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Old Feb 14, 2010, 10:11 AM   #1
C-130
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Powermac G4 what can i expect

Firstly I will apologise about this topic if it appears to be cryptic. I have just purchased a Powermac G4 450MHz dual processor, 1GB of RAM and standard spec. I believe it is the graphite model. I purchased this for Ģ49.49.

My question is rather short but as with all computer related queries in this world will result in a large answer. What can i expect this Mac to do? It has Tiger installed and office 2008 etc can i realistically expect it to run 'smoothly'? And another question is was this value for money? Will it be sluggish? Will it be like my iBook and run youtube very jumpily? I have been hunting for anything which relates to performance of this G4 but i can not find anything. So if anyone has any generic comments regarding performance please throw them in!

Currently I am more of a Mac novice and I am someone who is more educated PC wise.

Cheers,

C-130

Last edited by C-130; Feb 14, 2010 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Forgot part of question to ask
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 10:22 AM   #2
SpokaneMac
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Greetings,

I have a G4 467 Digital Audio Mac from 2001 with 512 MB SDRam and I have been running what you have reliably for almost 10 years without any problems.... It surfs the net as fast as my 09 MacBook and other than Photoshop slowness it is a great computer. I have installed many many system upgrades and now run OS Tiger 10.4.11... I started with OS 9.1 !

Elegant design and easy to open up and add mods to.

Good luck...
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 10:39 AM   #3
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Hi,
here you will find approximated performance comparison between your Mac and others (this benchmark measures mostly CPU and memory performance, but it gives some view).
Here is nice FAQ about G4 Power Macs.

Last edited by 666sheep; Feb 14, 2010 at 10:45 AM.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 10:45 AM   #4
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A lovely unit. It will run smoothly. You might want to treat it to a fresh hard disk; there's no telling what sort of mess the current drive might be in. On the other hand, your machine was such a bargain; a new disk will cost you at least as much! Maybe the best advice is to just enjoy your new tool, a true classic.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 10:51 AM   #5
Toronto Mike
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Here is a starting point if you want to upgrade components of your computer:

http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Mode...4&sType=Memory

I'd max out your ram and than see how you feel about the performance you are getting for what you are doing. I had the same machine, only the previous owner upgraded the CPU to a single 1.2 Ghz. I maxed out the ram, and set up an external Photoshop scratch disk and was very pleased. In your case it's not worth upgrading your CPU - when for a few dollars more, you could buy a decent used G5 with way more performance.

Start with maxing the ram and see how it performs - that would be the cheapest upgrade at this point if you want to see where the limits of your machine are.

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Old Feb 14, 2010, 10:59 AM   #6
Little Endian
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The PowerMac that you speak of will run youtube as good as or better than any ibook is capable off. Albeit that may not be saying much... A Dual 450Mhz G4 is very upgradeable though as you can upgrade the CPU up to either single 2Ghz or Dual 1.8Ghz G4. There are also HD, Video and memory upgrades that you could perform. I think you would be surprised how well a decade old Power Mac can hold up especially when taking upgradability into account.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 11:05 AM   #7
C-130
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Thank you all very much. It seems as if I have purchased a worthwhile product and for a good price. The performance of my ibook G3 shocked me for an old machine although it does have the issue of running flash rather slowly. I have maxed out this machine as best i can. I plan to max out the RAM on the powerMac.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 11:20 AM   #8
Toronto Mike
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Here's a link to a great site offering lots of excellent information about upgrading Macs. Though its emphasis is on the newer machines, his ideas can be applied to the older machines as well.

http://macperformanceguide.com/index.html

Mike
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 11:31 AM   #9
Eric S.
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I will add that I ran Tiger on my PM G4 with a single 400MHz cpu for years, before upgrading to a 1GHz cpu. The performance is fine, a little slow compared to the latest Intel systems but that is to be expected. Your system should be a solid performer for most operations.

Low End Mac has a lot of resources for G4 and other older Mac models. I think this is your system?
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Last edited by Eric S.; Feb 14, 2010 at 11:37 AM.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 11:32 AM   #10
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Well Im pretty sure your G4 will give you better Flash performance (I use youtube on my G4/450(single) with 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5 - and so long as you let it load, its fine in both Tiger and Panther). Heck, I still use Photoshop on my G4/450 and even iMovie on occasion (My MacBook smokes it, but thats not really the point xD).
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 11:55 AM   #11
Transporteur
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Actually it's pretty hard to believe that you guys run YouTube without stuttering on such machines.

Even my late '05 2GHz DualCore G5 wasn't able to play Youtube smoothly.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 12:04 PM   #12
chrismacguy
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Actually it's pretty hard to believe that you guys run YouTube without stuttering on such machines.

Even my late '05 2GHz DualCore G5 wasn't able to play Youtube smoothly.
Several Things had to occur for it to work well for me:
1) You have to let the video load in its entirety, and also only be running your Web Browser, and only have a Single Tab
2) It only plays fine on my G4 when I give it 1GB RAM, any less and it dies
3) Im not using Safari. (I use Camino) - It seems to only work well out of Safari for some reason. (Safari + Flash = Crud).

