Power Mac G4 machine

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by pjdaoust, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. pjdaoust macrumors newbie

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    Raleigh, NC
    #1
    I'm an Apple newbie and I just acquired an older Mac G4 and I think it has OS 9. All the guides I have found seem to start with OS 10.x. Is this machine too old for me to get started ? Is this like me starting with Windows 95 or ME or something like that ? Please advise me if I'm wasting my time with this old dog, or if it might be a good tool to get me feet wet in the world of Mac.
    PJD
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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  3. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    #3
    The way I see OS 9 is like starting with Windows 3.1. I am in no way saying OS 9 and 3.1 compare, but OS X is like the Windows 95 of the PC world, it introduced the Dock as well as various other visual elements that are still visible today.

    I say ditch OS 9 immediately and go with OS X 10.3 or 10.4. I can run OS X 10.4 (tiger) on a G3 just fine.
     
  4. pjdaoust thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    How do I find out what speed ?

    How do I find out what speed ?
     
  5. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #5
    It's been a while since I've used an OS 9 machine, but should be :apple: > About this machine ... or something along those lines.
     
  6. pjdaoust thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    How to get OS 10.4

    How do I get OS 10.4, did I mention I am a newbie at this ?
     
  7. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #7
    Ebay will be best.

    You are looking for an OS X 10.4 Tiger retail disc.
     
  8. pjdaoust thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    What should I expect to pay ?

    I see prices from $92 to $2.74 are these comparable ?

    PJD
     
  9. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    #9
    I'm guessing you will be looking at around $110 or so to get Tiger retail discs.
     
  10. dazey macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2005
    #10
    I still run a G4 server, still a good machine and it runs leopard (the newest operating system until about 6 months ago). Firstly tell us which machine you have:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Macintosh_G4
    There are pics on wikipedia.
    You should also be able to find exact specs from the apple menu. Something like about my mac?
     
  11. dazey macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2005
    #11
    Why not leopard? They have just discontinued security support for Tiger
     
  12. pjdaoust thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Is Leopard version 10.5 or 6 ?

    Is Leopard version 10.5 or 6 ?
     
  13. dazey macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Leopard is 10.5, Snow Leopard is 10.6 (and 10.6 is intel only)
     
  14. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    #14
    Before you go any further buying software, you may as well figure out which model you have. To start with, let's look at the basic case design:
    Your tower should look like one of the following:

    [​IMG]
    If your machine looks like this and has either 3 PCI slots+1 AGP slot, or 4 PCI slots and no AGP slot, then you have an early G4 machine.
    If you have 4 PCI slots and no AGP slot, then you have a 350MHz single-processor model with PCI graphics. If you have 3 PCI slots and 1 AGP slot, then you have anywhere from a 350MHz single-processor with AGP 2X graphics to a 500MHz dual-processor machine with AGP4X graphics.

    Next, we have a model that looks exactly the same as the previous one, save for a couple minor differences--the easiest way to tell is that you'll have 4 PCI slots AND an AGP 4X slot. If that's the case, then you'll have what's known as a "digital audio" Powermac G4, which can have anything from a 466MHz single G4 to a dual 533MHz machine to a single 733MHz machine. All have 4X AGP graphics and a specialized digital audio port.

    After that, we get a case redesign, which looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    Single-processor models range from a 733MHz single G4 to a dual 1GHz machine. All have AGP4X graphics.

    Next, you get this model:
    [​IMG]

    I won't bother getting into the specifics of this model range, since it was the best G4 tower lineup you could ever get. They topped out at dual 1.42Ghz processors. The one key thing to note here is that some models had Firewire 800 ports, and some only had Firewire 400--the ones with Firewire 800 cannot boot OS9, only OSX. All other G4 models ever could boot either.

    Anyways, try and narrow down which model you have, so that we can get an idea of what you've got, which well let us give you better/more directed advice.
     
  15. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #15
    I didn't suggest Leopard because we still don't know how fast the G4 is, or how much RAM it has.
     
  16. pjdaoust thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Mac Power G4 Specs

    The machine looks like the first one pictured above in a previous post.

    The specs of the machine from the Apple About pulldown menu are as follows:

    Memory 512 MBPower PC G4
    Processor 400 mhz
    20 gig HD

    How much memory is recommended to run Leopard effectively ?

    Would it make sense to upgrade the memory and possibly the HD or add Firewire external drive ?
     
  17. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #17
    OS 9 is very different than the modern OS X (10).

    You should try to get 10.4 for it.

    Upgrade the harddrive. Note those take IDE drives and you have to set jumpers on the drives.
     
  18. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

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    #18
    Do not run Leopard on that system. Leopard chokes with less than 1GB of RAM in most cases, and your processor is just too slow. Stick with tiger.
     
  19. windowpain macrumors 6502a

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    Japan
    #19
    In my humble opinion, it isn't worth spending money on.
    It is too old and slow to run leopard (10.6)
    Tiger (10.4) will run but it won't be pretty..
    Panther (10.3) would probably be your best bet, but unless you can find an install disk very cheaply (say $10), I think it would be a waste of your money.

    I would try to sell it for as much money as possible and buy something else. Try to get an absolute minimum of a 800MHz G4 as that will run tiger well (and leopard a little slowly- with a tweaking of the firmware if needed.)

    A useable mac will give you a much better idea of how they work. The one you have is nearly 10 years old.
     
  20. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

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    #20
    Ridiculous. It's the same basic system I have. I updated it to run Leopard, but I ran Tiger in almost the same configuration (400 MHz/320MB RAM/20GB HD) for years. No problem. The main thing to invest in would be a USB 2.0 PCI card, which should be pretty cheap.

    That system won't run Leopard in it's current config and there's no point upgrading it now. But Tiger would be just fine. You want Tiger and not Panther, because Tiger will run things like the latest version of iTunes that Panther won't.
     
  21. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

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    Mar 3, 2004
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    Canada's South Coast
    #21
    I'm running Tiger 10.4.11 on a Quicksilver G4 800MHz x 1 with 1.25GB RAM and dual hard drives, plus an aftermarket USB-2 card. It is still a *very* sweet machine!
     
  22. dazey macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2005
    #22
    We had an old 300MHz G3 tower. That was certainly up to tiger, we might have even got it up to leopard. In general OSX has got better optimised over time. I have a G4 mini that runs tiger server just fine on 512MB ram, I will put it up to leopard if I ever boost the RAM (needs 1GB to install leopard server)
     
  23. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #23
    10.4 (Tiger) is what i would run. I have a G4, newer than the one you have, and Tiger runs fine on it. Leopard will dog the computer down a lot. Tiger has everything i need and is stable.

    You might add some extra ram, and if you need it, a larger hard drive. Newegg still sells ATA hard drives.
     

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