G4 & G5 Power PC's today?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by yojitani, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    I'm curious: how well do some of the later G4 and G5's perform these days, especially for flash-based (or even HTML5) things like watching YouTube videos & Netflix? A few months ago, I was trying to update a G3 iMac, but I couldn't get it to play Youtube videos. How true is this of later Power PCs?

    I ask because I'm (still) looking for a suitable computer for my kids. Power PCs can be bought at quite a decent price (there's a G5 1.8 going for $50 on my local Craigslist!) and were great machines back in the day, but if Flash is an issue, I may look for Intel computers only.
  2. mrbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2004
    Ozark, Missouri
    I would say performance isn't so much of an issue - it's more of having a version of Flash that's nearly 2 years old that won't work well with "modern" video streaming websites.
  3. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    G3's don't have enough power for much at all. G4's around 1Ghz and higher have enough power for light web browsing and other stuff. G5's still have lots of power and can do plenty of things including YouTube playback. However, all PowerPC Mac's have their days numbered until they're just too old for anything productive.

    Netflix does not work on PPC Macs, an Intell Mac is required for Netflix playback.
  4. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    For young kids, a G4 or G5 could do fine. As they get older and are expected to hand in homework in MS Office format (grrrrrr), you may find yourself wanting a Mac that can run the latest version of iWork, LibreOffice or even MS Office.

    As for flash, it's used extensively for videos and kids' browser based games. I would think it would run fine on a PPC Mac but I should also let you know that even on my newer Macs, merely allowing flash to load in the browser causes my fans to run. Also now that Adobe has given up on mobile flash, it is quite possible they are also not updating flash for older platforms. I don't like the thought of running flash stuff that isn't the latest version because of all the security problems associated with flash. Then there is the issue of finding a current browser for an older Mac. On my G4 Mini, I still run Firefox (yuck), though I've heard there is a port of Chromium for PPC.
  5. spacedcadet macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2009
    MDD G4 dual 1ghz

    My windtunnel G4 PoweMac is still in use, however a lot of video in websites is now pretty sucky. Like watching stop-frame animation.
  6. yojitani thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    Thanks all of you for responding. This is what I thought. As rOK notes, a lot of kids games are flash based. They usually have a bit of homework every week that involves going to a Flash-based site (hoodamath.com for example). One of them already does a fair bit of writing and they both want to learn touch typing (they only take one 20 minute class a week for typing at school!:eek:).

    I still want a 20" G4 iMac, but that's for sentimental and aesthetic reasons! For the kids, I guess I'm going to have to get an Intel machine. I may even have to go Windows!
  7. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm only really here at night.
    Yes get in intel-based mac, which can run windows AND OS X, so you will be doing your kids a BIG favor by letting them learn how to use both operating systems :eek:
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "I ask because I'm (still) looking for a suitable computer for my kids. Power PCs can be bought at quite a decent price (there's a G5 1.8 going for $50 on my local Craigslist!)"

    Sounds like a VERY good deal, IF it's in decent running condition.

    These were built like tanks and can run OS 10.5 "Leopard". Far from "the latest and greatest" but it should keep your kids occupied and it can run sites like YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

    A good place to start for a downright cheap price.

    As they get better at it, you can then move to a new (or newer) Intel platform for them.
  9. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    The old PowerPC platform is better for the hobbyist rather than children. They won't understand why it won't do this or that.
  10. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    If you can snag a Core2Duo on the cheap and in good condition, get it and it'll last a few years (2-4GB desirable) and be more future proof than a PPC.

    If not, just get a solid basic i3/i5 Lenovo/HP/Dell for a few hundred bucks. Or even better - an AMD version would be even cheaper. Those cheaper laptops are just fine if treated right, and seeing as they are kids, if they don't treat it right, you don't want to waste a lot of money on something in the first place.
  11. Dane D. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2004
    Alas, it is a post-PowerPC world for die-hards. I use my G3 at home for many things; web browsing (seven web browsers), email, iTunes, Photoshop 7, Illustrator 10, NeoOffice, Expression 3, Text Wrangler, Audacity and many other apps.

    What I like, the system never has failed or acted up. I run her 24/7, re-boot just to play some old OS 9 games.

    At work I use a MacPro quad-core 2009 vintage. I runs great, haven't gone further than 10.5.8. It works, why mess with it.
  12. yojitani thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    Yeah. This is what I'm thinking. I love the 20" G4 iMac. I'd love to own one. But If I bought it for the kids :)D), they'd complain about videos that won't play or sites that won't load.

