About to get converted : G4 1.42 Dualie or G5 1.8 SP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by greggaway, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. greggaway macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney
    #1
    Hi,

    I am finally making the move, I have been thinking about it for a few years now, been reading a lot about Macs, especially on this great forum. So I feel I am ready, and I won't miss the blue screen of death of windows...
    At first I was going for the new iMac G5, but the more I look at it, the less I like the design, IMHO the iMac G4 looks better. But then again, it's not all about the look, the expandability issue is worrying me as well, so I definetely gave up the idea of the iMac.
    Now I am stuck between two options:
    1. G4 1.42 DP
    2. G5 1.8 SP

    If I could afford the G5 DP, I would not have that dillemma :( .
    In terms of performance I have seen the G4 Dual is still kicking the G5 1.8 SP on most of the tests. So here is my question:
    Is it worth going for the G5 SP now when I can get a G4 Dual loaded with ram for about the same price or cheaper as the basic G5 1.8 SP config (Actually, what price should I pay for a G4 1.42hz Dual with 1 gig of ram?).
    Will the G4 Dual be outdated very quickly? I mean it is running all of todays applications Ok at the moment, isn't it? I would only use it for Photo editing/a bit of video/graphic design/.


    Many thanks for you help!

    Gregory
     
  2. neoelectronaut macrumors 68020

    neoelectronaut

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Southeastern Louisiana
    #2
    Before everyone comes out and says how much better the G5 is, lemme say that, in my experience, the G4 is still a damn good machine. In the end it all comes down to price. If the G4 is ridiculously cheaper than the G5, go for it. But if they're not too far apart...G5.
     
  3. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #3
    I recommend you also think about the warranty. It'll be difficult to find a dual 1.42 that has warranty left on it, unless the original owner bought AppleCare. Apple warranties (the one-year hardware warranty and the AppleCare extended warranty) transfer to the new owner, no sweat.

    I would go for the G5, especially considering what's coming up next with Tiger. To get Core Image and Core Video in a G4, you'll have to buy a better graphics card (modded 9600 or a 4x AGP 9800). The G5 will be Core Image / Video - ready, right out of the box, and it'll only cost you $50 more to upgrade to the 9600XT.

    Another reason to go for the G5 is noise. The dual 1.42 and many other G4 towers make a lot of noise. I have a single-processor 1.25GHz Power Mac G4. I rearranged my setup so as to place it as far away from me as possible (and have the monitor cable still reach). It still makes way too much noise. I opened it up and saw that it has the "low noise kit" already installed: the 360W power supply and 120mm Papst fan. Anyway I'll hopefully find someone who needs to run OS 9 and sell this machine to them.

    The G5 is ready for the future, but as neoelectronaut points out, the dual G4 is plenty good for today.
     
  4. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #4
    I'm going to say what I always say, and it may appeal to you if you've been accustomed to cracking open your PC case whenever there was a problem: Fork the AppleCare. Extended warranties are not particularly important, especially not with a desktop tower. Towers are made to be modular, and as such, easy to replace, and find if there is any problem. Moreover, due to excellent engineering, the vast majority of the parts are going to be good for well over 3 years, or are going to crap out within 1. I don't mind shelling out money for a new part, or just fixing the old one when something goes wrong with any of my numerous machines, whether PC or Mac. In fact, for the frequency with which I've had to do it, it's cheaper than the AppleCare.

    As to the question at hand, if we are talking about the current single processor 1.8GHz G5, then I'd have to say go with the G4. The current low end G5 is precisely that. It's an iMac processor, thrown on to the craptacular architecture that makes up the low end PowerMacs. In all honesty, the old single 1.8s (which use to be middle of the line) fare considerably better than the current duals. The architecture is infinitely better. And when you compare them to the current singles, the processor is even better.

    That being said, if you can find an older single 1.8 (or an older dual, if it's possible) for a good price, jump on it. It's a much better machine than the two options presented. However, failing this, jump on the dual 1.42 G4, and fill it full of ram. Despite the CoreImage, etc. talk that keeps going on, there's nothing in Tiger that will make the G4 a laughingstock. As far as I've been able to see, it runs like a dream on a G4 considerably below 1.42 (I think it's actually a 667MHz we ran it on).
     
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #5
    I will second the comment about the 1.42 noise.

    That's the machine I have at home, I've had to spend a lot of money on a Verax silencing kit to make it liveable with.

    Apart from that, it runs like a dream esp. maxed out on RAM.
     
  6. Passante macrumors 6502a

    Passante

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    on the sofa
    #6
    G4 1.42 Dualie or G5 1.8 SP

    I have a DP G4 1.25 and I would not have purchased one knowing how loud the fans are. So listen before you buy.

