Old Mac, New Tricks

Posted on 2008-06-10
Last Modified: 2013-11-24
I have been using a PowerMac G4 (Digital Audio, 667 Mhz, 1Gb RAM, OS X 10.2.8) everyday since '01 when I got it. It has worked flawlessly for me for all this time. I suppose I should go buy a new comp at this point, but I can't stand to put this loyal companion out to pasture. I am thinking of getting a processor upgrade and second internal hard drive and upgrading to Leopard. In this way I hope to get another 5+ years out of this beautiful machine. I'm just looking for some thoughts/advice/critique of this plan.
Question by:Pilate
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LVL 28

Assisted Solution

jhyiesla earned 20 total points
ID: 21755496
You would definitely need the processor upgrade since the minimum spec for a G4 is 867 MHz or faster.  Don't know what a processor costs, but it's probably way less than a new system.  Still, part of selecting a computer is what are you going to do with it.  If the rest of your box seems solid and the processor upgrade is a reasonable price it's probably OK to stick with what you have and do the upgrade if it will continue to do what you want... if not...well :)
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 21755501
I am not sure why this is philosophy, except that, as far as Jobs goes, it is OK with me.

I happen to like Leopard.

Try different philosophy. Make of yourself a new model of portable and mainframe.

Mac now offers too much air at infinity.

The laptop can be smaller with more ram, the disk can be anywhere, even on a windows box.

Once you have that form of model, then figure out where best to place your old machine, it may serve well on a home network for interim storage, for example, but no need to make it some little print server.

Philosophically, also consider family values. Possibly someone near and dear to you who has less, can appreciate that which you already love and also hold dear to you
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

SunBow earned 40 total points
ID: 21755537
Concerning 'depends'
For most thing these days, you should at least double this:
> 667 Mhz, 1Gb RAM
2 GB, and something going over 1500 MHz
While you mentioned disk, you did not enumerate that, and while you say upgrade, no news on budget.

As it is, I'd say do not upgrade this one. Keep it as beautiful as it is, run it into the ground. Spend on the next one, or save up for the next one, think of networking all of your goodies together into a family.
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LVL 53

Assisted Solution

strung earned 20 total points
ID: 21755983
Upgrading makes no economic sense. Rumour has it that Apple is about to drop support for PowerPC chip computers and the next version of OS X will be for intel chip computers only. Similarly new software will be for intel chip computers only.

By the time you pay for a processor upgrade and new drive, you could almost buy a new computer and everything else in the new computer will be newer, better and faster.
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 21757725
I agree with STRUNG .. do not waste time and money trying to upgrade your loyal Mac companion .. you won't get an Intel processor for it and the and the motherboard is incapable of supporting such an upgrade.
Instead spend the same amount on a mac Mini or iMac and get the latest and the best and GUARANTEE yourself 5 years of happiness.

If you don't want to completely retire the G4 then consider using it as a file server, mail server, web server ... depends on what you want .. or donate it to a charity .. they would be delighted.

Expert Comment

ID: 21757878
If i were you, i would have bought a new PC insteed of upgrading. And i know i would still be touching the older one.

Expert Comment

ID: 21757892
<< think of networking all of your goodies together into a family.>>.
Ahhh...... !!!!  (speechless)
LVL 19

Accepted Solution

pheidius earned 25 total points
ID: 21759086
The deal breaker in an upgrade scenario is core animation in Leopard. You could get a new dual 1.42 for 400 bucks at fast Mac. In some scenarios, this combination outperformed some G5's  or you can look at it as  putting you on par with a non extreme p4 but your video card will just choke. You will, therefore, also need to upgrade to a much better vid card.The ones made for Mac are both expensive and scarce. You can if you want buy a newer pc card and then reflash it to a mac rom using a Strangedogs flash. I went as far as a 6800 gs but other's have gone farther.  Core animation will choke you with just a processor upgrade unless you disable all the eye candy.That still put you at 650 or so and you are still lagging with 100 mhz fsb. I don't think,however, that Apple is eminently going to drop ppc support, I'd bet it goes with 10.7. So Strung and I will have to make a gentleman's bet on that one. All that being said, if you are a patient and savvy ebay shopper you might wring some life out of old trusty. I saw a dual 1.42 pull go for a little less than 200 last week. There is one for 325 there now but that is too much for a pull. Diito for a pc vid card that you can reflash. You should be able to get a rig that will run with the g5's for 350 if you are patient and careful. Buy from Powersellers with 2000 dollar Paypal warranties and good long feedback records. So new parts, I agree with everyone else. Used parts and patience,however, could eke another 2 years of life out of your g4.
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

BobSiemens earned 20 total points
ID: 21760557

Buy a new Mac.  You love them and the new one will be the same except much, much faster.

667 Mhz?  Without breaking the bank, you could have one that's 3 times faster.
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

SunBow earned 40 total points
ID: 21765897
strung > Similarly new software will be for intel chip computers only.

Similarly, new hardware cannot be retrofitted into the older models. Among them the 'squeeze' feature. Likely a lot of their use of bluetooth. I wanted to remember to recommend that asker check out all those topics beginning with LC "i". Begin anywhere, iPod, iPhone, iMac, on and on. I agree, they are going x86 and it looks like they won't be turning back.

> you could almost buy a new computer and everything else in the new computer will be newer, better and faster


Love it!! Compare to other products (than computers), try fuel, bread & butter. [I think I agree with imandelia, at least maybe with iBobSiemens]

I agree with eoinosullivan "consider using it as a ..."

You can replace it without having to lose it, it can still be of value.

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