Best cheap PowerPC desktop

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by retta283, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. retta283 macrumors 6502a

    retta283

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    Jun 8, 2018
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    Kingman, AZ
    #1
    I'm looking for a cheap PowerPC desktop to go along with my PowerBook and iBooks, I have had a few PowerPC desktops but most of them are partially gutted. Anything with a CRT is probably out of the question, because of their weight they are expensive to ship.
     
  2. CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #2
    Most definitely a G4 'Sunflower' iMac.
    Try and look for the 17" 1.25GHz version which incorporates USB2. And whilst inside, clean away the years of crud/cobwebs which accumulates over the logic board (they all need it), and benefit from the disassembly to upgrade the PC-2700 SO-DIMM memory just inside the bottom cover, & also the PC-2700 SDRAM memory stick within the bottom housing. Maxed out to 2GB memory (and later why not even with an SSD installed?), these are great-fun PowerPC desktops of outstanding design & superb engineering! Quite simply one of my many PPC's that I will never sell. Even prefer it to the TAM, and that's saying something!
     
  3. retta283 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    retta283

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    #3
    The iMac G4 is great, but you'd be surprised how expensive they are getting. On eBay a 17" model usually stretches past $200 for anything past 2002.

    One of the reasons it is so expensive is that people (mainly YouTubers) will buy these things just to set them on a self as a display piece, instead of actually using them for work like some of us PPC guys do.

    Someday I will own one though.
     
  4. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #4
    What do you intend to use it for? That will determine the model you should look for.
     
  5. retta283 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    retta283

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    #5
    I'm going to be using this mainly for some old OS 9 apps, and if possible try and get one that can run Mac OS X Server 1.2.
     
  6. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #6
    Seems like any old model will do then - in the UK the cheapest are always the collect only deals which limit the available buyers. If you intend to boot OS9 that rules out later G4s and all G5s.
     
  7. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #7
    PowerMac G4s seem to be the cheapest. The Gigabit Ethernet is the latest that will run Mac OS X Server 1.2 out of the box. For MacOS 9 games, the dual 1.25 MDD will be the fastest but you can coax the otherwise OSX-only dual 1.42 MDD to boot a custom build of Mac OS 9.
     
  8. retta283 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    retta283

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    #8
    I've seen a few Sawtooth G4s for under $100. I'm considering buying one of those, since they give me a good range of OS support.
     
  9. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #9
    They can be had for a lot less in the UK but geography does play a big issue in affordability. Sawtooths and GE are fairly versatile in terms of OS support and don't seem to be plagued by problems that their successors had. I would go for one of those and then look at something quirky if funds and space allow.
     
  10. CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

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    Nov 28, 2010
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    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #10
    Just seen two 20" iMac G4's. One complete with original box going for approx $350, and the 2nd for the equivalent of $US170. The latter is an absolute steal! It's complete with the exception of original box, which is unfortunate as these 'sunflowers' could easily be damaged during shipment. I'm sure to stay awake tonight still thinking about it........
     
  11. AL1630 macrumors 6502

    AL1630

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    Idaho, USA
    #11
    I would go with a G4 Tower. Probably the least unique of the Gx era desktops, so they're a lot cheaper than many others, especially the 'Sawtooth' Model. They're also not too oddly shaped, so there's less chance of shipping damage.

    Wow, those seem very steep for G4 prices! I guess the iMac G4 is a candidate for the most unique mac ever made, which would explain the prices. I recently got a 15" one on eBay, but the USPS says it's stuck 'In Transit'. Hopefully they didn't lose or damage it.:(
     
  12. retta283 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    retta283

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    #12
    How long has it been in transit for? USPS does that all the time to me, it will not update until it is out for delivery by your local post office, unless of course it is lost...
     
  13. AL1630 macrumors 6502

    AL1630

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    #13
    Originally shipped November 20th, in transit since the 25th. I'll probably call the post office on Thursday if it hasn't shown up by then.
     
  14. iTurbo macrumors 6502

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    Sep 9, 2008
    #14
    Quicksilver G4 tower is what I would get.
     
  15. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #15
    I've had a good range of operating systems on my Sawtooth G4s; OS 8.6, 9.x, The OS X Developer Previews (I had DP2 installed), Mac OS X Server 1.2v3, Mac OS X 10.3, 10.4 and also 10.5 (using LeopardAssist). Leopard suffers terribly with the stock Rage 128 graphics though.

    I picked up two Sawtoothen for AU$30 plus shipping in 2017 - here's my thread for this;
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/my-powermac-g4-lucky-dip-twins.2070101/

    Read through the posts if you're interested. I had fun expanding and modifying things to really get the most of the old Macs. I didn't try installing Linux or MorphOS on these machines. I believe that sound support is a no go for MorphOS on pre-Digital Audio G4s.

    Another good choice for a tidy, quiet and compact OS 9 capable PowerPC is the Mac mini G4. They are fast (enough) and are now capable of running OS9 thanks to the hard work of the folks over at MacOS9Lives.com. RAM is limited to 1GB total, but this isn't much of an issue for a G4. The first gen (1.25 or 1.42Ghz) mini can natively run Mac OS X Panther, Tiger or Leopard. With the Late 2005 revision being limited to Tiger or Leopard.
     
