MDD Dual 1 GHz for $85? Good deal?

davidg4781

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 28, 2006
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Alice, TX
On CL there's a MDD Dual 1 GHz for $85, comes with 17" Studio Display, 1 GB RAM, original keyboard and a trackball, 232 GB HDD.

He's dropping it $5/day. Is this a good deal or should I walk? I'm tempted, and I really wanted a QS, but I can't find any online.

My use for it is just to collect and play older games. It doesn't come with any software so I'll need to source OS 9.22. I have Leopard so that's not a problem. I also have I think .5 GB of RAM pulled from my iMac G4, so if that fits then great.
 

reco2011

macrumors 6502a
May 25, 2014
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Only you can decide what something is worth. Personally I wouldn't buy it because I have no need for it. So spending $85 is just throwing money away. With that said if you're interested in the system make him an offer you think is fair.
 

davidg4781

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 28, 2006
2,287
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Alice, TX
And I just saw there's a Dual 1 GHz QS for $150. I just emailed them asking if it comes with anything else (software, kvm). Hopefully this guy will drop his price, I needed to go to his town anyway today.
 

ptdebate

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2014
333
4
Dallas, Texas
It's a good deal, but if I were you I'd hold out for a better single-processor model, like the 2003 1.42GHz model. Games and most os 9 apps won't benefit from the second processor. If 1ghz is enough though, it sounds like a great Mac for you. 1gb is probably more than enough ram if you're sticking with the classic OS.
 

bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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If you want it for OS9, just make sure it's not a FireWire 800 model. Also be advised that the FW 400/MDD 2003 required a special version of OS 9. If you do get the computer, you might check and see if there's an OS 9 system folder hiding on the hard drive. If there is, if should be bootable(use "startup disk" under system preferences to do this).

Otherwise, with the included display and upgraded hard drive, it sounds like a good deal to me.
 

ptdebate

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2014
333
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Dallas, Texas
And I just saw there's a Dual 1 GHz QS for $150. I just emailed them asking if it comes with anything else (software, kvm). Hopefully this guy will drop his price, I needed to go to his town anyway today.
I'd prefer the QS if I were you. Supposedly they're better built and far quieter.
 

davidg4781

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Original poster
Oct 28, 2006
2,287
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Alice, TX
It's a good deal, but if I were you I'd hold out for a better single-processor model, like the 2003 1.42GHz model. Games and most os 9 apps won't benefit from the second processor. If 1ghz is enough though, it sounds like a great Mac for you. 1gb is probably more than enough ram if you're sticking with the classic OS.
I had been on the lookout for a while but for the past several months I rarely saw a G4 anywhere in Texas, at least not like I would a year or so ago. I thought maybe a collector or repair shop was buying them up.

The only thing keeping me from it is thinking how long it's been since I've turned on my iMac G4. But hopefully work will allow me some more time soon.
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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I'd prefer the QS if I were you. Supposedly they're better built and far quieter.
LOL!

I'm glad you qualified that. I have a Quicksilver and while it is my favorite model Mac and IMNSHO I believe it's the best looking Mac ever made, the case design internally is crap.

Apple went with form over function. Thermally, the QS could not be any more inefficient. The main case fan forces air out through a 90º bend. Now, most PM G4s do the same but internally they tend to be a bit larger. The inside of the QS is small. Trying to cram everything I have in there is an exercise in frustration and bent/broken cable leads.

I have stripped out the floor panels and HDD caddys on my QS and I have removed the speaker shield. Just to get room for the cards in my four PCI and one AGP slot. The HD caddy I have in there now I stole from an HP PC because I can stand it on end. My drives point face down.

I also knocked a giant hole in the bottom of the case and mounted a high CFM 120mm fan over it. That's about the best thing I've ever done with the case because my HD temps since then have not gone over 108º with my main drive. Before that my drives were pushing 122º because of this poor case design.

As for quieter, sure. But if you've done what I have done and replaced the PSU fan, Case fan and intake fan AND added another 120mm fan in the bottom (all of the highest CFM I could find for their size) then probably not.

I love my QS. But internally it's a mess.

OP, $150 for a QS is not a good price. You have to really want it. I paid $50 for mine plus three iBook G3s and my QS came with a 1.2Ghz Sonnet. The best you can get with a QS stock is 1.0Ghz dual.

$85 for the MDD is a good price though. I see a lot of eBay sellers trying to rip people off with $150-450 auctions for Sawtooths alone!
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,005
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I'd prefer the QS if I were you. Supposedly they're better built and far quieter.
Mine are plenty noisy but cheap. For $150 it would have to be boxed, complete and unused. Used QSes and MDDs go for very little even here in the UK. I would not pay more than £25 for one with a monitor.

Bear in mind that any G4 from the QS 2002 model or later requires a special bundled version of OS9.2.2. Retail discs only go as far as OS9.2.1.
 

davidg4781

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Original poster
Oct 28, 2006
2,287
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Alice, TX
Mine are plenty noisy but cheap. For $150 it would have to be boxed, complete and unused. Used QSes and MDDs go for very little even here in the UK. I would not pay more than £25 for one with a monitor.

