Power consumption of older Macs (Lampshade?)

Discussion in 'All Things Apple' started by scootermaster, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. scootermaster

    scootermaster Platinum Member

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    So, I was thinking about buying a lampshade iMac, installing some lightweight distro of Linux and using it as a digital picture frame/clock/weather widget. I think I can get one of these for about $50ish, and presumably the 800mhz and 256/512 ram will be enough for this task.

    But my question is power consumption. Does anyone know how much these guys draw? Know where I could find out?

    Thanks
     
  2. CA19100

    CA19100 Senior member

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    I actually owned one of those years ago, and it was a fantastic little computer. Even swapped the DVD drive out for a burner without too much fuss.

    Anyway, to answer your question, the 15" model listed its max power draw as 130 watts.
     
  3. Mixolydian

    Mixolydian Lifer

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    Mactracker.
     
  4. umrigar

    umrigar Platinum Member

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    Linux will run on a PPC Mac, but there is NO Flash support, if you need it.

    bear in mind linux on Macs is a subset of linux, and PPC linux is a subset of that small subset. there is little support and lots of frustration.

    you'd be better off with Tiger 10.4.11, honestly.
     
  5. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    Where are you going to get one for $50?

    I run 10.5.8 on mine, mainly for compatibility, but some would suggest 10.4.11 might be the best because it has less overhead.

    I gave up on the Linux idea because everyone says it's a royal PITA to run PPC Linux on Macs.
     
  6. scootermaster

    scootermaster Platinum Member

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    Thanks for the responses guys.

    130 watts max, eh? That's probably too high to have on constantly. But I guess I can deal with that later.

    I've seen 'em on CL for $50.

    My ideal scenario is to have a simple interface (one button, really. A keyboard would be too unwieldy. I'm trying to figure how to do this). One "screen" is a slide show, one is a full screen weather widget, and maybe one has sports scores or tweets or something (full screen). Hitting the button switches between them. That's all I'd need this thing to do.

    I remember a screen switcher I used on my old G4 PowerBook that had a cool "cube" animation between desktops ("Desktop Manager" maybe? it was for 10.4). That would work (presumably I could assign a hot key to do the switching). The only bummer is having all those apps running at once will increase CPU usage and therefore power consumption.

    Anyway, that's what I want to do. I think it'd be pretty cool!
     
  7. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    iMac G4 800 15", with Mac OS X 10.5.8:

    Off: 1 Watt
    Bootup: Up to about 75 Watts
    Idle: 50 Watts
    Downloading iTunes update: 55 Watts
    Downloading iTunes update with screen dimmed: 45 Watts
    Installing iTunes update: Just over 70 Watts
    Flurry screensaver: 55 Watts
     
  8. mmntech

    mmntech Lifer

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    How does Leopard run on it. I found my iBook G4 1.33ghz bogged down a lot under 10.5. They do have slow 4200rpm hard drives though.
     
  9. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    Funny you should ask.

    I just downgraded my iBook G4 1.07 GHz from 10.5.8 today.

    When 10.5 first came out, it wasn't too bad surfing in Safari, even though Leopard is a bit more bloated than Tiger 10.4. However, now websites seem much more complicated, and I've noticed that sites feel a lot slower than they used to. The main problem is that everything seems memory intensive and I'm paging out on 10.5.8 a lot. Another part of the problem is probably that 10.5.8 uses Safari 5 which I think likely also uses a bigger footprint, but 10.4.11 and earlier versions of 10.5 use Safari 4.

    I'm back on 10.4.11 / Safari 4.1.3 now. With plug-ins (aka Flash) turned off, it definitely feels faster than 10.5.8 / Safari 5.0.6 (also with plug-ins off). I'm thrashing to disk a lot less.

    The drive I'm using is a Toshiba MK6021GAS 60 GB 4200 rpm drive. It's faster than the original stock drive (which died a few years ago), but in retrospect I think I should have put in a 5400 or 7200 rpm drive. Note that you can get ATA SSDs to use in the iBook but it seems rather pointless to put in a $145 60 GB SSD in an iBook. You'd be better off just getting a Nexus 7 tablet for $200.
     
  10. mmntech

    mmntech Lifer

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    The iBook has been mothballed for some time now actually. It doesn't even play Flash videos anymore so it's really only useful as a file server at the moment. If I'm going to spend money on an SSD, it'll go in my late 2008 Macbook. Ha, actually hard to believe I've had it that long.
     
