Interested in buying an iMac G4 - Help

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MacRazySwe, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. MacRazySwe macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Hi guys,

    I just found an iMac G4 17" for sale. It's the 1.25GHz model, with 2GB RAM and a 400GB HD. The owner is asking for approximately $75 after some negotiation. It does not include the original box, but comes with a fresh install of OS X Tiger. I don't think it has AirPort or Bluetooth. Still, I find it a decent price considering what's been done to it.

    I've always been a fan of the G4-design. However, I'm a bit uncertain of what I'd use it for. How is web-browsing or Spotify on the G4 iMac? Would it work, at all? Anything else it could be used for in this day and age? I guess I really want the computer, although it feels stupid buying one simply for its looks. No, I wouldn't be able to mod it.

    I have an iMac G5 17" 1.6GHz with 1GB RAM (running Leopard). How would the two compare? I'd happily replace the G5 with the G4 if it offers nearly the same performance.

    Last but not least, I have an AirPort Extreme card in my iMac G5 - would it fit in the G4 as well? Is it easily installed? If the AirPort Extreme card does not fit, I think I have an original AirPort-card from an old PowerMac G4 Sawtooth laying around, would it fit (it's quite large though..)?

    Thanks in advance guys, quick replies are appreciated as it's a pending deal. :)
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    That's a maxed out 17" G4 iMac. And at a nice price. The AirPort Extreme card from your G5 may fit in it. Don't recall exactly at the moment how those are in that model iMac. The Sawtooth's original Airport card will not work in that iMac.
  3. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    It'll take an Airport Extreme card, and I think all of them are compatible, from that era, but I don't want to say for certain.

    That's a pretty good price. I paid $100 plus a 3 hr drive for the one in my signature. I would think the G5 would perform better, especially with more RAM.

    I really don't want to comment on web browsing. I've heard TenFourFox is great but I'm getting page outs on mine after being on and running iTunes for about 30 minutes. For me it's painful but 1GB of RAM may make all the difference in the world.
  4. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    That's an awesome price! Is the seller including a KB and mouse a well?

    It will also run Leopard 10.5.8, which means that you can use that as your main machine instead of the 1.6GHZ G5 with only 1GB RAM. Once you have Leopard installed on it, you can get a Wireless N usb adapter and have amazing speeds even on that machine.

    I know some people will disagree with me, but I think the the G4 will run better with Leopard than your G5. Sometimes I feel the same way when I compare my iBook G4 with 1.5GB RAM and 1.42GHz CPU to my iMac G5 1.8GHz 2GB RAM.

    I use my G4 iBook for everything that I use my G5 iMac for, so I would assume that it would be the same for you in this case.

    Basically, buy the G4. I think you're going to love it and eventually replace your G5. The only main difference that you're going to see is that the G4 requires ATA HDDs instead of the SATA drives your G5 can use. It does natively support HDDs larger than 128GB though.
  5. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Spotify performance will be fine. I use Spotify on my G5 and the CPU usage isn't too bad. I also use it on a G4 PowerBook with a 1.67 GHz G4, but only 768 MB of RAM. I want to upgrade the RAM, but I refuse to pay $35 after shipping to get the correct type of RAM for it. I am just waiting for my local computer shop to get some in.

    TenFourFox is your best bet alongside QuickTime Enabler, and maybe even MacTubes as a standalone YouTube application. I do not use QT Enabler but people swear by it. I use MacTubes Enabler which requires you to click an option and MacTubes will open and play the video via QuickTime.

    Keep in mind, as mentioned earlier, the iMac G4 uses an ATA drive which may be a hinderance on the speed. Even the G5's SATA I drive can out perform it. All in all, slap Leopard on the G4, set it up like the G5, and compare. I could use my G4 day in and day out aside from Photoshop (CS3 I believe) where my G5 starts to shine!
  6. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    That seems like a good deal for a 17" 1.25 with 2.0GB of RAM already installed. If it comes with the Pro Speakers, KB, and Mouse, then its a really good deal. I've got a 20" iMac G4 and 17" 1GHz iMac as well. The 1GHz model is really pretty slow on the internet with Leopard. It's usable, but not a great experience. The 1.25 is a lot better, but it won't be G5 fast. The iMac lacked the L2 Cache the PowerMac had, so its not the best G4 chip in the world to start with. I would buy it, but I highly doubt it's going to be a machine you'll want to replace the G5 with. And you really need to get 2GB of RAM in that G5 too :)
  7. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    2GB is a must in Leopard. It really sets the difference between a usable experience and a fluid experience.

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