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View Full Version : Should I buy a G4 at reduced price or a G5


ddahlberg
Aug 15, 2003, 12:42 PM
I need to buy a new computer. I now have a G4 667mhz 1gig RAM that has been crashing in every way a computer can crash. Disk Warrior says the hard drive has a pending failure. I have done everything...rebuilt the hard drive, reinstalled all my software, run all sorts of diagnostics, I've taken it to a "certified" apple repair service...still no fixes....and now I'm fed up. This has been going on for 8 months...ever since I installed Jaguar. No one seems to be able to help me, so I'm considering buying a new one.
Now my conundrum is whether to buy a G5 or a dual G4 at almost half the price. I am a graphic designer doing web, print and CD work. I have a limited budget, but I don't want to paint myself in a corner if the G4 will not last for 3-5 years. I bought my current computer 2 1/2 years ago. I've been a loyal Apple customer since there were Apples, but I am so fed up with my present situation that I've even considered switching to a PC. Any advice will be sincerely appreciated.

iPC
Aug 15, 2003, 03:23 PM
Sounds like it is a either a motherboard or hard drive problem. You bought good memory?

If you have the extended Apple Care... then they need to fix it. That is what you payed for. If they say no, ask for that person's boss. And so on, and so on. Eventually someone will notice/care enough to get this fixed.

If you don't have the extended Apple Care, buy the fastest G5 system you can afford. I would try to go for the dual 2.0GHz, it has more PCI-X slots and more memory slots for upgrades in the future.

Don't look at switching until after you get everything sorted with Apple first. That means you have to buy new software also... and that aint cheap!

Best of luck!

kovake
Aug 15, 2003, 04:23 PM
You should get a high end G4. A G5 is a great computer, but for what you are using it for you don't need that much power. A dual 1.25 G4 is enough power for design and illustration. Plus it should be in your budget range. I would recomend a G5 for things like 3D animation and Film. But even then the high end G4 was still capable of handling any task thrown at it.

My opinon go for the Dual G4. It'll be a while before any software comes out that won't be able to run on it.

P.S. I have a 400 G4 and I have had the same hard drive problems before I just got a new hard drive and everything was ok after that.

P.P.S. I know alot of professional graphic artists and most them work with 500 - 800 Mhz single processor G4s, so anything more than that is luxury.

aggro
Aug 15, 2003, 04:45 PM
THE BIGGEST NICEITY OF THE G4 is that you get the dual CD bays, on the G5 you do not.

Sucks that they took that option away, it was nice.

bums! what were they thinking!

PieMac
Aug 19, 2003, 11:34 AM
I'm wrestling with this same decision as well. And I keep going back and forth. I know that the G4 would be plenty powerful for my needs, but I keep finding myself pulled towards the G5 (the 1.6...I know that the 1.8 is a better buy all things considered, but I am on a budget and I just don't need that kind of power or expandibility).
It's just knowing that you are buying what is now considered "yesterday's technology". Yet that's not really quite true because the G4 will be around for quite a while in the form of iMac's and PowerBooks and eventually, I would guess, iBooks. That's the other thing, if I settled for the G4, I could almost justify keeping my iBook instead of having to sell it. I would really love to hang on to my laptop and have the best of both worlds.
I've even gone as far as ordering both (at different times...thought I had finally decided) and cancelling. Doesn't help that I suck at decision making. :rolleyes:

CmdrLaForge
Aug 19, 2003, 12:20 PM
I would suggest to go with dual G4s. Seems to be a much better price performance from your application point of view. I think there should be great deals for the G4 out there at the moment

Chaszmyr
Aug 19, 2003, 01:45 PM
Personally I would go with the G5, but many people have told me in the past I go for more power than I need

PieMac
Aug 19, 2003, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by CmdrLaForge
I would suggest to go with dual G4s. Seems to be a much better price performance from your application point of view. I think there should be great deals for the G4 out there at the moment

Actually, the G4 that I ordered was a dual, but when all was said and done, the price difference was only a little over $100.00 between that and the 1.6 G5 (which is why I cancelled the order...just didn't make sense for that minute a difference in price to get the older model). I was actually thinking of the single processor 1.25 G4 as the most intense I ever get is some home video editing, a little light web design, and some Photoshop. There is a price difference of roughly $400.00 between that and the 1.6 G5.

nospleen
Aug 19, 2003, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by PieMac
Actually, the G4 that I ordered was a dual, but when all was said and done, the price difference was only a little over $100.00 between that and the 1.6 G5 (which is why I cancelled the order...just didn't make sense for that minute a difference in price to get the older model). I was actually thinking of the single processor 1.25 G4 as the most intense I ever get is some home video editing, a little light web design, and some Photoshop. There is a price difference of roughly $400.00 between that and the 1.6 G5.

I ordered a refurb dual 1.25 from www.macwarehouse.com for 1399. (I found new ones for as low as 1550) If you can get one for that price, I would go for it. If not, get the G5.

