Older Mac to Hold Me Over

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Phtosynthesis, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Phtosynthesis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    #1
    I recently decided, since Leopard was delayed, and i'll be waiting until iMacs get updated and another revision to release, that I should buy an older Mac to hold me over until then. I'm on eBay and i'm looking at G3 iMacs and PowerMacs and I was wondering what you guys recommend I get. I want it to be able to run Tiger, Photoshop CS2, and Illustrator CS2 good.

    The one iMac I was looking at is this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/Totally-Upgrade...ryZ80039QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    I'm also looking at some older G4 PowerMacs and they seem to be a better choice for me. I found a dual 533MHz G4 PowerMac 80GB HDD, 768MB RAM, for just about the same price as the iMac, but i'll need to purchase a display.

    Does anyone think I should go with the PowerMac over the iMac?
     
  2. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    If you have all the parts that aren't included (essentially just a monitor unless the seller doesn't include the keyboard or mouse), I suggest picking up an early PowerMac G4. You can get them super cheap these days (around $100-150) and they'll serve you better than an imac. That said, if you buy an imac, you really need to get a later version (slot-loading cd-rom), as the early imacs (tray-loaders) don't handle Tiger well and are SLOOOOW. I have a slot loading imac G3 running Panther flawlessly, though it's a bit slow for anything other than internet/email...

    But seriously look into the G4s. I still use my Sawtooth (heavily modded at this point, but still) and it is a great machine. It won't drop in value past the point it's at for a few years at least, so you're likely to make your money back. Also, check your area's Craigslist as well, you could save on shipping (especially on an imac, as you'll pay more in shipping than the cost of the machine). Good luck!
     
  3. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    PS--though that is a nice imac you linked to, $280 with shipping is a bit steep for such an outdated machine, unless you plan on keeping it long term.
     
  4. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    And another reply, as I am slow in actually reading whole posts, sorry about that. A dual 533 G4 is pretty good, as Tiger will make use of the dual processor, and for the same money it will definitely outperform the imac. You can probably find a CRT monitor for free on Craigslist, people are just dumping them on the streets these days. I suggest going with that, or a cheaper single-processor (for around the same price you could pick up a barebones sawtooth and a processor upgrade, though RAM may be an issue). Either way, the G4 you found is the way better buy, and again, Criagslist around in the free section, or even call local companies and/or schools who may be upgrading their CRTs to LCDs. I got three 17" CRT displays for free from an insurance company here in town.

    Also note that for CS2, it will probably run, but it will lag heavily on any of these machines. More RAM, an upgraded processor, or even an internal RAID if you have some old drives laying around will improve it dramatically in the G4.
     
  5. Phtosynthesis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
  6. SteveG4Cube macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    MontCo., PA
    #6
    An eMac can be had for a couple hundred bucks, and a 700mhz-1.42ghz G4, decent size hard drive, 17" monitor.... good bank for the buck.
     
  7. KurtangleTN macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    #7
    Yeah the eMacs are pretty cheap on eBay, plus they are pretty stylish with it's white design (at least to me) so if that matters to you.. it's a plus.

    I've found that it's probably the best cheap, starter/hold me off Mac on eBay. But I don't have one myself, I'm just judging by the average price I see, the specs..

    Is there video problems on them or something though??

    The Powermac G4 may be your best bet, CRT monitors can be grabbed for cheap, or even free if you look on craigslist, so thats not really a big deal. I don't think the iMac G3 handles Tiger well enough.

    I'd suggest you look for the auctions without a pic in in the preview (like before you actually get into an auction) as those seem to be ignored and you can get for a nice discount if you watch it closely.

    Good luck, hopefully my hours and hours of looking at older Macs on eBay helps you!
     
  8. Phtosynthesis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    #8
  9. brop52 macrumors 68000

    brop52

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #9
    I'm not sure I'd recommend you spend $500. Would you have use of that 15" monitor once you move on to a newer mac?

