Is it worth investing in PPC Macs?...Still?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by violindoug, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. violindoug macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2010
    I've had my iBook G4 for a little over a week and IT IS GREAT! The problems that might bug others don't even really bug me because I don't need a webcam all that much, iMovie HD cuts it for me, and Leopard is fine enough for me. What I AM wondering about is that as soon as Apple dropped PPC support in Snow Leopard, I feel the value lowered...A LOT because with OS X moving in another path, there are a lot of apps that now require Intel processors. So, if i want a second Mac, laptop or desktop, there are a lot on craigslist that are cheap ppc Macs. Should I get them? Some examples are and iMac G3 for $50 or an eMac for $50 (obviously I'd get the eMac because of the faster processor.) There are also things like a 17 inch PowerBook G4 for $350 or a PowerMac G5 (w/ display and mouse + keyboard) for $325. So should I invest in these or should I save up more cash for an Intel Mac?
  2. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    absolute your personal choice
    ok i love the ppc Macs , they still do what i want them to do , so investing in a intel Mac would be money thrown out of the window for me , and with even the fastest G4 Mac's coming down in price its catch what you can before the good ones are gone
  3. macgeek18 macrumors 68000


    Sep 8, 2009
    Northern California
    There still worth it,I mean I just invested in a dual 867 PM G4 and it's totally worth it.Btw,G5's still kick butt.
  4. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2008
    Its a mix of personal choice and what you want the system to do. One major thing to take into consideration is; if something in the system fails (PSU, logicboard for example) it can be difficult and expensive to find a replacement; in some cases you might simply be out of luck.
  5. prss14 macrumors regular


    Jul 18, 2009
    I just got an 12", 800mhz, iBook. I love it. Got it for $100. Perfect, "netbook", just better. It only really shows its age with videos. I don't know that I would put too much money into ppc, though, for the longterm. But for secondary devices they can't be beat.
  6. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Apple still has good support for Tiger (possibly because there were Intel Macs that shipped with it) so I would bet you Leopard support will still be around for a couple years to come. I personally don't see any problems with buying PPC Macs. If the price is right, its not a bad thing to buy. I'm personally looking for a quad G5 system. I like my MacBook Pro just fine, but I really want a tower thats got room for a couple internal drives and lots of ports. Used Mac Pro's just aren't cheap enough yet for me to afford one.
  7. landscapeman macrumors regular

    May 26, 2010
    SW Florida
    Why not. They still work great and most can update to leopard.
  8. violindoug thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2010
    This is pretty much how I feel too, but I feel like even when some tasks like iMovie can edit pretty well, but well... they take a lot of time to import and export. I wonder why PPC was substantially slower than Intel.

    I noticed under your reply it said:
    "HP DV1300 Hackintosh 10.5.8
    Lenovo S-10 Hackintosh 10.6.3"

    I was also wondering if i wanted an Intel machine if I should buy a hackintosh or make one. I, being a little bit of a goody-two-shoes, was a little concerned of the legality, and even if I wanted to make one, I didn't know if an unused pc in my house would work. So, do you know how a Pentium II would run OS X?
  9. landscapeman macrumors regular

    May 26, 2010
    SW Florida
    Pentium II's are to old. Any Intel or AMD processor that supports SSE2 or higher. I have 10.5.8 running on a machine as old as a Dell Dimensions 4400(P4). You can build a machine using parts or outfit a compatible model.
    Here is a HCL wiki for parts and computer models. As far a legality I dont understand why it wouldnt. As long as your not bootlegging the software, I dont see any issue. But if you decide to go this route, be prepared to do some reading. Since it looks like you have some experience with macs, it should come easy, but there is a learning curve. If you need help building your Hackintosh or any other questions, let me know. Good Luck bud.

