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Thread: G3 Blue & White 400 ...buy now?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    12

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    Greetings,

    What do the Guru's (or owners of) think about the Yosemite B&W G3 400? I am a casual user with no great demands to put on the system. I understand the 400mhz is the one to get. They seem reasonable, price wise and abundant. I'm undecided about getting one to upgrade from my PPC 8600/300 with a G4 Sonnet or hold off and get the new low end G4 tower. The B&W seems like a good buy at right around $600 on average with the matching 17" monitor and fairly expandable. I despise my cheap bargain basement monitor I currently have so I could kill two birds so to speak. I've always purchased my Mac's one step behind the current offerings, saving $$ and upgrading to my satisfaction.

    Is the B&W still viable and can I expect to get a few (how many?) good years out of it before frustration once again sets in?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

    ib

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    York, PA, USA
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    339

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    The B&W's are great machines. First, you get the 100 mhz bus, which you can do more with than your 8600 (which I think is at 50). The G4 XLR8 cards for the B&W is 299 bucks now (that's for the 500, I think the 400 is 220). A lot of the people on here run G3s with G4 cards in them. You can also check out xlr8yourmac.com for more info.

    My mom uses a Blue G3/300 and she is a non-power user (e-mail, web, letters in Word). I am going to upgrade the machine to OS X this weekend and see how it goes. Check Mac of all trades. They seem to have some of the best prices on used equipment (I think they have blue G3/300 for 499 right now).

    -Anthony

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Mobius Strip
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    if you already had one, worth upgrading. If you plan on running OS X, I'd look for one of the many G4/533 and up ref'd deals instead.

    You want 512MB RAM for OS X, G4/450. FireWire is "iffy" and there are some limitations on SCSI support. Rev 1's are what you usually find and that has the limitation in the rev 1 of only supporting a single IDE drive, comes with the smaller 512k L2.

    I'd say the B&W G3/450 w/ DVD will command a higher price but might be ideal. If you PLAN to upgrade anyway, get the G3/300 or something and add IDE PCI or SCSI and a new cpu. You really need cpu upgrade and some other goodies likely. Even if only PCI IDE controller. There is a wealth of info over on www.xlr8yourmac.com that outlines FW, IDE, cpu upgrades, scsi, etc.

    Yes it is very viable and runs 9.2.2 like a champ. OS X also. it was a "beta" test bed for Apple - a transition from the Beige to the G4 that was only out for 9 months, and the last models were produced nearly three yrs ago - very short life. It has a "pseudo" SCSI controller for older compatibility, does not tolerate SDRAM slower than 10 ns (which is what they shipped with) and it didn't get a lot of developer exposure it seems - maybe Apple wanted a surprise, wasn't ready, needed a "transitional" machine while awaiting G4 chips and testing.

    It does very well with a G4 which turns it into a Yikes! or PCI Sawtooth level machine.

    The IDE controller is ATA/33 which while acceptable with a good upgraded disk drive, was very slow and small - but I assume you have a disk drive to drop in already.

    A QS G4/733 for $1300 would be my vote. I'm waiting for DDR-400, fast system bus. I was hoping for a dual G4/500 from xlr8 but I'm beginning there are too many engineering and technical challenges - maybe one of which might be the lack of Apple's blessing to the inner workings on how to make it happen.

    Of course some of the fun is upgrading and learning.

    However, one last note.
    There seem to be frequent mentions of a working B&W "all of a sudden" having trouble that I see lately on forums.

    Gregory

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    miami, fl, usa
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    545

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    You mentioned an estimated price of $600, I doubt you could get a G4 for that cheap, but if I was going to get a new world Mac, I would try to sqeak out the extra bucks and get a refurbished G4. If you do get a BW G3, make sure it is not the rev 1 motherboard, as previously mentioned. The rev 1 IDE controller could only support one internal drive so if you want ot add another, you will be forced to buy an IDE PCI card and use one of your slots. Besides the wealth of info at xlr8yourmac, check out lowendmac, they have good basic info and comparisons. With the future in the new OSX, a G4 is fast becoming a minimum system desire, so I would keep that in mind. On the other hand though, I just completed upgrading my 7500 with the XLR8 Carrier and the ZIF from a 350 mhz BW G3 and it does make for a quicker machine. I am only using it to convert old vinyl and cassettes into digital AIFF but it is stable with OS8.6 and allows me to keep using my ancient SCSI scanner and CDRW.
    I also have a refurbished G4 500 AGP and use it for editing the sound files with OSX, it cooks along very nicely.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
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    I like my B&W. One thing though, for the costs of the upgrades I could have had a AGP graphics G4 witth ease.

    500 G4 XLR8= $300
    Radeon PCI graphics= $200
    B&W+ $6-700
    ---------------------------------------
    upgraded B&W= At least $1100.00.

    I don't think that the B&W didn't support slaves on the rev 1, that was only the Beige G3 rev1. The problem was a data corruption issue with the IDE controller. Easily fixed with the addition of a ATA100 or ATA133 host card, but then you've added to the price making the AGP graphics G4 that much more of a responsible purchase.

    I like my B&W. It has been very reliable aand useful, wih the XLR8 500 G4 it really handles OSX well.But today I would look for a AGP graphics model unless you really want to play upgrade games with your computer, without some added speed like a faster cpu and graphics card the B&W is truly below OSX minimums.

    Rick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    arlington,vermont
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    826

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    check out J&R Music...they are selling brand new G4 555's for under a thousand bucks. I can't imagine settling for a B&W G3...FWIW.
    http://www.jandr.com/JRProductPage.p...uct_Id=2772232

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    NW Montana
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    8,197

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    Find a AGP port machine - do... I looked and read a lot. That means an early G4 400/450/500MHz this also bumps the graphic port 2X and the 100MHz bus, 4 PCI slots, expansion bays. You can find one from $500 - $800 bucks some with nice add ons if you look around.

    Apple G4 comparsions... http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58418

    Randy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    1,333

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    That 533 is the Educational one - i.e. no CD-RW and with the lower end graphics.. Still - not a bad price, our bookstore still has one but they want $1700 for it (CDN). Better deal if you can find one with the CD-RW... Or even a dual 533.

    Chris

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