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Power Macintosh 4400...Your Thoughts?


Does the 4400 suck?  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. Does the 4400 suck?

    • Yes
      8
    • No
      21


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So, I recently acquired a 4400/200, one of the most hated Macs ever. A so-called "Road Apple". Because of its metal ATX-like case, sharp insides and weird design, it is hated by many Mac lovers. But I have a confession to make...I rather like it. I've read about the problems the 4400 had, such as cheap components, which isn't a surprise as Apple deliberately cut costs on this model to make a budget machine.

 

Today, I replaced the 2GB drive with a 40GB drive, and I replaced the 8x speed CD drive with a 52x CD/DVD combo drive. The PRAM battery will need replacing soon, just need to find my spare one I have somewhere.

 

Planned upgrades:

- Already bought a Ethernet Comm Slot II card from Mike on eBay.

- Plan on finding a Sonnet ATA/133 PCI card for it, maybe.

- Need to increase the RAM from 32MB to the maximum 160MB.

- Would like to add USB to the other PCI slot.

 

Any other proud 4400 owners on the forum? I added a poll to make this a bit more interesting, so vote and explain your decision. :lol:

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I have no use for one.

 

If it is worth owning depends on what kind of stuff you like and what you plan on doing with it.

 

As an expample I have a Sun Ultra 5 machine which many people view as a generic PC'ified SUN because it uses IDE and has a common ATI Rage video chip (VGA not 13w3) instead of something exotic. For me it is great because of the size, the fact I can use a generic VGA monitor with no expensive adapters, and I have plenty of IDE drives. Since I won't be using it to compile software the IDE interface is not an issue (SCSI would be better for that task). So a SUN road Apple is just what I needed for dabbling with Solaris, others would want a more highend SUN.

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It's an odd duck. It's "PC-ness" doesn't particularly bother me. I see that as more of an insight into the evolution of the platform than as a downside. For me, the biggest drawback is the non-standard (for a Mac) RAM and low RAM ceiling. The only other PCI Mac with a lower RAM ceiling is the [56][45]00 series. 3.3V EDO RAM is difficult to find.

 

The 4400 was basically an implementation of the CHRP-predecessor LPX-40 motherboard reference design that Apple released for cloners. Motorola built some machines around that design.

 

Peace,

Drew

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Apple called the board also "Tanzania" and it was used in clones but these have PS/2 ports while the 4400 used ADB.

The 4400 is not that bad as a 5200/6200 from my view.

It is a really cheap machine to test the logic boards and and make a alternative to a cheap PC.

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I wouldn't call it "one of the most hated Macs ever". It's just kind of ... meh. Not as easy or cheap to upgrade as the contemporary PCI Macs, not as horrific as the botched 52/62xx series. It does the job, but I wouldn't cross town to get one. It's good that you got the 200MHz version.

Note that there are some significant differences between the 160 MHz and 200 MHz models in terms of memory capacity and expansion slots.

 

FWIW, I wouldn't waste big bucks on any upgrades I couldn't transfer to a better machine when one comes along.

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Fun little fact: Here in Australia the 4400 was sold as the Power Mac 7220. Exact same machine, just with a different name. Personally, I don't think they're *that* bad a machine, despite the horrible case...but as alk said...have fun hunting down RAM for that beast!

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Is the 4400 motherboard ATX form-factor? How about the back panel punch-outs? That case looks like a great big aluminum box that might be interesting for some motherboard transplants...

 

Peace,

Drew

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Fun little fact: Here in Australia the 4400 was sold as the Power Mac 7220. Exact same machine, just with a different name. Personally, I don't think they're *that* bad a machine, despite the horrible case...but as alk said...have fun hunting down RAM for that beast!

 

Apparently the change to "7220" in some areas of the world had something to do with "4" being an unlucky number in Asia.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Macintosh_4400

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My 4400 was great machine for the amount of time I had it which was around 6 months. It was replaced with an 8500 and I haven't looked back. My 4400 only had 32MB of RAM but it did have the 200MHz 603 in it which helped.

 

Since I was just getting into Mac's at the time, the speed of the machine never really bugged me as I knew it was just a trainer model for me. I got it for free and it helped me to scour e-bay in search of the machine I wanted. A friend of mine had an 8600 which I really enjoyed using, but did not like how big the case was. That is why I got an 8500. Roughly the same hardware and one of the cutest little cases I have come across. I did change my mind on the 8600 style case as I love my BeigeG3. That being said I still prefer to use my 8500.

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Apparently the change to "7220" in some areas of the world had something to do with "4" being an unlucky number in Asia.

 

At least in Japan, one of the pronunciations of "4" means "death," so the number is often avoided in places like hospitals, much like Western buildings may lack a 13th floor.

 

I don't mind the 4400, really; it's a decent performer, has an ATI video controller with upgradeable VRAM, and can use industry-standard 5.25" drives without worrying about bezels and the like. I even found a power supply out of a PC that's compatible with the one used in the 4400, so that was a first (the G3s and earliest G4s are the only other Macs I've seen that can use standard power supplies).

 

The RAM thing is kind of weak, though, especially the picky nature of it. About the only other Macs that use that type of RAM are clones, though some PCs will use it, as well, so with some hunting it's not too hard to source from recyclers and the like.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Is the 4400 motherboard ATX form-factor? How about the back panel punch-outs? That case looks like a great big aluminum box that might be interesting for some motherboard transplants...

 

Peace,

Drew

 

Nope. The board is not ATX formfactor. And the back panel is shaped for that motherboard only. See here:

 

3562121485_fac7fb4d32_o.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

The 4400 was not a bad machine, an odd-ball machine, but not a bad one. I really don't remember too many 4400's coming into my shop. Maybe one or two, never any serious issues. I kind of liked the machine, always had a place in my heart for it for some reason.

 

And the board is "LPX", not ATX.

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  • 3 months later...

I adore my 4400/200...its kinda the most important macintosh in my life, it is the reason i met the love of my life :p

but apart from this, ok its a bit ugly in comparison to other "plastic case" macs! nevertheless ive never had a single problem with it eventhought i never treated it the best way you can "treat" a machine.

Now its FUUUULLLYYY loaded with ram, sonnet G3 accelerator,2940u2b scsi card, 40 gb ide hdd + 32 GB scsi HDD,10/100 lan,dvdr, and works like a charm loading macos 9.1 and keeping my "Classic OS" collection of programs.

 

viva 4400! (burp) :o)

 

Nikitas

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a Motorola StarMax 3000, which is, from what I've read, identical to a PowerMac 4400. I found it in the trash in NYC almost a decade ago, so I named it after a kitty I also found in the streets of NYC - GrittyKitty.

 

It's been running NetBSD since I got it, and it's been amazingly stable. It does NAT, dhcp, routes IPv6 over a gif tunnel, runs BIND, Apache, nfs, and has a PCI serial card to which is connected a GPS device which makes it into a stratum 1 NTP time server. Over the years I've found the two 64 meg DIMMs and the one 32 meg DIMM to bring it to the maximum 160 megs, plus I added a 240 MHz G3 with 512k L2 cache CPU card in the motherboard cache slot.

 

If for no other reason than the fact that it's completely 100% stable, I am a huge fan.

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