Should I buy a new Mac Mini or a used iMac/eMac G4?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by dandeco, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. dandeco macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    I am planning on getting a Mac as I have said. I do plan on getting a MacBook (maybe the new aluminum one, but unless I can find a way to get the video from my MiniDV camcorder onto it, I will go for the cheaper polycarbonate MacBook), but I might also like a desktop Mac. I do not want spend a lot of money on one though, such as the new Intel iMacs. I figured I could either buy a new Mac Mini, find a used Apple keyboard and Pro Mouse, get either an older Apple Cinema/Studio Display or a newer Samsung monitor for a low price... OR I could buy an iMac G4 or an eMac G4, complete with keyboard and mouse, and upgrade some of the components myself. These are price factors I know...

    A new Mac Mini with educational discount would be $779, then I'd upgrade the RAM to 2 GB and increase the hard drive to 160 GB, raising the price to $892, but then I'd need to get the keyboard, mouse and monitor, raising the price to roughly the same as the MacBook.

    An older iMac G4 like THIS looks tempting...

    Then I'd just have to upgrade the RAM and the operating system and any other additional software, and I'd be all set for basic Mac purposes (massive multimedia purposes would be handled by the MacBook).

    Does anyone have any comments/suggestions on this?
  2. iParis macrumors 68040


    Jul 29, 2008
    New Mexico
    I defintely recommend the high end Mac Mini over the iMac G4.
    Mainly because of the processor, ram, HDD, and OS.
    You should wait until January to see what MacWorld has instore in case the Mac Mini is upgraded/refreshed and/or gets a $100 price drop.
  3. dandeco thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    Maybe I will. As for monitors, I was considering finding a good LCD widescreen 17-inch display of some kind that could connect via DVI or VGA. I might also buy an older iSight webcam as well.
  4. SkippyThorson macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    Personally, I would pick the iMac G4 over everything else. I love the computer. As I have said many times around this site, it is my favorite of all time. The all in 1 factor is nice, though all the iMacs of late are like that, and the design is comparable to and touched by none.

    However before you shell out a grand on a Mac Mini, if you do that, you might as well buy a used older white Intel iMac off eBay, or even the G5. You seem like you're in my boat - you want a Mac desktop and don't want to spend top dollar on a powerful machine with power you don't need.

    My next idea if I couldn't get my hands on the G4, was to get the first Intel Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo) white iMac off eBay. It gets the job done, and is the cheapest of the Intel iMacs - I mention this because Apple will drop PPC support to the point where us PPC users may not even get basic updates to iTunes. That day however is far off. Snow Leopard is going to be 'Intel Only' I believe, but I have no interest right now. Should you get Intel, you get the reassurance of a computer supported for years to come.

    If you're still looking for something cheaper I can only suggest the iMac G4 or eMac. I wouldn't go earlier because I wouldn't want to push the age of my desktop back too far. I also recommend not going below a 1ghz processor and 512mb Ram.

    One of my professors explained it like this: It's all really what you want. The best computer today is outdated tomorrow. Get what makes you happy and don't try to stay on the bleeding edge of technology just for the sake of it, because it's a never ending chase for the next great thing. Make sure it fits your needs today, and if your needs change, wait for the same computer of today to be cheaper tomorrow. Like upgrading a year behind - get the computer made a couple years ago that does the same things that ones today can. It's cheaper. In a year or 2, get the aluminum iMac, etc. Amen to cheap things.

