Help finding Mac for Father? Speed?

dKran

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 28, 2007
97
0
Hey All.

So my dad has finally had it with his PC and all it's problems. He is interested in a Mac, but doesn't have a lot of extra money.

I've been looking for an older Mac for him, and thought this might be a question to ask.

He is by no means a computer power user. The only things he really does are: Email, Surfing the net, Watching YouTube videos, and listening to music, so I know he doesn't need anything too fast.

I'm wondering what you guys would recommend for this? I'd like it to be able to comfortable and snappily run Leopard, and be able to run a few apps at a time with no issues.

Any input is greatly appreciated!
 

Bennieboy©

macrumors 65816
Jan 15, 2009
1,277
1
england
i'd suggest a mac mini, it'll do all that with the minimum fuss and be relatively future proof for not so much money and it just plugs in to the monitor and keyboard that he ( might ) be using now ;)
 

leighonigar

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2007
908
1
The issue is the youtube. At least in the UK the top end G4 powermacs are pretty cheap (≈£100). We've got one here, well, almost one - the 1.25GHz single proc. It's quite usable but it doesn't handle flash very well - flash is evidently very badly optimised (I can download the youtube videos and play them using perian http://www.interrupt19.com/2008/06/02/youtube-on-the-mac-the-definitive-guide-part-2-watching-the-videos/ smoothly even on my old iBook G4 800Mhz). I expect that a dual-proc 1.25 or 1.42 would be just about able to handle them, but I wouldn't swear it.

Some people have suggested that the NVidia graphics cards are better for flash, but I don't really know.

If you suggest a budget we will be better able to help.

Edit... someone got in before me:

i'd suggest a mac mini, it'll do all that with the minimum fuss and be relatively future proof for not so much money and it just plugs in to the monitor and keyboard that he ( might ) be using now ;)

Agreed, an INTEL mac mini would do the job fine if they're affordable.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,076
580
Finland
Any Intel Mac will be fine for that. If he already has a monitor, mouse and keyboard, Mini is the wisest choice. I think you should take a look at eBay if you're familiar with buying used one but if not, then you may have to pay more
 

MacHamster68

macrumors 68040
Sep 17, 2009
3,252
3
the eMac g4 1.42ghz

The Apple eMac G4/1.42 (2005) features a 1.42 GHz PowerPC 7447a (G4) processor with the AltiVec "Velocity Engine" vector processing unit and a 512k on chip level 2 cache, 256 or 512 MB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM, an 80 GB or 160 GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive, a tray-loading "Combo" or dual-layer "SuperDrive" optical drive, ATI Radeon 9600 graphics with 64 MB of dedicated DDR SDRAM, as well as support for AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth (neither pre-installed) in an all-in-one case with a 17.0" (16.0" viewable area) CRT display (resolution support up to 1280x960 in 24-bit color).

i would choose it any time again
 

KeriJane

macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2009
578
0
ЧИКАГО!
Hello.

The Intel Mac Mini would be my choice.

You can find some of the last years model with Intel graphics at closeout prices if you shop around.

Here's the advantages:

1- New enough to run Leopard and Snow Leopard well.

2- Capable of running Windows if necessary. He may well decide to go back to Windows and an Intel Mac can do that.

3- Least expensive way to get into a Mac, really cheap if you find a closeout floor model or demonstrator.

Have Fun,
Keri
 

js81

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2008
1,199
16
KY
Does he have a good keyboard/mouse/monitor to use? If so, then definitely go for the Mini, as you can get a brand new (or refurb) Mini for a quite reasonable price.

However, if he doesn't, maybe you could consider a white iMac. I have one that I bought a little over a year ago (see my sig). I paid $499 on eBay and got free shipping, too. It is great - runs Snow Leopard like a dream (I did upgrade the memory from 2GB to 3GB using a spare stick I had, but 2GB should be fine for it, too).

