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View Full Version : Is the quad G5 a bad idea?




Hrududu
Sep 15, 2010, 02:58 PM
I really love towers. Unfortunately, even a used Mac Pro is well outside my price range. Lately I've been looking at the quad core Powermacs as a potential desktop system. I'll say this, I do have Intel based Macs that are probably faster, but I'm using a dual 2.0GHz G5 with 2GB of RAM as my primary desktop right now. Its great, and I really don't think it feels any slower than my 2.16GHz MacBook Pro with 3GB of RAM. I really want a quad core system for doing video compression, and most of the applications I use are still PPC (Adobe CS2 and Final Cut Express) so they're going to work great on a G5. Is this really that bad of an idea to buy one? I mean, Apple's support for 10.4 is still pretty good, so I don't think they'll kill off Leopard support for at least another 2 years since so many Intel Macs shipped with it and all remaining PPC users are stuck there. So what do you think? Is the quad G5 worth buying in September 2010?



SkyBell
Sep 15, 2010, 03:05 PM
In your circumstances, I don't think it's a bad idea. But it would really depend on how cheap you could get one for, plus all the extra's you may need. (HDD's, RAM, etc.)

eawmp1
Sep 15, 2010, 03:06 PM
Not unless you will be happy with your legacy software. You may love towers, but in reality, you don't need a current Mac Pro for what you do.

Hrududu
Sep 15, 2010, 03:16 PM
One system I'm looking at now has 8GB of RAM installed along with the Airport and Bluetooth units which are hard to get. Its $610 after shipping. I like using desktop components and having multiple internal HD bays. I could have 4TB of internal storage on the G5 whereas I'm stuck with a single laptop drive inside a Mini which would be the closest thing I could buy new for about the same amount of cash. I would also sell the G5 I'm currently using as well as a TiBook to help ease the cost.

SkyBell
Sep 15, 2010, 03:27 PM
One system I'm looking at now has 8GB of RAM installed along with the Airport and Bluetooth units which are hard to get. Its $610 after shipping. I like using desktop components and having multiple internal HD bays. I could have 4TB of internal storage on the G5 whereas I'm stuck with a single laptop drive inside a Mini which would be the closest thing I could buy new for about the same amount of cash. I would also sell the G5 I'm currently using as well as a TiBook to help ease the cost.

That's a pretty fair price for a system like that I believe, and you should be able to offset pretty close (or over) half the cost with selling your current G5 and PowerBook. Seems like a good plan to me. :)

MacForScience
Sep 15, 2010, 09:00 PM
I really love towers. Unfortunately, even a used Mac Pro is well outside my price range. Lately I've been looking at the quad core Powermacs as a potential desktop system. I'll say this, I do have Intel based Macs that are probably faster, but I'm using a dual 2.0GHz G5 with 2GB of RAM as my primary desktop right now. Its great, and I really don't think it feels any slower than my 2.16GHz MacBook Pro with 3GB of RAM. I really want a quad core system for doing video compression, and most of the applications I use are still PPC (Adobe CS2 and Final Cut Express) so they're going to work great on a G5. Is this really that bad of an idea to buy one? I mean, Apple's support for 10.4 is still pretty good, so I don't think they'll kill off Leopard support for at least another 2 years since so many Intel Macs shipped with it and all remaining PPC users are stuck there. So what do you think? Is the quad G5 worth buying in September 2010?

Don't spend your money on a Quad Core G5 since my 2009 mac mini server will out perform it (no problems) and if you buy a quad core intel mac you will easily run circles around the G5 (think 3 times faster).

Cheers

VanneDC
Sep 16, 2010, 12:05 AM
Yeah, your 2009 mini will outperform the quad g5... Lol!!
Doing what? Playing mahjong?

Anyways, I've owned both, depending on what your application usage is, the g5 can and is still a serious work station.

The Mac pro obviously has more go in it, however, it solely depends on what apps you use. My current apple desktop is a quad g5 8 gigs of ram and a quadro fx4500 512mb and I am more than happy with it's performance. To be honest with you, I even play wow on it and it runs just fine and dandy.

