G4 Upgrade Options/Worth.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by andymac85, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. andymac85 macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    My school is having a computer sale, G4s, G3s, and some old Apple CRTs.

    I know the G4s are 733mhz and below, I'm not sure if they're Quicksilvers or DAs, I could probably find out, but I already bugged an IT guy once, so I'm not sure I want to ask again.

    Now, assuming these are at a decent price (from what I've heard, they usually are), is it worth it to buy one and upgrade? I've been reading over lowendmac.com, and I see both of the 733mhz models will accept dual 1.8 cards/boards. This probably won't be my primary machine, but my Photoshop machine until I get a Mac Pro.

    How much are the 733mhz machines worth, they probably have 1gb or so of ram, and a decent(for the time) vide card. The school doesn't really skimp, in our photo department, we have G5s w/dual 2ghz, 4gb RAM, and 23" ACDs.

    Too bad they aren't selling the ACDs, or the G5s, huh?

    Anyway, my current machine is in my sig, and I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the upgrade or not.

    Oh, and I have a whole bunch of PC133 RAM from my old P3 machine.

    Feel free to give any suggestions, I've never owned a Mac before, but I figure it'll get me sort of ready for my Mac Pro, and I'll be more used to CS2 on the Mac platform, which will aid in efficiency at school.

    Thanks all!
  2. steamboat26 macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    Arlington VA
    Not 100% sure about the value, but this website is pretty accurate with todays market (although the website was down last i checked)

    As far as upgrades, you would have to spend about $600 to get a dual 1.8 ghz board, which may not be economically viable for a machine that old.
  3. andymac85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    alright, bugged the same IT guy today, this is what I got out of him:

    G4: DA, 733mhz, 512mb, 60gb. Forgot to ask about the optical drive and video card..

    he said they'll probably go for $50.

    thoughts? how many should I pick up?
  4. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    For $50 how can you go wrong?
    The upgrades will be what costs you. If you don't want to pay for that, you can at least sell one of these on ebay for more than your $50 (well, you should double-check that on ebay, but I'm pretty sure about that).

    So your cost would be:
    $50 for the Mac.
    around $550 (?) for the dual 1.8 upgrade
    $?? for more RAM

    It will be a pretty decent machine for around $700 with decent resale value when you are ready to upgrade.

    I say go for it if you have the dough.

    EDIT: or buy as many as you can (that are working). I just quickly looked at ebay and you would (probably) make a good profit. Keep one for yourself and use your profits to upgrade it...
  5. TheFuzz macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2006
    you could definitely sell them for more on ebay. take a look, i'm sure they'd go for over $200 provided they're in working condition.
  6. andymac85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    I just thought of one possible issue--the OS. It should come with one, right? maybe even OS-X...I think all the Macs on campus have it.
  7. Angrist macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2005
    MI or NJ
    I'd buy one for $50 without blinking. The biggest draw for these machines is that they're easily expandable, something that a Mini doesn't offer.

    RAM is cheap for them, and a lot of times you can scavenge PC133 sticks for free from people getting rid of "old" peecees.

    You can upgrade to a Pioneer 111D Dual Layer superdrive for ~$30.

    Those machines will hold 4 hard drives easily, so if you want a storage server they're a great choice even without a processor upgrade.

    I've shopped for CPU upgrades for my G4, and the dual 1.8 (while frickin awesome) is the most tempting chip ... if you look at the price per MHz, a single 1.6 or dual 1.2 is a MUCH better deal.

    What school is this? I'd drive 2 hours from Ann Arbor to get another one.
  8. andymac85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    well, I've got quite the list of people who want one now. my dad, my buddy, lady from my dad's work, and I, then a couple extra to sell.

    I'll have to do some long, hard thinking if I can divulge that info. Maybe I'll see how many I can get, and we can work out a deal. Hopefully there isn't a limit...money's money, right?
  9. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    Keep in mind the following:

    While a dual 1.8 would be very nice, I have learned through personal experience that a single 1.4 Ghz with 2mb L3 cache (from OWC in this case) is plenty of computing power. My 533 G4 feels very fast to me. Picture icons appear almost instantly when browsing large folders of pictures. Pictures show up fast when opening them. Games run smooth (I do have the ATI 9800 Pro which helps in this area). All in all for my needs it is more than enough. Later when I get into multi-track audio recording I may find this machine limiting. For surfing the web and all over basic needs it flies.

    The single 1.4 is about $250 or so now. A much smarter decision than the dual 1.8 in my opinion.

    As for the price, for $50 a piece I would try to buy them ALL and resell them.

    Another thing to consider: If you are upgrading the machine there is not really a difference between a 466, a 533, a 667, or a 733 (assuming they are all of the same generation--there are two generations of 733s). Why? Because the ram speed, bus speed, and overall design are basically the same and therefore the end speed after upgrading will be basically the same, therefore if it is cheaper to get a lower speed computer, do it!
  10. andymac85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    regarding the last paragraph: I thought the same thing...I checked on lowendmac.com and all of the upgrades will work on all of the DAs. the 733 is just a "better base", as it comes with more RAM and such. I plan on getting there early, I can study for my mid-term while I'm waiting! :) The most I'll spend is about $400. so that's three to sell, lady at my dad's work wants two. Hopefully there isn't a limit imposed by the school.
  11. skacoreimplore macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2006
    what state are you in? if its not far from georgia ill drive there ^_^
  12. ljones macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    My old G4 AGP 400 has become a great little data server. I have it setup to connect to my Mac pro for BackUps and music/video sharing. Then the video files, well those that are wmv, show up on my Xbox 360.

    ALl i need now is a fan to quiet the damn thing down. The fans on that thing are so loud, so it's off unless I need to use it. I'd definitely get one for $50, bu not for working on, it's great for using as a data server.
  13. andymac85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2006
    forgot to update--got away with three, last minute, they imposed a three machine limit.

    all came with one stick of 512mb, bought six additional sticks, bumping each up to 1gb. all ports work (some had dead ports), zip, scsi.

    Panther (don't ask) is pretty snappy on it, I'm waiting for Leopard to see what it has to offer.

    I need to do something about the noise, because it's terrible.

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