Wednesday, July 23, 2008

To upgrade or to replace? That is the question...

This week's column is up at LowEndMac.

With the pending Official Obsolescence of PowerPC Macs, what's an old Mac junkie to do? Part of me wants to sell a kidney to buy a used Intel Mac Mini, and part of me wants to upgrade my current G4 Sawtooth to a faster CPU and a full 2GB of RAM, and part of me says that if I save my pennies carefully I might be able to afford a used TiBook and an iLamp (which are my current dream computers because they're so frickin' cool.) What to do?

12 comments:

AndytheAxe said...

mmmm Lords of Magic, thanks for making me want to dig it up and reinstall :D

TD said...

I have a dual 2GHz G5 that I'd be willing to part with... :-)

Tam said...

I've got a kidney, not too damaged by beer...

Anonymous said...

let's be blunt: 10.3 is the best os x to date (10.4 is okay too, I guess. mostly for software compatability). Who cares what apple says is obsolete? a G5 powermac is plenty fast, especially with 8 gig of ram (or more if you have a ddr2 version). If anything, I see this as a great chance to get a wonderful machine for less than it's worth.

excitedVulcan said...

I run a PPC 15"Powerbook. I really like it too. It's gotta be about 4 years old, and is definitely showing it's age. I looked at macBook Pro's, but whoa, they're 'spensive! I may upgrade my ram, but as anonymous said, 10.3 is the best, with tiger (10.4) being "OK" too. In a desktop, you can really upgrade quite easily, even processor wise. xlr8yourmac.com and newertech.com are a couple places to start

staghounds said...

Oddly enough, those are my work and home computers. And, since you were paying taxes here when thy were obtained for me by the state, thank you!

TXMagpie said...

I don't supposed you'd like an iMac? I have one that needs a new home. No kidneys necessary....

Rabbit said...

If you like PowerPC, go Google IBM's power5 low-end servers.

The Power4 and Power3 systems are real graphics workhorses and they can be had pretty cheaply; you can get a 7044/170, 7044/270 or even a 7025 F50 for under $500 or so that's a real throughput monster. 7044's are commonly used as CAD workstations. Yellow Dog Linux runs incredibly fast on them, as does FreeBSD for RISC/PowerPC. The native OS is, of course, AIX, which ain't no slouch, either.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Tam said...

txmagpie,

"I don't supposed you'd like an iMac? I have one that needs a new home. No kidneys necessary...."

I would be very interested!

TXMagpie said...

Kewl! I'll send you an email shortly :-)

Chris Byrne said...

I just built a hackintosh for well under a grand, with 4 gigs of RAM and a 3.2ghz dual core.

You could get your upgrade AND buy an iLamp.

jaegan said...

Don't despair. I recently picked up a perfectly functional* iMac G4 800/15inch on ebay for $55 shipped. The secret? it had been opened up by someone who didn't follow apple's injunction to _always_ replace the thermal compound on the heat sink, so it was turning itself off every few min. A nickle's worth of artic silver after I opened it up (and blew out the dust while I was there) and I've got a very usuable machine.