View Full Version : which is better $/performance? powermac g5, or multiple linked mac minis?

Apr 22, 2006, 12:35 PM
now, i'm thinking about virginia's supercomputer, the 3rd fastest when it was created it was about 1 % of other faster computer's price. now, i'm thinking, which is cheaper? one powermac g5, or a couple of stacked linked mac minis operating as one computer.

now, for better comparasons, lets assume that the mac minis are the previous g4 models, the cheaper one out of the two.

I think that the minis will be cheaper at the same price as the powermac g5.

if so, how can it be done? is it very expensive? how will the graphics perform on a computer like this?

i'm planning on saving up and buy 3 mac minis and link them up together.

Apr 22, 2006, 12:40 PM
How would you plan to get normal (not-specially-written) software to span multiple machines?

Normally, this takes software written specifically for the purpose. There are only a few, primarily in 3d rendering and video rendering, which can do this.

Then how would you see this improving the graphics? The results of computation would still have to be processed and displayed by a single graphics board on a single machine.

Short answer -- for performance, ditch the Mini idea, get the G5.

Apr 22, 2006, 12:44 PM
darn. also, can somebody move this to macintosh hardware? i accidentally clicked the third from top in the wrong sub-forum, resulting to this place.

Apr 22, 2006, 01:50 PM
Short answer -- for performance, ditch the Mini idea, get the G5.

Same advice here, go with either a Power Mac G5 or an iMac Core Duo if you want a fast machine. :)

Apr 22, 2006, 03:19 PM
Xcode and Xgrid will take advantage of multiple Macs on a network. The price of the Mini's is too high to make it practical in replacing a single Powermac G5 depending on what your trying to do. If you were using Handbrake on three separate Mini's to backup your DVD collection it would be faster than using a single Powermac G5.

Using the Mini as a mini cluster environment would be an interesting topic in a academic environment for experimenting.

Apr 22, 2006, 03:59 PM
Did you see this thread?


Well, their use for this farm might be quite different than what you want. My guess is that you'd need to get to a fairly high number of processors before the farm becomes sufficiently beneficial over a single fast computer. But I guess it really depends. I could imagine that the farm you could buy for the price of a G5 quad could actually do some pretty interesting things! Particularly if you got used Minis?

Apr 25, 2006, 04:06 PM
To author:
I don't think you really understand what you link computers together in order to do.

Apr 25, 2006, 04:17 PM
Logic Pro also uses Node technology to push processing off to other machines on a per-track basis. it works awesome and the minis are getting a lot of attention for this use. now that they have dual cores and gigabit ethernet they can really add a bunch of muscle to a studio for a good price.