G5 2.0 vs G5 2.3.. and PCI-X ?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by RobHague, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. RobHague macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    #1
    Hey,

    After getting a good response from other questions ive had on investing in a new PowerMac G5 i have one last concern.

    I was pricing up my order, and it seems that for almost the same price as the Dual 2.0Ghz G5 i can get the Duel 2.3Ghz G5, if i choose to not update the graphics card to the X850 XT.

    The FSB on the 2.3 seems a little higher, but it also says it has PCI-X..

    What sort of cards are available for PCI-X and the Mac, what is it primerily aimed at? Anything of importance? Im just wondering if i should stick with my original plan of the G5 2.0 with a nice X850 XT (and 3 PCI's) so i can play some games at nice resolutions too. Or if i should cope with the poorer 9600 so i can invest the money into the other area of the PowerMac from the start... its a tough discission.. I had no doubt in my mind i will be playing games on the mac... and that i will want to try out Doom3 and such. Im just not sure if i will be able to afford to splash out on a graphics card update at a later date or not..

    Some opinions would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Cfg5 macrumors regular

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    Nov 27, 2003
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    #2
    If you really wanna game get the 2.0 with better gfx card, I don't really know of any good uses for PCI-X.
     
  3. MacTruck macrumors 65816

    MacTruck

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    #3

    I know. What can you do with PCI-X? I guess if you do music or something.
     
  4. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #4
    What should be really concerning you is the number of RAM slots on these models. Not due to max RAM, but because with 8 slots (instead of 4) you will be able to upgrade and install RAM a lot more easily and gradually than with 4 (bearing in mind you have to install RAM in Pairs it means that you have effectively 1 free slot compared to 3). The 2.3 has 8 slots (4 pairs) and the 2.0 only 4 (essentially making it a 2 slot system like a iMac or PowerBook)
    When you think that previously all PM G5s had 8 slots, even the dual 1.8, the new low-end model doesn't look so amazing.
    As far as I know PCI-X is very rarely needed. You will only actually use it if you buy some hardware (Like a dedicated decoding board for video) that requires it. It is likely that this specialist hardware will be of similar cost as the G5 itself.
     
  5. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #5
    I'm getting a 2.3 or 2.7 this week - the PCI-X slots are of no consequence to most people and regular PCI cards are backward compatable with PCI-X.
     
  6. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

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    #6
    When I got my Power Mac I settled on a Rev B Dual 1.8 GHz mainly because I couldn't think of a single reason I'd need to add anything to a 64 bit PCI or PCI-X slot in the machine. So I spent the extra money on a better video card.

    PCI-X is mainly used for high end SCSI or SCSI RAID controllers and Audio Gear on the Mac. As iGary has said any PCI-X card will run in the 64 bit PCI slots on the low end Power Mac, the only real difference between 64 bit PCI and PCI-X is the bus speed of 66 mhz versus 100 or 133 Mhz. PCI-X 2 running at 200+ MHz has become standard on high end x86 Work Stations / Servers recently and afaik there still aren't any cards for that.

    If you get the 2.3 you'll also get 4 extra RAM slots so this is something worth considering if you think you'll need more than 4 GB of RAM.
     
  7. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

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    #7
    Every low end Power Mac G5 from the Single Processor 1.6 GHz to todays Dual 2.0 GHz has only had 4 RAM slots.
     
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #8
    Just an overclocked PCI card, running at 100/133MHz if the card supports it.

    Doesn't really matter much, since neither implementation on the machines newer than the PowerMac G5 and XServe G4 will support the older 5V PCI standard.

    So getting PCI because you want old PCI cards to work, probably won't work anyway. And PCI-X supports the same PCI cards that the PCI G5s do anyway, in addition to supporting the overclocked cards.
     
  9. wangahrah macrumors newbie

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    Feb 22, 2001
    #9
    If you don't know of any reasons you'd use the PCI-X slots, then you probably won't use them.

    Definetly go with the better GPU. The X850 is brilliant.
     
  10. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

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    #10
    Hmmm I just got a 2.7 and have found that 2 of my PCI cards that were in the G4 don't fit into the G5, a Pinnacle Miro DC30 and the mAudio 2496.

    personally I don't consider this is backward compatible :mad:
     
  11. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #11
    I guess I am talking more USB 2.0 and FW 400/800...
     
  12. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

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    #12
    It's interesting to read people's opinions on the PCI-X versus PCI issue 2 years after the G5 launch. In 2003, it was like you were going to take away people's right to live if you dared consider taking away their PCI-X expansion capability :rolleyes: I guess everyone figured out that unless you're a running server-grade storage system, there's not a whole lot of difference either way.
     
  13. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #13
    Quoting http://history.eis.net.au/:
    ...and so on.
    Basically, I see the original dual 2.0 as better RAM-wise than the current dual 2.0, but then it was more expensive.

    The main point of my original post however was that the 8 slots in the current 2.3 is a much bigger advantage of the machine over the 2.0 than the PCI vs. PCI-X will be.
     
  14. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #14
    Side note, revision history:

    Product revision history

    (Note: DP designates a Dual-Processor machine, and SP designates a Single-Processor machine)
    2003 June: Initial release at speeds of SP 1.6, SP 1.8, DP 2.0GHz
    2003 November: DP 1.8 replaces SP 1.8GHz; a price reduction on SP 1.6GHz
    2004 June: 90nm DP 1.8, DP 2.0 and liquid-cooled DP 2.5GHz replace all previous models
    2004 October: A new SP 1.8 reintroduced, with a slower, 600MHz FSB (Frontside Bus), likely based upon the iMac G5's architecture
    2005 April: A new DP 2.3 (1.15ghz FSB) and DP 2.7 (1.35ghz FSB) were released while keeping the SP 1.8 and the DP 2.0. Newly introduced features were the 16x Double-Layer SuperDrives across the line and increased storage, up to 800GB for the higher-end models. The SP 1.8 model was discontinued in June 2005.
     