Also, whatve you done to that poor G5 to cause that, especially since it works incredibly well on my G4/1.67 PowerBook and a friends Single 1.6 G5 (with 10.4.11 and 512MB RAM) - Seems to me like it could be your machine thats having issues
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 12:27 PM   #13
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I don't have that machine any more so I can't re-produce my findings, but IIRC Youtube in Safari made both CPUs go up to 100%. Audio playback was fine but the video didn't play smoothly.

The machine was equipped with 8GB of Ram, a 256MB 6600GT and 10.4.11. It was a pretty decent machine for me that days but the Youtube issue really pissed me off. Should have tried Camino.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 12:37 PM   #14
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I don't have that machine any more so I can't re-produce my findings, but IIRC Youtube in Safari made both CPUs go up to 100%. Audio playback was fine but the video didn't play smoothly.

The machine was equipped with 8GB of Ram, a 256MB 6600GT and 10.4.11. It was a pretty decent machine for me that days but the Youtube issue really pissed me off. Should have tried Camino.
There is no way that sounds like normal behaviour xD. Especially since I could even get stuttery video performance on Youtube out of my iMac G3/500 with 384MB RAM in 10.3.9 xD (In Camino ofc).
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 02:16 PM   #15
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Youtube will definitely suck on that. In fact, most web browsing will suck. You're going to notice that heavy multimedia is going to kill your CPUs, and sites like Gmail will generally take longer to load than on a newer computer. Facebook will probably murder it as well. The problem is that G4's are just too slow at rendering all of the fancy things people put on websites these days. I have several PPC Macs, including a 600mhz iMac G5, 1.33ghz PB G4, and 2.0ghz iMac G5. Only the G5 can access the internet at speeds comparable to modern computers.

If you bought the G4 for entertainment purposes, you're going to be sorely disappointed. However, as a productivity machine, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised. You can definitely use Office 2004 very nicely, and anything under OS9 will fly. And if you're more of a power user, you'll be perfectly okay running things like LaTeX, Octave, etc. For me, the main draw of older Macs is their stability, availability of parts, and lots of Unix-y options.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 02:48 PM   #16
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Youtube will definitely suck on that. In fact, most web browsing will suck. You're going to notice that heavy multimedia is going to kill your CPUs, and sites like Gmail will generally take longer to load than on a newer computer.
Absolute utter crap. Sorry, but Youtube and most modern sites work absolutely fine on my G4/450 in Camino. My G4/1.67 is just as fast as my MacBook and my G4 comes close. That includes youtube, facebook, hotmail and gmail. The only thing it cant handle is flash games.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 07:45 PM   #17
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Youtube will definitely suck on that. In fact, most web browsing will suck.
Simply not true.
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Old Nov 22, 2010, 03:00 PM   #18
ElViejo
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Unhappy If youīre right, then my G4 is not working properly.

Hi.

I have an old G4 similar to the one wich the original poster owns. Itīs a G4, 450 MHz (but single, not dual), 1 Gb RAM, with AGP graphics (16 Mb). And it reeaally sucks for web browsing. Youtube is impossible, even hotmail, gmail and facebook are slow. But I see that the majority here say that this machine should do that job almost as a modern machine.

What am I doing wrong here? Iīm now using OS 10.3.9 with Camino 1.6 (the latest one wich works with 10.3). Should I upgrade to 10.4 and use a better browser or it will be even slower? Maybe I should do a fresh brand new installation of 10.3, as I did not format the disk when I upgraded from 9.1.

I need help, please.

Last edited by ElViejo; Nov 23, 2010 at 12:31 AM.
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Old Nov 23, 2010, 02:18 AM   #19
Dave H
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Camino 1.6
Sounds like a Rage 128, so no Quartz Extreme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElViejo View Post
Camino 1.6
There are G4 optimized builds at http://www.rpm-mozilla.org.uk/index.html
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Old Nov 23, 2010, 12:43 PM   #20
ElViejo
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Sounds like a Rage 128, so no Quartz Extreme.
I suppose thereīs not workaround for this (at least not a free one).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
There are G4 optimized builds at http://www.rpm-mozilla.org.uk/index.html
Thanks for the info, I didnīt know that, but Iīve tried it and itīs not really a big improvement. Some webs are displayed a bit better now, but not faster.
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Old Nov 23, 2010, 03:34 PM   #21
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Did you use the "7400" build?
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Old Nov 23, 2010, 03:34 PM   #22
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Did you use the "7400" build?
Yep.

So, Iīll repeat my question: wich is faster, OSX 10.3 with an old Camino or 10.4 with a more modern browser? Maybe a fresh install?

I donīt know, I thought that the machine was just old, but yours surf the web as a brand new G5, so maybe something is wrong with mine.
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Old Nov 23, 2010, 04:53 PM   #23
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i would say OSX Panther will run a bit snappier ,
and tiger offers more support for new apps
for browser try out TenFourFox its a great browser for tiger on a G3 , G4, G5
even my iMac G3 700mhz 768mb ram plays youtube up to 240p videos without any kind of stutter , even all the facebook games work , not bad for a beta software

but
i would put OS 9 on it too and use classilla

if you ignore multi tasking then OS9 can still perform surprisingly well and puts even osx snow leopard to shame especially in boot time
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Old Nov 25, 2010, 02:40 AM   #24
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But as far as I know Clasilla does not support many "modern" features yet. Or maybe my information is outdated. Maybe I should give it a try using Classic and see what happens.
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