Upgrade a MDD or buy a new iMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pbelmore, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. pbelmore macrumors member

    May 3, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I've been reading these forums for years now but never posted. But now I would love some advice!

    I currently have a trusty (and loud) Power Mac G4 MDD (dual 867 with an original SuperDrive; with a 17" cinema display) that has done me well for the last four years. I've upped it to 1 GB of RAM and added a 180 GB HD. But now with these new iMacs I've been wondering whether I should put any more money into it. Here's my dillemma:

    I can spend about $1000 and make the MDD really fast and something to get me by for the next three or four years. I would max the RAM to 2GB, add a USB 2.0 PCI card and Pioneer DVR-111D SuperDrive, put in a new graphics card, throw in some quieter fans, and add one of those fancy processor upgrades to make it a dual 1.8 GHz. This computer has done pretty well for me these last few years, and it wasn't until the last few months that it started showing it's age (at least for what I do...and it probably didn't help that I bought a 12" PowerBook 1.5 GHz last summer which is a bit snappier). All I want is something that will get me through until I have to buy an Intel Mac.

    On the other hand, I could save up $2000 and buy a 20" iMac and be happy (but with a lighter wallet). There are pros and cons to both, but I wanted all of your opinions (if you'd be so kind).

    I use my computers mainly as multimedia units (encoding/watching a lot of H.264, iTunes/iPod/MP3, using Photoshop and iPhoto for basic editing). I'd also want to eventually do some movie editing (home movies and the like...no big budget pictures) but as of yet don't have anything that needs editing.

    Wow, didn't mean to take so long to get to the point. So anyway, what do you think?
  2. mdntcallr macrumors 65816


    Aug 1, 2000
    i say new mac. why? intel chip, faster everything.

    the amount of money you pay to upgrade ppc, you will in the end prefer to buy the updated imac. or a low end mac pro on your same monitor.
  3. pknz macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2005

    You already said that you were waiting to get an Intel Mac so ultimately you'll end up buying one anyway. But if you upgrade your MDD, you'll still have to get an Intel one (at some stage). Why not make the jump now?
  4. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005

    imac all the way.

    btw, i have a mdd dual 1.25...can you post a link to these processor upgrades you mention? thanks.
  5. StealthRider macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2002
    Yokosuka, Japan
    I'd say the iMac. The G4 is dead, and could be excluded from the OS release after Leopard (not definite, obviously...but the G3 is supposedly gone from Leopard). That, and you'd be putting all of your fancy new upgrades into a machine with a 167MHz crappy bus. Blech.
  6. pbelmore thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2006
    Seattle, WA
  7. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    End of the day you can throw all the processor you want at that MDD, but it will bottle neck - always - at the bus.

    Sell it and get an iMac. Even if you run Photoshop under Rosetta it will most likely blow the MDD away.
  8. pbelmore thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Alright, so the consesus is to save up for the iMac. One more quick question...

    Should I still up the RAM? I'm going to get the USB 2.0 card, the SuperDrive and maybe a new graphics card (we're talking $150 tops for all of that) anyway, and I won't be getting the iMac for at least six months (I'm your average fresh-out-of-college kid with a low paying office job), so would it be worth it? Or should I save the $300 and max the RAM in my PowerBook instead?

    Thanks again for your input, I now realize that it would be pretty boneheaded to invest a ton in a computer that will be obsolute by this time next year.

    Edit: Typos.
  9. prograham macrumors member


    Jun 9, 2006
    New York
    I got a chuckle from how you described it as 'loud' - I have a MDD dual 1.25 and oh boy does it drown out my air conditioner, it's the loudest machine I've ever had and unfortunately the loudest machine Apple has ever made (the ONLY loud machine Apple has ever made, maybe?).

    I'm a video editor and have upgraded it with a PCI USB2 card, 1.75 ram, 3 hdd's for .5TB, a second optical, and a 23" ACD. The past year has been excruiatingly painful for me (intel transition) - seems like it's always "just another 3 months to wait" before I know what I'm going to buy only for the time to roll around and something better is 3 months down the road.

    From my position it's a question of buying an imac now or waiting until I save another $1000 to get a mac pro. I hate the thought of buying an imac since I already have a screen - I'd be throwing money away on a screen I don't need - and only 2 cores :rolleyes: . For you, if you don't need the power of a mac pro (I do, I do so much at once on my computer), I say go for the intel imac. They're SWEEEEEET. I just helped my sister buy one and it's just making my pain all the more felt because it's such a great machine.

    Oh, and ALWAYS get as much ram as you can afford, I don't think a lot of people realize how much greasier this makes everything flow when using your computer.
  10. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    My tibook is very loud too. Luckily I have a very large fan blowing air into my room so I can't hear it.

    Now to the poster's topic. I'd say in your case I'd get the imac and then sell of your powermac and screen seperately (or use it as a seperate screen for your imac for dual action). If you're doing a lot of encoding, I don't think that any of the processor upgrades will beat the new core 2 duo chips. Plus you'll get the nicer screen, quieter system, and overall more future proof setup. If you sell your powermac and screen you may not have to pay more than the upgrades to your current system may be now. As everyone else, I vote upgrade for your scenerio.

Share This Page