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Old Aug 19, 2009, 04:28 PM   #1
bhop123
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How would you use a PowerMac G5?

I recently "inherited" one of the last versions of the PowerMac G5 with the dual 2.0 GHz processors and I don't know how could I get the most out of this machine?

I know it is sort of a dead end bc PPC won't be supported beyond Leopard (which it is running). I have all my music files on a HDD connected to my Extreme and I have a printer connected to my Express. I don't have a huge movie library nor do I have tons of photos (we store them all on our individual computers). And, I have all our computers backing up via TM to an additional HDD through the extreme (usb hub).

So I hate to be at a loss, but I don't know how I could capitalize on this nice, hardworking, reliable machine.

If you were me, how would you use it?
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 04:51 PM   #2
Toronto Mike
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I think you need to rephrase your question to take into account of what you want to do with it, then others can help you decide if it is possible.

For myself, I have a dual 2.0 2004 G5 running tiger with 6GB of ram. I am a moderate user of CS4 Photoshop and Dreamweaver. I think this computer is great for my needs. I've had images up to 500 megs in Photoshop, including layers, and found the performance fine. I don't earn a living with my computer so I can afford to wait for it to do things - but then, it doesn't keep me waiting long.

When you can determine what you would like to do, go to the sites of the various software packages and give their products a free trial. This will help you determine if the G5 is capable of the performance you need. Try not to leave this much longer because when Apple's next operating system arrives - soon the software that the G5 is able to run on will not be available. If you got your G5 for free, what do you have to lose?

Anyways - for the right user who can live with being left behind software-wise, I still think the G5 is a cost effective way to enjoy the Mac platform.

Here is a link to a site that has many great ideas of how to increase the performance of your Mac:

http://macperformanceguide.com/index.html

Good luck.

Mike
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 04:56 PM   #3
JesterJJZ
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Unless I had a use for it, I'd probably just ebay it or keep it as a backup machine...

I use my G4 for DVD encoding. It's slow but letting it run overnight is fine.
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 05:27 PM   #4
Toronto Mike
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Originally Posted by JesterJJZ View Post
Unless I had a use for it, I'd probably just ebay it or keep it as a backup machine...
The key factor for any of us is what are you going to be using your machine for.

I think it is easy to dismiss the G5 because it seems like older technology - however, it was designed in the era of CS2. Back then it was state of the art for all kinds of applications. If you want to do those things at that level, and are not a Professional that needs to read the latest software versions from clients and peers, and have moderate uses, the G5 still is viable. I am impressed that CS4 performs for me as well as CS2 did - and CS4 is what is currently the standard version.

Seriously, unless the original poster needs more power to operate effectively - it doesn't make sense in this economy to sell a machine that he got for free, get next to nothing on eBay for it - then have to go out there and spend a lot of cash for a new Mac. Even a fully decked out Mini, with Apple care, including the sales tax, is $1,400 Canadian. If your needs are modest and you can use the current software effectively for your needs, it doesn't make sense to throw out a perfectly usable machine.

If the original poster did decide in a year that he needed more power, the software that is purchased today is Universal and can be used with the Intel machines. He might have to at that point go into the used market for a used Intel machine because Apple will see to it that their future machines won't play the older software. Something to be aware of.

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Old Aug 19, 2009, 05:40 PM   #5
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When your logic borad dies, because all G5's seem to die after 4 years (right when Apple Care runs out), you can have an expensive door stop.

I would get everything on that computer onto an external hard drive and think your self blessed every morning that the machine boots up and does not start going into kernel panic.

I buried my G5 2.5 dual about a week ago. 5 straight years with no problems at all, and one day it would not boot up and never did again. Bad logic board- $1000 to fix.

Those machines when working are very good, and very nice.
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 05:57 PM   #6
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shame you say you dont have much in the way of movies, and/or music. this would be an extremely flashy media server. hah :-) unless your a pro with the uttermost, highly sought after computer i wouldnt sell it, its still a highly usable machine, in many respects of that phrase.

