Cube vs iMac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by XIII, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #1
    Ok. I had my sights set on an iMac G5, prolly 20inch, 1GB of RAM, the 160gig HD, the price I would be able to get it for: About £1100... to £1200. That was fine. I was saving up... and that was cool. Then I read on some other forums, a nice guy, one of the other members, is selling his cube :eek: Man I love the design on those things!

    Here are the specs on it (heavily upgraded): 1.2 GHZ Sonnet upgraded processor
    1.5 GB RAM
    120 GB Seagate Barracuda Hard Drive
    Original Power Brick
    Original Keyboard and Mouse
    Original Harmon Kardon Apple Pro Spealers
    I will include the original 40 GB Maxtor Hard Drive and the 450 Mhz processor in the package.
    (i have added a base fan and have had no problems with overheating)

    Also, I would need a screen, and he will put an older style 17inch apple studio display. Add insured shipping to the UK... $2000

    I can push the price down a bit, so lets call that £1000. So: I can have: an iMac G5 17 or 20inch for £1000/£1100-£1200. Or, I can have: A PowerMac G4 Cube: £1000. The advantages I can see are:

    iMac: If 20inch, better screen. Brand new, not used already. Warranty. G5!

    Cube: IMHO, better design. 500MB more RAM. And... possibly cheaper... Oh - and the design :eek:. Again. That counts twice :p

    Another option I can have is the cube system for $400 less, without a screen, run it off an old CRT for a while, then buy a 20inch, or something nice (will the cube run one of the new 20inchers?)

    Another question: Is Tiger likely to be compatible with the cube? Thats a must.

    So, there we go :) In a roundabout sort of way, that the situation :)

    What do you think I should do?

    Thanks

    EDIT: Almost forgot, some pics :): One
    Two
    Three
    Four
    Screenshot

    There we go... NOW what do you think... :eek:
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    The cube is older, and slower (500MB extra RAM won't make up for a slow BUS, 600MHz clock speed difference, and the G4 vs G5 situation). The screen on the iMac will be much better than an older 17". Then there's the SuperDrive on top of that.

    So guess what, I'd get the iMac!

    Also, what happens if the Cube goes wrong? No worries with the iMac, at least for a year (maybe 3 if you splash out).
     
  3. XIII thread starter macrumors 68040

    XIII

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #3
    Yeah. Thats the reasonable way of looking at it... :p... I do love the design though.
     
  4. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #4
    I would pick an iMac G5 over an upgraded cube ANY day.. no question! Way better deal.

    Lee Tom
     
  5. *Y* macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    VA
    #5
    Imac

    The Imac seems like a much better, deal. It is a newer machine and it will last a longer time than the cube. However I do have to agree the cube is a really nice design. ;)
     
  6. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    OMG GUYS! I CAN USE TEH BOLD!!!!
     
  7. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #7
    The iMac is a better deal - faster, better screen, better warranty. Sure, the cube is nice looking and all, but it's still "just" a G4 (as I write from my 1GHz G4 Ti Powerbook).

    You also don't know what the Cube has been through. 512MB of RAM is fairly inexpensive, so that shouldn't be a deciding factor.

    Also, USB 2, built-in airport and bluetooth.

    And, as edesignuk says, the new 20" display on the iMac will eat up the older (standard aspect ratio) 17" LCD. I know. I have one. It sucks.

    If you haven't already, go find a place to look at the 20" iMac in person.
     
  8. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #8
    You can connect a 22" or 23" Cinema Display to the Cube. If you don't plan to get one in the near future, go for the iMac.

    How much are you paying for that LCD?

    Have you visited
    CubeOwner ?
     
  9. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #9
    The Cube has probably a ATI Rage 128 16MB videocard, which isn't supported by even quartz extreme.
    You will need to change the GFX card to use the new cinema displays (they need minimum Radeon 7500 or geforce 2mx(?) because of their high res widescreen. Expose on a Rage :eek:
     
  10. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Location:
    ct, us
    #10
    Cubes are cool, but not for that much bank. I'd definitely go with the iMac.
     
  11. GeorgeTheMonkey macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    #11
    Well, what do you intend to use your newfound purchase for?

    I'm in your boat; I love love love the Cube's design, and absolutely crave it being in my house (with a nice 20" Cinema Display beside it!). I have a pretty nice dual 1.42 PowerMac G4, though, so I have something else to go to when I need to burn a DVD or do power-hungry computing.

    If I didn't have the PowerMac, I'd probably have to -- out of reason and logic's sake -- shoot for the iMac G5.
     
  12. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    MD
    #12
    I've thought about a Cube, time and again, but without the ability to upgrade the logic board itself for better bus speed, etc. it's just not worth it. And while you can spend the cash to upgrade the processor, graphics card, and drives, by the time you're done you need at least one fan to keep it all cool enough in that tiny space.

