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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:41 PM   #1
Pandalorian
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Question Power Mac G5 or Mac Pro 1,1?

In about September i got a 2012 MBA 13", which works great for me as a laptop. It's been my first laptop though, and I've worked on desktops for much longer. I'm really starting to miss the higher graphics performance, bigger drive space (128 GB really isn't enough), but my budget would allow for only about a Dual 2.0 GhZ G5, which according to Geekbench would be 6 times slower than the air anyway. Should I get the G5, and see if it's as bad as the numbers say, or wait a while and save up more to get something like a Mac Pro 1,1?
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:45 PM   #2
Intell
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Have you ever used a PowerPC Mac before?
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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Yes, i was on an eMac 1 GhZ G4 for about 5 years!
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:54 PM   #4
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Well, if you know the limitations of a G5 and are willing to accept them, it'd make a great backup or secondary machine. But a MacPro1,1 will have much more power doing nearly everything.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:58 PM   #5
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I wouldn't get it. If I did, I would get the Dual-Core 2GHz, as those have faster RAM in larger quantities, larger L2 caches, PCIe expansion slots.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 08:59 PM   #6
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Ok, thanks for the quick response. I guess my only question would be, is it worth waiting several months to be able to purchase a MP 1,1, or would the G5 in a few weeks be more practical? I've found a Dual 2.0 G5 with 512MB ram (i would upgrade a lot) and a 160 GB hard drive for $130. Seems like an amazing deal to me, but i dont have an extraordinary amount of experience buying G5 boxes...
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:21 PM   #7
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Ok, thanks for the quick response. I guess my only question would be, is it worth waiting several months to be able to purchase a MP 1,1, or would the G5 in a few weeks be more practical? I've found a Dual 2.0 G5 with 512MB ram (i would upgrade a lot) and a 160 GB hard drive for $130. Seems like an amazing deal to me, but i dont have an extraordinary amount of experience buying G5 boxes...
I don't think that is that great of a deal. I would wait for the Mac Pro.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:28 PM   #8
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Wait, the MP can support ML right? Or is it too old as well? If i do get the MP i'll want it on an iCloud-capable OS.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:31 PM   #9
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Wait, the MP can support ML right? Or is it too old as well? If i do get the MP i'll want it on an iCloud-capable OS.
The Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1 are too old for official 10.8 support. Although it can be forced on with a bit of modifications, it has some sever limitations. Lion is iCloud-capable. But if you really want 10.8, you'll have to get a Mac Pro 3,1.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:40 PM   #10
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Hmm, I'm not really sure what I want to do. Blow what i have on a G5 to use as a backup machine, wait and get a Mac Pro 1,1 and install Lion, or since I rarely move my Air, sell it and get a Mac Pro 3,1... the choices >__<
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 10:14 PM   #11
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I'm really starting to miss the higher graphics performance, bigger drive space
If this is all you are missing then go for the G5 so long as you understand the limitations.

If you don't run seriously CPU heavy tasks (video encoding etc) - If you do you will notice a serious slowdown and the MP will be much faster.

If you don't expect to run top end games (you said mssing the graphics performance so only guessing you mean games but maybe not, either way this is not just GPU limited - in the case of games you need a reasonable CPU to drive as well.

If you are using Graphics and storage space as a reason to change make sure you get a G5 with the best GPU and largest drive you can find or you'll end up with a crappy GPU and having to spend more bucks fitting a decent one plus a large HD and wishing you'd waited for the MP

You will be more limited on what software you can use on the G5 - Not much currently supported or even "up to date" software if you go this route so check what apps you need and what versions are available for a PowerPC mac as opposed to the much better supported Intel MP.

If you DO decide to go the G5 route get the fastest you can to make up (somewhat) for the above deficiencies but balance this with Liquid Cooling issues on Quad 2.5 and Dual 2.7 machines - they'll give you more oomph but a Dual Core 2/2.3 MAY last longer.

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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:53 AM   #12
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OP,

Ask yourself: If I get a desktop today, how soon am I ok with replacing it?
If your answer is within 1-6 months, then go for the G5 and upgrade later*, if 7-18 months, go for an MP1,1 or 2,1. If you want to be able to keep it longer you need to get a newer MP.

* Smart move would be to have system and data on different disks, so that the disk can migrate to your next desktop.

Also keep in mind, that old Mac Pro's are really not that powerful. The base 13" MBA has a GB score of 6108 (32bit) The 1,1 Mac Pros are in the range of 4023 to 5788 and the original octo (2,1) 9239. The situation gets worse when you think in terms of per-core performance (some software cant utilize multiple cores. The 1,1 and 2,1 Pro's have a per-core GB of between 1000 and 1500, whereas your MBA does 3000 per core.