  16. Adamscomputerrepair macrumors 6502

    Adamscomputerrepair

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    Aug 9, 2015
    #16
    The Mac Mini G4 has been unofficially hacked to run OS 9 just about perfectly. I found one for $30 on eBay but you can’t have it ;)
     
  17. retta283 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    retta283

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    #17
    If it comes with the power cable I've probably seen it too... I'm planning on buying an early Intel one instead so I can run Snow Leopard.
     
  18. RhianB, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    Sep 3, 2016
    Location:
    505 USA
    #18
    Stay patient and you can find ppc desktop macs for free or almost free. Over the past couple years, Ive gotten a G4 QS, mini & MDD for free, a second QS & MDD for 10USD, a G5 for 20, a G5 DC tower/20”CinemaDisplay/KBM/FW DAW bundle for 40USD and a imacg3-performa-classic SE-iMac g4+Mac junk bundle for 60 & just last week two HP lcd monitors for free.

    The point is if you are patient, paying attention to craigslist, letgo etc, & persistent, you can find some wicked deals for low or no dough.

    Heck, there’s a white iMac 24” for 40USD on CL right now. I’d buy it if I didn’t already have one lol. Ignore the crap deals and as long as you’re paying attention, you’ll eventually run into some steals & build a nice collection in the process.

    I vote for a g4 Mac mini as they’re -40USD on eBay (last time I checked) & cheap to ship. You can get into a OS9 to Leopard ppc Mac that way for next to nothing & spend money on a cool big Apple aluminum Cinema Display or acrylic CD with adc to dvi adapter.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  19. retta283 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    retta283

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    Kingman, AZ
    #19
    Thanks, I have gotten some good scores over the years. My most recent was a 15" early 2005 PowerBook G4 for $12 in good shape.

    Right now I am looking at either a Sawtooth PowerMac G4 or a Mac Mini.
     
  20. timidpimpin macrumors 6502

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    Nov 10, 2018
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #20
    I would go with an early G4 tower. A gigabit ethernet dual cpu model would be the best overall value IMO. You get gigabit ethernet as the name implies, and you also get 2GB of RAM capacity. The digital audio and quicksilver after it only support 1.5GB, and the sawtooth that came out before the GE model only has 100mbit ethernet.
     
  21. phunigai Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    #21
    i was selling mine 17" imc G$ for 40 bucks cuz the logic board needs a new video card
     
  22. Project Alice macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

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    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Post Falls, ID
    #22
    I would go for a Sawtooth for your purposes. I have 2 of them (got them both for $10 each at a recycle center). One of them I have upgraded with a sata card, USB 2.0 card, a gig-e card from a G4 xserve, a Geforce 6200 and maxed out to 2GB of ram. There's 4 HDD's crammed in there, 2 of them are sata. I stuck a dual 450Mhz CPU card in it. It runs Leopard mainly, and it does it very well. I'll browse the web on it sometimes, even if it isn't the fastest, its definitely doable.

    A Mac Mini G4 won't run Mac OS X Server 1.2, and they also have only 10/100 ethernet which makes them poor servers depending on what you plan on doing (at least with my sawtooth I was able to install a gigabit card). They can also be had for very cheap. Excluding everyone on eBay who seems to think their old mac is worth a small fortune... Shop around at local recycle shops/e-waste centers, and craigslist.
    Sawtooth's have an advantage over the other G4 towers up until the MDD. 4 Ram slots. You get 2GB instead of 1.5GB, which makes a bigger difference now than it did 10 years ago. The only disadvantage to the sawtooth is the 2x AGP slot, and the 100mhz system bus. There are also some pretty fast CPU upgrades if you're lucky enough to find one. If you use a flashed PC card you can still fit a radeon 9800 pro in there if you wanted. And the bus speed hasn't bothered me that much. I did a geekbench and xbench on my sawtooth, and my QS 2002 single 800mhz, they were almost equal, the sawtooth was actually faster irc. I'd post the results but I'm at work and I don't have them.
     
  23. timidpimpin macrumors 6502

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    Nov 10, 2018
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    Cascadia
    #23
    The gigabit ethernet model after the sawtooth, where your dual 450 daughtercard would have come from, also has 4 RAM slots.
     
  24. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #24
    This would also be my thinking but it really depends on what the OP really cares about. If Mac OS X Server is a must, then the DA and later fall out of consideration. He did mention that his primary focus was running OS9 apps, in which case the extra 512MB of RAM makes little difference as OS9 tops out at 1.5GB anyway. What the DA and QS have in return for losing a RAM slot is an extra PCI slot, which might be of interest to those with extra peripheral cards (ProTools etc) to slot in.
     
  25. Eightbitgamer757 macrumors member

    Eightbitgamer757

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Location:
    Idaho
    #25
    Found a powermacg4(Powermac 3,5 1ghz single processor) on CL today, not goin to get it so maybe @AL1630 this is ur chance unless u got one already
     

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40 December 4, 2018