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Dual G4 or Single G5

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by Drew01, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    I need a desktop computer to hold thousands of family photos and lots of music (piped to the stereo through some sort of wireless arrangement) and to occasionally edit video and burn dvds.

    Does anyone have any comments on whether I'm better off with a Dual G4 1.25 or a single G5 1.6 (both at the very top of my budget).

    I've been waiting for upgrades and resulting lower prices on refurbished computers for about six months now, and am about to give up.

  2. macrumors 6502

    i've researched this thoroughly for somone who wants to do ALOT of video editing and dvd authoring, and i recommended the single processor g5.

    because from what i've read, the biggest use of the dual processor is for rendering- in this case for video effects, etc.

    64bit technology + all of the new up and coming potentials is a better route, in my opinion, for anyone that isn't going to be constantly using their machine as a render farm.

    seeing how you will only occasionaly be editing or authoring, which in my opinion are the bigger processor power hogs, i definately recommend the g5
  3. macrumors 68000


    The dual G4 would be a benefit when rendering, but looking to the future Apple is going to put everything they can into optimising Mac OS X and all their apps to push the G5 to it's limits.

    You can expect the performance of all machines to go up with 10.4 etc, but I strongly believe the performance increase of G5's will be much greater than G4's. This is partly due to common sense, but also due to all the input we've been receiving about optimised compilers etc etc. It's just getting started.

    Plus, just look at it :cool:

  4. macrumors 68020


    Your demands are not too high. Any G4, and even a fast G3, can handle what you want to do.

    But my basic rule of computer buying is to buy the biggest baddest thing you can afford. Just know that anything you buy off the shelf today is capable, so don't break the bank.
  5. macrumors newbie

  6. macrumors newbie


    This is all very helpful. Maybe a slightly-used single G4 is all I need.

    An additional consideration for me is that the G5s are just so enormous.

  7. macrumors regular

    As other people commented, what you mentioned isn't very taxing on the system. I'd suggest a used or preferably refurbed single 1Ghz if you want to keep the price down. Heck, even an eMac would work just fine. Upgrade the memory to atleast 1GB whatever you get. I know people who edit on an 867mhz without problems, just the final render might take a while but just let it run overnight.
  8. macrumors regular

    When you say that they're at the top of your budget, did you pick more RAM than they'd come with?

    Because if you did, and you picked it from Apple, you're wasting money. Always get the minimum RAM from Apple, and buy more for cheaper from Crucial, RAMJet or others.
  9. macrumors newbie

    i'm notorious for running off an oily rag, in recent years weve had the gamut, our current top spec is a pb12" 1.33 & a dp mdd 1.25 (these were the first new macs i'd bought since my 1st mac, an se30), both are fast enough for the prepress & design we do. at home i use a 466 with a 800mhz, (1mb cache) upgrade which worked out very cheap, from ebay, i find this system at least 20% faster than the qs 800 256kb cache, which i find about the same speed as a 533 1mb cache. anything with a 133 bus is really dropping in price, over christmas i saw a 400mhz agp go for $320au ($250us?) incredible. i think any digital audio or gigabit ethernet boxes offer the best power/price ratio, (but who wants to run tiger on a sub 733mhz box...)

    one thing about apple is they are very careful with their price v performance, & the way they stage the release of technology, combo here, 400mb fw there, 600mhz bus here, 400mhz ddr ram there...the marketing deot are in on everything

    id buy only what you really need, i mean whats another $700 going to achieve when you only sit there a few hours a day, just surf while you wait, whats the rush?, spend the rest on a itunes server, or a new pair of shoes

    finally, i guess this is obvious to most, macs are incredibly reliable, i havent had any serious hardware failures (besides the occasional hard drive & power supply), so buying 2nd hand shouldnt matter

    i know they are cool but being a fashion victim (when the money could be better spent) is not

    dismounting high horse

    hey maybe wait for the headless imac...$550??
  10. macrumors 601


    Have you considered a maxed out 20" iMac? It's the same speed as a single CPU powermac, but you get a nice 20" screen. A 20" with 250gb HD, and 1gb of Apple ram (read: rip-off) and you're still at less than a base PM 1.8ghz w/ a 20" ACD... $2,225 (1.8ghz, 1gb, 250gb, SD, 5200ultra, 20" WS LCD) vs. $2500 (1.8ghz, 512mb, 160gb, SD, 5200ultra, 20" WS LCD).

