Is a Used PowerMac G4 worth it?

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by macswitcha2, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. macswitcha2 macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    Would you buy a used but in great condition PowerMac G4 450 Mhz. 256MB of Ram 10GB HD with a DVD/CD Drive for $90? And a Apple 17 inch Studio Display LCD?

    If so, what would you use it for? Is there potential for it to be a better machine via modification?
  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    With few exceptions, the PowerMac G4, regardless of model, can be upgraded to the top of the line 1.42Ghz processor. However, the cost would be quite high anymore.

  3. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Short answer - No.

    But it very much depends on what you're doing with it. For basic websurfing you could get by if you max out the RAM and install OSX 10.3.9.

    However, to get more useable performance you're going to need to get OS X 10.4, an aftermarket CPU faster than 1GHz, and replace the original HDD with a new (faster + quieter) modern drive (a SATA card would also be required for a SATA drive). You don't get USB 2.0 without an expansion card either.

    The stock GPU is probably sufficient for the basics but not good enough for Core Image in 10.4. And the machine, no matter how heavily upgraded, will never be able to play HD movie content and will still struggle with some content-heavy websites.

    I had a dual 533MHz machine upgraded as described in my sig below (acually it has twin 1TB drives now), and it still struggles with some websites.

    Long story short, the G4 is just about at the end of its tether for day-to-day use. I would not invest in a G4, because your $90 purchase would only be the beginning of a slew of upgrades. You'd be better off looking for a used Mac Mini - Intel Mac Minis can be had cheap these days, and even the later G4 models are usually a much better deal than even the best Power Mac G4s.
  4. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    Great advice. Right, Before I know t $90 would turn into over $300. I rather put that on the new macbooks.
  5. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    No, not the specific machine you mentioned -- unless you're an antique Mac collector and then anything goes. I have a 800MHz/40GB+160GB HD/1.25GB RAM "Quicksilver" PMG4 (ca. 2002) running Tiger 10.4.11. It's a fun hobby machine but not even the current iTunes will run on it any more. The old saying is right -- if you want to enjoy a ten-year-old computer, make sure you only run ten-year-old software. 
  6. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Ouch! One could buy a PowerBook G4 1Ghz for less, if they shop around... it's mobile too!

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