G4 cube for $200. Good deal?

mattcube64

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 21, 2006
1,272
91
Missouri
Hey, my mom's dell is on the fritz, and I think it'll go out any day now. I really want to get her used to Macs. It should be rather easy, as all she'll do with it is email, internet browsing, textedit, and maybe some DVD watching. I saw this on craigslist. What do you guys think. And will it work with our old Dell CRT monitor (VGA)? Thanks.

http://kansascity.craigslist.org/sys/196477195.html
 

bep207

macrumors 6502
Jul 20, 2006
259
0
looks like a good deal to me,
good thing for you i dont want one since i am also in the kc area. (st. joe)
 

steamboat26

macrumors 65816
May 25, 2006
1,123
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Arlington VA
Post is deleted, but if its in working condition, that is a great deal. No idea about your monitor, but i would assume it would work, otherwise you would just need a cheap $5 adapter or something like that.
 

SuperSnake2012

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2005
810
0
NY
Hey mattcube, I know you from IGN. :cool: The G4 Cube is a pretty good machine and it supports VGA :) The cube uses PC100 RAM which might be hard to find. You'll want to max that Cube for Tiger/Leopard (1.5GB) or put at least a gig :D

Some Mac Mini G4s are going for more than $300 on eBay so you might want to go with that instead if you have the funds. ;)
 

elfin buddy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2001
608
0
Tuttlingen, Germany
I'd pay $200 for a Cube any day. They are, IMO, one of the most beautiful items ever manufactured. Mac Mini's are nice too, but I think I would take a Cube over a Mac Mini just for the sheer awesomeness of owning one of them.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,892
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Depends on completeness, configuration and condition, but in most cases $200 will be a reasonable deal for a working Cube. Be aware, a Cube requires USB speakers, preferably the original set comes with. Also, the video card will almost certainly not have a DVI connector but an ADC connector which can be adapted to DVI for not a lot of money (about $20 last I checked). Maxing out the RAM won't be necessary -- 512 Mb will do just fine for everyday work.
 

aquajet

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Feb 12, 2005
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IJ Reilly said:
Also, the video card will almost certainly not have a DVI connector but an ADC connector which can be adapted to DVI for not a lot of money (about $20 last I checked).
If I'm not mistaken, the Cube can also use the old retail Radeon AGP card, which has DVI and VGA connectors. Typically you can find these on ebay for under $40. Plus, it'll add Quartz Extreme support. Just another option.
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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aquajet said:
If I'm not mistaken, the Cube can also use the old retail Radeon AGP card, which has DVI and VGA connectors. Typically you can find these on ebay for under $40. Plus, it'll add Quartz Extreme support. Just another option.
Depends on the card. I have a Radeon 7500 Mac in mine (ADC and VGA). The length is fine, but the faceplate doesn't fit without modification. I believe most of the other Radeon cards (9600/9800) are too long. Chances are though if you find a Cube for $200 it's going to have a stock RagePro 128 with ADC and VGA installed.
 

Lollypop

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2004
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Johannesburg, South Africa
IJ Reilly said:
Depends on completeness, configuration and condition, but in most cases $200 will be a reasonable deal for a working Cube. Be aware, a Cube requires USB speakers, preferably the original set comes with. Also, the video card will almost certainly not have a DVI connector but an ADC connector which can be adapted to DVI for not a lot of money (about $20 last I checked). Maxing out the RAM won't be necessary -- 512 Mb will do just fine for everyday work.
Would any set of USB speakers work? I was hoping to use a Cube for a flashy media centre and use my hifi as speakers.
 

johan_tanying

macrumors member
Nov 28, 2004
38
0
Gothenburg
SuperSnake2012 said:
The cube uses PC100 RAM which might be hard to find.

Some Mac Mini G4s are going for more than $300 on eBay so you might want to go with that instead if you have the funds. ;)
You can also use easier to find PC133 RAM. (link)

Remember that all cubes by now are 5-6 years old (link) and that harddrives, cd-rom etc may soon die. The original ATI Rage Pro (16MB) is a bit on the weak side for OSX's visual effects - expect som lagging when using exposé, scrolling etc.

I would consider the G4 cube more as a collector's item than a machine to be used daily for several more years with gradually updated softwares and OS - unless you upgrade the GPU and CPU. And its looks will come to a shame next to a Dell monitor :eek:

Apart from the recommended Mac mini above, a used iBook G4 (800MHz-1,33 GHz) is also a good choice. The later models all have wifi built in and are generally trouble-free. They are also small and easy to stow away if you are not using the computer all day and do not feel like having a desk crowded with cables, monitor, keyboard etc. (The cube is beautiful and small but requires a lot of ugly cables...).