    Oh yes, and as said, I'd wait until MacWorld at this point. You never know - Mac Mini could even get updated. (We can always dream.)
    - and in the meanwhile, give the Apple discount / refurb section a look.
  5. iParis macrumors 68040


    Jul 29, 2008
    New Mexico
    Sounds like a good plan.
    Monitors aren't that expensive, well other than Apple, so it's not that bad.
    And the majority of LCD monitors have DVI and VGA connections.
  6. LordOfTheMacs macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2008
    New Jersey
    Personally, I would go for a eMac 1.25 or faster or an iMac G4 1.25.
    A mac mini might be too much power if your'e going to get an MacBook. Besides buying the 400-600 mini, you have to buy a monitor and acsessories and bam, you could have spent all that money on a used macbook. I have used 1.25 emacs in alab and found them to be acceptably fast when surfing and using garageband. An G4 mini may be o.k:):apple::apple:
  7. Kardashian macrumors 68020


    Sep 4, 2005
    Get the most computer for your money - in this case the Mac mini.

    Go as high as you can with the specs, or look for a refurb iMac.

    I suggest trying to hold out until January if going the 'new Mac mini' route.
  8. ribbonthecat macrumors regular

    May 23, 2006
    Chicago, IL
  9. MacsBestFriend macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2008
    upstate ny (purgatory)
    my aunt has her macmini hooked up to her tv. saves alot of $$$ and the picture picture feature on some tvs allows her to have the "best of both worlds"
  10. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    A new low end Mini is $599 - add $150 for a semi-decent 17" monitor, $50 for a decent wired keyboard and mouse. That comes to $799 - and it would be $999 for the high end mini.

    You can get a refurbished 2.4GHz 20" iMac for $999 on the Apple refurb store right now.

    Of course, this would handle the "massive multimedia purposes" better than your proposed MacBook, but this is the best deal you can get for newer Macs.

    By the way "refurbished" doesn't necessarily mean the Mac has been used and found to have problems. Any Mac returned for any reason is resold as refurbished. In my limited experience (a refurb Mini and a 40GB iPod Photo, still in use after four years) Apple's refurbs are as good as new.
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    I would go for a refurbished imac 2.4 This way you get everything you want. New mouse, keyboard,display and a great computer plus the latest OS etc. and the same warranty as a new machine. I noticed no refurb Mini's, a new machine must be on the way so you may want to wait for the Mini replacement in january.
  12. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    If you're buying a new computer, don't get a PowerPC processor if it's an option. Every app is now being written for the Intel CPUs. While they claim it's "universal," everything seems to run extremely slow on PowerPC processors.

    Another good reason is you might be SOL if you ever want to upgrade to Snow Leopard. Rumor has it that 10.6 will not support PowerPC, so you'd better be prepared to take Leopard to the grave on a G4 or G5.
  13. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2007
    Definitely go with intel - it is the future of Macintosh and a lot of stuff is quickly going intel only (for example lots of problems with Flash and PPC are starting to be reported) - if you can afford it.

    G4 is great if you need Classic to run older apps.

    An iMac is great if you like to buy an expensive new monitor with every generation of computer.

    I on the other hand keep monitors a bit and would prefer a mini or a macbook anyday over an iMac - esp since I gotta have a 24" monitor. My mini was $499, my monitor was $299 and the keyboard and mouse was left over from the upgrades I applied to my eMac. $800 is a LOT less than the cheapest 24" iMac.

    I find Apple keyboards and mice horrible and quickly replaced those when I got my eMac. So that is not an advantage for me with an iMac.

    The faster eMacs have problems with motherboards and the older ones are USB 1.0.
  14. TrapOx macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    Mini. BUT, wait until after January to see if they update/kill the mini,
  15. descartes macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    mini all the way. you can get used monitors very cheaply and a refurb intel mini will get you in the game and more future proof than the g4 imac.
  16. andrewag macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2005
    The G4 is going to be very underwhelming, go for the new mini.
  17. QueenZ macrumors 6502


    Oct 26, 2008
    If you're on budget with a great monitor then you should go for Mac mini... That's what i did :D
  18. YesMac macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2008
    Mac Mini

    Get a Mac Mini. Better software options, even some windows software if you need it. Newer OS. Faster. Reasonably priced. If you want to find a used or pre-owned Mac Mini, and save a little bit, Powermax is an excellent company. I traded in my old mac and bought my Mac Mini there.

Share This Page