Why do you like PowerPC?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by BaddestArvai, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. BaddestArvai macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2014
    Wisconsin USA
    Well, I never really was a Mac user. I was basically a PC guy my whole life. Sure I loved Apple products, but they were never in the price range for me or my family. In 2011, I got my first Mac ever. It was my Indigo iMac G3. Now, not knowing much about PowerPC machines, I thought this iMac could do anything a normal PC could do. Boy was I wrong. I wasn't mad though. I loved this machine just by its design and unique-ness. I started doing research on my Mac and found out it used Apples own PowerPC based processor. As I did more research, I realized how cool that was for a computer company was making its own... well everything! I then started to do research on Apple computers all together.

    In 2012, I got what I thought would be a great machine. A PowerMac G5. I thought It would be this great machine that could definitely run slightly older apps. I never got it connected to the internet to do any of the stuff I thought I would do. So it then sat...

    It is now today and I realize what this machine is capable of doing for being 10 years old. I cannot think of anything I can't do on this G5 (now a different G5 but basically the same). I can use Photoshop CS4 for all my photo needs. I can play games on it! I am a PC gamer, but if my Gaming PC died, I honestly wouldn't miss it much. I can run some of my favorite games on the G5 with no problems (Sims 2, Minecraft, Halo). With iLife and iWork 09', I can edit videos, write a paper for school, or make a presentation. I love this Mac, and I mean it. I mean this for all PowerPC computers. Each one was special in its own way. You don't see that past 2005 in apple computers (okay maybe the new Mac Pro :p). I would love to have one of the later 2005 PowerMacs and may get one in the near future :D.

    In all, I like PowerPC because it is really inexpensive, its still bears that Apple logo, and it does everything I need it to in 2014. The computers they were built around were genius and stunning none the less. They run with no lag, even after 15+ years. Apple just did it right back then. Its a shame I never got to really appreciate them back in that time (Born in 1995, so yeah...) but my family never could afford "those rich people computers".

    So the question is, why do you love PowerPC Macs?
  2. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    I wanted to try something different. I've had Intel and AMD powered machines for years and the PowerPC was really the only other mass market consumer processor out there, even if the newest ones are now 8 years old. Plus, the build quality of the PowerBook line is great and they have the best keyboard I have ever used on a laptop. The price was the deal breaker though. I spent $100 and got a pretty much brand new PowerBook G4 with charger and 1.5 GB of RAM.

    To be honest though, I wouldn't have chosen a PPC computer if I was going to stick with OS X. I'd get an Intel that is still supported by developers.
  3. eyoungren, Apr 22, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014

    eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    For me, it was a matter of just having a PowerPC Mac when I converted from PC. After that it became a matter of price and after working with them for a long while it became a matter of enjoying them. So for me, staying with PowerPC is now a matter of…

    • Quality – With few exceptions, these Macs were better made than the Intel Macs. I own or work daily on PowerPC Macs that range from 8 to 15 years old.
    • Design – Absolutely better looking than the Intel Macs. Everything after the G5 has been consistently either boring or ugly
    • Character – PowerPC Macs have a soul, their own character. There is something about using them. Intel Macs do the job but seem to be lifeless in doing it.
  4. 128keaton macrumors 68020


    Jan 13, 2013
    Okay, I don't use a PowerPC on a daily basis since I need the latest version of Xcode, that being said, I use the closest to a G5, a MacPro1,1. I love PowerPC Macs due to the fact that they are cheap, they trigger nostalgia (Early 2008 Leopard, I miss 2008), and they are just cool to look at and use.
  5. bse5150 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2014
    I don't like PowerPC per se. My first Mac was a Classic II running a 68030 processor. From there, PowerPC was just a natural progression. As was Intel.
  6. WMD macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2013
    Florida, USA
    Most PowerPC Macs are now too slow to do many things, and the ones that aren't still have the increasing incompatibility that keeps cropping up, whether it's Minecraft (Java), Spotify, Twitch (Flash 11), and now the iTunes Store (for iTunes 9, anyway, but how much longer does 10.6.3 have?).

    What keeps them around for me are particular designs, mostly; the iMac G4 is my favorite computer ever, and I still like the PowerBook G4 design more than the MBP, even though the MBP is what gets my major stuff done.

    And then, of course, there's this:
    I wish I could quantify this, because I feel the same way. My best guess is that there's a sort of exotic quality to using a CPU that processes differently than all PCs out there. It makes no practical difference, at the end of the day, but the feeling is still there.
  7. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    This is one of my major reasons for sticking with PowerPC. Like you, I wish I could quantify it as well. Maybe some of it comes from the design. An attitude that the design invokes, I don't know. But I throw a lot of stuff at my PowerPC Macs and I rarely get complaints. It just does it. Quietly, efficiently and without whining. Even when not working right.

    My PCs were never like that (tempermental POS's) and my Intel Mac at work often gives me the middle finger when it doesn't want to do something I've told it to do!

