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View Full Version : 20" iMac G5 Rev B vs Rev C - which is better?




dcv
Mar 19, 2006, 08:20 AM
I'm just curious to know which 20" iMac you think is better:

- Rev B 2.0GHz G5 processor with 2GB DDR RAM, or
- Rev C 2.1GHz G5 processor with 1.5GB DDR2 RAM?

Which would give better performance - the extra 512 RAM in the Rev B or the 0.1GHz processor difference in the later model with "faster" DDR2 RAM (even though there is only 1.5GB)?

I'm not interested in Front Row or built-in iSight in the Rev C and I don't want to buy the Core Duo. What's important to me is the performance of the machine and also the noise-level.

For those of you who have owned both machines, have you noticed any difference in performance? Also is the Rev C really quieter than the B?



eva01
Mar 19, 2006, 08:26 AM
well isn't revision C the one with PCIe graphics?

Depending on what you do that could be much better. Also slightly faster FSB, and the RAM has a max of 2.5GB compared to the 2GB for the Rev B

dcv
Mar 19, 2006, 08:34 AM
well isn't revision C the one with PCIe graphics?

Depending on what you do that could be much better. Also slightly faster FSB, and the RAM has a max of 2.5GB compared to the 2GB for the Rev B

I'm not too sure about the difference in graphics cards between the two. I know the iSight one can take 2.5GB max RAM but the price of a 2GB stick is ridiculous, so that's why I'm comparing a rev B with 2GB RAM with just 1.5GB in the rev C.

I already have 2GB of DDR RAM from my 17" rev B, which I could re-use in the 20" rev B.

eva01
Mar 19, 2006, 08:36 AM
Well *if* you play games, or do heavy animation work, i would go with the revision C, but if you don't then i would probably just go with the Revision B because it will be cheaper and you have the 2GB of RAM in it, while it is impossibly to have 2GB of RAM in the C

Eidorian
Mar 19, 2006, 09:21 AM
I'd go with the Rev. C. It has a much better internal design for quietness and heat dissipation. The number of thermometers in those things is crazy. It's just not that pretty on the inside or easy to open. So don't expect to upgrade it though. The Rev. A/B iMac G5's can have the hard drive and optical drive easily upgraded by the user.

edesignuk
Mar 19, 2006, 09:43 AM
I'm still going to go with Rev B because of all the work you put in to be able to wall mount the thing ;)

For what you do I can't see that you'll see much speed difference, so it's down to noise, and wall mounting.

Danksi
Mar 19, 2006, 10:12 AM
Since you already have the RAM you may as well go for the Rev.B.

Without considering the RAM, I'd go for the Rev.C. It's a sealed unit, certainly as far as Apple is concerned. If anything goes wrong with it, it's back to the repair shop, no user-servicable internals.

On the other hand, the Rev.B's were user serviceable because it seems they generally needed more repairs! (although it's still early days for the Rev.C's).

dcv
Mar 19, 2006, 10:13 AM
I'd go with the Rev. C. It has a much better internal design for quietness and heat dissipation. The number of thermometers in those things is crazy. It's just not that pretty on the inside or easy to open. So don't expect to upgrade it though.

Quietness IS important to me. The only thing I would want to upgrade is the RAM so that's not so much of a problem.

I'm still going to go with Rev B because of all the work you put in to be able to wall mount the thing ;)


I know... and I only wall-mounted it a week ago! But the noise (the 17") has been driving me insane, hence the purchase of the 20". The 20" rev B IS quieter than my 17" but I wonder if the rev C would be even quieter.


Pros of the Rev B:
- cheaper
- can upgrade hard disk etc
- I already have suitable RAM
- is wall-mountable (and I already have the kit)

Cons:
- noisier

Pros of the Rev C:
- quieter (apparently)
- overall better specification

Cons:
- more expensive + would have to purchase extra RAM
- is not wall-mountable
- cannot be upgraded


...so you can see my dilemma... :(

XIII
Mar 19, 2006, 10:16 AM
Graphics performance will be a lot better on the Rev. C. May be more important further down the line. :) Also, can you not find maybe a little bit of a use for the built in iSight and Front Row + Apple Remote? :)

Danksi
Mar 19, 2006, 10:19 AM
... and I only wall-mounted it a week ago! But the noise (the 17") has been driving me insane, hence the purchase of the 20". The 20" rev B IS quieter than my 17" but I wonder if the rev C would be even quieter.

