Best Power Mac G4 Prices

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The Power Mac G4 offers a lot of power, expandability (3-4 PCI slots and several drive bays), and upgradability (1.5 to 2.0 GB maximum RAM) with prices starting as low as $60.

Declining Value

G4 Power Macs aren’t the great values they once were as the selection available through online dealers has declined significantly and prices have started to rise on the most powerful models. Today SATA drives are cheap, while the UltraATA drives used in G4 Macs are more costly – and on a slower data bus. Dual-processor G5 Power Macs start at $99 and have SATA for their hard drives as well as built-in USB 2.0, making them a better choice unless you’re looking for absolute rock bottom price.

Original Power Mac G4

Dual-processor G4 models used to sell for a small premium over single-processor machines, but nowadays they can be 2-3 times the price. Dual processors makes a huge difference, so a dual 450 MHz will perform comparably to a 733 MHz single processor G4, but in many cases, the premium price makes dual G4s a lesser value.

Over the lifespan of the Power Mac G4, speeds ranged from 350 MHz to 1.42 GHz, and most of these can be upgraded as far as 2 GHz (or dual 1.8 GHz) if you need more speed.

The Power Mac G4 has long been a favorite at Low End Mac, where we have at times had two dual processor models in daily use – one running OS X 10.5 Leopard and another running 10.4 Tiger with Classic Mode. If you’re using (or plan to use) OS X, dual processor models can offer significantly more performance under OS X than single processor models. You really need 256 MB to run OS X through version 10.3, 512 MB to run 10.4 decently, and more yet if you want to run 10.5. For our perspective on the various G4 Power Macs in the Age of Leopard, please see:

Leopard on Unsupported Power Macs

Mirror Drive Door Power Mac G4Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is supported on all 867 MHz and faster Macs (including slower G4 Power Macs with upgrade CPUs 867 MHz and faster) with at least 512 MB of RAM and the ability to run the DVD-based installer, so G4 Power Macs with CD-ROM or CD-RW drives will need an optical drive upgrade. Although Apple has coded the Leopard installer to require an 867 MHz G4, there are a few ways around that, and our readers report successfully running Mac OS X 10.5 on pretty much every unsupported Power Mac G4 with AGP graphics. To date, we have no reports of Leopard running on the Yikes! model with PCI graphics. See our article on Unsupported Leopard Installation for more information. If you’re looking for maximum memory at minimum price, you can bring a Quicksilver to 1.5 GB for $51 and a Mirrored Drive Doors to 2 GB for $46 at today’s RAM prices. Upgrading memory in older Macs is more costly.

  • Got a G3, G4, or G5 Power Mac? Join G-List.

We try to factor in shipping costs, which vary by weight and distance. Numbers we use are for shipping to Low End Mac headquarters in Michigan. Ground shipping may add $20 to $60 to your cost. Used Macs typically come with a 90 day warranty. Memory and drive size reported as RAM/hard drive size.

Single CPU

  • 466 MHz DA, $60, MegaMacs
  • 733 MHz DA, $89, Teksale
  • 933 MHz QS, $190, MegaMacs

Dual CPU

  • 450 MHz dual Mystic, $170, MegaMacs
  • 867 MHz dual MDD, $249, DV Warehouse
  • 1.25 GHz dual MDD (fastest Mac to boot OS 9 natively), $295, DV Warehouse
  • 1.42 GHz dual FW800, $399, DV Warehouse

Recent RAM Prices (per module)

Mac OS and OS X Server Prices

Note that some vendors are selling PC2700 RAM that is listed at PC2100. These modules can only work on Power Macs that support PC2100 RAM if all PC2100 modules are removed. PC2100 and PC2700 RAM cannot be combined in the same Mac. Be sure to factor in shipping costs and possibly sales tax. Your best value depends on whether you need/want a color printer, 256-512 MB extra RAM, etc. Note that G4 models before the Quicksilver 2002 do not support internal drives larger than 128 GB without additional software or a separate hard drive controller. (See How Big a Hard Drive Can I Put in My iMac, eMac, Power Mac, PowerBook, or iBook? for solutions to this problem.)

There should be no surcharge for credit card purchases, and shipping is not generally included. Shipping can easily add $30 to $50 to your final purchase price. Vendors are listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to visit their sites for full details. Prices may be limited to quantity on hand. Not responsible for typos.

Buying through some of these links benefits Low End Mac.

Profiles

These models have a single media bay for CD-ROM, DVD, etc. The bay below it can handle a Zip drive but not a second optical drive.

Mirrored Drive Doors (MDD) models have two full-sized media drive bays. Models with FireWire 800 cannot boot the classic Mac OS. Dealer websites do not always distinguish models, so be sure to ask before buying.

Advanced Technology Recycling

30 day warranty. ATR is headquartered in Pontiac, IL and has three other US locations. Go to Products > Computer Systems > Mac’s and Stuff. 19″ widescreen LCD monitors from $50. Low End Mac has received equipment from ATR, and the merchandise was in great condition and well packed.

