1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

Maximizing a G4 Mini...?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by munckee, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. macrumors 65816

    I picked up a 1.42 G4 mini yesterday for $250. My mom's been itching to make the jump to a mac (she really wants a macbook), so I figured this would hold her over until she's ready to buy a laptop.

    First Q: How much ram will this mini take? Everymac specs says 1GB (which it has), but for some reason I had 2GB stuck in my head (my old powerbook had 2GB in it). If it is more than 1GB, what type do I need to look for?

    Also, what are the best ways to maximize the machine for speed? I noticed when I was testing the machine before purchase that it was surprisingly slow :( beachballing a few times on startup. She uses almost no HD space, so I'm not concerned much about that. Would Leo be a decent upgrade? Would that speed things ups (or slow things down) at all?
  2. macrumors member

    My G4 mac mini was very slow as well.
    But then I maxed it up to 1GB Ram and now it is running Leopard and is my DVR.

    I have the turbo264 dongle of elgato, so that I can encode the video as well in a decent amount of time.

    So just give it 1GB, Leopard and a webcam, so that you can videochat with your mother.
  3. macrumors 65816

    Thanks. It's got 1GB already, which is why I was surprised that it was slow. It hasn't been wiped clean yet though, and I didn't have a chance to see how full the HD is. It may be jam packed. I'll have more time to look at it through the week.

    The webcam idea is a good call though.
  4. macrumors 68000


    1gb is the max, only one slot for a full size DDR dimm. the original hard drive was a sloooowwww 4200rpm 2mb cache drive that really hurt the performance. you could swap it out for a faster 5400 or 7200rpm drive and see a real jump, or if you don't want to crack it open and do surgery, you could use and external 7200rpm 3.5" drive in a firewire case. both help lots.

    if you upgrade to 10.5, use the external as the boot drive, and let time machine use the old/slow internal drive. they work nice that way.

    of course if you really want to max it out, you could take out the logic board and remove a couple resistors to clock it up to 1.5ghz with no problem...:cool::apple:
  5. macrumors 65816

    Damn, only 1 slot huh? For some reason I had it in my head that the later G4 minis had 2 slots. Ok. I guess I'll play with it and see how slow it really is, esp. after a clean install, etc. If its too bad, I'll turn around and sell it. I don't want her first mac to be so much slower than her PC that she thinks they're all crap. She's not expecting it, so it won't be a disappointment if it doesn't happen.

    I'd be willing to toss a faster HD in it. Can't be that hard to do... (famous last words).
  6. macrumors 65816

    Just noticed from an email I got before buying it that there's less than 4GB free on the HD. That'd slow it down a bit too wouldn't it?
  7. macrumors P6


    yes it would. better erase some stuff
  8. macrumors 68000


    guide can be found HERE, and it's not to bad if you don't mind small screws/wires. a lot like working on laptops actually.

    the 4gb free would slow it down, but really, you need to get a faster drive for usable performance. 5400rpm with 8mb cache like THIS would make day and night difference, and i happen to be fond of samsung. best of luck.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    I'd highly recommend Leopard. I have it on my Mac mini in the entertainment room here. Once you get the mini, boot off the Leopard DVD's and erase the drive and then do a custom install of OS X, i.e. no printer drivers, X11 and additional languages if you don't need them. This will save a few GB's

  10. macrumors 65816

    Thanks, I'll keep it in mind. I've also found a 60GB Seagate that runs at 7200rpm for $35. Seems like it might be worth the upgrade.

Share This Page