Selling my selfbuilt PC to a friend, buying an eMac

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Meemoo, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Meemoo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Sugar Land TX
    #1
    People are calling me crazy but I'm selling my friend my PC with a 420W PSU, 512MB of DDR2700 Memory, an 80GB Hard drive, DVD Drive, CDRW Drive, Radeon 9700 Pro, AMD Athlon 2500+ bound to Thermalright SP97 Heatsink with Arctic Silver 5 strapped to a 92MM High Density Panaflow fan. Also comes with Intellipoint 3 keyboard and 17in CRT. (Note Motherboard is an nForce 2 chipset. Asus A7N8X Deluxe)


    I'm getting rid of this..
    ..For an eMac. Do you think I'm nuts?


    I plan on buying one of the $600 eMacs with a 1GHz Como drive and instantly I am going to go deep into the guts of the eMac.
    That's right, 1.4GHz here I come!

    I'm also going to be getting 1GB of Ram and fairly larger Hard drive with an 8MB Cache.


    Have I gone mad?!?!


    Anyway I've had this thing about trying to have a Mac, I've made my PC look as much mac like as possible in the past with Object Dock, special apps that animate when I minimize or maximize, Skins, icons, renaming everything on my computer, WinExpose....
    IT'S NOT THE SAME! There is no functionality like on the mac! :mad:

    ..I can't take it!

    I plauge your forum with this post because I only have $950 to spend on all of these goodies(including Tax Shipping ect) so really I have around I guess $300 to spend on a new Hard Drive some PC133 Ram and some sort of a DVD Burner(I am looking at Dual Layer Sony's but I don't know if they are supported, I mean want iDVD support for this thing. I'd really appriciate your reccomendations if you have any.
     
  2. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Location:
    NJ
    #2
    that's a pretty nice system you have
    personally i'd enjoy it and save up to get a G5 by selling it now you'll be losing a lot of money on that system and the emac definately won't perform as well as your AMD
    the emac also is in great need of a revision it lacks USB2 a bluetooth internal option DDR memory a newer graphics card like the 9200 etc that all the other macs now have
    might want to wait a few months i would image that they will update the emac in that time period and you'll get a much more powerful system

     
  3. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    #3
    I understand that you would like to buy an eMac, but what i would like to know is why? As perviously reported, they are outdated. But, i can justify your buying one, because of the price.

    What are your main uses going to be? Are you going to be just using it for internet, and email?

    What i would like to suggest to you is saving your money for awhile and get either a G5, or if you really need a computer now, get a Refurbished iMac 15". For $999 you can get: iMac G4 1GHz/256MB/80GB/Combo/E/56K/15" monitor. However, these iMac only come with the combo drive. So what i would do is buy this, take out the combo drive sell it on ebay, and buy a Superdrive off of eBay or Newegg.com.

    i'm sure that you will be happy with whatever you buy, good luck.
     
  4. gundamguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    #4
    Too bad resale of pcs is so low, I recently sold my old Thinkpad to buy a powermac, your best bet is to save a few bucks and buy an emac and keep your pc for gaming, however pc parts are so cheap you can build a new one later on.
    The emac certainly isnt a gaming machine but it is one fast and sexy computer. I wouldnt stop anyone from buying one, I would consider getting a firewire external case and buy a pioneer dvd burner instead of looking for a superdrive. I put one together to truck between my 2 macs and my pc it it only cost a total of 150 Canadian(100 us). Everyone should have a Mac and OS X at home.
     
  5. Meemoo thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Sugar Land TX
    #5
    Well I am going to be using it for internet/email/iPod mini/iTunes/Garageband/iMovie/iDVD/iPhoto

    A basic digital hub.

    I know what you mean, the ATi Radeon 7500 is puke, but then again in the PC world so is the 9200. My biggest complaint was the Ram being SD. I've read Rumors of the eMac being discontinued, not just revamped :( According to this sites guide updates shouldn't be too far ahead. Since it's an eMac I wouldn't use it for gaming much(if at all). Apparently Halo is running okay on the eMac which blows me away. I didn't know it didn't have USB2 though.
    Do you seriously think that the eMac will recieve an update soon? Or be discontinued?
     
  6. Meemoo thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2004
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    Sugar Land TX
  7. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #7
    I had to stop and read your posting twice to make sure I wasn't dreaming. The performance difference between your current PC rig and an eMac is HUGE. I think you will find yourself disappointed and filled with regret if you trade this particular PC for an eMac...the drop in performance and expandability/hackability is just too big.

