Help me decide on a ppc machine

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by BigRed1, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. BigRed1 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #1
    I need to pick up a ppc machine. I have several old recordings in old versions of cubase that I really need to edit and remaster. I have songs in cubase 5 and cubase sx1 that I need access to. I picked up an old titanium PowerBook, but it was DOA.

    Essentially, I need a machine capable of running os9 and os10.x in the ppc version. I don't have room for a tower or an iMac. So, Mac mini or some laptop would be preferable.

    I'm also super cheap. All I want it to do is run cubase. Any advice?
     
  2. Dronecatcher, Jul 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015

    Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #2
    For Powerbooks you're better off with a Titanium model that can boot directly into OS9 when needed - I think you should consider the 667 DVI model the minimum and again, the more memory the better.

    G4 iBooks can't boot OS9 but the older G3s will - you might consider a faster model one of those.

    Carefully research the system requirements for SX - I seem to remember it might not be compatible with Tiger - 10 to 10.3....though I might be thinking of SE or LE - I never used Cubase much.

    MacOS9lives is the place to go, they are dedicated to music apps on OS9 - I can't recommend it enough:

    http://macos9lives.com/smforum/
     
  3. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #3
    No Mini can run OS 9 natively.

    Your current TiBook might not be dead-at least on older(VGA) models, in my experience, a dead but connected PRAM battery can keep them from booting. Follow the iFixit guide for takedown, but the PRAM battery is under the optical drive. You don't even have to remove it-just try disconnecting it from the logic board and see if the computer will start.

    Failing that, within your criteria your best bet is going to be another TiBook. I'd suggest looking for a 1ghz model, as these are the best and last laptops that can boot OS 9 natively. These can also officially run Leopard(although any TiBook can run it without a lot of extra trouble) and actually run it fairly well(max the RAM to 1gb).

    A white iBook G3 would also work for you(I'd personally get a "snow" over a clamshell for what you're doing). I'm not familiar with the program you're using, but if it's not Altivec-enabled a G3 and G4 will effectively-clock for clock-be the same. The iBook G3s max out at 900mhz. The downside is that they can't hold as much RAM as a TiBook. They have some amount of memory soldered to the logic board(the amount varies depending on the model-I think it maxes out at about 128mb) and only one expansion slot. This means that the max they will hold is 512mb+whatever is on the logic board. The "snow" G3s and the last model(Firewire) Clamshells will run up to 10.4(Tiger).

    Avoid iBook G4s and aluminum Powerbooks as none can run OS 9 natively.

    If you can make room for a tower, I'd suggest either a Quicksilver or an MDD(FW400 or MDD2003). Many folks consider the single 1.25ghz MDD to be the best OS 9 machine ever made-and rightfully so as they are amazingly fast under OS 9. If you're running OS X also, though, I'd look for either a dual 1.0 or dual 1.25, as the second processor won't cause a performance hit under OS 9(some specific programs can even use it) and it does make a big difference in OS X.

    iMac G4s don't have a huge footprint either, and some can run OS 9 natively(do your research on this!). One of these might be a good choice if you have the room for it. Plus, they are an iconic design and, IMO, one of the most ergonomic computers Apple has ever made.
     
  4. BigRed1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Thanks, I think I'll reconsider the iMac g4. Seems like it may be the best deal out there.
     
  5. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #5
    I don't have much to add, but in case you didn't know, you can compare the specs on everymac.com (in case you e.g. want to find an iMac G4 that supports OS 9)
     
  6. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #6
    Bear in mind that only iMacs 800Mhz and below can boot OS9 and when compared to similar speed Powerbooks, they have a slower system bus, no L3 cache and no line input socket.
     
  7. BigRed1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Holy cow, no line input? What were they thinking? I have loads of devices, but I don't think any of them are os 9 compatible.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #8
    The 1 GHz TiBook would be the best bet then. I know someone with one they may sell. I can ask them to PM you if you'd like.
     
  9. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #9
    Agreed, a 1 GHz TiBook would be perfect, not only a great design, but great performance too.
     
  10. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #10
    The 900 MHz iBook G3 is also a solid OS 9 machine.
     
  11. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #11
    Wow! I was gonna recommend one! Those are nice, I'm pretty sure you can put a keyboard from a TiBook on one, it would look pretty cool
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #12
    I have one in nearly mint condition and it runs OS 9 beautifully!
     
  13. gooser macrumors 6502

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    Jul 4, 2013
    #13
    you are aware that they are referring to an audio input. and there are workarounds for that like an imic.
     
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #14
    The TiBooks do have a couple of distinct advantages over the iBooks. The DVI models have a 1280x854 widescreen display, while the snow iBook G3s have a 4:3 1024x768 display(regardless of the display size).

    As I mentioned above, the maximum RAM capacity of any iBook G3 is 512mb+whatever is soldered to the board. On the late model(i.e. the 900mhz) this is 640mb. Any TiBook(plus the Lombard/Pismo Powerbook) can take 1gb RAM. All DVI models have a 133mhz FSB, faster than the 100mhz bus on the later iBook G3s.

