Mac Mini G4 (second hand)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by caNNondale, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. caNNondale macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #1
    While I don't have enought money for new MBP 13", I have decided to buy Mac Mini G4 with OS X Tiger (spec.: 1,5Ghz PowerPC G4, 512MB RAM, 80GB disc).

    Because this will be my first time to use Mac I dont't know if it's powerfull enought to normaly run Tiger? Does Mini G4 supports resolution up to 1680x1050 (specialy if it runs slideshow etc.... smothly)?

    I will use it for discovering OS X, movies, music, internet, mail,... for 2 months, then I will use MBP 13" as primary and this Mac Mini as secondary computer.

    Would be this good? Is Mac Mini G4 suitable for first Mac?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #2
    It's OK but don't expect it to fly. I would get first gen Intel Mac Mini instead. They are about 200-300$ from eBay
     
  3. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    #3
    What he said. Getting the Intel one will give you more options as far as software goes down the road.
     
  4. Jabbamk1 macrumors member

    Jabbamk1

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    #4
    I recommend the 1.66GHz Intel mac mini with at least 1GB of ram. They are very cheap these days and will last you a long time. It is very good as a first mac. I think the G4 will be no where near as powerful as you want and you may end up selling it sooner then you expect.

    If you can get a laptop i would recommend a whitebook from ebay or the refurb store for arounf $700.

    an intel machine will also allow for future software to be used on it as well as running Leopard and SL.
     
  5. caNNondale thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2009
    #5
    That's true, but at the moment there in no such model (there is one with broken GPU), while this one is almost perfect. Besides I will use it only for 2 months, and from time to time for internet. Just want to know if it's capable of running 1680x1050?

    Edit: I will buy MBP 13" with 2,53Ghz CPU in August or September, that's why I don't want to spend too much with mini.
     
  6. Jabbamk1 macrumors member

    Jabbamk1

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    #6
    it should beable to, i have a friend who has it attached to a 22" screen (not sure what res) He uses it as a backup machine and also has his macbook pro attached to the same screen.

    EDIT: just seen a post somewhere which says the max res output is 1920*1200. However dont expect to run crysis at that res.
     
  7. jointsmoking macrumors regular

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    May 21, 2009
    #7
    I have an older G4 mini, I run leopard on it and it pushes a TV set in my bedroom just fine. I use it for Eye-TV and VLC on a daily basis.

    The other posters are right and the newer minis will provide a much nicer experience, but this will work ok.
     
  8. TJRiver macrumors 6502

    TJRiver

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #8
    There are (or were) white macBooks on the Apple refurb site for $699 this morning. That would be your best bet!!!
     
  9. Jabbamk1 macrumors member

    Jabbamk1

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    #9
    a G4 with tiger will do everything you want it to do for the next 2 months before you get your macbook. However by movies do you mean streaming. (streaming HD content form youtube or other sites will not work that well but playing from DVD's will be fine.)

    So you can get a G4 that will not last you long for these 2 months or get an Intel Mini which will be more expensive but probably be a great media centre/back up pc in the future.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    Just looked at eBay. You can get Core Duo Mini for same price as G4 Mini. both are about 200$
     
  11. Jabbamk1 macrumors member

    Jabbamk1

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    #11
    yeh but there is a big difference between core duo, and Core 2 Duo.Core Duo is 32bit whereas C2D is 64 bit and supports Snow leopard fully.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    Core 2 Duos are about 350$ from eBay. Core Duo still beats PPC Mini easily
     
  13. iMav macrumors 6502

    iMav

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    Columbus, WI
    #13
    The G4 mini is fine for light computing and will drive a 1920x1200 display.

    Upgrade to 1GB ram if you can. And don't be afraid to run leopard on the thing (assuming you max the ram a 1GB).

    You definitely want to get a core2duo-based mac at some point though.
     
  14. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #14
    That 1.5ghz Mac Mini G4 was the "silent upgrade version".

    I used to own it.

    I has a superdrive, bluetooth 2.0/airport extreme PLUS a 64mb VRAM chip that drives a 23" Apple Cinema Display.

    I put a 100gb Hitachi Travelstar 7200 PATA hd in it plus 1 gig of ram and it ran Leopard fine ... with Dashboard disabled.

