G5 or G4 - Tower for home web site

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by tomf87, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. tomf87 macrumors 65816

    tomf87

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #1
    I am looking into buying a tower, but with all the hype about the G5, it's hard to separate fact from fiction.

    Here's what I'm going to do. I need to install MySQL, PHP, and run my home web site from the tower. I would also use iTunes and Office v.X. I have a few games I also play, but those seem more video card related.

    When I am trying to compare the two different tower models, I really like the power of the G5, but is it necessary? 64-bit computing is just entering the high-end enterprise market with any real force, and most apps are still 32-bit. And PCI-X? I haven't seen anyone requiring 64-bit 133Mhz PCI bus speeds at home. Actually, I don't see many people even use the expansion slots much anymore, especially since video cards are AGP now.

    I like computing power as much as the next guy, but with the cost of a new dual G4 tower at $1799 and the dual G5 at $3000, what is the extra $1200 gaining me? Even with playing the latest games, I don't see any advantage.
     
  2. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #2
    Either of those towers is way over spec for running a home website on. Unless your name is A. Mazon then your website is unlikely to get any serious traffic that will require that sort of power. What about paying for hosting?

    Office and iTtunes run fine on a G3 ibook. Games as you say are more video card related but it depends what games.

    To be honest you'd be better off setting up a $400 headless (EPIA?) box running linux as your server then choosing a mac that suits your desktop needs. If you set up the linux box with ssh you can even remotely administer it.
     
  3. Thom_Edwards macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #3
    don't let the web server get in the way of your purchasing decision, especially if you're only doing a personal site that will only get a limited number of hits.

    just as a point of reference, i run a development web server on a 233 iMac! of course i use a "real" server when the site goes live, but my little machine does fine for the limited use. unless you are eBay or Amazon.com, you really don't need that much power to serve web pages, even dynamic ones.

    EDIT--i see someone else agrees, and got their post up as i was typing this!
     
  4. tomf87 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tomf87

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #4
    It's currently running on Linux, and I use my iMac for everything else. I'm wanting to consolidate everything into one box for a couple of reasons:

    1. The PC is just way too noisy.
    2. The iMac can be repurposed to my girlfriend.
    3. I can't stand my desk to be this cluttered anymore.

    I really don't like having multiple computers when one would suffice. I could host the site on my iMac, but the games don't run very well on it. In addition, I like the reliability of Mac OS X and want to support the Apple cause.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  5. tomf87 thread starter macrumors 65816

    tomf87

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #5
    I agree that the web server is minimal. The two things that seem to drag my performance down is MySQL and the games. Those would be my two heavy hitters. I also use iPhoto, which is a big memory hog. My iMac 17" 800 seems to struggle with this.

    With Office and browsing the web, the iMac is great. But for my DVD creation and iPhoto usage, I am not terribly happy with it. I was thinking dual G4 1.25's and faster memory would help both. I'm sure a better video card would help too for the games (mine's a 32MB NVidia GF4 MX).
     
  6. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #6
    For many things more memory seems to make a huge difference. Apple doesn't sell its machines with enough RAM in them. You need about 512MB to be OK.

    iPhoto really slows down with large libraries. I tend to stop when it gets to about 600MB. I then archive to CD and start a new library. There's a freeware app that I can't remember the name of that lets you switch between different libraries.

    The EPIA I suggested can be really quite (almost silent) as fanless versions are available. It's a very small form factor (about 17cm x 17cm motherboard) and can be run headless. It will fit on a bookcase. They can be up to 1Ghz
     
  7. Santiago macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Location:
    Mountain View, California
    #7
    I run two websites and a mail server on a G3/266 I got for under $150. Works great.

    As to what the G5 gets you over the G4, the processor is the least part of it, really. The G5 has insanely more memory bandwidth than the G4, which is particularly imporatant when working with large data files (images, etc), and important to game performance as well.
     
  8. monkeydo_jb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2002
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    #8
    If you're getting rid of your PC due to noise, definitely don't buy
    one of the newer G4 towers. Why not go for the 1.6 G5 and buy
    some aftermarket RAM for it?

    Our website is running on an old Gateway with a P3 500 running Red Hat 7.3.
    We just use it for testing and a little MySQL, PHP, and Postfix.



    -jeff
     

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