Bear in mind that any G4 from the QS 2002 model or later requires a special bundled version of OS9.2.2. Retail discs only go as far as OS9.2.1.
I think the $85 one is missing the bundled discs. I believe in a previous email he explained how to get around that, which at least makes me think he knows a little about what he has. I haven't heard back from the QS.
 

bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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One other thing about OS 9 on the MDD-

My QS 2002(and most of my other Macs that require system-specific OS 9 installs) came with a disk in the packet explicitly labeled "OS 9" or something to that effect.

The MDD restore disks are NOT like that. Basically, the only way to get OS 9 on one(from the restore disks at least) is to run the full restore disk set and install OS X 10.2. The OS 9 installer for these can only be run on top of OS X-it's not even bootable like every other OS 9 disk I've handled. I'm working from memory, but I think that when you run it, it installs the OS 9 system folder in the same partition as OS X 10.2. Of course, this really isn't a huge issue as OS 9 and OS X can coexist on the same partition quite peacefully. I generally prefer to put it on a separate partition, however, as I want to be able to start it from Boot Manager/Open Firmware and not have to boot into OS X to boot into OS 9.
 

sequoiamac

macrumors newbie
May 20, 2014
19
0
If you want to use for older software, go for it. I used to have powerMac G4 with a 733 MHz processor from a QS.
 

ptdebate

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2014
333
4
Dallas, Texas
The MDD restore disks are NOT like that. Basically, the only way to get OS 9 on one(from the restore disks at least) is to run the full restore disk set and install OS X 10.2. The OS 9 installer for these can only be run on top of OS X-it's not even bootable like every other OS 9 disk I've handled. I'm working from memory, but I think that when you run it, it installs the OS 9 system folder in the same partition as OS X 10.2. Of course, this really isn't a huge issue as OS 9 and OS X can coexist on the same partition quite peacefully. I generally prefer to put it on a separate partition, however, as I want to be able to start it from Boot Manager/Open Firmware and not have to boot into OS X to boot into OS 9.
Yeah, my 1GHz TiBook handled OS9 the same way. It was a huge PITA.

I'm glad you qualified that. I have a Quicksilver and while it is my favorite model Mac and IMNSHO I believe it's the best looking Mac ever made, the case design internally is crap.
I stand corrected! I'm not sure where I heard that then...I knew they were quieter at stock just due to the MDD's infamous reputation--I guess I extrapolated the build quality being good because you're always heaping praise on yours! :rolleyes:
 

davidg4781

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Original poster
Oct 28, 2006
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Alice, TX
I've never dealt with OS 9, but, for ease of use, and both being Dual 1 GHz, the QS would be easier to install OS 9 on?
 

ptdebate

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2014
333
4
Dallas, Texas
I've never dealt with OS 9, but, for ease of use, and both being Dual 1 GHz, the QS would be easier to install OS 9 on?
That is the consensus, yes. Any later PowerMac will require a special disk to install a particular version of OS 9. I stand by the QS as the best option, but only if you can get him to come down on the price.
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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I stand corrected! I'm not sure where I heard that then...I knew they were quieter at stock just due to the MDD's infamous reputation--I guess I extrapolated the build quality being good because you're always heaping praise on yours! :rolleyes:
To be totally honest, I was completely unaware of the internal issues UNTIL I got a Quicksilver.

Now, if I was stock, maybe a dual 1.0Ghz processor, added in an extra drive maybe and a USB 2.0 card life would be just dandy.

But. No. I have to go in and add a 1.7Ghz Dual processor, a 9800 Pro (which requires an extra Molex connector), 9200 Pro (thanks Altemose!), 7000 (all ATI Radeon video cards) a USB 2.0 card, a SATA PCI card with power and data cables, 2x 1TB hard drives and hook up six displays, an external USB 2.0 hub and an iSight!

And oh yeah, replace all the freaking fans and add one more!

So now we're talking serious heat issues, just with the dual processor alone!

(To myself) --> No, Erik, you can't ever do anything simple like take the fricking computer straight up right? Just have to mess with it. Yeah, well, so there I am! :D

In Apple's defense I don't think they anticipated someone (such as myself) taking the Quicksilver to that extreme. :D
 

bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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I have several MDDs, and have sort of a love-hate relationship with them.

One of my most dearly loved PowerPC computers is my QS2002. I certainly have put the most upgrade effort into it-I swapped out the stock 800mhz for a dual 1ghz, and upgraded the video card to a Radeon 9600XT(modified G5 card). I've done several other things to it, but these are the most notable. I use it a lot, and get good, productive work out of it.

I've found MDDs to be a bit cantankerous, and a lot of that I think is related to the power supply. I bought one from a forum member here a while back that was running perfectly up until a day or two before he packed it up and shipped it to me. I ended up not paying him for the computer, although I did pay him pretty generously for the included Tiger and Leopard retail disks, restore disks, and some other odds and ends that came with it. I put in a rebuilt PSU($70 on Ebay) and it's been(mostly) reliable since.

