Would You Buy a PPC G4 Mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacSA, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. MacSA macrumors 68000

    MacSA

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    #1
    The rumour sites seemed so sure that we would be getting a new Mini at MWSF, that was the day I was planning on switching to Mac. Of course nothing arrived and no one knows what the future holds for the Mini anymore. Maybe there won't even be a new Mini.

    So im seriously thinking about just getting a G4 Mini, I'm not that enthusiastic about waiting for one that might appear sometime in the distant future anymore and im really not that impressed with what i've read of Rosseta emulation performance either - it performs "OK" if you have 2GB of RAM and a high end graphics card (256MB). Also, the Mac system will be totally new to me and I dont want to have to worry about dealing with incompatabilites and inconsistencies with Mac software/rosseta/hardware on a platform I know little about.

    Judging from some rumours its highly unlikey any new mini would get one of the powerful dual core chips - so I hate to think how rosseta emulation would perform on such a machine - maybe even slower than a G4 Mini? Plus i'm really only going to be doing basic stuff on it.

    So, do you think the G4 Mini is still a good deal right now?
     
  2. tim2006 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 18, 2006
    #2
    buy it. People on these sites will tell you to get intel but apple always upgrades fast and you can't keep up. Get the mini with a nice lcd. you can always upgrade the mini in 1-2 yrs
     
  3. jamdr macrumors 6502a

    jamdr

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    #3
    If you are not a power user there is no real reason why the current machine won't work for you just fine. Yes, it's slow compared to a top of the line G5 or intel machine, but in the long run will your life really be ruined by having to wait an extra bounce for iPhoto to open?

    And I agree about Rosetta performance. If it's ~50% or so on the Core Duo iMacs, it's going to be even worse on a lower clocked single core processor. The nice thing about getting the Mac mini and a good LCD is that in a year you can upgrade your system for only $500 or so. That's really not that bad.
     
  4. MacSA thread starter macrumors 68000

    MacSA

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  5. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #5
    {shudders}. I thought CRTs were banned in the 1949 Geneva convention
     
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #6

    seems like it's just the thing for what you want to use it for, and that would still be true if they came out with an intel mini the day after you buy the G4 mini
     
  7. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Austin, TX
    #7
    I'd say go for it. The mini was my first mac, and I love it. I also have an iMac G5, but I prefer the mini because I have it hooked to a 20" ws lcd, and the iMac is only 17". Yes it is a little slower than my Windows machine was (AMD 2500+) but it is so much nicer not to be constantly fighting to keep Windows running. There was a problem with the initial minis when using vga with some monitors, but I don't think it affected most monitors (it gave a dull, somewhat dim image); even so, you could usually only notice it if directly switching back and forth between machines. Get a mini, you'll love it!
     
  8. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #8

    are you kidding ... i love my CRT's --- 19" lacie --- OH YA sure the 20" LCD on my G5 iMac is nice at work for all the relestate it provides ... but colour, sharpness, i love my LACIE
     
  9. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #9
    If you can get your hands on the unpublicized updated 1.5 GHz 64MB VRAM mini, that gives you the guts of a basic G4 PowerBook for around $600.

    No matter which model you select, plan on adding 1 GB of third party RAM

    Otherwise I'd just go for the newest Intel IMac for a general home desktop
    for a vastly more powerful configuration than the mini @ $1199 (edu)

    Personally, for basic use, the mini's are great, but for $799, you could get
    a 1.33 GHz 12" iBook refurb which is wonderful to own for the freedom of portability it provides.

    If you just want to explore OS X then a mini or iBook gets you in at a very reasonable price.
    Once you know your way around, then you'll have better idea of what your next upgrade will be.

    Considering how fast things will leapfrog over the next 24 months, buying
    conservatively now is a good plan.
     
  10. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

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    #10
    I've just got a refurb 1.42 from the Apple.com/uk site, for a number of reasons:
    I think it'll be a while (maybe 6 months) before the mini goes over to Intel,
    I've already sold my iBook so I can get a small MBPro (if and when they arrive),
    I already had a 1GB stick of Crucial ram,
    If Rosetta really stinks, I'll at least have something to run older apps on,
    I can use it as an iTunes server and/or stick it next to the telly with a digital tv tuner
    It was only £300 ish with the Egg discount.
     
  11. dan-o-mac macrumors 6502a

    dan-o-mac

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    Brooklyn, NY
    #11
    I just bought a mini(got the 1.5 version). I plan on keeping it for a year or so, till the whole rosetta/universal code/intel thing boils over. I was going to get an iBook 12" which is great for the road, but sucks for home use. From what I read you can't run it with the lid closed, so that was a deal breaker for me. Beside if the intel imacs and powerbooks can't run some apps 100% under rosetta, just imagine the performance hit your gonna take with a intel mini.
     
  12. MacSA thread starter macrumors 68000

    MacSA

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    #12
    .....do you really need 1Gb of RAM to run Safari?
     
  13. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Austin, TX
    #13
    I g\bought mine when they came with 256MB, and I upgraded to 512MB. I have not ever felt a need to go beyond that. OTOH, I don't do any heavy editing or anything taxing with it either. I would think that 1GB would only be needed if you really are taxing the system or running a LOT of apps at the same time. I can safely run all that I ever need and never notice a slowdown with only 512MB.
     
