Please help me upgrade!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kmarketing, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. kmarketing macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2004

    Sadly, I sold my g5 just the other day, and I miss like heck. But we made some cash on it. I'm trying to find a cheap machine to hold us over until the newer machines come out.

    Well, I came across this fine machine that I am probably going to give to my mom. I got it for $200. It is a g4 powermac 450 that has been upgraded to a single 1.42 processor. It has 1gb of memory with 256 chips. It has an airport card in it and a video card with only 16mb memory. Here are the questions:

    1. What is a good video card for it, since I am thinking of keeping our 20" acd with it.
    2. I kept one of the SATA drives from the g5. I would love to get that installed into this machine. is there a way of doing that?
    3. Is there a way to upgrade to airport extreme, or is the regular airport card good enough? We like to download music and watch videos online.

    Please help with this.

  2. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    I don't know about 1, but 2 - yeah, there are SATA to IDE converters available that will let you use a SATA drive in the G4. And 3, airport has always been enough for me. Unless you're moving large amounts of data around, you should be fine with Airport.
  3. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    Airport is already faster than your internet connection in all likelihood. Airport extreme speeds up file sharing ebtween computers on the same network, but will ahve little effect probably on your internet speed if you ahve a good connection.
  4. kmarketing thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2004

    sata to ide is what i need? great i'll look for that!

    How's this computer compare to say the mac mini g4's?

  5. joshwest macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
    good deal though by the 200$ is a steal for that setup
  6. kmarketing thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2004
    Thanks everyone, just trying to get a decent setup for a good price until the new ones come out.

    In terms of the sata to ide interface, I can't seem to find the right one. All of the ones that I see are to convert ide/regular atas hard drives into sata.

    can you please help!
  7. kmarketing thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2004
  8. gman71882 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    Houston, Tx
    # 1
    Is it AGP Video Card? (dark brown port on motherboard) or a PCI Video Card (ligth Beige Port on motherboard)

    There is an 32 MB MAC ATI Radeon Video Card with ADC ports should work with that system.

    ATI's discontinued products

    #2 Could use this : Acard PCI Card bit expensive though. there are cheaper alternatives.

    #3 dont worry about the Extreme upgrade. Even if you have high speed cable internet, Its fastes speeds are only around 3MB a sec... regular airport can handle up to 11MB a sec.
    Extreme is upto 54MB a sec, but you only get that speed between computers transfering data.
  9. kmarketing thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2004

    What do you think about this card? Will this really be good for the powermac?

    I hate spending more money on it, this will bring it towards $300, but if you think that it would bring major improvements then I'll do it.

    How would the machine with this card be compared to say a mac mini 1.42?

  10. kmarketing thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2004

    here is an update on what I have done with the powermac. I have learned so much in just the past day about these machines and of course I ended up spending more money. I hope you think these decisions were wise.

    I bought a Radeon 8500 64mb video card for $80 + $11 (ridiculous) shipping as well as an external case for the SATA drive that I pulled from my g5 before I sold it. I was debating on whether or not to go with something internal, but I concluded that the whole thing is to keep the cheapest setup for now. I figured that with an external case, I'll be able to use the drive everywhere and then be able to upgrade it in the future.

    Here is the case that I bought.

    So in total here is what I got.
    Powermac G4 1.4 (upgraded from 450)
    1gb memory
    80gb 7200 Hard Drive
    DVD Drive
    Radeon 8500 64mb Video Card
    Airport Card installed
    USB 2.0 PCI slot card
    External SATA case for 160gb Hard Drive from G5

    The total comes out to a couple of dollars under $350.

    What do you think? Is it still a good deal? How does it compare with a g4 mac mini which is what I was thinking of getting? Do you have any suggestions for anything else I should be shopping for?

    Thanks so much!
  11. ericssonboi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2005
    Thats a steal considering the specs are pretty much similar to a G4 Mac Mini. Not only that.. The G4 tower is upgradable... and easier to upgrade...
    Definitely a good buy...
  12. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    That's a great, solid set-up you've got there! My advice at this point is sell off the 256 dimms on ebay and invest in four 512s. 2 gigs of RAM was the biggest increase in performance I noticed in my Sawtooth, which has similar specs to yours...
  13. kmarketing thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2004

    Just to update...

    I got my radeon 8500 card and external hard drive case today, both were easy to install and work great. I'm not sure what to look for in terms of the increased video performance but at least the internet pages are loading faster. And I have three video outputs now, which is really cool.

    The hard drive is great, installed my sata drive and it worked immediately and allowed me to boot from it also. The main thing was to get the itunes playlist file from there and did it, so my wife is so happy now with the setup after being so down after we sold the g5.

    So our new setup which has brought us back over $1000 into our pockets, is working great!!

    Please let me know of any other suggestions,

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