When to post a Do Not Resuscitate notice next to your mac...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ph0rk, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. ph0rk macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2003
    Or how long can I keep this machine running?

    After reading jne381's thread about an aging power mac, I thought of my own situation.

    My desktop is currently a dual G4 500, with 1.38 GB of ram, two internal 80 gig drives and an external 160 gig raid1 array. Displays are 2x dell 19" LCDs and 1x 24". see:


    Now. This machine is, well, old. I had to hack the CoreGraphics.framework Configuration.plist just to get QE to work (just try to use a machine with 1280x1024 + 1900x1200 + 1280x1024 resolution without QuartzExtreme, I dare ya!). With QE forced, graphics garble and apple DVD player is unusable (hooray for vlc). It won't sleep (usb2+fw card, 2nd video card). It is not as stable as it was in 10.3.9, but 10.4 has better raid support so I'm stuck there. It will also spontaneously crash, though that usually a once a month issue, if that. (Much less that that I have stopped using EyeTV).

    I also have a rev. D 15" 1.5ghz G4 w/ 1 GB of ram.

    Now, on to my question.

    Do I...

    Wait for a Mac Pro and snag it this fall when my aid comes in (grad student, don't ask about the displays - I don't have a TV).

    Reorg my desk area and sit the desktop off to the side with 2x 19's and hook up the powerbook to the 24", and possibly get a macbook pro instead of a desktop?

    I suppose I ultimately don't -need- all 3 displays on one machine. I'd hate a desktop with a single 19", though.

    I use web browsers (lots and lots of them), statistics software (spss, sas, big windows are a must), and of course watch movies (again, no tv. I have been using VLC in place of apple dvd player). As I do as much work on the go as at home (or will when the semester begins), the laptop is the main work machine usually, though I previously kept my masters thesis files on a usb drive and swapped between them when I wanted more real estate. It would be nice to rip out the pci cards in the desktop so it would sleep again... (grrr).

    There is a gaming pc in the mix as well, which currently pushes the 24", but it can be safely ignored for this discussion.

    Any comments/suggestions?
  2. CNU182 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2003
  3. ph0rk thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2003

    Heh, thanks.

    Mods: In retrospect, perhaps this post should be in the Macintosh Computers subforum rather than here?
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
  5. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    boop.....boop......boop.....boop... booooooooooooo_______________________

    Who's gonna call it?

    I think it's time for "the little maxxed out PowerMac that could" to go to the big graveyard in the sky. Or maybe with the two 19"ers in there and the 24" hooked up to a MacBook Pro.

    If you can stretch the money to a MacPro you'd have a combination of a desktop powerhouse and a still-capable laptop for your portable needs. I'm pretty sure you can run the 24" monitor off the PowerBook and keep the 2x19"ers for the MacPro so you won't have to shell out for a second video card.

    Then again, if you can afford to shell out for a second card then why not, get it run the three monitors off the MacPro and have a super-duper workstation.
  6. Demoman macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2005
    Issaquah, WA
    Personally, I think the display is everything, at least for a majority of people. You have a nice viewing area and it does not have any CRT's. I would keep it myself. I have (2) 23" ACD and (2) 24" Dell's (and yes I do think the Apple's look better, but the Dell can be a good economic alternative).

    I started using dual displays in SW development, then moved to three. When I did so, my productivity went way up. There was an immediate transfer of idea to screen design, coding and database window - no searching, closing, shrinking, enlarging for this guy! As it turns out, many of our employees also greatly benefitted from dual screens. It is a cheap investment for increased productivity and a more enjoyable user experience.

    As for choosing a particular machine; I would hesitate offering advise to someone working on their doctorate and using SPSS/SAS. I suspect you have a good noodle and will make the best choice for you. Just for the hell of it, I am going to wager a buck you go with a Quad. After all, you just ran your last one onto the Endangered Species List.
  7. ph0rk thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2003
    Actually some days it feels like it flatlined some time ago..

    This was actually my original intention, as I assume all future proline macs will have pci-express video and extra slots, thus virtually eliminating the third display lagginess that I sometimes experience (regular old 33mhz pci has its limits).

    Depending on how department funding shakes out, I may have to wait until december/january, though. ouch.

    I agree, display (and display quality) are extremely important. It was really not until 10.4 that the machine began to show its age in a significant way. With the real estate I had it still felt like a fabulous machine.

    Given my timetable, that is a distinct possibility. For apps that can take advantage of it (and for running five of them at once) you can't beat multiple processors.

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