    As much as I agree about the wicked cool design of the Cube, it's just not the value that an iMac would be. :(
     
  13. sjpetry macrumors 65816

    sjpetry

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    Tamarindo, Costa Rica
  14. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    #14
    As someone who has both, my advice is definitely to get the iMac, for most of the reasons noted above but particularly -

    1. Since it hasn't explicitly been brought to your attention, the graphics card will probably be the ATI Rage 128 with only 16MB of VRAM, which is fairly crippled. Finding a better card that fits the Cube's slot is an absolute nightmare these days, and anything more than 32MB will require an internal or external cooling solution. Then things just get messy. Further, the ATI cards that fit in the Cube tend to use ADC - not DVI as required by the new Cinema Displays, so you can't use the new 20 inchers then. And vice versa if you're looking at a DVI card.

    2. The RAM is older and not as fast - putting in dual 512MB sticks in the iMac will bump it up to 128 bit and will give you much better performance.

    3. There is a significant difference in the performance of a 1.2GHz G4 and a 1.8GHz G5. My cube Xbenches at about 55-60 - I'm guessing that that one might be at about 100ish. The iMac G5 will bench at 150-160. And even that doesn't reflect real world performance.

    I've spend a fair bit of money keeping my Cube set together, and do love it - but for a primary computer I would not recommend it. As noted above/below - www.cubeowner.com is a good starting place, but I still reckon the iMac G5 is what you'd be after.
     
  15. OziMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    #15
    Come on, edesign, give the newbie a break - that's hardly a generous welcome from a Demi-God... :)

    And it's 'THE' - I can use it too ;)
     
  16. 3-22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    #16
    3-22

    Cubes were cool and all but why would you ever even debate this?! Just get the G5.. Jeesh.
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #17
    The G5 iMac is the first Mac to cause me to think about trading in my Cube, so it's kind of amusing to hear somebody considering buying a Cube instead of a G5 iMac. Of course I think the Cube is great, but if I had to give any advice, it's the iMac all the way (for that kind of money, anyway).

    DVI monitors can be hooked up to an ADC card, such as the ones that came standard in the Cube. You just need an adaptor, about $25.00. Going the other way is a bit more troublesome and expensive, though.
     
  18. cubist macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #18
    He didn't say what graphics card is in the Cube. Go to cubeowner.com and see what folks are doing about that. There's not much out there because of the limited space and video card cooling in the Cube. It'll probably run Tiger, but slowly.

    I think you can probably find a nice cube for $600 to $800 -- that's around 400 pounds Sterling, right? -- and lash it to an old monitor, to satisfy your nostalgic feelings. I loved my Cube, upgraded it much the same as this guy did, but finally you come to the realization that there ain't no way it's going to be a match for a G5. I got a refurb 1.6 tower and it's more than twice as fast as the Cube ever was. Sure, it's enormous, and it looks like a cheese grater... but it's fast and gets the job done. (And it's got a faster FSB than the iMac G5, FTM.)

    Now I still want an MGB-GT, even though I know it'll never outrun a Honda Civic Coupe. Design and nostalgia have their place.
     
  19. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #19
    You can connect two independent monitors to the Cube. The iMac will only mirror.

    But the card in the iMac supports Core Image. Some guy suceeded with a 9700 in a Cube, but the rest is failing. And for the 9800 Pro, you need an external power supply.

    Nobody got a 9600 or a 5200 to work (yet?)
     
  20. XIII thread starter macrumors 68040

    XIII

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #20
    Ok. I've been to Cubeowner and all, and thats what made me consider it... I will go for the iMac G5, I'll have to not take this cube... Man, if apple released a Powermac G5 Cube, I would buy it the day it came out... :p... I love the design, but I want the faster machine first. Maybe after I have my iMac, I can look into getting an old cube, just for the sake of its good looks... ;) Performance first. :)

    Thanks guys, I'm out of my crazy mood now... :eek:
     
  21. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #21
    Unless the Cube was bought new, there's no sense in tossing in the processor upgrade. Consider the cost. For a used Cube, upgraded, you're paying about the same amount as a G5 iMac. Both are neat designs, but one is clearly far more powerful than the other. I have a Cube, it's a gorgeous machine, but I bought it used, without a processor upgrade, as it is not my primary Mac. The PowerBook upon which I am typing this serves that function. I just got a good deal on the Cube. Wait a little while and see if you can get a Cube on the cheap. Then you can have the best of both worlds.
     
  22. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #22
    Out of the box, yes. Apply a quick 2 second hack, all fixed :D ;)
     
  23. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #23
    To get dual screens on a cube you have a VERY limited amout of gfx cards which supports it.
    The cube DOESN'T have power for a ADC connection. So most recent apple gfx cards does have one ADC and one DVI..
     
  24. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #24
    Well, with the iMac you're limited to *1* card.

    The cube has power in the ADC. But it's not recommended that you power an Apple Studio CRT with it (at least if you have upgrades), as this might be too much for the power supply (not the VRM).
     
  25. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #25
    OK. I didn't know that it was already available for the iMac. Cool.
     

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