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View Full Version : Would you upgrade your PPC now or wait? I am interested in hearing your opinions.


J-boy
Mar 11, 2003, 08:32 AM
HELP! I am really interested in hearing your opinions.

I find myself at the typical Mac-user crossroad- to upgrade or not to upgrade? That is the question.

I have an aging "smurf" 400 MHZ PPC G3 that has served me well. But she is a bit dated and slowly dying on me (sniff, sniff). So I was thinking of getting one of those snazzy Quicksilver multi processor 1.25 GHZ G4's. But with all the hoopla about Apple possibly releasing new G5's (or whatever they will call the next gen of processors), I am debating if waiting till July or fall 2003.

My logic to get it now? I kinda need it now. I do use it for work. I do have the money now. The G3 is acting bit whacky and I am not going to fix it if I am definitely buying a new one. But at the same time, I don't want the same thing that happened to me last time; I think I was the last buyer of a "smurf" G3 the day before G4's were launched.

Pros and cons? Dual 1.25 G4's is a pretty fast computer. And I have seen in action, and it seems to work fine. I would use it for graphic work. But I am not really rendering 3D, doing heavy video, or anything that requires absolutely insane amounts of proc speed. So if one of this Quicksilver G4 would work fine for me, does it make sense for me to wait for one of those rumored "super GHZ-multi processor- G-whatever" PPC? Which, by the way, no one has really seen or God knows when they will be available. But then again, if I save up my money till July and those computers do hit the market, I would be buying a faster computer for the same money. And knowing Apple, as soon as G5's hit the market, they will do everything to phase out the G4 I would just have bought. On the other hand, if those G5's do hit the market; we all know it would take a lot of time before they become standarized. Is the G4 such a bad processor? I keep hearing about how its architecture is not the best. I read about how the Mortorola G4 proc are what create the bottleneck when it comes to processing in the Quicksilver PPC's. Is this really a problem for "normal" users. How good are Quicksilver PC's in handling Java, opening aps, encoding MP3's, and in such regular tasks? Will a G5 really give a new meaning to my life? Will I suddenly feel compelled to grab a bullhorn and run down the street naked screaming about the benefits of G5's? OK, I am getting carried away. Hehe

ARGGGGHH!! I hate the dilema!!! Please give me some useful opinions. Especially from users that currently own or bought a G4. I need to make a decision soon.

Mr. Anderson
Mar 11, 2003, 08:46 AM
If you need the thing now to do work, have the money and don't need the insane speed of something we haven't even seen yet - well, go out today and get the dual 1.25 and get busy ;)

I've got a dual 1.25 I picked up a month ago and its fantastic.

It basically boils down to productivity - if you wait 5 more months for 'possible' delivery, that's 5 more months of the current flaky machine.

Good luck, and if you're in the market for a new machine, go check out general cybernetics - they're the ones with the add on all the thread pages. Its run by backtothemac, tell him you saw it on macrumors and were told that gc has the best prices. Believe me and the over dozen of other MacRumors members who've bought from him, he does have the best price.

D

Giaguara
Mar 11, 2003, 08:48 AM
get a g4 now if you need it.

Bear
Mar 11, 2003, 08:54 AM
Originally posted by Giaguara
get a g4 now if you need it.
To add to this, remeber that a July announcement doesn't necessarily mean July availability.

If you need it, you need it. I admit I'm going to be drooling come the 970 announcements, but I couldn't really wait.

jethroted
Mar 11, 2003, 09:07 AM
If you do not NEED to get a new computer RIGHT NOW, then wait for the 970's. You are going to feel like a putz if you are still paying off a new system that's dwarfed in a couple months from now. If it was just a Mhz bump we were waiting for, then I would say go get what's out now, but this is a huge leap we will be taking. You don't want to feel the burn on that big of a loss.

*I know this is not the popular opinion on this forum so no one needs to remind me.*

yzedf
Mar 11, 2003, 09:09 AM
For what you want to do, buy the dual G4 now. If you are going to be doing the same work that you do now with your G3, you are golden!