    As I mentioned above, not all software is written to take advantage of Altivec. This is overly simplified, but a G4 is basically a G3 with an integrated Altivec floating point processor. In an overly simplified case, a 900mhz G3 and 1ghz G4 running software that does not use Altivec should perform similarly(both the 750cxe in the iBook and the 7455 in the later TiBooks use an 18µM process). The 1ghz Ti does, however, have 1mb of L3 cache, which can make some real world difference.

    I'll also mention that OS X came out in the G4 era, and I would expect that any software that runs on OS X from the early 2000s will be Altivec aware. Thus, you'd probably see a big advantage from the G4 in terms of speed.
     
  15. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

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    May 27, 2013
    #15
    Unless you're running MorphOS, there is no point to having a G4 mini. With the price of the original Intel minis going down like a $2 prostitute, there is simply no point to it anymore.

    Since you don't want an iMac due to space, I'd say to get a PowerBook G4 (Nov 2002-Sep 2003). It can boot 9 or 10, have a goodly sized cache, and doesn't lag behind the 1.67 GHz (which can't boot 9 natively) by a lot.
     
  16. gooser macrumors 6502

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    #16
    let's not forget about pismo's now. very easy to repair and maintain.
     
  17. rosario1990 macrumors regular

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    #17
    Didn't forget about this one. Let me try once again.
     
  18. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #18
    If line input is essential be aware, G3 iBooks don't have one either.
    For that matter, neither to G4 Mac Minis - so if you were to get a G3, Mini or iMac, a USB audio interface would be a must.
     
  19. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #19
    @ Dronecatcher
    I can't find it atm, but wasn't it you with the nice picture of an old Cubase cart box with the requirements saying 300MHz G3 would be crazy and top of the line? I liked that. Do you remember what version of Cubase that was?

    Maybe since the OP does only want to edit, the missing audio line in isn't a problem. Then again you have USB-audio-line-in interfaces or these small converters (the latter I don't know how good they are quality wise. I used my iMic for very basic stuff, because I had a firewire400 interface for recording).

    Which brings me to the next question: OP, you might want to take into consideration, if you really just want to edit your old stuff or you want to choose a machine you can run some of your old audio equipment with (if sill existent) or not.

    On the point "I am cheap". Aren't the very old Laptops rising in prices, due to becoming collector's stuff? So, if you can make room for a tower and the noise is no issue, a Quicksilver or MDD would be an option, too. ...as bunnspecial already had pointed out.
     
  20. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #20
    Yes, it's here on this thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/upgrade-panic.1888804/

    That version predates SX by a few years - SX requires a 733Mhz G3 minimum.

    I don't know what hardware the OP is running - it might be possible to run Cubase through Sheepshaver but I have no experience of that - emulators tend to be buggy for these kind of things.
     
  21. BigRed1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #21
    Well, right now I'm running a 2009 mini with logic pro 9 and an apogee ensemble. I also have a motu 4pre. I was pretty sure that I ran cubase sx on my g3 350 tower, but it's possible I had my g5 tower by that point. I ran every version of cubase vst from 3.5 to 5 on it. That g3 tower was just an awesome machine. It was the original blue and white tower. It was so easy to upgrade and service and carry around when needed. I wish I still had it.

    I thought I had found a good deal on a g4 iMac, but it was too new and is os x only. I found another that is not a great price, but it's a g4 800, which may or may not run os 9. I guess I'll just keep my eyes open and see what comes up.
     
  22. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

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    #22
    I'll toss in another vote for the 1GHz TiBook. The 867MHz version isn't too shabby either, as thats the one I personally have owned (along with a DVI 667) and it really runs OS X well along with OS 9. The screens on these are beautiful, the keyboards are nice to type on, and the weight and size are totally manageable. Don't underestimate the value of that 1MB of L3 cache either! It really makes everything feel faster. I'd put the performance "feel" right on par with my 1.25GHz iMac G4.

    Also, now that you're talking iMac, you must be at least considering a desktop system. If that is the case, I'd go with a PowerMac G4 that can boot OS 9 over a G4 iMac. Lots of dual CPU setups out there that will give you far better performance and more HDD room to grow if you so desire.
     
  23. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #23
    Another cheap option - if you can make room for one - is an eMac (1Ghz or below to boot OS9 too). I say cheap because if you can find one locally people virtually give them away - if you had to ship one, forget it :)
     
  24. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #24
    @ OP
    On the iMac G4, I still don't know, if I would pick that personally, but re OS 9 support: you already mentioned it, the 800MHz iMac G4 is the one with the highest CPU clock speed available, but there are 3 800MHz models one of them being one that can only boot OS X. Look the chart here http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...boot-macos-9-windows-linux-compatibility.html
    If you click on the names there, you can look into smaller details (i.e. the 800MHz model with the 17" display has a bigger HDD and GPU).

    Here is a list of all OS 9 supported machines: http://www.everymac.com/systems/by_capability/macs-that-support-macos-9-classic.html
    Here is a list of the latest OS 9 bootable machines: http://www.everymac.com/mac-answers...rt-faq/last-macs-to-boot-startup-macos-9.html

    Despite from that, on the OS 9 lives forum there is a download with that you can enable OS 9 bootability on otherwise unsupported machines!
     
  25. BigRed1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 13, 2011
    #25
    Wow, thanks! I keep seeing the 800 mhz g4 iMac for reasonable prices, but the sellers don't really know what they have.
     

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