Worth buying G4 refurb at this stage?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by londonweb, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. londonweb macrumors 6502

    londonweb

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    Sep 14, 2005
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    london
    #1
    I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere so if there's already a thread please feel free to point me to it.

    I'm shortly going to be getting a Mac Mini, and thinking that I'll get a G4, refurb or otherwise (several places here are still selling the G4s new). I think the Intel Minis are a bit of a joke quite honestly- the basic one isn't even a duo, has a bit of a paltry hard disk, and costs £450, which is more than the 1.42ghz G4 (with 80gb disk) cost before. The duo model costs £600 and if I'm going to have to pay that much, plus keyboard and mouse, then I'm going to just buy an iMac or a used G5....

    I'm wondering though, if I buy PowerPC now, are we going to start seeing software gradually changing from PowerPC/Universal to Intel-only, so that in future we'll have to run an emulator to run older software? If so, how far away is the transition going to be?

    If this is the (speculated) case, I'll reluctantly buy Intel...
     
  2. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #2
    I just bought a 12-inch PowerBook... the transition is going to take a long time. As it is, the Intels are showing only modest improvement in everyday tasks. Take for example the duplication of a 500MB file. The 1.83GHz MBP is only 7 seconds faster than a 1.42GHz iBook.

    And forget about non-Universal apps, for heavy usage. The 2.0GHz MBP takes nearly a minute longer compared to the same iBook in a Photoshop task. Ouch.

    I say, go with the refurb. It's already depreciated, so you'll lose less of your money when you upgrade.
     
  3. peanut48 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    #3

    Well did u get a refurb one? if yes was it from the apple store?
    I'm seriously considering a powerbook 12" but am not able decide whether i should go in for a refurb one.....
     
  4. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

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    Jan 23, 2006
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    UK
    #4
    Refurbished PowerBooks are a lot cheaper, and would have had their problems sorted out already.

    Since the Intel switch i would definately get a G4 for the cheapest you can.

    Or wait until the next iBook/MacBook which might have a Core Duo and still be less than a refurbished PowerBook G4 ?

    Rich.
     
  5. peanut48 macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2006
    #5
    well am a bit concerned abt the RAM with refurbs..i could upgrade a new one from apple directly but refurbs dont hv that option as far as i know unless i do it myself.....DIY is not an option from where I come...So i'm still undecided...also do refurbs come wit ilife'06 now?
     
  6. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #6
    The refurbs come with the latest version of iLife and OS X. They might even include full version drop in discs too. I'd upgrade the RAM yourself. It's easy.
     
  7. peanut48 macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2006
    #7
    Thanx a lot...u cleared 75% of my doubts whether to get a refurb...i guess it doesnt make sense buyin a new 12" pb now..can use the extra cash to upgrade ram later i guess if i feel the need to do so...can anyone tell me if Ram upgrades can be done in Melbourne,Australia also will upgrading ram myself affect applecare in anyway?
    with the refurb should i buy applecare?
    am trying to save as much as i can...
     
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #8
    You have the full 1-year warranty like a new machine and can purchase AppleCare within that first year like any other new Apple computer. RAM is Do-it-Yourself so it won't void your Applecare unless you don't install it properly.
     
  9. peanut48 macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2006
    #9
    ok thanx...i guess i'll ask a friend to help me in upgrading later...will cross tht bridge when i come to it..thanx for ur help
     
  10. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

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    #10
    RAM is probably the easiest upgrade, it's a matter of unscrewing a door and clipping it in. It is that easy!

    I would imagine it is easily available somewhere like Australia! I would put money on that!

    The refurb will come with all the documentation that a brand new one comes with.

    If i were to buy a computer now from Apple, i would go refurb. Whatever is gonna go wrong with the computer, has already gone wrong, and been fixed.

    Good luck with whatever you choose!

    Rich.
     
  11. peanut48 macrumors regular

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    Apr 4, 2006
    #11

    Thanx a lot for all your help...will for sure go in for a refurb now....so u'll hear from me abt my first mac soon.. :)
     
  12. xy14 macrumors 6502

    xy14

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    Minneapolis
    #12
    Just make sure you're aware that you should only get the g4 powerbook if you're gonna use it for less than like 2-3 years, because after that, we'll start seeing intel-only apps.
     
  13. milo macrumors 604

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    Sep 23, 2003
    #13
    Having used the intel duo mini, I can say it blows the doors off the old G4 boxes. For the difference in price, the performance is orders of magnitude better.