  15. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

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    #15
    Sorry gary i want having a dig at you, When I was looking into upgrading from the g4 to g5 I looked into the PCI X thing on the apple web site and came away thinking that all PCI cards would work, how was i to know there are 5v & 3.3v. So When i got the G5 i was a bit disappointed that my card do not fit in the G5, maudio do a trade in option for about $50 + $40 shipping. But the DC30 card is so old I will have to get a new video capture card, aprox £400 on top of the huge amount of money I have spent on the G5 & 23" + FCStudio.

    On the upside my USB 2 Card work, I am pleased about this as I think that the amount of USB & FW ports on the back of the G5 is also disappointing. Having usb & FW on the front of the G5 is nice but for occasional use, I dont want wire hanging round the front of the machine it looks untidy!
     
  16. RobHague thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 8, 2005
    #16
    Ok looks like PCI-X does not really apply to me :D...

    What about the FSB/Extra Mhz? Im assuming there is no way you can 'upgrade' the G5 chip later so...well since ive never seen it mentioned and the CPU's look pretty much bullet proof in that case lol. Hmm i doubt it will make much real world difference XD anyhow..

    So I think my original plan, 2.0Ghz + X850 XT is the safer bet :) ta. Hopefully i will be back on here in a few weeks asking for help with Mac OSX's finer points soon ;)

    EDIT: Oh and no i wont need more than 1Gb of RAM. Infact at most id prolly want 2Gb.... I cant think of anything i will be doing that would need more than that.
     
  17. Jazzbolicious macrumors newbie

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    Alfred, NY
    #17
    There might be an upgrade for the g5 in the future. Enterprising companies such as Daystar have figured out ways to upgrade "non-upgradable" machines, such as the imac g3. In fact, they just announced an upgrade for 700/800mhz imac g4s.

    I definately agree with the 2.0ghz and x850 setup on your future powermac. It'll be good to have a decent machine to keep you going strong through the first revisions of intel macs, which may be buggy during the transitional period. It should be a machine that lasts you for many of years to come, then you can buy a 6ghz dual core macintel, or whatever apple's offering in 2008 or beyond. :)
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #18
    You can always upgrade the graphics card later, and as you said you know you can't upgrade the CPU. That being said though, the 2.3GHzs aren't that much better than the 2.0s. If you want to game, the video card will be one of the most important parts, if the most on such a fairly level playing field. Forget the PCI-X and extra RAM, you may want to get the 2.3s just for the extra juice if you can upgrade the video within a few months if the Radeon isn't fast enough for you.

    But if money really is an issue, you may want to consider buying a refurbished Mac from the Apple Store online's Special Deals area. They have a dual 2GHz G5 for $1649. Add some third party RAM (2x 1GB sticks from Newegg added to what's already in there should do you) and a new video card if you don't like the one that's in there, and you're good to go. I myself am still waiting for a new, cheaper, single G5 Tower on the lowend, but it looks like I'm going to be waiting for a little while longer. :(
     
  19. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #19
    Remember the high end video card will limit PCI upgradability, and I do not mean they block a slot.

    They suck down so much power from the PCI bus, that you will not be able to use some of the high drain PCI cards.The cards should suck down...
    Code:
    Graphics IC	Video SDRAM	Power usage	PCI power available
    
    ATI Radeon 9600	128 MB		15W		75W
    
    ATI Radeon 9650	256 MB		15W		75W
    
    ATI Radeon 9800	256 MB		75W
    
    GeForce 6800	256 MB		105W		30W
    Likely the X850 sucks down as much as the 6800...
     
  20. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

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    #20
    I agree completely, my logic when I bought the dual 1.8 GHz Rev B went like this:

    I don't need 64 bit PCI or PCI-X, the extra RAM would be nice but for my use I don't need it. So I bought a Dual 1.8, 2GB RAM, 160 GB HDD, 256 MB ATI Radeon 9800 XT, BT Power Mac and it still cost less than the next model up. When I finally need more than 2 GB of RAM it'll be time to upgrade to an Intel Mac anyway.

    IMO the PCI versus PCI-X thing is pointless for most users it comes down to do you need the extra RAM slots more than anything? Any Dual G5 is an amazing machine!
     
  21. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

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    USA
    #21
    Dual 2.3GHz

    I completely agree with this. When you get a new Power Mac you'd be much better off with more RAM (like 2GB or more) than with the latest video card. You could upgrade the video card a little later too (of course, this depends on your usage and needs). The first thing you should do when you get the Power Mac is upgrade the RAM. You may think 1GB is enough, but that may be limiting depending on the apps you run.

    I would side with others who have stated that the dual 2.3GHz is a much better choice than the latest dual 2GHz just because it has 8 RAM slots. It allows you to gradually upgrade RAM without having to throw away (or sell) your existing RAM. Or go for a Rev B dual 2GHz (that has 8 RAM slots unlike the Rev C dual 2GHz that has 4 RAM slots).
     
  22. MacTruck macrumors 65816

    MacTruck

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    #22

    How does the Radeon 9600 use 15w with 75w available but the GeForce 6800 uses 105w with 30w available?
     
  23. Tilmitt macrumors member

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    Apr 30, 2005
    #23
    If you make the 30w -30w it makes sense.
     
  24. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #24
    Apple does not say...
    Likely Apple ran into a problem with the max power they could tap off the PCI slots.

    Which is why some of the Pro cards have a power supply onboard that uses the ADC power connector and taps the remainder off that source.

    Remember, the Macs are not running a pigtail connection off the drive power supply.
     

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