1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

Mac Upgrades, "Obsolete" G5's, and real world speed.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by greenlightracer, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    I decided to write about my "slow" G5. I just found it frustrating that people are quick to point out G5's (and other Power Macs for that matter) are obsolete. Here is the link to my blog:


    I have some info about upgrading and three videos (My machine booting, using cover flow, and a stress test). I think the stress test is kinda cool.. let me know what you think.
  2. macrumors 604


    Not only do I agree with you. Most people do not even use their new system's full speed.

    Most, not all, so don't flame me yall :)
  3. macrumors 601


    Yep, what you say is true!!

    ...and I don't know what people waste so much money on a machine they're not gonna use to their full advantage. Cause, if you read the majority of those threads on this forum, you'll get the notion that many are high-school/collage students with rich parents/college grants who're supposedly using their machines 'homework' but in actual fact, it's an entertainment centre for games.

    Due to their pc console background, they come here to whine about the graphic's inability to perform. Yet pro-users are really happy with core-image performance. Just goes to show how many people here are actually creatively enough to use a Mac to earning good money:rolleyes:

    The rest, however are just... how you say...
    wannabe's, trolls and fanboyz, not sure which is worst:p

    For a work horse, the G5's ain't so bad provided your not planning to upgrade to the latest version's of the applications which are more optimised for intel than PowerPC, I'm referring to Adobe CS and various other applications. Many independent studios still use them, hell many design studios are still using their Blue & White G3's.

    Basically, at the end of the day, if the system has enough processing power to handle and be usable for the job in hand, there's really no point in upgrading the machine.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    I agree, I have a Power Mac Dual G5 that is my Tivo unit. I like the Intel Mac, but I would not say the newer G4 and G5s are obsolete at all. If you have a G4 with over a 867Mhz that is still a good computer to surf the web, listen to music, watch movies, etc.

    The G5s are great machine and I would not classify them as slow. I love my G5, its been a great machine.

    Now the G3 Macs, I might start to say they are being get to get obsolete . . . but that is just me.

  5. macrumors 6502

    I agree that many people (including myself) don't really utilize the full performance capability of our computers.

    The interesting thing is that the proliferation of Intel based Apples has really changed the game in the used market. That can suck if you are trying to sell say a G5 that you bought several years ago. But it is great to see what your money can buy. I bought a G5 PM 1.6 last year for $275 and was real happy with the condition and performance for the price.

    In 2004 when I started looking at used Apple computer the pricing was a barrier. But now you can find some great deals. Like an early poster noted a higher speed G4 is still very capable. I regularly see nice Quicksilvers in the $250 range.
  6. macrumors regular

    Try playing HD videos with your G5.

    No Photoshop/Lightroom/Finalcut rendering tests?

    Flash performance is terrible with the G5's.

    No Intel VT support so you VM's run damn slow.

    How's the performance encoding videos from one format to x264? Slow as hell huh?
  7. macrumors 68040


    I have both a dual G5 and a Quad Intel. I will tell you that the difference in flash performance is negligible. It sucks on all Macs compared to PCs.

    H.264 encoding is also slow on both.

    I can play HD videos fine on both.
  8. macrumors 601


    There's a HUGE bleeding difference when you compare a machine from Apple's past to a current one. Ofcourse it's gonna be slower in more then some cases but for some people, they don't want to spend vast amount od money on something they're gonna be using for checking email, touching up photos... and often those ain't re-encoding video, or have any interests in running PC software.

    If the G5's processing power ain't suitable for your needs, then spend a little more money any buy something more upto date. No-one's forcing you to buy a so-called "Obsolete" G5.

    BTW, I still have a Mac Color Classic... Was you even born then?
    Well, it can't do anything, not even run OSX but it's cool to have.
  9. macrumors regular

    HD encoding is 2x+ realtime on the Intel Macs.

    A 1080P h.264 file plays at 15 fps on a G5. On the Intel Macs its smooth as butter.

    I'm not talking out of my ass here, I had a dual 2.0GHZ G5 a few years a go and when I couldn't play HD files and flash performace went down the tubes I bought a new Intel Mac Pro. Night and day difference.

    I'm not saying his G5 is worthless just that it isn't even close to an Intel Mac.
  10. macrumors member

    I have no issues at all playing HD content through quicktime or even the new HD shows from itunes. Flash playback is fine... I guess I'll be adding new videos to prove this too.
  11. macrumors member

    Encoding is slower, however its not an everyday task. And when you do have to, you can just like it convert in the backround. I'll see what I can do about those Photoshop tests... any one in particular you'd like to see?
  12. macrumors 6502a


    real-world usage

    There is only minimal difference in real world usage between the newest machines and older ones in applications that are not processor-intensive. Sure, if you do video encoding or super-duper filters in Photoshop, then there is a huge difference.

    But for a "normal" workflow, which includes browsing to a web site, querying the web site, clipping the results, pasting them into a word processor, typing up a followup in a word processor, sending that out by e-mail, there is NO difference between a MacPro and even a G4 machine.
  13. macrumors 6502


    Perspectives, Obsolete, Cost & etc

    Just my humble perspectives ...

    Quoting from the inbuilt OS X dictionary:
    So based on "no longer produced", I would agree (to a certain extent) that the G5s are obsolete. The G5s are no longer produced as a whole but Apple is still apparently fixing customers' G5s. (e.g. the 'famous' leakage)

    In general, the G5s are no slow coaches, no doubt not all the G5s are able to handle 1080p HD clips. Let's not forget that not all Intel are able to handle that either. More details here.

    The one thing I would like to inject into this discussion --- electrical tariffs. i.e. costs

    Other factors such as the acoustics and aesthetics are pretty much debatable. But $ is a factor where most of us are concern with. From the simple outlay of cash to the operating costs, time costs etc Again, all these factors are user-determined.