There are a few things you can do to mKe the system as snappy as possible, ssd for os drive, nice vid card, or raid and of course the most ram you can afford.

Add those things up and then do a price comparison next to the Mac pro. ( you may notice that your looking at the same money for a top config qaud g5 as you would be looking at an entry level Mac pro 1,1.

Yeah, the Mac pro will run windows 7, but alas I have my /other/ box for that that will run circles around any recent Mac pro ( not including the newly released Mac pro) for about 500 aus.

So yeah the quad 5 is a great box, just depends on how you configure it and make use of it.

Good luck!

MacForScience
Sep 16, 2010, 02:50 AM
Yeah, your 2009 mini will outperform the quad g5... Lol!!
Doing what? Playing mahjong?

Anyways, I've owned both, depending on what your application usage is, the g5 can and is still a serious work station.


I suggest you take a look at the benchmarks. (look at geekbench 3301 for the G5 and 3537 for the Mini) If you have some benchmark that you care to cite as evidence for your claim I would love to see it.

Granted you can get 16GB of Ram in the G5 but I would rather have my 8GB that are twice the speed of the 16GB of pokey DDR2 in the G5. The drives in the G5 are only faster until you even the playing field by giving both either 7200 rpm drives or SSDs since the mini has SATA 2 unlike the G5.

You like G5s that's fine but don't delude yourself; the G5 is an aging platform and even without upgrades the Mini is faster. I am not saying the mini is going to spank your Quad Core G5, certainly not the way a 12 core mac pro will, but the mini does perform more work faster; this is just the nature of a more advanced system architecture (ie faster memory etc better integration with the GPU ie OpenCL).

Cheers

Chaszmyr
Sep 16, 2010, 02:59 AM
Sounds like a bad idea to me. Not only does that make you stuck with old software, but I don't think it will gain you anything. I'd be willing to bet that if you ran benchmarks, you'd find that even your MacBook Pro is not only faster than your dual G5, it's probably around the same speed as a quad G5. Intel's dual core chips really smoked the G5s.

Also, you might get more complete/accurate recommendations if you told us exactly how much you want to spend.

raysfan81
Sep 16, 2010, 10:13 AM
Go for it man. The quad is still a very usuable and very expandable machine as opposed to the mini which has near 0 expandability. But of course they have had some *cough* reliabiltiy *cough* issues in the past. I would still love to get my hands on a g5 Quad sometime soon.

SuperJudge
Sep 16, 2010, 12:29 PM
Take this with a grain of salt, since I did support for a super-computing cluster of quad G5s. Don't buy it. Their reliability is not what it should be and when they fail it's catastrophic and expensive to get replacement parts. The only safe bets on the PowerMac G5 route are the middle of the road models. I have the middle G5 (2.0GHz DP) from the launch line up and it's still trucking along next to my Mac Pro.

However, if you're willing to take that risk, you can't beat the quad G5 for PPC optimized software. When they are up and running, they are beastly on Altivec enabled programs (like CS2 and FCE). Yeah, you could get a Mini for that same price, but since you'd be running your programs in Rosetta, you probably won't be that much happier with the speed.

1o2
Sep 16, 2010, 01:34 PM
im using g5 quad 10gb ram. its running great with ae cs3 and logic . just ordered fx 4500 graphic card (as many pros in here recommended). it on the way home. cant way to see the perform of this card on my quad.

if you only use for cs2 and final cut express. i say go for it.

Hrududu
Sep 16, 2010, 03:20 PM
Sounds like a bad idea to me. Not only does that make you stuck with old software, but I don't think it will gain you anything. I'd be willing to bet that if you ran benchmarks, you'd find that even your MacBook Pro is not only faster than your dual G5, it's probably around the same speed as a quad G5. Intel's dual core chips really smoked the G5s.

