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View Full Version : Powermac g5 quad vs Intel iMac/ MacBook pro for audio production




Crugga
Nov 25, 2010, 11:42 AM
Hi, thought I'd run this across if you don't mind.
In simple terms I had an accident with a coffee and my MacBook, luckily insurance have paid out minus an excess.
I've basically given myself a budget of 500. Looking at my options it seems I'd be able to get a g5 quad, keyboard and mouse or a used MacBook pro for this sort of money. Maybe an 09 MacBook.
Will be using it for mainly audio work, found the MacBook did struggle a bit but that was just an early dual 2ghz with 2gb ram.
Will use for light Internet but tbh ive got an iPad and love using that for browsing so it's pretty much a music machine.
I've checked and all the software I use is compatible with both.

Love to hear peoples views on this:)



rtrt
Nov 25, 2010, 07:51 PM
Hi, thought I'd run this across if you don't mind.
In simple terms I had an accident with a coffee and my MacBook, luckily insurance have paid out minus an excess.
I've basically given myself a budget of 500. Looking at my options it seems I'd be able to get a g5 quad, keyboard and mouse or a used MacBook pro for this sort of money. Maybe an 09 MacBook.
Will be using it for mainly audio work, found the MacBook did struggle a bit but that was just an early dual 2ghz with 2gb ram.
Will use for light Internet but tbh ive got an iPad and love using that for browsing so it's pretty much a music machine.
I've checked and all the software I use is compatible with both.

Love to hear peoples views on this:)

buying into the ppc architecture at this late stage could be seen as limiting.

there's unlikely to be much new software written or even updated & you can't go beyond leopard.

having said that, many people on here are very happy with their ppc machines - i'm happy to have both intel and ppc.

key question is what about your software needs, for today and for as long as you'll need to run the machine.

also the pm g5 water cooled versions had some issues with leakage - do some reading here and elsewhere, so you know what to avoid if you go that route.

iThinkergoiMac
Nov 25, 2010, 08:13 PM
Even the current Mac Mini is generally more powerful than the G5s ever were, so I'd say finding the best used MBP or iMac for your money would be your best bet.

Crugga
Nov 26, 2010, 04:07 AM
Thanks for your views on that. Think I'm going to save a few hundred and open my options a bit more. Tbh the MacBook White I had was sufficient but I'd like something I can put 8gb of ram in, seems to be what matters in audio more so than the processor.
Gonna go have a read on the MacBook pro forum I think :)

occams razor
Nov 26, 2010, 05:30 AM
Why exactly can't you put 8gb of ram in a MacBook?

cherry su
Nov 26, 2010, 09:01 AM
Why exactly can't you put 8gb of ram in a MacBook?

In some iterations of the MacBook, Apple's firmware and/or the Intel chipset does not recognize the full capacity of the RAM. I know that the 945G series chipset sees 4GB as 3.3GB.

iThinkergoiMac
Nov 26, 2010, 05:00 PM
Yeah. The current white MacBook recognizes 8 GB RAM. The previous gen and the aluminum MacBook seem to be iffy on all 8 GB. The generation before that recognizes up to 6 GB.

occams razor
Nov 26, 2010, 06:41 PM
Just cause it doesn't recognize it doesn't mean you can put it in there :)

iThinkergoiMac
Nov 26, 2010, 08:44 PM
Just cause it doesn't recognize it doesn't mean you can put it in there :)

What good does putting in more RAM than your computer recognizes do?

In other words, my computer recognizes a maximum of 6 GB RAM. I can put 6 GB RAM in it, or I could put 8 GB in, spend more money to get the 8 GB, and still only access 6 GB of it.

occams razor
Nov 26, 2010, 09:08 PM
He stated that you COULDN'T. Not that it wounldnt see it all. You can put it in there is what I was pointing out. Don't get your panties all in a bunch I was just giving hell

iThinkergoiMac
Nov 26, 2010, 10:58 PM
He stated that you COULDN'T. Not that it wounldnt see it all. You can put it in there is what I was pointing out. Don't get your panties all in a bunch I was just giving hell

Hahaha. Well, in a way you can't. The RAM might physically fit, but the computer could get so unstable it's unusable. So, if you want to use the computer, you can't ;)

occams razor
Nov 27, 2010, 01:00 AM
Haha no problem. It's like people saying I can't fit a .40 cal bullet in my xd45. I can do it. Just don't know how well it will work out lol. Newer macs can be had on craigslist for about what g5s go for. Atleast in my area all macs hold their value pretty well. I would say your best bet is to find The program you are most familure with and does what you want and choose a system based on that. I have a friend that is still using a b&w g3 450 and a hella old version of protools to do all this audio stuff and 9-10 people can't tell it was made on such a old system.