    CPUs supporting SSE2

    AMD K8-based CPUs (Athlon 64, Sempron 64, Turion 64, etc)
    AMD Phenom CPUs
    Intel NetBurst-based CPUs (Pentium 4, Xeon, Celeron, Celeron D, etc)
    Intel Pentium M and Celeron M
    Intel Core-based CPUs (Core Duo, Core Solo, etc)
    Intel Core 2-based CPUs (Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, etc)
    Intel Core i3,i5,i7
    Intel Atom
    Transmeta Efficeon
    VIA C7
    VIA Nano
  10. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    hmhmmm yea a hackintosh is not as easy as it sounds , as its not just taking your osx leopard or snow leopard disk and putting it in the drive and pressing install ;) i think the easiest to install to ,if we could talk about easy are the netbooks

    and thats the main reason why i never bothered about a hackintosh ,
    there are always things that go wrong , ethernet or sound , or usb ,or whatever not working until you find the right cards or swap the motherboards
    and then the matter of getting the right bootloaders and things like that have put me of totally
    its just not as easy and plug and play as on ppc Mac's
    ok parts are not that easy to get in some cases for ppc Mac's , but used and fully working ppc Mac's are just a click away at ebay or craiglist or other sites and as they are at a all time low now its the best time , they wont get cheaper as cheaper would mean the seller has to give you money if you buy one :D
  11. zen.state macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2005
    I guess you never go to ebay.

    I use only PowerPC at home and do all I need without issue and at a respectable clip. I have a Mac Pro quad Xeon at work. Although it is very powerful it isn't so much so that it's worth buying one for me. I spent 350 on a G4 upgrade just a year ago and am even contemplating buying the dual that sells for 800.

    Due to HTML 5 support in PowerPC apps like Safari that alone gives more life to the platform for average users.

    It really all depends on just what your needs are combined with the hardware you have and being comfortable with your hardware.
  12. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    the thing with ppc Mac's is they work , they are reliable , and if apple would not have chickened out because windows could not run on them we could still enjoy new ppc Mac's , as the 7448 G4 can still keep up with the intels , so the ppc processors had potential ,just apple could not see it , seem windows customers had been more important the transition had in my opinion absolute nothing to do with speed
  13. zen.state macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2005
    If the 7448 had come out sooner it could have solved the need for more power in the G4 PowerBooks. I think the fact there was no answer for a faster laptop cpu at the time was one of the main reasons for the switch. The last year or so of the PowerBook G4 was filled with users asking for more power. The G5 was just too much of a power hog to shrink down and function.

    Freescale claims the 7448 is 40% faster than previous G4's but in my experiences it can be as much as 60% faster. It's also only 90nm which makes it the smallest G4 ever. It is also the most efficient G4 ever using only 18-20Watts @ 1.7GHz. So my 1.8 would only be 22-25.

    Sadly only PowerMac G4 Sawtooth-Qucksilver and later model G4 PowerBooks can enjoy the 7448. The same 90nm chip works unmodified in desktops and laptops.
  14. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    I've "invested" today equivalent of $71 in two iMacs G3: 600 Snow and 450 Ruby :D
    Was worth for sure. So much fun for that little money :p

    My goal is to swap enclosures between them (i prefer Ruby look but Snow has better specs), overlock CPUs OFC and some other mods.
    I got 750CXE datasheet with PLL settings so OC should be easy.
  15. zen.state macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2005
    Great buy! I never owned an iMac but would like one to play with. Preferably a G3 400MHz+
  16. mr1970 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    As is always the way with these things, it depends what you're using it for. We have:

    - a purple G3 iMac used as an email terminal for guests
    - a G4 Powermac (Gigabit Ethernet) used as a home media server
    - my own 12" Powerbook 1.5 which I haven't found a reason to change
    - a G5 which I use with two monitors - one for an Extranet session for my work, the other running iTunes
    - my wife's Intel Macbook
    - my 13 year old's Core 2 Hackintosh

    Would I like something quicker / newer? Sure. But they're all quick enough for the purposes for which they're being used.

    The key is paying the right price - picking things up locally can often make a G5 worthwhile, for example, while the postage buying it from eBay would start to take you into Intel Mac Mini territory as the G5 weighs about the same as my car. Also be careful on buying from the top or bottom of a range - running a G5 with 512MB memory isn't great, and buying a top-end watercooled G5 is getting riskier as they get older in case anything goes wrong.
  17. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    ok i make its quiet simple

    Yes , its worth investing in a ppc Mac
    if you do NOT cut films /work with photoshop or things like that on a COMMERCIAL basis where you absolutely need the latest 2010 software and if you do not want to play games in windows (because these are the only legitimate reasons to invest in a intel Mac )
  18. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    I'm going to be a nay-sayer and say no, it's not worth it.