CmdrLaForge
Aug 19, 2003, 03:04 PM
Originally posted by PieMac
Actually, the G4 that I ordered was a dual, but when all was said and done, the price difference was only a little over $100.00 between that and the 1.6 G5 (which is why I cancelled the order...just didn't make sense for that minute a difference in price to get the older model). I was actually thinking of the single processor 1.25 G4 as the most intense I ever get is some home video editing, a little light web design, and some Photoshop. There is a price difference of roughly $400.00 between that and the 1.6 G5.

WOW - I thought that the price difference is much bigger. Maybe the prices drop when the G5 now really starts shipping.

If not. Go with the G5. But I would recommend then the 1.8Ghz maschine.

Cheers
CmdrLaForge

ddahlberg
Aug 19, 2003, 03:31 PM
Well, I appreciate everyone's input, but I am getting a lot of advice to get the G5 and a lot of advice to get a G4...does anyone have any definitive reasons for their choice? Will the G4 be supported for the next 3-5 years? How long is "awhile" before new software comes out that won't run on a G4? And which G4...the dual or the 1.8, and why?
thanks in advance

CmdrLaForge
Aug 20, 2003, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by ddahlberg
Well, I appreciate everyone's input, but I am getting a lot of advice to get the G5 and a lot of advice to get a G4...does anyone have any definitive reasons for their choice? Will the G4 be supported for the next 3-5 years? How long is "awhile" before new software comes out that won't run on a G4? And which G4...the dual or the 1.8, and why?
thanks in advance

OK. Here some more advice:

The G5s just started to ship. There are no benchmarks test beside the Apple benchmarks available. I would expect that soon after the first G5s arrive many magazines as well as sites like
http://www.macspeedzone.com
will publish there benchmarks. From those it should be possible to derive if a G5 1.6Ghz or a Dual G4 1.42 GHz is faster and what the overall performance is. As well in comparison to current single G4 1.0 GHz performance.

Therefore - wait for the benchmarks if you can. Should be out soon.

From the support point of view there is no problem for the G4s. And most software will be available or work on both systems.

Hope this was helpful

Cheers
CmdrLaForge

beefstu01
Aug 20, 2003, 08:58 AM
My guess is that it's going to be a long time until the G4 becomes unsupported by software. I'm talking like 5-6+ years. Right now new computers will be released with the G4 in 'em, so it's got a lot more life in it. Plus, everything is on the PowerPC archetecture, so actually, as long as the PPC is in use, the G4 *should* work. Right?

jayscheuerle
Aug 20, 2003, 10:26 AM
You've got a decently spec'd machine with a problem. Spend $40 on a new drive & do a clean install. That will tell you if the original drive was the problem. If it turns out that something else is the problem, you can always put your new drive in a G4 if you decide to go that route.

The G5 is sexy and tempting. It's also overkill for most people. Even a used machine would most likely give you more power than you need, but this is about what you want.

The G4 is a solid practical choice and the dual processors will undoubtedly make it faster than the 1.6 G5 for some operations.

Flip a coin. Get what you want. It's your money. - j

jayscheuerle
Aug 20, 2003, 10:32 AM
Originally posted by PieMac
It's just knowing that you are buying what is now considered "yesterday's technology".

"Yesterday's technology" is more of a marketing ploy or a geek rant than anything you'll have to worry about with any machine made in the last 3 years.

Real "yesterday's technology" includes rotary phones, analog camcorders and floppy drives.

If you've got AGP, USB & firewire and a couple of spare PCI ports, you'll be good for a number of years to come.

- j

sphereboy
Aug 20, 2003, 12:43 PM
Apple Power Mac Dual 1.42GHz G4/512MB RAM/120GB HD/SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)/ATI Radeon 9000/OS X

Order Total: $2,557.23 (shipped/delivered)

Is this the way to go? .. if we don't really need the power of a G5 just yet? .. how come Apple doesn't offer the 1.42GHz G4 in their Apple Store?

Any good feedback on these machines? Any bad feedback?

potterfast
Aug 20, 2003, 02:54 PM
Did you run Apple Hardware Diagnostics disk on the machine?

I had a PB G4 that seemed fine but my RAM had issues. I sent it back, they sent me a replacement and I have not crashed since...knock on wood. Apps here and there but no OS crash.

It has been about 2 months.

Don't forget the iMac and eMac are still G4 and so is the laptops. G4s will be around a while and Dual G4 is pretty darn speedy. G5 gives you the latest in architecture developments including USB2, Firewire 800, Airport Extreme, faster system bus and the ability to address more than 8GBs of Ram.

