My First Mac

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Slip Jigs, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. Slip Jigs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #1
    I've acquired a G4, from my work during housecleaning. I've already done a fair amount of research on it regarding system requirements and what upgrades I may want to do, but there are still some unanswered questions that I'd appreciate any help with.

    I'm planning on using it for my main iTunes hub, Garageband and possiibly finally do away with Outlook on the PC and maintain my contacts and iPhone sync. Not planning on running any heavy duty apps like video editing and what not. Specs are below, and here are the questions.

    1. I crruently have 10.3.9. What is the highest version that is possible, and what it the highest that is actually advisable? What about iLife, same question.

    2. The only real spec that falls short in many upgrade requirements (OS and iLife) is the processor speed, 450 mHz. Will an OS and iLife upgrade simply not install in these cases, or will they still install, but I may just experience performance issues?

    Specs;
    Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics)
    PowerPC G4 (2.9) What does the 2.9 mean?
    450 Mhz processor
    1 MB L2 cache
    256 MB SDRAM X 2 (2 remaining slots)
    Bus 100 mhz
    ATI Rage Pro 128; 16MB VRAM
    20 Gig ATA HD
    DVD-ROM
    USB (2) FW (1)
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    To keep track of every Apple computer model ever sold, use the A History of Apple Computers website. The utility MacTracker gives all of apple-history.com's info plus some.

    As for your processor, there are different versions of hardware just like there are different versions of software. The G4 is properly a member of the PowerPC 74xx family of microprocessors from Motorola/Freescale. Yours is the PowerPC 7400 v2.9.

    Your computer supports MacOS X 10.4.11. I strongly recommend that you upgrade to this OS because it is still supported by Apple. However, it will be a tight squeeze on your 20 GB hard drive. I also strongly suggest that you upgrade your hard drive to 120 GB or more. Hard drives are cheap and the upgrade will be well worth it.

    I would also recommend that you upgrade the RAM to 512 MB or more. It will accept 2 GB RAM.

    As for the computer's processor speed, your computer is not as fast as more recent G4s, G5s, or Intel-based Macs. There is no way around that. However, Your Power Mac G4 is plenty fast enough for most of the things most users do with their computers.
     
  3. Slip Jigs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #3
    Thank you for your suggestions. Know that I know what's possible and reasonable, I can now figure out whether the additional investment will be worth it. (That's always the issue when upgrading aint' it? )

    So I'll need the OS, iLife, HD and RAM, can probably do all that for $300 or so. It is still a very nice computer, boots fast, and appears very stable, so this upgrade may be the thing to do.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. borcanm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    #4
    You could get a few cheap SSD drives under RAID 0 which would give you pretty fast loading speeds.
     
  5. PurrBall macrumors 6502a

    PurrBall

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #5
    I would advise against trying to run GarageBand on a 450 MHz system - my 800 MHz iMac G4 has some trouble running it at times- even just with one track.
     
  6. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #6
    Your processor speed will limit you more noticeably than the benefits of a SSD. At this point, save your money and put a bigger standard HD in it.
     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Putting money into a computer like yours is more akin to love and to an investment. I forgot to mention that you can also upgrade your processor. Other World Computing (OWC) sells a Newer Technology MAXPower G4 Processor Upgrade based on the 1.6 GHz PowerPC 7447A. You may also chose the Newer Technology MAXPower G4/7448 which is supposedly 40% faster than the PPC 7447-based upgrades. The beauty of an upgraded G4 is that it can boot and run MacOS 9 natively faster than any computer ever sold by Apple.
     
  8. Slip Jigs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #8
    Ugh, yeah, these are the things I'm afraid of. Would it depend on which version of GB/iLife? I don't need all the bells and whistles of 09, just something to create some fast and simple background tracks, perhaps for videos. I use ProTools 8 on my PC for my full blown studio, but so far there is no decent counterpart to what GB offers for PC, that's why I'd like to have it at least in some way.

    Upgrading the processor did cross my mind, thanks for the links MisterMe. I think that would start to get a little pricey, almost puts me in the range of a new entry level Mini, and a little further down the road, MacBook or iMac.

    But I know what you're saying - it's harder to turns these boxes out to pasture than perhaps a comparable Pentium 4 of the same age. In fact, I do have a Dell P4 notebook, just reformatted with XP and nothing else loaded on it, and it barely boots.
     
  9. PurrBall macrumors 6502a

    PurrBall

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #9
    I would start out trying GarageBand '06, and then moving down to the 1.x version if necessary.
     
  10. Tyr. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    #10
    Tiger should be fine, though you might want to disable Dashboard and Spotlight for performance gain. But you might have trouble getting hold of a Tiger retail DVD.
     
  11. Slip Jigs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #11
    I found that out! I only saw upgrades in the App store and Mac Mall for SL.

    I found Tiger out there, Amazon and what not for upwards and above $300. Crazy. What would it have been at the time it was the latest OS?

    But I got lucky again - rummaged through the storage room and came up with a Tiger DVD and iLife 06. Yes, legit copies as they're not being used on any other machine.

    What's the rationale for not providing Tiger any more to upgrade machines like mine, or Leopard for that matter in case someone wants to upgrade form Tiger to SL but may need Leopard first? The OS itself is obviously still supported as it's upgrading to .11 as I type. (Edit - started over, this time doing and erase and install)
     

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