What to do with a Powermac g4 mirror door

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by jbsmithmac, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have an old powermac g4 that is just sitting around with 10.4 installed.

    I thought of selling it but it looks like I can only get about $20 out of it...not to mention the $35 to ship it if the person desired.

    I do a lot of image editing and thought this might be good for a network file server, but then thought the network would be too bogged down (home network).

    So looking for ideas as to what I could do with it before it goes to goodwill or something of the like.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    adcx64

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    #2
    What are the specs on the machine?
     
  3. Guest

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    #3
    I use a G4 MDD as my main desktop computer (specs in my sig) and it is really nice. I bet you can put it to good use. What are specs? Do you want to upgrade it?
     
  4. macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #4
    You could use it as an external hard drive by booting it into Target Disk Mode.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    adcx64

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    #5
    That would be a HUGE waste of power!
     
  6. macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #6
    It would be an awesome looking huge waste of power though :)
     
  7. macrumors 6502

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    #7
    You can likely get $50+ for the PSU alone.

    Give us the stats on the machine and tell us what you'd like to do with it and you'll prolly get some good suggestions. I still use one of these as my main machine--For just about everything except crunching video. I still do heavy image editing on it almost daily.
     
  8. macrumors regular

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    #8
    Specs as I remember...because it's currently powered down in my closet.

    It is the dual 867mhz mirror drive door with I believe 2gb of ram. 4 hard drives (but nothing huge or fast).

    I am fairly far from the city so my Internet speed is only 512k down (like satellite install but a bit different). So this may limit the uses.

    I have two websites that I manage so I do a lot with dreamweaver and as stated before I am a heavy user of Photoshop and lightroom as well...but used on my MBP but do have a lot stored on a network drive through the airport extreme.

    So outside of a loud and hot NAS I don't know what I could do with it. I rarely go in the office to use a desktop because of the MBP and iPad. So any ideas welcome.

    I'd be open to upgrade if the cost-benefit ratio is appropriate. :)
     
  9. macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I'm hesitant to offer suggestions for upgrades without knowing what you want to do. Really, it sounds like the MBP is more your cup of tea and you really don't have a need for the MDD.

    Just to give you some rough ideas, though:

    For about $25, you can get a dual 1.25 GHz module from eBay. Since you have the slower motherboard, you'll have to either...

    1) Adjust the bus timing ratio of the module so that it will run at its rated speed on your 133MHz motherboard. This involves relocating some surface mount resistors, but it's not as difficult as it might sound and I can tell you how to build a soldering iron if you don't have one.

    2) Modify the motherboard to run at 166MHz. This is done by simply removing one resistor from the motherboard. However, it will require the additional cost of PC 2700 or PC 3200 memory unless you happen to already have this installed.

    Inserting a dual 1.25 GHz module without any modifications is also an option, but it will only run at 1 GHz. Of course, fresh thermal compound is also required whenever the heatsink is removed.

    A nice video card can also improve performance. Depending on your photo apps of choice, a Core Image video card can make a more dramatic difference than a CPU upgrade. An economical choice is a Radeon 9800 Pro. You can find the PC version on eBay for $20 without much trouble (you'll need to flash with a Mac rom) or one that has already been flashed for $60 to $80. In either case, remove the heatsink and apply fresh thermal compound to the GPU (you have no idea where this card has been).

    If you're planning to sell it, the only things of real value are the PSU & ram. The slower motherboard and CPUs don't really sell. Donating it to someone who needs a computer, as you suggested in your original post, would also be very nice. There are plenty of folks out there, many of whom are struggling just to buy food, who would be absolutely thrilled to have it.
     
  10. macrumors regular

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    #10
    Ok I guess my most obvious use would be to make it a file server/network drive.

    Couple questions on this option...

    1) do I need to upgrade to 1.25mhz as stated above (I'd need more info on the motherboard changes)?
    2) do I need some type of software like freenas (something that would run on ppc)?
    3) using a airport extreme for my router...will the gigabit ethernet and a laptop connected wirelessly have enough bandwidth to edit images (camera raw files) and Internet usage?
    4) I've heard about some putting dual Ethernet cards in the tower - why, what does this get me?
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #11
    Well, do you need another computer for anything? I have an old G4 tower I have sitting around as a backup in case my normal machine suddenly dies.
     
  12. macrumors regular

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    #12
    I do...I use my MBP mostly, then my iMac, then a crappy pc (for testing cross platform compatibility)...and then this g4 that I'd like to keep/repurpose.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I don't think a CPU upgrade would make much of a difference in this case.

    Is it just the MBP that you'd be using this with? Unless I misunderstand what you're asking, you probably just need to enable file sharing. It might be more practical to upgrade your network drive, though. As suggested above, this will draw a lot of power (more than 100 watts) for a glorified hard drive.
     
  14. macrumors regular

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    #14
    Yes mostly...but it seems now that when time machine kicks in it uses all of the bandwidth of the airport extreme (MBP is wireless) and then no other computers or it can get to the net until it's done. Similar issues when editing image files on the share drive.

    I am currently just plugging the external hd into the USB port on the extreme...is the extreme just not really made for this?
     
  15. macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #15
    Yeah but its probably got something like a 50GB hard disk. :p
     
  16. macrumors regular

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    #16
    Ha...it's got a little more than that. Maybe 250. :)
     
  17. macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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    #17
    That must have been a really big hard disk back in the day... Because my Dad's 2006 MacBook Pro only has a 70GB HDD, and the computer you've got is a fair bit older than that!

    My iBookG3's HDD is only 10GB. :eek:
     
  18. macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Desktop HDDs were cheap, and the MDD could well've been upgraded significantly. (Since they don't have the 128GB Limit - So My Dual 867 has 2*160GB Drives in it and runs iTunes very nicely - however it certainly didn't ship in this configuration, I believe 60,80 and 120GB Drives were the options on the Dual 867s).
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

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    #19
    buy a PCI-x sata card, some huge hard drives and turn that thing into a fileserver for storage and backup. It will be a little faster than the external connected to your Airport. All of your other macs could backup to it with Time Machine, you could store all the files that you arent working on atm, plus you could even run apache on it to test out your websites.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #20
    I don't understand these type of threads/questions..

    A computer computes and if you had a true need for it then you wouldn't be asking the question in the first place. It's like making a thread about what you should eat for dinner.

    The fact that we get a few threads like this per week tells me that many people just can't think for themselves and actually need to be told what to do with a computer. A computer does computing.. that's what you do with it. If you already had a computing need that wasn't being filled then you would know that on your own.

    What web page should I go to next? What should I eat for lunch? What is the sun for?
     
  21. Nova77, Sep 30, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011

    Guest

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    #21
    I guess those people just need to hear their old computers still have plenty of power to do lots of things. Weird thing is most of the time, these people end up not caring about it at all and turning their computers into file servers, a task any old crap computer mac or pc, can handle.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I like reading these post, especially replies like post #9, by ThunderSnake.
     
  23. macrumors regular

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    #23
    Sorry I offended you...thanks for letting me know you are smarter than I.

    I simply wanted to know what people are doing with their old g4's that are not their primary machine...before I take this one to the dump.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    #24
    Don't take zen's comment as negative for you. Just read between the lines.

    If you are really into making it as a file server or anything, just go on with it.

    Mostly what I do is I just try doing the thing in my mind first before asking questions. Remember that experience is the best teacher of all.
     
  25. macrumors regular

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    #25

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