Come to think of it, I'm not even sure the GPU performance of an early MP is that great compared with the iGPU on a modern laptop (anyone have benchmarks handy?).

RGDS,
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 03:14 AM   #13
tom vilsack
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Would a G5 really be that much better graphics then a new air? (im asking,don't know)..because if not,why don't you just buy a external monitor and use your air in clamshell mode.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 03:16 AM   #14
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I vote for Brewster's 3rd option. None of the above!

I am similar in that I have a MBA as a main machine.

Then I got a PowerMac G5 for free and have spent about $100 upgrading it with 8GB of RAM and getting the Bluetooth/airport card. I had a 1TB drive spare to drop into anyway too.

Currently it is working for me as a desktop/media storage machine. I would like to use it for video editing and photo work too, but iPhone video can't playback smoothly, and has lots of software limitations.

I understand that and accept it, but it is very annoying. I was able to move my iPhoto library to iPhoto 09 from my MBA's 11.

For general website viewing, and general desktop usage it is fine, I have even been transcoding several TV series to H264 mp4 for playing on the TV.

But the inability to use my iPhone 5 with it, or iCloud with it are very limiting to me transitioning to it as my main machine.

It does look really awesome and I got a 23" Cinema Display with it too.

But I know that soon I won't be happy with it, and am planning building a CustoMaC (still not sure I like that name vs HackinTosh). As I love to tinker and also be able to play games.

I am also split about just getting a Mac Mini as they can have 2x 2.5" drives and cheap. I loose the tinker factor, but have something that will always just work and not have to worry with updates killing my system or USB ports that stop working.

The final option is wait for the new Mac Pro update (I'm hoping for something Core i7 based, mATX and about the size of a SilverStone FT03, allows for upto 2x dual bay GPUs and 4 hard drives. He he! I should just do the hackintosh build as Apple will never release anything like that!
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 03:25 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by tom vilsack View Post
Would a G5 really be that much better graphics then a new air? (im asking,don't know)..because if not,why don't you just buy a external monitor and use your air in clamshell mode.
Guess it depends on the cards in question but the CPU still has a big role to play in many GPU demanding REAL WORLD applications/games (not benchmarks like OpenMark which have virtually zero real world significance).

I know for example that my 7800GTX on the G5 has a MUCH higher OpenMark score than the Radeon HD6490M in my Core i7 Macbook Pro.......BUT......my MacbookPro plays games very smoothly, more so than the G5.... Go figure, the CPU is doing something here right?
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 03:27 AM   #16
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since I rarely move my Air, sell it and get a Mac Pro 3,1
This is the best solution IMO, if you need power more than portability. For Air's reselling price you can score MP 4,1 2.66 GHz easily and some cash will last in your pocket for upgrades. It could be later upgraded to 3.33 Quad or hex CPU if you will need such power. It will run ML, and future Lynx and Hello Kitty Mac OS
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 07:37 AM   #17
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Get the Mac Pro. The G5 runs ok, but since it doesn't support newer os than 10.5 (as far as i know) it has many limitations. Most software developers have stopped the support for the PowerMac, so you'll not get new updates/versions in most cases.

I have a Dual 2ghz G5, and even for basic webbrowsing it many times won't be able to complete the task due to old versions of the webbrowser, flash or similar. Which of course i can not update since the OS is too old and the cpu is not Intel. At the moment my G5 mainly works as an itunes server for my ATVs.

On the other hand. Im not much of a gamer, but my G5 runs older games like Warcraft 3 very well at full settings. Don't remember the graphics card, but believe i have 512mb vram. Don't know it tells a lot about the machine though

Bottom line. It's not crap, but it's very much outdated.

Update: I checked, and have a GeForce 6800GT card with 256mb vram

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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:11 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the responses. I've basically decided on getting a MP of some kind, but I feel like if I do I want to go the extra mile and get a 3,1 or 4,1... I can't decide. I don't know whether I'll miss my air if I sold it, but the awesome performance of a MP would be a lot nicer.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:30 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the responses. I've basically decided on getting a MP of some kind, but I feel like if I do I want to go the extra mile and get a 3,1 or 4,1... I can't decide. I don't know whether I'll miss my air if I sold it, but the awesome performance of a MP would be a lot nicer.
Why not just force yourself to run the Air as a desktop for a month? Plug it in at your desk and don't move it for anything! If you can go a few weeks like that while saving the money for a MP, then you really didn't need an air! But if you just can't handle being tethered to a desk, then you'll want to consider keeping your air, or consider buying an older laptop.

