G4 Cube as media center?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by sigamy, May 23, 2005.

  1. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #1
    I was thinking about picking up a G4 Cube now that prices have come down to earth. There'd only be two reasons for getting it: 1) it's a cube and it is awesome 2) to try to use it as a media center, grabbing content off of my iMac and viewing on TV in the basement.

    It looks like I can add a Radeon 7000 with TV out. Then a Griffin iMic to get audio out.

    I found a 450mhz Cube, 20gb/DVD/1.5gb RAM for $300. Video card will be another $60. I already have an iMic.

    So, should I go for it? Can the Cube work as media center?
     
  2. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Northern California
    #2
    For that use, i think it would work. I think that set up sounds cool. So you would just transfer the files on ethernet, watch them, and then delete them?
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    I was really tempted to do something like this, too, but one thing that concerned me, and about which I'm not super sure, is the availability of larger HDs for the Cube. My understanding is that it doesn't use SATA drives and so the size is somewhat limited. And I'm not sure how readily they're available. I guess if you have another Mac on elsewhere from which it can draw content, it might not be so bad though....
     
  4. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    Jun 6, 2003
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    #4
    The Cube was created before SATA was.

    sigamy - your idea sounds completely workable to me. As long as you can figure out how to cope with a relative lack of HD space, that is - like mkrishnan said, larger hard drives that will work in the Cube might be hard to come by.
     
  5. Belly-laughs macrumors 6502a

    Belly-laughs

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    Jun 8, 2003
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    you wish
    #5
    IDE High Capacity Hard Drives are easy to come by…

    Seagate has a 7200rpm Barracuda at 400GB with 8MB buffer. It´s quite expensive but you do get cheaper 7200rpm IDE HDs in the 200-320GB range.

    The Cube is easy to upgrade, for advice and inspiration check out cubeowner.com

    Your setup sounds cool!
     
  6. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    Be careful, i've read that a PC flashed card won't properly support the S-video TV out, so you'll have to find one that is native mac, and i'm not really sure if any of those had TV out.

    Personally I think a Mini would end up a better investment. I mean, its a LOT faster, smaller, and you wouldn't have to worry about having an external soundcard hanging around outside the case. After the video card upgrade, HD upgrade, and external soundcard, the prices would probably be the same anyway.
     
  7. pna macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    #7
    It's true that the mini is probably a better investment, or at least will come out to be about the same in terms of price. But the mini has a cooling fan which, while quiet, is definitely audible, and could impact the HTPC experience. I'm admittedly a noise freak, but the whole beauty of the cube is that it has no moving parts except for the HD, so that's the only source of noise. If I were to make a HTPC out of a Mac, I'd definitely go for a cube, and then put a quiet 5400 rpm notebook drive in it that's low power and dead quiet (like the WD scorpio). Those drives clearly don't hold as much, but if you really need more, just stick a long firewire cable on it to an external FW drive. That'll be plenty fast for anything you're doing with that machine.

    I realize noise wasn't your main concern with using the cube for this purpose, but it'd be my main concern if I were to use any computer for the purpose you're describing.
     
  8. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #8
    A G4 Cube (or Mini) Media Center sounds pretty awesome. Sounds like it will work out nicely for you (regardless if you choose the cube or the mini)!
     
  9. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #9
    Mac OS X and TV combined, does it get any better than this???
     
  10. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    $60 for a 7k is a bit excessive, you could get a 5200 or a 9200 for that much, i have a cube set up somewhat more supercharged with a radeon 9700 and a 23" lcd rv connected via vga.

    for a graphics card it really depends how willing you are yo mod the cube.
     
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
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    #11
    Cube, Radeon 9700, 23" LCD- nice setup Hector. Sounds like a cool setup for a Media Center (or regular pc).
     

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