IMO, if you are looking at the 1.25 and not the 1.42 then you are more interested in what gets the job done, not what is the latest and greatest. A very wise choice.

khollister
Mar 11, 2003, 09:39 AM
A few opinions:

1) The current DP's are very fast & responsive with OS X. The only speed issue is if you do direct comparisions of very large computationally intensive operations such as batch MP3 encoding, 3D rendering, etc. I routinely use Photoshop 7 to work with TIFF's from 4-5 megapixel cameras, and never feel like I am waiting on the computer. iMovie runs nicely, too.

2) Much of the number crunching performance lag relative to P4's is due to less than optimal Altivec optimization. MacBibble, an app to process raw images from a number of popular high end digital cameras, flies on a DP G4 because Eric did the optimiztion right. Converting raw Nikon D1x images is faster on a DP G4 than a 3GHz P4.

3) If a new computer is a hobby, and the latest & greatest is the goal, then you will want a 970 machine when they appear. However, I can't imagine a DP G4 not being a satisfying machine for some time to come unless you are doing things that involve minutes/hours of CPU processing.

4) Given Apple's track record, I find it hard to believe that 970 machines will ship in any useful quantities until close to the end of the year. It also remains to be seen what the cost is and how mature/stable the first version will be.

I recently bought a DP 1.25 (the best price/performance of the current PM line) and am completely satisified performance wise. I am also a recent switcher coming from a P4 XP machine, so my speed/responsiveness expectations were pretty high.

CrackedButter
Mar 11, 2003, 11:24 AM
I'm also waiting for the upgrade but i want a 15" PB, i know they are going to upgrade the damn thing but its a question of when, at the moment i am unable to go to college with my old laptop as i have already sold it, instead i am back to taking notes in class with paper. Also i am using my gf's desktop machine running winme and suse 8.1.

However i have plans to be in NZ by next year so i need to save money on that, but i need a laptop as well since this summer i want to do some programming. Thing is college finishes within 3 months so it might not be worth getting anything at all until December/Jan time and do my work on the desktop.

If i can get a 970 before i go NZ then okay but i would be happy with a 15"PB with a bog standard G4, i would only be doing coding and flash animation work anyway.

LosJackal
Mar 11, 2003, 11:34 AM
If you can do your work on a G3, you'll certainly be able to do your work on any recent G4 VERY well. No need to wait for a G5 just because it's out there somewhere. You don't have to feel bad about not owning the latest and greatest if what you bought and could afford does the job you need it to.

That being said, let's talk technical. You're already upgrading to a new processor (G3 to G4). If you buy one of the current PowerMacs, you'll get the latest model that has a motherboard "inherited" from the Xserve architecture, if I remember correctly. It also has capabilities for integrated Bluetooth and Firewire 800.

So in my opinion, you'll get a lot of mileage out of one of these current PowerMac models.

MacBandit
Mar 11, 2003, 11:38 AM
I bought a new PowerMac Dual/Ghz/DDR when they became available in August. I must say you will not be dissapointed in any way.

DreaminDirector
Mar 11, 2003, 12:26 PM
I just bought a dual 1.25ghz about four weeks ago, and I've never looked back. All those rumors about the 970 don't scare me, and as it shouldn't. Apple has a history of announcing a product, getting people into a frenzy, then saying "Oh yeah, get one in 6-8 weeks", which we all know about the MDD 1.25 last year that took almost 4 months to ship.

If it's for work, get it now. Prices haven't been this good in a long while.

And you'll love the speed (especially coming from a G3)

Good luck on your choice!

iShater
Mar 11, 2003, 01:16 PM
Question for you, do you need the expandability of a PowerMac right now? What if you get a cheap eMac, it will save you tons of $, would be way faster than your current system, you know it won't get the 970 any time soon, and you know that you can sell it and only lose a couple of hundred bucks later.

Heck, buy a referbished one to hold you over!

