PowerMac G4 450 is it worth getting it?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by celdronis, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. celdronis macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009

    I am currently a pc user ,& doing all my jobs with my high-end pc .Those are music creation using Cubase SX, Protools 7 & 8 & Ableton's Live to name a few ,all of those are original paid software,internet ,gaming,and graphics vector 3d or or otherwise. To make this crystal clear i don't really care to switch platform to Mac ,but just have one around to "play" with it.

    I always liked the looks of the macs and their style ,so a few days ago ,I was considering getting a Dual 800mhz G4 pc ,but after some search and posts ,I decided not to,and get a Intel Mac ,most probably a mac mini or imac .

    However ,I am not ready to spent cash for the imac right now ,and , I have found a Powermac G4 450 thats very very cheap.My question is it it worth it to get this Mac? of course I am not speaking for music creation or 3d graphics creation....but could i use some mac exclusive software with this G4 450Mhz /320 mb RAM / 20GB hdd /zip drive /Mac Os X 10.4.Also adding some memory to this system could make Mac Os x to be somewhat fast on this machine or not slow anyway?

    Ironically it happens to have some original software for Mac platform,that came bundled with hardware....for example having Ableton's Live LE for mac is itself a reason to have a mac around.All comments & thoughts are welcome & thanks for taking the time to read this post.

    :apple::apple: ?? well, we'll see:eek:
  2. mojohanna macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    I have one of these and even on the net it is slow. My kids wont even use it. If you have been a lifetime PC user, you will not have a good user experience with a Mac this old. You would be better served to try to pick up a refurb Mini or imac, depending on your budget.
  3. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    IMO, no it's not worth anything. So if it's $0.00 and you just wanna click around and explore older OS X and older softwarez then sure, why not. It can't run newer OS X tho. Many newer software downloads might have some troubles.

    In all, if it's free sure, hook it up, play around, and give it away when done. If it's not free then you don't even need to think about it really.
  4. sigmadog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    I have one of these 450MHz G4 Powermacs, and I can't even sell it on eBay. I'm going to turn it into something useful - like a storage cabinet or something.
  5. celdronis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    Thank you both for getting the time to reply me:)

    Unfortunately G5 Macs are priced for prices I don't care to pay for.... Same goes for G4 933 Mhz ?? I have seen some Emacz 1.25Mhz but I don't really risk it having bad capacitors.....
    Any thoughts will be appreciated, :D
  6. Bobjob186 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2005
    Laguna Beach
    What's your budget like? I would be happy to find you a better G4 PowerMac. I bought a MDD dual 867 not to long ago for $180 and that would be a much better computer for you to work on then an ugly 450.
  7. celdronis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    Thanmks for your kind offer ,but Im living in Athens,Greece.,so huge amount for shipping ,and custom taxes.....:(
  8. sommls macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2008
    I would argue that, for minimal use, a G4 450 is perfectly workable: simple Email, web browsing, iPhoto storage of photographs, playing iTunes through an external Firewire sound card work adequately if slowly on OS 10.4.

    I know because I used my G4 Cube through the beginning of last year. After a long series of incremental upgrades (1.5 gig RAM, 120 gig HDD, internal slot loading 2 layer DVD burner, an external HDD or two), I finally ran out of new OS (10.5) compatibility.

    Don't get me wrong, the difference from an early 2008 MacPro with 8 gig RAM is at least a little noticable ;-). However, the big thing about buying into an old G4 to me would be time. For sentimental reasons, I deeded the Cube to my computer - challenged sister. In doing that, wiping the HDD, reinstalling OS 10.4 from DVD's, downloading and running the updaters, adding back the other software (MS Office, old Filemaker, etc), setting up the 802.11b wireless (WEP!), getting the new printer drivers, resetting the M-Audio Firewire Audiophile driver, reconnecting speakers, etc required some hands on effort and a chunk of several hours. Without doing these things, you have no idea what's going on when the system goes flaky on you. And it will at some point...
  9. celdronis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    I have finally bought this Mac.I think it would be great for me to get myself started with Mac Os X & I *think* that intel macs cant run Mac Os 9.So only this reason is good enough for me. :apple:
    Laters I might grab a powerbook .
  10. celdronis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    Oh let me Thank You all for your feedback
  11. Robertcp macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2009
    I have G4 - 400, and G4 - 466 both running 10.5.6 with no problems, the kids love them, and the 400 will run some (internet) games the 466 won't.

