Dual 2.0 PowerMac G5 or 20" G5 iMac? Did I choose wrong?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bzollinger, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. bzollinger macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #1
    So I'm really at a loss here. I'm a network admin that recently ('05) converted to Mac and they're great. Earlier this year I sold my Mac mini and bought a PM dual 2.0 thinking I would be happy with it for the next 5 years. Well I knew the 512MB of RAM was not going to work so I bought another 1GB and now I've got plenty. Here's the deal, this system isn't snappy, responsive or quick enough. If there's RAM and CPU cycles available the spinning beach ball should never show its face. It's all relative..........:D

    When asked, I always tell people you only really need what you'll use (plus a little for good measure :) ) I've witnessed the raw power of this awesome machine when making DVDs or working with photos in PS. But what it comes down to is......I don't do that type of computing very often.

    iTunes is ALWAYS running with many many GBs of songs (250GB+), I use Mail, Safari, and a few other apps. Occasionally I'll pump my video signal to my home theater projector. So really I'm using a PowerMac G5 for a home multimedia machine!

    Is this a waste of a kick butt machine? I've monitored all of the activity monitor components but haven't found a real clear bottleneck. Should I upgrade the disk to a new WD 10,000 RMP raptor? Will that make it more "snappy"? If I get a iMac will I be disappointed? Is OSX just inefficient? In lieu of that, why does it take google earth so long to load, when the CPU and disk are running at 25-40% of capacity? Shouldn't all the resources run full bore if not needed for tasks?

    Forgive the long post. I'm new at OSX, I love the platform. I switched for two reasons, the interface and the speed. Can you help with the latter????
     
  2. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #2
    no worries about the 'long' post. you should have seen some of mine.:p :D

    now... waste of a PM? nah i wouldn't say that. if you can afford it, i'd just keep it. tell me, it is nice to have all that power when you want to make the occasional DVD or edit a photo, right? ;)

    running apps like iTunes, Mail, Safari etc shouldn't really tax the G5 - so if that's all you'd be using it for, and if you were looking at buying a new Mac, i'd say an iMac would suit you fine. but now that you've got it - i don't see any reason to sell it unless you're unhappy with it for some reason?

    ahhh... now we get to the 'snappiness'. i'm guessing that you're comparing it to the 'snappiness' of Windows? I think that's just the way OS X is. good news is - i hear that they're working on a new version (or was it the 10.4.5 update) that will address the precieved lack of 'snap'. :D

    but ask yourself - does the percieved slowness of OS X stop me from doing anything that i can do quicker on a Windows machine? If it's not hindering your productivity, then i wouldn't worry about it. i know we all like the snappiness... but sometimes you can't have it all.

    can i also ask - is it just moving windows around that appears 'slow'? or are there any specific tasks that seem to be going slower than you'd expect?
     
  3. bzollinger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #3
    So you've got a point about having a PM now and enjoying it. When it comes down to it, if I sell the PM and buy an iMac then I might make out with a few hundred $$ but I'll then have an iMac!

    So it's good to hear someone talk about the snappiness compared to windows because that is what I'm talking about. It's also good to hear Apple working on it. We'll see if/when it happens.

    I'm most disappointed when the spinning beach ball shows up when I've got 800MB of RAM available and the CPUs are twiddling their thumbs! I want these resources pumping, floored, rappin'! I see it as "We paid for two processors, we paid for lots of RAM, and a 1000mHz FSB, now let's saturate it damnit!!

    I think that thumbnails load way too slow. I think that iTunes should never stutter. But again I only expect this while resources are available.

    Is it hard for the Mac fans on this site to talk about these things? Is it because of your unshakeable loyalty that you kind of keep it on the down-low? Well I'm a Mac fan now too, I can't wait for it to get better!!

    Thanks for the post cb911.
     
  4. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #4
    i read about Apple working on the 'responsiveness' issue right here on MR in fact:
    http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/01/20060126125042.shtml

    so unfortunately it looks like it'll be OS 10.5 that really improves the snap-factor. :p

    and yeah, i guess most of us love our Mac's - and so we don't like to dwell on the negatives. but right now i'm not too happy because i'm typing on a PC and my PB has been in the shop for 14 days. :mad: Apple Australia has hard drives on backorder - with no ETA. did they think they could just sit around with no PB HD's and expect that they wouldn't have to replace any?

    and check this link out, it's an interesting read at least.
    http://www.macnet2.com/more.php?id=606_0_1_0
    there. now i've well and truly done away with my unshakable Apple loyalty. :p

    i'm curious as to why your thumbnails would load slow? you mean in Finder when you're viewing a folder with file previews? and how does iTunes stutter? it almost sounds like you're describing my PowerBook 1.25GHz! :eek:
     
  5. Platform macrumors 68030

    Platform

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    #5
    Just to say about google earth....well that is becasue it is still in Beta....so not Apple's fault...;)
     
  6. bzollinger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #6
    Then it looks like I'll have to wait for another revision of OSX to come out. In the mean time this discussion has convinced me to keep my PM and invest in one of the new Raptor HDs. http://www.storagereview.com/articles/200601/WD1500ADFD_1.html

    Ya, waiting for a broken computer is a pain! Hopefully you get it back soon!

