My faithfull G4 MDD 1Ghz (but upgraded to 1.42) has had it's time

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JD2, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. JD2 macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2002
    After about 9 great years it has come to it's limit. (stuck in 10.5.8 slow memory etc)

    I always had a weak spot for the upgradable Mac's but at present the Mac Pro is a bit out of my league in horsepower and price.
    Having the MDD running with an ssd I am also spoiled a bit in that area.

    For now I am looking at a standard 27" iMac with the ssd bto option, I fear going back to a 'normal' harddrive setup, or will the iMac blow me away even with the normal harddrive?

    My guess is that with my usage; web browsing, ripping dvd's once in a while, emailing, some word and excel, extensive use of iphoto, I will not benefit from the higher specs from the video card nor the speed increase to 3.1Ghz or even one step higher the i7. I am inclined to upgrade the memory to 12Gbytes "the OWC way"

    I am doubtfull, keeping the above in mind that the upcoming Ivy bridge models will bring me something besides having the latest model (for about one year that is)

    Your views please.

    Ps English is not my native language so if you want to flame me on my spelling and grammar, keep it in mind, please.
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Even with the conventional hard drive, the iMac will be significantly faster than the MDD. The SSD makes a decent improvement, but compared to what you have now, the other massive speed improvements won't have you notice the conventional hard drive nearly as much.
  3. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2005
    As someone who's held on to a G4 this long, you're clearly not a power user.
    So why the 27" display, SSD, and 12 GB of RAM?
    I know you're "spoiled" by SSD, and I guess you can spend your money on whatever you want...
    Personally, I think any current mac will be such a massive upgrade over what you had that any configure-to-order options or model upgrades are a waste of money.
    If you still get by on a G4 after NINE YEARS (minus OS requirements), then you will probably never utilize an i7.
    My recommendation would be the $1499 imac stock, MAYBE upgrade to 8GB of RAM third party since it's so cheap right now. I have 8GB of RAM in my Macbook Pro for work and almost NEVER use more than 4GB (my home Air is stuck at 4GB, of course).
  4. charlieroberts macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    I think you should go for the ssd. You may feel that today the other speed increase will cover some of the ssd magic, but in a year, youll be regretting not having an ssd. And even though you can install yourself, the -dust-behind-the-screen issue is a big one, at least for me.

    Oh and, by the way, if someone sticks with his mac for 9 years, all while upgrading the HDD to SSD, changing the processor, and getting everything done, thats exactly what a power user is, someone who knows how to do the stuff he wants with the equipment he has.
  5. JD2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2002
    Thanks for your views, I only have to decide now to wait for the Ivy Bridges or not.
    If there would be no changes to the screensizes/resolutions I wonder what Ivy would bring me.

    My Mac timeline:

    PowerMac 7200/100 (new, bought during a group purchase organised by my employer. DAMN them for never offering Mac' again. :mad:)

    PowerMac 8600/250 (second hand later upgraded with a G3 processorboard.

    PowerMac MDD dual 1Ghz (new, upgraded with a second hand dual 1.42GHz processor)
  6. Pepparkakan macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2011
    Go with the SSD, you won't regret it. Agree with charlieroberts, you obviously know what you're doing and if you're planning to stick with this machine for a long period the upgrades you're talking about will be worth it in the end. I might have waited a while though (if you feel you can). I have a feeling we're going to see changes in the desktop line soon, maybe along with the January/February announcements? I'm gonna go on out on a limb here and say it's not entirely impossible that we could see a midtower announced as they seem to be reluctantly pulling out of the super-heavy-poweruser market (think Mac Pro Mini). Please don't quote me on this though, as it's all pure speculation.

    And while we're doing mac histories, here's mine: The first mac I ever played with was the Classic II, my father (then at university) purchased it to write papers with, I was 2 at the time and started learning right away! Second one was a PowerMac 6200 at around 1997. Then I entered the dark ages of my life, had 4 PC's before ultimately finding a way Back To My Mac (hehehe). But it's laptops for me now. I have a powerful headless Linux workstation (dual Xeon E5620's with 8Gb RAM, and pretty much no graphics card at all hehe) which I SSH or VNC to for heavier work, and a 2010 MacBook Air (2.13GHz and 4Gb RAM) as my main machine. This setup works really well for me. I will probably buy a Mac Mini server soon though.
  7. diane143 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Hey JD2 - I feel for you!

    I have a G4 MDD 1.42 DP that I love and still use almost daily. I also have a 2008 MB 2.4 unibody. I swear for some tasks the MDD is blazing, but then again back in 2008 I upgraded the hard drives to SATA and I use it mostly for Quicken and Illy CS3/Photoshop these days. Yes, the MP's blow me away with how quickly they open the new Adobe versions but the prices have gotten too high for me I think. :(

    I too have struggled with upgrading to an iMac when the time comes. I am so used to being able to open my machines and upgrade them (or fix them!) when I need to. I sometimes struggle with just getting a newer MBP since I do use the machine so much - but honestly I do so because I often work on it while sitting in front of the TV! Because of this I am constantly using it as my "test" machine when I find an app I want to test etc.

    Sometimes I even think of <gasp> a Mini! Great price..... but I love having 3 drives in my MDD (2 500gb, one used as a backup plus the original 120gb). Not sure I can handle having "only" one 750gb!