Also, you might get more complete/accurate recommendations if you told us exactly how much you want to spend.
Oh I've benchmarked both, and yes the MBP scores better, but for real life daily tasks I really don't see any performance difference. I'll still have an Intel Mac, so running new software won't be impossible. Anyways, I think what I'll do is continue to scan eBay and CL until I find a quad system thats more in the $450-$500 range. I also don't see how a dual 2.16GHz chip in my MacBook Pro is going to outperform a quad 2.5GHz system especially when it comes to things like compressing video. If benchmarks really speak, then the quad definitely smokes my MBP.

VanneDC
Sep 16, 2010, 07:38 PM
Yep, the quad g5 is a good box, but like some of the others have mentioned, does have issues if you get one with lcs leaking. I just had a look at the geek bench sute and yes, you are correct, the mini has a better score than the quad g5. But what about a real benchmark, like compressing/encoding video or something real world. Granted it's an old box, and ofcourse a mac pro would be faster. It also depends on what video card you have in there, ESP for stuff like games. It's all about the apps that you use.

He'll yeah, like I said before, buy the Mac pro if you can, but if you can't afford it and /don't/ want to wait or save up, then the quad g5 (if u get one with a good working lcs) is a good alternative. And once more, do note that when you do the maths for configuring the quad g5 for ram and vid card, your properly looking at the same price as a Mac pro anyway. So buy the Mac pro.

And mate, those mAc minis sure are quiet!! :)

MacForScience
Sep 16, 2010, 09:06 PM
Yep, the quad g5 is a good box, but like some of the others have mentioned, does have issues if you get one with lcs leaking. I just had a look at the geek bench sute and yes, you are correct, the mini has a better score than the quad g5. But what about a real benchmark, like compressing/encoding video or something real world. Granted it's an old box, and ofcourse a mac pro would be faster. It also depends on what video card you have in there, ESP for stuff like games. It's all about the apps that you use.

He'll yeah, like I said before, buy the Mac pro if you can, but if you can't afford it and /don't/ want to wait or save up, then the quad g5 (if u get one with a good working lcs) is a good alternative. And once more, do note that when you do the maths for configuring the quad g5 for ram and vid card, your properly looking at the same price as a Mac pro anyway. So buy the Mac pro.

And mate, those mAc minis sure are quiet!! :)

Haha nice dig. You are of course correct the best option totally depends on what software you use. You would also be correct in pointing out that benchmarks don't tell you everything (it is merely an interesting thing to note and does change ones view of what viable options are).

OrangeSVTguy
Sep 16, 2010, 11:20 PM
For every day tasks, the Mini is just as good as the quad but when it comes time to encoding video, the quad sure shows it's mighty power. I found tasks that would take 2-4 hours? on my Mini took an hour or less on my Quad. :ee Handbrake is a good app and uses all 4 cores to it's fullest potential.

I'm in the same boat too. I'd love to buy a first gen or octo Mac Pro but they are still $1000+ and can't even use the latest graphics cards - something I want to fold with. I can't really justify the cost of a Mac Pro anyways for the amount of power that I currently need. The Quad suffices for me.

OH yeah here are my geekbench scores for my Macs. http://browse.geekbench.ca/user/OrangeSVTguy/profile

2ghz dual core G5 - 1876
Mini in sig - 3271
g5 quad - 3466
original MBP - 2561

thunng8
Sep 17, 2010, 12:41 AM
Don't spend your money on a Quad Core G5 since my 2009 mac mini server will out perform it (no problems) and if you buy a quad core intel mac you will easily run circles around the G5 (think 3 times faster).

Cheers

Not a chance that this is correct. I've done extensive benchmarks and the Quad G5 is generally faster (10-40%) for the application I use. Results can be seen in this thread.

Not sure where you get the 3x faster from. Maybe intel vs G4?

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=966378&highlight=

disconap
Sep 17, 2010, 10:44 PM
It's a fine purchase if you won't need more than it in the forseeable future, we still have several PPC era macs in our office for video and graphic production. We don't use any for animation or video anymore, though.