    If I had one now, I'd put a 320gb Western Digital hd in it as they don't make those Travelstars anymore.

    200 is a good price for it. The limit on it is the ram. Highest you can go is 1 gig.

    If I had to run it in the future, I'd get a 128gb SuperTalent ex2 PATA SSD for it.

    That is probably the fastest you could get that 1.5ghz mini, though I have heard some people overclock them to 1.67ghz.

    Oh, and the early intel minis had a worse video card than this specific 1.5ghz g4 Mac Mini, so think about it.
     
  15. mr1970 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #15
    As others have said, it's all down to what you want to use it for.

    My son has a purple iMac G3 running Panther. He uses it to listen to iTunes, watch DVDs and do his homework, and it's absolutely fine (I maxed the RAM of course). It will, however, simply not do Flash web sites which these days even rules out BBC news - it doesn't like the video clips and has a long hard think about how to deal with them.

    I run a Powerbook G4 1.5, which has the same processor you're looking at, upgraded to 1.5GB RAM and running Leopard and it's better than the G3 - runs everything including CS2 but can't do full screen streaming video (for example).

    In your position, I would try to lay hands on an Intel model if possible, but a G4 can do lots of useful things - we have a 500MHz Powermac running Tiger which acts as a media server for the whole house. The thing to watch for is the cost of RAM - you're going to want to upgrade as soon as you get it so make sure you factor that into your budget and see if that actually gets you up to Intel.

    Finally, it's absolutely suitable as a first mac - it's fast enough and Tiger is not that different to Leopard (other than Time Machine). As long as you're not looking at OS9 or something of that vintage you'll be fine and when you move to your next Mac, make it an Intel.

    PS - make sure you ask for the original install disks when you buy your mini and reinstall the whole thing from scratch if possible. OS X doesn't degrade over time in the same way Windows does, but a machine of that age will almost certainly feel a lot snappier with a clean install.
     
  16. caNNondale thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2009
    #16
    Well here in my country prices for G4 are 250€ and for Intel models 400€, so that doesn't make sense to my, because then i will run out of money for MBP 13".
     
  17. Jabbamk1 macrumors member

    Jabbamk1

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    Location:
    London, England
    #17
    If you are getting a macbook in 2 months and are strapped for cash. you could just get a cheap pc (with Windows) for less than £200. (pentium dual core,1GB ram,120GB HD) which has better specs than a G4 for the 2 months.

    It would work out much cheaper and you would have extra money left over. Unless you want a G4 as a media centre, you could still do this with your pc and it would run much faster. You could also install Leopard on this later if you wanted too.
     
  18. caNNondale thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2009
    #18
    PS - tell me something, would PowerMac G4 with 1,25Ghz CPU and 1,25GB RAM be much faster/slower than MacMini G4?

    I can get one PowerMac for 240€ with 90 days warranty.
     
  19. Jabbamk1 macrumors member

    Jabbamk1

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    #19
    It has the exact same CPU so processing power would be the same, but it is much more customizable in terms of memory and graphic cards. I wouldnt call it a great machine today but it will last a while. The mini was released quite a while after this power mac, so it should have bluetooth and airport whereas the Power Mac may not.

    Bear in mind the size. PowerMacs are massive whereas you can get the exact same specs in a much smaller box for around about the same price.

    I still recommend a wintel machine.
     
  20. caNNondale thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 10, 2009
    #20
    Hm... Then I will take Mini, I know I could buy Win based machine, but I want to see first OS X in action, how it works, programs,..... and later I will use it as secondary computer. Besides it's much smaller than those ugly PC-s*.

    * I use Windows for 16 years :D
     
  21. Jabbamk1 macrumors member

    Jabbamk1

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    London, England
    #21
    In that case go for the Mac Mini. It will serve as an excellent media centre in the future. This may sound stupid but you could always book an appointment at an apple store for a guided tour of os x or go to the apple store and play around with OS X before you make your purchase.
     
  22. Beaverfish macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    #22
    Hi there, I'm from the uk and am about to buy a new Nvidea mini. I currentLy own a mac mini G4 1.5 Ghz with a 250GB hdd and 1GB of ram & it's running tiger. I was thinking of selling it. I have the original discs and I think the box too. If you want to make me anoffer.

    PM me if you like......
     

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