    Don't knock the old stuff, once it was cutting edge. I think there should be separate sections here for PPC, and Intel. They are streets different, with a totally different userbase, My two cents.
  12. sommls macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2008
    I haven't much perused the threads here describing OS 10.5 on G4's, but had gotten the general impression that when installed on early G4s that it was significantly slower than 10.4 on the same machines. Is this your experience?
  13. showcow45 macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2009
    if you want to get a cheap mac to dick around with you should get an imac g3 500mhz or higher and max the ram to 1 gig, it actually runs pretty decent. my friend has one and surprisingly it runs photoshop,flash, garageband and other apps pretty good. the only thing it doesnt do well is watch videos it can be quite choppy at times.
  14. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Had a cube as well. Max the ram and you will be fine for the basics, but it will be slow.

    I had a dual 450 that was rather nice for the basics and could even handle some video.

    Also whats cheap? I picked up a couple dual 450's for 50 bucks each locally. I wouldn't waste that much on a 450, as it may require upgrades that cost more than the machine.
  15. awmazz macrumors 65816

    Jul 4, 2007
    The two major drawbacks of the 450MHz G4 (AGP) is the 128GB maximum drive size unless you buy and install a separate PCI card to run larger drives, and the limit of OSX to 10.4.11 for processors below 867MHz.

    Straight off the shelf without mods, the 933MHz Quicksilver (2002) is the earliest G4 to overcome these two obstacles so would be a better starting point for a few extra dollars.

    How did you manage this, did you hack the 10.5 installer?
  16. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Yup, all true. These are basically the reasons I said it was only worth it if it was free. Memory limits too. It only supports up to 2.0 GB of RAM, and only 1.5 GB when booting into MacOS 9. And the chances of finding one with more then 512MB or 1GB I think might be slim. By the time you start paying for all the upgrades needed to actually make the thing almost work you can buy a nice used G5 - which actually are useful still.

  17. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    A computer will perform better using application that were around at and before the time the omputer was released. You can run older versions of Cubase and Logic on an old mac. I wouldn't suggest running anything that has been released over the past few years, but if you just want to play around with older applications you should be set.
  18. giffut macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2003
    You ...

    ... won´t have a good experience with this one, believe me, as you can´t lock your machine away from today´s tasks - that´s just web surfing, which is nonfunct on these machine sunless you use firefox and switch off anything video/flash related.

    Also your described workload does indeed give a clue, that this particular machine will not perform accordingly.

    See it this way: It will consume way too much power for what it does: Almost anything you throw at it will maximize CPU load - so you are constantly running this machine on almost 100% CPU load.

    The HD performance is not on par - as mentionned before you are limited to 128GB maximum HD size, even if you built in a 500 IDE HD. Don´t forget that IDE is becoming obsolete and compared to SATA, they are starting to be prized much more expensive. So you would need to upgrade to at least an internal SATA PCI card - your data storage needs dictate the size of the HDs used, only.

    The only way I can see this to offspring is, when:

    1. Get a dual processor machine, nothing less (2x 450Mhz, 2x 500Mhz, better 2x800Mhz or 2x1Ghz).

    2. Don´t think of running Leopard OSX 10.5 on a G4 based model: You can do it, but the CPU/GPU overhead is way too much and you loose precious CPU cycles. Stay with tiger OSX 10.4 (10.4.11).

    3. You need to maximize RAM (limit is either 1,5GB or 2GB RAM, mostly second hand available, only), get an internal SATA PCI card, get a fast AGP card - this all translates into serious money to be spend for an already years outdated machine.


