Cheapest[usable] Macintosh?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Spectrum Abuser, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Spectrum Abuser macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

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    #1
    I normally don't comment in the Mac section, but I'm looking into buying a Macintosh. This will not be a primary machine nor a gaming machine. I also don't mind if it's a PowerPC, but preferably a G4 or higher. I'm just a teenager so I don't have hundreds of dollars to blow which is why the PowerPCs caught my attention. So could anyone give any personal experience on if the older Macintosh's are worth getting or if I should just save my money up for a new one?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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  3. Spectrum Abuser thread starter macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

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    #3
    That's the problem. The price hike from a G5 and the earliest Intel core duo is crazy.
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #4
    Sometimes you have to pay more money for more modern technology.
     
  5. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #5
    What are you interested in using it for? The old machines can still be quite decent for a very reasonable price, but in many applications you'll find them inadequate.

    I have a iMac G5 which is still running Tiger; at most a PowerPC mac can run Leopard. As such, you'll be limited to using pretty antiquated software on these older machines.

    PowerPC macs make a nice secondary machine, one that you can assign a very specific purpose (like I use mine with an elgato eyeTV, but that's it). Old macs are also nice for those who like to tinker. But I'm hesitant to recommend it as a primary machine, especially if you need it to be reliable (for assignments and such).

    As miles01110 suggested, I think you may be better off saving your money until you can manage an intel Mac... But give us a better idea of why you want a mac, and what you need in a computer. :)
     
  6. MacHamster68, Sep 18, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    #6
    ideally get one of the latest PowerMac G5's with PCIe slots (better and easier to find upgrade parts ) but the aircooled one's , the watercooling can be a bit of a headache if it starts leaking and means often a dead PowerMac as the cooling liquid is very corrosive eating even the case the best case szenario , more often they liquid spills on the logicboard rendering that in a pile of useless plastic's with some chips on
    even the fastest dual core 2.3 ghz can be had for under the price of a mini 1.5 ghz intel single core and the G5 2.3 dual core if fitted with the ATI x1900 graphics card will run circles around the intel Mini single core and 1.66core duo (those minis offer same performance as netbooks as they share the same GPU intel GMA 950 shared graphics and the old core duo offers no much more performance then a newer atom dual core processor ) and those G5's are highly upgradeable

    the iMac G5's are a bit of a danger , only buy one if the seller can proof it was refurbished and the capacitors had been all replaced, even the ALS and iSight models (the ones with webcam)had some of the bad caps mainly in the PSU , as its not a question of if those bad caps Apple fitted will start leaking , the question is when

    my prefered PPC Mac actually is the eMac (get the ones with USB2.0)

    best of all the 1.42ghz model the top of the line and last PPC Mac sold so its the youngest too from 2005 /2006 , and the most reliable Mac of all times
    takes 2GB ram !! and has the best GPU too ATI radeon 9600 with 64mb vram (the others only have the 9200 with 32mb vram, not bad but obvious less performance)),comes often already with DVD rw drive and Airport express (wireless G) as standard it plays all your youtube stuff up to 480p , the overall performance is above netbooks
    ok the eMac is not whisper quiet you will always hear one , but as the huge fan (nearly as big as a entire mini ) is running at constant speed its not that bad , after all thats the Mac where you never have to worry about overheating , the heatpipe was overengineered..Apple thought NASA wants to use those eMac's on a mission to the sun i suppose
    best thing even the 1.42 ghz models can now be had for under £100 and that is money wisely spend for getting used to OSX

    the Mini G4 is a alternative to the eMac's but cost often double the price of the equivalent eMac and can only take 1 GB ram max

    all above will run OSX Leopard (the last OS for PPC) , ok i still prefer Tiger

    dont worry obout older Apps you need to use , the differences between the new and old software is neglectable for the consumer user and only of interest for Pro's really or does it for example matter to you to use microsoft offce 2004 instead of office 2011 for writing the odd letter or do some spread sheets or if you need to use photoshop cs4 instead of cs5 ...no doesn't for home use and as you dont want to use your Mac as a gaming rig you can happy without regret use PPC Mac's , and there are still games out there that run on PPC too , just a bit older , but not less fun
    all of the above still can sync iPhones too

