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wawanarchist
Mar 4, 2009, 09:28 AM
First off, I'm sorry, I know you get these all of the time, I've read through tons of them, but my situation is a bit unique, and I hope you guys can help...

I sit with $1,900 in my pocket, money saved up for a new iMac 24" I wanted to buy the newer equivalent of the old 2.8ghz... But now that the disappointing new updates have come out, it does not seem worth it, so I have come up with a few options and want to know which you think will be the best.

I'm a photographer in college basically looking for an editing suite that will last me for my next 3 years before I go into the real world and upgrade. I do photojournalist work which requires little editing past simple adjustments, but after shooting say a football game, I may have 1,000 images that need processing. I'm hoping to spend as little as possible, so I can invest the rest in a new telephoto lens.

Option 1. Powermac G5... Dual 2.3ghz, 4gb ram, new server grade 500gb hd, loaded with software... $750 (+ $300 24" monitor)

Option 2. Dell XPS Studio... Quad i7, 2.66ghz, 6gb ram, 750gb hd, high end graphics, all 25% off $1,100 (+ $300 24" monitor)

Option 3. 2.8ghz iMac Refurb... $1,200

I prefer OSX, but don't hate windows, so thats no big deal for me... What would you do? I know the G5 is outdated, but I only intend to use it for a few years, and it seems to be the best deal, and the ram and hd are brand new. The Dell kills the OSX, but seems to be a lot of power for a good price after the 25% off, and I could live with windows. And the iMac is the same model I've owned before, and I wasnt happy with the graphics performance, but the price seems okay..

Once again I'm sorry, but I could really use some solid advise before I invest what little money I make here in college in a computer I'll be using for the next 3 years



Fomaphone
Mar 4, 2009, 09:35 AM
if you can live with windows, go for it.

it's primitive, but not a sin. :cool:

the imac is not a photo editing machine... it's glossy.

Chaos123x
Mar 4, 2009, 09:36 AM
First off, I'm sorry, I know you get these all of the time, I've read through tons of them, but my situation is a bit unique, and I hope you guys can help...

I sit with $1,900 in my pocket, money saved up for a new iMac 24" I wanted to buy the newer equivalent of the old 2.8ghz... But now that the disappointing new updates have come out, it does not seem worth it, so I have come up with a few options and want to know which you think will be the best.

I'm a photographer in college basically looking for an editing suite that will last me for my next 3 years before I go into the real world and upgrade. I do photojournalist work which requires little editing past simple adjustments, but after shooting say a football game, I may have 1,000 images that need processing. I'm hoping to spend as little as possible, so I can invest the rest in a new telephoto lens.

Option 1. Powermac G5... Dual 2.3ghz, 4gb ram, new server grade 500gb hd, loaded with software... $750 (+ $300 24" monitor)

Option 2. Dell XPS Studio... Quad i7, 2.66ghz, 6gb ram, 750gb hd, high end graphics, all 25% off $1,100 (+ $300 24" monitor)

Option 3. 2.8ghz iMac Refurb... $1,200

I prefer OSX, but don't hate windows, so thats no big deal for me... What would you do? I know the G5 is outdated, but I only intend to use it for a few years, and it seems to be the best deal, and the ram and hd are brand new. The Dell kills the OSX, but seems to be a lot of power for a good price after the 25% off, and I could live with windows. And the iMac is the same model I've owned before, and I wasnt happy with the graphics performance, but the price seems okay..

Once again I'm sorry, but I could really use some solid advise before I invest what little money I make here in college in a computer I'll be using for the next 3 years


I would get a Mac Book Pro, Photoshop and Aperture.

Don't get a Dell!!!!!


The iMacs are the best deals, but I think you might want to be portable.

wawanarchist
Mar 4, 2009, 09:40 AM
if you can live with windows, go for it.

it's primitive, but not a sin. :cool:

the imac is not a photo editing machine... it's glossy.
I know the imac isnt ideal, but honestly, when your final product is printed on 72dpi newsprint, you don't need to have 100% contrast and color accuracy, and when I print on good paper I retouch everything in one of the campus print centers on mac pros with their fancy displays. But I'll take that as a vote for the dell

I would get a Mac Book Pro, Photoshop and Aperture.

