Me, A Novice Needs Advice On Mac Power.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by visvaldis, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. visvaldis macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    I own a Mac G4 MDD, and am looking for a more powerful Mac on ebay. Possibly a G5 or Mac mini.
    Problem is, I am not exactly sure what to look for in all the various facts listed for each Mac. Recently, I installed a Superdrive in my Mac. Slowly I can now identify various components when looking inside. But I am a far distance from the knowledge of many on this forum. So, I'm asking for your advice.
    My current Mac G4 is as follows:
    Dual core. 2 CPUs
    CPU type: Power PC G4 (3.3)
    CPU Speed: 1.25GHz
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 256 KB
    L3 Cache (per CPU): 1 MB
    Memory: 2GB
    Bus speed: 167 MHz
    All four slots are occupied.
    OS X Leopard
    The above I got from the Mac itself, but am not sure exactly what everything means.
    My assumptions: Memory is hard drive? Dual core means two hard drives? Whatever "cache" means is beyond me.
    What are the basics I should know that I am getting a Mac which is faster and more powerful?
    For internet connection I use a telephone connection. Are all Macs equipped with a port for a telephone? Do all Macs have a internal modem? If not, what do I need for internet connection?
    Is Garageband on all Macs? Will my G4 keyboard and mouse work with a G5 or Mac Mini?
    I appreciate all advice. I'll take your advice seriously and hope to better understand when others explain Mac power to me.
    Thanks very much!
  2. Nova77, Feb 25, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012

    Nova77 Guest

    May 12, 2011
    Memory is the thing that allows for opening apps faster and multitasking. 2 GB is the max for this computer.
    Dual core means dual core. There aren't really another word for that. Your computer is not dual core, it is dual processor (CPU = processor). That means you the power of two computers on the same chip. They will work together in some circumstances.

    L2 Cache (per CPU): 256 KB
    L3 Cache (per CPU): 1 MB
    Bus speed: 167 MHz---> all these 3 lines of numbers are infos about the CPU. Most people won't bother about it, but I can tell you it's good for a G4 Mac.

    all 4 PCI slot occupied???? now you leave me surprised. Better ask the previous owner wtf he put in there. These slots are add-on slots, you can basically put anything in it, from audio interfaces to USB, to hard drives controllers, etc.(edit-->see Bug-Creator's post. He is probably right)

    Any keyboard will work with any computer, be it windows based or Mac. Doesn't matter at all. Some special keys might not work when using PC keyboard on a mac or vice versa. The latest Apple keyboard is really cool and works beautifully with OS X Leopard (the one you have).

    Garageband doesn't come with all macs but should be easy to find. Do not forget to ask if the version is for PowerPC. New Apple apps don't work on old macs.

    On a side note---> There are no info on your hard drive in your post, just so you know. Better learn more stuff about computers in general before installing stuff or trying to get another computer.

    Want to know whats good for a Mac? Talking about PowerPC macs (because from 2006-today now its Intel based), I could say a general rule is they are way better per mhz (or ghz) than PCs from the same era. A dual G4 1.25 ghz is at least as good as a Pentium4 3ghz.


    Why do you need a better computer? What are your needs? From my point of view it seems a little more knowledge (hardware and software) would get you around the need for a new computer.

    See, my computer is the same model as yours, but a little faster (G4 1.42 ghz). It kicks ass.
  3. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2011
    "all four slots occupied" is obviously about all RAM-slots being filled (with 512MB modules to get to the 2GB max this puter can take).

    Back to orginal poster:
    - you didn't list your GFX-card, that can have an immense impact on performance
    - going with a (G4) Mini is not an upgrade in your case (1GB max RAM only 1 CPU at 1.25-1.5GHz instead of 2 at 1.25GHz).
    - if going Intel is an option Minis still go from much slower than the MDD (1.5Ghz CoreSolo) to blistering fast (current i7 based Mini). All a question of your budget
    - G5s come in 2 variants, either as iMac or as big-ass PowerMac towers, both have their pro&con and further info on your type of useage and budget would be helpfull.
    - a modem port (read something that can be directly cabled to your telephone jack) was optional on the G4 Minis and can be found on some of the older G5s (atleast the iMacs, not sure about the PowerMacs).
    - you might want to purchase an USB-modem (assuming there are drivers for these, haven't used one in the last 11 years) or a router that supports one (either build in or as an extra) in this case you would connect over ethernet just like everyone else in the 21st century:p

    The G4 kbd&mouse are USB, so the will work on every Mac (or PC) build in the last 15 years.

    Garageband ? AFAIK you only got these (atleast back in the days) included on the restore-discs supplied with your Mac or if you bought iLife seperatly. Your current copy should still work once moved over to the new Mac (wether the licence can be legally transfered is a very delicate issue and relies on many variables).
  4. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    Unless you go Intel, a Mac Mini is not likely to be faster than that machine.

    A G5 iMac, G5 Power Mac, or any Intel machine would be a suitable upgrade.
  5. visvaldis thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Thanks to everyone who responded. I've already picked up valuable info by reading your posts.
    Currently, my G4 has a power supply issue and is problematic to turn on that is getting worse. I am using a Dell at my job to post this.
    On ebay I found a used power supply for $100 and plan to get it, then install it myself. I like the G4 and want to keep it for a good long while yet. I've heard that G5s are loud from the internal fans.
    From searching other G4s and G5s it seems that some also need power supplies.
    I still can't determine the hard drive memory. In Apple Menu I clicked About this Mac. It stated: Memory 2GB DDR SDRAM.
    I know some G4s have 60 or 80 MB.
    About the slots. I bought the Mac used in 2006. In 2008 I took it to a Mac Authority shop and the guy installed a 1 GB card in the fourth slot. It's maxed out, he said. I think they were called DIMM or something similar.

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