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Old Feb 9, 2010, 03:30 PM   #1
wbmmacr
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Upgrading from G5 to iMac3.06 or iMac3.33 or i5?

Hi, I am a free lance graphic designer who have a 2004 PowerMac G5 and I want to upgrade to the Intel Mac, but can't afford a MacPro yet, so I want to get an iMac to fill-in for a few years.

After reviewing specs and looking at advice from this forum, I concluded that the base 3.06GHz 21" iMac 4G ram with the ATI card should work, but I just did a test at the Apple store with a couple of my typical projects and I am puzzled:

Dual2.0GHz PowerMac G5 4.5G memory, ATI Radeon X800 XT 256MB VRAM

Opening a 1.2G CS4 file 00:50s
Resizing image in that file 01:00s
Exporting a FinalCut Exp video 01:40s

iMac 21.5" 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, ATI Radeon HD 4670 256MB VRAM

Opening a 1.2G CS4 file 00:19s
Resizing image in that file 01:15s
Exporting a FinalCut Exp video 01:27s

As you can see, this new machine hardly blows my 6 yr old G5 away (except for opening the CS4 file). I don't get it.

BTW, The apple store didn't have a 21" 3.33 GHz iMac or the i5 quad-core 27" for me to compare.

My hypothesis is that I probably won't see significant productivity gains till I go to the i5 27" iMac, and for me, that's too close in cost to a MacPro. So base on this line of thought, my questions is - should I just keep my G5 till Adobe discontinues support for PowerPC machines, or should I get that base iMac 21.5" 3.06 GHz anyways to future proof myself at least for a few years. Thanks very much for your ideas and recommendations!

Will
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 03:36 PM   #2
joudbren
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Definitely the i5. Newer technology and memory controller is integrated into the cpu for faster speeds. i5 also has turbo mode that boosts the speed up to 3.2ghz automatically if only using 1 or 2 of the cores. The following from MacWorld sums it up pretty nicely...

Macworld’s buying advice

With the new 2.66GHz Core i5 iMac and the 2.8GHz Core i7 iMac, Apple has not only blurred the line between consumer and professional systems, it's darn near erased it. The 2.66GHz Core i5 iMac offers faster performance at most tasks than the 2.66GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro. The Core i5 iMac also has more memory and more storage space than the 2.66GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro, while being $500 less (plus you get a 27-inch screen with the iMac). Unless you absolutely require additional PCI cards, multiple internal hard drives, or a lot of RAM, the Core i5 iMac makes a strong case for the being the go-to system for most Mac professionals.

Cheers!

James
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 03:53 PM   #3
evilcat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbmmacr View Post
Hi, I am a free lance graphic designer who have a 2004 PowerMac G5 and I want to upgrade to the Intel Mac, but can't afford a MacPro yet, so I want to get an iMac to fill-in for a few years.
[...]
My hypothesis is that I probably won't see significant productivity gains till I go to the i5 27" iMac, and for me, that's too close in cost to a MacPro.
You have the same problem I have. Unless you spend a comparable amount on your new Mac, you won't see any real gains. My Quad G5 cost over 3 grand and I'll need to spend almost that to get something that is significantly beats it. Most MBPs don't beat my Geekbench score of 3,500.

So what are your reasons for upgrading? Good reasons might be 'I'm stuck on Tiger, can't get a reasonably priced copy of Leopard, and the apps I use are slowly disappearing their Tiger versions' or 'I need more speed and I've maxed out the RAM!' or 'I need to use Intel-only apps' or 'I'm not comfortable now I'm 3 years out of Applecare'

If you just want a faster machine, you'll have to pay more for it. The G5's are still solid and the only reason they're seeming less so is the increasing lack of availability of PPC or Tiger versions of apps.

Option 1: Upgrade: Throw Leopard on there if you haven't already and max out the RAM. That'll tide you over till you can get a Mac Pro better than buying a laptop.

Option 2: Why not spend a little cash on a Mac Mini and transition over to it gradually? Reduce your workstation to workstation-only work, and use the mini for web, email, games and whatever else. That way your G5 will be free of cruft and the Mini will seem speedy.

Option 3: Max out your credit card and buy that i5 iMac now
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 05:13 PM   #4
Dont Hurt Me
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i5 seems to be the ticket and its GPU is another step up.
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 10:17 PM   #5
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Avoid the Core2Duo series, it will become unsupported much sooner than the i5 and i7.
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Old Mar 8, 2010, 12:14 AM   #6
wbmmacr
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figured it out

Took a while to work out the configurations but I took evilcat's suggestions, i.e. Options 1 & 2

I maxed out my PMG5 to 8G. I got the 2.26GHz Mac mini and transition all tasks other than graphics and video work to this reasonably fast machine, and added a couple of 1TB drives. Budget wise, I came in well under what I would have spend on a mid-level i5 iMac. This should keep me working efficiently for a couple of years when I can again evaluate where the iMacs are vs the MacPros in terms of value. Thanks again everyone for your ideas.
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Old Mar 8, 2010, 10:43 PM   #7
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If you're considering the i5, get the i7.
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