iMac vs. SP Powermac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by dferigmu, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. dferigmu macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Which is a better deal? It's an education price difference of $50 but the iMac comes with a screen and the Powermac comes with more upgrade options.
     
  2. dav macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2004
    #2
    Totally depends on what you need. I say get the 20" iMac
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    What kind of things do you want to do with it? That's the crucial question.

    Also, how much space have you got? G5s are pretty big.
     
  4. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    This is basically what I'll be using: Safari, Office, iLife, Dreamweaver, maybe some Photoshop down-the-road.

    I don't need a 20" display, so I would either get the 17" iMac or a 17" LCD. I do have a limited budget though but I want this computer to last about 4 years.
     
  5. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I have plenty of space now, but I'm graduating in about a year and moving into an apartment (hopefully in New York) where I know I won't have as much space as I do now.
     
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #6
    OK, get the iMac.

    Stick plenty of RAM in it & you'll be fine...
     
  7. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Meaning 512 or 1GB?
     
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    Mar 20, 2003
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    #8
    I agree. The expandability won't be a big issue for your uses. As always, there isn't a best machine period, just a best machine for you.

    edit: just saw your post. 512 will be quite serviceable but 1 gig will make a big difference. Unless money is tight, go for the extra now. If you can't afford it at the time, 512 will definitely hold you for a while.
     
  9. unsigned macrumors member

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    Mar 31, 2003
    #9
    I do all of that stuff on my 4 year old computer now! In 4 years, I'll still be able to do it. Computers don't get slower over time. They don't wear down - our expectations of them grow!

    Now that I have a much faster machine at work, I notice more the difference compared to my little 450mhz, but it's just as fast as it was four years ago when I thought it was blazing!

    Nothing you're talking about would require any upgrades. However, four years ago, when I bought this cube, no one was talking about DVD burning. People didn't download hollywood movies (or at least not as regularly). We didn't even have broadband to the home. So things can change a lot in four years time, and you won't be able to accomodate future changes. Your imac will never have a blu-ray drive, so it'll never be able to play hi-def DVDs. A g5, you could maybe upgrade the drive in four years and be able to do it. Is that potential worth the extra hundreds you're going to spend on a monitor? You have to decide. For me, personally, I'm very happy with my cube.


    Also, historically, upgrades do become available, and the imacG5 is the most accessible computer (internally) apple's ever made - this counts the powermacG5! So chances are, someone will make upgrades. Defintily the drive, and probably some day even the processor/video card (there are upgrades for both for the original imac, so anything can happen.)
     
  10. mms macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 8, 2003
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    CA
    #10
    Unless you need easy expansion in terms of video card, hard drive, etc, you would be best going with the iMac like others have suggested. Especially with the SP PM, the iMac is a much better deal.
     
  11. rugonnaeatthat macrumors regular

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    Adelaide, Australia
    #11
    imac

    I don't think expandability is that big an issue, what was pointed out to me was simply with firewire and USB we don't need a machine that is upgradable as many of the things we get via firewire or USB. For example making a movie in imovie will be fine with a external firewire drive -as my brother does this in Japan and I do it here in Australia. Blue tooth via USB if need be etc. I am planning to buy a 20in Imac with 1 gig ram (will upgrade myself in a year when ram is cheaper) with bluetooth and Airport installed, 160HD. I also own a Xbox to play games (if video card is an issue) the games are cheaper and it more fun on a custom built machine.

    Also you don't sound like a hardcore dreamweaver user have you tried Freeway Pro? I use Golive, but if I didn't have to do anything technical I'd use Freeway in an instant.
     
  12. mpw Guest

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    Jun 18, 2004
    #12
    I'd go iMac if I had similar requirements to you. Which I do, so I did.
     
  13. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #13
    just be sure that 512MB is installed as ONE memory stick, so you can later on just add another.
     
  14. AmigoMac macrumors 68020

    AmigoMac

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    #14
    Get it with 256 MB from apple and buy 2 * 512 MB from crucial, the same type and it will help with the 64/128 bit memory issue. search in the forums, it has been already discussed.

    Edit: and sell the 256 MB ;). if you get 512 MB now and 512 later you may not have the 128 bit memory bus or whatever apple said when they released the iMac G5. search the forums!
     
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #15
    They are the same machine under the hood... the Apple Document show that this PowerMac is a headless iMac with PCI slots and a AGP card -- in a PowerMac Case.

    So you basically are giving up a screen for expandability.
     
  16. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    #16
    Yes, do exactly this. You could probably get by with 512 (I do, with very simliar computing needs), but go for 1GB. You will not regret it.
    Enjoy your new Mac!
     
  17. Devie macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I've chosen to go with the PM and a 17" LCD (LG or Samsung, still looking), reason is expandability...
     
  18. coconn06 macrumors regular

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    Jun 14, 2003
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    King of Prussia, PA
    #18
    It's funny you say that, because I just made the same decision. Maybe it'll help you out to know that I decided on the LG 1720P because it has DVI, it's attractive, good tech specs, has USB, and I've only read great reviews. And Best Buy is selling it for $360.