Don't get a Dell!!!!!


The iMacs are the best deals, but I think you might want to be portable.

Portability is not an issue for me, I have a decent laptop (that I'm using right now) that can do internet, word, and everything else just fine, I need a machine strictly for editing.

AdamN
Mar 4, 2009, 12:29 PM
Here is what I would do (and seriously, I'm not on crack):

1. Look into student discounts. You should be able to get a solid 10% off and maybe a free printer that you can sell (particularly if you wait until summer). I imagine you know this - but I figured I'd put it out there.
2. Get the $799 Mac Mini with the 2.26GHz chip and 4GB RAM which brings it to $1k without keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
3. Buy any keyboard (I like the Microsoft Natural), a pretty good mouse (Logitech BZ105 in my case), and a Monitor (Viewsonic VP2250wb in my case). That should be about $300 if you look around or get cheaper alternatives.

That will give you an awesome rig that you can grow with. Photo editing doesn't require the highest end graphics - you'll be fine managing 1k photos on it at a time.

Please don't get the G5, Snow Leopard won't support it and you'll be really annoyed in a year. If you really must, get the Dell. Seriously though, all the time spent uninstalling the malware, getting AV setup, etc... will easily eat up tons of time that could be better spent managing your photos.

A Mac Mini with 4GB DDR3 RAM, 2.26 GHz dual processor chip, 7200 RPM drive (get the small one - you can always expand externally - which is best anyway), and an Nvidia 9400m with 256MB RAM is totally sufficient for serious editing. Even a pro wouldn't have had that just 2 years ago.

wawanarchist
Mar 4, 2009, 01:13 PM
Here is what I would do (and seriously, I'm not on crack):

1. Look into student discounts. You should be able to get a solid 10% off and maybe a free printer that you can sell (particularly if you wait until summer). I imagine you know this - but I figured I'd put it out there.
2. Get the $799 Mac Mini with the 2.26GHz chip and 4GB RAM which brings it to $1k without keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
3. Buy any keyboard (I like the Microsoft Natural), a pretty good mouse (Logitech BZ105 in my case), and a Monitor (Viewsonic VP2250wb in my case). That should be about $300 if you look around or get cheaper alternatives.

That will give you an awesome rig that you can grow with. Photo editing doesn't require the highest end graphics - you'll be fine managing 1k photos on it at a time.

Please don't get the G5, Snow Leopard won't support it and you'll be really annoyed in a year. If you really must, get the Dell. Seriously though, all the time spent uninstalling the malware, getting AV setup, etc... will easily eat up tons of time that could be better spent managing your photos.

A Mac Mini with 4GB DDR3 RAM, 2.26 GHz dual processor chip, 7200 RPM drive (get the small one - you can always expand externally - which is best anyway), and an Nvidia 9400m with 256MB RAM is totally sufficient for serious editing. Even a pro wouldn't have had that just 2 years ago.

It just seems like thats about the same as getting the refurb iMac, just an alternative

wawanarchist
Mar 4, 2009, 02:10 PM
I'm somewhat worried that the refurb iMacs will run out soon, any thoughts on this?

liquidtrend
Mar 4, 2009, 02:15 PM
I'm somewhat worried that the refurb iMacs will run out soon, any thoughts on this?

it shouldnt matter if you have 1,900 in your pocket!

the refurbs are awesome deals, and they are still covered under warranty.

get what youve been wanting for a handful less.
then buy fun toys with the extra cash

California
Mar 5, 2009, 04:12 AM
The 2.3ghz aircooled G5 PM is the cheapest and best editing workhorse of the lot. I have owned the 2.0 dual core and now the Quad and am very very happy with both. If you can get it for 700 or 750, it's a good price and you will not lose as much money on the deal when you want to sell it in a couple of years. My 2.0ghz was flawless. The only problem, ever, with it was the oem hard drive failed. Just keep the case/fan areas clean. But make sure you are getting the dual core not the dual processor ones, the one that takes up to sixteen gigs of ram.

