Use's/Upgrading AGP Powermac G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by SimonUK5, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #1
    Hello all!

    I've just been given a AGP Powermac G4 to keep! its specs are 500Mhz G4, 1.25gb Ram, stock hard drive-30gb.

    Not really sure on what to use it for yet :( Thinking of using it just to Sync my Ipod and to watch dvd rips and the like :)

    Any ideas?
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    My AGP G4/450 is in use both as a server (lots of lovely final cut pro files), and as a machine to run all my older Mac OS 9 applications on (Until 2010 I was using Final Cut Pro 1 on this machine as my primary editor - it took me that long to save for my Mac Pro.), such as InDesign 1.5, FCP 1/2 etc - and old games :D - If your planning on watching DVD-rips on it, dont try HD, its too slow to handle smooth HD playback (in fact I wouldnt want to watch video on any OS newer than 10.3 on a G4 below 867Mhz/Dual 500Mhz). Id also add a bigger HD, as 30GB isnt large at all (120GB per drive is the max for G4/AGP machines).
     
  3. TEG
    macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #3
    Well you can,

    Run a Web Server
    Run a File Server
    Upgrade the Processor to 1.42 Ghz
    Use it to play PPC games that are too slow under Rosetta

    TEG
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #4
    Yeah i need to put a new hard drive in :) I've got a 125gb laying around somewhere :) i'm keeping an eye out for CPU upgrade as that would be pretty sweet :)

    I was also thinking of putting some old photoshop stuff on and using it to edit photos. my SLR is a Canon 1d Mark 1 which came out in 2001, so they are around the same dates )

    I have no idea id that will work though...
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    Well Photoshop CS (v8) works OK on mine under OS X 10.3.9, and Photoshop 7 works under OS 9 AFAIK.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #6
    Ahh sweet! Have you tried playing AVI's and the like on yours?
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    They play, but with a lot of dropped frames, it can play DVDs from Disc ok, but it never faired well with anything over than .mov and .dv files under OS X (With the right software it may handle them okay under Mac OS 9). (This is why I got a Dual 867 G4 for my iTunes server, my G4/450 couldnt handle it, although upgrading the Graphics card may help it quite significantly. (Its a AGP 2x slot)
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #8
    Ahh ok, if i can get a CPU upgrade cheep on UK ebay then i will pick one up and give it a go but i doubt i will find one :) May just use this as a file/web and MySQL server. Whats the SSH support like?
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #9
    SSHing out is built right-in to the terminal, and Im pretty sure you can set SSHin quite easily (It is BSD Unix) after all. Also, in regards to CPU upgrades, finding them on eBay.co.uk can be a real real pain - I didnt see any for the few months before I bought my MDD I was looking, at least not for a decent/cheap price.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #10
    Ahh balls, ahh well! I need to check out what PPC linux kernals there are aswell :) But i don't think the support is that great right now :(
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #11
    Id recommend sticking with Mac OS X 10.3.9 or 10.4.11 - 10.4.11 has access to vageuly modern web browsers, and it may handle AVI files if you max out the RAM (2GB)
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Rodus

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    #12
    G4 CPU upgrades are as rare as hens teeth on UK ebay so it's worth checking out the .com site and importing one, p&p shouldn't be too much. DVD rips at decent quality will be poor on your current processor, maxing out the RAM and upgrading the graphics card (something like a Radeon 9800) will help but this ain't cheap. TBH the amount you spend on this machine would be better put towards a Quicksilver or MDD G4 which are dirt cheap nowadays and will handle video and other tasks far better.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #13
    Or, given the really cheap prices Im seeing on UK eBay (Looks like were all from the UK on this thread :D), Id even suggest looking into a early G5, which probably gives a lot more performance for your money.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    #14
    1) You can't get 1420MHz by any form of wizardry with a 100MHz bus speed.
    2) Upgrades are available (rather, were) up through 2GHz.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder, Jan 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011

    macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #15
    My recommendation would be to use it for file storage and running OS9 applications. The basic upgrade path would be

    1. Big modern HDD(s). You might consider a SATA card and use SATA drives.

    2. Max out the RAM.

    3. Optionally, you might consider a CPU upgrade. Sounds like they are hard to find in the UK...but I don't think they are absolutely necessary for a storage server/OS9 machine. Here in the US, it's pretty easy to find one for $150 or less, and even new ones are just over $150.

    4. A GPU upgrade to a Radeon 9800 or similar card is nice if you have money to burn but not really necessary.

    Additional considerations: As other posters have mentioned, upgrading one of these older G4 towers is not really economical. It's better value to try and get your hands on a late (Quicksilver/MDD) G4 or, even better, an early G5. Prices are falling rapidly.

    Still, an old G4 can be a fully serviceable machine. I love mine.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    Some excellent points..AFAIK You can still get 1.8Ghz Upgrades for it (Possibly even a Dual 1.8 - I know a friends G4 AGP is a Dual 1.8 G4 now, and that was upgraded in 2009)
    Im pretty sure he could get to 1.4Ghz (Or just get a 1.42Ghz Dual MDD... probably cheaper judging by UK prices - heck Ive seen a Dual 1.8 G4 upgrade go for the same price as a PowerMac G5 Dual 1.8, which would be a lot faster.)
     
  17. Lord Blackadder, Jan 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011

    macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #17
    OWC still sells a range of G4 upgrades from Sonnet and Newer Tech going from a singe 1.6GHz up to a dual 1.8GHz. The latter is edging towards $400 though, which is an insane amount of money to pay for a G4 unless you absolutely must have the fastest possible G4.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #18
    So i'm on the powermac now. Its not half bad! Its just a quick as my Windows 7 Gaming PC for browsing the web :) Right now its just got camino on it, and watching a youtube video in one tab and typing this in the other! Its great! I'm starting to think i can use this as a main computer :) its running great right now! I'm going to see how its goes, but if its running nice, then i will max out the RAM, drop some more hard disks in it and keep it chugging! Going to install some of my other programs later- School stuff(Appleworks etc.).

    Can you drop in other G4 CPU's from say Quick silvers and the likes? I'm looking at a Quicksilver on ebay for cheep so if i can get one i will!

    Im lovin it :)
     
  19. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #19
    Swapping CPUs from one PowerMac G4 to another is in most cases impossible. Within one model you can often (but not always) swap around processors, but they are not necessarily any cheaper to get than an aftermarket upgrade CPU (and those are often faster anyways).

    Your best bet is to go to OWC and get one of the aftermarket CPU upgrades, rather than fiddling with swapping used CPUs.
     

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