G5 or G4 Dual 1.42

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Hackcomic.com, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. Hackcomic.com macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    #1
    I was all set to upgrade my g3 350 to a G4 1.25 dual. Then I figured why not go for the 1.42 dual and get one on Ebay. Now I see the prices of the g5 single have come down to $1800 for the 1.6 and about $2,000 for the 1.8 single..

    I guess my question is: What do I get? Is the 1.42 g4 faster than the single g5s? Do I really need to go dual g5 or will single 1.8 work for me.

    Here is what I use my computer for:
    Word, AOL, internet, film editing, and storing all my digital film files (So I will need large hard drives) so I can then make DVDs of my films to hand out at meetings. (I am a television writer and indy film director). I will also use this for my web site, but I don't do much design- I really just update it.

    With the editing: I have mostly been using imovie- and then I output that onto DV- bring it to my real editor who then adds all the bells and whistles. I have not been using Final Cut myself all that much- but I guess its time to learn. In terms of photo shop- I dont use it at all. I then take the movie my editor fixed- bring it back into my computer through DV firewire and then output it to Quicktime (on my g3 this can take hours!)

    I guess the real question is- how much faster or slower is the 1.8 g5 compared to the 1.42 dual? (I have seen benchmarks on the 1.6 but not the 1.8) And then secondly- if I am going for 1.8 single- do I just suck it up and spend the extra $500 or so on the 1.8 dual g5? OR do I even need this since I am not doing all the photoshop type stuff and don't anticipate doing it.


    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #2
    Well, I think the question you have to ask yourself at this point is: When do I need my new computer, really? It's already the 6th of December. In about 1 month you're going to get the big Apple expo of the year in San Francisco. It is very likely that new powermacs will be announced at this point, which will bring the prices of the 1.6, 1.8 and Dual 1.8 to a much more manageable price (I don't have any inside info, just guessing based on Apple's track record). So if you can afford to wait a few more weeks, I think price reductions are right around the ccorner.

    However, if you need the computer RIGHT NOW, then it gets tricky. I think it's safe to say that any of the computers you mentioned will give you an enormous speed increase. The 1.42 dual G4 is quite the monster, but if you want the computer to last you longer, a G5 is technically more future proof. Of course, the Dual 1.8 G5 is a screamer, but so is the single 1.8. I'd probably go for the G5.

    But this isn't up to me. I think the deciding factor in this is "how much money do I have." The more expensive the Mac, the faster it will run, the longer it will run the programs you want, and the more resale value it will have a few years from now. Dual processor machines are awesome, but think about all the Hard Disk space you're gonna need, RAM, software, etc., and you might be better off with a "lesser" computer, but actually afford all the extra goodies necessary to make the movies you'll be working on.

    Bottom line: If you can wait until Macworld in January, wait. If not, then get the most expensive computer you can get AFTER considering all the peripherals you'll need.
     
  3. Thom_Edwards macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #3
    what a coincidence! i was just out investigating the same thing! from what i found, for those apps that can utilitize dual proc machines, the g4 setup is the way to go. but for your situation, it doesn't look like you are using many dual proc aware apps, so the g5 might be faster in the grand scheme of things.

    i don't know this from ANY experience--this is what i concluded from just googling around.

    what i found out about me (and this may help you, too) is that i don't need either! i think, for the money, the emac or ibook is without a doubt the way to go. i don't game at all, so that lowers my horsepower requirements significantly. i do the normal everyday type stuff (web surfing, iphoto, whatnot), plus some programming for those days when i feel like bringing work home with me. i realize the pro models will be faster, but how much faster? is it really worth it???? i, thinking with my wallet and not my techo-lust, think not!

    just to add something to the equation, i don't have a monitor that i can graduate to my new purchase as i'm still on a 233 imac. if i had a nice monitor, i might be thinking differently. and yes, i can pick up a pretty decent monitor for not a lot of money, but i'd rather spend *that* money on something else. and i've also thought about the useful-life-expectancy aspect. that really makes me indecisive....

    a little food for thought.
     
