Keep ugrading G4 Quicksilver 2x800 or look into mini?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kage777, May 2, 2009.

  1. kage777 macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2008
    I was hoping someone might be able to give me some advice on if you think continuing to upgrade my 8 year old G4 is worth it or if it would just be better to look into getting a mini?

    I currently have a G4 Quicksilver 2x800MHz with 1 Gb of ram running 10.4.11. This question was raised because I was going to upgrade my old 15" apple display and realized my video card only has the ADC and VGA outputs. So that means I would need a $20 (I think that is how much they cost) adapter at least to go ADC to DVI. But then that raised the question if the graphics card would really support a display the size I would like (23"). Which means upgrading the card which would be at least $50 I suspect. It just seems like I would be putting money into something that I am unsure how much performance increase I would get out. I thought I might be able to get $100 out of my machine if I try to sell it, so that could help towards the cost of the mini.

    Main activities I use it for is basic web browsing and simple programs, but I am starting to get into digital photography (little video as well), and have an old version of photoshop (version 6.0) I have been using to dabble in that.

    Any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  2. nsbio macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    The old version of Photoshop will not work on newer Minis (those that run 10.5), which means you would have to either pirate it or pay $$$.

    Other than that, upgrading to the Mini is a good idea.
  3. Yoursh macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    It really comes down to what you need out of a Mac. The nice thing about a Powermac is the upgradability. Being able to add internal cards and drives is nice. Though for pure horsepower, you are better off with a mini. Even a G4 mini should show a nice jump in performance.

    I upgraded from a similar G4 Powemac(single processor model) early last year when I bought the just refreshed Mac Pro. Your right about the video card on your Mac. I also bought the ADC to DVI adapter and found the card couldn't push the higher resolutions for the bigger monitors. I installed an early Radeon Mac pci video card(7000 I think). It gave me slightly more resolution options, but wasn't a major boost. It couldn't run all the graphic upgrades of 10.5 when I put it on teh system. My biggest issue was that the G4 processor just wasn't fast enough. I was running into to many instances where I was maxing out the system resources and bogging the whole system down. Mostly video(h.264) and flash. Compared to my first generation Macbook, it was night and day.

    If you have the money, I would say get a Intel based mac mini. Even a used early Intel model would be a big performance boost. If you like the expandability, you can upgrade the G4 but don't expect a major jump. Also, the older Mac specific video cards are fairly exspensive for what you get. It will be hard to find a high performing one in the $50 range.(Radeon 9800)There is also the option of getting a used G5 Powermac, which are getting cheap and would have a better video card in it, but I wouldn't recommend it since OSX is phasing out the PowerPC processors. (10.5 won't install on your system without a work around and 10.6 is looking to not support the PPC's at all)
  4. kage777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2008
    Thanks for the opinions. I am leaning towards saving the money I would put into the video card and putting it towards the new mini.

    I just read about the new dell e-IPS monitor so I might be returning the one I bought as well and look into getting that as well.

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