The new mac minis are tempting, too, on the other hand, but not sure how much you would have to invest to make it an editing suite.

opeter
Mar 5, 2009, 04:19 AM
I would go for the Dell... or any other Dual or Quad-core PC (Intel C2D E8xxx or Q9xxx or even a Phenom II). Together with a DSP version of Windows Vista it will be much cheaper, than any of these Macs.

it has much more RAW power, than the other two Macs.
In 2009 i would not buy any Macs with G5 tehcnology. It's old now.

And Windows is not primitive. MacOS's Finder is in many ways. That's why you need some additional tools/utils like DefaultFolder X and PathFinder (or ForkLift) to make is somehow usable and compensate the "primitivism" of OSX's Finder...

The absent "Merge" button is one of these things, that can be quite annoying if you copy files to a folder, that already has some of these files...

If you have any Mac licenses, that have Windows equivalents (like Adobe Creative Suite), you can make a cross-licence jump to Windows versions.

simplymuzik3
Mar 5, 2009, 05:28 AM
okay, I'm also looking into a g5 and I will be using it as a primary computer for minimum 2 years. I found an amazing deal on DP 1.8ghz, 1gb ram, 80gb hd for $400 CDN. The only thing keeping me back is the failure rate of the logic boards. The guy says that there have never been any problems with it, except the DVD drive was replaced under warranty. I don't want the computer to die on me in less than 2 years. So what do you think? will it work well, or will the logic board die? Btw, it's the 2nd revision that supports max 4gb ram.

opeter
Mar 5, 2009, 05:33 AM
okay, I'm also looking into a g5 and I will be using it as a primary computer for minimum 2 years. I found an amazing deal on DP 1.8ghz, 1gb ram, 80gb hd for $400 CDN. The only thing keeping me back is the failure rate of the logic boards. The guy says that there have never been any problems with it, except the DVD drive was replaced under warranty. I don't want the computer to die on me in less than 2 years. So what do you think? will it work well, or will the logic board die? Btw, it's the 2nd revision that supports max 4gb ram.

As i already wrote: "In 2009 i would not buy any Macs with G5 tehcnology. It's old now."

Quash
Mar 5, 2009, 05:42 AM
As i already wrote: "In 2009 i would not buy any Macs with G5 tehcnology. It's old now."

/signed

I went from:
g4 1.42 mini
g5 Powermac single 1.8
c2d 2.16 imac
to octo 2.8 mac pro

And the biggest jump in performance by far was between the G5 and the imac.

The g5 are amazing machines, especially build and quality. And they are still useful for some applications. But core 2 duo's even entry mobile ones are much faster. I would seriously consider a mini if i were strapped for cash. The g5 memory bandwidth is just too low especially if you plan to use it for another couple of years.

Oh and don't waste money on a 2.26 mini (unless you don't care about $$) because i seriously doubt you would tell em apart from a 2.0 one in a blind test. Get 4gb and a fast fw800 drive instead :)

simplymuzik3
Mar 5, 2009, 06:03 AM
I was looking into a mini but the basic model starts at $740 CAD + 14% tax(I don't have a calc with me). The dual processor 1.8 is 400$ no tax. I'm REALLY low on cash right now. And I currently have a dual 800 quicksilver,1.5 gb ram, and it runs fine. The only reason I'm upgrading is because I need leopard (Xcode iphone sdk).

opeter
Mar 5, 2009, 06:14 AM
I was looking into a mini but the basic model starts at $740 CAD + 14% tax(I don't have a calc with me). The dual processor 1.8 is 400$ no tax. I'm REALLY low on cash right now. And I currently have a dual 800 quicksilver,1.5 gb ram, and it runs fine. The only reason I'm upgrading is because I need leopard (Xcode iphone sdk).

Does the Xcode iPhone SDK work on PPC?