    Maybe it comes down to OS, again, I don't know. But there's just something there that's not present in PCs and Intel Macs.
  8. 128keaton macrumors 68020


    Jan 13, 2013

    Yeah, its getting sad. I'll miss using Tiger iTunes (thanks Apple) and now it seems they are removing iChat logins (except if you have an AOL Account). Since my room is hot enough as it is (+10 degrees hotter than the rest of the house) I don't hook up my G5 as much as I should, and plus, whenever I try to export from iMovie, it turns our garbled and weird. To me, the 2003 - 2008 Mac Era was my favorite, and now, they are slowly phasing that era out. It may seem odd, to Wintel or Mintel fans, to love a computer/os era, but I am not ashamed to call myself a fanboy. I cried when Steve died, counted down the days 'till 10.5, and saved up for a MacBook Pro.
  9. harrymatic macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2013
    United Kingdom
    I've always liked Macs, mainly for the OS X user experience, but also for the design aspect of the hardware. I started using PowerPC machines when they were still current and never found a reason to leave as they still run all of the software I need and do everything I want.

    I do quite like the fact that the hardware is unusual now, there definitely is a quirkiness to these computers that I am yet to find with an Intel Mac.
  10. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    My G5 was the most unreliable computer I have ever owned. I threw out my old iMacs as they are essentially useless.

    I do think designs at the time were more radical than what they are now, so from a collectors point of view I understand why some people want them.
  11. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I guess it just comes down to what you get (or got). I have a 1.8Ghz G5 (single processor) with 4GB ram and it was purchased new by my boss in February 2005. It was on 24/7 and lasted until late April 2013. That's eight years of constant use 5 days a week and never being turned off. The only other issue it ever had was a bad ram stick and that happened in the first year. Unlike other G5s of that time this G5 had no issues.

    Last year I replaced the logicboard for $60 and it's now doing the same thing it was doing before, production work and being left on 24/7. The "new" logicboard is actually three months older than the one that failed.

    I think that's a matter of opinion. "Useless" is in the eye of the beholder. Some people say useless because there is no instant gratification and that makes them unhappy. Some people say useless because it truly does not meet their needs for them. Some people say useless because it's simply old and they only want new. Some people say useless because they are impatient and do not wish to apply workarounds to get the same thing done that they can do with the new.

    So, for you, whatever your definition of useless is, your PowerPC Macs were indeed useless to you. But that does not make them useless to everyone just because they are useless to you. If that were the case we would not be having this discussion.
  12. bax2003 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2011
    First: its about power:

    G3 - kills every P2/P3
    DP G4 - kills every P4
    DP/DC G5 - kills everything up to Core Duo.

    Second: they are very quiet (except G4 MDD) and beautifully made machines.

    Third: on most of these Macs you can install OS X 10.4 or 10.5, still very usable OSes.

    Fourth: all these Macs are upgradable: USB 2.0 cards, SCSI, SATA, AGP/PCIe graphics, RAM and CPUs on some of them.

    And last but not the least, they are very reliable.
    There are few exceptions: power supply in fastest G4 MDDs, LCS in 2.5 and 2.7 DP G5 and fastest iMac G5s because they are melting.

    If you want little alternative, this is it.
    And remember, (L)Ubuntu for Power PC, MorhOS......so many combinations and usability.
  13. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    Well, technically the PowerPC processor was born out of the AIM (Apple, IBM, Motorola) Alliance. Basically, all three could use the processor and two (IBM and Motorola (later Freescale)) would manufacture the processor. Out of the three, Apple used the processor the most and Moto only really used it in the Mac Clones (if I'm wrong please correct me) and IBM used it here and there with random machines.

    Apple is great though. While they do not make all the components in the computers (I don't think any one company could), they do design all the internal components like the LoBo and PSU, the case, etc. It is a really end-to-end design from Apple.

    One the main reason I like the PPC is mainly because of the time span in Apples history and the playfulness of the G3 machines (mostly the B&W, iMac, and Clam iBook). If you look back, as it stands right now, Apple used PowerPC for longer then Intel or 68k processors. Its spans 12 years, 1994-2006.

    Unfortunately, PPC machines do have their share of problems. One of the earlier problems that comes to mind when I think about the G-based Mac (G3, 4, 5) was power issues with the B&W G3. The Dual USB or "Snow" iBooks had GPU issues, all the way from the 3rd revision to the 2nd to last version of the iBook G4. The TiBooks have horrible hinges, bad colored plastics that wear over time, and bad video cables. The AlBooks suffer from video cable problems as well as dead RAM slots. G5 iMacs with overheating and leaking caps, and the G5 PowerMacs with leaking PSU and memory controller chip issues.
  14. jrsx macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2013
    Tacoma, Washington
  15. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    There cheap and I like to mess around with computers.
  16. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I am going to probably retire my 2011 MacBook Pro by the end of the year because the display now has a line going through the dock area, and it'll only get worse. My 2006 machine suffered a long painful death after a Genius butchered my SuperDrive replacement and a piece of the hinge snapped and got longed into one of the fans.