    Just a thought... :)


    Oh, Xbench puts the single 1.8ghz G5 at a little faster than a DP 1.25ghz G4 in most tests, FWIW.
  11. Moderator emeritus

  12. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    You should be fine with a G4 machine. I do everything you mention on my G4 (Dual 533), and it has no problems managing my photos, playing music through the Airport Express to a stereo, burning DVD's, and loads of other stuff. Any speed issues I have would be solved with a faster G4 like you are considering, provided you feed it 1GB+ of RAM.

    Look for the last G4 towers Apple sold - a Dual 1.42, or Single 1.25 dual boot. As mentioned above, keep the noise issue in mind - However the last G4 towers (released in 2003 till being discontinued last summer) with Firewire 800 did not have the noise problem.

    There are quite a few kits for dealing with MDD noise issues, so don't let that completely scare you away from G4s.
  13. Moderator emeritus

    I beg to differ being the (sometimes) proud owner of a dual 1.42 purchased July 2003.

    If the noise issue had been fixed with these models, I dread to think what the unfixed models were like.

    I eventually spent about 200 euros on a Verax kit (M10+M11) to shut the damned thing up. And it wasn't easy putting it in...

    Before it was neutered, I couldn't use iTunes without waking up the neighbours.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    I'd go with a G5 simply because it is much much quieter. The high speed of the front side bus means multi-tasking is alot smoother. The chipset, memory architecture, SATA drives, pretty much everything is new and upgraded technology, even if you cant see it.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Just probably want to add that if you can, save up a little more for a dual G5, the OSX takes advantage of dual proccessors extremely efficiently. You wont go wrong spending a little more for duals.
  16. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    I stand corrected on the 1.42.

    I had done done some reading on G4noise.com before, and seem to remember that the PSU was changed out in early 2003 for a quiet one. Or was Apple blowing smoke on that?

    Those last dual-boot singe G4 1.25s should be quiet though. We have several in our library at work and they are fine.

    The G5s are kick-A** machines, but right now unless you intend to do serious gaming or run heavy Pro Apps constantly (Logic, Final Cut, Photoshop etc), you don't NEED a G5.
  17. Guest


    A dual 1.25 will smoke a single 1.6 with enough RAM.
  18. Moderator emeritus

    It was changed (apparently).

    But I think the term 'quiet' is a highly relative term...

    ...according to Apple's lawyers, anyhow.

  19. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    Hmmmm, didn't know that they had any noise problems with the "revised" PSU. I HAVE heard that the later, quieter ones have a lower power rating, leading to some problems with the overclocked upgrade cards though. Too bad that Apple didn't use a standard type ATX power supply, it would be a simple swap-out.
  20. Moderator emeritus

    New power-supply fans were part of the Verax kit: but I found it fiddlier than expected.

    The new heatsink & fans were also problematic... not helped by poorly translated instructions from the original German.

    But in the end: worth it 100%
  21. macrumors 6502a


    I went as far as replacing all the fans in my old G4, including the fan in the power supply. Replaced them with german made Papst fans. Ultra quiet, but not as much CPM rating so I drilled in extra vent holes. Wasnt worth it though. The harddrives became the single source of loud humming noises.
  22. macrumors member

    i would go with the G5.while you might not need it as of now its alot more future proof.Also apple is now optimizing everything for the G5 its the smarter choice IMO :D
  23. macrumors 68030


    I suggest the G5, it'll be faster and run all apps natively for 32-bit. Since its 64-bit processor, its not being used to its fullest potential in sense that there aren't that many (if any) 64-bit apps out yet. G5 will better suit you and you won't have to upgrade it too often.
  24. macrumors 6502


    A tough question indeed .. dual really beats single but then again the G4 is so old .. the single PM G5 is basically a repackaged iMac with the same 1/3 CPU bus ..

    If you don't have a screen I would look into a nicely loaded iMac G5 ..
  25. macrumors 6502a


    You can always look at refurbished or private sales of dual G5's. The latter no taxes. :cool:

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