G5 speed increase?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by alexf, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. alexf macrumors 6502a

    alexf

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I'm hoping to get some G5 buying advice...

    I work as a Web / graphic designer and bought a single processor G5 1.6 GHz a few months ago. I was blown away by the speed increase over the 450 MHz G4 I had been using, and am still impressed by how speedy and responsive the computer is.

    However, I just sold my older computer and, with this money, am now considering upgrading from the single 1.6 to a new dual 1.8 (or possible 2.0) refurbished.

    The primary applications that I use are Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive, Flash, InDesign, and occasionally Virtual PC and iMovie.

    My question is: given the applications that I use (creating primarily small graphics files for the Web) would I really notice a significant speed increase from the single 1.6 to a dual 1.8 or 2.0 machine?

    Like I said, I am already satisfied with the speed of the 1.6, but for me time is money and thus it can never be too fast... Yet I'm just not sure if the work I do merits a dual processor machine.

    Any advice would be much appreciated! :)
     
  2. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    For apps like Photoshop and even iMovie that are MP aware (or can be patched as such), yes you'll see a HUGE boost in performance. However, I'm not sure if VPC is yet G5 compatible? I can't remember so someone let me know if I'm wrong.
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    I think you will find that having a dual processor machine will not get any one task done faster in the majority of cases. However - the major plus of the second processor (outside of the few apps which use one) is that other tasks don't stop you from maxing out a CPU with your app. In other words, you can be running at 100% and then, say, start burning a disk or compressing a file or whatever - with no discernible impact on the other app. Some applications - a slowly increasing number - will take advantage of multiple processors. However, even the ones that don't are benefited by dual processor systems. The dual-1.8 won't seem twice as fast at most given apps - but it will do twice as much at once if you're using more than one app.

    My dual-2.0 is great - not because it's a dual-2, but because it's a dual-2.
     
  4. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #4
    Duff-Man says...for the pgms you are running, the faster the processor and the more ram you throw at 'em, the better they'll run. I too think you'll see a very noticeable speed increase from the single 1.6 to either the dual 1.8 or 2.0 refurbs. An yes, Virtual PC for G5 is not yet available...probably october (there are other threads about this)...oh yeah!
     
  5. alexf thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #5
    Thanks for the helpful advice.

    One other question: I am also concerned about energy consumption. Do the DP machines consume significantly more power than the single that I have?

    Also, are they just as quiet? I would imagine that it would take more to cool off a 2nd processor...
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    Well, if you're not using more than an equivalent of 100% of a CPU, energy usage is similar to that of a single processor - slightly more, but not much (a few watts). At 100% utilization of both CPUs, you use - I think - about 60W more. Of course, that's a lot less than running two Macs to accomplish the same work - or, put differently - less than running one single-processor Mac almost twice as long. In other words, if you barely use your Mac, a dual-processor system will use marginally more than a single. But, if you use it extensively and tend to max out the CPU, you'll use less energy over time because you're doing almost twice the work in a given time while using the same power for monitor, graphics card, disks (essentially), etc.

    As far as sound: I think they're very similar. The duals a quite quiet except when fully taxed in a warm room, and then they are similar to most PCs. You go from 7 fans in a single to 9 in a dual, not much difference, and they all usually run at low speed.
     
  7. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
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    with Hamburglar.
    #7
    Get a 1.8 DP and load it up with RAM - that is where the real difference in performance is found.
     
  8. alexf thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #8
    Thanks again for the comments and advice. Things are becoming clearer.

    One concern that I have about buying a Rev. A refurb through the Apple store: All of the Rev. A's in the store ship with system 10.2.7, which means that they are probably from fall 2003, when there were the well-known sound / power supply problems. Would this potentially be an issue when buying an older (refurb) dual G5, or would Apple have fixed any such problems on these models?

    Also, is the new 970fx chip that is now shipping signifantly better than the older 970 regarding power usage, etc? (I know this has been covered in other places but I want to get another opinion).

    Thanks- :)
     
  9. alexf thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

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    Apr 2, 2004
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    #9
    Does anyone here have any experience with buying refurbs or know what Apple does to them?

    Maybe I'll start a new thread and ask the question from my last post again...
     
  10. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10

    My Rev B 12" PB was a refurb. Within a week I discovered it had a logic board failure somewhere that was causing constant kernel panics. I had it sent back in... and functionally it seems fine now... but there's some weird casing issues. Refurbs IMO are kinda risky... but it's up to you really.
     
  11. alexf thread starter macrumors 6502a

    alexf

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #11
    Thank you - this is the kind of story that I like to hear... It seems like everybody in the forums recommends getting a refurb but I know that there must be other problem stories out there... (for me, as far as the case is concerned, I'm not too concerned - the G5 isn't the most attractive thing to begin with and it just sits under my desk - but I want the internals to be in top working order).

    But I'm still curious as to whether the older G5 refurbs have an updated power supply - I'm worried about getting a noisy one.
     

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