  11. scootermaster

    scootermaster Platinum Member

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    Wow, that's great. I would assume a clock would be roughly the same as the screensaver. I just need to figure out how much 50-60 Watts costs in my parts.

    But great responses guys, I appreciate it.

    Does anyone know if this'll do wireless with a USB adapter, or do I have to spring for the Airport card? I would assume this would be infinitely easier if I got a USB 2.0 model, but I think those are rarer.

    Ideas?
     
  12. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    P.S. The iBook is 1.25 GB RAM. I'm glad I'm not just limited to 512 MB. That would be painful. I'm thinking I might just downgrade my iMac G4 800 (which has 1 GB RAM) as well. It's not quite as bad though since it has a 7200 rpm WD1600BB desktop drive in it.

    I'm not as concerned about 10.5 compatibility advantages anymore, since all I ever do with these G4s is surf the net and check email. The only software I need is Office, and Office 2008 supports 10.4.9 or higher. The drivers for both my printers also support 10.4.

    For some reason my 10.4.11 won't automatically update to iTunes 9. It's stuck on iTunes 8. However, I just manually downloaded 9.2.1 and installed it. Same goes for Airport Utility 4.2. I had to manually download Airport Utility 5.4.2.

    55 W x 24 hrs = 1.3 kWhr per day, or about 10-15¢ per day around here I'm guessing, so in most places in North America it probably should be say under $6 per month.

    The Airport cards for these are pretty expensive. However, they work well. I haven't used the USB adapters.

    Aren't the USB 2.0 models much more expensive?
     
  13. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    Do you think that the Airport card from a G4 PowerBook would work in a G4 iMac?

    Looking at Lowendmac, it seems the only G4 iMacs with USB 2 were the 1.25 GHz models. I keep thinking about picking up one of the 20" G4s to mess around with, to me it is one of the best looking computer designs of all time.
     
  14. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    IIRC, the 802.11b cards from the PowerBooks were the same as the ones in the iMacs, and the 802.11g cards from the later Powerbooks were also the same as the ones in the later iMacs.

    However, the 802.11b and 802.11g cards are different form factors from each other.

    802.11b:

    [​IMG]

    802.11g:

    [​IMG]

    Only the 802.11g version is really recommended, since the 802.11b cards don't support WPA2. Unfortunately, that really limits your choices for the iMac.

    Specs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMac_G4

    I have a 1.25 GHz 20" iMac with USB 2 as well. The USB 2 is nice, but truthfully it's so slow it doesn't get used much either. It's too slow to run anything Flash related these days, so effectively it's just a casual surfer and email-class machine. Actually, I don't even use it for that. I just use it at work store and display images, but I might just stop doing that too and instead just store everything on a 64 GB flash drive. (At the time I brought my iMac to work, my work computer was an old crappy low-capacity Win 2000 machine, but it was replaced with an XP machine several years ago.)

    Like with my 15" iMac G4 800, I think I'll just downgrade it to 10.4.11 and stick it in a guest room or something.
     
  15. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    Well hey, if you decide to unload the 20", let me know.
     
  16. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    Heh. I'd consider it, but I live in Canada. Shipping the 20" is a real pain, and really expensive, esp. cross-border. Plus this one isn't in the greatest shape anymore. You might try finding something more local.

    Mind you, I too many G4 Macs now:

    Cube G4 450 MHz (with flashed PC GeForce 6200)
    Cube G4 1.7 GHz (with flashed PC GeForce 6200)
    15" iMac G4 800 MHz
    20" iMac G4 1.25 GHz <-- Feels faster than the Cube 1.7
    iBook G4 1.07 GHz <-- The only one in active use right now.

    Maybe I should start a G4 museum or something. ;)
     
  17. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    Ooh, a cube too... mmm. Yea, looking in the US is probably advised for the shipping.

    I wouldn't mind picking up a busted Cube, see how hard it would be to mod it to mini-itx.
     
  18. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    Ah, the memories - didn't I originally meet you over on the G4 Owner's forum?

    I've been pondering an Intel NUC upgrade for my Cube. I liked the idea of a Mini-ITX, but I could slip the NUC in there stock without doing much cutting....
     