    Anyway, I dread the day mine dies completely....... I put a PSU in it last year and it's been great since. Keep us posted on what you decide! In the meantime, I hope both mine hold out awhile longer as I really would love an iPad (which would eliminate some usage from the laptop and be very helpful for work) . :)
  8. Imhotep397 macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    JD2 did you notice the if the fan noise went down when you added the SSD? I still run my G4 MDD for internet browsing, mail and my creative writing. I use an i7 PC for for all of my demanding 3D stuff. I wish I could have afforded a Mac Pro, but it was out of my range and an iMac just didn't have enough graphics options/power fro what I needed along with the price being spectacularly high. Having said that I'd be willing to try an SSD and extend the computer's lease on life for even a few more years if the SSD dropped the fan noise.


    Hey Diane where did you get your PSU from? I got one from MacPalace and I haven't installed for over a month, because it came in skeezy packaging and I want to try to get done a few writing projects first. Mine works, as is, as long as I power up with a PRAM zap key combination and let start after the first chime. Without the key press I just get the PSU whir and shut down.
  9. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Personally I think even a low-end iMac would blow you away. The speed change even from my MDD to my Core 2 Duo MacBook is massive.
  10. JD2, Jan 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012

    JD2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2002
    Thanks for your reaction

    I got an iPad for my birthday and it is used a lot when not sittin in the "home office" but my wife also loves it :D
  11. The-Pro, Jan 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012

    The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    I have a dual 1GHz MDD 2GB RAM being used daily with two FULL HD screens. It runs great but i need to upgrade some other stuff i think :)
    GPU i can find on ebay so thats no problem.
    Ill probably overclock mine to 1.42Ghz soon :)

    Couple questions for you :)

    What you mean you upgraded the HDD's to SATA?? Could you please explain how you did that, as those original drives in mine are way slowwwww.

    Also where did you get the PSU and is it a different one to the original? Is it any quieter then the original? Mine is so load its really frustrating. I've looked on a ebay but they are all the original ones which doesn't help. If I cant get a different PSU ill try and change the fans in it.

  12. diane143 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Hi! I bought the Firmtek FT-ST1S2 PCI card to hook the drives up to. Then I bought 2 500gb drives, one to use as my main and the other to use as an internal backup (that one has died recently so I have to pull it all apart and get it taken care of).

    IIRC I needed to get a couple of cables as well, I have OWCSATA10S on my invoice. I got all this from Other World Computing BTW. This was back in 2008, if I was doing it now I'd be looking at 1T drives.

    The PSU is identical to the original one. He took mine back as a core. I can't say it's any quieter and it does still run pretty loud in the summer when it's warm in the room. Mine original one died last year so that's why I replaced it. I did read of people modding PSUs but it was more than I wanted to deal with, it was kind of a pain to replace as it is.


    LOL I can see getting one and fighting over it with my bf. We are both very curious people and I am forever pulling up IMDB on the iPhone or laptop while watching TV. One day last week I was trying to work on the laptop and he was asking me questions and I said dammit I'm getting an iPad so you have something to type on too. :)
  13. The-Pro, Jan 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012

    The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010

    Im debating wether I really want to spend money (it will probs be like 100-250€) on this old machine which has the about same CPU performance than my iPhone 4s.
    Ill look into it but I think a used 2010 mac mini or 2011 base with SL is a more sensible, quicker and more reliable way to go. I have a serious amount of macs, and I might just put that MDD into my museum instead of working it do death :D
  14. devinci99, Jan 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012

    devinci99 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    I know you're coming from a g4 MDD /w SSD, and considering iMac because MacPro (MP) are out of your range.

    MacPros arent too expensive if you are patient and look for them on Amazon. Heck, on CL someone was selling a 8-core Nehelam MPro for $1000. I bought 'last years' MacPro from Amazon brand new for $2000 a Nehelam with 8-cores. Then OWC'd it to 32GB. But I had to wait patiently and always searching amazon for one.

    When Ivy Bridge comes out you'll be able to buy even last years model for even cheaper.

    I am never an iMac guy because they are just cumbersome to upgrade things like HDD. And I need more expansion than it... the Built-to-Order from Apple are much more expensive than what you could buy of retail or off OWC.

    Even the Macbook Pros are easier to upgrade, and they could make good systems too -- just attach a KB+mouse and monitor to them. But in the end they are all good... I'm just commenting than the MPs should not be too far out of reach if you really are looking for one.

    I decorated mine with 32GB + 3x SSD with 3TB HDD and its mind bogglingly fast.

    While we're at mac history (i will refrain from listing PCs and other computers I owned such as commodore64, SGI, Sun, etc)... and not counting iphones/ipads...

    In order:
    PMAC 7100(1994) - died on me 1995
    Macintosh II(1995) - donated to me; used as Appletalk FS on campus; recycled
    PMAC 7200(1995)... - replaced dead 7100; recycled it
    PPC 7300(1999) - bougt of ebay; upgraded to G3 Ran Linux then OSX10.1 server - recycled it
    PMAC 8500 - found it at recycle center at UofM; came with Apple U/X!
    iMac G3 (blue) (1999) - sold it
    QuckSilver(2001) sold
    QuickSilver(2002) sold the older one and upgraded to the newer one.
    iBook g3 (2003??) - gave to someone after a year as an excuse to get the g4 version.
    iBook g4 (2003) - sold; was my itune center.
    MacMini C2D (2008) - used for 2 years for garageband; gave to inlaws 2010
    White Macbook unibody(2009); sold iBook to pay for half of this.
    MacPro 2009 bought in 2010.
    MacBook Pro 13" i7 /w thunderport (2011); sold my PCs' to buy for this.

    You can call me an Mac FanBoy... but i owned/owned even more PCs between 1996 to Present.

    I have a love-hate relationship with Apple between (1994-2009); now its just love. Going Intel was the best thing... the PPC platform was causing me to compromise too much if I pick Mac over PC or PC or Mac.

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