That said, the G4 Cube is in no way a bad machine. I use a PM G4 (350 MHz Yikles! which is quite close to the cube in specs) as well as a iBook 1,2 GHz and both are very useful machines. But the PM is starting to show it age when it comes to graphics and general responsiveness compared to even a lowly iBook...

Never go below 512 MB RAM. At least 768 MB or more is preferred.
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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Lollypop said:
Would any set of USB speakers work? I was hoping to use a Cube for a flashy media centre and use my hifi as speakers.
I believe so. I'm fairly certain you can also buy a USB audio adaptor which would allow you to hook up your stereo directly. Still, I'd try to get my hands on original Cube speakers, if only for completeness. They also have an audio out jack.
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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johan_tanying said:
You can also use easier to find PC133 RAM. (link)

Remember that all cubes by now are 5-6 years old (link) and that harddrives, cd-rom etc may soon die. The original ATI Rage Pro (16MB) is a bit on the weak side for OSX's visual effects - expect som lagging when using exposé, scrolling etc.

I would consider the G4 cube more as a collector's item than a machine to be used daily for several more years with gradually updated softwares and OS - unless you upgrade the GPU and CPU. And its looks will come to a shame next to a Dell monitor :eek:

Apart from the recommended Mac mini above, a used iBook G4 (800MHz-1,33 GHz) is also a good choice. The later models all have wifi built in and are generally trouble-free. They are also small and easy to stow away if you are not using the computer all day and do not feel like having a desk crowded with cables, monitor, keyboard etc. (The cube is beautiful and small but requires a lot of ugly cables...).

That said, the G4 Cube is in no way a bad machine. I use a PM G4 (350 MHz Yikles! which is quite close to the cube in specs) as well as a iBook 1,2 GHz and both are very useful machines. But the PM is starting to show it age when it comes to graphics and general responsiveness compared to even a lowly iBook...

Never go below 512 MB RAM. At least 768 MB or more is preferred.
I ran a G4 450 Cube for years. This Cube was manufactured in 2000. I'm still using it every day, probably 10-12 hours a day on average, with no component failures (granted, for the last year, with an upgraded CPU and video card). I plan on keeping it in service as my primary desktop Mac for at least another year, at which time it will be "retired" as a file server. So it's not just a collector's item. Not by any means.
 

aquajet

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Feb 12, 2005
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johan_tanying said:
I would consider the G4 cube more as a collector's item than a machine to be used daily for several more years with gradually updated softwares and OS - unless you upgrade the GPU and CPU.
Up until last year, I used a PowerMac G4 450 mhz, with more or less identical performance to the Cube. I bought it in 2004, and it was a very useful machine for many different tasks. In fact, I used it more often than my current 12" PowerBook.

BTW, I can think of a few regular posters that use Cubes as their primary machines.

IJ Reilly said:
I believe most of the other Radeon cards (9600/9800) are too long.
Many of the later Radeons also require 4x AGP or higher, which of course the Cube doesn't have.

That's interesting about your 7500. Is it an Apple OEM card? I didn't think any of the retail cards had ADC. The original retail Radeon in my G4 had DVI.
 

steamboat26

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May 25, 2006
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Arlington VA
Why did apple decide to use USB speakers with a computer?
The cube only has 2 usb ports, so one is occupied by the speakers, and the other by the keyboard/mouse, where are you supposed to plug in a printer, ipod, or other device?
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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aquajet said:
That's interesting about your 7500. Is it an Apple OEM card? I didn't think any of the retail cards had ADC. The original retail Radeon in my G4 had DVI.
Yes, an Apple OEM part I believe. I bought it new-in-box on eBay for $40 about a year ago. I'm pretty sure ATI also sold this card retail as the "Mac edition," as they did with several video cards during the time Apple was using ADC exclusively.
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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steamboat26 said:
Why did apple decide to use USB speakers with a computer?
The cube only has 2 usb ports, so one is occupied by the speakers, and the other by the keyboard/mouse, where are you supposed to plug in a printer, ipod, or other device?
A lot of people asked this question at the time. The USB speakers were not the best decision Apple has ever made. They won't even work properly if they're not plugged into the correct USB port! The thinking was I suppose that the Cube was designed to mate with an ADC display, which has a USB hub on the back. If you don't have this setup, then a USB hub is probably in order. The USB ports on the Cube are a pain in the neck to access anyway. I've got mine occupied by the speakers and a bluetooth dongle.