Running an iMac G4 in 2010?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by One Love 1867, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. One Love 1867 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    Just a quick query, really. I'm interested in picking up an iMac G4. My current setup consists of a Mac Mini running as an HTPC. For my needs, it works a treat, but I'm shortly going to be moving in with my girlfriend. She's abit of a telly hog to say the least, and although I don't want to lose running the Mini as a HTPC when I need to, I also doubt I'll be able to use it even half as much as I do now on my own.. namely for things such as just pottering around on the internet.

    As a result, I'm looking for a more traditional desktop solution. I have considered an iMac, but they're pricier than I can probably afford at the moment and for my limited needs seems a little like overkill. I have stumbled on the possibility of using an old iMac G4. Now, I know these things are getting on abit now, but I've spotted a couple on eBay for south of £150. The price seems to be right for a desktop (even an ageing one) and there's alot to be said for that design. It's retro enough to be breathtakingly cool, I think..

    I certainly wouldn't have any intentions of going wild with games or the like and I'm appreciative of age being restrictive in terms of the hardware, but would anyone be able to shed anymore light on the G4's performance? It's usage would probably extend to producing word documents, web browsing and music playback. Does anyone still regularly use a G4 in 2010, and if so how is the experience for you? Are they still nippy enough to work well as a desktop computer, even for less demanding tasks than the newer iMacs etc are capable of?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    I have a 1.25 GHz Lamp G4 down in the living room. For simple things like those you mentioned above it runs just fine; although you should update it to Leopard to get the most out of web browsing as you can run into some bugs with Tiger (not anything major, though- I also found Leopard boosts day-to-day performance). Music playback is fine but you'll want external speakers, obviously.

    For movie playback it stutters occasionally, and I don't think it would handle a large mkv file very well.
     
  3. One Love 1867 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #3
    Cheers for the response.

    Music playback really will probably go no further than as part of the "pottering around" that I do now.. casual browsing whilst running iTunes in the background or whatever. A couple of the G4's I've spied on eBay come with Apple's speakers although it's no bother to hook up my own, which I almost certainly would anyway. A couple of them on eBay are also 1.25GHZ models (some also running Leapord).. I assume the 800MHZ etc are a little too clunky and aged to run well nowadays?

    If I get a G4 (or any other desktop) then my Mini will do all my movie playback etc when me and the other half need it. If I was to buy a G4, it would serve purpose largely for producing word documents, uploading them to blog software (in this case, Wordpress), basic image manipulation, docking my iPhone (possibly iPad later), listening to music and web browsing.

    I briefly read in another thread however that the G4's won't run Flash. Is this true and do you ever find it a problem? Are there any other issues you encounter and do you think the tasks outlined above would be fine?
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #4
    Depends on your definition of "run well." The 800s are slow, but come on... it's a 7-year old machine :p

    Yes, there are some issues with Flash. I normally don't find it to be a problem because I use FF with AdBlock/NoScript and don't watch online video too much. YMMV.

    I think your listed tasks would perform just fine. You should look for one with Leopard already installed or make sure it has a working DVD-drive. The DVD drive is annoyingly loud. I don't think I have too many other important issues with it... still runs fine for me.

    edit: Oh, I'm still using the old-style keyboard and a logitech wireless mouse that uses a USB dongle. I'm not sure how well it would play with one of the new aluminum keyboards and/or magic mouse.
     