    That was an interesting read. Pretty lame that the author wussed out, some of the flames were pretty bad too. Still an interesting perspective, one that I don't really share.

    Because I've organized my photos a little different (coming from the windows world) some folders have many photos in them and take a long time to load. Sometimes the photos are large but it's a thumbnail for pete's sake!! I can have a window open with 50 .tiffs in it and the thumbnails won't load until I scroll up or down to where they are in view. Shouldn't they have already been rendered? Frustrating.

    iTunes stutters when changing from song to song sometimes, when changing from playlist to playlist, and when it's paused or started. The beach ball shows up and then I've gotta wait......it's usually not long, but what the heck is it doing? Not a single resource is maxed! Why is it thinking instead of working?

    Well enough of that. Thanks for the post, I'm learning more and more about OSX everyday.
     
  7. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #7
    You didn't choose wrong at all.

    OS X just needs a lot of RAM.

    I would run at least 2 GB in any dual processor machine.

    That's only an even 1 GB per side of your motherboard.

    My dual 2.0 only hangs waiting for certain heavy apps to load or when my
    horrible dial up connection snags.

    I would wait at least another year before jumping to Rev "A" Intel based gear since you already have a great machine.

    If you want snappier performance, add another GB of RAM and maybe consider adding a second 10K Raptor as your boot drive.
     
  8. RyanSA4 macrumors member

    RyanSA4

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Location:
    CT
    #8
    big 2nd on adding the extra ram. I have 2.5gb in my G5 and have yet to get the beach ball when using itunes, mail, safari, ect. the only time i get the ball is when working on large files in photoshop or in imovie.
     
  9. BlairOR macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    I am not sure what load times you are talking about with Google Earth. But just understand that for the most part everything that you are viewing with Google Earth is coming over the internet.
     
  10. nrd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #10
    I actually just did what you considered. I bought an iMac G5 and am planning on selling my PMG5. I love the G5, I think it's the greatest computer I've ever used, but I want to sell it and have the money go in part to an iMac and a MacBook Pro. So far, the iMac has been great, but it definitely needs the memory. I'm going to pick up a 1GB module as soon as I can.

    Anyone interested in a slightly used and very much loved G5?

    Also, the wait time for Google Earth is due to your 'net connection, not from the computer itself.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. bzollinger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #11
    So you're selling your PM so that you can get an iMac and a MacBook Pro?
     
  12. bzollinger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #12
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look a little more into the RAM vs. 10K HDD performance gain.

    Anyone have an opinion whether going from 1.5GB or RAM to 2GB will be better than upgrading the system drive to a new Raptor? Or visa versa?

    Thanks,
    bz
     
  13. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #13
    i found an interesting bit of info right here on the forums that could explain your beach balling...

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=2130870&postcount=16
    i'm not sure if you mentioned it, but do you have a second hard drive? if not, something to keep in mind if you do get a 2nd one.

    as far as RAM vs 10k Raptor for eliminating system slow-down... i'm umm'ing and ahh'ing thinking about this one, i'm not too sure. more RAM is always good, but an extra ~3000rpm at your boot drive might give a bit more speed boost as well. there's a few people around who have a Raptor HD as their boot drive, you could hunt them down and submit them to a sneaky survey. :D :p

    or you could use RAID 0 (i think that's the one. striped, right?) i've heard that with 3 or 4 HD's setup like that boot time on a PM G5 can get to around 2-3 seconds!! :eek: :D :D
    of course, the chance of hard drive failure is also greatly increased.
    this is something i've been thinking about... i'd love to have the speed that RAID 0 offers, but with the redundancy of that other RAID (yeah i'm not a real techy, is that RAID 4? :p). would it be possible to somehow hack together two lots of HD's setup in RAID 0, but then those two lots hooked up as RAID 4? if you know what i mean...
     
  14. bzollinger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    #14
    I didn't know that about the two drives. I've only got one drive though. I'll have two if I get a Raptor, and I'll revisit that issue.