If i were you, I'll wait, until i have enought money to buy a Mac mini.

simplymuzik3
Mar 5, 2009, 06:25 AM
there is a way to install the iPhone sdk on a PPC. I'm still not sure about the mini though, it costs more than twice as much, and I'm going to school right now, so I don't have a job either. Btw, will leopard run good? I know I should be using tiger, but I need leopard for the iphone sdk.

California
Mar 5, 2009, 07:07 AM
The dual 1.8 G5 only takes four gigs of ram as I recall, though I think there were two versions.

The last 2005 revisions of the Powermac are the only ones I'd bother with, though if that dual 1.8 takes eight gigs of ram, I'd consider it. Keep in mind, ram for the older G5s is very expensive.

Again, I'm on my late 2005 Quad right now and love it more than my most recent intel. My iPhone is fine on the G5 and running last Leopard perfectly, so did the 2.0 ghz g5.

chaosbunny
Mar 5, 2009, 07:24 AM
And Windows is not primitive. MacOS's Finder is in many ways. That's why you need some additional tools/utils like DefaultFolder X and PathFinder (or ForkLift) to make is somehow usable and compensate the "primitivism" of OSX's Finder...

True, but in Windows you also need something like Adobe Bridge to replace the clumsy mess that is Explorer.

It's just personal preference of course.

dimme
Mar 5, 2009, 07:27 AM
I wold say if you looking for 3+ years and don't mind Windows get the Dell. I would not get the G5 and expect it to keep up to date with software for 3 years. By then we will have CS5 and it may not run on PPC.

simplymuzik3
Mar 5, 2009, 07:52 AM
The dual 1.8 G5 only takes four gigs of ram as I recall, though I think there were two versions.

The last 2005 revisions of the Powermac are the only ones I'd bother with, though if that dual 1.8 takes eight gigs of ram, I'd consider it. Keep in mind, ram for the older G5s is very expensive.

Again, I'm on my late 2005 Quad right now and love it more than my most recent intel. My iPhone is fine on the G5 and running last Leopard perfectly, so did the 2.0 ghz g5.

Sweet! Thanks so much. I'm probably going to end up buying it because it's such a good deal! Thanks for the help!

SimD
Mar 5, 2009, 08:17 AM
The new baseline iMac is fast enough to do what you do. The 9400 chipset will run photoshop, aperture and lightroom plenty fast. Plus, you're a student, if you were trying to make a living, sure, a fast computer would have it's benefits but spend as little as possible.

My vote is #4. New baseline iMac.

wawanarchist
Mar 5, 2009, 08:31 AM
The new baseline iMac is fast enough to do what you do. The 9400 chipset will run photoshop, aperture and lightroom plenty fast. Plus, you're a student, if you were trying to make a living, sure, a fast computer would have it's benefits but spend as little as possible.

My vote is #4. New baseline iMac.

Why would I get a new baseline iMac when I could get the pretty much equally powerful 2.8ghz refurb for much cheaper?

Macintosh¯Lover
Mar 5, 2009, 10:05 PM
Get the g5 but get the Quad 2.5 it was faster than many intel macpros
only about 300$ more

myca
Mar 5, 2009, 10:11 PM
Does the Xcode iPhone SDK work on PPC?.

It's only officially compatible with Intel based macs, I think it can be hacked to work on PPC though.

iJaz
Mar 6, 2009, 01:41 AM
/signed

I went from:
g4 1.42 mini
g5 Powermac single 1.8
c2d 2.16 imac
to octo 2.8 mac pro

And the biggest jump in performance by far was between the G5 and the imac.

The g5 are amazing machines, especially build and quality. And they are still useful for some applications. But core 2 duo's even entry mobile ones are much faster. I would seriously consider a mini if i were strapped for cash. The g5 memory bandwidth is just too low especially if you plan to use it for another couple of years.