I'm wondering whether the wall-mount actually makes the noise worse?

edesignuk
Mar 19, 2006, 10:25 AM
I'm wondering whether the wall-mount actually makes the noise worse?Um, how? :confused:

Danksi
Mar 19, 2006, 10:29 AM
Um, how? :confused:

Vibration.

Just an early morning, coffee enhanced thought. :o

edesignuk
Mar 19, 2006, 10:35 AM
Vibration.

Just an early morning, coffee enhanced thought. :oOh right, well I don't *think* it is that. Apparently the noise is clearly coming from the iMac rather than where the bracket meets the wall or anything.

devilot
Mar 19, 2006, 10:40 AM
Just curious, what sort of noise are you hearing?

Lately, my rev. B's noise is really getting on my nerves. I doubt Apple would actually help me though.

Me: Err. It's getting loud and obnoxious.
Rep: I don't hear anything.
Me: Honestly, if we weren't in a retail store in a busy mall, I swear it would be definitely noticeable.
Rep: Um. Tough luck.

:( :o

mkrishnan
Mar 19, 2006, 10:42 AM
Oh right, well I don't *think* it is that. Apparently the noise is clearly coming from the iMac rather than where the bracket meets the wall or anything.

There does seem to be a lot of variation for unknown reasons from iMac to iMac in terms of the amount of fan noise...

DCV, I would say, that if the noise is getting to you, treat yourself to the Rev. C... in the long run, I think that, if you are not able to get over the noise, you will get more enjoyment out of the quiet environment than the wall mounting... as much as you went to so much trouble to get your current one up there. :(

And I'm sure you can find your current iMac a good home. :)

dcv
Mar 19, 2006, 10:42 AM
No the noise has nothing to do with the wall mount. The noise on the 17" is the CPU fan. It really ramps up and down and I can hear it even when I'm playing music or watching my EyeTV. I've been reading the Apple discussion boards and the general consensus is that the fans are noisier on the 17" than the 20" models, particularly the 2.0GHz model which is what I have.

I've been annoyed with the noise for a while, but foolishly decided to try to live with it and wall-mount the iMac, which I did last week. There has been no difference in noise. I've always slightly regretted buying the 17" instead of the 20", so this week when I was getting annoyed with the noise I started looking at 20" refurbs.

I had a 20" rev B delivered on Friday morning. It is a LOT quieter (certainly the cpu fan anyway) than the 17"; however, this one exhibits a "buzz" which is not present on the 17". The buzz gets a little quieter as you dim the screen... again, I've been searching the Apple support forums and this suggests it might be down to the PSU. So at this stage I'm not sure whether to:
a) ask for a replacement rev B 20" to see if it is any quieter or buzz-free
b) ask for a replacement PSU for this rev B 20"
c) exchange it for a rev C. This option is slightly more expensive and I won't be able to use the wall mount or my current RAM.

The only thing I AM sure of is that I'll be getting rid of the 17"!

As for the new features of the rev C - they're really not very important to me. Yes it's a bonus having Front Row and iSight etc, but I don't think I'd use it very much.

dcv
Mar 19, 2006, 10:57 AM
Just curious, what sort of noise are you hearing?

Lately, my rev. B's noise is really getting on my nerves. I doubt Apple would actually help me though.


The noise on the 17" is a constant loud "whirr", which comes from the bottom of the iMac. It revs up and down depending on system usage, so for example if I launch an application the pitch goes up and then back down to the usual level after a few seconds. It sounds rather like a model aeroplane! The noise is loud and always present. It also ramps up and down of its own accord - sometimes I'm not even using the machine but I just have EyeTV running and the fans will go mad.

This (http://upload.yo-momma.net/uploads/forums/fannoise.mov) is a quicktime recording I made of the noise using the internal microphone. This was recorded after a restart with nothing running, then I launched an app, so you should hear the fans ramping up and then back down again. I could probably live with the noise if it were "constant" but it's the up-and-down nature of it that is so annoying.

The 20" that I just bought is LOADS quieter, but as I said, it has this weird electrical buzzing sound, which is a similar noise to a light dimmer switch.

zap2
Mar 19, 2006, 11:01 AM
I'd go the Rev C because the 100Mhz is something your no upgrading in the future, when a RAM upgrade would be easy.(and i would like the FrontRow/iSight thing but you don't care about that)

But Speed as they are right now i would think the 512Mbs of RAM would out weight the 100Mhz, so the Rev B would be faster for now.