    Although you probably already have your reasons for choosing the PM, my reasons are:
    - Upgradability (hard drive, video card, processor in the future, monitor, etc.)
    - Better video card option
    - Dual LCDs sometime in the near future better than one larger LCD IMO

    Plus I'm paying about the same as I would have for the 20" iMac.
     
  19. Devie macrumors 6502a

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    Adelaide, Australia
    #19
    Thanks for the help :), but unfortuantly it appears that that LCD isnt available in Australia :(.

    EDIT: I've found a model that looks the same, but its response time is 16ms instead of 12ms, its also $100.00 more than I was hoping to spend, at $750.00 AUD
    Maybe by the time I do buy my PM (about January), that model will be available here...
     
  20. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

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    Honolulu
    #20
    If I were you I would get a Dual 1.8Ghz PowerMac Refurbished for $1699 and a Formac 19" LCD for $599 for a total of $2300, $800 more than a 17" Superdrive imac.. $800 more may sound like a lot and acutually it is alot however a Dual Processor Power Mac will for sure last you 4-5 years especially considering the Upgrade Potential. The PowerMac offers more affordable HD, and Optical Drive Upgrade options. Twice the memory expansion. 2GB is alot but 4GB is better and just 3 years ago most people never could imagine why they would need even 1Gb so imagine 3-4 years down the road. Anyone who uses Professional Apps or who multitasks alot in OSX will tell you that 1GB is really todays minimum for OSX.

    Both Photoshop and Dreamweaver are MP aware and OSX is very good at Multi-threading in MP systems and offers huge Performance increases when multitasking. You are better off with a Dual Processor system as the industry is heading toward Dual Core and it is quite obvious that when Dual Core chips become the norm that one would be better off with two single core chips than just one.

    The imac's Graphics Card is a sore spot as well and there is nothing you can do about it either except to replace the whole machine. Some people may think that a 64MB Geforce FX 5200 is good enough for now and 4-5 years down the road, however these are the same people who probably thought the same about my 16MB ATI Rage 128Pro that came with my 3 year old Summer 2001 imac Graphite. A Rage 128 Pro today is overwhelmed by Mac OSX itself and even things as simple as screensavers.

    I must also point out that the LCD in the 17" imac G5 is no better than the 17"LCD I have with my Current imac G4. Very Poor viewing angles and not very bright. Get this instead http://www.formac.com/p_bin/?cid=solutions_displays_gallery1900_01
     
  21. Devie macrumors 6502a

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    Adelaide, Australia
    #21
    Problem with refurb apples, to me anyway, is that they are not available in Australia :(. If they were, then I would probably go for a Dual 1.8GHz.
     
  22. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Two things though: I don't really want to spend more than $2000 and I'm not to keen on buying refurbished.
     
  23. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 9, 2003
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    Honolulu
    #23
    Refurbished still comes with a full one year warranty and you still have the option of buying AppleCare for 3 years coverage even on a Refurb Machine. Buying a Formac Display would give you a standard 3 year warranty for free as well. As far as spending under $2000 goes you can do that but realize in 2-3 years that you need better performance and have no option to buy a brand new machine. Either way one would spend about $3000-$5000 over the next 5 years on two-three all in one machines or you could buy a Power Mac and spend the same or less over the same period of time but at least you can enjoy Ungodly performance for the hear and now.

    Trust me I have gone through 3 imacs in just 4 years spending some $5000 alltoghether and even considering the money I got from selling previous imacs I still spent about $3,000 over four years. Imacs are great given that you don't do anything processor intensive or you only plan to keep the machine for less than 2 years. However if you want longevity from a single machine and Power then PowerMac is the only option. I say finnance the extra $800-$1000 needed to get a PowerMac System and then sit back for the next 4-5 years. I promise you though that the imac will be leaving you wanting more or actually needing more in as little as 1.5 to 3 years. Just think what it's like to be using Garageband, iphoto, Photoshop, Tiger, Games etc on a 2 years 10 month old imac G4 800 with it's 32MB Geforce 2MX and 2X DVD drive and having 1GB as a permanent ceiling. Now imagine a 4 year old imac G3 400Mhz with an 8MB Graphics card. Now imagine what using a 1.8Ghz imac G5 will be like 3-4 years down the road.
     
  24. MacinDoc macrumors 68020

    MacinDoc

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    #24
    Considering that the mid-plane assembly of the iMac G5, which consists of the CPU and the GPU, is listed as a USER REPLACEABLE part, I suspect that the current crop of iMacs may be almost as upgradeable as power macs (you won't be able to upgrade the GPU and the CPU separately, and you don't have PCI slots or extra drive bays). For most people who don't do CPU or GPU intensive tasks and who don't already have a good monitor, the iMac G5 is a trememdous value, IMO.
     
  25. dferigmu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Yeah, I kind of agree. The most CPU-intensive program I'll be using in the near future is Dreamweaver. Plus, this iMac is different b/c the G5 is so new that it will last longer then the G3s did.

    About ugrading if I get a Powermac, technology will be so different in 3-4 years, I would rather just buy a whole new computer than waste money on a bunch of various upgrades.
     

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