I need a mac desktop! Any advice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Batman Sucks, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. Batman Sucks macrumors newbie

    Batman Sucks

    Jan 27, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ok so here's the scoop.

    I am in the market for a mac desktop. I have been fighting the urge to purchase a new iMac... mainly because all I am asking of this desktop is mucho storage space, web surfing, itunes, dvd playback... and I could stand to save some cash.

    Currently in my line up of machines:
    PIII Compaq Evo (everyone needs one windows machine!)
    12inch pbook 1.33ghz maxed out ram, super drive, 60gb
    15inch pbook 1.25ghz 512mb, super drive, 80gb (i feel in love with this machine... it's older than the 12 inch but man... i love it and it was free!)

    And... that's it.
    All laptops.

    I miss having a desktop setup, the 15 inch is my primary machine.

    Now to the questions...

    It looks like a used PowerMac may be the best choice...

    Boy oh boy, I started looking into this... and there is a lot of information...

    Kinda overwhelming...

    here are some basic questions... any advice is greatly appreciated...

    1) Main purpose for this unit is to store lots of itunes music and data... I need a machine that will recognize hdds over 120gb... i hear there are work arounds for the pre quicksilver machines... (am i correct?)

    2) I don't need a blazing machine by any means, but i do want a zippy enough one... i don't need a machine that displays itunes coverflow in all it's coverflowed glory... but i would like a mahine that handles itunes and basic web task...

    3) Would it be better to grab a dual processor? or a slight higher mhz single?

    4) I am also considering selling/trading the powerbook 12inch. I mean i love the machine... it was my first mac... but i never use it... i only hold onto it because it was the first and it still has apple care until dec 07. If i did trade/sell this...then i would want a newer iMac... i'd probably front some money.

    I have thought about doing the 12 inch with a display... but eh, not my thing.

    So... ANY suggestions would be much appreciated.

    BTW, great forums! I have been lurking for so long! This may be my first post even. Internet intimidation.

  2. jTreu macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2006
    what exactly are you planning on using it for besides storage? from what youve said ti sounds like a imac G5 might be a better option.
  3. Batman Sucks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Batman Sucks

    Jan 27, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY

    Just a unit to keep all my music on and surf on and word process on. something i can keep on 24/7 and have a bigger screen to work with.
    I'd like to convert some videos for iPod... but i do that on my laptops too... so that's not a big concern...

    I probably should have been a little more specifc when i was talking about the powermac... i would be looking for a g4...

    wouldnt a g5 imac be more expensive than an older powermac?

    Thanks for the quick response!
  4. Me1000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 15, 2006
    Well you can pick up a powermac G3 b&w on ebay for about $50. thats about all you will need... plus they are extremely easy to upgrade!
  5. Batman Sucks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Batman Sucks

    Jan 27, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I see that you are currently running one of these with OSX... I plan on maxing ram (of course)... but i was fearing that X would be a little sluggish on a g3?

    also, i assume your unit does not see hdds bigger than 120? this is a big concern for me... i know there is a way around it... but it still worries me some!

    Thanks again for quick, helpful info
  6. Me1000 macrumors 68000


    Jul 15, 2006
    Well your performance is your ram...

    IMO this computer rocks! I did however use a Powermac G5 (quad core)
    And it was fast, but thats a bit overkill for storing music, and surfing the web.

    yeah, some HDDs wont work in it, but its not too bad, G4's are pretty cheep too on ebay. too...
  7. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    Mactracker says the max for those machines is 128GB. Dunno if you could get around it by using a PCI card or something. I know there was something about the IDE in those machine that was buggy, too, can't remember what. OS X 10.3.9 runs alright on it, but I don't think Quartz Extreme is supported, making things like Exposé quite a lot slower than on a machine with QE.

    I'd strongly recommend something more than the B&W. It was a nice machine, sure, but these days you really need at least a G4 (the Altivec makes a huge performance difference in some cases, like ripping in iTunes). I'd say nothing older than the Quicksilver.
  8. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I'd recommend an iMac- used G5s are great, Core 2 Duo models arent that expensive to begin with.
  9. Yakamoto macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2006
    Planet Earth
    What about a Mini with an external HDD.
    Not sure if you have the Screen Keyboard and Mouse though.
    Just a thought.
  10. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    A mini also sounds to me to more than adequate for your needs.
  11. chadgroove macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2006
    If you want Mucho storage, don't go with the mini+external hard drive combo. I've been there, tried that. I stored my large iTunes and iPhoto library on an external, as well as Garageband loops, and instruments with a Core Duo Mini, and while it worked, I realized I spent $700 on the Mini and 100+ on the external firewire HD. I could ahve just bought an intel iMac and gotten a lot more for about the same cost.

    A G5 iMac sounds like a good idea.. but..

    (If you don't mind me asking), what is the most you want to spend on this. Check out the Apple Refurb site. There is a 17in Core Duo iMac 1.8ghz, 160GB hd, 512MB RAM beauty for $949.
  12. Batman Sucks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Batman Sucks

    Jan 27, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    imac g5 is what i originally had in mind. but i am moving into a new condo in about 2 weeks and had a few other odds and ends i wanted to take care of in prep for the move. some new furniture, etc... plus the cost of moving.

    also, if i were to go for a new model machine i (hate to say this) would have to let go of one of the powerbooks...

    so i am looking at this more along these lines...

    i need a desktop to sit at, browse macrumors, listen to a ton of itunes (hooked up into my stereo) and some basic word processing/email. i plan on going to an imac within about 6 months... or so... but i am impatient and really, really miss having a desktop.

    so, it's like i want some kind of internet enabled giant ipod...

    also, i'd like to get into this machine some and make it a little project... something to keep my busy... but nothing too crazy

    i want to make sure to get a machine that will do these basic tasks not a lightning speed mind you (no coverflow is needed for me!)... but not doggishly slow...

    when it comes to older macs (especially the g4s) it seems that there are so many options... it just boggles the mind... i came into the mac game about 2 years ago and i just love it...

    i was even looking at g4 imacs... but it seems paying 600 bucks for a 17inch 1ghz machine is a bum idea when i can spend a few hundred more and get a modern machine that will carry me along for a bit (and with sexy looks to boot)

    so to answer your question... originally i was thinking $400-$500 then i was thinking that's nuts... for my needs what is the cheapest i can get by?

    do you think a g4 450mhz with 1gb of ram would do this?
    should i move to dual 500mhz? or would the single 733mhz be a better option?

    i know these machine are insanly upgradable... my needs are so simple...

    thanks so much for the good advice... keep it coming! ;)

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