iMac G4: SSD or RAM?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by zackkmac, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #1
    Hi all. I just purchased an iMac G4 and am very thrilled with it. It is a 17" 1.25GHz with 768MB RAM and an 80GB HD running 10.5 Leopard.

    I tweaked the OS a little and used XSlimmer to get it running 10.5 to the best of its current ability and it's actually more responsive than my iMac G5, which is odd considering my G5 has 2GB RAM and an SSD.

    Anyways, I was wondering if anyone has successfully installed an SSD into one of these? Is it even worth it, considering the PATA interface limitations? Its current HD is a 7200-rpm and is fairly quick with a 13-second boot time. I have about $80 in eBay bucks coming in January that I want to spend on the iMac. Would it be best to drop it all on an SSD, or should I go with upgrading the RAM to 2GB and adding an AirPort Extreme card and a 320GB HD?

    Just wondering what would be the most wise decision. I can get all 3 upgrades but I'm not sure if an SSD is worth sacrificing space for speed on this machine with its older interface and processor. On a side note, I've had this exact machine before and maxed it out as well, except the HD. The PATA to SATA adapter I purchased to do so with broke because of the lack of room, it also nearly broke my hard drive. But it was the smallest type I could find. So I might need some help in finding a proper adapter.

    Your help is much appreciated, thanks and happy holidays!
     
  2. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #2
    Leopard is RAM heavy, and the HD speed on your G4 is only ATA-100MBps. I think that the best upgrade would certainly be RAM.
     
  3. blesscheese macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Central CA
    #3
    Wow, with a 13 second boot time already, you are *not* going to see much (if any!) improvement with an SSD. Plus an SSD for a PATA interface is going to be very expensive.

    RAM is comparatively cheap, and easy to replace, and it will make a big difference in the iMac, esp. if you are running Leopard and only have 768MB.

    Good luck! btw, where did you get the iMac from?
     
  4. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #4
    That must be a typo on the OP's part.
     
  5. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #5
    Max out RAM. SSD will speed it up too. HDD you have there is old 2MB cache drive so it's worth to replace it anyway.
     
  6. zackkmac, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012

    zackkmac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #6
    Yes that was definitely a typo lol. It may be 13 seconds once you time it from the point where the Apple logo pops up. :D

    In any case, I got it from eBay. It is really speedy for its age, I'm not sure my other one was like this but I'm not complaining. I will be upgrading the RAM first. The SSD seems like an okay idea but I feel as though it would really be bottlenecked by the interface and processor. So would the difference between an SSD and a regular HD in that computer be *that* noticeable?

    Thanks for the responses. :)
     
  7. blesscheese macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Central CA
    #8
    Oh darn, that would have been nice!:D

    The other thing to think about is that putting in RAM will be easy; taking it apart to put in a new HD will be a pain.

    With laptops, I like having the SSD like I have in my MBA.

    With a desktop, I am there like, "What's the big deal? Just turn it on, go make a cup of coffee, and when it's done the computer will be ready."
     
  8. TheIguana macrumors 6502a

    TheIguana

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    A little off topic, but this got me wondering if anyone is actually working at converting an iMac G4 to Intel. As it turns out there actually are a few people who are trying to make this happen.

    Someone by the name of Dremel Junkie has actually got a system setup and is in the process of fitting it all into the body of an iMac G4. http://www.dremeljunkie.com
     
  9. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    Yes - ATA is limited to 100 or 133MB/s but you're going to see the biggest improvement in random reads/writes - which are happening at < 1MB/s with a platter drive and will be 10MB/s with an SSD!
     
  10. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    Ohio
    #11
    Ram for sure!
     
  11. skateny macrumors 6502

    skateny

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #12
    Can't go wrong with more RAM. You don't need to do everything all at once. Unless you need to do everything all at once.
     

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