Recommended hardware spec

Hi all

This is my first post so thanks in advance for any advice.

Long story cut short - I’ve been writing a novel using a decent piece of software on a PC, but something tells me Scrivener is going to improve all aspects of my writing. So, I’m thinking of picking up a second hand Mac (PC, not laptop - no point spending the extra £’s right now) to see how I get on with it. Options include a mini G4 1.25GHz 1Gb - will this be sufficiently quick enough?

Thanks again

PS I should add the machine will be running 10.5.8

If your primary use is scrivener and built in apps, then yes. If possible look for an intel machine as that will give you more forward compatibility (intel is the future for OSX PPC support it being dropped).

Hi Jaysen

I’m looking to spend as little as possible (within reason) hence an Intel option is probably unlikely at present. And yes, the machine will be used only for Scrivener and perhaps the occasional bit of surfing/research gathering.

Main objective is to get a cheap desktop (£150 for the aforementioned mini Mac) and give Scrivener a whirl. If all works out well then I’ll look at getting something like a Macbook Pro within a few weeks or months. I’m just hesitant about spending the extra £’s up front in case the experiment doesn’t work out.


Quick thought… if you don’t like OSX/Scriv then an Intel Mac can be used for windows. It is just another laptop.

The machine you mention will be adequate for general use. Avoid bloated software like M$ office for Mac. You should be OK for Open/Neo-office or iWork. Scriv will run just fine.


While the machine you are intended to buy would be absolutely fine to run Scrivener, an Intel machine would be a better choice in general for running 10.5.8. Leopard was optimised for Intel machines, and Tiger tends to run faster on PPC machines. On the other hand, if, as you say, you just want to buy cheap machine so you can see how things go and then upgrade to an Intel machine at a later date if you like the Mac, then the Mac Mini would be a good choice. The main issue I have heard about running Leopard on a PPC machine is that typing can be slower.

Also, remember that we don’t entirely rule out a Windows version; it’s just that we’re not at a stage to say anything definite about such a thing at the moment.

All the best,

Hi Keith

Thanks for your reply - I kind of expected there to be performance issues with an older Mini running Leopard, so I’m glad you highlighted that. I’m now leaning towards an Intel machine - would love a Macbook but will likely go with a Mini. Either way, I just need to justify the cost, e.g. £300-£700 it would appear …

No worries on the Windows version - I’m keen to get stuck into Scrivener right away because I can’t settle on any other Windows-based novel writing apps.


Hi! Hope it’s okay for me to jump in. I just wanted to add that the old PPC you’re contemplating will be just fine for Scrivener, and a lot of other things as well. I am presently using a G4 eMac 700 MHZ, and intend to step up to a G5 iMac in a month or two ( the eMac’s still fine; it’s just coming to the limits of its graphic card, and I wanted a machine that could run Leopard).

I have booted both machines and used Scrivener on both (very briefly on the iMac), and it runs perfectly. It is true that Tiger is faster and more responsive on these older machines than Leopard, however. I’m running Tiger on the eMac.

Good luck with whatever you choose to get. You will love Scrivener, I’m sure! :slight_smile:

If the cost difference is only £150 or so, I’d go for the newer machine most definitely. Apple computers stay viable for a long time, as witnessed by Mary’s testament to still using a G4. That’s ancient technology. Getting yourself a semi-recent Intel, or even a new Mini, will be an investment that will last many years. Getting a PPC machine at this point, wouldn’t have the same staying potential. No new operating systems will be built for it, and an increasingly large amount of software will no longer function with the older hardware and OS.

Look at it this way: If you get a cheap £150 used test machine now, then replace it later for a roughly £400 Mini, that is £550 total: you can spend that right now and get something that is a lot safer to depend upon in years to come. And hey, worst case scenario if it doesn’t work out for you, the used Apple market for new equipment is very good (as you’ve probably noticed).


Quick update: I decided to jump right in and picked up a secondhand Intel MacBook Pro (with 10.6) on Saturday. It’s an absolute flyer and Scrivener runs a treat (obviously).

Having been a seasoned Windows user, I’m needing to get to grips with all those different shortcuts as well as find ways to make the whole experience more natural and intuitive. But I’m definitely impressed, and Scrivener is even better than I expected. All I need do now is write the book (6 years and counting … :smiley: ).

Thanks again for your comments.