Oh and don't waste money on a 2.26 mini (unless you don't care about $$) because i seriously doubt you would tell em apart from a 2.0 one in a blind test. Get 4gb and a fast fw800 drive instead :)

I really wouldn't say that my C2D 2.0 MacBook is faster than my PowerMac G5 2.3 GHz dual processor. I think they are about equal. However, I wouldn't buy a G5 today, but the only reason is because you wont be able to run Snow Leopard on it. That's why I'm considering to sell my G5 soon, other than that it is a really great machine.

giffut
Mar 6, 2009, 02:48 AM
Get the g5 but get the Quad 2.5 it was faster than many intel macpros
only about 300$ more

... hardly true, e.g., my Core 2 Duo 2,33Ghz benchmarks almost the same as the Quad G5, which has double the cores.

If you want raw speed, get the Dell, as the new Nehalem Intel CPUs are smocking fast. Especially the i7-920 has huge overclocking potential. But even in stock configuration the 4 core i7-920 almost equals the former 8 core Mac Pro in raw processing power - and it dusts it in memory speed.

You could hackintosh your Dell, though - just don´t forget to buy OSX, though.

Morriss
Mar 6, 2009, 03:46 AM
I would get the refurbished iMac, and an external FW drive as your scratch disk for Photoshop. Don't get the G5. I own a 2.0 G5 and will soon be ordering a MP. PPC machines are obsolete and in the future, the latest OS X may not run on them. What happens if you need to replace your graphic card on the G5 in a year or two? Will the compatible cards be available? The macintel machines are much better in the long run, I believe.

Quu
Mar 6, 2009, 06:28 AM
Don't think I could live without Aperture for Photo work. It's just so fast and powerful, really cuts down on time. So for me the Dell (Running Windows) would not be acceptable.

The current situation of Apple kit is in my opinion quite dire. The Mac Pro is very expensive, the older G5's are outdated with no future OS wise. The iMac's are still running Mobile Dual Core processors. Mini Display Port is rearing its ugly head ..

It's difficult being a Mac user right now Apple is making a lot of decisions that consumers don't like. I bought a 17" MBP recently to use for Work & Home. Aperture, Photoshop, Motion, XCode - And play like IM, Surfing, Email, Music & Video. I'm happy with my Purchase because I think the Apple notebooks are the only real computer they sell at the moment that is actually competitive with the rest of the industry. The other systems they sell have all been re-created and oftentimes with better specifications.

Hard decision you have to make. If it was me in your position I'd probably buy a 15" MacBook Pro.

AdamN
Mar 6, 2009, 08:37 AM
/signed

I went from:
g4 1.42 mini
g5 Powermac single 1.8
c2d 2.16 imac
to octo 2.8 mac pro

And the biggest jump in performance by far was between the G5 and the imac.

The g5 are amazing machines, especially build and quality. And they are still useful for some applications. But core 2 duo's even entry mobile ones are much faster. I would seriously consider a mini if i were strapped for cash. The g5 memory bandwidth is just too low especially if you plan to use it for another couple of years.

Oh and don't waste money on a 2.26 mini (unless you don't care about $$) because i seriously doubt you would tell em apart from a 2.0 one in a blind test. Get 4gb and a fast fw800 drive instead :)

I agree - and that is what I would do. However, he was pushing for max power for max amount of time so I wanted to make sure he stayed within the Mac Mini line rather than get a Dell :-). Another issue is that the higher model Mac Mini has double the amount of video card RAM, which could be relevant here. Nonetheless, as said elsewhere about the G5, the new Mac Mini will be more powerful than any G5 out there - and it will support Snow Leopard when it comes out. G5s are great, but they only have another 2 years left before they're totally outdated.

In response to the thread about the refurbed iMac, my only problem with that is that you can't adjust the monitor vertically or rotate it - which can be annoying for photo editing (although totally ok). The new Mac Mini will end up being almost the same price and more flexible - but either is fine.

NoNameBrand
Mar 6, 2009, 09:11 AM
there is a way to install the iPhone sdk on a PPC. I'm still not sure about the mini though, it costs more than twice as much, and I'm going to school right now, so I don't have a job either. Btw, will leopard run good? I know I should be using tiger, but I need leopard for the iphone sdk.


