Should I buy this G4?

mikiotty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2014
292
63
Rome, Italy
Hi everyone!
I have a bit of a doubt... I'd love to get a PowerMac G4 MDD and now there's one on eBay for 40€, but it doesn't work.
The seller says it turned it off one day and the day after it was dead. I think it's the PSU and I've already prepared an adapter to test the machine with a regular ATX PSU.
It's a Dual 1.25GHz FW800 model with an 80GB Hard Drive, no video card (it was a GeForce4 MX) and no RAM (I have the RAM from my G5, it should work, otherwise it's not a problem to grab some).
Should I buy it? I really want an MDD... Thank you!
 

Surrat

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2014
478
154
United States
If the PSU is bad, there is a guy on ebay that rebuilds them for a moderate fee.

Dead pram batteries can also cause strange behavior on the MDD.
 

mikiotty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2014
292
63
Rome, Italy
If the PSU is bad, there is a guy on ebay that rebuilds them for a moderate fee.

Dead pram batteries can also cause strange behavior on the MDD.
Fixing the PSU myself wouldn't be a problem, I'd fit a modified ATX PSU in it, I'm quite good at this things.
The problems would be if it wasn't the PSU that failed... Should I take the risk in your opinion?
 

mikiotty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2014
292
63
Rome, Italy
better, Just look for any other powerMacG4 that would work perfectly.
It's impossible to find one in Italy, and the ones on sale are either single processors or overpriced. I don't want to spend a lot of money, no more than 50€ really.
 

powermi

macrumors regular
Apr 6, 2013
143
2
Avila (Spain)
I am from Spain, and here i have a similar situation. My advice: wait for a Quicksilver that works, or anything older but with a CPU upgrade.
 

mikiotty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2014
292
63
Rome, Italy
I am from Spain, and here i have a similar situation. My advice: wait for a Quicksilver that works, or anything older but with a CPU upgrade.
I'm actually replying you from a Dual 800MHz QuickSilver :)
I like this machine but I'd love to own an MDD... that one seemed perfect. I'd put my SATA card, Radeon 9800 Pro and USB 2.0 card and use the MDD as my main machine (it has the same Geekbench score as an iMac G5 I used to own, and it was perfectly capable of handling everything I do on my Mac).
I'm only worried if it's something else than the PSU that broke. If it's only the PSU I'd fix it in an hour.
 

bse5150

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2014
264
110
If you really want it, then buy it. It sounds like you're not willing to be talked out of buying it so what are you waiting for?
 

mikiotty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2014
292
63
Rome, Italy
If you really want it, then buy it. It sounds like you're not willing to be talked out of buying it so what are you waiting for?
Would you buy it?
I really want an MDD, not that MDD. That's an opportunity and I don't have any problem in fixing it, if it's the PSU. My concern is only about that. If it's not the PSU, I'd waste 40€. Otherwise I would have already bought it. I'm just not sure :D
 

gsahli

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2007
640
17
Chicago
Unless you have some specific purpose for getting a G4 computer, I say "Don't do it!"
It is way past its prime.

Yes, I have one - but I still use old, expensive-to-replace software on it. Otherwise, I wouldn't keep it.

(just my 2 cents worth)
 

mikiotty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2014
292
63
Rome, Italy
Unless you have some specific purpose for getting a G4 computer, I say "Don't do it!"
It is way past its prime.

Yes, I have one - but I still use old, expensive-to-replace software on it. Otherwise, I wouldn't keep it.

(just my 2 cents worth)
I love G4s, I use my PowerBook G4 1.5Ghz as my daily laptop in school and my Dual 800MHz QuickSilver at home, and I'd love an MDD for their case design. I love it.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,187
13,026
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
If it's not the PSU or a dead PRAM battery then it's the logicboard.

I think that's what you're really concerned about. You don't want to waste 40€ by replacing the PSU and finding out the logicboard is dead.

I'd say you have a good chance that the logicboard is good and it's the PSU.

Based on what you said the seller told you, he shut it down and it just wouldn't start up again.

My experience with logicboards going bad is that they have gone bad when the computer is on. It freeezes and then you can't restart it at all or it restarts but progressively freeezes a shorter amount of time each time.

However, with a dead logicboard there should still be power. Fans should still try to start, hard drives should still try to power on.

I'd ask the seller if you could try turning the Mac on with the power cord in. If you hear stuff try to spin up then, yeah, it might be the logicboard. Dead silence would probably be the PSU.

Sorry I can't give you anything definitive. It's a gamble. Even so, if you do need a new logicboard there is eBay. Although I'm not sure how well that works in your area of the world.
 
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mikiotty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2014
292
63
Rome, Italy
If it's not the PSU or a dead PRAM battery then it's the logicboard.

I think that's what you're really concerned about. You don want to waste 40€ by replacing the PSU and finding out the logicboard is dead.

I'd say you have a good chance that the logicboard is good and it's the PSU.

Based on what you said the seller told you, he shut it down and it just wouldn't start up again.

My experience with logicboards going bad is that they have gone bad when the computer is on. It freeezes and then you can't restart it at all or it restarts but progressively freeezes a shorter amount of time each time.