  19. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    You could fit like 4 NUCs in there.
     
  20. slashbinslashbash

    slashbinslashbash Golden Member

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    Geeze, that Cube 1.7 must be pretty rare. Sonnet really had a crazy niche business for a while there. I've got a B&W G3 that's upgraded to a 450MHz Sonnet G4. I'll keep that machine forever, it can run a lot of the old OS8/OS9 stuff.
     
  21. Eug

    Eug Lifer

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    I was a member of the Cube Owner forum if that's what you mean. Perhaps we did meet there.

    Yeah, Sonnet 1.7. It originally displayed 0 MHz (but ran at 1.7 GHz) which along with the original OS 9 firmware update was a pain. However, later they released an OS X update firmware updater which also updated it to display 1.7 GHz. Leopard 10.5 actually installs natively on the thing (since Apple's cutoff is 867 MHz).

    It required a fan, but interestingly the Cube has a spot specifically designed for an 80 mm fan. I installed one but undervolted it to keep the Cube silent. Worked great for years as a VPN machine before I finally retired it for a dual-core Atom + SSD in that role.

    BTW, I am currently cloning my iBook G4 10.4.11 install over to my iMac 15". I just realized that bringing the iBook there completes my G4 wall!

    [​IMG]

    The start of my museum? ;)

    Fire Dino is a Firewire hub.
    Oh and I miss target mode in the Intel era.
     
  22. TheStu

    TheStu Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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    Target Disk Mode still exists on any mac with FireWire or Thunderbolt. That still excludes a few Macs, but not that many:
    MacBook Air Revs 1-4 (so this would be the 3 revs of the original design, and the first rev of the current design)
    Aluminum MacBook (the 13" NOT Pro)

    That's a nice display you have there, especially if they are all working.

    Also, how nice is it that due to Apple's hardware control, you can just clone installs between devices and it just works? The answer is SO nice.
     
    #22 TheStu, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  23. scootermaster

    scootermaster Platinum Member

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    While we're on the subject of not being on the subject: Let's all take a moment to give a big EFF YOU to Ikea for discontinuing the metallic "Stolmen" shelving system, and replacing it with a ridiculously ugly white version.

    I saw that pic and was like "those might work perfectly!" went on to the ikea website...and nothing. Sucks.

    ***

    Anyway, I have a bunch of other things to do to get my new apartment ready, but when I get the chance I'll report back with what I've done.

    I'll even have a couple of other Apple-related mods to share.


    Final question: Anyone have any bright ideas about networking? Obviously a WPA2-enabled airport card is best (although if someone hacked the system, who cares? There's nothing on it). But that limits the models that work. Second best, I guess, is a USB2.0 model with a networking stick? Anyone tried this? I guess another option is an ethernet bridge (or DD-WRT router) but that's not quite as elegant, if only for the power consumption and extra plastic box).

    I'm not 100% sure it'll be in an ethernet-accessible area. So what do you think is the best way to connect this?
     
  24. slashbinslashbash

    slashbinslashbash Golden Member

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    Agreed! I have a Stolmen setup as a sort of non-enclosed closet area in my condo. I bought it several years ago with the silver/unpainted poles. I went to Ikea a couple of weeks ago wanted to expand it and damn, it's all this ugly white stuff! Fortunately I was still able to get most of what I wanted, and there is a potential that I can "hide" a white pole by putting it on the end where it's mostly covered up, but damn.

    And don't get me started on the discontinuation of the "Jerker" desk series. Those things were friggin' AWESOME. Fortunately, I managed to pick up a few extras on Craigslist.
     
  25. manly

    manly Diamond Member

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    until today, I had left Safari 4.0.4 on Leopard. Similar machine to your iBook, but I only use it for iTunes (too lazy to move the media library off). So the old, crusty Safari wasn't an issue.

    Unfortunately, the App store wasn't allowing any downloads (the Free/$ button would "click" but do nothing). I capitulated by installing Safari 5.0.6, figuring it was a WebKit issue. Well the (Free/$) buy button does work now in iTunes, but I don't feel like answering Apple's security questions lol.

    Off the top of my head, the USB WiFi adapters should work with any Leopard Mac (assuming the dongle/chipset advertises a Mac driver). They're pretty commonplace nowadays and only about $10 (or less).
     
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