It looks damn cool. I expect it's extremely quiet. They've dropped that crappy-looking partially transparent plastic crap and gone with fully transparent perspex; I like that. It's small and light, something which I would love since I move my computer every couple of days.

It also has less balls than a castrated squirrel.

Take a look at the specs on it: G4 450, 64 megs of RAM, a 20 gig IDE hard drive. I mean, come on... 450? I paid a whole $50 AUD for my CPU and it runs at 450MHz (Cel300A @ 450, in case you were wondering). Yeah, I know, G4's are quicker than P3's at the same clock speed. I don't give a damn. 450 is pathetic. You've got to have a pretty major efficiency bonuses over the P3 to be able to make up the difference between 450MHz and 600MHz, which seems to be a fairly entry-level speed for a new system nowadays.

64 megs of RAM. Say what? 64? Is that video RAM or system RAM? 64 is absolutely pathetic. 64 just barely squeezes Quake 3 in. I'm running 96 at the moment, and it's nowhere near enough, especially when I'm doing dev work in Linux. I'll be shelling out for another 64 in the next few weeks, even though I have no regular income. I need it that badly.

20 gig IDE hard drive. Yeah, not bad. But you can do a lot better for very little extra money.

DVD-ROM... yeah, why not. I'd really like to see a burner in it so people can save all these huge movies they're supposedly creating with the box.

ATI Rage 128. Eh? What the hell? It's AGP at least, which is an improvement over previous Mac's (yeah, I know, 66MHz PCI)... but... Rage 128? No... Balls... Whatsoever. These are the days of the GeForce II, people. I run a Rage 128 on my wrist-mounted webserver running off a PIC (ok, maybe not, but still...) You cannot seriously expect to market the thing as a gaming machine and include a Rage 128.

The case... yeah, it's sexy all right. If I were putting together a server of some sort, I wouldn't mind something like that. But a server is like my desktop box. You put it somewhere that it's not going to get in the way... like on the floor, or in a cupboard. It's small, yeah, and looks incredibly nice, but I'm not going to see it. If anything, it's going to get knocked over easier when I kick it.

Apart from that, it's got the usual Mac complement of built-in gadgets. USB, FireWire, AirPort, ethernet, modem, etc. And it should, because there's no PCI slots in this thing, so you can't put them in yourself if you need to.

If I was given a Power Mac G4 Cube for free, I sure as hell wouldn't complain. It looks damn well nice, and as soon as I got rid of that excuse for an OS called MacOS 9 and replaced it with Linux, I'd probably be happy. But many of its features would be lost on me; a computer's size, noise and aesthetics are irrelevant to me, because I simply don't see the things. I would be extremely peeved at the lack of RAM; I wouldn't even trust a game server to run smoothly on 64 megs for any length of time.

Besides, what good is a computer if you can't overclock it? I bet that G4 gets hot enough as it is without a fan :-)


Ryano: well put. I have to agree there's probably people who go for a things like the PMG4C... I'm not one of them (obviously). I have my computer so I can compile code, suck up bandwidth and talk to people. The more of that I can do at any given time, the better. If I'm going to improve the look of my computer, I'll fiddle with my window manager settings; I don't spend much time looking at the box (which sits on the floor). For what little money I have, I need the quickest possible equipment, and PMG4C is definitely not the way to go there. If I had the money to spare, it would make a fantastic lan party server; the tiny size being the main attraction there. But for my money? Nah. Sorry :-)
You will not convince me that the G4 Cube sucks. All de-frag has given us are reasons why he needs a more powerful computer. So the Cube is not a beefy monster - so what? Go out and buy your "ballsy" system with an Athlon overclocked beyond the limits of reason, a government-classified graphics card, DVD-RAM and whatever else turns you on. Just don't come crying to me when you can't get it to fit in an 8 inch cube.

Computers are not one size fits all. There is room for beautiful creations like this Cube, as well as muscular horrorstories like de-frag's dream system. This thing will never fit the requirements of somebody who is hung up on expandability, overclocking etc. However, it fits my requirements almost to the letter. I can't think of any limitation that would affect me substantially that couldn't be corrected by adding more RAM (up to 1.5 Gig).

So please. Be cool.

Having said all this, it would be legitimate to point out Apple's failings at the top end of the the market. Any number of cube-like contraptions are justified as long as the Macintosh power user is served by an expandable, powerful system. Personally, I think the Powermac G4 fulfils this role admirably, but if you think otherwise, you are welcome to rant.


de-frag, you're a gent.
de-frag: In defense of the G4/450 processor, I think you're really missing the point. The PowerPC is vastly different than i386 based CPUs. The Celeron 450 you have is really a grossly overclocked 386, and don't forget how many corners they had to cut just to get to that 450, forget about getting them all the way up to 1 GHz.

The other thing to remember is that the PowerPC underwent a severe upgrade around 1997. The 1st generation PPCs (the 601, 603, 603e, 604, 604e, and other variations) have almost nothing in common with the 750 (G3), 7400 (G4 350-500), and 7450 (G4 466-733) besides the instruction set. i386 CPUs are more or less the same architecture, up until the Pentium 4, which seriously would have started a fire inside the case without some major architecture changes.

So, to address your statements about the clockspeed having anything whatsoever to do with the actual speed of the CPU is rediculous. The G4/450 could easily roll your Celeron up and smoke it. The "higher efficiency rating" exists and then some. When you talk about G4/450s and G4/500s, you're talking about the equivalent of a real, full fledged Athlon, of maybe 800 or so MHz. And remember that Athlons have working caches and pipes, which are questionable on the Celeron.

In conclusion, CPU clock speed is a not a valid point of comparsion between two different architectures.

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