Will a Dual Core Powermac be a good choice for me?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by simplymuzik3, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. simplymuzik3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    #1
    okay, i have a powermac g4 gigabit ethernet, 400mhz, with 1gb ram. I found a good deal on a quicksilver dual 800mhz with 1.5gb ram. I will be running tiger on the quicksilver, and i also currently run tiger on the giga ethernet powermac. My question is:

    Will the quicksilver be a NOTICABLE imporvement over the current powermac i have. I want to be able to multi-task and run basic programs like mail, msn, safari, and itunes. Will there be any major difference. The quicksilver also has 2mb of L3 chache, so will that help with youtube playback. Right not all the videos are choppy, and I would like to watch them properly. The quicksilver also has the fx 32mb video card, which i will probably upgrade with the ati 64 or 128mb card. So I want to know if this will be an overall major boost for me. Thanks.

    Edit: Also this is completely off topic, but i was looking at buying an apple universal dock from ebay for around 15$ w/ free shipping. Its genuine apple, and there are a whole bunch of them. does anyone have experience with buying apple universal docks off ebay? Thanks.
     
  2. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #2
    The Dual 800 will be somewhat faster. However, to really up your game, makes sure your ram is maxed out and that you have the fastest cache hard drive you can buy. Ithink IDE drives go up to 16mb cache and 7200 rpm speed. Get a 500gb hard drive with these specs. Ram and fast hard drive plus the dual will really help. UNless the 800 dual takes SATA drives, I can't remember...
     
  3. simplymuzik3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    the computer comes with maxed ram. And does the quicksilver have the problem with not being able to read drives bigger that 128GB? Also, can i just use any ide drive thats fast and has a lot of cache? Thanks.
     
  4. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #4
    That is LBA 48-bit support.

    http://guides.macrumors.com/PowerMac_G4
    According to this, some QuickSilver G4s do not support it. You can put a bigger drive in, but it just can't access over 137GB or so.
     
  5. simplymuzik3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2009
    #5
    that 48 support is for the 2002 model. Im looking into getting the dual 800 model. Will it still be the same? If so, is it worth it to buy a card controller that will allow me to use sata drives?
     
  6. Amdahl macrumors 65816

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    Jul 28, 2004
    #6
    I guess that is up to you. Would a drive connected via a card be bootable?
     
  7. tomorrowtools macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    far N Canada
    #7
    Will a Dual Core Powermac be a good choice for me?

    Your list of what you want your new Mac to do is impressive - your video wishes might require more than the Quicksilver will deliver, so a 128meg ATI card is the way to go. I swapped my G4 dual 1.25ghz (unstable) for a dual 1.42 before I had happy-smooth video (even plays HD). Also, the dual processor comes into play for certain apps only - check this out to know how the Quicksilver will fly. Are you into video chat?-needs PCI firewire card. Or save your shekels to get a dual 1.42 (rock-solid, rare but look around - faster than 2x2ghz G5). Prices are dropping! Good hunting.
     
  8. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #8
    How much money are you talking about? That kind of determines whether it's a good deal or not. I mean it doesn't take a math expert to figure out that dual 800 G4 is at least 2x faster than dual 400 G4 and somewhere between 2-4x faster than single 400 G4. But when you figure you can get a 1.8GHz 7448 G4 for around $400 that is going to be faster than a dual 800 for apps that utilize two cores and WAY faster for single threaded apps (over 2x faster there and over 4x faster than your existing machine), you might be better off upgrading your existing machine. Or maybe you could even find a used G5 that's faster than either for a reasonable price. For $800, you could get a brand new Mini that's faster than ANY of it, but has limited expansion. It all depends on your needs and what you're willing to pay.
     
  9. simplymuzik3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2009
    #9
    Im getting the quicksilver for 250$ CDN including keyboard and mouse. And they guy is also dropping it off to my house. for CDN thats a good deal, because i have been looking around for months. It's also mint condition.
     
