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View Full Version : Is a Powermac a good buy now?


generik
Dec 2, 2005, 10:03 PM
Ok, I am selling my PB.. actually it has already been sold, made a small loss but it's just as well :)

Trouble is I realised I can't imagine life without a Mac anymore, so now I am back to square one... would there be enough life left in the PowerMac G5?

My main worry is PPC apps will start drying up soon, and I will be left high and dry.

Another concern is, I generally don't run my desktop without any form of redundency for storage. Are there any good PCIe raid cards that would work for the Mac?

Thanks.

mad jew
Dec 2, 2005, 10:20 PM
If possible, try the disposable Mac - the mini. :)

Kace
Dec 2, 2005, 10:40 PM
why would PPC apps dry up?
wouldn't vendors ship products using universal binaries?? both arch's should be supported for years to come

generik
Dec 2, 2005, 11:28 PM
If possible, try the disposable Mac - the mini. :)

Why the mini?

I thought of it too, but if I am going the Mini route I'd wait for MWSF now.. especially with all those rumors of a super powered machine coming.

mad jew
Dec 2, 2005, 11:30 PM
Why the mini?


Because it's cheap so updating six months down the track won't lose you as much money (in absolute terms, not percentage terms) in the long run.

generik
Dec 2, 2005, 11:34 PM
Because it's cheap so updating six months down the track won't lose you as much money (in absolute terms, not percentage terms) in the long run.

Hmmm... that's true too.

OTOH I do hope I can hopefully get like 2-3 years out of a PM G5... not even the top of the line model, just the 2 Ghz

mad jew
Dec 2, 2005, 11:41 PM
A G5 really should last you two or three years in terms of PPC software. Remember that all the G4s will go Intel before the G5s (safe guess) so Intel Power Macs may be as far as a year away, or even more. PPC software will definitely be fine for three years, I have great faith in it. :)

kwajo.com
Dec 3, 2005, 12:08 AM
I bought mine in April and if I bought it now I would still consider it a good buy. It has more than paid for itself in the time it saves me or it allowing me to do things quickly on a deadline. the G5 is an amazing machine, and the current ones are even better. go for it if you need it now

wiseguy27
Dec 3, 2005, 04:22 AM
I bought mine in April and if I bought it now I would still consider it a good buy. It has more than paid for itself in the time it saves me or it allowing me to do things quickly on a deadline. the G5 is an amazing machine, and the current ones are even better. go for it if you need it now
Same here - bought one in April and pretty happy with the future outlook for it. :)

As kwajo said, go for it if you need it now. And make sure you get the recent dual core models (or Quad, if you can afford it). :) That'd be a lot better than getting an older PowerMac model. Otherwise wait till February 2006 or so for the first Intel laptops and get one of them for the time being.

caveman_uk
Dec 3, 2005, 04:32 AM
Why should PPC apps dry up? If you think about it answer these questions.

1) How many PPC macs are there out there?

2) How many intel macs are there out there?

Currently the answers are millions and none (except the dev machines). Even in three years time the answers will be millions and millions. For most apps it would be stupid for developers not to support PPC for quite a while.

The only thing that may stop PPC things being developed is if the basic system reqs mean those features are only on Intel machines. Similar to the situation with Aperture where the CPU and GPU requirements mean only very recent, very powerful machines can run it.

Myself I bought a 15" powerbook a couple of months back and I've got an older G4 powermac. I've got no plans to upgrade either though I might buy an intel mac mini when they come out as I'm a developer and I need to check intel compatibility.

Jesus
Dec 3, 2005, 05:18 AM
Generik, I am in the same boat as you, I have decided after a month of wringing my hands to by my Powermac dual 2.3 and buy the cinema display after MWSF, in the mean time I will use an old CRT as a monitor. I can't think why a developer 3 years from now would not tick the PPC support box in XCode. The PM, which supposedly will only go intel late 2006/early 2007 already gives you a year, and then 3/4 years min from that.

generik
Dec 3, 2005, 05:54 AM
Yeah I think I will probably get a PM 2.0, but if a machine positioned between the Mini and the iMac (or rather a headless iMac speced machine) comes out during MWSF I will be so shooting myself :o

Still the base PM model looks like good value.

localghost
Dec 3, 2005, 07:53 AM
(...)
The only thing that may stop PPC things being developed is if the basic system reqs mean those features are only on Intel machines.
(...)

PPC software will be available for a long time, but it will not be optimized/ written for this CPU anymore. The resale-value of PPC machines will take a hit, like with every CPU change so far.

Look at the G3/G4 transition: G3s are supported, very useful machines even today, but within the first year (!) after the CPU change important features like mpeg2 encoding in iDVD etc required a G4.

generik
Dec 3, 2005, 08:05 AM
PPC software will be available for a long time, but it will not be optimized/ written for this CPU anymore. The resale-value of PPC machines will take a hit, like with every CPU change so far.

Look at the G3/G4 transition: G3s are supported, very useful machines even today, but within the first year (!) after the CPU change important features like mpeg2 encoding in iDVD etc required a G4.

Resale value would be quite a moot point anyway, since with the switch over to Intel Apple computers will no longer be a "special" computer with the ability to command a value of as much as the market will bear.. like right now.

X years old G4 computer selling for like 70% of its original price?

That kind of luck will soon be a long lost memory.

Apple will probably just sink to become another PC manufacturer.

localghost
Dec 3, 2005, 08:22 AM
Resale value would be quite a moot point anyway, since with the switch over to Intel Apple computers will no longer be a "special" computer (...)

Depends on how successful Apple will be in locking OS X to their hardware, alias how much pain hacked systems are.

Iím very curious if the Powermac Intel CPUs will be soldered to the mainboard or locked by the OS/Bios - the idea of changing it for a new one after a few years for regular street prices is very tempting.

caveman_uk
Dec 3, 2005, 09:30 AM
Look at the G3/G4 transition: G3s are supported, very useful machines even today, but within the first year (!) after the CPU change important features like mpeg2 encoding in iDVD etc required a G4.
That's because the G3 doesn't have an SIMD (altivec) unit. A vector unit really comes into it's own for stuff like encoding so it's not suprising G3 support was dropped. Besides you are only really making my point for me. I said that PPC support will continue unless there's a really good reason not to support PPC (like specialised features of the processor). The G4 having a vector units and Aperture needing core image are good examples.

My guess is that the vast majority of apps will support PPC for at least three years. Probably longer.

As for optimisation for PPC. Most people just use the standard compiler settings - which aren't THAT optimised. As you have universal binaries the PPC code will be just as optimised as it's ever been. Some people may have written specialized code (such as vector code) but those folks will have either ADDED intel specific code or turned to Apple's Accelerate framework which is optimised for whatever processor it runs.

zap2
Dec 3, 2005, 09:44 AM
Apple will probably just sink to become another PC manufacturer.


No they won't they use Mac OSX, no one will real know the difference once Apple make the full switch(the names might be difference but the speed will be better