Buying my 1st Mac!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by GameGuru, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    #1
    Ok I have been a PC user for years and will continue to use PCs but I also want to dabble a bit in Macs. I have been checking out iMacs on ebay and have bid on a few (the older G3 ones up to 600MHz) but then I came across this deal and was wondering how upgradeable this system will be and if it is a good 1st Mac.

    G3 400MHz Blue & White & 17" Monitor

    It includes the monitor too so I thought it sounded like a good deal. Anyone know about this company also? Any help would be great!
     
  2. Guest

    Joined:
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    Stockholm, Sweden
    #2
    First of all: your link does not work.

    I would rather go for a iMac G5 than an old G3. Everything is just som much faster, and Panther and OS X is quite demanding on the processor, graphic card and needs a lot of memory to run well. The G3 and OS 9 is from another century.
     
  3. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
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    #3
    Yeah, great advice.

    I'd like a Dual 2.5GHz G5 and a 30" LCD from Apple, but hey, my money tree just died, and I'm currently on hard times. If you have any extra money to lend the guy, then getting a new iMac wouldn't be a big deal, huh.

    I'd say a G3 600 is a decent speed unless you actually plan on upgrading the processor. Then you may be able to afford a slower system. But then again, if you don't know much about Macs, it may be a better idea to buy something a bit faster for the money you planned on spending on upgrades.

    The link doesn't work. Were you looking at PowerMac G3's, iMac G3's, iBook G3's, etc?? If you buy an iBook, the slowest model I'd get is an iBook G3 600MHz. For models slower than 600MHz, the video card is inadequate at 8MB. The 600MHz model should come with at least 16MB of RAM, if I remember correctly. It'll definitely run Panther. I've used Panther on a 400MHz Mac, and it ran fine for web browsing, iTunes, and chess. :)
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    #4
    Stupid links ha ha. It was a Blue & White G3 400MHz with 17" monitor for $299. I have two high end PCs (3GHz P4 and an Athlon XP 2500+ Barton with a Geforce 6800) that I game on, the Mac is just to play with and learn. I want one where I can upgrade most parts like a PC as I have money. I believe with this I can upgrade CPU, RAM, HD, Optical Drives, Sound and Video cards correct?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    #5
    Anyone know about that company I linked to in the first post? $299 for a full computer (even an old one) seems like a good deal, is it too good a deal?
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    #6
    Does anyone have a link with the specs for this machine and what the fastest processor I can put in it along with video card options, max RAM etc?
     
  7. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    That should be upgradable. I'm not sure about upgrading, as I have never done it, but try www.Powerlogix.com. They're the place to go if you need to get yourself upgrade gear.

    So there you go. Have fun, and ditch those Windows PCs. Macs are definitely better for everyday stuff, although as someone who doesn't hate WinXP as some other people here do, keep the fastest one for gaming, and that's all. It'll sit and be like a big XBox or something, or maybe use it for Folding or SETI.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #8
    I don't know much about CPU upgrades, though with its slow memory bus it's never going to be much of a speedster. Sound circuitry is on the motherboard, so it's not easily upgradable, and there aren't many Mac sound cards for that reason.

    If you just want to mess about with OSX on the cheap, it's fine. I installed Panther on my old B&W 350MHz, and was surprised how snappy it was - though obviously it's no gamer/number cruncher. As long as you have plenty RAM (512MB+), it should be fine.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #9
    This sounds like a good deal. I did some research on second hand Macs a month or so ago because I was considering picking up an old iMac or two for a non profit center. Mac of all trades is a reputable company, i found about 4 all together that i go between to see deals. I think you should be happy just for learning with that machine. I have an old iMac G3 400Mhz with RAM upgraded to 576 and I use it routinely for Photoshop, Illustrator, Ableton Live, Reason 2.5, and lots of other tasks that should be taxing on it but they just aren't. Also you will find that Panther runs like a dream on older systems. If anything give the RAM a shot in the arm and you should be set!
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    #10
    Hey Gameguru, I'm a mac noob too and I'm also planning on getting a used system just to have something to play around with. My dad just unplugged his old performa for the last time (actually cuz I gave him my old PC) so I was planning on grabbing the monitor and keyboard and buying an old G3 system to tool around with. I'd like to run OSX on it, not so worried about speed since I just wanna get a feel for the OS before I drop alot of money on a newer system. Good luck!!!
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    #11
    Ok I am thinking I might want to get something more powerful to start with but don't want to spend more than $500 on the machine inself as I want to upgrade everything in it myself to learn the system. What PowerMac should I buy now that would take at least a 1.2GHz upgrade, a 9800 Pro and at least 1GB of RAM down the line?


