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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does this sound like a good deal or what? or am I missing something? Help me out cuz I'm going to buy it if it IS a good deal!

"G4 Dual 1GHz Quicksilver --- $3200
Dual 1Ghz G4 w/ 2MB of L3 cache per processor 1.5 GB of PC133 RAM, DVD-RW/CD-RW SUPERDRIVE 40Gig + 80 gig 7200 rpm HD's, ATA100 PCI card, UW SCSI card,1000 BASE-T Ethernet, FireWire, USB, LOADED with software. MINT condition, all receipts etc. "
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pamela:
...DVD-RW/CD-RW SUPERDRIVE...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Correction - the SuperDrive is only DVD-R/CD-RW. There is no DVD-RW/CD-RW Superdrive from Apple. Sounds like a fair deal though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is there anything negative I have to watch out for with this model?

I'm using it for CAD, photoshop, illustrator, flash etc...lots and lots of graphics...also with my ipod, two monitors, and internet and wordprocessing of course. I want to run the latest OS X.

I'm new at this so please warn me about this particular models' issues. THANKS!!!!! :D
 

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DVD-RW works fine on my G4 (Quicksilver summer 2001 with Pioneer x03 drive).

Looks good to me. A new model would perform a bit (not a lot) better, but:
SCSI card (depending on model) is at least $75, could easily be more.
ATA-100 card is about $100 extra.
RAM is at least $ 125 per 512MB 133 stick; it's more for the RAM the new models require)
Extra 40GB drive is at least $100.
You will pay GST/PST on a new machine ($200+, but could be over $300 depending on where you live).

At a little less than the same price, (2400 + GST + PST) you can get a new single processor G4 with half the L3 cache as the model you're looking at, but without the extras. I would expect the used one as configured to outperform the new model; the dual processors with 2MB cache should overcome the slightly slower RAM bus.

At more than the same price, (3200 + GST + PST) you get a dual G4 with half the L3 cache, with faster RAM, a faster processor, and a better video card. This should be a faster machine, especially if you upped the RAM, but you still don't get the extras. It's hard to say whether the 1.5MB of 133 RAM in the used box would overcome the 256MB of faster RAM on the newer one, but it might.

No mention of the video card, but the entry level new Powermac comes with a 64MB Geforce4MX, which may be similar to the one you're looking at.

If it's less than 1 year old, you might be able to add AppleCare. The SuperDrive is worth about +300 on a new machine from Apple.

Price estimates in Canadian $.

XBench scores for dual 1GHz Quicksilvers range from about 83 to about 130, with most around 118 or so.

The single processor MDD G4 1Ghz runs about 80 to 107, with most around 100.

The dual processor MDD G4 1.25Ghz runs from about 103 to about 160 (there are a few rogue systems above 160, but they are probably hot-rodded way past your budget) with most around 140 or so. So, it looks like a good machine for the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
gordguide....for some reason I didn't read or notice the rest of your post after the sum up of part costs and tax...strange...I could sware it wasn't there before?! Anyway...thanks for your Thourough response! I understood most of it...you made it pretty clear. But the negative points that you mentioned about the system compared to a quicker one...

"At more than the same price, (3200 + GST + PST) you get a dual G4 with half the L3 cache, with faster RAM, a faster processor, and a better video card. This should be a faster machine, especially if you upped the RAM, but you still don't get the extras. It's hard to say whether the 1.5MB of 133 RAM in the used box would overcome the 256MB of faster RAM on the newer one, but it might."

Like what are we talking in real terms of noticing a difference (esp. having mentioned the programs I will be using it for)? Where would I notice the lag? Tough call I'm sure...but for the money it just seemed like a good deal.

What about upgradability options in the future? Is this model capable?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is the update email I got from the guy about the quicksilver he has for sale...

