Advice for a Newbie

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rieg77, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. rieg77 macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2008
    Hi all

    I have a confession to make. I'm a MAC virgin. But after finally tearing the remains of my hair out after my Windows PC crashed on me for the umpteenth time, I've decided to take the plunge and move over to MAC.

    With price being a massive factor (lets face it you can put a new PC together for £200 or so) I would like your help/advice on the best option.

    Primarily I hope to run OS X 10.4 and use it for general office stuff, email, internet, chat and the occasional Photoshop, Fireworks and Dreamweaver work.

    Ultimately, I'd like to be able to move to Leopard, but its not essential.

    I've seen a lot of G4'sw about which sound like they're just the job. I've been focussing on the G4 QuickSilver 933 MHz, but theres also the Mirrored Drive Door dual 1 GHz option.

    My problem is I'm not sure what my best option is. Cany anyone help?
  2. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I would get an iMac! They're more expensive than a used G4, but you'll be generations ahead for not much more money!
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    In your price range, the dual 1GHz will do a lot more than the other.

    Both will be fine with Tiger, and OK with Leopard. However, you'll need an older version of Photoshop, as the newer ones might strain the CPU a bit.
  4. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    The iMac for your needs, make it a refurb to keep costs down.
  5. rieg77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2008
    Thanks for the quick reply everyone.

    I assume when you say an iMac you're talking about the G5 option? From what I can see, even the low-end G5 iMac is almost double the cost of a Dual 1 GHz G4 PowerMac.

    My understanding is that the G4 will run Tiger nice and fast and I can do my Office, Mail and Web stuff, as well as Dreamweaver/Fireworks, but I don't know that for a fact. Can anyone confirm that?

    Also, Leopard supports the higher end Quicksilver and MDD G4's, but how well will it avtually run. As a Windows user, I'm used to being told that a PC will run software only to find its so appallingly slow that its unusable. Is this the case with Apple?
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    The 800MHz G4 iMac I gave to my parents runs everything but the Adobe software just fine; I can't speak for Dreamweaver/Fireworks, but I suspect it would be fine as well. I strongly recommend 1GB or more of RAM - the 512MB my parents have is a bit tight.
    No, the speed degrades pretty smoothly, and the OS does a pretty good job of adapting to the CPU.

    Obviously, even the slowest Mac you can buy now is many times faster than the dual-1GHZ (and even faster than the 933MHz), but that speed tends to be used for multimedia, not the OS itself. You'll be fine, as long as you realize you're using an older system that clearly won't be as fast as a new one.
  7. rieg77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2008
    Thanks for your help.

    Its been suggested I look at a Mac Mini instead of a G4 Power Mac. Unfortunately I can only afford to get a second hand Mac Mini G4.

    Can anyone give me some advice as to which is the best way to go given what I want to do with it. Obviously I would expect basic stuff such as web, email and MS Office to work equally as well on a Power Mac G4 QS 933 when compared with say a Mac Mini G4 1.25.

    My problem is with which one is going to be the better option when I want to do more, such as use Photoshop, Fireworks and Dreamweaver, and of course which one will upgrade to Leopard better?

    I appreciate your help a great deal. Obviously I'm new to this and I don't know enough about it, but I'm trying to get the best option within a budget.
  8. ::Lisa:: macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I do photography too and Photoshop CS3 and I opted for a MacBook Pro to start with. I will be getting the iMac 24" as soon as I can afford to but at the time portability was my #1 choice so I chose the MBP. I hop that helps at all?

    Don't know anything about movie editing though.
  9. rieg77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2008
    Thanks for your suggestion but the Mac Book is not really in my budget range looking at ebay prices.

    I'm really interested to find out what people think about the Mac Mini G4 1.42 GHz as an option. My 'work' is usually limited to Adobe CS2 / 3 work with Illustrator, Fireworks and Dreamweaver, as well as mail, office apps and web.

    Any thoughts?
  10. Pili macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2005
    Orlando/Miami, FL
    Using cs3 on a g4 is not the most fun experience. I run it on my 1.67 ghz powerbook with 2 gigs of ram and while i can get everything that i need done, it drags at points. On the other hand cs2 ran great and was quite zippy.
  11. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    The problem with the Mac mini G4 is the memory limit, which is 1GB max. And since you mention heavy apps that require a ton of RAM, the hard drive will be swapping a lot, and that's a 2.5" laptop drive in there. Too slow.

    If you have limited for your budget, try to find a Core Duo Mac mini. You'll be able to install 2GB of RAM, and Core Duo is one "generation" behind the current Mac mini (Core 2 Duo).

    If not, then you should try to get either a Mac mini G4 1.25 or 1.5GHz (cheapest G4, fastest G4), depending on the price.
  12. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006
    I had a G4 533 DA as a workstation for photoshop CS2 untill august 06...
    72Mb tiffs and scanned stuff daily.
    To be honest,the last year was a bit pain in the arse,especially converting larger batches of photos from raw to tiff was a bit on the slower side.
    But,managed, and workin in ps was ok.

    Now,the old workhorse has retired to my folks to be used as a iPhoto+email+surfing machine wich is more than enough.
    They had a 2 year old HP pc that was a utter piece of *****:slow as molasses and would have needed training wheels to keep it from crashing all the time.

    So,getting a 833 or better would definately be enough for your kind of stuff.
    Max it out with 2 hdds and mem and you are sorted.
  13. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
  14. johny5 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2007
    I was going to ask the same "Price range" question as if your a soon to be ex pc user then I would personally recommend at least a macbook or a core duo used imac off ebay.
    I made the jump back in March 07 and now own 5 Mac's, my first macbook was an excellent powerful machine to run parallels (windows xp in a window within OS X) and to wean myself off xp totally.
  15. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    I think it's about time we just come out and say it... If you're looking for a new computer, you should be willing to put forth a little more cash. I want your first Mac experience to be a good one, and buying a used (2nd, 3rd+ hand) 5 yo computer can't guarantee that.
  16. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Well you can get the first gen Core Duo mac mini for a decent price these days.
  17. dwl017 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 10, 2007
    Murder Capitol DC
    PowerMac G5

    Don't forget the OP can also find real good deals on used PowerMac G5 units, a few weeks back I picked up a PowerMac G5 1.6Ghz with 2GB of ram capable of 4GB off Craigs List for $375 I didn't need it but for $375 I said what the hay.
  18. Graphis macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    I'm running a G4 with Tiger. I use DreamWeaver, Flash, Fireworks, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter, Quark 6.5, all with no apparent speed problems. (Stick with CS2 for the Adobe software though.) I've got 1.5GB RAM, which is the max it can take, and I also installed a dual processor about a year ago, but that was primarily for 3D work and not necessary for what you want.

    You shouldn't have any problems in terms of what you want to use it for, but if you're really going for a G4 my advice would be to put a new (and bigger) hard drive in place of the old one.

    That said, you really would be better off in the long run getting a G5 or iMac, as you'll surely have to spend more money keeping the G4 at optimum.
  19. eric55lv Guest


    Aug 5, 2007
    Las Vegas,NV

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