  14. Glen Quagmire macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #14
    I bought a 1.5 combo Mac mini a couple of weeks ago. So far, I'm very happy with it. It does pretty much everything I was doing on my PC. It didn't cost much, so I'm not too bothered about the new one coming out later on this year. I don't have to faff around with Rosetta and universal binaries. It is a tried and tested solution that acts as a good introduction to the wonderful world of OS X. I think I would be less happy, as a new convert, with an Intel iMac or MacBook Pro, having to deal with slow-running PPC applications on Rosetta (and I have no space for the iMac and no need for a portable). Oh, and it is really very cute and quiet.

    If I were still looking for a Mac now, I'd buy a Mini without hesitation.
     
  15. fotografica macrumors 68040

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    Boston
    #15
    ".do you really need 1Gb of RAM to run Safari?"



    Nope,you don't.But it will speed up everything else especially Photoshop,Office and or having several apps open/running at the same time.
     
  16. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #16
    Well no you don't NEED 1GB for Safari,
    but everything else will run much smoother.
    Especially, apps like Photoshop.

    The mini only has one RAM slot, so taking your system up to 1 GB is
    recommended.
     
  17. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Austin, TX
    #17
    But since the new minis come with 512MB, I would suggest waiting to see how the performance is for your applications; it may just be fine. If not, you can upgrade the single chip to 1GB at any time (unofficially at least). You could also buy the mini with 1GB from Apple for $100 more.
     
  18. fotografica macrumors 68040

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    Boston
    #18
    The Mini isn't fussy with ram either.I have upgraded 5 and have found that anything PC 2700 and up works just fine. I bought all the sticks from the furb section at NE,and have yet to pay over $75 shipped for a stick.
     
  19. MacSA thread starter macrumors 68000

    MacSA

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    #19
    My budget just about stretches to a Mac Mini lol - so it would have to last along time. And RAM hungry apps like Photoshop and Word are out of the question, they would add about £1000 to the price :eek:

    I've been using a 667mhz Celeron PC (HP 6712), 320Mb RAM, 14GB hard drive with Win Me for the last 5 years. :eek: The only thing id miss is Paint Shop Pro 7 - which is fabulous.

    I guess I could wait a little while longer to see what happens. Might even see price cuts on old G4 minis.
     
  20. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #20
    If you already have a licensed version of CS2 or Photoshop, Adobe will transfer your license to OS X for a nominal shipping fee for the CD.

    If you're eligable for the education discount, the student version of MS Office
    is pretty much the same as the full version, but they limit you on updates.
     
  21. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #21
    I feel for you there. If there was one app I'd want ported more than anything else it'd be Paint Shop Pro.
     
  22. brikeh macrumors 6502a

    brikeh

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    Jan 24, 2006
    #22
    Im in the very same position you are and within 2-3 weeks I will be buying a mini myself, plus a nice 20 inch cinema display. ;)
     
  23. FireArse macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 29, 2004
    #23
    hell no

    uuggghh - no.

    I have a friend who was ready to 'switch' too - waiting on Steve to release Intel Mac Mini's. First off - I'm glad the PowerBooks came. It was needed. Nobody expected the iMac to come through though.

    As my friend sat and watched the Macrumors live screen - no mac mini came. I told him to wait a few more months (he's not ready to spend a good £500 after student discount) and get the Intel versions.

    Its a bit obvious now though, iBook - Mini are literally brothers. Rumor has it they'll both be running single core versions of the core duo. The only thing Apple might have up its sleeve is to make the Mini the centrepiece of the home theatre. I guess then they'd need a dual core to decode 1080p H.264 - unless the Quicktime team can optimize the nuts off of the H.264 decoder on Intel single core.

    Hold out. You don't actually NEED the mini now - a few more months now... :)

    F
     
  24. JCT macrumors 6502

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    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    #24
    I've been using a Rev A 1.25 Ghz Mini as my main office machine for the past month. I'm in the middle of switching so the Mini replaced a P4 2.8Ghz WinXP machine while I wait for a Dual G5 to arrive.

    While it is not a "speed demon" it has run everything I have thrown at it including Photoshop and Corel Draw. I have been shocked at how little I have missed the PC (read: never). Even had a few "ah-ha" moments like the time I used Spotlight to search for a series of specific microscopic images in a huge folder --- a task that would have killed WinXPs poor excuse for a search function. As a matter of fact, I was so thrilled I turned around and bought a new 20" iMac for my lab to use for imaging tasks!

    I agree with the posts above, try to get the stealth upgrade and configure it with 1 GB ram. And when you eventually upgrade it will be a nice second machine or pass it along to a family member! Talking my computer-phobic mother into going Mac was one of the smartest things I ever did -- tech calls from 3,000 miles away virtually disappeared.

    Good luck,

    JT
     
  25. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #25
    I agree completely. I have the first generation 1.42Ghz mini, and I have never missed my Windows box in the slightest. It may not be quite as fast, but it is so quiet (read: silent) and elegant that I have never missed the mess of keeping Windows running and straining just to hear myself think; the silence got me probably more than anything else at first, as it really is amazing if you are used to a loud tower. I do think that if you are contemplating getting a display and mouse/kbd, that you should probably look into the iMac, since you will be spending almost as much for the mini. But if you have those things, go ahead and get the mini!

    P.S. I didn't follow my own advice. I got just the mini, but eventually bought a new 20" Dell, and Apple mouse and keyboard, external disks, etc. etc. - it's addictive! I liked it so much I also bought an iMac for the family.
     

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