Could make a server-backup (backup all your files in one single place) you can never have enough backups :-)

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Old Aug 19, 2009, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toronto Mike View Post
Thit doesn't make sense in this economy to sell a machine that he got for free, get next to nothing on eBay for it - then have to go out there and spend a lot of cash for a new Mac.
Where did he say that? Sounds like the OP already has a house full of Apple gear and the G5 is sort of looking for a purpose. Selling it wouldn't mean he needed to buy a new Mac to replace it.

I say sell it and be thankful for whatever you can get for it. The G5 is power hungry and not all that quiet -- not the greatest platform to be a media server or file server or whatever you might think up to make use of a spare box. I just unloaded my dual 2.7 G5 because I was in a very similar situation. I was using it to fiddle with OS X Server and the utility I was getting from it wasn't enough to justify the cost of the power to run it.

Quote:
it doesn't make sense to throw out a perfectly usable machine.
Nobody has suggested throwing it out. The suggestion is to sell it.


Quote:
He might have to at that point go into the used market for a used Intel machine because Apple will see to it that their future machines won't play the older software.
From the OP it sounds like he already has a house full of Intel machines. "we store them all on our individual computers" and "I have all our computers backing up via TM". His MacRumors profile says he's got a PowerBook, a MacBook Pro, an iMac, and a Mac Mini. I think you've completely misread his post. You'd have to be pretty creative to come up with a use for an old G5 in that environment.
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Last edited by Nugget; Aug 19, 2009 at 06:08 PM.
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 06:37 PM   #8
greedyhands
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why all the hate?

I really don't realize where all the hate for the G5 is coming from. It was an excellent machine when released, and still is. I would prefer a late 05 Dual 2GHz PPC G5 to a new mini any day.

That being said, I am currently using my G5 in my living room, with a 26" screen at the desk and a 15' DVI-HDMI cable running to my TV on the far side of the room, so that I can surf or photoshop and watch video at the same time. You can find wall cord covers here http://www.cabletiesandmore.com/index.php, so you don't have to have un agly mess of cables on your floor. The cables were actually really cheap on Amazon. It works really well at the moment, and only gets sluggish when trying to run 1080p video on one screen and loading graphic intensive web pages at the same time. I am solving this problem by picking up an nVidia 7800GTX with 512MB DDR3 RAM, then I'll have four DVI ports, and I'll run one chord from the 6600 LE that comes standard with the model to a third monitor on the desk so I can have a dual monitor set up at the desk as well. Keep in mind this model can support up to 16GB of ram, and the upgrades really aren't that expensive through Crucial or OWC. I know you said you don't have much media, but think about streaming video as well. I love watching YouTube He-Man episodes on the larger screen in my living room. I'm also a big fan of Hulu, I don't know how you feel about that site, but if you enjoy it, it really is nice to watch it on a larger screen. You've got an optical audio port on the back, so you really could get a great sound system going for movies that might be better than your current set up.

Just a few things that I do with mine. It really is a work horse.

If you can't figure out something to do with it, I would definitely be interested in buying it.
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 06:44 PM   #9
Toronto Mike
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I apologize for jumping the gun with my determined advice. I didn't read the original poster's profile listing the equipment that he already has.

I know I can get overzealous in advocating the relevance of the G5 because I've been a convert of using older computers that are still useful to the tasks that need to be accomplished. For someone such as myself that does not depend on my income from a cutting edge machine, I always see the value in continuing to use what is useful as the most cost effective solution than hopping on the endless upgrade cycle. As it turns out, it seems to be a minority viewpoint within a forum that is predominantly interested with what is the latest thing.

I think it is of some value to the people that are genuinely seeking advice at what are cost effective options available to them for their real world computing needs - to be informed that G5s are still a viable cost effective alternative - if their needs fall within its performance limitations and the needed software is still available.

From what I've seen my G5 to be capable of - it still amazes me at how powerful this five year old technology is using Adobe's latest products.

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Old Aug 19, 2009, 06:59 PM   #10
Nugget
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There's nothing wrong with being a staunch advocate for older computing technology. I agree that a G5 can still serve as a perfectly reasonable computer for someone who doesn't require cutting-edge performance.

But the question in this thread really boils down to "Is there a good reason to add a fifth Mac to a household that already has four working Macs." That's a tougher one to justify.
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Old Aug 19, 2009, 07:18 PM   #11
Toronto Mike
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Put in those terms, no.

