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View Full Version : G4 imac vs. emac vs. g5 imac?




pablodo
Jan 4, 2006, 03:33 PM
I need to replace a G3 700Mhz CRT imac that just died in my office. I work for an arts nonprofit and in the past have relied on donated computers to get us what we need, but we're sort of in a pinch with this imac dying and think we need to just buy something, used, refurbished or even new.

Though it is an office machine, which will be running internet, office 2004, filemaker pro 7, and quickbooks pro 2005, it aso needs to perform good enough for us to do some work in Adobe CS. It will also need to run tiger.

I was initally looking into used or refurbished g4 imacs or emacs. Space is an issue, so the all in one is kind of the easiest thing for us to do. I don't trust the mac mini's as those hd's are just too slow.... As a non-porfit that works in education, I think we can actually still buy emacs through apple's education store for 650-750. refurbished or used g4 imacs seem to be comparable for something with 1ghz processor, but g5 imacs are really not THAT much more in the grand scheme of things.

So I am looking for any advice, pros, cons, things to look out for, performance issues with any of the above types of machines.

thanks.

pablo



Eidorian
Jan 4, 2006, 03:37 PM
I'd pick a newer refurbished eMac over a late era iMac G4. If you have the cash get the iMac G5. It'll last the longest in terms of power and capability. I have Mac Mini's run FileMaker Pro 8 and Quickbooks and the users don't complain about it. Adobe CS needs somre more power though.

Lord Blackadder
Jan 4, 2006, 03:47 PM
I'd go with the current (and probably last) model eMac. For a little more than a Mac Mini you get a full size 7200RPM hard drive, Radeon 9600 graphics (close in performance to the X600 in the iMac), and an easily upgradable optical drive. It's a great bargain.

Mechcozmo
Jan 4, 2006, 06:44 PM
Late eMac G4. Powerful, durable, and best of all, they're cheap.
iMac G4s are rather expensive for not as powerful.
iMac G5s are a lot more expensive for a not as great performance gain (for what you are doing)

California
Jan 4, 2006, 08:24 PM
I need to replace a G3 700Mhz CRT imac that just died in my office
pablo

What happened to the G3? CRT itself die or the hard drive or what happened? That's an interesting machine and I've never seen one. Only seen that G3 600mhz iMac.

pablodo
Jan 4, 2006, 11:21 PM
It was the last CRT imac. A really good machine, but for the past year the optical drive has been really buggy, and the HD died once. I replaced that, but about a month ago the display started acting really funny and the machine would crash everytime it was left idle for more than 15 minutes or so. The HD form it seems fine, as when placed in a G4 tower it booted up fine. I think there is a CRT problem, that is maybe causing a short or something? Maybe a logic board problem? In anycase, it's not worth my trying to fix the machine at this point.... though it has served us well!

Curious about the thoughts between the newest emac and the g5 imac though? Going back over money and more importantly, looking at the extremely small amount of desk space we have, I'm starting to lean towards springing for the G5 imac? I get the impression that one should steer clear of the Rev A machines, but anything else I should know or keep in mind? Those emacs are sooo cheap, but now that i have no CRT on my desk, it is so much more roomy!

Any ideas?

BlizzardBomb
Jan 5, 2006, 01:27 AM
I'd go with the current (and probably last) model eMac. For a little more than a Mac Mini you get a full size 7200RPM hard drive, Radeon 9600 graphics (close in performance to the X600 in the iMac), and an easily upgradable optical drive. It's a great bargain.

Close to the iMac?

Radeon 9600 (AGP)
Core Clock: 325Mhz
Memory Clock: 202.5Mhz

X600 Pro (PCI-E)
Core Clock: 400 MHz
Memory Clock: 600 MHz

X600 XT (PCI-E)
Core Clock: 500 MHz
Memory Clock: 700 MHz

BareFeats reported that in a Rev.B 2Ghz vs. Rev C 2.1Ghz - Halo had 10 frames more, UT2004 had 19 frames more and Doom 3 had 8 frames more on the Rev. C.

Anyway, I would recommend a Rev. B Refurb iMac if you can afford it, but if you can't iMac G4's are decent.

Lord Blackadder
Jan 5, 2006, 12:26 PM
Close to the iMac?
<stats>

It depends what you consider "close" ;) ....anyway the 9600 is Core Image compatible (unlike the iMac G4's vid card),. Plus eMac's CPU and FSB will let it down before the video card does in most cases.

AlBDamned
Jan 5, 2006, 12:36 PM
I hate eMacs. Go for an iMac if you can. You'll notice a massive difference between the G3 and an iMac G5.

Having used a late model eMac every day for the last three months I could never ever recommend one. It's messed with my eyes, it takes up loads of room on my desk, it's slow and it doesn't like doing too much at once, often quitting apps if you ask it to do too much, even with 1.25GB RAM in it.

iMac G5 all the way.

pablodo
Jan 6, 2006, 03:41 PM
Thanks for the pointers. Though the emac prices do seem great, afting getting rid of the imac on my desk i realized just how LITTLE space was on there. Being that I share the desk with someone else and we both need space for papers, etc, I think we're going to end up going for the new imc g5. was looking for refurbished deals, and couldn't find many good ones, besides we're a nonprofit educational org. so we get a discount anyways.