"The video card is an nVIDIA GeForce 4 MX 64 MB DDR... A very fast and capable card, in my opinion the only better card out there is the GF 4ti, but at $600 new from Apple, not worth the performance benefits. The programs are many, and varied (Macromedia, Adobe, Apple, Microsoft) all are the latest OS X versions. All are backed up as .DMG (Full install) mountable files that you could burn to CD if you wish. I’m selling because I am running new high-end software that is platform specific (Linux/Windows), so I’ll be getting another PC for my grunt work, and a used PowerBook for my daily routine stuff. The G4 was babied to say the least, and is in MINT (I mean MINT) condition. "

I don't know if this changes anyone's opinion on whether it's a good deal or not but I thought I'd throw it in.

We've set up a time to meet on Monday so I'd really like any feedback good or bad about this system (and powermac line) before then! Thanks a million everyone!

Pamela :D :D
 

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" ... Like what are we talking in real terms of noticing a difference (esp. having mentioned the programs I will be using it for)? Where would I notice the lag? Tough call I'm sure...but for the money it just seemed like a good deal. ..."

With only 256MB RAM, I don't think a new Dual 1.25 would be faster than the QuickSilver with 1.5GB. If you're budget isn't tight, adding a 512MB RAM card to a new Mac would probably be enough to realise better speed. But now we're talking a $4000 machine.

The Geforce 64 is a great video card. No problems there.

One thing about the SW, it may be he plans to keep using the apps and is just providing the installers as disk images and perhaps installer codes while he retains the original disks and the registration (or maybe they're not "real" versions to begin with).

Adobe apps, for instance, come with a transfer of software form that can be filled out to transfer ownership. If he isn't willing (or able) to transfer the SW and provide whatever disks he has, then count the "bundle" as worth $0. If you really wanted to, you could pirate the stuff yourself, so it's not worth paying to have someone else do it.

It's A Bad Idea to do any commercial work with unauthorized software; many serious apps flag the files they create with hidden registration info that compaines like Adobe can lookup and check against their own info. Not good for business.

All the G4 towers are very expandable; there are 4 free PCI slots and you are looking at 2 cards installed leaving 2 free. I can see someone filling the other two, but very few users would need a fifth.
 

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Pamela wrote:
"The video card is an nVIDIA GeForce 4 MX 64 MB DDR... A very fast and capable card, in my opinion the only better card out there is the GF 4ti, but at $600 new from Apple, not worth the performance benefits..."

The Radeon 9700 is also better than the GeForce 4 MX (the Radeon 9000 might be as well; I've not compared the specifications). The GeForce 4 MX isn't a bad card, but it's more comparable to a GeForce 2 MX than a GeForce 4 Ti (nVidia really screwed up when they named the GeForce 4 MX).
 

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" ... (nVidia really screwed up when they named the GeForce 4 MX). ..."

Or they knew exactly what they were doing: fudging the whole issue to confuse the beleagured consumer.

"Johnny, use the word beleagured in a sentence without using the word Apple" ;)

Maybe I just don't push the envelope much, but I can't even tell the difference with my Geforce2 32MB and the old ATI 16MB card that sat in my Graphite G4. Oh well. The video card can be replaced if you get the urge.
 

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gordguide wrote:
Maybe I just don't push the envelope much, but I can't even tell the difference with my Geforce2 32MB and the old ATI 16MB card that sat in my Graphite G4.

When I upgraded my GeForce 2 MX to a GeForce 4 MX, I couldn't tell the difference. I could tell the difference between a GeForce 4 MX and a GeForce 4 Ti, though.

Of course, the only place I notice a difference is in 3D performance; if you're not out playing the latest and greatest games (or other 3D applications), just about any card will do you just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Does the fact that it doesn't have DDR Ram pose a problem? I don't really know what the difference is between the two.

(And what is a UW SCSI Card used for?)

And the software issue isn't really one... (I'm sure they don't come with cd's) ...because I have all of my own software
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ok...maybe it's me...but with the 1.50 or so exchange rate...don't these specs/prices seem like a pretty good deal? (esp. vs. the used one I've been looking at?)
http://www.clubmac.com/clubmac/families/powermac/

I've been doing too much research in the past couple of weeks. My head is getting dizzy. I need someone to sort this out for me.
 

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Pamela, the newer Macs use what is called Double Data Rate (DDR) RAM. This ram offers higher performance; aside from the higher bus speed. It allows the memory bandwidth to effectively double.