You're better off to take the ones that you do not have a use for and sell them for what you can get and put the cash into something you need before they depreciate completely.

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Old Aug 20, 2009, 07:22 AM   #12
bhop123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toronto Mike View Post

When you can determine what you would like to do, go to the sites of the various software packages and give their products a free trial. This will help you determine if the G5 is capable of the performance you need.

Mike
This is my point - I don't know what to do with it. I am familiar with what it is capable of, but don't know how o best use that.

I do like your idea of using it for some Photoshop work which I use regularly, but also don't rely on for income. That might be the best solution yet. Thanks for the thoughts.
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Old Aug 20, 2009, 07:33 AM   #13
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Sounds like...

Yeah some good thoughts about how to use it. I am inclined not to sell it bc I know I wouldn't get much money for it. And to be honest , I kind of like it. I know it was a classic and still has some good life in it and like some of the sentiments here, I hate to see it fade away.

I do like the idea of using to stream video or use as a central storage hub. Things that I had thought of already. I guess I just didn't want to overlook something more obvious.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old Aug 20, 2009, 07:33 AM   #14
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Mike's point is well taken - I would sell it for what you can get and reserve that money or go ahead and buy something that you need now.

If not, place your entire music library on it or use it as a backup server - I like to have a computer running in an "out-of-the-way" place but connected to the network, so that if my house ever gets broken into, and my equipment is stolen, I'll have one system with a backup of all my stuff hidden away.

Just my $0.02,

JP
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Old Aug 20, 2009, 12:48 PM   #15
bhop123
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Yeah the 'out of the way' computer makes good sense.

As someone else pointed out you can never have enough back-ups. Something that I am inclined to believe more since one of my Maxtor HDD's just died.

The G5 is still relatively fast, so I think I'll use it for tinkering photoshop stuff (like creating apple tablet ideas - JK ) and as a storage device.

If I thought I could get a few bucks for it, I'd sell it and use the money towards a newer macbook. My daughter's macbook is the older white one which has taken some abuse while she was away at college.

Anyway good thoughts. Thanks for the ideas.
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Old Aug 20, 2009, 01:06 PM   #16
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I am inclined not to sell it bc I know I wouldn't get much money for it.
$500-700 is a hell of a lot more than you would get for a 4 year old PC!
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Old Aug 20, 2009, 09:16 PM   #17
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The G5s are still great for video editing -- and the final revisions of them as you have were the BEST. The 2.3ghz the Quad and the 2.0ghz dual cores rock.
-----------------------
Here is a tip for G5 Owners: always check to see that the processor is seated correctly on the board. A lot of "Bad logic boards" are misdiagnosed as badly seated processors...
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Old Aug 20, 2009, 09:20 PM   #18
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Sorry if this is a hijack...

Quote:
Originally Posted by greedyhands View Post
That being said, I am currently using my G5 in my living room, with a 26" screen at the desk....
What's the monitor? I am curious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greedyhands View Post
It works really well at the moment, and only gets sluggish when trying to run 1080p video on one screen and loading graphic intensive web pages at the same time. I am solving this problem by picking up an nVidia 7800GX .... I love watching YouTube He-Man episodes on the larger screen in my living room. I'm also a big fan of Hulu...
I'm not sure if increased VRAM will help in this case, I think the sluggishness is caused by Flash For Mac.

But Back On Topic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPamplin View Post
....if my house ever gets broken into, and my equipment is stolen, I'll have one system with a backup of all my stuff hidden away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhop123 View Post
As someone else pointed out you can never have enough back-ups. Something that I am inclined to believe more since one of my Maxtor HDD's just died.
Maxtor? Hmmm...

Well, backups are the bomb. I'm actually working with the machine in the sig, and for non-professional work it works just dandy. When I actually do get a MacPro (next year) everything for it (FCS, LS, RAID, etc) should work fine with the G5 (provided 64-bit and 32-bit RAID drivers don't screw up the hardware RAID, which I doubt).

Furthermore, as soon as I can figure out the inner workings of the G5, I probably will replace the highly corrosive coolant with something a little more computer-friendly (Silicone Oil), and then I can actually classify it as an off-site backup machine.

Since, after all, FCS3 was packaged as a Universal - smooth, Apple, smooth.
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