    If you are convinced you want to make the jump to OS X (and your budget is too constrained to get a G5 PowerMac), have you thought about a 2nd-hand G4 PowerMac tower from eBay, or one of the run-out 1.25GHz G4 PowerMac MDD systems still available from Apple? The newer PowerMacs, while still equipped with the relatively slow G4 chip, beat the eMac hands down in all other areas. Any G4 PowerMac manufactured in the last 3-4 years is going to have:

    - an AGP graphics slot (ie: upgradeable graphics)
    - PCI slots (add FW800, USB2, SCSI, TV tuner...whatever)
    - IDE drive bays (add any hard drive you like easily)
    - 2 optical drive bays (add a cheap IDE DVD/CD burner)
    - upgradable CPU (places like Sonnet and PowerLogix make single and dual CPU upgrades for G4 PowerMac systems, up to 1.42GHz and beyond)
    - no integrated monitor, so you can re-use your old display or upgrade your display in the future without throwing out the whole machine

    An eMac has none of these features. Remember that the eMac still only ships with USB 1.1 and FireWire 400 connectors...and you have no way of upgrading these things later on, because there are no PCI slots. Even an older PowerMac with the same ports could be cheaply upgraded by adding a USB2 and/or FW800 PCI card.

    Newer G4 PowerMacs will also have niceties like DDR RAM (although you should know that DDR RAM in *any* G4 based system is a bit of a joke, since the G4 CPU is incapable of addressing a DDR memory bus...only things like the system controller and the AGP bus can make use of the improved speed of DDR RAM) and higher front-side bus frequencies.

    You sound like you know your way around hardware, and you aren't afraid to get your hands dirty 'under the hood'. If you can find a PowerMac somewhere (be it 2nd-hand on eBay, or a new 1.25GHz MDD from Apple), then your options for tweaking and expanding are much, much greater than with an eMac. An eMac is thoroughly obsolete out of the box (1GHz G4 with only 256KB L2 cache, 32MB Radeon 7500, USB 1.1, FW400, no expansion slots) and there's not much you can do about it...whereas even a 'middle-aged' G4 PowerMac could be (if you were so inclined) upgraded with a Radeon 9800 Pro, faster G4 CPUs, up to 2GB of DDR RAM, extra hard drives, extra optical drives, your choice of PCI cards, and of course any type of monitor you care to plug into it.

    If you're interested in a older G4 PowerMac, take a look at www.lowendmac.com, which lists specifications and notes for all Macintoshes ever made...its a handy resource for when you're hunting around eBay trying to separate the wheat from the chaff, or looking at Apple's site trying to decipher marketing spin from the truth.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of any more assistance (and that includes telling me to shut my mouth :) )
     
  8. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #8
    yes you are crazy,and going inside a Emac you can make it run at 1.33,1.4 wont be stable. it does have a weak video chip. If you want a Mac so bad then get one but i would just wait for the next update. the whole line is in need of updates so they are coming one of these days. My advice is sell your system and wait for the updated products.
     
  9. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    South Australia
    #9
    Tell me how much you want?

    Firstley How much are you selling it for?
    Firstley How much are you selling it for?
    Firstley How much are you selling it for?

    Depending on this I might be able to make you an offer$$$$$$

    As to your question as to whether or not you have gone nuts. This Fan of AMD based systems says yes.
     
  10. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #10
    You're nuts to trade in a first-class PC for an eMac.
    The eMac is a nice computer, but you can accomplish more with that AMD system than you can with the eMac.
     
  11. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #11
    Take a look at what he said he wants to use it for:

    Now, how exactly is he going to accomplish more using his AMD system?
     
  12. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    His AMD system is going to run all of those kinds of apps SIGNIFICANTLY faster, and he already has the AMD system. That's the main point here...is it worth losing the comparatively high level of performance he *already* has, just to switch over to OS X? And his AMD system will very successfully run entire classes of applications, such as modern high polygon/complex texture 3D games, which the eMac is barely capable of.

    Obviously, things like e-mail and web surfing are going to run well on just about any computing platform these days from a PDA all the way up to a quad Opteron. However, other 'digital hub' tasks like video editing, image manipulation and music composition can really tax a computer's resources. And with time, a serious user's needs and expectations will grow. You might start off doodling around with iMovie editing some home video from last Christmas, realise that you are having a lot of fun doing it, and start to get more serious. Same thing with apps like Garage Band. As people get more experienced with certain computer applications, their needs expand, rather than contract.

    In my opinion, an eMac offers the barest minimum in terms of performance that should be expected of a new computer purchase in 2004. Apple has really not kept the system up to date, especially when compared to the Athlon XP system from which this guy is looking to downgrade from. It does not offer any type of headroom for a user to expand into as their needs grow. It is limited in practically all areas of its architecture, be it CPU, memory subsystem, video, storage, I/O and expansion. And due to the all-in-one design, upgrading it is either difficult or impossible. I mean, the eMac doesn't even ship with USB 2.0 compliant ports, and there is no way to add these down the track when you buy your shiny new USB 2.0 compliant digital camera or scanner (key peripherals for a digital hub, no?).

