Upgrade a G4?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jayjaymozza, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. jayjaymozza macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2013
    Hey, just bought a old G4 for £20, I am wanting to know if it is possible to upgrade the OS on it? I can not get onto youtube and other web pages due to it been so old!

    The version is is now is: Mac OS X 10.2.8
    Memory: 512 MB
    Processor: 800MHz PowerPC G4

    All comment and advice will help thanks
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Even if you had it running Leopard, you still won't be able to use YouTube. HTML 5 & Flash are completely rotten on it.

    At a guess I'd say that one can support up to Tiger. But All G4s are complete dogs. I've got a 1.67GHz PowerBook G4 w/2GB RAM and you can't use it for anything. Even Internet browsing is an abhorrent experience; and I've tested that on both Tiger & Leopard.

    Sure, try stick Tiger on it, but I wouldn't expect to use it for anything other than an MP3 player.
  3. jayjaymozza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2013
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    It'll cost you to buy the Tiger DVD. Or you could just download it and mount it to an external USB, which is what I once did when I lost my Tiger DVD.

    But as only Intel Macs can boot from an external USB, it was a complete PITA to get it working. So I'd burn Tiger to a DVD.

    But then you'll need a dual-layer DVD … or a dual-layer CD … at least there was something that was stopping me from simply burning it to a DVD.

    TL;DR: it's a crap computer now, and it'll be a crap computer when you upgrade it. So when you say: 'is it worth it', I'm not sure if you mean in terms of performance or in terms of cash. But either way, it's not worth it.

    If you want to have a bit of Apple nostalgia, go for it. But as I stated before, that's all you get; it's useless as a computer.
  5. kenetic macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2006
    Junk it and get a more recent machine. Its a waste of $$ to upgrade it.
  6. jayjaymozza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2013
    ah ***** sake!
    Okay thanks for the info.

    I dont have loads of $$ to be spending on a PC though and i know most decent pc/laptops are way over £400
  7. WMD macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2013
    Florida, USA
    The iMac G4 is great as an art piece. As a modern computer? Not so much.

    Having said that, I didn't find web browsing on my PB G4 to be that terrible. Far from speedy, though. You can try Tiger (10.4.11) + TenFourFox; whether it's enough, is up to you.
  8. jayjaymozza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2013
    and how much does the DVD cost to upgrade it?

    Once its upgraded is thy any chance it will run Minecraft ? :confused:
    Yes it might sound daft, but this is only for my little brother.
  9. jayjaymozza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2013
    I just downloaded Tiger 10.4.11 and when it ryed to updae i got the message "This software cannot be installed on this computer" any sugestions ?
  10. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    The only way to get the DVD is to buy it from Ebay or possibly Craigs List, Apple hasn't sold a Tiger DVD in years. How much it will cost is based on the market in your area. Only purchase a upgrade DVD DO NOT, repeat DO NOT buy someone else's original DVDs from their machine, those DVDs are machine specific and will not work on your G4.

    As for Minecraft, I have no idea.

    Also you cannot download a legal license of OS X for that machine, you MUST buy the genuine article, otherwise you are a) party to a theft and b) opening your machine to be infected with malware.

    IMHO I'd abandon a G4 and save your money for at least a 2007 Intel based iMac.
  11. jayjaymozza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2013
    Okay thanks, no way am I paying £70+ for the tiger OS, will the 2007 modle run most things and are they any good? What's a rough price I'll pick one up for?
  12. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    I had a 24" iMac from 2007 that is still running great, iMacs tend to hold their value and there are 2 screen sizes (20" & 24"), how much they go for will be based on the confirugartion and again the market value in your area. If you decide to buy one then insist the seller provide the original install media and insist it has a fresh install of OS X. If the seller says it has Lion (10.7.x) or Mountain Lion (10.8.x) then the seller cannot legally sell you that version of OS X, they MUST provide Snow Leopard (10.6.x) and you have to buy 10.8.x on your own for $20 if you want it and if the computer meets the system specifications.

    Also try to meet the seller at an Apple Store and have an Apple Genius do a quick look over with you and seller so you know what you're buying and to see if the machine is in good working condition.

    Remember when you buy used, you really never know what you are buying and even a 2007 is almost 7 years old and is getting pretty darn old by computer standards.
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Given what you have said they are probably out of your budget range. About $350 so I would assume about £350 in the UK given the much higher costs there.

    I would suggest getting an older Intel iMac with 10.7 already installed as updating to 10.7 can be a real pain now. You can get a 17inch Core 2 Duo model with 1GB of RAM for about $160 around £160 given the higher prices in the UK. True they can't run Mountain Lion but can still run current software and browse the web fine.

    I would upgrade the RAM to 2GB or better if you can afford it.

    I would note that since this model can't run Mountain Lion I wouldn't expect a long useful life as software vendors will stop support for Lion long before Mountain Lion. The newer but twice as expensive model offers a very modest performance increase. What you are really paying for is the ability to run Mountain Lion and the upcoming Mavericks.

    I suggest the older model just due to budgetary constraints.
  14. Edgecrusherr macrumors member


    Jan 21, 2006
    Get as much RAM on there as you can in that. Post a screen shot of the About this Mac and I'll help you.

    Leopard assist will allow you to run Leopard:

    You could upgrade the processor and graphics card to get you up on YouTube, but an app called MacTubes can help you out:

    This is a nice hack to make websites think you have flash 11:

    lowendmac.com has lots of great possibilities, check them out. I think you best bet is loads of cheap old games, and as a productivity machine (writing, finances, image editing).
  15. jayjaymozza thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2013
    I have listed "about my mac" in the main post
  16. Saltymac macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Rocky Mt State
    Well the good news it is not a 450 MHz and it is an 800 MHz. The bad news it is considered ancient by most any standards. That said you can do some basic inet browsing and email reading with it. You will probably tire of it quickly so I would not spend any serious money on it. You can find a hdd on ebay with software you can pop in and use. If you have a monitor, keyboard and mouse you can get a duo core mini mac or an imac.

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