Old G4 for back ups/home server?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Gage, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Gage macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    #1
    I was curious to see if an old Power Mac G4 is still a good option to use as a home server or for back up. After reading many threads on here, I see they were in the past.
    I've found A G4 locally for $45, which comes with a monitor & keyboard.
    I'm not sure what model this G4 is, but here are some specs:

    400 MHz 1m cache / 64 MB sdram
    20gb HD / DVD, CD rom, built in 56k modem, eithernet ports

    My wife and I would like to use it for mainly documents & photos with maybe a few short videos from our phones.
    If the G4s are still a good option, but not this particular one, I'll continue to look for a better model.

    Any help would be appreciated
     
  2. Neodym macrumors 65816

    Neodym

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2002
    #2
    In my humble opinion it's not worthwhile:

    First of all i'm not aware of any open source (or even commercial) homeserver solutions for PPC, so you would probably have to use a fully-blown OSX installation as software basis. The latest OSX to support PPC was 10.5 Leopard. It requires a minimum of 512MB Ram installed. 10.4 Tiger requires only 256MB, but in either case i would go for 1 or 2 GB. (10.3 requires only 128MB, but i'm not sure what limitations that old OS could impose).

    20GB harddrive (with perhaps 10GB usable space for your data) could be pretty small - but i'd not recommend to buy any harddrive currently due to the ludicrous prices vendors are asking after the flood catastrophe in Thailand.

    Apart from those necessary (cost-increasing) upgrade(s) the G4 is notoriously loud and power-hungry - and whether an antique G4-400 would give enough performance under Leopard, is questionable (maybe 10.4 Tiger could be an alternative - older OSX versions may have too many limitations these days).

    If i were you i'd either check out the FreeNAS route on a cheap (old) x86 PC, look for a Mac with better specs (either new or 2nd hand) or consider a dedicated NAS system.
     
  3. Gage thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for your feedback, Neodym. Guess I'll pass on that then.
     
  4. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #4
    It really depends on your network setup. Time Capsules are pretty slick, and an Airport Extreme with a connected external HD works too. If you look around, an Airport Extreme with an external drive could come pretty close in price, assuming you'd have to buy a new drive for the G4.
     
  5. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #5
    Yes, I'd do this instead. Smaller, quieter, less power, more reliable.

    Just plug a hard drive into your router. It's on all the time anyway.
     

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