    This could all change next week (and I sincerely hope it does). Maybe Apple will release a new eMac with a faster G4 (or even a G5, but let's not hold our breath), an upgraded video chip, DDR memory, USB 2 and FireWire 800. These things would give the eMac some of the performance and longevity that it really needs. But as it stands, the current 1GHz eMac model would be an incredibly poor trade for a modern Athlon XP system, and will quickly fall behind the expanding requirements of both the experienced 'digital hub' user, and the increasingly complex demands of modern software...without any recourse to piece by piece upgrading as would be possible with a PC or PowerMac system.

    Remember the rumour mill is murmuring of the current iMac and eMac lines being EOL'ed...the very least that could be recommended is that any purchasing or swapping decisions be delayed for a few weeks.
     
  13. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #13
    For the average home user, there will be no discernable difference in productivity when using the iApps, whether it's on an eMac or a G5 Power Mac. Yes, video renders may be a few seconds shorter and you may be able to squeeze a few extra tracks out of garageband with the G5, but the difference will not be SIGNIFICANT. I run Final Cut, Live, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and GarageBand on my G4/450 Cube without any problems. A 1GHz eMac will easily handle the uses he's described.
     
  14. Meemoo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Sugar Land TX
    #14
    Good new boys. I have to call the manager of a gamestop This Tuesday to talk about an interview. :cool: You guys made some really good points, and I intend on waiting 50 days to see what apple does. The eMac does have a weak GPU and it needs to get beefed up. I guess I am not familiar with the G4 too much but did you say that it cannot utilize DDR memory? I really do wish I could afford a powerbook or a PowerMac but if I had a PowerMac I'd want a G5 and if I had a G5 I'd want the Cinema Display and it all comes down to the fact that money is scarce and I want the best mac for my money. I would save up for an iMac but it simply doesn't seem worth it since you're only paying for an LCD some faster memory(though it sounds like it isn't used) and another weak GPU(5200 I belive). From what I read I can easily clock up to atleast 1.33GHz and have a stable computer. This Would mean that the only thing the iMac would have over an eMac is the GPU(which is still tripe).
     
  15. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #15
    G4-based systems *can* use DDR SDRAM (I think all currently shipping G4 and G5 Apple systems except the eMac use DDR SDRAM of varying speeds). The problem is that the G4 CPU is not capable of using with a DDR-based front side bus...so what you end up with is a fast 266MHz or 333MHz DDR-based memory subsystem, but a CPU front-side bus still running at 133MHz or 167MHz, ie: in G4 systems, the CPU bus speed is the bottleneck in memory access, not the RAM. Other subsystems, such as ATA controller DMA transfers can take advantage of the faster DDR RAM, but the overall increase in speed is not all that much.

    Waiting for a while to see what happens is a good idea...rumours abound of updates across the Mac lineup, particularly for the eMac and iMac ranges. Buying a current model eMac would mean losing all the expandability you currently have with your Athlon PC (although you may not care about that), a noticeable drop in overall system speed, and kissing goodbye to playing just about any 3D game at any kind of respectable resolution or detail setting.

    BTW, do you live close to an AppleStore or an Apple dealer? You can get a lot of advice from these forums...some people will tell you an eMac will be fine for everything you want to do, while others will say it will be a disappointing step down from your Athlon. In the end nothing can beat actually getting your hands on an eMac or iMac and trying out the applications you want to run yourself. This will also give you a good feel for OS X itself and if you think you would prefer working in this environment versus Windows.

    What ever you decide, try and hang out a little while for eMac updates, and let us know how you go!
     
  16. bradz_id macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2002
    Location:
    Tasmania, Australia
    #16
    Well you're gonna think I'm more crazy!

    I'm thinking of selling my self-built Pentium 4 system with the following specs for an eMac and a digital video camera:

    - Antec Sonata (Piano black quiet case)
    - Pentium 4 2.8E (Prescott 90nm)
    - Abit IC7-MAX3 motherboard (Best available)
    - 1GB Corsair TWINX-3200LL (VERY low latency DDR400 RAM)
    - ATi RADEON 9800XT 256MB GRAPHICS CARD!!!
    - 160GB Seagate 7200.7 Serial ATA hard drive
    - Pioneer DVR-107D 8x DVD +/- R/RW Drive
    - Philips 109B 19" flat CRT monitor
    - Logitech Elite keyboard
    - Logitech MX300 mouse

    Am I crazy???

    P.S. It IS a known fact that 90% of 1GHz eMacs run perfectly at 1.4GHz!
     
  17. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

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    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #17
    The levels of trolling here are almost as bad as Slashdot these days...

    Yes. It would be a superb idea. I will give you $25 for your PC. The eMac will leave your puny 2.8GHz P4 in the dust. eMac r0x0r5!! Radeon 9800XT-equipped Pentium 4 PCs with 1GB DDR RAM 5ux0r5!!!!
     
