Lifespan of PowerPC

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Legacy, May 12, 2012.

  1. Legacy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I have been using my G4 PowerBook for a week as my main computer and I must say, I am thoroughly impressed by the speed of the machine, considering it is 8 years old. It is running 10.5.8 and has the maximum 1.25GB of RAM.

    How many more years do people think the PowerPC platform will be supported for/last for basic tasks?

    I use it to browse the internet, as well as Office 2008 and Logic 8 to record instruments and audio, although I edit my arrangements on my MacBook Pro where I can use effects etc.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #2
    They still have some life in them yet, I have a G5 tower myself, and it does everything I need it to, now for intensive tasks I have a GAMEPC Gaming tower sitting right next to it these days, so I'll always be able to do what I need.

    PowerPC machines will be useful as long as people have a use for them. They can still do 95% of " modern " tasks just fine.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3

    Hard to say. I suppose it's as long as it's still useful to you. I have a range of work/home Macs from an Apple IIci to a work G5 that are all still running and useful. I am typing this on a 17" 1Ghz PowerBook G4 that was declared dead/for parts two and a half years ago (when I bought it).


    It's getting harder to use older apps to surf the internet, but then you have projects out there like TenFourFox that are dedicated to keeping old Macs relevant. And as long as the apps you use still work…
     
  4. Legacy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 27, 2005
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    London
    #4
    I actually find the optimized Camino for PowerPC is better than TenFourFox.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    Whatever works for you. I'm actually using Opera 10.20 Alpha1 right at the moment. I prefer Opera 10 because it's fast and I've always liked it's interface. Unfortunately, it just can't give me what I need in some situations.
     
  6. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #6
    It can last forever if it runs and does what you need.
    But internet standarts are getting very hard on old machines.Specially with flash etc.
    But there is always tricks (mobile sites,html5,etc)..
     
  7. PowerPC80 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #7
    I think the PPC Macs, especially the G4, are starting to get to the point to where they are getting a unbearable for internet usage. My 1.5GHz 12" PB has slowed down a LOT over the past year, and my G5 tower is starting to slow down as well.

    I recently bought an i5 iMac and couldn't be happier. The performance is absolutely insane compared to my G5 tower, and it's a 2.5 "quad core".

    If you have the $ to buy even an entry level Mac Mini, the speed difference is astonishing.
     
  8. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #8
    I use an original clamshell iBook G3 (With the 300 MHz G3) running OS 9.2.1 to surf the internet almost every single day, using Classilla. It's a bit of a struggle sometimes, but I can browse MR, news sites and eBay with it without issues. Take from that what you will about PPC usefulness. :)
     
  9. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #9
    I felt the same today, but I guess if you have some patience, and try different browser things can get better.
    For example, facebook on tenfourfox is unusable for me, but in demeter browser it is fine..
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #10
    For the time being, the current Macs I have are all that I can afford. So tweaking things becomes a constant task.
    I have TenFourFox tweaked to about the best performance I can get. Which is equivalent to about out of the box with no extensions. I'm happy with that because I have a lot of extensions and I'm running TFF over the TOR network.
     
  11. Legacy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #11
    I honestly don't see an unbearable difference between the Powerbook and my Macbook Pro. Yes the Pro is infinitely faster; pages load in a second - the Powerbook can take up to a few seconds, but it is not unbearable by any means.

    Earlier, I had six tabs open in Camino, while running Powerpoint and Word, alongside a few Finder windows. Switching between any given app was almost instant, and I had about 150-200Mb of free RAM available.
     
  12. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 1, 2009
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    Portugal
    #12
    It all depends on the sites you visit :p
    Yes I agree that multitasking on powerpcs is good =D
     
  13. vohdoun macrumors 65816

    vohdoun

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    Far away from Earth.
    #13
    Thankfully I've never been a Flash user. Even the days on the PC. It's one of those things you learn to do without. That and mostly nearly everything Flash related comes with ads everywhere. Then with adblockers most of the things break on the site because you're left with blank rectangles and such. Tolerate the flashy ads or have them blocked with very little to interact with. I especially hated the ones that had huge drop downs. MSN use to be terrible for that.
    Saying that... my only gripe now thats starting to happen more and more with Safari is the lack of functioning updated extensions. More and more are requiring the features of 5.1 with the pop-up toolbar windows. As you know it just doesn't work since it's not there to begin with. I do wish Apple gave us 5.1 before they killed Safari at 5.0.6, as the performance is great for me.

    With the right performing extensions, Safari on PPC feels as good as on the Intel. Only IMDb is a bit slower, 2 - 4 seconds to load. Everything else usually loads within 1 second. But it's the lack of extension compatibility thats really ruining it for me. I'm getting left back on updated features as they make it so that if you want to configure the extension you need the pop-up features of 5.1x.