    My Power Mac G3 Desktop, iMac G3, iMac G4, and Power Mac G5 on the other hand are still chugging along, even though a bunch of middle/high schoolers had been using them all these years.
  17. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    When you say threw out I hope you mean given away or at least recycled so they can once be reused. What is wrong with your G5? There are plenty of skilled technicians like eyoungren that could strip a PowerBook G4 down and have it fixed in under an hour or people like me that can rebuild a G5 LCS.

    I feel like I have to do a G3 challenge now. I would give up use of my MacBook Pro and PowerMac G5 to use a 900 MHz iBook G3 for a whole week. I would use Tiger since I do need a piece of software for school... Then we could see what's useless.
  18. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    They are by far the most well thought out Macs ever made.
  19. tampasteve macrumors 6502

    I have done this (and sometimes still do) when I go on a business trip. I typically do not need a laptop as I carry an iPad when I travel - but I will often bring my iBook G3 800Mhz 10.4.11 with me as it is easier to type out emails and documents on (it has MS Office) - even easier than an iPad with bluetooth keyboard IMO.
  20. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    I think it would be good to show how a 13 or 14 year old laptop could hold up today...
  21. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    Probably quite well if you have reasonable expectations. My PowerBook G4 is my main computer. Now, it's obviously newer and faster than an iBook G3, but it's still slow by modern standards. I only have trouble when I go to web pages that have a lot of graphics. I have NoScript configured in Firefox to block scripts and I don't allow Firefox to load images either. That's a tremendous help. All the other software I use routinely, like Claws Mail, built in Unix utilities, etc., works fine. Youtube is hopeless though.
  22. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    I don't think I could do it as a daily driver. To tinker around with sure. But I'm having a hard enough time on this 2009 era machine and it's not even my main machine. It's fine for 90% of what I do but every now and then it will choke and I'm often afraid to do too much on it for fear of choking it. I give major props to anyone that can manage to use a 14 year old laptop day in and day out. It truly is a feat and those that can pull it off have my respect.
  23. BaddestArvai thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2014
    Wisconsin USA

    Just today a unhooked my main machine (Custom gaming PC) and put my PowerMac G5 in its place. It's a Dual 2.0Ghz with 7GB of Ram, 360GB HDD, and the stock 64Mb video card. I honestly have been able to do everything I would normally do on my main machine! I can't play the newest games on it but I play some that I played when I was younger (sims, halo). Even youtube plays flawlessly on tenfourfox. I am going to see how long my gaming machine will stay unplugged...
  24. wobegong, Apr 24, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014

    wobegong Guest

    May 29, 2012
    To be honest I think the "they still can do most things today...." argument is pretty flawed.

    I mean similar aged PC's have access to far more software than a PPC Mac does....

    I set up an old office throw-away P4 2.8 with Lubuntu on it as a media centre for a friend. With the speakers attached it plays movies using the (very latest!) VLC just fine through their TV and plays music through (the very latest!) Spotify just fine too. Browsing using (the very latest!) Firefox is faultless etc etc.

    I myself have a don't know how old 1.6Ghz HP laptop as a bedroom XBMC server - works just fine and is left on 24x7.

    So basically any PC that was reasonably well built and cared for from 'way back when' will be able to do most/all or even more than any similarly aged Mac - but thats not the point.

    The point is - at least for me - they are quality quality quality quality - I still think the inside of my G5 is a beautiful thing to see while the inside of any PC is a disaster.

    I think that quality absolutely still exists today - my MBP is 100% better than my old PB G4 in every single way and the PB is 100% better than the HP in my bedroom in every single way - including build quality, the MBP is a solid lump of laser cut metal for goodness sake!

    The iPhone is in a different stratosphere to the flexi-plastic built-as-cheaply-as-possible competition. These things may not necessarily be the highest spec on paper but my god - they feel good to use! They did when the G5/G4's were out and they do today.

    A home souped up, blingy, lowered, neon lit, canon exhaust pipe, v8 transplante engined boy racer.

    Or an Aston Martin?

    The boy racer car will be great fun for an hour or two.
    The Aston you'll want to drive for ever.
  25. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    The dual G5's are so powerful because since a few years we have a performance ceiling. OK, there is an exotic 12 core NMP nowadays, but at a big expense.
    The latest G5's were scoring like 3600 on Geekbench, the ceiling now is around 14000 for the regular top models (quad cores) and 33000 for the 12 core. If Moore was fully followed on the top model, the current MacPro would score around 80000 at the half the price the MacPro 12 core costs now, and it would have SATA 33Gb/s interface (PCI SSD is lame compared to that)! It DOESN'T. So there is lack of software that pushes the raw power needs, and the percentage of Apple Shrink Tax in the models is getting higher and higher.

    So in a way, yes you got a damn load of power for your bucks with a G5, and for the 200-300 bucks you can get them for nowadays, they still offer plenty.

    Only drawback: power consumption. 150nm CPU's are no fun!
    You can get a 70 bucks U1037 Celeron board today, including similarly powerful processor, that only draws 10 watts peak.

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