  18. Rezet macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States of America
    #18
    I know it may tick off some people around here, but emac is slow as hell and outdated. My buddy in school has them in one of the labs and he says they work just as fast as about 1-1.2 ghz PCs at best.
    You can go to an apple store and often they have emacs set up for kids to play while parents shop... and u can see even then crappiest games like tony hawk 3 (Meaning it's old. Don't write me a letter) perfrom like crap...
    I know someone gonna jump on me now and start prasing emacs saying how he can render some XXXX in XX seconds faster than DUAL opteron or something... But don't buy into it. Stick with your pc.
    If you want to upgrade, get a fast Intel or AMD 64. If you want a mac, don't go for anything slower than DUAL G4 1.25Ghz.
    Even DUAL 1.25 G4 will be about the speed of your current PC, I'd think...
     
  19. Rezet macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

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    #19
    Ohh hell yeah! ;) :)
     
  20. bradz_id macrumors member

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    Nov 16, 2002
    Location:
    Tasmania, Australia
    #20
    Me, the person with the 2.8 P4, HAD an eMac and loved it! I just wanted a change. I have had so much trouble with crappy windows and i have had to re-format, re-install and re-download updates for it too many times! Never judge a computer by how it runs at a school because they always have old OS's and never keep the OS well maintained.

    But I am going to wait for the NEXT eMac to come out first as the current ones don't even have DDR RAM!
     
  21. Meemoo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Sugar Land TX
    #21
    I've been told that running graphics intensive games on a mac is not something you buy a mac for and I am familiar with the current lines of graphics cards. I really don't want to upgrade my PC since I am tire of using Windows. It is a real pain. Especially when I do a disk cleanup and it thinks some nessecary(last night) system file is not needed at all and removes it. I love OS X and I realise the eMac is not a powerhouse, this Tuesday will tell whether I go e or i, If I get this job it's definently I before E except after...(damn I lost that one).
    I would consider waiting for a G5 iMac but the thing that I liked about the eMac was that it was(from what I know) more updgradable than the iMac. On the iMac I have to order a built in superdrive and I have to use the HD that comes with the iMac, unless I want to crack the dome and void my warranty =\

    EDIT: I've been to the Houston Apple Store in the Galleria many a time ;)
     
  22. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #22
    I would go along with the camp that says, yes, you are crazy! An eMac is old, and slow, I mean please, 2004 and using PC133 SDRAM!?!?! It's a complete joke! Keep your PC, it will whoop the eMacs backside anyway you put it.

    /thread :D
     
  23. dudeami macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #23
    If you don't like windows, the eMac will certainly help you there.

    It sounds like you know what to expect out of the system, as far as gaming performance and such, so there really isn't much to expand on there.

    My concern would be that you stated that some of your intentions for the eMac included iDVD and apps that plug into it. You are buying an eMac with a combo drive. You already know iDVD won't work with that, because you asked about a third party DVD writer that is supported by iDVD. I believe that the only drive Apple supports with iDVD is the Superdrive. I am not sure if there are any hacks that would let you use iDVD with another vendors DVD writer. Even if there are, hacking the system may cause concerns when applying future updates to its OS or apps like iDVD. I would say that if you want to use iDVD, and rest easy when applying Apple's updates, your best bet would be to get Apple's superdrive for DVD burning.
     
  24. dudeami macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #24
    Also, in regards to overclocking, I do not have any experience here just general knowledge. I believe most recommendations are to overclock between 10-15% to avoid heat related issues. If you are going to overclock by 40%, I would recommending asking people who have done that, if they have had to add extra cooling capability, like internal fans or if they just make sure it gets plenty of circulation. I would think the greatest concerns about heat would be when there is an extended period of high CPU utilization. So I would ask people wether or not there have been issues when they have burned a large DVD, etc. Also I would think as a general precaution, that you should document the manufacturer's pin out on the motherboard and revert back to these setting prior to installing any major OS updates or firmware updates just in case. You wouldn't want the updates to "freak out" on you because of the unexpected pin out.

    Again, I don't have any experience here, but you may want to get some "real world" input on overclocking the 1 GHz G4 to 1.4 GHz for all of your intended needs, before your purchase.
     
  25. Meemoo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Sugar Land TX
    #25
    There are hacks to get 3rd party drives to work, and it's easy to get the 40% overclock with nothing extra
    http://www.lbodnar.dsl.pipex.com/eMac/eMac-upgrade.html


    EDIT: If I get this job I might save for a 1.8GHz PowerMac G5, though I'd wait for the updates. Is it still worth it to get the single processor 1.8GHz model?

    EDIT 2: Also what is a good display since I am probobly not going to be able to afford a cinema display.
     

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