PowerMac G4 1.42 Dual or Second Hand Intel Mini

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Sinan, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    I am a Graphic/Web Designer. Currently I have a dual 867mhz G4 that doesn't cut it. I can go all out and bring the machine up to dual 1.42 G4, 2gb ram, Radeon 3850, etc etc...

    BUT

    Before I lay out the money for it, would it be worth going for a second hand intel mini? The gpu in them I know is terrible but that aside does anyone have experience of the performance between the two when running;

    Adobe Photoshop, In-Design, Illustrator and Dreamweaver CS3 as well as Inkscape and GIMP and occasionally Google Sketchup.

    I'm not bothered about noise etc, only the performance difference.
     
  2. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    Looking at prices, its going to be 1 gen Intel mini ie Core Duo.

    Looking at:

    Intel Core Duo 1.66 ghz
    2 gb Ram
    Intel GMA 950 with 64mb Vram
    500gb Hdd

    ---VS---

    PowerPC G4 1.42ghz x 2
    2 gb Ram
    Radeon 3850 with 512mb Vram
    500gb Hdd

    For the same price I can get either of the above.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC
    #3
    I think it would depend on what era of Intel Mac Mini you're considering.

    You couldn't pay me to buy another GMA950 equipped Mini, which were the first ones on the market. I had one when they came out, it was sluggish all around. More memory might have helped, as these machines shipped with 512Mb of memory and had to pass 64Mb of that to the graphics chip. All in all, a souped up G4 tower would probably take the piss out of it. If you were considering a Mini with the Nvidia 9400M or 320M, however, that's a different story. Those machines are decently fast, especially the 320M ones, however you are looking at slower hard drive access with some Minis (most of them until recently shipped with 5400rpm drives) thus you want all the memory you can shake a stick at. Your software (specifically CS3) is a universal binary and thus ready to take on the extra power of the Intel chips.

    From your perspective, I don't know if it's worth sinking money into the G4. I love my PowerPC machines, but I don't ask much of them. If you're using it in a demanding environment, you're going to be up against the wall. Eventually, you might require software that needs better than 10.5.8 in order to run, or becomes Intel processor specific as is the case with most software being released right now, and then you have a perfectly usable computer with no support going forward. Not a big deal for me, as I'm a student and couldn't care less for the latest version of MS Office and such, but quite possibly a hang-up for you.

    EDIT: Just noticed your price post. Between the two of those, the G4 is going to perform better, mostly due to the GPU in question and the fact that you're only losing out 200Mhz per core compared to the Mini. Plus more space for hard drives inside, etc. The G4 is the better deal, I think, but what I said above applies.
     
  4. macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #4
    a simple one , as you need the better graphics card ,so the g4 is i would say the better option and i know they ask silly amounts for the 1.66 core duo mini here in uk and even more for higher spec ones as its not even worth half what they ask for that little box used and the intel gma950 is just good enough for a netbook ,but not for a serious computer
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    raysfan81

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #5
    Get the dual G4. It will destroy that mini in terms of performance and expandability.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    Okay I've decided to go with the G4, I use Gimp and Inkscape to draw everything up CS 3 is just there for a couple of tools so they won't be used a whole lot. Gimp abe Inkscape run well on ppc so it makes sence to go with the g4. Thanks for the help!
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    raysfan81

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #7
    I use gimp on my G4 all the time and it does work really well. Have fun!
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #8
    A Radeon 3850 will not work in a G4.

    Also, if you're doing this CPU upgrade yourself, be aware that your current motherboard has a 133 MHz system bus and the dual 1.42 module is set to run on a 167 MHz system bus. Hardware modifications will be required to either change the motherboards's bus speed or to change the bus timing ratio of the module. This procedure involves moving resistors.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #9
    Just realized that, o well so the GPU will be an Radeon X850 or equivalent, as far as the dual 1.42 goes thats fine done the mod and running the dual 867 on the 167mhz bus atm.

    I assume the Radeon X850 will still destroy the GMA 950.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #10
    It will. But for the applications you listed, the GPU will be doing pretty much nothing. Its all CPU bound. And the Intel Core chips are much faster than the G4.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    btbrossard

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #11
    Another thing to note is that if you upgrade to CS5, you will need an Intel Mac to run it.

    But considering how your still using CS3, that's probably not in the cards anytime soon.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Davy.Shalom

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    #12
    The the G4 gives you the option to upgrade the graphics card. This means that you can create more intense projects. Let's say the Mini graphics card cannot keep up with what you want to be doing. However, in terms of processor performance, the mini would smoke the G4. Also, like another person said, CS5 requires intel. Then again, you probably wouldn't be running CS5 on that generation of mini because of the lack of an adequate GPU.
     

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