    CS2 runs fine on my iMac 500 MHz G3. It's not amazing, but it will do. A big problem is the limited hard drive in the slot loading iMacs, but with an upgraded HD for $55 it runs much better. If you have 768 or 1024 MB RAM then it will be perfectly fine.

    I wouldn't recommend you buy a G3 iMac though. I'd recommend a G4 eMac or G4 iMac. If you get the all-in-one you'll save in the end. Anything above a G3 will be great for photoshop with enough RAM and HD space.
     
  10. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    #10
    That is a great price for a Powermac G4. Something like that would be £350-400 here (US$700-800)

    Yes, that will run Tiger and CS2. I owned a iMac G4 800mhz 1GB ram and that ran Tiger and CS2 fine, so you should be find with that.
     
  11. SteveG4Cube macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    MontCo., PA
    #11
  12. Lord Flashheart macrumors regular

    Lord Flashheart

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff by the Sea, CA
    #12
    I like the dual G4, but if you do not have access to a cheap monitor, or its a machine you will not keep I might recommend a cheaper emac. That seems to be a good price for the dual thogh. If you are buying new upon the next revision, get the cheapest machine that meets your needs.
     
  13. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #13
    Personally I wouldn't go and spend all that money on a Powermac G4 and a studio display for something that is just going to hold you over. To me, that's a little ridiculous, IMO. I wouldn't recommend any G3 really, while even that iMac G3 may get you by, they weren't really designed to handle Tiger and CS2. Tiger will run on a G3, but not as smoothly as most would like, and while CS2 will run, it still won't be as productive as being on a G4. I would say look for a Powermac G4 or iMac G4, even the eMac is a nice machine. You'll be better off with an iMac or eMac because it's an all in one, but you'll get a little more productivity out of a Powermac.
     
  14. Phtosynthesis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
  15. Vidd macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #15
    Surely it's much better to wait that while longer and invest that money into your iMac?
     
  16. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #16
    That looks like a pretty nice setup. Has some nice specs and seems to be a clean machine. Considering I paid almost that much for a G3 iBook about 8 months ago, personally; I would scoop that up. That should do do what you want for the time being. Plus, it's got better specs than that Powermac and it's a nice all in one computer to have around. It'll find use one way or another. The only downside is that it doesn't include the original disks, which is pretty important.
     
  17. Phtosynthesis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    #17
    It doesn't say if its Airport-ready or not. Does anyone know anything about the default configuration for that particular iMac?
     
  18. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #18
    My friend's using a blue 400MHz G3 with 758 Megs RAM, 10.3, and CS2 for school without any problems.

    Try here:

    http://www.powermax.com

    Great deals on G4's....
     
  19. Frankf300 macrumors regular

    Frankf300

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #19
  20. Phtosynthesis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    #20
  21. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    #21
    haha i actually bought basically the same imac from that guy except mine was a 700mhz g3 40 gig 512 ram, and its great. perfectly capable of doing anything with the exception of photoshop. I use it as my primary mac : )
     
  22. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Working for MI-6
    #22
    I would go for the $550 iMac G4. I don't think that a keyboard, mouse, and an extra 256MB RAM is worth the additional $100. :)
     
  23. APPLENEWBIE macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    The high desert, USA
    #23
    You know.... at $600 you are getting into mac mini territory ($579 student discount) and you would get a MUCH faster computer, be able to run windows if you want, have a warranty. surely you can scrounge up a cheap/free/ loaned monitor...? Keyboards and mice are dirt cheap.
     
  24. Phtosynthesis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    #24
    I am getting in the Mac Mini price range, but i'm not sure that I want that considering I want an all-in-one solution. I'll probably end up getting the iMac G4 for $550.
     
  25. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #25
    Get a used or refurbished Intel Mac Mini - it will outrun any of the G4 machines by a mile and the cost is very similar.
     

Share This Page