XIII
Mar 19, 2006, 11:07 AM
The noise on the 17" is a constant loud "whirr", which comes from the bottom of the iMac. It revs up and down depending on system usage, so for example if I launch an application the pitch goes up and then back down to the usual level after a few seconds. It sounds rather like a model aeroplane! The noise is loud and always present. It also ramps up and down of its own accord - sometimes I'm not even using the machine but I just have EyeTV running and the fans will go mad.

This (http://upload.yo-momma.net/uploads/forums/fannoise.mov) is a quicktime recording I made of the noise using the internal microphone. This was recorded after a restart with nothing running, then I launched an app, so you should hear the fans ramping up and then back down again. I could probably live with the noise if it were "constant" but it's the up-and-down nature of it that is so annoying.

The 20" that I just bought is LOADS quieter, but as I said, it has this weird electrical buzzing sound, which is a similar noise to a light dimmer switch.

Damn, that is noisy. I have to listen VERY carefully to hear my core duo iMac, and I believe the Rev C's are the same.

mjstew33
Mar 19, 2006, 11:08 AM
Damn, that is noisy. I have to listen VERY carefully to hear my core duo iMac, and I believe the Rev C's are the same.
Yes, they are.

dcv
Mar 19, 2006, 11:17 AM
Damn, that is noisy.

Well I'm glad someone agrees!

That is the 17". The 20" rev B seems a lot quieter. I can still make out the CPU fan but it doesn't bother me. If it didn't have the additional buzzing sound I'd keep it. But it's because of this that I'm now contemplating the rev C!

The problem is you can't make out the noise in the shops; it's only when you're at home in a more peaceful environment that you notice this stuff. I asked them to start up a rev B and a rev C for me in the shop and I couldn't tell the difference.

Of course we could throw an extra spanner (the Core Duo) into the works :p but I'd rather wait until more apps go universal.

Dammit, I wish I weren't so indecisive :o

edesignuk
Mar 19, 2006, 11:19 AM
This is all Gods way of telling you to get a quad G5 you know :p

dcv
Mar 19, 2006, 11:22 AM
This is all Gods way of telling you to get a quad G5 you know :p

Yeah thanks for that :p

(although a 23" Apple Cinema Display would be rather nice... ohhh and it's wall mountable!)

No. I don't want a "big" desktop though. And please don't suggest a mini!

XIII
Mar 19, 2006, 11:24 AM
Well I'm glad someone agrees!

That is the 17". The 20" rev B seems a lot quieter. I can still make out the CPU fan but it doesn't bother me. If it didn't have the additional buzzing sound I'd keep it. But it's because of this that I'm now contemplating the rev C!

The problem is you can't make out the noise in the shops; it's only when you're at home in a more peaceful environment that you notice this stuff. I asked them to start up a rev B and a rev C for me in the shop and I couldn't tell the difference.

Of course we could throw an extra spanner (the Core Duo) into the works :p but I'd rather wait until more apps go universal.

Dammit, I wish I weren't so indecisive :o

If you have the money for the core duo, it is really worth it over the G5s. Obviously, apps are switching all the time to being universal - but there are only a few I am waiting for now - Flip4Mac, and CS2. Flip4Mac is any day soon, and CS2 runs fine under Rosetta, given enough RAM.

Still, this may just be complicating matters. :p

mkrishnan
Mar 19, 2006, 11:26 AM
No. I don't want a "big" desktop though. And please don't suggest a mini!

Aren't G5 Quads also insanely loud, dear? :(

But I'm with you. I like my all-in-one. :)

And my iMac actually has the same number of external wires as my iBook -- one! Which makes me very :) :) :).

Max on Macs
Mar 19, 2006, 12:09 PM
My girlfriend has both of these machines, so we decided to run them side by side. They both had 2GB memory but we took out 512MB of the Rev C (well we had to take out 1GB and add a 512MB) and the Rev C is faster however when we had GoLive, Photoshop and Illustrator all busy doing things and then were typing in Pages the Rev B one did it fine, but slower, but the Rev C was faster but didn't keep up as well when typing. I guess this is because of the memory difference, but still seems a bit odd since Rev C has faster memory.

devilot
Apr 30, 2006, 10:28 AM
Sorry to drudge this up again, but DCV, what have you decided?

My iMac's noise is really irritating. I'm hoping that Apple was willing to exchange machines for you? *wonders if I could get a new iMac* :o