    but if you need or want to use snow leopard which is intel only the cheapest are netbooks they often even get sold on ebay already setup as hackintosh running OSX snow leopard , and i would prefere spending £140 on a MSI wind U100 or a Dell mini 10 running happy 10.6.8 snow leopard and all functions work perfect then on a Macbook first generation which have a tendency to blow their logicboards and still cost around above £300 in any condition for one that still works even with a display with some dead lines of pixels
    intel Mac's might be able to run newer software but USED they are way way overpriced for what you get in return

    just read here a test or review between the MSI wind U100 and a MacBook Air 1.6ghz core2 duo
    http://crave.cnet.co.uk/laptops/battle-of-the-breeze-msi-wind-versus-macbook-air-49297991/

    there is no relation between price and quality offered in intel Mac's , the only thing that keeps that price so high is: people want you to finance their next new Mac , so i say hands away from intel Mac's once they are no longer covered by Apple care , or they have to be realistically priced like 4-6 year old other PC's...PPC Mac's at least have collectors value , if they would be cars you could say they are youngtimers that can still be used every day
     
  7. plumosa macrumors regular

    plumosa

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    #7
    I have a 12" powerbook g4 1.33 ghz, and the thing seriously beach balls all the time and made me want to pull my hair out. It was only good for very very basic things like email, it didn't really even care for youtube. I had it maxed out with the most ram possible with just a gig and some inboard memory...it was definitely not enough.

    So if you're sure you want PPC, make sure that you can have at minimum 2 gb of memory, you'll be shooting yourself in the foot with anything less.
     
  8. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

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  9. jim4spam macrumors member

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    #9
    Look around for an Intel MacBook with no battery. It will still be useable when connected to a power source. You could even hook up any monitor and USB keyboard you have lying around.

    I'd reckon you could get this kind of setup of just under 300bucks or less. For someone, it's just a unused old laptop but for you it might be interesting.
     
  10. JerZyT28 macrumors regular

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    Jul 24, 2011
    #10
    Look on craigslist, here in Germany we have an online "yard sale" website and that's where I bought my penryn black MacBook for 450...some dude sold an early 2008 MacBook for 500 the other day...you can find deals online man
     
  11. DoghouseMike macrumors regular

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    #11
    I'd quite like one of the last eMacs too, but if you don't mind the extra set up and noise, a dual CPU powermac with a couple of gigs of RAM is still a pretty good machine, and will kick the arse of a single cpu machine. I recently "retired" a dual 1.25Ghz one to my son's room, and it still works fine (if I hadn't got a new laptop I'd still be using it). They have the bonus of you being able to fill em with hard drives, although they only natively support the older (and pricier) PATA drives, you can stick a SATA card in them for not a huge amount and run bigger, cheaper, faster drives. I believe G5's run SATA drives as standard, but cost a bit more, and as has been said, the water cooled ones can be a bit hit n miss.
    That said, unless it was a real bargain, I'd find it hard to justify the spend now, and would be tempted to keep saving for something with at least a core2duo, just because they'll last longer. I still want an SE30 and have a couple of smurf's though.
    But yea, let us know what you'll be using it for and we could probably make better recommendations.
    Oh, and check out lowendmac.com
     
  12. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

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    #12
    What is your budget?

    G4 eMacs and Miniscan be had for under 100. Get any old monitor and you are good to go.

    Intel Mac Book from 3 years ago can be had for $400.

    Are you talking less than $50? I see tons of old G4 era Macs get recycled all the time. Teh old G4 lamp iMacs, eMacs, even towers.

    G5 tower and iMac command 400 to 600 and low ebnd Intels that work just great can be between 400 on up.

     
  13. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

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    #13
    To be honest, the best "compromise" machine you can get is the late 2008 Aluminum Macbook (NOT Macbook Pro). There was only one model of this machine but they sold like hotcakes and are fantastic and fast to this day. They sell for $300-700 on craigslist depending on condition, specs, and negotiations. Those are your best bet to have a machine that is somewhat future-proof for a few more years.
     
  14. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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  15. Spectrum Abuser thread starter macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

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    Aug 27, 2011
    #15
    Thanks for all the replies everyone! I hope I can answer the questions that some of you asked.

    My budget is between $200-$500, but I can't afford to put anymore into this. As I said this would not be a primary machine as I have a Windows 7 quad-core desktop that I use as my workhorse. This would also not be a gaming machine as I have the desktop above with a Radeon 5770 along with an Xbox360. I'm getting a computer desk in my room for school and I wanted a machine with 'class' to sit on it so I figured a Macintosh would be the perfect ideal device.