Leopard works great on my DP 1.8 - it's the first version with 8 DIMM slots.

I have a C2D MacBook and a CD Mini, so here's a comparison:

The Intel Macs boot faster.
My MacBook can run iMovie 08 (which chokes on the G5 - haven't run it on the work computer).
They all feel equally Snappy(TM).
The G5 has better FPS in GPU bound games.
The G5 really shines when I need fast disk I/O.
The G5 is better for audio work due to a glitch in Core Audio on Intel 10.5 systems relating to multi-track monitoring.


My usage:
I wouldn't dream of doing a billboard design on my Mini or MacBook - the disk speed is slow and I only have 2GB of RAM in each. I do lighter Photoshop work on all three, 3D modelling, programming, and single track recording and don't notice significant differences. Due to a much larger amount of RAM, more stuff is running on the G5 at any given time.

The only thing my G5 struggles with is Aperture and there are some games I want to play on an Intel Mac with a decent video card. Pretty awesome for a 5 year old computer. Aperture is OK on the MacBook, but I only keep a very small subset of my library on it.

California
Mar 6, 2009, 10:05 AM
I haven't run anything but FCP on the G5's I've owned, but I remember at the switch to Intel in 06 I was lectured sternly by an Apple Tech that the PPC architecture is superior to the Intel because of how it performs with certain heavy load programs on the G5.

If the OP finds a DP 1.8 that takes the eight gigs of ram at four hundred bucks Canadian, I think he's got a steal of a deal and when time comes I am sure he will get his money back on the machine.

DarthTreydor
Mar 6, 2009, 11:15 AM
What about a used rev a mac pro? You can find one on eBay within your price range and still have money left for a monitor. It seems like a good option as it will still be viable for years to come and can be upgraded to 32gb ram, 4 hdd, etc.

OrangeSVTguy
Mar 6, 2009, 12:29 PM
Yeah a first gen MP would be good.

The 24" is a good deal too and will last your 3+ years. It's got a good video card in there. Not bad for $1200 + Tax. Shipping is free too and you get 1 year warranty. You will have money left over to buy you a better lens.
Refurbished iMac 24-inch 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo


24-inch glossy widescreen display
2GB memory
320GB hard drive
8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory
Built-in iSight Camera

$1,199.00

benbridle38
Mar 6, 2009, 01:18 PM
you say your a teacher, so could get student discount one way or another im sure, 10-15%. and that means that you get the 3 year apple care plan.. which means its guaranteed to last 3 years mechanically wise.

obviously a referb wont let you get 3 year plan.

the graphics in the new ones is good enough for most photo editing i'm sure, my almost 3 year old cd macbook handles lightroom and photoshop quite well. So then i can imagine an imac will be fine in 3 years.

When snow leopard comes out, it will get even better.

Dont get G5, you will find yourself replacing it before 3 years, due to wanting to install the newest photo-editing programs, i cant imagine they will support ppc for more than another year.

Obviously a Hackintosh is a very good option too, allthough build quality lacks a little in the dell and there will be some teething problems im sure.

Keep with OSX thought!

OrangeSVTguy
Mar 6, 2009, 03:27 PM
***

obviously a referb wont let you get 3 year plan.

**

Sure you can.

California
Mar 7, 2009, 07:11 AM
G5's are a stable, reliable and excellent bargain right now in this depressed economy and I am more than thrilled with mine. I am about to sell my aluminum macbook because I love my G5 too much...

simplymuzik3
Mar 7, 2009, 07:57 AM
I just got my DP 1.8ghz, 1gb ram, powermac g5 yesterday, and let me tell you, it handles everything perfectly! I installed cs3/cs4 and it runs very smooth! If you can find a good deal on one, then thats even better! I got mine for $400 CDN. See if you can find one cheap, they are still VERY useable computers, and I would reccommend that you get a g5 and save the extra $$. And dont forget that if you buy new/refurb you still have to pay tax, so that might add a few hundred more to the price depending on what you get.