    I've had 2 PowerMac G4's (Dual G4 1Ghz Quicksilver, 733 Mhz Quicksilver) and my PowerMac G5 Quad die. The Dual G4 and Quad G5 both died due to power supply failures, and the 733 Mhz died due to logic board failure. The only PowerPC Mac I have left is my PowerBook 867, and that barely runs with a bad hard-drive.

    The simple fact is, any PowerPC-based mac you get is going to be old - at least 4-5 years. While some Macs go well beyond their expected lifetime, many die of old age just like all things technological: wear and tear is a way of life. PowerPC macs will have harder-to-find components, and software support is already going away.

    Unless you are going for a collector-item (I personally wouldn't mind getting a G4 iMac... it was an incredible design), I'd go with an Intel Mac if you need usability.
  19. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    i have 2 iMac g3's and they are more then reliable and both from summer 2001
    and spares are extremely easy and cheap to get same for my eMacs from 2006 or my mini's from 2005
    and you can take some precautions for example give them a clean inside , change the heat compound as it tries out after a couple years , do regular backups as yes the harddrives might go or the ram

    it all depends where you buy them from
    if they had been abused in a school or in a office for years before they land on ebay, sold by a dodgy dealer who has no idea about the difference between a rubber duck and a computer

    or if they came from a caring owner who cherished them like a pet and ran to the apple store for a service more often then he went to the dentist
  20. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    PPC's are fine but they are not worth it long term if you want to be up to date software wise. You can still do plenty with a well stocked PPC machine, just don't expect to be using Apple's new goodies on it.
  21. gyus macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2007
    It totally depends on what you are planning to use your computer for! If its just for email, surfing the web and some light computer work- say word processing, my suggestion would be to pick a PPC computer that would support a web browser for some time. For example, if you run a G4 then 10.5's Safari 5 will be supported on that OS for a while. Once the web browser support ends, it the death bell for the computer! So a PPC could be a tremendous value if thats what you will be using the computer for. Matter of fact i'm typing this from an indigo iBook, running Panther (safari 1.3) and it s fine for that!

    If your doing anything that requires more cpu than that then Intel is a better choice.
  22. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    there will always be some nice people who like to hold on to the ppc architecture ,and even in 2010 there is development going on for a operating system to work on PPC Mac's ....Morph OS , just in case apple dumps us totally
    there are others outside who care more
  23. drewdle macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2010
    Nanaimo, BC
    PPC is a good platform. As an investment, I'm not sure. It depends on where your priorities lie.

    Both my PPC Macs are serving me well. My iMac just got a full teardown/rebuild with a new hard drive, maxed out memory, and a fresh DVD burner, and for daily use it rarely shows it's age. It does everything I need, so much so that I sold my MacBook and am contemplating going back to school the "old fashioned" way. If this proves to be a pain, however, a G4 notebook may be in the cards.

    My G3 is a slightly different story. I have tried to use it as a daily machine when I had no other choice (the MacBook was in the shop and the iMac hadn't happened yet) and I found it painful. I've made attempts at getting more RAM for the beast, but it refuses to accept anything I've tried. My wife almost went insane having to use it for a month after she killed her MacBook with a glass of water. Thus, until more recently, I hadn't found a use for it. It's now a remote terminal (I use Remote Desktop to play with it) behind my stereo system and functions well as a poor man's AirPort Express.

    Intel Macs are nice, but cheap computers that do what I need of them are better than dropping $1000+ on a laptop or desktop with many times more horsepower than I require, thus I've decided to stick with my PPC systems.

    I won't do Hackintosh for many reasons, one being I think Apple has every right to restrict usage of their software to their hardware. It's the same as an artist putting up a gallery display, but you need to go to that particular gallery to see the art.
  24. violindoug thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2010

    Thank You!
    I'm just noticing also which processors do old IBM ThinkPads have because when I looked up a how to video on YouTube, it was someone from cnet using a ThinkPad ( that video it also says that even if you're using a legal copy of OS X, because of the EULA or whatever, Apple says OS X can only be on Apple branded machines. Also, I'm not that too much of an expert on Macs but ever since I was 8, I've been obsessed with them and I've been doing my "research" on Wikipedia and other random sites on Macs.
  25. violindoug thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2010
    Well, I also think with competition between companies, I think Apple transitioned because it was something like IBM wasn't developing the processors fast enough to be competitive. There's that whole big article on Wikipedia about the transition.

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