  5. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #5
    ok the G4 iMac might be alright if you choose the usb2.0 models , , it will also help to upgrade the ram to the full 2 gb the 1.25 usb2.0 models support
    and remember the highest resolution on the display is 1024x768 on the iMac G4 1.0 15" ,G4 1.25 17" 1440x900 the 20" model can support a resolution up to 1680x1050
    due to the fact later 2 have the better graphics card with 64mb vram
    but the G4 iMac with 20" are rare and fetch good prices when they turn up at ebay (last one on ebay sold here in the uk for £450 that are ~us$ 640:eek:)

    have you considered a eMac , the eMac G4 1.42 (faster processor !)offers 64mb graphics ATI 9600 (same as in the powermac G5 models from end 2005 they only offerd 128mb instead but the same graphics card ) its easier upgradeable to full 2 gb ram
    (both slots in reach without taking apart ) and offers a max resolution of 1280x960 even on a second display with "screen spanning doctor" just in case you think 17" is not big enough and cost not even or just a quarter of the 20" iMac g4

    ok its a bit louder , but thats easy to resolve if you are not afraid of connecting the 3 wires with a "zalman fanmate" , the eMac's heatpipe is over sized so is the fan , running it a bit slower doesn't harm the eMac
    but makes it as silent as a iMac g4 or a mini g4 without risk of overheating

    and my eMac runs flash (videos only up to 360p but then without hickups)...dont play many online games apart from the ones in facebook (mafia wars, farmville , war metal) but the other things like word processingit does with ease ,even photoshop and even final cut is possible with it , not as fast as with a iMac i7 but usable and if you dont do it for a living you can live with that.. it might take a bit longer to cut a film or rip it with mac the ripper but it gets the job done and does not complain
     
  6. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a

    raysfan81

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #6
    ^ This is good advice. I would go with an eMac over the iMac simply because I'm not going to fork over a ton of money for an old computer when I could get a mini for near the same price. The eMacs on eBay here in the US go for about $100-$150 so they are much cheaper (this is for the 1.42 ghz model the lower end ones are even cheaper).
     
  7. linuxfanatik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Northumberland, UK.
    #7
    I have a G4 Quicksilver and a G4 imac with seventeen inch screen and they are both working well. They do everything you can do with a Macbook Pro (early 2008) which I've also got, except upgrade to Mavericks like my Macbook Pro or work in 64bit (which they aren't). The highest upgrade you can have (if you get a G4 with Panther), is Leopard (not Snow Leopard since that is 64bit).

    Most programs such as RapidWeaver, Clear, Ember, Pages etc will work on the G4's since mine do via the iCloud. Some games will work so long as they are not memory hungry. Music plays fine as does the photographic Apps, the only thing against it is speed. You can think of the G4 like a Pregnant Snail running against a Macbook Pro with 4gb of Ram - it's s-l-o-w! If you don't mind that then that's fine. You can experiment with CPU's that might fit your current cpu, or up the memory from 1.5gb to maybe 2gb or 4gb to see if that imporoves anything - but if it doesn't then your stuck with your original cpu and 1.5gb of ram. So long as it contiues to work I will continue to use them - especially the imac sice it makes young'un's eyes go round with wonder to see it shift data like the best of them! I have a PC too (but its loaded with Ubuntu (linux - which was originally built by Linus Torwald on a Minix Unix system - similar to the system that the Mac is built on). I have no complaints with my set-up! :) Best of luck!:cool:
     
  8. linuxfanatik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Location:
    Northumberland, UK.
    #8
    G4 Flashing its bits!

    My G4 Quicksilver doesn't have a problem with me shoving a usb 32gb flash-drive into one of its ports. It will load it up with data or conversely strip it of data and put it on one of my 3Tb ASA Hard Drives. I've tried a 512gb SSD (solid State Drive) and it works - my god does it! Shifting data like its got an infection of its digestive tract! At the speed it flushes out data it could win the Grand National (horse Race) at Aintree (Liverpool England)! However, I've got the two asa drives in my quicksilver and i'm saving the SSD to replace one of my other computers hard drives if it goes wonky. I'm considering buying a second SSD at 1TB - but I might save that and go for an imac 27 inch screen (with Retina Display) and maximum components when I can save the three and a half grand it would cost to kit it all out! - Anyone here got any info on the 27" Imac that I could use as a comparison to my envisaged computer plan?
     

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