If you can find a Quicksilver 2002 with a dual 1ghz(stock), it will-in my experience-be faster than a dual 1ghz MDD. The MDD will have a faster front side bus(167mhz vs. 133 mhz) and can take 2gb of RAM vs 1.5 in the QS. The MDD, however, in dual 1ghz form, lacks an L3 cache, and this makes an actual real world difference in how the machine "feels."

If you can get a dual 1.25ghz MDD, you do get your L3 cache back, which makes them fairly formidable machine.

It's also worth noting that the lowest spec MDD models(dual 867 FW400 and dual 1ghz FW800) have a 133mhz FSB. I can tell you from experience that a dual 1ghz FW800 model really is noticeably slower than a dual 1ghz Quicksilver.
 

ptdebate

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2014
333
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Dallas, Texas
But. No. I have to go in and add a 1.7Ghz Dual processor, a 9800 Pro (which requires an extra Molex connector), 9200 Pro (thanks Altemose!), 7000 (all ATI Radeon video cards) a USB 2.0 card, a SATA PCI card with power and data cables, 2x 1TB hard drives and hook up six displays, an external USB 2.0 hub and an iSight!
It really must be an impressive machine! I didn't realize that you had done that much to it. What's your geekbench with the dual 1.7s?

If you can find a Quicksilver 2002 with a dual 1ghz(stock), it will-in my experience-be faster than a dual 1ghz MDD. The MDD will have a faster front side bus(167mhz vs. 133 mhz) and can take 2gb of RAM vs 1.5 in the QS. The MDD, however, in dual 1ghz form, lacks an L3 cache, and this makes an actual real world difference in how the machine "feels."
I've noticed a similar phenomenon with my 12" 1GHz Alubook. Unlike the 1.0GHz Tibook, it lacks a 1mb l3 cache. This makes the computer noticeably slower when doing certain tasks.
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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Just to add to this, I would argue that a SATA PCI card is also extremely helpful in regards to the QS. My system isn't tearing up Geekbench with high scores or anything like that, but my transfer rates are considerably higher using the PCI bus then they are using the IDE bus.

It's night and day. I've also eliminated the IDE cable altogether. I have no IDE drives connected (I can boot from my flashed $10 SATA card). Granted you will never get full SATA speed, but transferring say 50GB of data in maybe half or two thirds of the time versus IDE is pretty solid performance I think. The machine feels much more responsive.

----------

It really must be an impressive machine! I didn't realize that you had done that much to it. What's your geekbench with the dual 1.7s?
When I had it in there it was 1255.

A bit later on I bumped the processors to 1.8ghz and got 1282.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1706865/

Now, the dual is finicky and was giving me fits so I put the old 1.2 Sonnet back in so I could get some work done. My score has probably taken a big hit.

We'll see what I can find processor wise (in a Sonnet or NewerTech) when I get my tax refund. ;-)
 

ptdebate

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2014
333
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Dallas, Texas
It's night and day. I've also eliminated the IDE cable altogether. I have no IDE drives connected (I can boot from my flashed $10 SATA card). Granted you will never get full SATA speed, but transferring say 50GB of data in maybe half or two thirds of the time versus IDE is pretty solid performance I think. The machine feels much more responsive.


What SATA card would you recommend for my g4? Does it cap out at SATA I or is there a SATA II-supported version?
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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What SATA card would you recommend for my g4? Does it cap out at SATA I or is there a SATA II-supported version?
You can get a Sonnet on eBay. They run around $50-70 or so. But if you want to save $40-70 and still have the equivalent look at this thread.

I followed harrymatic's guide and he saved me literally $40-70. My card is bootable and performs just fine.

You're looking for a PC card with a Silicon Image SIL3112 controller chip. What I did was a Google search for: ebay.com "SIL3112+SATA+card"

I got a PC card with that chipset for $10.76. Flashing it was dead easy and other than getting the correct data cables to the correct drive once hooking it all up it was smooth.
 

ptdebate

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2014
333
4
Dallas, Texas
You can get a Sonnet on eBay. They run around $50-70 or so. But if you want to save $40-70 and still have the equivalent look at this thread.

I followed harrymatic's guide and he saved me literally $40-70. My card is bootable and performs just fine.

You're looking for a PC card with a Silicon Image SIL3112 controller chip. What I did was a Google search for: ebay.com "SIL3112+SATA+card"

I got a PC card with that chipset for $10.76. Flashing it was dead easy and other than getting the correct data cables to the correct drive once hooking it all up it was smooth.
I'll probably have to go the sonnet route since I don't have a PC on hand. Thanks!
 

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
On CL there's a MDD Dual 1 GHz for $85, comes with 17" Studio Display, 1 GB RAM, original keyboard and a trackball, 232 GB HDD.

He's dropping it $5/day. Is this a good deal or should I walk? I'm tempted, and I really wanted a QS, but I can't find any online.

My use for it is just to collect and play older games. It doesn't come with any software so I'll need to source OS 9.22. I have Leopard so that's not a problem. I also have I think .5 GB of RAM pulled from my iMac G4, so if that fits then great.
It isn't a good deal realistically, but these things are sold for much more than that, on eBay. So, RELATIVELY-speaking, it's not too bad. Just assume the risks of having an MDD: Noise levels and possible PSU issues.
 
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