J-boy
Mar 12, 2003, 01:50 PM
Wow. I am really happy I posted a message here. Certainly was not expecting so many replies. All with great suggestions and opinions. Nothing to help you make your mind than a bunch of opinions from a bunch of strangers. Hehe.

I think all points are very valid. I think I have come to the conclusion that if the Quicksilver is a good computer now, it is till going to be a good computer even after those other 970's come out. It will not be snazziest one. But like someone pointed out, I would be getting the better ones of the G4"true and tested" generation. True, I will feel like a putz if those new G5's do come out and hit amazing processors speeds. But then again, I will feel more like a putz if they do not come out in July. Even worst, if we only get a tease of what will be coming up in the next year (which in Apple talk, it is more like the next 2). Plus, we all know human nature. If I wait till July, the two grands I have saved up for a new comp now will be spent in that trip to Sweden I never took or the neons for the underside of my car. Hehe.

Any other ideas are always welcomed. I do love hearing what people have to say who just bought the same computer. It is good to hear that people who have bought it and are happy with it. So thanks to everybody.

Dont Hurt Me
Mar 12, 2003, 04:38 PM
A lot of good post and agree with duke street and what he said, also would like to mention that even a 1 giger imac may meet all your needs. I didnt see much talk about you needing an upgradable machine and from the sounds of it that new imac would do everything you need. Plus its the coolest computer on the planet with a sweet 17 inch display. What are your needs and whats in the wallet vs what you want? The new imac has ddr, new architecture like xserve, all in one and is sexy. takes up less space! on the other hand maybe you have a monitor you dont want to part with and need that dual cpu for your graphics work. Powermac or high end imac either way you cant go wrong in my opinion!

occam
Mar 12, 2003, 04:51 PM
J-Boy:

If you need it now, buy it now. The current DP1.25 machines are a good value.

Also, just because you buy, that doesn't mean you can't upgrade. You can sell your DP and buy a new one for the difference in price. You will be paying a premium for the 6+ months of usage, but it's still a strategy (usually a pretty good one, but the Motorola->970 differential will probably be pretty big, making it a less attractive option).

One other issue to consider is whether the current machines are the "right" price for you. If so, that's great. The 970's may not come in at the current price points (though we all hope Apple is aggressive with their pricing).

It sounds like you're buying now. A friend of mine just got the new DP1.25 and loves it. One other advantage to buying now is that you can upgrade at a later date. The initial 970's should be close to double the speed of motorola's current chips. However, the 2nd generation 970's (.09 microns) should be a another 1/3 faster than the first generation 970's!

With your new DP, you can always wait out the first generation glitches and opt in for the even speedier, deglitched 2nd generation.

Enjoy!

Bear
Mar 12, 2003, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by occam
...
It sounds like you're buying now. A friend of mine just got the new DP1.25 and loves it. One other advantage to buying now is that you can upgrade at a later date. The initial 970's should be close to double the speed of motorola's current chips. However, the 2nd generation 970's (.09 microns) should be a another 1/3 faster than the first generation 970's!
The current fast G4's are 1.25 and 1.42. How does 1.8 = double the speed of 1.42? It's not double the clock speed. And without benchmarks, application speed differences are unknown.

Although in truth, you need to benchmark the programs you will be using to get real speed differences.

Like I said...if it's needed now, buy now. It osunds like you won't upgrade for a couple of years at least unless your workload changes.

CrackedButter
Mar 12, 2003, 05:17 PM
Hey if its worth anything i decided not to wait at all, saved myself some money now, scrapped my plans for the PB and got the fully loaded 12" ibook.

I bought it today with extra memory (from crucial), some software and backpack, shipping tomorrow hopefully to arrive before the weekend is here.

Woot! My first proper mac.

Get yours, you are gonna be waiting a while longer for the upgrade, for me the iBook is capable, i just needed to realise what i needed.

Get what you need, anything better than what you got is an improvement, so why worry about something that isn't out yet?