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Old May 13, 2008, 01:53 PM   #1
pyanista18
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Desktop G4 or iMac G5

Hey gang,

Terribly sorry if this question has been posted. I've been searching close to two hours and I can't find an answer.

Here's my dilemma: I have a PowerMac G4, dual 1.25, 2 gigs of RAM and I'm thinking about upgrading. I don't have a big budget so the new Mac Pro is out of the question. I've been trying to figure out what's going to be more beneficial for me: 1) I upgrade the processor on my G4 to the maximum of dual 1.8 or 2) get an iMac, maybe the lowest version of 2.4Ghz Intel core duo.

I'm an audio engineer and my projects require a lot of audio recording, mixing, and mastering. Once in a blue moon I have to work audio synced up to video. That was the reason I HAD to get a PowerMac 4 years ago and not the old version of the iMac. All my software work perfectly with OS 10.3.9 so it's not a requirement for me to get a better operating system. In fact, one application is still not available for OS 10.5. Go figure...

I don't know if the new iMac can handle these kinds of applications better than a souped up PowerMac G4.

Anyways, thank you for the responses. I know I'm still rocking an old school system and I wish I had the dough to get the Mac Pro... but you gotta do what you gotta do. Peace!
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Old May 13, 2008, 01:58 PM   #2
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First: Check All your programs with the publishers to make sure that they are compatible with OSX 10.5 and/or Intel ProTools is not - that's a big one. So that affects whether you get a machine that comes with 10.5. Any new or refurb machine you buy now will come with 10.5. You would have to research which of your options would be able to be downgraded to 10.4 -- the new AlumiMacs would not be. The white Core2Duos may be.

The intel iMac will run rings around the G4 and G5 machines if your programs are compatible. You would want to invest in some Firewire case(s) to re-use your G4 internal drive(s) with the new machine.

My son is running ProTools on an iMac G5 iSight model very successfully.

I would not get the CPU upgrades to the G4. You still have slow hard disk and memory busses on the motherboard, which will hobble the speed of the CPU, and there is a greater chance of incompatibilities with software and drives on an upgrade CPU.
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Old May 13, 2008, 01:58 PM   #3
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If it works and some app is not for 10.5 then you probably want to keep your current set up, or use your current setup only for the app that doesn't work in 10.5, if you upgrade.

Note that PowerMacs are great servers. You can put in a bunch of harddrives for extra storage space.
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Old May 13, 2008, 02:01 PM   #4
CanadaRAM
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But PMG4 1.25 = Mirror Disk Drive = "Windtunnel" machine = noise for recording studios.
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Old May 13, 2008, 02:24 PM   #5
Toronto Mike
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I'm by no means and expert but I'll throw out this thought.

If you are on a budget, is a G5 tower an option? I recently got a very good deal on a used machine sitting patiently on Craig's list. Depending on the model, you can load up way more Ram, is expandable, and has faster processors. I was considering upgrading my G4 processor - but it was too much money for what you get, and still be limited by 2 GB of ram. I'm not sure about the noise of the G5 for your needs.

I had a 1.2 upgraded G4 with 2 GB of Ram. My new (used) G5 is a dual 2.0 with 6GB of Ram. When I compared the two using this forum's benchmark test for Photoshop, the G5 performed over 3.5 times faster.

Many people are now looking to dump their G5s. There are good bargains to be had. Just a thought.

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Old May 13, 2008, 02:52 PM   #6
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For audio you need RAM and external audio card.
iMac will do perfect for what you need. Get a FireWire 800 Audio card, 4GB RAM and you're set.
Forget all those faulty G5s with posible leaks.
You'll love the iMac and it will suit you great.
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Old May 13, 2008, 02:56 PM   #7
nick9191
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Get one of the current gen mac mini's and install 10.4 on it, they can take 10.4 and I presume the app that doesn't run on 10.5 will run on 10.4? It will be a whole lot faster and pretty comparable in price as opposed to an imac G5 as well. Whatever you do, leave the iMac G5.
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Old May 13, 2008, 03:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D4F View Post
For audio you need RAM and external audio card.
iMac will do perfect for what you need. Get a FireWire 800 Audio card, 4GB RAM and you're set.
Forget all those faulty G5s with posible leaks.
Huh? Most G5 tower models weren't liquid cooled. If you're concerned about the potential leaks, then there are only three specific models to avoid: DP 2.5GHz, DP 2.7GHz and the quad. There were nine or ten models that weren't liquid cooled.

But I think for the task at hand, the iMac would be faster, but also likely at a considerably higher price.

Last edited by JeffDM; May 13, 2008 at 04:18 PM.
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Old May 13, 2008, 05:54 PM   #9
JonR356
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Why not look at an intel iMac from a couple of years back?

Should meet your needs, and be within budget on the second hand market.
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Old May 13, 2008, 06:01 PM   #10
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Why not look at an intel iMac from a couple of years back?

Should meet your needs, and be within budget on the second hand market.
do not quote me on this as I am not sure but do all iMac's allow u to use all 4GB of RAM?
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Old May 13, 2008, 06:04 PM   #11
JonR356
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do not quote me on this as I am not sure but do all iMac's allow u to use all 4GB of RAM?
No, the older ones do not, which is a very good point. It would be worth checking on how much RAM the OP's applications actually need/use.
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Old May 13, 2008, 07:59 PM   #12
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But PMG4 1.25 = Mirror Disk Drive = "Windtunnel" machine = noise for recording studios.
Yeah, folks whine about the fan noise on current models.

My MDD 2x1GHz "fooling around" machine is much louder then anything else I have - PC or Mac.
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Old May 13, 2008, 08:30 PM   #13
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No, the older ones do not, which is a very good point. It would be worth checking on how much RAM the OP's applications actually need/use.
4GB is a must especially if audio tracks will be used.
Not to mention FX plug-ins.

4GB will give you a very nice system able to handle a LOT. I use my macbook for cubase , wavelab and various VSTi's and it handles the job absolutely great.
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Old May 14, 2008, 06:03 AM   #14
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Yeah, folks whine about the fan noise on current models.

My MDD 2x1GHz "fooling around" machine is much louder then anything else I have - PC or Mac.
Can't be louder than my dual 2.5GHz G5. The machine is so annoying that its sitting unused at present.
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Old May 14, 2008, 12:27 PM   #15
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I would try to pick up a second hand intel imac (first gen). My mom's imac g5 seems like its getting a bit old now.
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