    Unless you absolutely can't afford anything more and don't care if all your apps run dog slow, I'd avoid any G4 machines like the plague.
     
  14. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #14
    I snipped your post a bit.

    I'd say go for an Intel iMac. I don't mind the G4 in my iBook, but I have an iMac G5 and I'm really not a power user so it's more than enough power for me, and I got both of these machines spring/summer of 2005.

    If I were in the market to buy a machine now, I'd definitely get Intel just simply because that's the way Apple is moving.
     
  15. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #15
    I bought it new from Apple, since my education discount took $100 off. I wanted to know that I had the newest components, fresh from manufacturing, since I'll be using this for over a year. The last thing I want is a dim, first-gen screen and shoddy casing.

    That's a gross exaggeration. There's a lot of deals on G4 and G5-based Macs right now, and the Intels are "not so good" with popular, non-native software. I doubt another 10 seconds in iTunes is worth £200. But it does remain an interim machine.
     
  16. londonweb thread starter macrumors 6502

    londonweb

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    london
    #16
    Thanks for bringing the thread back on track. I'm hearing conflicting things now though...

    Really? Bear in mind I want to use Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash etc. I often hear things like 'Safari opens reaaaaally quickly on my Intel Mac!', I personally don't have a problem waiting 4 seconds for Safari to open (on a G4), and I'm not going to buy a new computer just to see my applications open faster- what I want is decent application performance, and from what I've read, non-universal apps are slower on Intels under Rosetta...

    2-3 years for Intel-only apps? In that case I think I'll go G4 for now. Thanks for all your thoughts.:)
     
  17. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

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    #17

    No no no, it's going to be sooner than that before we see the programs you need on Intel. Probably just under a year ?

    Rich.
     
  18. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #18
    Photoshop Suite test, Macworld...

    MacBook Pro Core Duo 2GHz: 2 minutes, 41 seconds

    14-inch iBook G4 1.42GHz: 1 minute, 49 seconds

    One last hurrah for G4! ;)
     
  19. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #19
    Well that is via Rosetta. Still, if you NEED a G4 machine right now since they're cheap you'll only lose a few minutes of your life vs. spending hundreds more for an Intel.
     
  20. londonweb thread starter macrumors 6502

    londonweb

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    london
    #20
    I'm not really talking about how long it'll be for programs that run on Intel (such as Photoshop for Intel, which i'm sure isn't far away), more how long until programs are released that won't run on PowerPC, if you see what I mean...
     
  21. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 27, 2004
    #21
    Hmm, do you have Windows by any chance? :p Looks like Boot Camp will be an alternative for Adobe applications until they release the native version of their Suite on OS X.

    Can't wait until the new Mac desktops come out, it'll be gaming fiesta for Windows, and everything else for OS X! It's like a dream come true! A TRUE ALL IN ONE COMPUTER SOLUTION! :D
     
  22. milo macrumors 604

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    Sep 23, 2003
    #22
    If all you're running is iTunes, then the slowest, cheapest machine is a smart buy. And I guess if you're running all apps that won't be ported for a year, that's a plus for the G4. But if your apps are native, the intels make a HUGE speed difference. It's like night and day.

    If you're running lots of apps under rosetta, you will take a performance hit. But on native apps, the benefits are real and very noticable. Things like the apple pro apps absolutely smoke, and I'm talking application performance, not just opening the app.
     
  23. londonweb thread starter macrumors 6502

    londonweb

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    london
    #23
    I keep a windows machine for web testing purposes mainly, and it would be great to lose it and just run windows on the mac, as well as OSX of course- I hate windows as a general rule.

    I think I would go for the Intel box with all of the above in mind, but I need at least an 80gb hd, which means going for the £600 one which I find a bit steep- if I'm spending that sort of cash I'd rather buy an iMac, but then I've already got a nice display that I want to keep, so I suppose I could buy a used G5 instead for similar cash, but then we're back to PowerPC...talk about swings and roundabouts:confused:
     
  24. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #24
    We're still slaves to Apple in terms of graphics cards though. :(

    What if you had two GFX cards in the PowerMac -- one that Windows recognizes and the other for OS X?!
     
  25. milo macrumors 604

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    Sep 23, 2003
    #25
    Just get an external FW drive (regardless of which mac you end up getting). Tons of space for way cheaper than any of the drive upgrades in any of the macs.
     

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