However, with a dead logicboard there should still be power. Fans should still try to start, hard drives should still try to power on.

I'd ask the seller if you could try turning the Mac on with the power cord in. If you hear stuff try to spin up then, yeah, it might be the logicboard. Dead silence would probably be the PSU.

Sorry I can't give you anything definitive. It's a gamble. Even so, if you do need a new logicboard there is eBay. Although I'm not sure how well that works in your area of the world.
You actually got the point. That's exactly what I'm concerned about. You reassured me though, I'm gonna buy it :) I'll let you know!
 

mikiotty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2014
292
63
Rome, Italy
If it's not the PSU or a dead PRAM battery then it's the logicboard.

I think that's what you're really concerned about. You don't want to waste 40€ by replacing the PSU and finding out the logicboard is dead.

I'd say you have a good chance that the logicboard is good and it's the PSU.

Based on what you said the seller told you, he shut it down and it just wouldn't start up again.

My experience with logicboards going bad is that they have gone bad when the computer is on. It freeezes and then you can't restart it at all or it restarts but progressively freeezes a shorter amount of time each time.

However, with a dead logicboard there should still be power. Fans should still try to start, hard drives should still try to power on.

I'd ask the seller if you could try turning the Mac on with the power cord in. If you hear stuff try to spin up then, yeah, it might be the logicboard. Dead silence would probably be the PSU.

Sorry I can't give you anything definitive. It's a gamble. Even so, if you do need a new logicboard there is eBay. Although I'm not sure how well that works in your area of the world.
Just bought it! Should be coming in 3-4 days.
The seller confirmed that absolutely nothing moves in the computer when it tries to power it up. Fingers crossed!! :D
 

mikiotty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2014
292
63
Rome, Italy
IT WOOOORKS!!!
Totally dead PSU, not even trickle 5V. Tried with the ATX PSU... Perfect boot up!
Nice one!
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
6,722
3,274
Kentucky
Glad that you got it working!

I have a bunch of MDDs, but they don't get much use. I think I have 6 or 7, but only three working ones(the others boot with borrowed PSUs). The PSU is a known bad spot, but by putting in an ATX PSU you have ready access to inexpensive replacements...I probably should explore that option for some of mine.

The dual 1.25 is certainly no slouch either...I believe that all have 2mb of L3 cache, which makes a big difference in real world use.
 

comda

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2011
597
68
Glad that you got it working!

I have a bunch of MDDs, but they don't get much use. I think I have 6 or 7, but only three working ones(the others boot with borrowed PSUs). The PSU is a known bad spot, but by putting in an ATX PSU you have ready access to inexpensive replacements...I probably should explore that option for some of mine.

The dual 1.25 is certainly no slouch either...I believe that all have 2mb of L3 cache, which makes a big difference in real world use.
i wish i was this lucky with the Dual 1Ghz 2mb Cache quicksilver i posted about.. Yeah i only paid $10 but not to piss you guys off or anything i like the case design of the Quicksilver better than the MDD :rolleyes:

But sadly mine wasnt a PSU issue. Its either CPU or Mobo. I believe its a mobo. Glad you got it working though! Enjoy your new system
 

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
I love G4s, I use my PowerBook G4 1.5Ghz as my daily laptop in school and my Dual 800MHz QuickSilver at home, and I'd love an MDD for their case design. I love it.
From advice of members on MR i bought my MDD over a QuickSilver because I was told the MDD is the most powerful G4 you can get. It is a cool design. I LOVE my MDD and i plan to upgrade it. If I can get one with the specs I want i would even buy a dead MDD just to harvest its organs :D

My MDD has had its PSU replaced with the Quiet Kit apple sold for these.

There is a RED LED on the logic board between the AGP and RAM Slots. Check to see if that turns on.

EDIT: My bad. I didn't finish reading the thread before posting the above. Assuming you use the physical ATX PSU in its original casing and not put the guts into the MDD's PSU housing i would LOVE to see the pictures of the mounting! If it it doable I would LOVE to put a ATX into my MDD just for the purpose of having something more powerful in there. (The MDD PSU prevents my USB 2.0 Card [which is powered via Molex extension with a molex to LP4 (Floppy) Connector] from actually transfering data when using 4 HDDs in the system.
 
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Gamer9430

macrumors 68020
Apr 22, 2014
2,203
1,116
Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
Hopefully the MDD I'm getting will have a good PSU. It still works, but hopefully it will last for a fairly long time, or until I have money to replace it in the event that it breaks. How much do they run for, just out of a curiosity?
 

mikiotty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 15, 2014
292
63
Rome, Italy
i wish i was this lucky with the Dual 1Ghz 2mb Cache quicksilver i posted about.. Yeah i only paid $10 but not to piss you guys off or anything i like the case design of the Quicksilver better than the MDD :rolleyes:

But sadly mine wasnt a PSU issue. Its either CPU or Mobo. I believe its a mobo. Glad you got it working though! Enjoy your new system
Well, I actually solved that problem... :D
 

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