You can get a white MacBook (Core Duo, 512MB-2GB of RAM or so, sometimes even a Core2Duo model) for around $300 now. That along with a couple upgrades can be a nice low cost Apple notebook. If you're like me, you don't need a lot of laptop performance, just something light and with a good battery. My desktop is my work horse, my laptop just needs to do 'most stuff' along with the advantage of me being able to be anywhere when working with it!
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 12:02 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by tom vilsack View Post
Would a G5 really be that much better graphics then a new air? (im asking,don't know)..because if not,why don't you just buy a external monitor and use your air in clamshell mode.

That's what I was thinking, just get (or maybe OP already has) a large monitor and use the MBA. And if storage is limited get an external HD. OP already said they rarely move the MBA.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 11:12 AM   #21
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OP,

Ask yourself: If I get a desktop today, how soon am I ok with replacing it?
If your answer is within 1-6 months, then go for the G5 and upgrade later*, if 7-18 months, go for an MP1,1 or 2,1. If you want to be able to keep it longer you need to get a newer MP.

* Smart move would be to have system and data on different disks, so that the disk can migrate to your next desktop.

Also keep in mind, that old Mac Pro's are really not that powerful. The base 13" MBA has a GB score of 6108 (32bit) The 1,1 Mac Pros are in the range of 4023 to 5788 and the original octo (2,1) 9239. The situation gets worse when you think in terms of per-core performance (some software cant utilize multiple cores. The 1,1 and 2,1 Pro's have a per-core GB of between 1000 and 1500, whereas your MBA does 3000 per core.

Come to think of it, I'm not even sure the GPU performance of an early MP is that great compared with the iGPU on a modern laptop (anyone have benchmarks handy?).

RGDS,
Sorry but, lolwut?
You can put most newer PC graphics cards in a mac pro that has 10.7/10.8.
Even if your mac pro isnt one that can support these, such as the fastest graphics card in the world of which is the 7970 GHz edition, which is often compatible, you can put in a ATi 5870, of which poops all over every iGPU available atm anyway.

</rant>
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 02:15 PM   #22
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Sorry but, lolwut?
You can put most newer PC graphics cards in a mac pro that has 10.7/10.8.
Even if your mac pro isnt one that can support these, such as the fastest graphics card in the world of which is the 7970 GHz edition, which is often compatible, you can put in a ATi 5870, of which poops all over every iGPU available atm anyway.

</rant>
Yeah, I know: one of the many problems comparing an inherently in-upgradeable computer with the most upgradeable Mac. I was referring to the original GPU of the first generation Mac pro's (7300 GT or something like that).

Still, if anyone has a benchmark comparing the intel 4000 with a 7300GT, I'd appreciate a link.

EDIT: 15 minutes of google gave me: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php
Not the most widely accepted benchmark available, but one of the few, which directly compares a six years old discrete graphics card with a new Integrated GPU. Result: intel HD 4000 beats geForce 7300 GT 3:1.

As the MP is upgradeable, it really only has the significance, that a buyer of an early MP which still has the original video card, may need to factor in the cost of any upgrade.

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Old Jan 26, 2013, 04:30 PM   #23
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^^^According do Passmark scores (not most thrusthworthy benchmark IMO) 4000 is about 400% of 7300 power (471 vs 114), about 130% of 2600XT and GT120 (471 vs 323 and 320), and about 35% of 5770 (471 vs 1661). I.e. stock cards for 1,1, 3,1, 4,1 and 5,1.
But this means nothing TBH as MP card is upgradeable while Air's isn't.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 06:09 AM   #24
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In your situation, you'd be basically burning your cash with the G5, get the Mac Pro. If you squeeze the extra cash, get a 3,1 model.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 07:36 AM   #25
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when you push into 3,1 price ranges, you need to de valuation between a 3,1 and a 4,1 single processor. The 3,1 will be faster but the ram will be triple the price the 3,1 it going to use more out of the wall, the 3,1 just made the cut for ML who knows when it'll be culled. If you really need a MP right now id find the cheapest 1,1 I could get my hands on and wait until the fall of '13 and see if anything happens. If you're in college that'll give you an extra summer of work to put away money. In the ideal world you could come up 1k 1.2k over the summer for the MP and keep your air.

Either way I'd say wait and see..
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