PowerPC g4 Mac mini and USB HD webcam

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Barthelemy, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Barthelemy macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2013
    Hi there,

    Just retrieved an old Mac mini from 2006 with a PowerPC g4 processors and I would like to use it as a skype family video call on my samsung smart tv. The Mac mini is connected on the tv and it works well. The only issue is that I have an old 0.3 mp USB cam and the quality is crap.

    I would like to buy a basic 5mp 720p USB cam to improve this but I'm wondering if the Mac mini and it's processor will be able to handle this sort of video bandwidth. Any advice about this matter would be highly appreciated for me to not buy something useless :)

    Thank you very much
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Any USB cam for Skype is going to hammer the CPU into total submission. An HD USB cam would probably bring the entire system to a halt.

    I have a USB cam and it always brought Skype right to 100% CPU after some use. Usually it hovered around 85-90% CPU. At the very least you will get dropped frames.

    My advice is to find an external iSight on eBay or somewhere else. On eBay they were going for about $50 when I bought mine a few years back. The external iSights are Firewire and because they are actually designed with PowerPC Macs in mind they have a minimal impact on CPU.

    Be aware that the latest version of Skype for PowerPC is 2.8 something. Also be aware that the rumor is that Microsoft (which now owns Skype) has arbitrarily cut off video from PowerPC Macs.

    I'm not sure how true the last is because I have not video Skyped in a while, but it's been discussed here.
  3. Barthelemy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2013
    Thanks very much for the insight, I will look into ISight cameras :)

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