm a college student and can't really afford to purchase another computer. I have a more modern PC, but I'd rather use mac. So I was wondering if increasing the memory, hard drive space, and possibiliy the operating system would be worth putting money into.

Even if I decided to upgrade my imac, I know it won't be a powerhouse. I specifically use my mac for all the basics, but I'll be using photoshop and perhaps other adobe software for school and personal use. So I'm wondering what version of photoshop would perform best on my machine (not the elements versions). I'll also be using blender.

So is the upgrade worth it?
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Old Sep 6, 2008, 10:16 PM   #2
hughvane
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Short answer to your final question is another question ... "is it worth it to you?"

First, check your iMac version with both Mactracker and Everymac.com http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...800_17_fp.html to see what the maximum specs are. For what you're looking to do eg. Photoshop, then maximum 1 Gb RAM is probably essential. A larger hard drive would be useful (its present one is more likely 80 Gb).

2 x 512 Gb RAM Use the Crucial RAM scanner to get the best type and price for your Mac; or Kingston http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/conf...submit1=Search
Est Cost for RAM $80 - $120, depending on where it's bought, forum guys in the US can advise you more accurately,
1 x 250 Gb Hitachi drive, $50 - $60 est (OWC price used as a guide)
I can't comment on a video upgrade.

Then compare upgrade cost with, for example, the price of a more modern 2-hand iMac, maybe a Macbook (but I'd prefer a larger screen for P'shop work). If it were me, I'd upgrade the iMac.
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Old Sep 7, 2008, 12:48 AM   #3
snickrep
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm not expecting the greatest performance, but I am hoping for a stable and decent workflow when working with photoshop. However, CS3 does not meet my system's requirements. Also, I'm certain that my mac doesn't support Leopard.

I've actually thought about buying a used mac from powermax, but being a college student I'm on a really tight budget. Really the only thing I can afford is a Mac mini G4 1.25 GHz which isn't much of an improvement over my imac. If all goes wrong I guess I'll have to use my slightly dated PC, though higher specs than my imac. I'd rather use a mac though.

Last edited by snickrep; Sep 7, 2008 at 01:12 AM.
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Old Sep 7, 2008, 10:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snickrep View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I'm not expecting the greatest performance, but I am hoping for a stable and decent workflow when working with photoshop. However, CS3 does not meet my system's requirements. Also, I'm certain that my mac doesn't support Leopard.

I've actually thought about buying a used mac from powermax, but being a college student I'm on a really tight budget. Really the only thing I can afford is a Mac mini G4 1.25 GHz which isn't much of an improvement over my imac. If all goes wrong I guess I'll have to use my slightly dated PC, though higher specs than my imac. I'd rather use a mac though.
actually if you upgrade your ram, it WILL support leopard, i had leopard on my ibook g4 with 1gb of ram, but im sure it will run fine on 512mb too. the 256 definitely needs an upgrade, i say its definitely worth it to upgrade it, dont underestimate older macs
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Old Sep 7, 2008, 11:57 AM   #5
snickrep
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Ok good to know! However, wouldn't leopard slow my mac down? For example, I know windows vista is slower on older machines. I would imagine the same even with mac unless Leopard is optimized to run on the older macs well.

I will go ahead and upgrade the memory and hard drive space. However, I am still worried about running CS3 as it requires 64MB of video ram. I only have 32MB on a dinky geforce2. Also, like I mentioned before I might just purchase a used mac. I've been looking on ebay at the powermac quicksilver G4's which go very cheap. However, the specs aren't much higher than my imac, but at least they are more upgradable in terms of CPU (i think) and the video card. That might turn out to be a more expensive option though.

Last edited by snickrep; Sep 7, 2008 at 12:21 PM.
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Old Sep 7, 2008, 01:23 PM   #6
old-wiz
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Originally Posted by likemyorbs View Post
actually if you upgrade your ram, it WILL support leopard, i had leopard on my ibook g4 with 1gb of ram, but im sure it will run fine on 512mb too. the 256 definitely needs an upgrade, i say its definitely worth it to upgrade it, dont underestimate older macs
I use an iBook G4 with Leopard and 512mb ram and it runs fine.
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Old Sep 7, 2008, 04:47 PM   #7
snickrep
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What is your CPU speed? Because i believe leopard requires at least 866Mhz. I only have 800.
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Old Sep 7, 2008, 11:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by snickrep View Post
What is your CPU speed? Because i believe leopard requires at least 866Mhz. I only have 800.
You or him for that matter can always try the advice on the link below for an unsupported install.

http://lowendmac.com/osx/leopard/unsupported.html
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Old Sep 8, 2008, 08:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MacUser2525 View Post
You or him for that matter can always try the advice on the link below for an unsupported install.

http://lowendmac.com/osx/leopard/unsupported.html
ohh sorry for the misinformation, i thought leopard could run on any g4. my ibook was actually 1.42 ghz, thats why it worked for me. i would just upgrade that ram either way though and just stick with tiger.
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