    The only demands I'd have is for it to run the latest version of iTunes, play Youtube videos on 360p-480p, have USB 2.0 for external HDD's and the ability to hookup to my phone and iPod. And it MUST have wireless capability because my house is not networked anywhere besides the modem/router which happens to be on the other side.
     
  16. VeganHipster macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2011
    #16
    Than the aluminum Macbook from 2008 would be a good choice! You can always find them under $800 dollars. There is not much else you can get though.

    You could try finding a Black MacBook (or just a regular white one, I think the black is cooler :cool: ) because I am pretty sure some of the older ones still have Core 2 Duos which can get you into lion!
     
  17. alexbates macrumors 65816

    alexbates

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    #17
    If you wan't to save some money, you could buy a used (good condition) 10" netbook for around $160 and install Snow Leopard on it. Would have the performance of around a $250-$330 Mac Mini and WiFi like you need. I have quite a bit of netbook Hackintosh experience, and Snow Leopard is runs fast and is very stable with 2GB of RAM. If you wanted, you would have money left over to buy a nice LCD to leave it hooked up to.

    Or if you are not interested in a hackintosh, look at the nicest PowerPC Mac Mini's or the cheapest Core 2 Duo MacBooks (which might be on the high end of your price range)
     
  18. Spectrum Abuser thread starter macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

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    #18
    Would a iMac G5 intel version be better? I know they exist as my school had them last year. The only downside is they had the core duo and not core 2 duo.
     
  19. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Have you considered an iPad if you already have a decent windows desktop?
     
  20. iJasonTATE macrumors member

    iJasonTATE

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    #20
    iMac G4, or PowerMac. My iMac G4 acts as a Mac Mini and I program, do school work, and everything on it. I LOVE IT!!!:apple::D
     
  21. MacHamster68, Sep 18, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    #21
    there never had been a iMac G5 intel , there was a iMac g5(as the name suggest a G5 processor inside) and later a iMac intel (core duo )...only a climps of hope someone will one day understand the difference
    and the core duo's are no downside the only downside are the multiple parts failing on those like screens get stripey , GPU's fail and logicboards give up completely , you still can install Lion on those , they are only not officially supported under Lion ...so much for future proof hardware sold by Apple

    Apple does that all the time excluding hardware thats ~5 years old from new OS's to make you buy new hardware too if you want a new OS, they did the same when they introduced Leopard with the 867mhz barrier and with snow leopard not supporting ppc processors any longer, all done only to make you buy new hardware, and intel it had to be to bring windows users to buy a Mac too
     
  22. Spectrum Abuser thread starter macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

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    Aug 27, 2011
    #22
    The iMac G4 does look like a nice machine. And I've seen YouTube videos that showed that you can upgrade the HDD to 250GB and RAM to 1.5GB. The only problem I would see is the 'lamp' design might fail in its old age and the screen does not strike me as that big.
     
  23. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

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    #23
    I use a PowerMac G5 for my main machine. Until now, it did everything I wanted it to. The only thing it's missing is the ability to run Chrome or the new Firefox.


    I run Leopard, and it runs perfectly fine.


    I'd say get a PowerMac G5 for ~$250 or so. I have 3GB RAM in it, which I find is more than adequate for most things.


    For my more intel-based tasks or more processor heavy tasks, I use a '10 MacBook Pro.
     
  24. mountains macrumors regular

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    Aug 26, 2011
    #24
    It helps to have some understanding of computers before you wade into the world of hackintoshes. It's not a hackintosh if it doesn't have a bunch of random, unforeseeable problems that you need to troubleshoot through.

    The cheapest "new" Mac product is the Mac Mini. Past that you start buying a lot of old, outdated tech.
     
  25. Spectrum Abuser thread starter macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

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    #25
    I have a vast knowledge of computers if you were referring that comment to me. I've been custom building for the past few years and my latest Windows 7 build was all custom built by myself. 8GB DDr3 RAM, 2.8Ghz for each AMD 935 core, Radeon 5770 with 1GB of video memory, 1TB 7400RPM HDD with the possibility of a future SSD drive.

    But I do not want to get in the hassle of Hackintosh.
     

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