    Sometimes I feel like a classic sports car getting my internals stripped out piece by piece. It's starting to feel like the clunky internals of Nascar.

    I cringe when I see Safari's 5.1 cookie management. Everything is so nicely laid out in site names for quick easy management compared to the gigantic list that forms in 5.0.6. You can end up filtering through 2 lists over a period of 10 minutes. Safari cookies was nice but SIMBL creates a few weird issues for me.
     
  14. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #14
    Thanks for posting, OP. I will have the same machine (albeit 1.5GHz) in my hands next week, and lately I've been wondering the same thing.

    I would love to have the latest Mac with Lion and everything, but right now I can't afford it. So I'm not sure when I will be able to, but I would love to be able to use PowerPC for a couple years.

    I will mainly be using it for my writing, as well as other non-complex things. As well as watching movies. Not having the latest updates is fine, and I can deal with no HD video for what I'm paying.

    I might be tempted to put a SSD in. It will be nice having a Mac again. And from what I've been reading up on about what kind of programs I can run, it looks like I will be able to make plenty of use out of this machine.
     
  15. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #15
    As long as you're not a heavy user, and you don't expect lightning fast out-of-the-box performance, PPC is still very usable for many people. I had an Intel Mac mini once, and I have no desire to own an Intel machine again. PPC works just fine.
     
  16. davidg4781 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #16
    Any reason why you're staying away from Intel?

    I've been looking to purchase a PPC just to see what I missed out on. It will actually be interesting to compare it to my old Windows PC which was built around the same time. I have the first Intel MacBook and it's still very usable. The only reason I'm wanting to upgrade is for Mountain Lion.
     
  17. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #17
    None, really. I mean, I'll readily admit I'm a bit of a PPC snob (read my signature :p) but there's nothing I really hold against Intel. It's just that I love the designs of the PPC machines, My favorite OS is one they run quite well (10.4), and they're dirt cheap with good performance.

    Intel machines are cheaper now than they used to be, but I have no use for them. I couldn't justify the cost to upgrade even if I wanted to. Plus, I could tolerate Leopard if I had to, but 10.6 and up - no thanks, too much eye candy, too many changes that don't suit me. I'm sure I'll have to leave my PPC's in the past some day, but I'm going to milk as much out of them as I can before that day.
     
  18. davidg4781 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #18
    Ahh. Now I'm really interested in getting a PPC. I've kind of talked myself out of it since I should spend my money on other things besides hobbies. I'll have to look for a copy of Tiger since most come preloaded with Leopard.
     
  19. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #19
    If possible share some of your tweaks =)
     
  20. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #20
    I don't know much about any of you, but I put away $100 every month last year so I could buy my MacBook Pro. It was pretty easy and very rewarding at the end when I finally got it. :)

    I have two PowerPCs that are in daily use. An iMac G4 in the living room that my family uses for surfing, Rhapsody playback, their iCloud accounts, YouTube, iLife, and Photoshop. My G5 is used for rendering 3D stuff, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and InDesign.

    We also have a few old PCs, but they aren't that great. The G4 works much better overall.
     
  21. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #21
    The other thing with powerPC.

    Its not that the machines are able, you see High end Pentium IIIs and Pentium 4 boxes still doing work as well ( assuming they were high end at the time, with the full 2gb of ram and a Geforce 3 or something video card like that. ). But they still have software support ( as long as your running XP, you can run anything, abilt poorly ).

    PowerPC machines are plenty able, but lots of software doesn't support them anymore, and thats a problem for some people. I couldnt live on my G5 alone, so I got mah gaming tower right next it.

    I think its awesome that my G5 with 16gb of ram and a ole 7800 video card, feels exactly the same speed wise as my 6K GAMEPC i7 rig right next to it as far as surfing, Mactubing, and things like that, tho I guess my SSD in the G5 helps.
     
  22. macbwizard macrumors 6502

    macbwizard

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    #22
    There's something about the G4/G5s that makes them fun to use despite the speed differences. If you're able to get by with the older software then you'll be fine.
     
  23. Liquinn Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    #23
    How much would a boxed new 12" Powerbook G4 from 2005 be worth?
     
  24. eyoungren, May 13, 2012
    Last edited: May 13, 2012

    eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #24
    Sure. It's been little tweaks here and there over the course of the last year since I found TFF. I'll see if I can summarize them without taking up too much space.

    Single biggest thing to remember is that TFF is Firefox based. So, any about:config editing you can do for Firefox you can also do for TFF. That's where I got most of my tweaks.

    EDIT: You can find what I did here.
     
  25. Ngorkes macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #25
    I have a power mac g5 with 2 1.8ghz prosesers and 2 gbs of ram and it is more reliable than my 1 year old dell with 4 gbs of ram and a i3 proseser.
     

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