    And as others have pointed out, we (both users and macs) age with time. Certainly newer hardware should generally be more cost effective and no less powerful than their predecessors. That's how it usually goes. There may be some dips and spikes along the way but when one looks at the average, and to lay it out in the most simple fashion --- advancements.

    So should the G5s still be used? Certainly so! Should one look towards a newer mac which isn't a G5? I personally believe so too! Snow Leopard provides an indication. If so, why am I still so caught up with my pb3400c and not my TiPB 400? My TiPB has moved on. She died earlier this year. The pb3400c is still going strong and certain not at all slow esp. when I boot up with the RAM Disk. Writing and typing in general is lovely as the powerbook is quiet as it is totally in the RAM itself. Surfing is fast, but bare minimal when you factor in the lots of flash and newer codes.

    Finally, my simplistic conclusion, on level playing ground, I sway towards the fact that the G5 is obsolete. However, I will definitely get myself a G5 tower or iMac if I see one that is of both good value and pleasant to my eyes. I have much more to add above, but I think that's enough for now.

    p.s. Humor me with just another short paragraph which isn't exactly related to the thread. I love the G5s. Somehow, they exude a sense of sexiness. Truth be told, the G5s are the only macs that eluded me. Such irony. That's how it has to be for now due to limited funds. Appears I've too much time on hand at the moment :p I even registered to type this out!

    Last thing, I've been running my mac pro for more than 7 days with the cpu working between 90 - 95% with almost no breaks. Batch video conversions take up the major pie. Surfing, ducking (aka Adium), Joosting and more ... like what was reported by Arstechnica in Feb, it sure is tough to bring this Mac Pro to her knees! I can only wish for a faster Mac Pro simply because I feel the time taken to process all those videos are still far too long!! I happen to know that the G5s wouldn't be faster, but they sure are sexier and more appealing in that manner!
  14. macrumors member

    produced or used, and they are still in use. the main purpose of the blog was to help those considering upgrading their powerpcs, (or low end intels, for that matter) and what they can accomplish. Check out the stress test, the last video in the blog.
  15. macrumors 65816


    Now to say this up front, I just bought this week a 2.8x8 MP, and it's my first super-mac. My first was a Powerbook 1ghz G4, next was a Macbook 2Ghz C2D and now this machine.

    In number crunching, photo export from Aperture and of course video encoding this MP just slams anything I've worked with. But, my PB G4 was just as fast at building websites in Coda and CSS Edit, and editing photos with the PS Raw Editor.

    My main reason for buying the MP was the ability to put in an awful lot more RAM, and the 4 interior HD Bays. Trying to plug in 2-4 Hard drives on laptop ports gets kind of creative, and my Macbook was limited to 2GB RAM, which was fine 75% of the time.

    However, neither of these 2 Intel Macs I've worked on seem to be nearly as stable as my G4 was. G5's will fall short in a few pro arenas, but for most users it's more than enough power.
  16. macrumors 6502


    the last video, i.e. "... the real stress test"

    wrt title, and your prompt reply.

    i did see all the 3 videos, read your blog before posting my comments above. ;)

    going by the definition, "no longer produced or used" which meant either no longer produced or no longer used, one needed to fulfill either condition to be classified as "obsolete". what i'm trying to say is that people who use the term "obsolete" on all G5s may not be wrong (nor are they right) in saying so.

    you've stated very clearly in the above reply that the purpose of the blog is to assist others considering upgrades to their powerpcs, clearly demonstrating that powerpcs are no slow coach.

    imho, speaking very generally, powerpc's architecture is superior over x86. this is both a fact and a personal opinion. there ... (not much time to reply ... rushing off)

    so cutting short, i think you shouldn't use the words "still in use" to support the not "obsolete" statement simply because one could say the Apple Mac+ is not "obsolete" as it is still in used - link.

    i'll get back to you on the upgrades later. but i want to let you know that i love the page you set up. it goes to show how good the ppc archi. is even up to now :D i really do. G5s lives and i hope there's a return.
  17. macrumors 68000


    Ok, just did. Flawless playback. I've only encountered problems with one codec (the one Hulu uses).

    I've not encountered this. At ALL. But I think Flash is mostly overused and tacky looking.

    It's not that bad, actually. Certainly not worth the $3k price tag on a new tower.
  18. macrumors member

    Same here.

    Agreed, and I can have the encoding process in the background with no effect on responsiveness, so its not that big of a deal to me.
  19. macrumors member

    I don't know that people are calling them obsolete from a hardware standpoint. I assumed it was more from the software side
  20. macrumors G4


    I agree, the G5's (and many G4's) are still great machines. Heck, my 12" 1.5GHz PowerBook G4 is still fast enough for most of my uses. :)
  21. macrumors regular

    Hulu uses h.264 in Flash. By your statement, your can't view 720P low bitrate content in Flash.

    Try viewing any h.264 content at 1080P or high bitrate 720P. Your G5 will choke on it.

    Does it even play the 1080P Quicktime clips on Apple's site?
  22. macrumors 6502


    i concur.
  23. macrumors member

    Yes it does. In fact, it can play two at the same time. Don't believe me? Check it out:


    There is a vid of my Mac (dual 1.8 Ghz G5 for those that missed it) playing two 1080p Videos at the same time.
  24. macrumors G4


    Nice video, the G5's are still worthy chips capable of meeting the needs for many users while still powerful enough for demanding tasks such as HD video. :)
  25. macrumors 68040


    Again, my G5 plays hulu flawlessly, and the HD QT clips on Apple as well. No choking thanks. Of course I can play something like 8 high bitrate SD videos at the same time as well, not that I'd want to.

Share This Page