G5 Rev. A/B? PB? Need Advice.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by letterbox, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. letterbox macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    I know this may be repetative...so if I get flamed I probably deserve it...

    Hello all,

    I am going to school this fall, I'm majoring in Graphic Design (as of now) @ MICA - I'll be a transfer and not freshman as that has some bearing on computer requirements.

    I need a laptop to take to classes/cafeteria/library/etc, but also a mid to low high-end machine (1.8/2.0 G5) to do the majority of my work on.

    My question to you is which PM would you reccomend and if you feel like it, what laptop to supplement that would you choose?

    Just an idea of the specs and prices I have floating around...

    1.8 G5 w/2x256 + 1g (crucial)
    A: $1799.00? can't find price...
    B: $2001.00

    2.0 G5 w/2x256 +512 (crucial)
    A: 2,299 - EDU which I don't know the price off...
    B: $2344.00

    These prices are w/o the crucial memory added.

    I am not sure whether or not to get the Rev A or B G5. It is more expensive to upgrade the RAM in the Rev B 1.8 because it is on the old 1.6 board which only has 4 slots on it, if it had 8 I could upgrade cheaper.

    Apparently by some reports the Rev. B's are quieter, I've seen G5's in the Apple Store and the noise didn't bother me, but of course Apple Stores are loud so I'm not a good judge of how bad they could get.

    If I get a 2.0 I'll probably get less RAM. Is it really worth sacrificing RAM for a 200 Mhz boost? I kinda doubt it, and I don't know if a 2.0 machine would really have much more longevity to it...I only see that if I got the Rev.B I would have 8 slots instead of 4 (1.8B).

    The programs I foresee using are Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Quark, Dreamweaver, minimal to no games, and of course internet, word processing yada yada. By all means, nothing that really demands a G5.

    As for laptops, I was considering the following:

    1. PowerBook G4 1GHz/256MB/60GB/Combo/GigE/15"TFTAluminum

    2. PowerBook G4 1.33GHz/256MB/60GB/Combo/AP Extreme
    Card/GigE/15"TFT-Aluminum-Refurbished Add

    3. PowerBook G4 1.33GHz/256MB/60GB/Combo/AP Extreme Card/E/12"-

    The 3rd choice for laptops probably isn't an option, I'd like the extra screen space. I will be most likely adding a 512 stick to any laptop I get for a total of atleast 640MB.

    So, sorry for the lengthy post, but hopefully one of you will have some input on some part of my dilemna (if you call it that? it's not a bad one).


  2. StrangeQuark macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2004
    First off, for the EDU discount you should be able to go directly to the Apple Education store. On the left sidebar of the main Store page there is a link that says "Education."

    Powermacs: Having played around with both machines, there is not a phenomenal difference, especially when you are not seriously taxing the processor. In your case, I'd think RAM would make more of a difference than frequency. Incidentally, G5's require that you install memory in pairs, so when you price and buy, take that into account.

    Powerbooks: The screen real estate on the 12" is fine. Especially considering that you will have a desktop. The portability of the 12" is also very, very nice. A lot of this depends on personal preference, but I found the 15" to be a little too cumbersome. The 17" even more so. The best thing you can do is find a local Apple Store and play with them. If you do go with the 12", I wouldn't go refurbished simply because the education price is the same as what you listed. I haven't heard any terrible reviews of Apple's refurbs, but if you can get a new machine for the same price, why not get it.

    Priced with the education discounts and memory, here are the two machines I would recommend:

    Power Mac 1.8
    1.25GB RAM (2*128 standard + 2*512 crucial)
    80GB Hard Drive
    9600 XT
    Combo Drive
    No Modem (Not needed when you have access to a campus network)
    $1927.98 before taxes

    Powerbook 12"
    768MB RAM (256MB standard + 512MB crucial)
    80GB Hard Drive (Faster RPM, adds speed without sacrificing battery)
    $1628.99 before taxes

    I assumed you already have an external monitor since you did not mention that factor in your post. My biggest piece of advice, go to an Apple Store and try some stuff out. Until then, all you've got to go on are other people's opinions. Good luck.
  3. PowerMacMan macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Sounds like you think the G5's are 'mid to low end machines'... or are you talking about the PowerBooks, the PowerBooks don't come w/ 1.8, and 2.0 processors... :confused:
  4. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    The PM G5's are the fastest computers on this planet for the home user. A PB is slower than an AMD 64-bit Mobile due to its bus speed of 167MHz vs. HTT (Hyper-Transport Technology) 1600MHz thats about 9.6x faster than a PB. But thats a different scope of a thread. Now your choices aren't really that bad. If you need the speed, go with the more $$$, but remember if you buy cheaper, you can do better speed upgrades in the future (RAM that is). Get one that will get you through college and from there on buy new as needed. Its up to you, we only specify opinions in here. Depending on how well you see get a bigger or smaller monitor (12" PB (why not an iBook though???)). You can always transfer files back and forth between PM and PB (or consider the IB). IMHO I'd take one that is cheap, but get it upgraded pretty well. That balances it out - When I bought this AMD Duron 1.10GHz PC it was slower than my Pentium 2 350MHz (32KB L1 cache 512KB L2) pc bc I had 256MB of RAM on the P2 and I had 128MB on this Duron. Well I've uped the RAM in this to 384 and (durons have upto 192KB cache on their processor 64 L1 128 L2) its faster than my brothers 2.5GHz celeron (Celeron 32KB L1 (20K for something) (12K something) and 128 L2) and his RAM is 640. It just depend on how the value of speed affects what you will be doing. The processor did affect performance with the cache sizes
  5. letterbox thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    I'm sorry if my post was sloppy and incoherent, I shouldn't stay up so late.

    I did take the prices from the Education store. I upped the video card (9600xt) and the hard drive (160gb) in the 1.8. And also, I think in the Rev.B 2.0, minus the hd upgrade.

    I do have a 12" ibook now (g3, 700mhz) and I would really like the extra screen real estate while I'm out. I have friends with the 15 and I don't think it is too unwieldy, however I would be alright with the 12 if I got it. My my reason for getting the pb over the ibook is the diff. in system bus (133 vs.167 20% increase). Also, the lack of need for dongles w/the PB, plus AE as standard on PB. Once I would configure a 12" iBook to look like a 12"PB w/similar features it would be about 1255.00 for the iBook and 1399.00 for PB, a diff. of $150. These are non-edu prices b/c I don't know what the disc. on a refurb 12" pb would be. So, for the extra $150 I would rather have the faster system bus, super drive and fw800.

    Actually, I would have to think about it if I was leaning towards the 12" size, because there isn't much difference. However, I really do rather like the idea of the 15". If it seems like I'm trying to talk myself into something "bigger and better" for no reason, let me know b/c I don't want to spend extra money if I'm not justifying my purchases.

    I'm sorry if that was confusing, I was considering the 1.8/2.0 G5's to be on the mid/low end of the PowerMac family.

    I don't think I will opt for the 2.0 G5, extra $$ for it doesn't seem worth it to me, I could put that money towards more RAM which is more important (to me).

    Someone also suggested that I look at Single 1.8's if I could find one, they run about 1,699 at powermax (i believe that is where i saw them...), but the stock dual 1.8 is 1799.00 with edu discount, so in that case I almost think it is worth it to go with the dual since the stock configs are only 100 apart. I'm sure somebody can answer this for me, but did the Single 1.8's come with 160GB hd's?

    Ah, I'm sorry I'm a bumbling buyer right now, please bare with for a bit.

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