Decent system for OSX

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Rabidjade, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. Rabidjade macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2004
    I want to try out OSX. However I don't have a Mac that is "certified" to handle it. I will be in the market for a system soon and I'm not considered a "switcher" as I keep an open mind for all computing platforms. I figured I want an iMac type since everything is in 1 system and easier to use. I don't want a super sluggish system but this isn't going to be something more of a tinker machine/ internet serving system. Like I said, I just want to try it and get experienced in it incase it comes up in my job. What is recommended?
  2. Veldek macrumors 68000


    Mar 29, 2003
    I think a basic G4 system would be ideal, but even a G3 is possible. I run Panther on my iMac (see sig) without big problems but with slight delays now and then, which could also come from the little RAM I have.
  3. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Are you talking about one of the older G3 iMacs, the 'sunflower' G4 iMacs, or the newest iMac G5? You can pick up a G3 iMac cheaply, and provided you stock it with a decent amount of RAM (at least 256MB, preferably more) then you will be able to mess around with OS X and learn how it works quite adequately. Personally, I wouldn't want to be stuck using something like a G3/300 or G3/400 or something like that to get a lot of work done on under OS X, but like I said, it will definitely be fast enough (with enough RAM) to get a feel for OS X and learn.

    A good reference for older Mac systems, their configurations, and how they can be expanded is at You say your current Mac is not 'OS X certified'. What kind of system is it? Some 'unsupported' Macs can be made to install OS X using 3rd party software like XPostFacto. My first OS X experience was on a PowerMac 7600/120 that I picked up on eBay for next to nothing, which I upgraded with a Sonnet 500MHz G3 upgrade card, 384MB RAM, and SCSI CD-RW and 18GB 7200rpm SCSI drives I had spare. Using XPostFacto I was able to install OS X 10.2, and it was fast enough to get a good introduction to OS X, and to convince me that I should buy a 'real' Mac :)
  4. rasputnik macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2004
    G4 emac

    got one yesterday - 1,25ghz g4 and 256mb ram.

    until then i was on a g3 500mhz ibook, and the difference is unbelievable.

    the cdrw/dvd drive version only cost 550 ukp.
  5. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    If you want a cheap but decent computer and the G5 iMac is out of your budget get either an eMac or a G4 iMac.
  6. Manzana macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2004
    Orange County, CA
    dittos on the emac...

    an ibook would also be good
  7. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    i would recomend to get g4@400mhz+ or g3@500mhz+ with atleast 384 mb ram.

    Its also a big plus to have a Geforce 2mx (or higher) or a Ati Radeon (or higher) gfx-card. Older cards doesnt have gfx-acceleration in osx. When i upgraded my old G4@400mhz from the stock Ati Rage 128 card to Geforce 4mx the computer felt MUCH faster, all graphics where smooth!!

  8. Rabidjade thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2004
    The system I have is a 350mhz S900 Umax with 512mb ram but I don't like having to install OS9.2 just to install another OS. I don't have OS9.2 and don't want to hunt a copy down just to use it.
  9. noahsnyc macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2003
    Los Angeles
    My 2 cents...

    The great thing about OS X, and specifically Panther, is that it can really tailor itself to work on just about anything.

    The fact is, if you have about a gig of space and 32 megs of RAM, you can, functionally speaking, run OS X. I've seen it running on old 233mhz G3 PBs with 32 megs and 2Gig hard drives. True, it wasn't fast, and it ate up most of the disk space, but it ran, and with all the stability you'd expect.

    The thing people forget about OS X is that is doesn't have to be fancy. It has a ton of bells and whistles, and is endlessly expandable, but by nature, being a Unix box, it's a very simple skeleton.

    You should be good with a G3 (older iMac, eMac, etc.), hopefully with 128 megs of RAM and at least a 5 Gig HD. For under $500 you should expect to find a loaded iMac SE DV+ with 512 megs of RAM and a 30Gig HD. That's a nice computer.


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