  4. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #4
    I was using a G3/400 as my primary machine until June 2002, when I bought a dual G4/800. It's a big step up. The dual processors do make a difference in several ways which will benefit you most every day. I recently upgraded the G3 to a G3/800 and at times, it's faster processor-to-processor than the G4/800.

    If you can wait until spring, I think you'll be happier than jumping now. You know you don't want to be saying "Oh, I should have waited."

    You've got choices, but take your time.
     
  5. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #5
    by a new computer with todays and tomorrows technology or buy a new computer with last years technology? i think you know the answer.
     
  6. Hackcomic.com thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    #6
    Wow thanks for the fast replies.
    I guess my big question is- what applications utilize the dual processors?

    The thing I like about the dual g4- more expansion- 4 spaces for hard drives and the G5 only has 2. And G4 dual hard drives are cheaper.
     
  7. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #7
    If youre looking for being able to add hard drive and optical drives, the Dual 1.24 is the only way to go.
     
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
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    Gone but not forgotten.
    #8
    Yes, the standard ATA drives for the G4 are cheaper and perform exactly that way in contrast to the Serial ATA drives of the G5.

    Mac OS X utilises both processors and doles out assignments to both. Even if an application isn't aware or specifically multi-threaded, it will share the processors by only being loaded to one. The operating system will go happily running without affecting the application much at all.
     
  9. Hackcomic.com thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    #9
    1 more thing- what sort of monitors does the new g5 support? I have an older Viewsonic g773 VGA I will be using- does the g5 support that?
     
  10. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #10
    Yep, your monitor will work fine with the included DVI-to-VGA adapter. Any CRT or LCD monitor will work.
     
  11. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    #11
    A warning of experience for the G4: If you have 4 hard drives installed, one of them will be right next to the heat sink and will most likely overheat and be useless. IMO, it is VERY poorly designed: the rear two HD's get almost no air circulation and get the brunt of the heat coming off of the heatsink.

    I had to pull my drive out of my G4 (1GHz MDD) because it kept overheating. You may pay less for a standard ATA, but I think you'll get fewer hours out of it installed in a G4.

    Firewire drives are a good option, but you really have to be careful about them --- I lost 104 Gig of video files from a freak spinning beachball/finder crash/force restart accident.
     
  12. Hackcomic.com thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    #12
    I heard about this overheating problem on the g4 as well- I just figured it was a one time incident with a friend. So really the G4 should only have 2 drives installed? Just to be on the safe side? If this is true- then it makes the g5 equal in storage to me. I like the g4 because I can start off with 2- 120gb and if I need more I can buy them later-the G5 doesnt give me this option. I am not one to use firewire drives- had too many problems with them before.
     
  13. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    Dec 7, 2002
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    New Zealand
    #13
    The G4 has 4 HD bays. Two of them are next to the CPU heatsink, and the other 2 are at the front of the case, next to the wind tunnels. You should be able to put additional drives next to the tunnels without any heat problems, but be aware that the "tunnel bays" are only ATA/66 (the others are ATA/100). The system, by default, comes with an HD in the bay next to the heatsink.
     
  14. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    #14
    I'm safely running 3 HD's with no problems (except for lack of disk space). My 3rd HD is by the heatsink, but there's a good inch to 1.5 inches of airspace between them.

    Firewire isn't a huge problem unless you're running many multiple devices. I have 2 FW HD's, a CD burner, scanner, iPod, and 2 videocams. I'm constantly behind my machine because the hub doesn't play well with some things --- like, I can't capture from my Canon cam to FW hard drive (I usually have to restart my computer to get FW to play nice again), but I can do it with my Sony camera with no problems. I haven't found the magic sequence of chaining yet and am fed up with doing it, so I'm always crawling under my desk to switch devices...at least the G5 has FW 400 ports on the front!!! Hopefully, Apple will get their stuff together about FW.
     

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