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Used Mac for Web/Mail Server (Purchasing Advice)
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fulmer
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tokyo
 
2004-09-24, 03:51

I'm looking at buying a used Mac to setup as a server.
I currently have an old iMac G3 350MHz running as the server. I upgraded the HD and RAM, but since it's got the CRT built in (which I don't use) it's kinda bulky.

I was hoping to get a used cube somewhere, but they're all pretty expensive still.
I found a bare-bones (no HD or RAM) B&W G3 450MHz tower for around $200 US (19,800 yen). I'm thinking that would be ok to have.

What are your suggestions?
Keep looking for a used cube for less than $400 US?
Buy the G3 tower?
Other?

I don't need a HD or RAM... Heck, I don't even need a CD-ROM for now either... Just bare-bones (case, MB, CPU...)

If I go with the G3 tower, I may want to upgrade the CPU to a G4 someday with one of the upgrade kits.

Dual 2GHz G5 PowerMac | 1.33GHz G4 PowerBook 12" | 1.66GHz CoreDuo Mac Mini
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kretara
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Join Date: May 2004
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2004-09-24, 09:15

IMHO the B&W would word just fine. All you will need to do is make sure you have around 1GB of RAM in it and it runs pretty fast. I have a B&W that I upgraded from G3 350mhz to G4 450mhz, gobs of RAM and newer HD and it still runs 10.3 nicely.
I don't know about a cube for a server. Cubes are great, but they are still fairly expensive. For the price of a Cube (in the States) you could buy a Quicksilver. Plus the upgrade ability of the Cube is missing. You will be limited to only 1 HD.

I know that this is a Mac forum and all but depending on what you will be doing with the server you might look at an AMD/Intel type PC running Linux. I've got two old Dell 450mhz running Debian and they are very fast and were free.
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fulmer
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tokyo
 
2004-09-26, 21:29

Hey thanks for the reply!

The main reasons I was looking for the Cube are (in order of importance):
1) I live in Japan (space is at a premium!!)
2) Headless (don't need a monitor, VNC!! kinda fits in with #1)
3) Quiet (my wife always complains about my PM G5, and it's freaking QUIET!)
4) Gigabit Ethernet (my current iMac G3 isn't upgradeable, the B&W G3 comes with 10/100, but I can upgrade that with a PCI card)

I'm not too concerned about expandability. If I need more HD space, I can always hookup an external FW400 HD. That would be plenty. It would basically be just for web/mail/file/music serving so it's not going to be taxed too much. It's all personal stuff, no business, so it's not going to get much over a few 100MB (not including my iTunes collection which is already 35GB)

[EDIT]I'd like to stick with OS X for ease of use. I used to have a 1.1GHz Celeron Linux machine running as my server, but it was a pain in the butt to administrate. With all the cool tools available for OS X, it just makes it easier. I work for IT, dealing with Winbloz problems all day long... I want to come home to something that's easy... and works [/EDIT]

Dual 2GHz G5 PowerMac | 1.33GHz G4 PowerBook 12" | 1.66GHz CoreDuo Mac Mini
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2004-09-26, 21:51

Considering this is just for personal serving, here are a few tips for you:

1 - 10/100 Ethernet is fast enough. unless someone is hitting your server every second requesting big files, your bandwidth is fine.

2 - a B&W G3 is actually going to be bulkier than the iMac, when all things are considered. The iMac is shorter and shallower, but wider.

3 - The iMac is quieter, by far, and will support OS X.

4 - If you can find a cheap Cube, go that route. The upgradeability is better than most people will admit for the file service you are talking about. You can always attach a small-footprint 250 GB Firewire drive if you need more HDD. You just need one with a CD (no burner), 10/100, replace the HDD with a monster and max the RAM. Plus, they are super-quiet. However, like the G3 B&W, you will need a monitor for initial setup.

I use a G3 iMac for file service and would only replace it with a Cube, for space considerations.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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fulmer
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tokyo
 
2004-09-27, 00:32

Thanks for your reply!!

I've got my Dual 2GHz G5 sitting on a wire rack with the iMac next to it. Then I've got an old APC UPS (huge bugger) sitting next to that. I've got no space left. I'm not too worried about height, more about width. That's why I was considering the G3 B&W PM. If I could find a Cube (barebone) for less than $400 US, I'd be very happy!!

You're right, 10/100 is enough for most stuff. I've got FTTH (fiber) at home, so I've got PLENTY of bandwidth. Most homes here in Japan have ADSL or FTTH, so their bandwidth is anywhere from 8Mb to 100Mb. I've got an Airport base station hooked directly to my modem, so it's only 10/100. I won't be getting anymore bandwidth out because of that (and it's not really necessary anyway because FTTH is only 5Mb upload). Anyway, the main reason I was hoping for the Gigabit was for file sharing between the G5 and the server. Transferring 100MB files over Gigabit is much nicer .

You stated in #3 that the iMac will support OS X. Doesn't the G3 PM also support OS X?

Dual 2GHz G5 PowerMac | 1.33GHz G4 PowerBook 12" | 1.66GHz CoreDuo Mac Mini

Last edited by fulmer : 2004-09-27 at 00:41.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2004-09-27, 00:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by fulmer
You stated in #3 that the iMac will support OS X. Doesn't the G3 PM also support OS X?
http://www.apple.com/macosx/upgrade/requirements.html


Yes.
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fulmer
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tokyo
 
2004-09-27, 00:44

Thanks Brad,

I thought so, but was thrown off by his comment
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kretara
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2004-09-27, 08:16

Since you are so constrained for space and are not doing any 'mission critical' stuff then a Cube would be perfect.
On the B&W. While it is narrower than the iMac it is much louder. If you are looking for something quiter, can't find a Cube and want the G3 style box than I would suggest a single processor Quicksilver. I have a 733 and its is very quite. From what I remember, the single processor Digital Audio Macs were also pretty quite. At least they were much quiter than a B&W.
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ast3r3x
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Join Date: May 2004
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2004-09-27, 08:37

I have a single 733MHz Digital Audio G4, and a 400MHz G3. The G4 is much louder I would say.
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2004-09-27, 09:22

This might have been mentioned, but if you go with a Cube, it can only handle up to 136GB's internally. Externally anything goes.
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fulmer
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tokyo
 
2004-09-27, 10:24

I think I'm leaning more towards the cube...
My wifes priorities are a little different then mine.....SSSHHHH!!!!



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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2004-09-27, 14:31

Somewhere on the net I found a company that makes upgrade 1U server boxes for iMac G3 innards. This would be a great route for you as the fool things are tiny and take all of your iMac's guts, except the monitor, and they are pretty cheap ($400). I just can't remember where I found them.

Also, sorry my comment on #3 above threw you off. I did not mean to make it seem as though the B&W would not run OS X.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2004-09-27, 14:33

Never mind. I found it:

http://www.marathoncomputer.com/irac.html
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fulmer
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tokyo
 
2004-09-28, 22:53

Thanks everyone for your input...
I went down to Akihabara (Electronic Town ) yesterday and searched for a used Cube.
The only ones I found were full systems (not barebones) for around $600-$900 US.
Way more than I was wanting to spend right now... Maybe in a year or two the price might drop to the size of my wallet

I ended up getting the barebones B&W G3 450MHz for $200.
It is pretty quiet, but not silent. Also, it's a little bigger than I was hoping for, but almost 1/2 the width of the old iMac. I think I'll be happy with it for a year or so. Next year maybe I'll join the exclusive club of Cube owners

Dual 2GHz G5 PowerMac | 1.33GHz G4 PowerBook 12" | 1.66GHz CoreDuo Mac Mini
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