    The G5 towers are built like tanks, but it seems those tanks are being rolled into museums and memorials, so to speak. I loved my G5 back in the day. I sold it for $1200 just weeks before the first intels came out...phew.
  13. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    I have a iMac G4 17" at home that can load pretty much any site. It's just things like Flash videos and games that cause it to run very slowly. The sites will load, they will just perform too slowly.

    Just watch out for the liquid-cooled G5s. I'm not sure Apple is even replacing the leaky ones anymore. I sold my Dual G5 PowerMac weeks before the first Intels came out too for $1500 to help pay for my wedding. I miss the machine -- it was a beast!
  14. petery, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012

    petery macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2012
    20" iMac G4 as a daily...

    Typing this from my beloved 20" G4 now...

    Been an Amiga then Mac then PC user, up until two weeks ago. Reverted back to Mac and no, not an intel mac but a PPC.

    Why leave a perfectly kick-ass Windows 7 Ultimate PC for the PPC Mac?

    Well, 2yrs ago i purchased the 20" iMac G4 for my daughter. It was impressive, fast. Did a fresh installation of OSX 10.5.8, added 2gig ram & 350mb H/D. Added internal Bluetooth. Just the internal extension antenna cost as much as the computer!!
    Daughter got into making movies and imovie HD did not cut it for her. Not good enough. So we exchanged computers.

    This computer is AMAZING, awesome to look at. Space odyssey 2000 stuff here. The screen is beautiful, crisp.

    But how about the speed???
    No kidding, this thing flies....
    I can do anything I was doing on the PC. Running Microsoft Office 2008 with Entourage as email, its great.
    Watching AVI movies in Quicktime? ......breakfast
    Note: There is an addin on the net which allows Quicktime to play a large number of formats.
    Watching 320p YouTube movies? ......Lunch
    What about watching YouTube movies within Facebook? .......Dinner.
    Note: There is a modified flash on the net which allows YouTube movies in Facebook. This is a two second fix.
    What about Skype? with VIDEO? .... No brainer
    What about MSN? I swear this can run on a no86 or a 68000
    Internet browsing? Very nice. Some sites with MASSIVE amounts of graphics all going berserk will slow the scrolling down. But 99% of sites scroll nice and quick.
    What about OSX 10.5.8? ..... Did I say Breakfast before?

    I DO ALL OF THE ABOVE ON THIS COMPUTER. If it was rubbish in any way, I would have said so.

    This machine is overclocked to 1.33mhz which is easy to do and runs without any issues. I reckon they can go even higher cannot find jumper settings on the net anywhere for 1.4 or 1.5mhz to try. 1.33 just gives it that edge.

    Everything is there. USB 2, Firewire, Bluetooth, Wifi this thing is connected and my Galaxy S2 comes up as a HD so you can manipulate images and music just like a Hard disk. I LOVE IT.

    I cant see myself parting from this machine. It is fast, OSX 10.5 is great and opens the computer up to a lot of capabilities compared to 10.4 such as hooking up ipods, iphones works better with Skype, etc... I don't care about OSX one million and one million intel cores (Dell Quad core desktops going for approx $250AUD - Who cares??) This thing works in real life with great software and very well at that. The support for PPCs is amazing on the NET. Actually I believe an eMac G4 1.45mhz with an ATI 9600 Video card or an iMac G5 would be ridiculously fast FOR A HOME USER.

    Some other things to consider:
    I don't play computer games, that's what the playstation, the XBox and Nintendo are for.

    Internet for the future, to be honest I have moved on to the tablet for the internet. Not because of the computer or anything like that but for convenience. Its great sitting on the lounge browsing the net on the 7" tablet. I did this when I had the PC also. Almost to the point where the Computer was only used for internet browsing sometimes. But the imac G4 20" has not let me down yet.

    With programs, they are at that stage where they just get prettier now. For example, Microsoft Office 2003 does exactly what Office 2010 does. Actually 2010 Publisher still looks the same as 2003 Publisher!
    If a person can see past the bling, there is no real reason to update. I had a look at Iwork 09, then OpenOffice 3? (anyway the latest one) and still stuck with Office 2008. I must say, OpenOffice flies. Very quick and capable package.

    Right now, this machine is still current in my opinion. Ancient by todays computer standards but still current in its functions and excellent for a home user. Just not for new games or someone who wants the latest must have Photoshop or pure number crunching applications like 3D modeling, etc....

    Hope this helps someone.

  15. kumquat macrumors regular


    Sep 4, 2011
    My 2003 G5 PPC running Tiger plays Flash just fine in Safari. It doesn't work in Firefox. Also, it won't run Netflix streaming. But I think it sounds like a great deal and, frankly, if you're concerned about what they might run across online, it would help restrict content. You'll likely want to bump up the RAM.

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