Now, a couple of memory questions. Is it true that it is advisable to only use RAM in like pairs? like its better to have two 512's or two 1gb's? We definitely want more that the stock 512, but I'm not sure which way to approach this. An extra 512 from apple installed is $90, but there's many deals out there. any advice on the best way to go for this? I'm used to buying from crucial, but their prices are about the same as apple's.

AP_piano295
Jan 6, 2006, 04:11 PM
I hate eMacs. Go for an iMac if you can. You'll notice a massive difference between the G3 and an iMac G5.

Having used a late model eMac every day for the last three months I could never ever recommend one. It's messed with my eyes, it takes up loads of room on my desk, it's slow and it doesn't like doing too much at once, often quitting apps if you ask it to do too much, even with 1.25GB RAM in it.

iMac G5 all the way.

Really because Ive used both and I find the emac to be only marginally slower

FoxyKaye
Jan 6, 2006, 06:37 PM
Hey, if you have the cash, of course the iMac G5 will last longest. But for just a basic terminal that folks will use for office-type applications, I agree that an eMac is the best direction if you're looking for an AIO form factor. I have an iMac G5 at home I use for light graphics work, heavy sound editing and mixing, and the usual host of everyday tasks. The key is to have the horsepower fit the tasks required of the machine - an iMac for what you've described strikes me as a bit of overkill.

Working in a nonprofit myself, I can say that our office is still using the Rev. B G3 iMacs from 1999 - they're durable, and can still surf the Web, run Office, and run Panther. Only in the past 6 months have they been starting to show their age (hardware malfunctions). Hopefully, when the Intel Minis are released, prices on the G4 stuff will go down and we can pick up a couple more latter-day G4 Minis for under $1000.

[Edit]: Someone above said that a refurb iMac G5 Rev. B (the one with 128MB VRAM) would also be solid, with which I also agree if you've got the cash on hand. Adobe CS (for the little I do with it) flies on my machine.

ryannel2003
Jan 7, 2006, 09:26 PM
I also agree that the eMac is the best choice in this situation. It has a decently fast G4 processor, excellent CRT screen, and the last generation has a great graphics card. I've been using mine for a year and a couple of months and it's been great. Make sure you get a pair of external speakers cause any kind of music on the internals, and the sides of the screen will start wiggling (this is normal on all eMacs). Good luck!

kingcrowing
Jan 7, 2006, 09:34 PM
yup, another vote for the eMac

Eidorian
Jan 7, 2006, 10:59 PM
Close to the iMac?

Radeon 9600 (AGP)
Core Clock: 325Mhz
Memory Clock: 202.5Mhz

X600 Pro (PCI-E)
Core Clock: 400 MHz
Memory Clock: 600 MHz

X600 XT (PCI-E)
Core Clock: 500 MHz
Memory Clock: 700 MHz

BareFeats reported that in a Rev.B 2Ghz vs. Rev C 2.1Ghz - Halo had 10 frames more, UT2004 had 19 frames more and Doom 3 had 8 frames more on the Rev. C.

Anyway, I would recommend a Rev. B Refurb iMac if you can afford it, but if you can't iMac G4's are decent.I wish I had that X600 now! Well maybe next year for Christmas. I'm having tons of fun with America's Army.

Jedi128
Jan 7, 2006, 11:02 PM
Umm, just as an all-round rule, never buy RAM from Apple becuase they will rip you off. Try newegg.com (http://www.newegg.com/) or actually memorysolutions.com (http://www.memorysolutions.com/) in my opinion has the lowest prices. You should probably just get two 512MB chips because 1GB should be enough for what you're doing. You probaly won't want to spend so much more on two 1GB chips because it will be significantly more and you really won't see much of a change in what you're doing between 1GB and 2GB.

Macmaniac
Jan 7, 2006, 11:08 PM
Thanks for the pointers. Though the emac prices do seem great, afting getting rid of the imac on my desk i realized just how LITTLE space was on there. Being that I share the desk with someone else and we both need space for papers, etc, I think we're going to end up going for the new imc g5. was looking for refurbished deals, and couldn't find many good ones, besides we're a nonprofit educational org. so we get a discount anyways.

Now, a couple of memory questions. Is it true that it is advisable to only use RAM in like pairs? like its better to have two 512's or two 1gb's? We definitely want more that the stock 512, but I'm not sure which way to approach this. An extra 512 from apple installed is $90, but there's many deals out there. any advice on the best way to go for this? I'm used to buying from crucial, but their prices are about the same as apple's.
The New iMac G5s does not use RAM in pairs only the powermacs use RAM in pairs. Also if you are buying the most recent model of the iMac (the one with built in iSight) there is only 1 user accessible RAM slot. The first revision iMac G5 has two user accessible RAM slots, and the RAM does not need to be installed in pairs, although one slot will be already filled with RAM leaving you with one open slot.

I would recommend Crucial since you need it cheap, and they have a lifetime warranty which is a must!

pablodo
Jan 9, 2006, 04:09 AM
thanks for all the pointers. on saturday, apple had rufurbished g5 imacs (rev b. 17", 2.0ghz) going for $949! I went ahead and went that route. I decided i use adobe enough to justify it, plus it will last well into the future, and really will make organizing my desk a lot easier.
now i just have to wait for it to show up.