Hope this helps.

doctorhook
Aug 26, 2003, 09:15 PM
What you're into today may change over the next two years. Things are movin' pretty fast. What seems like "overkill" today will just be keeping up tomorrow. The G5 with Panther looks like a real nice setup. Get all the RAM you can afford and don't look back! If you spend a lot of time on your machine it'll be way worth it.
~Just my opinion.

iJon
Aug 26, 2003, 10:27 PM
well all i can say is thost g4's are discounted well below retail for a reason. go with a g5.

iJon

krohde
Aug 27, 2003, 07:17 AM
I think there might be a possibility of error in the OS X installation. Not many people know that OS X has to be installed on the first 8GB of the HD. When you install the OS it usually notifies you of this when it is not the case, but your's might have misread the partitions and the disc space.
Try and reinstall with another disc.

P.S. This is in the OS X install readme file.

KR

QCassidy352
Aug 27, 2003, 04:37 PM
the G4s aren't really that cheap from the apple store...

if we configure the specs on the dual 1.25 G4 to match those of the stock 1.6 G5, here's what we get:

1.6 Ghz G5
256 RAM
80 Gig HD
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 w/ 128 VRAM
Superdrive
AE and BT ready

Price: $1999

Dual 1.25 G4
256 RAM
80 Gig HD
NVIDIA GeForce4 Titanium w/ 128 VRAM
Superdrive
Airport ready

Price: $1999

Um... what am I missing here? Doesn't seem like much of a bargain on the G4. :rolleyes:

(I know, you can probably get the G4 cheaper elsewhere... but what is apple doing??)

iJon
Aug 27, 2003, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by QCassidy352
the G4s aren't really that cheap from the apple store...

if we configure the specs on the dual 1.25 G4 to match those of the stock 1.6 G5, here's what we get:

1.6 Ghz G5
256 RAM
80 Gig HD
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 w/ 128 VRAM
Superdrive
AE and BT ready

Price: $1999

Dual 1.25 G4
256 RAM
80 Gig HD
NVIDIA GeForce4 Titanium w/ 128 VRAM
Superdrive
Airport ready

Price: $1999

Um... what am I missing here? Doesn't seem like much of a bargain on the G4. :rolleyes:

(I know, you can probably get the G4 cheaper elsewhere... but what is apple doing??)
well i agree with you for the most part. many resellers and warehouses still have the old g4's left, which are selling at nice prices as well. and also, the 5200 does not come with 128mb of vram, but 64. but still, g5 is a better buy.

iJon

noel4r
Aug 27, 2003, 07:35 PM
Get the G5, it will save you money in the long run....

PieMac
Aug 27, 2003, 07:51 PM
After wrestling with this same decision for over 3 weeks, I just had my first "hands on" experience with a G5 today (1.6 with 768 mgs of RAM)...that was all it took. I'm sold! Am ordering one this week.

D*I*S_Frontman
Aug 27, 2003, 09:54 PM
I was weighing the pros and cons and came up on the side of buying a refurbed DP 1.25 (OS9 bootable) PM from SmallDog.com then tricking it out.

Looking @ Barefeats.com convinced me that the base G5 won't really be much better than a G4 dualie performance-wise. The OS9-Bootable DP 1.25 doesn't have FW800 so I am having SmallDog plug in an OrangeMicro FW800 card for $75 installed. For the price of a base G5 I'll have a dual G4 1.25 with 2GB RAM, an extra optical drive bay, 120GB HD, and 2 channels of FW800 for RAID applications.

Just my take.

Genie
Sep 25, 2003, 12:38 AM
The G5 is the way to go!
http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/Genie-G5Computer50pix.jpg (http://geniesongs.com/personal.html)

tristan
Sep 26, 2003, 06:54 PM
You're having a hard time making the decision because the alternatives are so similar.

The G5 1.6 has a fast (but not the fastest) single processor.

The Dual G4 1.42 has slower processors, but they're still pretty fast, and you get two of them. Put them both together, and you have a slightly faster machine for any task which will use both processors.

See why it's so hard? And why they're priced so similarly? And why nobody can really give you that one fact to help you make the decision? Because they're basically the same.

Since they're so similar, you might as well just take the newer model, the G5. It'll probably have higher resale value down the road because in three years, everyone will have G5s and G4s will be like G3s now. (Even though a high end G4 will still have acceptable performance.)

Genie
Sep 26, 2003, 07:00 PM
http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/Genie-G5Computer50pix.jpg (http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/g5opening/index.htm)
Oh lord I'm trying not to be a shill for Apple but I am so so so so so so so so sos os os os os ososo
Happy with this G5!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm mixing my new CD on it and it is such a pleasure.

tristan
Sep 26, 2003, 07:34 PM
oh about your crashes... it could be...

1. need to reinstall the os
2. bad memory
3. bad hard drive
4. motherboard problem

if you've reinstalled the OS, try finding replacements for #2 and #3 if you can. Maybe you can borrow some DIMMs or an IDE drive from somewhere. But if it's #4, you're pretty much screwed. And if it's #2 or #3, you still have to ask yourself "do i want to put more money into my old machine?" Probably not.