    My recommendations considering your tight budget: Built yourself a hackintosh (PC technology, which runs OSX Leopard). You already seem to have the hardware in place. You will get today´s speed for today´s tasks. With used parts you can go as cheap as US$200,- to get a decent performer with Core 2 Duo technology - they eat Powermac G5s, you know (ok, I am getting indecent here). Or you buy a cheap Pentium based model (corporate PCs now on high fly out of companies, Dell Optiplex GX series, e.g.) off eBay for US$30-50, which gives you speed similar to the latest G5 single processor models - still quite performant, but already far beyond any G4 but the top model dual 1,42Ghz - which is way too overprized to get, anyways.

    Hard facts: http://www.primatelabs.ca/blog/2009/01/mac-performance-january-2009/

    The powermac G4 450Mhz scores around 285
    A Powermac G5 single core 1,8Ghz scores round 1100
    My Optiplex GX270 slimline Pentium Celeron 2,5Ghz scores 1300 (total cost: US$ 50)
    My hackintosh Core 2 Du 2x1,87Ghz scores 2900 (total cost: US$200,-)

    Generally speaking: Anything under Geekbench score 1000 will give you headaches with today´s needs, there is no way round it.
  19. -js- macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2008
    Southern California
    I just recently upgraded from a 733 MHz G4 quicksilver, single CPU machine, and it was way past time to replace it. And you're talking about a 450 MHz here.

    Run from this. Don't walk. Run. NOT WORTH IT, even if it were free.
  20. Abidubi macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2009
    Wouldn't a 450Mhz G4 be on par with a 600Mhz Pentium 3?
  21. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
  22. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    I'd agree there, the overhead of OS X makes my G4 less productive than the G3 it replaced for most things and I've done all the tweaking to it I can (disabling Dashboard, running Monolingual to clean up my system and turning off Access for Assistive Devices)

    I'm investing in an old dual CPU board to boost it up a bit, getting another 2 x 512Mb DIMMS at some stage then just aiming for a Mac Pro as my next system.

    The PowerPC is dead. Snow Leopard is meant to be intel only.
  23. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
    Meant to be? You mean, will be.
  24. CountRaven macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2009

    Dual 867MHz PowerPC G4 processors
    * 256K on-chip level 2 cache and 1MB DDR SRAM level 3 cache per processor
    * 133MHz system bus
    * 2GB of PC2100 DDR SDRAM
    * ATi Radeon 9800 VRAM : 256MB 256-bit DDR
    * 200GB WD 7200rpm Ultra ATA/100 hard drive (primary)
    * 250GB WD 7200rpm Ultra ATA/100 hard drive (secondary)
    * Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
    * Superdrive (Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-105)
    * Three 800 Mbps FireWire port card
    * Four USB 2.0 port card
    * Two 400 Mbps FireWire ports
    * Four USB 1.0 ports (includes two on keyboard)
    * Apple speaker minijack, front headphone jack, audioline out minijact and audioline in minijack
    * Build-in 10/100/1000 BASE-T Ethernet networking (Gigabit)
    * Ready for Airport wireless networking
    * Apple Pro Keyboard and Apple Pro Mouse
    * Meets ENERGY STAR requirements
    * Mac OS 10.4 Tiger Operating System (Freshly installed)

    Well those are the specs of my brand new G4 PPC. Do you think that this machine is a good start for someone to start in the Mac world?

    I have used the machine for all the basic, daily tasks so far and it is fast and very silent.
  25. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Looks like a sweet box to me!

    I picked up an 400mhz AGP (sawtooth) G4 for 10 bucks. Upgraded the hard drives, ram, and video card. The thing can now play quake 3! Having a Quartz supported video card makes a hell of a difference with OS X. These machines stock are worthless, but if you can do the upgrades for free (like I did) or relatively cheap, you can have a pretty awesome old school gamer or web surfer.

    The eMacs shouldn't burn out yet. I have 2 (USB 2.0 models, 1.25ghz with 1gb of ram) running 10.5.6 with no issues (one is actually 10.5.6 server). If you find one cheap, its got some decent power to it.

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