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    Whatever deal you found, compare it to the cheapest Mac Mini, new or refurbished. It will run circles around that PowerMac, it takes no space, less noise, and it is brand new with a full year warranty. And Apple throws in Leopard and iLife '09 for free.
     
  11. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #11
  12. simplymuzik3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2009
    #12
    Okay, I just got my new quicksilver! It runs pretty good, and it handles flash and photoshop without any problems. I love it! It's a MAJOR increase from my old powermac.
     
  13. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #13
    I suggest getting a video card and flashing it yourself. I did this for my old 2001 powermac and it worked wonders.

    Still, you've should've really considered just getting a mini. you're paying $250 (plus more if you want to upgrade anything) for a computer at least 7 years old. If something hasn't gone wrong yet, it is probably going to soon. However, you've already bought it, so good luck.
     
  14. Moriarty macrumors 6502

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #14
    He/she sounds like the kind of person that likes to live 5 years in the past in terms of technology. Which isn't a bad idea if you can put up with the temptations to upgrade to all the really new things. Saves a lot of money.

    Paying CAD $250 for a 7 year old machine? It's a Mac, so they tend to hold their resale value. If the OP is happy to use this machine for even just another 2 years, I'd say they've done well for themselves.
     
  15. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #15
    I'm less concerned with living in the past and more concerned with 7 year old parts breaking down. When that happens, you waste money by investing in old technology. If he can survive for years on an old G4 Powermac, just imagine how long he'll survive on even the base mac mini. And it's not like he'd be paying much more. Not to mention he'd get a machine that can handle youtube just fine, and even hulu high quality streams without a hiccup. The latter is pretty impossible on any G4 except maybe MDD (haven't tested) or those with upgraded CPUs (which in themselves are overpriced). I know, I've tried.

    And balls to resale value. I paid $300 for a quicksilver 2001 in 2006, and after upgrades I easily could've bought a mac mini that would've lasted me much longer.

    Truth be told, investing in anything less than an Intel mac at this point (and arugably the core solo mac mini) is a waste of money. Why pay a premium for old, obsolete technology when you can pay a little more for a brand new machine? And I realize not every one has the funds, and might want to get an older mac if they're just getting into OS X and want something to play around with (again, I did the same thing; a 450Mhz G3 B&W back in 2005, which just kicked the bucket about a month ago). But if you already have a mac and want to upgrade, save your money until you can buy something relatively new. Obviously there are limitations to this (say if your mac died out of nowhere), but for the vast majority, this rings true.
     
  16. Moriarty macrumors 6502

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #16
    What you say is true. I kind of forgot the fact that Mac Mini's don't cost CAD $949, they cost NZ $949 :), so paying a shade over a quarter of that price for a machine that could still last several years isn't that bad.

    So yeah, I'd say it would be better to just get low end new stuff, or a refurb. But he's already bought, so too late this time.
     
  17. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #17
    I think, for his usage, getting a original CD Mac Mini would've been perfect and inexpensive. Getting a refurb would've been even better. Waiting till they released a new Mini and then getting one of those refurbs would be best, but who knows when that'll happen. :rolleyes:

    But yeah, too late to change anything... we're just discussing the virtues at this point.

    Also, according to my favorite buddy google:

    949 New Zealand dollars = 484.2747 U.S. dollars

    That doesn't seem too bad at all for me... what is the average income in New Zealand?
     