Now, Apple is generally good at matching things like bus speed with what the processor needs, so the fact that the QuickSilver lacks this feature isn't as significant as it might first appear; it doesn't follow that DDR ram in the QuickSilver would result in any major performance gains. When you increase the speed of the processor as the newer Mirror Drive Doors (MDD) Macs do (and a new motherboard design implies that they would be ready to accept even faster processors as they become available) then they can take advantage of the speed increase. DDR memory is theoretically twice as fast as the bus speed, PC-133 is only as fast as the bus speed.

So, the short answer is DDR RAM is better, but probably wouldn't amount to a significant difference in the overall scheme of things with a Dual 1GHz Quicksilver box. Use a faster processor, and you may find it helps a lot more.

DDR RAM is also more expensive, for the equivalent amount of memory.

Comparitive prices:
512MB PC-133 $125 [like in the Used Dual 1G Quicksilver]
512MB PC2100 (DDR for 266Mhz bus) $150 [for New MDD 1G at $2400]
512MB PC-2700 (DDR for 333Mhz bus) $180 [for New MDD Dual 1.25 at $3200]

Prices in $C for Lifetime Memory Mac-spec RAM from The Mac Liquidators (Canada)

You can find memory for less (and more) than those prices, but Apple hardware is very strict about RAM quality, so some "generic" PC RAM will give you grief, or might not work at all. Thus the prices I chose for comparison, which represent the minimum quality requirements.

As usual, DDR ram prices should fall relative to how many computers out there use it, but PC-133 is the "commodity" memory right now and is amongst the least expensive you can buy. The used machine you're looking at is already configured with the maximum amount.
 

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gordguide wrote:
Pamela, the newer Macs use what is called Double Data Rate (DDR) RAM. This ram offers higher performance; aside from the higher bus speed. It allows the memory bandwidth to effectively double.

Do the new PowerMacs use DDR to its full advantage? I read somewhere (where, I can't remember, but I could probably dig it up) that the new PowerMacs use DDR as SDR (i.e., they don't "double-pump" the bus).

Is this true?
 

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AFAIK, they take advantage of it. This is what Apple says:

" ... Double Data Rate (DDR) main memory
Power Mac G4 systems feature DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate synchronous dynamic random access memory). DDR SDRAM allows the system to read and write data to and from memory on both the rising and falling edge of each clock cycle. It delivers 2.7 GBps throughput between main memory and the system controller; twice the throughput of single data rate (SDR) SDRAM, which reads and writes only on the rising edge of the clock cycle. DDR SDRAM increases memory bandwidth not only to the processors, but to all elements of the system. Direct memory access (DMA) allows system elements such as a hard drive controller or a graphics processing unit to send and receive data directly from main memory, without going through the processors. This added memory bandwidth allows system elements to function independently at high data rates, boosting total system performance. ..."

If you could dig up your info, I'd be interested in reading what they have to say.

UPDATE: perhaps you were thinking of this which seems to indicate that as far as memory goes, the used Quicksilver doesn't give up anything to a newer MDD Mac.
 

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gordguide wrote:
If you could dig up your info, I'd be interested in reading what they have to say.

I managed to find it here:

<blockquote>And so it was, two months ago, that Apple announced its very first computers which would use something faster than 133 MHz SDRAM. With a front-side-bus speed of 167 MHz instead of 133 MHz, and with one or two processors, these new computers used 333 MHz DDR-SDRAM.

But they don't fully use it. The memory bus from the RAM to the chipset is double-pumped at 167 MHz, but the bus from the chipset to the CPU(s) is single-pumped at 167 MHz. Apple can't do anything about that; to change the bus between the CPU and mobo chipset would require Moto to redesign the CPU, and they seem in no hurry to do so.</blockquote>
 

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Well, not exactly objective, but an interesting read. I did notice he ignores a few things about Apple architecture (he treats it as if it were identical to a PC mobo; for example he implies a PCI bridge exists).

Check out what I found (link in earlier post); at least the axe was sharper to begin with (didn't need as much grinding) ;)
 
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