QuantumLo0p
Nov 27, 2010, 11:29 AM
I would not buy a PowerMac unless you get it for nothing or next to nothing. As many MR posts have said, software is getting more and more scarce. There are no new OS's for Power and, I may be mistaken, but I think Apple no longer supports Power for security updates. Of course, if that is all your budget will provide then do what you can.


Even the current Mac Mini is generally more powerful than the G5s ever were, so I'd say finding the best used MBP or iMac for your money would be your best bet.

On a side note...speaking from experience, my Mini only became faster than my old dual G5 LC after I upgraded the ram and hdd. Straight number crunching is a bit faster but the Mini's standard hdd is so slow my Grandma would be able to write faster. The stock hdd wasn't even in the race compared to my raid-0 setup in my old PowerMac; only ssd's can compete with it. I can't wait for what comes next. SSD cards are way faster than current sata ssd's. What difference we consider between storage and ram will blur and everything will be so much faster.

iThinkergoiMac
Nov 27, 2010, 05:02 PM
On a side note...speaking from experience, my Mini only became faster than my old dual G5 LC after I upgraded the ram and hdd. [...] The stock hdd wasn't even in the race compared to my raid-0 setup in my old PowerMac

So what you're saying is that your Mini wasn't as fast as your upgraded G5 (running your OS off RAID 0 is certainly not the stock setup) until it was upgraded. My comment assumed stock for both ;)

Crugga
Nov 28, 2010, 06:56 AM
Well this went a bit off track :D

Managed to get a 2007 mac pro quad 3.0 with a free apple aluminium screen, keyboard, mighty mouse et for 650gbp on an eBay buy it now. Which trust me over here is a bargain, you'd pay 200 for the screen usually and probably 800 + for the mac, if you can find one.

iThinkergoiMac
Nov 28, 2010, 07:35 AM
Awesome deal. Have fun with that computer, it's a beast.

occams razor
Nov 28, 2010, 08:32 AM
congrats bro!

Cox Orange
Nov 29, 2010, 10:55 AM
I know this topic is finished, but I would like to add a question.

I had nearly the same idea a year ago (for audio things, too). By the way I did not buy neither nor the other till now :rolleyes: (am not as fast when making buying decisions). Now, for me, I would go for the iMac or next years iMac for several reasons.

And here is my question: I wonder, if the Quad G5 would use all cores, when you do the following things simultaneously: converting a video file, recording audio, working in photoshop and having firefox open (not being a real life scenario ;)

I bet the Intel-system will do better in this scenario, because apple actually started optimizing software for multiple core use when they started with Intel (is that right?). The Quad G5 being a monster at the time, that the software couldn't make effective use of its architecture or take advantage of 4 cores, really. Logic Studio being the only PPC software optimized for multiple core use (and not doing that properly), as far as I read somewhere.

Any guesses? Any experience? :D

iThinkergoiMac
Nov 29, 2010, 05:12 PM
You're more or less correct. Also modern Intel processors simply get more done per cycle than the G5s do.

OrangeSVTguy
Nov 29, 2010, 05:15 PM
You're more or less correct. Also modern Intel processors simply get more done per cycle than the G5s do.

Also you can heat your home with a G5 :D I set the thermostat to 60*F and let the Quad do the rest.

occams razor
Nov 29, 2010, 06:29 PM
apple has been optimizing their software for dual processor/dual cores since the dual processor G4's. Yes windows has had dual core/dual processor support since XP, maybe even 2k but the programs are still playing catch up where as apple has been taking advantage of dual cpus/cores for 10+ years now

Cox Orange
Dec 1, 2010, 03:31 PM
Also you can heat your home with a G5 :D I set the thermostat to 60*F and let the Quad do the rest.

how is your heating bill and electricity bill, now :D

apple has been optimizing their software for dual processor/dual cores since the dual processor G4's. Yes windows has had dual core/dual processor support since XP, maybe even 2k but the programs are still playing catch up where as apple has been taking advantage of dual cpus/cores for 10+ years now
hm, ok that would mean that OS 9 and early OS 10 software were optimized for dual core use, too?

goMac
Dec 1, 2010, 03:53 PM
hm, ok that would mean that OS 9 and early OS 10 software were optimized for dual core use, too?

OS 9 was never dual core optimized. The second processor was pretty much useless.

Some software, like Photoshop, had some custom code that let just that software use the second processor during the OS 9 days.

occams razor
Dec 1, 2010, 09:54 PM
It's mainly about the software taking advantage of it. ApPle drove their software delopers to put in code to many programs to support the second CPU. Where as ten years ago the only programs I remember using the second CPU on my dual p3 1ghz was adobe programs.