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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > advice on buying a used mac

advice on buying a used mac
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fatherted
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Nov 20, 2004, 03:53 PM
 
Hello,

I am loking into buying a used mac and have been loking at a g4 400mhz on ebay. I cant afford much and my budget will only stretch to 270. I do have some questions i hope someone with a bit more knowledge about macs than me can answer them.

1. Is it advicsable to buy macs from ebay? Do powermacs have a long lifespan?

2. How fast when compared to a pc would a g4 400 be? I will only be using it for photo manipulation, web, wp and music.

3. I have read that you can get processor upgardes to go into the macs. Are these expensive? Are they easy to fit? Thanks for any help.
     
Krypton
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Nov 20, 2004, 05:27 PM
 
eBay has a wide selection of Macs, but ultimately you will get a better deal by being patient and looking in classified sections in newspapers - how my Dad got a G4 500 and 15' LCD for 500 a couple of years ago.

A G4 400 won't be slow running OS X (provided you have a good amount of RAM), but the speed won't blow you away. Powermacs generally have a long lifespan, but models in the last 5 years or so seem less indestructible than older Macs (having said that, if something goes wrong it's very rare that the fix isn't relatively easy).

For your listed purposes, a G4 400 should be fine - you could beef up the RAM with 256Mb dimms off of eBay for as little as 15-20 each (something I'm looking to do for a similar impeding purchase).

Processor upgrades are falling in price all the time, I have seen 1.2Ghz upgrades in the region of 250 - thus bringing your G4 up to more recent Mac speeds for a lot less than a new 1Ghz+ Mac would cost.
     
sodamnregistered2
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Nov 22, 2004, 04:52 PM
 
You need a 32MB video card to take advantage of Quartz Extreme, otherwise the OSX interface will seem sluggish.

I think the G4/450 was a more popular machine in terms of units produced, so maybe consider looking for one of those.

I'd say a G4/450 would be about as fast as a PIII 600, but will seem slower if you can't take advantage of QE acceleration, ie even window dragging will seem slow...
MacBook Pro C2D 2.16GHz 2GB 120GB OSX 10.4.9, Boot Camp 1.2, Vista Home Premium
mac mini 1.42, 60GB 7200rpm, 1GB (sold), dual 2GHz/G5 (sold), Powerbook 15" 1GHz (sold)
dual G4 800MHz (sold), dual G4 450MHz (sold), G4 450MHz (sold), Powerbook Pismo G3 500MHz (sold)
PowerMac 9500 132MHz 601, dual 180MHz 604e, Newer G3 400MHz (in closet)
Powermac 7100 80MHz (sold), Powermac 7100 66MHz (sold)
     
fatherted  (op)
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Nov 23, 2004, 12:53 PM
 
krypton and sodamnregistered thanks. I appreciate the help. I too am from the uk krypton so do you have any tips as to where i would be best looking for a second hand mac? I live quite near to morley! thanks.
     
sodamnregistered2
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Nov 23, 2004, 01:23 PM
 
Originally posted by fatherted:
krypton and sodamnregistered thanks. I appreciate the help. I too am from the uk krypton so do you have any tips as to where i would be best looking for a second hand mac? I live quite near to morley! thanks.
I've only sold on e-bay, but I sold good machines and got fair prices.

The key is to look for an individual doing the selling, not a dealer. Like, I'm a Home Office user selling my G4 to upgrade to a G5.

Prolly a babied one-owner machine, not a hacked refurb of sorts.

Shipping is the main thing, not sure how the UK scene is, but I'd have to think London and so forth is flooded with Macs.
MacBook Pro C2D 2.16GHz 2GB 120GB OSX 10.4.9, Boot Camp 1.2, Vista Home Premium
mac mini 1.42, 60GB 7200rpm, 1GB (sold), dual 2GHz/G5 (sold), Powerbook 15" 1GHz (sold)
dual G4 800MHz (sold), dual G4 450MHz (sold), G4 450MHz (sold), Powerbook Pismo G3 500MHz (sold)
PowerMac 9500 132MHz 601, dual 180MHz 604e, Newer G3 400MHz (in closet)
Powermac 7100 80MHz (sold), Powermac 7100 66MHz (sold)
     
Krypton
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Nov 27, 2004, 01:48 PM
 
Originally posted by fatherted:
krypton and sodamnregistered thanks. I appreciate the help. I too am from the uk krypton so do you have any tips as to where i would be best looking for a second hand mac? I live quite near to morley! thanks.
I live in Morley in Derbyshire, but not the one in Yorkshire that I've been made aware of - if you really do live near to me I'm impressed!

I recommend the classified paper 'Ad-Mag', and also the website www.loot.com. I used the latter to purchase a G3 B&W for 100 recently, although it was a bit of a trek getting it from London.

eBay is great provided hundreds of people aren't looking for the same thing - for this reason I think G4 towers get a bit over inflated in price. E.g. you can buy a refurb G5 1.6Ghz for as much as the MDD G4s go for.
     
fatherted  (op)
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Dec 2, 2004, 06:36 PM
 
Thanks for the responses guys. I saw a second hand one on ebay (digital audio 533) and managed to get it for 265 so i think i did pretty well. Krypton, it is morley in wy that i am talking about, so i guess i dont live near you. Thanks for the help anyway guys.
     
Krypton
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Dec 3, 2004, 06:15 AM
 
Originally posted by fatherted:
Thanks for the responses guys. I saw a second hand one on ebay (digital audio 533) and managed to get it for 265 so i think i did pretty well. Krypton, it is morley in wy that i am talking about, so i guess i dont live near you. Thanks for the help anyway guys.
Glad you managed to get what you wanted. The digital audio G4s are quite nice, with their decent video card and pro keyboard/mouse.

My secondhand escapades have left me with the following:

350Mhz G3 B&W + 17' Formac display (95)
300Mhz G3 B&W (100)
17' Formac Display (10.50)

I'm using the former, and need to flog the latter two
     
deboerjo
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Dec 3, 2004, 09:40 AM
 
Originally posted by sodamnregistered2:
You need a 32MB video card to take advantage of Quartz Extreme, otherwise the OSX interface will seem sluggish.
I don't find it a bit sluggish on machines without Quartz Extreme. I found OSX to be very responsive, even on a 333 iMac's crappy Rage Pro. All the eye candy animations weren't perfectly smooth, but that doesn't effect responsiveness.
     
AlaskaBoy
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Dec 3, 2004, 06:30 PM
 
I had 10.2.8 running with 756MB RAM on a 366mHz G3 Beige tower (6MB VRAM) and it was stable, if a bit sluggish on its response. I fould a few freeware items to speed things up a bit, and it worked well.

Older machines WILL be slow, but they do all the work very well. (It reminded me of my old 1966 Ford pickup, It runs well, always starts up, carries anything i need, but is always the last car off a streetlight & has a top speed of about 55 mph (100 KPH)...)

Just my 2
Thanks,
John Boyarsky
RSMS ISS Guy, Tutor & Dirt Burner
Fairbanks, AK
---
I was up all night wondering where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

1.6 G5, Gig-o-RAM, 80HD, DVD, 80 external FW, 15g iPod. (Old Beige G3(running 10.2.8 very nicely) w/tons of accessories)
     
Lateralus
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Dec 3, 2004, 06:31 PM
 
Originally posted by deboerjo:
...All the eye candy animations weren't perfectly smooth...
That would be 'sluggish'.
I like chicken
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Meow Mix, Meow Mix
Please de-liv-er
     
   
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