advice on buying used Mac


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 18, 2006
Someone in town is selling this for $195 :

Apple G4 dual processor 533 mhz tower computer. Comes with OSX 10.1 and 256 MB of ram. Comes with flat screen apple monitor, pro keyboard and mouse.

Assuming it works, is this a good deal ? Were these machines prone to breakdowns ?

I was thinking about a mini Mac, is this thing faster or slower than a CoreDuo mini Mac with the superdrive ? I would want to up the memory to maybe 1GB, how much would that be for this machine ?


macrumors G4
May 26, 2005
Working for MI-6
The price seems about right for that machine. But be aware that it will be much slower than the Mac Mini with a Core Duo processor.


macrumors 6502
May 16, 2005
I would get the Mac Mini, it will be loads faster than the used machine and it will be able to run todays apps and they're pretty cheap.
Judging by the amount of megahertz you said the used machine runs at, I would sadely say that it would've came out 2001 or before.


macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2005
MI or NJ
It's the right price, but that will be noticeably slower than a Mini.

Depending on what you look to do with it ... it might be fast enough. Fine for web-browsing, e-mail, word-processing, or watching movies.

What it won't do is run run photoshop, DV editing, or games.

The problem is the OS and the RAM. Upgrading to Tiger will give you a speed bump, and upgrading the ram to about a Gig is almost a must.
Both of these will cost you more.

I've never heard of any major problems with these machines, they are pretty stable. They are from 2001 so the motherboard battery MIGHT need to be replaced soon, but thats $5 and 10 min.

Keep in mind that a new Mini doesn't come with a monitor, keyboard or mouse.

If it's your only / primary machine .... I'd recommend the Mini


macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2005
I'm only really here at night.
What it won't do is run run photoshop, DV editing, or games.
games, no, but otherwise your statement is somewhat off a bit from realworld facts :)

I do both PS & DV every day (for many years now) on a DP450/2gb Sawtooth notta problemo. Granted, it is no Quad G5 or MacPro, but it gets my work done without any blips or glitches, and thats all I need it to do.....make me da moolah, as well as the usual surfing, emailin, letter writin, etc etc :D


macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
I'd stick with a refurbished or used Mac Mini Core Solo is your starter Mac for today. You can add more RAM and upgrade the CPU.


macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
If you're just trying to get your feet wet trying Mac OS X, that price is not bad at all
if for no other reason to get that ACD display.

You'll need to spend nearly the price of the whole system just to upgrade
your RAM.

You'll be running OS X Jaguar 10.2.8 by the time you properly upgraded, but you still won't have the advantage of OSX Tiger or the iLife suite.

My train of thought is to go ahead and get that system, then buy a mini as soon
as the opportunity permits then connect it to that ACD.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 18, 2006
Thanks for the tips. I don't need the monitor, mouse, or keyboard. I don't want it if it is that much slower than the mini. I think I will pass on it. I can afford to spend more, and I would really like the advantages of the Intel CPU. It was a fleeting thought when I saw the listing on craigslist.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2005
The mini will be a great computer for you. Current, powerful, and you can still upgrade it some more. Good luck!
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