Please help, advice needed on upgrading from G4

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by juddawg, May 15, 2006.

  1. juddawg macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    Ok here's the deal:

    I want to surprise my fiance with a gift of a new mac. Her old mac is a G4 Quicksilver, 733, with 1.5 GB of RAM. I initially bought it for $500, and spent another $500 upgrading it (upgraded RAM, hard drive, silenced fans, bought a USB Hub, new printer, etc.)

    This thing is getting to be way too slow for her. I kind of regret now buying the old unit and spending so much money upgrading it, instead of just buying a new unit for $500 more, but the past is 20/20 vision.

    So here's my question: Would a new mac mini be a decent upgrade from a single-core G4 quicksilver, or would I be better off spending another $1000 and waiting a few months to get a G5 powermac? My fiance primarily uses apps like Adobe, Quark, pagemaker, etc..

    I already have a widescreen LCD to give her, so that is why I don't feel like getting her an iMac, but I know that Adobe won't have universal binaries until at least next year.

    So my options are: sell old G4 (I can probably get $500 off of e-bay), and put that towards either a mac mini (with upgraded RAM to 2 GB, plus upgraded hard drive), or a refurbished G5 powerPC for $1000 - $1500.

    Other things of note: I would probably have to buy an external hard drive if I went with the mac Mini, as the files she makes and uses are pretty big, she's already used about 70 GB on her G4.

    Cliff Notes:
    - want to buy a mac to replace a 733 single-processor G4.
    - Needs to run Adobe apps.
    - Spend small money and get immediate gift (mac mini) or wait a few months and get a G5 (being phased out).
    - Would this new mac mini run non-universal binaries significantly faster than the old G4 on native code?

    Please advise!
  2. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2006
    It depends on how much you are willing to spend. Both machines are incrediby capable of handling all that. I would personally go with the mini as it is small and easily transportable.
  3. juddawg thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    Would the mini be a big performance increase over the G4 even though it's running a non-universal binary app?
  4. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Save the money. Don't get a Mini.

    Normally, I would have said get an iMac but you've already ruled that out although any new Mac will feel like a step up from the 733 QSs... we've got a couple of those at work. One is now a server, the other running a RIP.

    I'm similarly hesitant to recommend a used G5 until the Intel PowerMacs are released. I can imagine that second-hand prices of these might not give you best value right now although all the software will run natively on it now.

    If you can wait, there may be bumps to the Mini later this year if that's what it comes to. I've seen quite a few iMacs in external design agencies but no Minis.
  6. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    The 733 kills the quicksilver now days, a better upgrade for that machine would have been a cpu Upgrade running anywhere from 1.25 - 1.7 or whatever they are making for it now. I have a mini 1.4 and had a quicksilver with a 1.4 upgrade in it and the quicksilver was much faster then the mini. Thing is now we have mini's with the Intel cpu's so they are even faster though handicapped by crap integrated graphics. With a new cpu upgrade that quicksilver can still be a good machine.
  7. juddawg thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    I have thought about buying the CPU upgrade, but then I would be investing more money in what seems like an old system. If I plop another $500 for a processor upgrade, to make a dual processor 1.7, then from what I read it still wouldn't match or would be equal to a mac mini, and I will have ended up spending the same amount of cash on it as I would selling the old G4 and using that money to buy a mini.
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    ...and a processor upgrade doesn't quite have the cachet as a gift. After you've booted into OS9 in order to update the firmware and all the other messing about.
  9. juddawg thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    ^^ That's part of it. I wouldn't have considered the old mac mini's as an upgrade, but the new dual core model looks pretty sweet. She typically is running iTunes and doing web surfing too, so a dual core is a must. The main thing I want is for a decent upgrade enough that she will notice, and still be future-ready, in other words I am hesitant to buy a G5 (and at twice the cost) when it is going to be discontinued.

    This is why I really don't want to upgrade the G4 any more - I've already sunk so much money into it. To top it off, the G4 has shown signs of occasional instability.

    The G5's are great looking units, don't get me wrong, I just don't have the cash for a brand new G5. I guess I could buy an older refurb model from the applestore. I don't have a big budget to play with, unfortunately. I mostly just want to make a big enough upgrade that she'll notice a difference, and be able to use the 20 " widescreen LCD that I have for her.
  10. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    So get her a refurbed powerbook and plug the LCD into it when she's home?
  11. juddawg thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    So since everybody is saying to go with the refurb'd G5 at an increased cost... forgive my newbness, but would it be better to get it from the apple store as a refurb, or from ebay, etc. ?

    And how much performance difference would a refurb'd duo-core G5 vs. a mac mini dual core be, both with 2 GB of memory, when using Adobe apps?

    Thanks in advance for the advice, by the way :D

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