Best VERY low cost Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by js81, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. js81, Oct 28, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011

    js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #1
    Hey all:

    Haven't posted in a while... long story short circumstances made it necessary to sell my then-new Macbook Pro and wife's Macbook. Things are better now and I'm looking for an ultra-low-cost Mac desktop. I already have a nice, work-provided Macbook Pro (the last of the 15" Core 2 Duo models). I have a heavily-upgraded older desktop PC, but I'd like to have a Mac desktop, too. This is not a necessity AT ALL, mind you: merely something I want. I'm looking to spend less than $150.

    Basically my main option is a PowerMac G5 (somewhere around a dual 1.8 or 2.0GHz) with 2-4 GB RAM. Keep in mind my desktop PC is an HP dc5750 with Athlon 64 X2 processor (but 6GB of RAM and RAID striped 500GB hard drives). Would I be completely disappointed with the G5? I'm not expecting it to be anywhere near comparable to the MBP, just similiar to the HP (which I'd be keeping, too, using a KVM).

    I mostly just want a desktop to use 1) when my wife is using the MBP, lol, and 2) to store my tons and tons of photos. I vastly prefer Mac OS, though I've lived with Windows 7 for some time now and its not bad at all.

    I've seen some G5 dual processors going on eBay for a little over $100. If y'all think I'd be terribly disappointed, I'll just wait and get an Intel-based Mini.
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    So you want to compare an old $150 to a much more expensive pc? Well depends on what you want to do.

    Email, and Mac specific things: decent on Mac. If you want to watch flash or HD videos then the computer is too old for it.

    I use a PowerMac G4 as a download server (headless with Apple Remote Desktop). Light browsing is fine even remotely.

    Well, at least the Mac will boot faster ;)
    http://obamapacman.com/2011/03/1984-mac-vs-2007-pc-video-still-loading/boot-1984-mac-vs-2007-pc/
     
  3. BayouTiger macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #3
    Hackintosh

    I don't see many G5's that cheap. Usually the G4's going between 100 and 200 here. G5's are going for about the same as the first Mac Pro!

    Why not Hackintosh a cheap PC or your HP. I have a little MSI Wind I did as an experiment and it worked fine as a dual boot.
     
  4. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #4
    @Consultant - not really a much more expensive PC. It's the same age (2006) and I literally paid $51 for it when I got it. Now, needless to say I have upgraded it just a wee bit. But if I got the G5 and liked it, many of those parts (namely, the hard drives) would be moved over to it.

    @BayouTiger - I missed the boat last night. I came across a dual 2.0 G5 for $79 shipped - only issue was it was missing its hard drive (owner had removed it prior to sale). I've thought about the hackintosh, but wouldn't the AMD processor give me fits? If not, I'm more than game - I've got a spare hard drive lying around that I can test it with first.

    My complete specs for it are Athlon 64 X2 4800+ @ 2.5GHz, 6GB DDR2 RAM, 3 hard drives (2x 500GB stiped, 1x 1TB data drive), 2x DVD-RW drives, old school Sound Blaster Live 64-bit sound card (onboard refused to work with 7), and a crappy Geforce 210 512MB video card (I don't game on the PC - just wanted to avoid integrated graphics). Any chance this may work, or would it be more headache than its worth? I really would like to get a NEW Mini, but I can't justify $600+ right now when this PC serves me fine.
     
  5. DoghouseMike macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I dunno man, flash is ok on my old dual 1.25 G4, it'll work on the G5, for a while anyway, I think adobe stopped doing anything for PPC, so eventually when everything needs newer versions, it'll just stop working.
    Which is kinda the main issue. As much as I love the old PPC machines, their future isn't bright. You're "stuck" on Leopard (which is a fine OS), with it's dwindling support, especially as far as browsers and stuff goes, being the main drawback, which is annoying, as something of a similar age from the windows world can run the current gen OS.
    So, on one hand, I think you should save up and get something with a core2duo or better in it, and palm that off on the wife to keep her off the MBP, but at the same time, just get the G5, they're awesome!
     
  6. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #6
    Good luck with that, lol. Its my work laptop (but thankfully I very rarely have to do much work with it at home; I'm a teacher), but I can't hardly pry it out of her hands. Besides, "if momma ain't happy..." lol

    I knew I'd be "stuck" with Leopard on a PPC, but I hadn't thought about dwindling support of new versions of software (namely Internet-related stuff). Of well; guess I'll just hold out for a new Mini.
     
  7. dburges macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #7
    Ditch the AMD

    For the price of a new motherboard and processor (i3 or i5) you should be in business and able to come in under $150, re-using much of your current PC.

    I'm running Lion 10.7.2 Server with 100% features and compatibility on my PC with a Gigabyte motherboard and i5 750 processor.

    http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/search/label/CustoMac
     
  8. jace88 macrumors regular

    jace88

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #8
    I think you're better off spending a bit more to get something just a tinsy bit more recent and useable as opposed to something for novelty value.

    Alternatively for that kindof money, maybe a cheap tablet or netbook might suffice?
     
  9. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #9
    Thanks all for the thoughts. I'm just gonna stick with my PC and MBP. No need to waste money (even if just a small amount) on dead tech. With a PC desktop, a PC laptop, a MBP, and an iPad, there's not exactly a shortage of tech in our house. I'll just wait it out until I can get what I actually want (or until this PC dies, lol).
     
  10. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #10
    I don't know if you have a Microcenter nearby, but they offer lower cost Apple refurbs than what you see at apple.com. For instance, you can still get core duo Macbooks and iMacs there at prices ranging from $499 to $699 with a 90 day Apple warranty. I would say avoiding PPC based used or refurb Macs is a good idea, but if you can live with the performance of the core duo series, Microcenter offers a viable option. I picked up one for my daughter and she is happy with it.
     
  11. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #11
    If you don't want to spend $150 for a G5. Get a iMac G3. They are easy to upgrade the memory and HD and you can find them for a few dollars. It can run anything from OS 9 to Tiger.

    I use my G3 as a gaming rig with OS 9 games. It won't do H.264 video though because it is just too slow to play those files.
     
  12. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a

    Titanium81

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    #12
    Why buy DEAD TECHNOLOGY? Just save up a little and buy a Mac Mini, could probably get a refurb for $400 - $500?
     
  13. js81 thread starter macrumors 65816

    js81

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    KY
    #13
    Decision has already been made. Did everybody miss that part?

     

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