I just got the G4 PowerBook (again in my sig) a week ago. I'm happy with it all in all, but it absolutely sucks on any kind of streaming video. Youtube and Hulu are unwatchable (though you can download the youtube clips and they play fine in VLC) and Quicktime/Windows Media clips are pretty choppy. Other than the video issues, its a nice, quick machine with Tiger (I tried Leopard and it was a dog, even after upgrading the RAM to 1GB).
 

dKran

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 28, 2007
97
0
Hey, he probably won't want to spend any more than between 300-400, as that is what it would cost to fix his current computer.

I'll take a look at the Mini's though. Didn't the older one's only have the intel GMA's? Would that handle youtube better than the G4's?

And so by the sound of it, any G4 is basically going to fail at youtube?
 

MacMini2009

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2009
1,729
0
California
Hey, he probably won't want to spend any more than between 300-400, as that is what it would cost to fix his current computer.

I'll take a look at the Mini's though. Didn't the older one's only have the intel GMA's? Would that handle youtube better than the G4's?

And so by the sound of it, any G4 is basically going to fail at youtube?
The earlier Mac Mini's did have the Intel GMA 950. Yes, G4's cannot handle Youtube. The cheapest refurb Mac Mini I've seen is I think $469. If that's too expensive, look around eBay or Craigslist.
 

js81

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2008
1,199
16
KY
I had an Intel Core Solo Mini that I upgraded to a Core Duo. It had the Intel GMA950. It ran Youtube and Hulu fine. From what I read, G4s do fail on streaming video. I love this PowerBook, but it sucks on any online videos.
 

dKran

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 28, 2007
97
0
I think that a Mini would definitely be the best choice, as he already has all the other peripherals.

I've been readinhg up a bit, and looking at prices and stuff, and most people are saying that the Youtube issue with G4's are with Flash 10, and that Youtube and other streaming sites run SD fine if you revert to flash 9. Anyone have any Clarification on this?

It looks like the price of used ones vary a lot: I've seen a G4 one for $200, and haven't seen an Intel one for under $500.

Here in Canada anyways.
 

js81

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2008
1,199
16
KY
I've been readinhg up a bit, and looking at prices and stuff, and most people are saying that the Youtube issue with G4's are with Flash 10, and that Youtube and other streaming sites run SD fine if you revert to flash 9. Anyone have any Clarification on this?
I heard this, so I downgraded my PowerBook to Flash 9 and, while its better, it still sucks. If I plug in, run wired ethernet, and use Flash 9, most videos are tolerable. But that defeats the entire purpose of a laptop, right?
 

SkyBell

macrumors 604
Sep 7, 2006
6,579
131
Texas, unfortunately.
Despite what seems to be the popular opinion around here, G4's can handle YouTube. My eMac handles it with only 512 MB of RAM. (And this is on Leopard.) So don't let that worry you.

Obviously, an Intel Mac will be faster and more powerful, so you should spring for one if you can afford it. But if you can't, rest assured that G4's are still very capable (and not to mention fairly cheap) machines.
 

js81

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2008
1,199
16
KY
Where did my reply go? Geez... love the interwebs...

I had said something along the lines of "Help me, then, Cassie..." If you have your PPC eMac running Youtube, Hulu, etc., smoothly, then girl, share the tricks! :D I can't get my PowerBook to run it at more than a slideshow. BTW, this is on Tiger (10.4.11) with Flash 9. HALP!!! :D
 

JCP21

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2009
49
0
I vote the mini, if he is switching over from using a windows he can still keep his screen, and external hardware. Keep us update!
 

dKran

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 28, 2007
97
0
Hey guys

So I may have found a suitable mini for a very reasonable price.

It's the 1.83ghz Core2Duo system, I just had a couple more questions.

It only has 1Gb of Ram installed, is it upgradable in this model?

Same question for the hard drive. It's got 80gb installed, how easy is it to replace and make bigger.

This model also has the intel gma 950 for graphics. Is this going to have any problems with streaming video? What about Divx content on the hard drive? Is HD out of the question?

Thanks for all your help guys. Much appreciated.