  • none at present

DV Warehouse

90 day warranty. Shipping may add $43 or more. Many other configurations listed.

single CPU

  • 733 MHz QS CD-RW, 512/40, $199
  • 933 MHz QS Combo, 512/40, $258
  • 1.25 GHz MDD Combo, 512/40, $295

dual CPU

  • 867 MHz dual MDD Combo, 512/60, $249
  • 1.25 GHz dual MDD SD, 512/80, $295
  • 1.42 GHz dual FW800 SD, 1 GB/80, $399

MegaMacs

30 day warranty. Ground shipping may add $40 or more.

single CPU

  • 450 MHz AGP DVD, 256/10, $69.99
  • 466 MHz DA CD-RW, 128/30, $59.99
  • 733 MHz QS SD, 512/20, $149.99
  • 933 MHz QS DVD, 512/60, $189.99
  • many other configurations listed

dual CPU

  • 450 MHz dual Mystic Combo, 896/20, $169.99

Operator Headgap

Shipping included. In most cases, these Power Macs have been upgraded with a new 22x Pioneer SuperDrive and a new 7200 rpm hard drive. Price includes keyboard and mouse but does not include a modem. Operator Headgap thoroughly refurbishes and tests every Mac they sell. When buying, please let them know you heard about them on Low End Mac when entering your shipping information. Thanks!

single CPU

  • 450 MHz AGP SD, 512/40, Rage 128 Pro, $189.77 shipped
  • 500 MHz AGP SD (new Pioneer), 512/40, Rage 128 Pro, $199.77 shipped

PowerMax

90 day warranty. Mac OS 9.2.2 and OS X 10.3.9 installed. Shipping may add $xxx or more. Keyboard usually not included. PowerMax has the widest selection of Power Macs among the dealers we track, and a few other configurations are available.

single CPU

  • 1.25 GHz MDD Combo, 1 GB/80, Radeon 9000 Pro, $399
  • 1.25 GHz MDD Combo, 1.3 GB/80, Radeon 9000 Pro, AirPort, $459

Teksale

90 day warranty. Ground shipping may add $40 or more. Used Macs include new Macally iKey keyboard, USB optical mouse, and have Mac OS X 10.3 installed. Many other configurations listed.

single CPU

  • 733 MHz DA CD-RW, 512/40, GeForce 2MX, $89

Wegener Media

60 day warranty. Ground shipping may add $35 or more.

  • none listed at present

We Love Macs

30 day warranty. OS X 10.4 Tiger installed.

single CPU

  • 450 MHz Cube DVD, 640/20, $399.99
  • 500 MHz Cube DVD, 128/10, $499.99
  • 350 MHz AGP DVD, 128/10, $179.95
  • 400 MHz AGP DVD, 128/40, $189.95
  • 450 MHz AGP SD, 128/20, $199.95
  • 466 MHz DA DVD, 128/40, $199.95
  • 500 MHz AGP SD, 256/20, $209.95
  • 733 MHz QS Combo, 256/40, $229.95
  • 733 MHz DA SD, 256/40, $549.95
  • 800 MHz QS Combo, 256/40, $399.95
  • 933 MHz QS Combo, 256/60, $449.95
  • 1.25 GHz MDD SD, 512/60, $599.95

dual CPU

  • 450 MHz dual Mystic DVD, 256/30, $229.95
  • 533 MHz dual DA DVD, 128/40, $499.95
  • 800 MHz dual QS Combo, 256/60, $599.95
  • 867 MHz dual MDD Combo, 256/60, $649.95
  • 1 GHz dual MDD SD, 512/80, $729.95
  • 1.25 GHz dual FW800 SD, 512/80, $879.95
  • 1.25 GHz dual MDD SD, 512/80, $895.95
  • 1.42 GHz dual FW800 SD, 512/120, $969.95

CPU Upgrades

Except for the Yikes! model, all G4 Power Macs use the same connector for their CPUs. That doesn’t mean you can mix and match indiscriminately – sometimes factors like the size and placement of the heat sink present a problem. In general, Sawtooth and Mystic will work with CPUs designed for a 100 MHz or 133 MHz system bus, the 167 MHz bus MDD and FW800 models will only work with CPUs designed for that bus speed, and the rest should work with almost any CPU designed for a 133 MHz bus.

Operator Headgap

When buying, please let Operator Headgap know you heard about them on Low End Mac when entering your shipping information. Thanks!

  • 400 MHz certified, $12.77 shipped
  • 500 MHz certified, $79.77 shipped
  • 800 MHz certified, $29.77 shipped

AGP Video Cards

Except for the Yikes! model, all of these Power Macs accept one AGP video card. If you want to replace that card, there are plenty of options. Be sure to check compatibility with your model. If you want to add a second video card, it has to be a PCI card – see our Power Mac G3 Deals for a listing of PCI video cards. If you need a video card that supports OpenGL2, the minimum is the Radeon 9600 or the GeForce 6600, and you’ll need at least 64 MB of VRAM. OpenGL2 also requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

DV Warehouse

Shipping may add $14 or more.

  • Rage 128 Pro AGP, 16 MB, DVI/VGA, $14.95

Operator Headgap

When buying, please let Operator Headgap know you heard about them on Low End Mac when entering your shipping information. Thanks!

  • ATI Rage Pro AGP, 16 MB, ADC/VGA, not for Sawtooth, $39.77 shipped
  • ATI Radeon 9000 Pro, 64 MB, ADC/DVI, Quicksilver and newer, $89.77 shipped
  • Nvidia FX5200, 256 MB, dual monitor support, VGA only, Core Video support, $119.77 shipped

Wegener Media

  • ATI Rage 128, 16 MB AGP video card, VGA only, $14.99

We Love Macs

  • Rage 128 Pro, 16 MB, VGA/DVI, $49.95
  • Rage 128 Pro, 16 MB, ADC/VGA, $99.95
  • Radeon 7500, 32 MB, $129.95
  • Radeon 9000, 64 MB, $199.95
  • GeForce 2 MX, 32 MB, $149.95
  • GeForce 4 MX, 64 MB, $179.95
  • GeForce Ti4600, 128 MB, $329.95

Need more power? See our Power Mac G5 Deals. Don’t need this much power? Check out our Power Mac G3 Deals.

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