PowerBook G4, 17" - worth it?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by aluminimac, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. aluminimac, Apr 14, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014

    aluminimac macrumors member

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    #1
    [EDIT]

    This has now transpired to be a premium-rate scam :( Never mind :)

    Hey guys :)

    Someone's just given me a PowerBook G4, 17" on FreeCycle, in good condition (I've yet to receive it) - are these decent machines? I don't expect anything ridiculous like running Lion etc on it, but were they good performers?

    Prob gonna shove Leopard on it I think :)

    Thanks.

    ~Mf
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #2
    Yes they are worth it. The fact you got it for FREE is fantastic. Click :apple: --> About this Mac and report back on the specs.
     
  3. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #3
    Lion isn't actually compiled for PowerPC systems, so it's not necessarily just an issue of hardware speed there. Leopard was supported on a number of G4s. You may be able to install it even when not officially supported. Snow Leopard and beyond will not work due to not being compiled for PowerPC systems.
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #4
    Leopard was supported on all 17" models provided there is ample RAM.
     
  5. aluminimac thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Yep, just as I'd thought :D and yes, indeed, I'm still in shock at the kindness. I'll post the specs once it arrives (if it does). Many thanks.

    Yep, I knew that, and thank you for explaining (you didn't know I knew it :))

    I have edited "Var badMachines" or whatever it was, many times to get Leopard running "unofficially" on Macs. You're bang on about Lion (and was it also Snow Leopard?) being non-PPC arch?

    Cheerio :)
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Well, I have two. :D

    I have the first one, 17" PowerBook G4 1.0Ghz with 2GB ram and the last one, the 17" 1.67Ghz HiDef Dual Layer Superdrive version.

    Both Macs are awesome. I used my 1.0Ghz for years as my daily driver until the logicboard finally died earlier this year. My other one needs a new HD so I'm just waiting till I can get parts.

    But I've always liked the 17" PBs and so in late 2009 was finally able to get one. The displays are huge! The only downside (other than battery use) is you can't easily roll around with them. What I mean by that is if you decide you want to lay down on your couch and prop your legs up to use the Mac, well you're going to find that a bit difficult. The 12" PBs are great for that, but the 17"s not so much.

    I tell you though, the looks you get when you pull one of these out of your bag at Starbucks or any other place is gratifying. I've had lots of people ask me about my PBs. It gets real interesting when you pull TWO of them out, LOL!

    Love 'em!
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #7
    Snow Leopard and Lion will NEVER run on a PPC. Leopard is the final version available for PPC. However, it is still very modern and will do most of what you want. Worst case, you could sell it for a MBP...

    ----------

    The 17" are about as big as someone's back. I love how big they were.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
    You won't need to edit anything to get it to install. Minspec for Leopard is 867mhz processor. The first 17" model came with a 1.0Ghz processor, so from that standpoint you're good.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #9
    Provided the system has at least 512 MB of RAM or preferably more...
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    That is very true, but it's usually the processor that's the hangup. You can't really upgrade that (on the laptops), but you can always add more ram (up to the max).
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #11
    Plus used RAM is rather affordable...
     
  12. aluminimac thread starter macrumors member

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  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #13
    Just a little...

    Essentially, no matter what speed the processor is, it won't take much to make it a great modern computer.

    What are your usage plans for this?
     
  14. aluminimac thread starter macrumors member

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    I have no plans as yet; I saw it on FreeCycle, and my gut instinct was "WHAT?! TYPE MAN, TYPE AND REPLY FFFASST!!!!"

    I then assumed, falsely, that "Oh, someone's probably snapped that up" - they hadn't, thankfully, due to FreeCycle admin taking AGES to approve the guy's post :D
     
  15. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #15
    I couldn't figure it out from the way your post was worded, so I just stated it explicitly in the response. Also yeah Snow Leopard dropped all PowerPCs including the G5s.
     
  16. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #16
    It is a great machine, but a quick note to you, most modern software will not run. That being said, there are many things this Mac can do that the modern ones can do too. The highest OS is Leopard 10.5.8, but when using AQUADock's Mountain Leopard theme, it feels like a very recent Mac! The highest version of iWork and iLife are both the 09 versions. Microsoft Office 2008 is the highest version of Office available.

    PM me and I can send over a list of software and versions that can run on G4s. Keep in mind all software must be purchased used.
     
  17. aluminimac thread starter macrumors member

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    #17


    Yep, all makes sense.

    I'm just happy to have it just for the sake of owning it - I don't have "plans" for it, I just want it :D (not to say I won't find a use for it - certainly will!)
     
  18. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #18
    Just a note about software. Altemose (Alternose) is correct. The limitations are PowerPC and Leopard.

    However, you can run a fairly modern suite. Adobe CS4, Office 2008, Suitcase Fusion 3 (even though it does not say it's PowerPC compatible), QuarkXPress 8 and Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro will all run. Note that you may hear that the CS4 suite will not run. That's untrue. The suite installer won't, because there are certain apps that are Intel only, BUT if you install individually you will find that the big ones (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop) are all PowerPC compatible.

    Don't know if you use apps like that, but I do so I thought I'd mention it.
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #19
    Well some things you can run on there are:

    Leopard 10.5.8
    Microsoft Office 2008
    iWork 09
    iLife 09 (Note certain apps have specific requirements)
    iTunes 10.6.3 (No iOS 7 Sync Support)
    TenFourFox
    Skype 2.8.866
    Spotify 0.6.6.10
    Dropbox
    CandyBar 3.2 (May not be the final version)
    Growl 1.2.2
    Handbrake 0.9.4
    MacTracker 5.3 (Fantastic Program)
    MacTubes 3.1.6
    ScreenFlow 1.5.4
    ThunderBird 3.1.20
    Transmission 2.22
    VLC 2.0.5

    ----------

    Adobe Reader is also slow on PPC. I'd reccomend Preview for that use, but Acrobat Pro is fine. CS4 is a little resource heavy for a G4 in all respect, especially the single core models. Not everyone has a G4 on steroids like you, Erik :D
     
  20. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    LOL, my employee was using CS4 on a G4/450 AGP running 10.5.8 with 1.75GB of ram for five years. Got along just fine. Bit slower, but she got the work out.
     
  21. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #21
    It still is slow enough that it causes issues compared to CS3 or CS2 :confused:
     
  22. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Well, IDK. I never used CS2 or 3 on any of the work Macs. We went from Adobe Photoshop 7 and Illy 10 to CS 4 and QuarkXPress 8 (which is already slow as hell with lots of type at small point sizes like our legals) to ID CS4.

    So, I've really got nothing to compare it to except previous slow performers I guess.
     
  23. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #23
    I have a dual 1.8 G5. CS4 is significantly slower than CS2. That being said, CS2 is plenty fast on even a low spec G4. CS4 not so much. The G5 runs it fine but you can easily see the speed difference.
     
  24. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Interesting! I don't doubt you, and to be honest I was not using the G4, my employee was. She frequently complained about things being slow so I guess this is probably why, but she also complains about other things and the same things being slow when using the 1.8Ghz G5 which I brought back to work to try and END the complaints!

    I do have CS2 on my G4 at home, but never use it. I guess speed is relative compared to QuarkXPress 8. :D
     
  25. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #25
    Sadly, CS4 just doesn't seem optimized for PPCs.
     

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