    That said its a great machine. Very expandable with 4 hard drive bays, two optical bays and 4 pci slots. I don't recall what optical drive or graphics card the 1.42 DP comes with. Plan on buying a Radeon 9800, a superdrive and a usb 2 card.

    As for performance check out Barefeats since Robert uses his own 1.42 DP G4 in performance comparisons http://www.barefeats.com/imacg5.html
     
  7. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    the awnser to everything a refurb dual 1.8GHz g5
     
  8. greggaway thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney
    #8
    Thank you all for your feedback!

    I am still undecided, but I was not aware that the G4 DP was that noisy so at least I can take that into consideration, especially since I am moving in a studio...

    Hector, about the Refurb 1.8 DP, well it seems to be only a privilege Americans can afford (can you in England?) since Apple Australia does not have a refurb store.
    That said, I'll be looking for it on Ebay. If I find one (G5 1.8 Dual basic config), how much should I expect to pay?

    Many thanks!

    Gregory
     
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #9
    It's this noisy.

    Unbearable in my small flat, hence the Verax kit.
     
  10. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    thats crap, makes you wander what happens to all the returned macs in Australia?

    it's not just america that has is we do (UK) france dose so dose germany and i think most other countries.
     
  11. rhpenguin macrumors 6502a

    rhpenguin

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #11
    Canada doesnt have a refurb store either. But i bet my B&W is louder than your G4 desktops :p...
     
  12. Rocksaurus macrumors 6502a

    Rocksaurus

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #12
    I'm shocked no one has mentioned this, but which machine you should buy really depends on what you plan to do with it. If you're going to use something like final cut pro that takes advantage of dual processors (at least I think it does) then obviously get the dual, if you're like me and you're just kind of a casual user with some games mixed in and apps that generally don't even acknowledge the presence of a second processor, then the G4 machine will be like having a single 1.42 G4. I've got a G5 1.6, and I love it to death.
     
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #13
    Yeah, like Rocksaurus said, for all the low-end G5s faults, it will still run rings around a DP G41.42 in any situation that doesn't make good use of a dual processor.

    If you're doing a lot of high-end video or 3D work, the the DP may well be faster for you (although I emphasize that the G5, clock-for-clock, can be VERY fast depending on what you're doing), but for most other things the use of the second processor just isn't that heavy.

    This page at BareFeats.com may help you decide, if speed is the main factor. You'll note that in most dual-processor-heavy applications, the DPG4 is faster, but in single-threaded tasks the G5 is the easy winner, and in fact in Cinebench, which is fully DP-aware but can take good advantage of G5 optimizations, even a G5 1.6 easily bests the DP G4. More room for optimization, basically (these tests were all done just after the G5's release).

    On the other hand, if speed isn't that important to you but you like loading up your box with lots of internal drives, then the G4 might be the better choice, on account of having more available internal bays.
     
  14. greggaway thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney
    #14
    Ok, I am leaning more and more towards a PM G5. I went on the BTO section of the apple website and I found that the HDD upgrade is quite overpriced (I already knew about the ram).

    Can I get any Serial ATA Hdd in box or it has to be Mac compatible?

    Thanks,
     
  15. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #15
    Yes, any SATA 3.5" drive will do. They are all Mac compatible. Hard drives, RAM, and cables (power, IDE, SATA, USB, FireWire) are all commodity parts. It's the same deal with USB and FireWire repeaters and hubs, as well as speakers and headphones. You have a lot of choices when it comes to upgrading, personalizing and otherwise adding accoutrements to your Mac.
     
  16. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #16
    I wouldn't if I were you....

    Unless you intend to repair it yourself, I wouldn't buy any computer on Ebay.

    If you can buy refurbished, either from Apple or used from a reliable source, I'd go that route as long as the savings are worthwhile.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
     
  17. FelixDerKater macrumors 68000

    FelixDerKater

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    #17
    Getting the G5, you will probably be able to put in a faster G5 chip at some point in the future.
     
  18. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    #18
    Yep there's a refurb store in UK. I'd go for 1.8SP - I did. 8x AGP, 8GB Ram expandable, PCI-X, 32db Wisper quiet :p, Stunning Case. Plus its 64 G5. Can't wait for Tiger to come out. No worries about not getting the max out of it like I had with my poor lil ol iBook 366.

    Of course, I was lucky enough to buy the very first 1.8SP which had all the above features and more. The low end 1.8 now seems to have a capped bus, less ram, smaller hard disk. But it a lot cheaper and still a G5
     

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