Just got a free G4 and want to upgrade

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by rzaroch36, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    It has been wiped clean, back to OS 9, Power Mac AGP Graphics, firewire slot.

    I want to give it to my bro for net use, itunes, word processing and basic stuff.

    what would be the best way to go about upgrading? Should i do leopard or and older os X? will I need more ram (256) and i believe it is 500 mhz, would that be good?

    like I said, it's just for basic stuff but I was wondering if these machines still work good.
  2. macrumors 68000


    is it a Sawtooth or a Quicksilver? Either way, if you max the RAM, Leopard runs fairly well. I'd suggest also getting a Radeon 9600 video card. For less than $250, you can have 2 GB RAM and 128 MB VRAM.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Leopard's definitely not going on there, one of the system requirements is a G4 867 MHz processor. OS X Tiger (10.4) might be a bit iffy, so your best bet would be to go with Jaguar (10.2) or Panther (10.3).
  4. macrumors newbie

  5. Roy
    macrumors 6502

  6. macrumors 68030


    It can if you have a DVD-DL burner, a DVD-DL disc, and a bit of time and the ability to edit files and read instructions. ;)
  7. macrumors 68000


    Loepard system requirements for G4's are just recommendations, sort of like speed limits for on/off ramps.

    Leopard will install just fine. Install via cloning or T-mode.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Technically your system doesn't meet the minimum requirements to run leopard, but you can get it on there with some work. Though from my experiance running 10.5 on my similar Powermac, I can say it isn't worth it. I find it to be much buggier then my newer systems running it and the older graphics card is that major holdback. Many of the Leopards new features will not work or work very poorly. I would say stick with 10.4 Tiger. It will run with what you have in the system now and would run much better with more ram. I would suggest getting a couple of 512mb sticks to put in there.

    As for any other upgrade(processor, graphics card, hdd) it really comes down to how much you want to spend. All are doable but can get exspensive quick. Might not be worth it for the age and use of the system.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    if you put 10.4 on there just make sure to turn off dashboard, that always made my g4 tibook's fans pop on almost immediatey and is just a processor hog for those (this was a 867 with 1gb of ram). If you do that it should run quite nicely.

    :) gl!
  10. macrumors 68000


    Fixed! And sweet, I didn't know you could get around it that easily. :D

    Even if he does get Leopard on there, it's probably not gonna be fast by any means. I think Jaguar or Panther would still be better.
  11. macrumors 601


    i have 2gb of ram and a better video card and this machine runs remarkably well. i can keep 5-6-7+ tabs open in safari and there's no slowdown. i also have 10.4.11 tiger installed and i haven't disabled any features.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Tiger runs great on the Sawtooth. Leopard is way too slow and a resource hog.
  13. macrumors member

    It'll be great for your brothers needs...i've got a G4 450mhz agp tower and i use it for photoshop, illustrator, indesign, and it works fine...sometimes i've gotta wait for things to write but it's not horrible...the only thing that's horrible is burning dvd's...that's slow as hell...

    put in a minimum of 1.2 gb of ram...i maxed mine to 2gb...ram helps a lot...i also upgraded my cd/dvd to one that burns dvd's...a new one was about 35 bucks and easy to install...i've also got four hard drives in my tower for files, backup, and like that...doubt your brother will need that but you can expand these things quite a bit...

    hey, do a firmware check/upgrade now, via system 9...it'll help out down the road if you want to add a dvd burner or if you want to add a new processor to boost speed...

    also, i put a seritek card in mine so i could install faster sata drives to boot from and work off of...those are cool...

    just plan out carefully the cost of anything you do cause at a certain point it may not be worth it anymore and just buying a mini or imac would make more sense...all depends on what you want to do...

    oh, i've been running 10.3.9 for a while now with no problems...10.4 should also work fine...i'd hold off on leopard but that's me...

    have fun playing with your new toy...
  14. macrumors newbie

    What is it going to be used for?

    I have three G4's all of them less than 500MHz. All running Tiger. Ram running between 750 and 1.5. All have two internal drives. The first thing you want to know is what your brother wants to do with it. I would not expect that he is doing graphics work with it at all. 1GB would be fine for most everything, a couple of hard drives and a decent monitor would fill the bill for most things. A super drive upgrade or an external burner would be excellent additions. Tiger works just fine. Add Office or NeoOffice along with several browsers and you can do most anything with that kind of setup!:)
  15. macrumors G5


    Good advice overall. Just want to note that certain older PowerMacs have 4 slots for RAM, but only 1.5gb will be recognized.

    Check everymac.com for details (their estimated resale value is way out of date though).
  16. macrumors G3


    I have a Digital Audio G4 and upgraded it with a 1.5GHz processor, a DVD burner, maxed the RAM (1.5GB), and dropped in an old nVidia 6200 256MB graphics card. It's been great. I don't do any heavy lifting with it, but for day to day tasks it's more than enough. It runs Tiger.

    My next upgrade will be a USB 2.0 card. I just got a Nano, and since it doesn't do Firewire the transfers over USB are sloooow. If your brother might be in a similar situation, you might think about a USB 2.0 card as well. They're pretty cheap.
  17. macrumors 68000


    I have a G4-400 'Gigabit Ethernet', with 1gb RAM, a secondary hard drive controller and around 1Tb of hard disk space (4 drives). It's running Tiger server and hosts my iTunes server, mail, web, IRC and a bunch of other stuff with ease. Even with that load it's still quite responsive at the desktop and would be perfectly usable as a day-to-day machine for light use.

    Just throw a gig of RAM in there and you'll be fine with Tiger (yes, you can hack Leopard on there, but it's not worth it).
  18. Roy
    macrumors 6502

    About 6 months ago I added a USB 2.0 card to my Digital Audio G4 and I can't tell any difference in the transfer rate between it and the original USB 1.1 that came with the computer. Mostly what I use USB for is to transfer pictures from a camera to my computer.
  19. macrumors Core

    If your camera isn't USB2 then it won't transfer at USB2 speeds. Get a cheap USB2 card reader.
  20. Roy
    macrumors 6502

    I'll bet you are right. My manual cover says 2001 Sony Corp (DSC-F707) and in the manual, there is text about USB, but never any reference to USB 1 or USB 2. Just USB. So my camera was probably made before USB 2 came out. It has been one heck of a camera. I've taken thousands of pictures and I've never had to replace the battery and I can charge the battery without taking it out of the camera. Also G4 has been the best computer I've ever owned.

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