    As far as RAID goes, it's been shown to give little benefit over a single drive, even with a hard ware RAID controller. Anandtec did a review on it. The extra 3,000 RPM makes a huge difference it seek times, read and write times. I think, I'm going the Raptor route. It's about $300, but I rarely use 1GB of my 1.5GB or RAM.

    Hunting down the Raptor owners is the next thing. Thanks for the post.

    bz
     
  15. Caitlyn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    #15
    The cheapest way in my opinion to make your PM more 'snappy' is to add RAM. You could also run a system cleaning app like Onyx that will make the OS run more smoothly. A hard drive will add space, I don't think it will add much speed. I mean, maybe a little, but nothing huge. Anyhow, if you have a PowerMac G5, why would you want to downgrade to an iMac? I mean, the iMac Core Duo is said to be around the speed of the Quad G5 and so therefore, that would be faster, but do you need it if you have a perfectly nice machine already that does more than you need from what I assume?
     
  16. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #16
    UM WTF? The iMac Core Duo is no where near the speed of the Power Mac G5 Quad Core. In most benchmarks it isn't even twice the speed of the iMac G5, what are you smoking and where can I get some? :)
     
  17. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #17
    I use a Dual G4 Powermac with 2 Gb RAM and 7200 RPM drives, that's way less powerful than your machine and I rarely if ever see beachballs. Besides the obvious (enough RAM to run all of your OS and open applications) and maintain the OS and hard drive, I think most of your problem lies in the bulk of data you commonly have open in the background.

    iTunes with 250 Gb on tap gives me pause - perhaps do some library management. Check and see if you have a gazillion fonts open that you never use. Have you used DeLocalizer to remove foreign language resources, have you thrown out Asian fonts if you will not be using them, have you used CacheOut X or similar to delete cache and log files?

    Drive-wise, the single best thing you can do is install a second drive to hold the data - sop your System and Apps are on one drive and your Data on the other. This splits Data read and write onto a different set of heads than Scratch disk and OS read and write. If you want to go whole hog and move your System to a 10,000 RPM raptor, that's fine, but most of the gain will come from having 2 spindles and 2 sets of heads instead of 1.
     
  18. jwkay macrumors member

    jwkay

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #18
    What counts as a long load time?
    My 2x2GHz G5 has Google Earth running, connected and ready within 10 seconds, which doesn't seem too bad.
     
  19. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    #19
    i have the dual-core 2.0 with 4gb of RAM and the 74gb Raptor drive. it's blazing fast.

    one thing i am having trouble with though is my itunes also stutters from time to time. it seems to do it when i click on something such as iphoto opening a safari windows. it doesn't do it often but the fact that it does is bothersome. my powerbook never stutters. the stutter on the poewrmac can range anywhere from .1 seconds to 2 seconds. all my mp3's are on my secondary hard drive which is the 160gb that came with the powermac when i first bought it. after i installed the raptor, i made the raptor the main hard drive and the 160gb the second hard drive. all my data is stored on the secondary hard drive.
     
  20. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #20
    tekmoe have you set your drives to not sleep at all (and I mean the real version not Apples - see the message above where someone quoted me from another thread)? I had heaps of problems using a 2nd drive (or even 1 drive with an external FW drive) until I set them not to sleep at all.

    My current setup is 1x WD740GD Raptor as my system drive and 1 x WD3200JD as my data drive it works great now, but would beach ball or stall for a bit all the time before.
     
  21. FireArse macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    #21
    2 PPC's rock

    I have a Dual 2GHz G5 with 2.5GB RAM. Love it - in over 13months OS X hasn't crashed once.

    The only time I have EVER seen the beachball is using FireFox. Never with Mail, iPhoto (over 5k photo's), iTunes, Word (which crashes a too) and Safari.

    I would cry if I heard my iTunes 'stutter' - i paid nearly £3k for this thing - only to be beat by my girlfriend's pink iPod mini....hell no.

    Load ram. Ensure you have the newest versions of everything INCLUDING software update and you should be set.

    F
     
  22. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #22
    Did you just tell a guy with 4GB of RAM to get more? Considering he has 2 HDDs I'd say it is most likely to be a drive sleep issue.
     
  23. shrimpdesign macrumors 6502a

    shrimpdesign

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    #23
  24. tekmoe macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    #24
    risc, excellent point. yes, i do have the option checked to put the drives to sleep when they are not being used. i have now unchecked it. i also tried to do the command from your other post that was quoted but it says pmset command not found? are you sure that is the correct command?
     

Share This Page