  18. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #18
    If you say so. I don't think you gave much thought to what people might be using a used PowerMac for, though. For example, if you want an household NAS/iTunes server that can also be used as a 3rd location for listening to music and watching movies in a den and secure shopping/banking (what I use mine for), you might get a dual 533 DA one for example for $50-200 ($300-450 outfitted with two screaming fast 1TB Sata drives) and then compare that with a $800-900 base Mac-Mini that uses laptop parts (i.e. insanely slow except for the CPU) and that Mac Mini would STILL need external hard drives to be used as a server since its internal hard drive is both slow and tiny and therefore useless in that environment except for booting OS X. So you then have to add the price of two external hard drives (one to back the other one up) and that would bring the Mini into the $1050-1200 range. For $90, I could add (and did add) an ATI 9800Pro, which I believe is faster than the Intel GPU included in the Mini and has dual-head output. Throw in $20 for a USB 2.0 card and $30 for an 18x DVD-RW drive and you have an iTunes server/burner/docking station for around $400-550 TOTAL. That's not even a bad price for dedicated NAS unit and none of them out there except maybe the HP Media-Smart (running the Windows version of iTunes directly) can serve AppleTV units because they need to run a full version of iTunes.


    So assuming your interest is purely an iTunes server system and NAS with the ability to also do secure shopping/browsing and even word processing, etc., an upgraded used PowerMac will do the job nicely and without loads of external junk cluttering up your desk for around $400-450 versus a Mac Mini which outfitted with the same 1TB of backed up storage externally would run you $1050-1200. In short, you'd be paying 1/3 the price and it'd also be less clutter and you could even drive two monitors if you so chose. With a $70 Elgato .H264 Turbo added, it could even encode movies for AppleTV faster than a brand new MBP running Handbrake.

    I also added a 1.8GHz 7448 G4 to mine for an additional $400, which enables it to run pretty much any reasonable productivity software out there. But then I have a MBP for video editing and portable sound studio applications. The PowerMac is a base station terminal and network server connected to a high speed Gigabit and dual 802.11N home network along with a PC running XP and Linux and two AppleTVs and an iPod Touch. I connected Klipsch THX 2.1 speakers to the PowerMac and it also doubles as a den stereo and movie station (I have over 250 DVDs, 256 music videos and 5500+ songs in my iTunes library that it serves around the house to the two AppleTVs, my MBP laptop and XP/Linux PC).

    My PowerMac setup with a 1.8GHZ 7448 G4 would run about $800 with the above video/usb/storage options. That's still $250-400 less than a Mini with equivalent external storage running at a much slower hard drive rate (FW400 or USB 2.0 which top out around 25-30MB/sec versus internal Sata on my PowerMacwhich gets me over 80MB/sec). I can also easily add a Firewire 800 PCI card or even an eSata card for under $50. No such options exist for a Mini. It's limited to FW400 and USB 2.0 only forever. If I needed 802.11N, it's a $40 PCI or USB 2.0 card away. If I want a Blu-Ray drive to burn 50GB discs (for whatever reason), I can easily replace my DVD-RW drive with one. I've still got 2 empty PCI card slots left and room for 3 more internal hard drives (one 4-port sata card away). My brand new MBP can't rip DVDs even half as fast as this PowerMac's 20x DVD-RW drive and with an Elgato added, it can't encode them as fast either.


    If your Mac-Mini dies after the 1 year warranty, you're SOL. You have to spend another $800-900 to replace it. Or you can spend a LOT extra for AppleCare. Whereas If I had any kind of hardware failure on my PowerMac server, I'd just buy another used PowerMac for $50 and move all the upgrades over to it. There's not much risk there.

    When you pay $50 for a PowerMac, you don't worry about resale value.

    For the above reasons. Not all of us use just one computer (like I said, I have a new MBP and a PC as well) and a Mini doesn't make a very good server, IMO when I do it for 1/3 the price with a used PowerMac. It can also run Tiger, Leopard and even hard boot OS9 all on the same machine (nice if you like to run older software for some reason).

    You could also use a PC as a server and do it for even less, but then you're running Windows. I leave my PowerMac on 24/7 and it almost never needs a reboot.
     
  19. Willis macrumors 68020

    Willis

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    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    #19
    I dont believe old technology is dead technology.

    I bought a Dual 1.25ghz MDD 800, 2Gb ram, 80gb drive, keyboard with a studio display for £250.

    I bought it because I need a tower for storage. Editing video, I need plenty of space, and put simply, a Mac Mini would not do for this case.
     

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