This is assuming all of user55's PCI cards will not be needed on the new machine.
Besides, if you buy the Mac mini, you are stuck with the graphics that are built-in, as well as the inability to use whatever cards were resident on the older Mac. user55 might be better off buying a G4 tower if possible.
I was thinking macs were quite similar to the PCs in which i've been installing faster processors. Can't swap faster processors in like units? G3-300 to G3-400 ?The only PCI slot taken up is the USB PCI card I installed, there are two more available. I'll have to work around OS X 10.2.8.
You can get a used G4 from someone for a few hundred dollars. Panther is selling now for $50 or less. Mac minis are a good deal for some people, but not for everyone. I personallly would rather have my tower.
G4's are not cheap - macs hold their value to a silly level. for a g4 tower for £450 you would probably be paying £1 per MHz, get a crap pci Rage GFX card and basically a wheezy system - my brother has the machine i'm thinking of. it sucks. look on ebay to to see my point
for £450, a mini is 3 times the speed, will have the latest graphics and ilife 05, tiger preinstalled (always better than upgrading) and looks a damn sight better.
This is true, Burns, and thankfully user55 can go this route since the only card is the USB one. However, if someone has invested a lot of money on add-on cards a Mac mini won't help.
As for the upgrades, it can be done thanks to third party vendors that supply the processor upgrades, but they aren't officially supported by Apple in OS X. OS X will work, but you might experience some minor hiccups along the way and if this is the case Apple can't help you. But most people that have upgraded usually haven't had too many issues.
Consider also that on the PC side, most motherboards only take a certain number of processors. My ABIT NF7-S currently has an Athlon XP 2400+, but it can take a Barton processor with a 333 MHz bus. Unfortunately, that doesn't give me much longevity since only a few of these were made before the 400 MHz FSB CPUs were standard, and my revision (1.2) won't handle 400 MHz even with a BIOS upgrade. I would need the 2.0 revision mobo. So truely it's not that much different with Macs. They have some upgradeability CPU-wise, but after a point it's not worth upgrading and you would be better served by a newer Mac.
Hey there wait a minute. The Mac I'm working on is just a learning machine. I wanted to upgrade a group of ten that I got for $7 each(my sources are secret, slight issues with OS 9.2, batteries weak,but useable).These units came equipped with, 300MHz processor, 8GB HDD,256 MB RAM. 24X CD drive, Zip drive, OS 9.2. By learning on this one my goal was to make them attractive to potential buyers. I figured that by updating to OS X, adding a 5 port USB (4 ext, 1 int), possibly increasing the processor speed, replacing the HDD to 40GB, upgrading the CD drive to CD-RW, bumping the RAM from 256 to 512, leaving them with the 100MB zip drives,might do the trick. I've done all this on the one I'm working on except for the processor.I could possibly part out these units and make more money, in fact the 256 MB RAM that each came with alone would more than double my investment but my core values say fix 'em, sell 'em, and learn from 'em. These computers are old, but still viable for internet, basic office chores, and making audio CDs and I get my parts cheap. The one I'm working on now downloads on cable internet at the max available. I might just keep it to learn more and to hone my Mac skills. I'm new to the Macintosh and its OS, but I've found that Apple's proprietary interference turns people off. Sorry guys , but that's a view from a newbie and I want to like Macs. The deal about the processor speed was a might deal not a done deal (again, think cheap). I'll look into a slight OC'ing, but in my experience I've found that unless you can get a noticeable difference, it's not worth the stability risk. Especially with these general purpose units. But I'll play with that anyway. These machines would be great starter units for kids who don't have computers and want one at a good price. After all, unless you are into gaming or video editing what's the difference?Thanks for the input.
As for the interface, it's a subjective issue. I started on Macs and loved the interface (this was back at System 7.x). When I tried a Windows machine (even with Windows 95), I thought it was horrendous. It made absolutely no sense to me. However, I did take the time to LEARN how to use it (albeit a bit painful ) and I now know two operating systems. Same happened when playing with Linux, although the tinkerer in me at this point fell in love with Linux because of its flexibility. Now I know three. Same thing with OS X (although it was a little easier since it was similar to the Classic Finder). Now that's four.
I've said this before, but it deserves mentioning again. If people were more open to LEARN how the OS functions, it wouldn't be so bad an experience. they really aren't THAT much different....you are still dealing with a WIMP interface (windows, icons, menus, pointing device).
Granted, everyone always expects to experience what they originally are familiar with (like my Mac OS to Windows saga) and is disappointed, but if you really want to learn you have to be open, and that's what I tell everyone that is looking to switch from Windows to Mac OS X. Not everyone does the same thing, so not everyone will prefer the same method of doing things. Thank God for choice, eh?