    P.S. Please just recommend a minimum PowerMac rig as I don't want the iMac or eMacs since you can't upgrade the video.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #12
    You can take a look at everymac.com if you want detailed specs about just about every mac ever made (including a lot of clone manufacturers I'd never heard of!).

    I just noticed the G3 PowerMacs were ZIF upgradable - but I don't know if anyone sells just the CPUs (the G4s have the processor on a daughtercard).

    There isn't a huge choice - it's either a G3 or G4 PowerMac, the CPU speed won't matter since you'll be upgrading the processor, though the bus speed might. Check out the site above to find which PowerMacs have which bus speed; then look for one in your price range.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    #13
    Can anyone tell me the CPU upgrade ability of the PowerMac G4/733 which has the PowerPC 7450. Will I be able to take this over 1GHz? Also it does say it has a 4x AGP, will a Radeon 9800 Pro work in this?
     
  14. macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I have the 667 G4, of the same model, and the computer is very fast. The G3 and G4 are not in the same boat in terms of performance, so the usefulness of an upgrade-card for that system is unwarranted. My 667 still runs everything as one would expect, and I also have a 350 G3, and the speed margins are large to say the least. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but OsX is optimized for the Altivec engine in the G4's, so the 733 will last a few more years yet. I know my 667 will still be running in 5 years, it won't be modern, but it will run very well. Here Is Some G4 Processor Upgrades
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    PDX
    #15
    As to the cpu upgrade question, Powerlogix currently offers up to a 1.3Ghz (maybe 1.4 by now) dual-processor upgrade for DA models (which I believe the 733 was). There are also single-processor upgrades. Certain DA machines cannot accept dual-processor upgrades, but I believe those were the earlier revisions...FWIW...these are expensive upgrades, however.

    I cannot comment on the Video card question, perhaps someone else will chime in...
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
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    #16
    The 733 was a Digital Audio Model (sorry, i neglected to mention in my above post) As for the Graphics Card:
    So, in other words, yes, it will work on your G4.
     
  17. macrumors member

    tateusmaximus

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    Sep 9, 2004
    Location:
    sydney
    #17
    yeah im slowly converting. but my first mac will be the imac g5 20in 1.8.

    cant wait!!
     
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    #18
    Yeah I am excited to get a PowerMac G4 and mess with it. I love building PCs and you can't really do that with the Mac so I just have to get one I can upgrade myself.

    I have a 19" monitor for my PC, will this also work for Macs? If it does I think I will get one of those switch boxes to share the monitor.
     
  19. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #19
    I don't encourage ppl to start with a low end mac, and a B/W G3 is VERY low end. Why? Well, because OS X is gonna run like crap, as are most modern programs. You're not going to have a good experience, and as a result you're not going to get the impression of Macs that you should. Using a B/W G3 will be frustrating and not at all like using a modern mac.

    and btw, there were 600mhz ibooks with 8 VRAM; I had one. When 600mhz became the low end (the CD-ROM only model) in the next generation, then it had 16 VRAM.
     
  20. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #20
    You should be fine with that. A G4/733 is a great computer, and it can even run iLife! But honestly, iDVD will take you around a decade to burn on that...it is the minimun for a reason.

    Nice choice.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    #21
    It should...all depends on the vid card. What kinda monitor? VGA? DVI? you can adapt almost anything except for vga to dvi (at least I haven't seen) that.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    #22
    What is iDVD? Is that a DVD burning app? If it is why would it take so long to burn? Doesn't it burn at the rated speed of the burner and media?
     
  23. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    #23
    Ok I want a builder computer, I don't want to buy one maxed out for a lot of money. I would love to spend as little now on something that has alot of potentional so I can upgrade slowly. What PowerMac would have the minimum bus speed that everyone recommends?
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    #24
    it really all comes down to how much you want to spend. And if you want a monitor.

    Say, if you were to pick up a dual 1.42Ghz G4 (the highest clock speed they made) it would be expensive, but the upgrades sure wouldn't be as costly, right?

    A 17" CRT can be had for around $150, a 19" for arund $300. OTOH, an ACD aluminum 20" costs around $1200.

    I think the G4 DA 733 is a good option. Do you need (meaning want) dual proc's?
     
  25. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    #25
    No I don't want dual processors, single is fine. This is a learner system, not a workhorse. Maybe a little gaming. I am confused about bus speeds. I am going to everymac.com for info. Now I see the frontside bus speeds from 100MHz to 167MHz and backside bus speeds of 175MHz to 236MHz on the G4 PowerMacs. What is the difference between frontside bus and backside bus?
     

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