20in iMac G5 super vs single PowerMac 1.8?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by _pb_boi, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. _pb_boi macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004

    I got a Powerbook G4 12in rev. B 4 months ago, and love it to bits, despite the odd lil' fault :) I'm now looking to augment the setup with an Apple desktop.

    I landed myself a part time job last month, which pays decently (for someone still at school it's decent, anyway!) and I love it, so I'll keep this job. So I figure an Apple desktop is DEFINATELY something worth spending my hard(ish) earned cash on. My question is this:

    In *every day use* - that is, some coding, word processing, internet access, mp3 / AAC storage (a lot thereof) and DVDs, light photoshop, gaming etc. - would I notice the difference between a 20in iMac G5 and the newly introduced single 1.8GHz Powermac?
    I'm not sure whether I can justify the extra saving involved with the Powermac (the extra saving needed because of the 20in screen I'd probably want if I decided on the Powermac). The screen is in itself a big draw to the Powermac option, though, as is the design and "cool factor" of the Powermac.

    I just want to know some real life opinions of what users think - because as we all know, systems often "feel" and "perform" in a way their specs would suggest they shouldn't.

    Cheers everyone!

  2. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    for gaming and a lot of music storage, you should probably get the lowend power mac because you can upgrade the gfx card, even to a 6800U if you want to, or add a 2nd internal hdd for music storage only, plus if you're a student for much longer and don't have loads of money for future system purchases the power mac will last longer and be more upgradable
  3. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    I disagree with homerjward. I think there are very few people who have a good reason to buy the new single processor PowerMac.

    The performance of the new single processor PowerMac and the 20'' iMac should be identical. The only real advantage of the PowerMac is the ability to upgrade the graphics card and add more RAM. You've not expressed a need for either of those things great enough to justify the cost of the PowerMac.
  4. Dippo macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    From the base specs for each, it is easy to see that they are pretty much the same computer. Both are running a 1.8Ghz G5 @ 600Mhz bus, and even the base graphics card is the same. Of course the iMac has double the Hard Drive space (160Gb)

    Unless you want to upgrade a lot later, just go ahead and get the iMac. It cost $300 more than the PowerMac, but it also includes a 20" LCD!!!

    The should both "feel" and "perform" the same, but I haven't had the luck of getting to play with either...
  5. umgolfer macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2004
    I have to agree. I am in the same situation. Do I buy the 20" iMac, pump up a few things like RAM, HD and BT and be happy for ~$2100 or do I try to justify buying the dual 1.8 with a 20" HD, for around ~$3200. I went to the Apple store, played with them and I really cannot justify spending the extra money. The new iMac is awesome. I love the screen, the size and shape. I had a hard time picking the 17" or 20", but I think the extra screen space is easily worth the extra bucks, especially considering the amount I was thinking of spending for the PM and display. I also think it will last me for atleast couple of years since I mainly am a music/internet/word processing/minor photo and video kind of person. Just my $.02
  6. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000


    Jul 4, 2004
    What do you need it for?

    Gaming isn't worth that much to me, though if it were I would go with the headless G5.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to both, you get to keep the monitor when you upgrade the headless, but you also pay to be able to do that.

    Until I am done with college and probably even after, all I really need is an iMac. But once I have finished graduate school and have a good job, a Power Mac will look all the more inviting.

    By that time, I am hoping that intergration has gotten to the point where a Power Mac is needed or iMacs are much more powerful. And once I am done moving so often I can set up something that will be a little more permanent.

    The worst thing about my current iMac is the screen size, otherwise I would hold onto it for a little longer. A 20" screen will be all I need for quite some time. I can barely have a page completely open as it is now, if I wanted to have widgets or anything like that it would be a complete mess.

    I'm gonna stick with the iMac for now.
  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    People have been asking for a headless iMac--they got it. It's a single processor PowerMac. It's a capable machine and you can change the video card. Unless you need the power dual processors give you, the single processor PowerMac is a good machine to get.
  8. osprey76 macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Also, keep in mind the new Power Mac configuration has a Superdrive that is twice as fast as the one in the iMac (8x versus 4x.)
  9. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    I'm not sure about the pricing elsewhere, but here in the UK I would definitely go with the iMac unless you need a better graphics card. (serious gamer / 3D modeller)

    I recently bought my first mac, which was:
    20" iMac G5
    1GB Ram (2x512 for dual-channel)
    250GB Hard Drive
    Airport Extreme
    Bluetooth Module (with wireless keyboard and mouse)

    For the "same" spec it costs £829 more for the single 1.8GHz Powermac.
    Now admittedly there is less expansion with the iMac, and it doesn't have quite as many features (gigabit ethernet, firewire 800) but you really have to ask yourself if these things are worth £829 more than the iMac.

    I would much rather use that £829 on software, or save it for my next purchase.
    The iMac is a much smaller, and neater unit as well, leaving you more space to work with.
  10. _pb_boi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004

    Thanks a ton for all the suggestions!
    I think that since I'm going to university next year (September 2005), what I'll do is just buy a 20in cinema display for now. I can get it through Apple's zero percent finance offer, where you divide the purchase cost by 10 and pay that for 10 months. Then when I go to university, I can add to that whatever is available at the time.

    Seems like a plan? And allows me to order a 20in cinema display on Friday! I'll maybe add an external drive for audio storage too if the 40gb gets tight, since I just signed up for a digital audio course and that's something I wanna get into. The Powerbook should cope with that, I hope.

    Cheers again for all the advice guys, very much appreciated.


    Edit: Incidentally, Apple states that you need a DVI port to connect the Powerbook G4 to an aluminium cinema display. I assume that a mini DVI port with a mini-DVI --> DVI converter will do the same job though, right?
    Just being ultra careful now!

    Also, the G4 should drive the 20in display fine for most tasks, right? I don't game on my Powerbook (w/ exception of THPS4 occasionally). For other tasks it should be fine then, I think?

  11. realityisterror macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2003
    Snellville, GA
    you will be able to run the 20" on the pb and you can just use the adapter included with the pb... however, don't expect to be able to game on the 20"... that's going to suck up a lot of graphics power...
    also, do yourself a favor and get that external drive.. you're going to want (read: need) more space pretty soon.. plus, you can get a nice fast 7200RPM drive, to upgrade from your 4200...

  12. _pb_boi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    Cheers mate, I was debating whether to get the wireless mouse / keyboard combo first, or a LaCie. That settles it then, I'll get a LaCie drive after the monitor and before anything else. More shopping :):) !



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