OK, I'm going to upgrade my iMac G4. Crazy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sigamy, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. sigamy macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I've posted this a few times but once I again I'm looking for opinions. The new Intel iMacs have great specs but I'm starting to believe some of the posts saying that these were a rush job, just to get something out. That combined with the fact that Intel has new chips coming out later this year makes me want to wait a while longer. I really think the iMac is going to be redesigned for MacWorld 2007.

    I'm not a big fan of the current iMac design. I like my iMac G4 (flat panel) much better. My 1Ghz iMac G4 is a great machine. I use iLife to the fullest, making home movies with special effects and burning with iDVD. We live in iPhoto, have over 8000 pics and order prints, books and now calendars and cards. On some of these tasks the 1Ghz G4 is getting sluggish.

    So...instead of grabbing a refurbished iMac G5 or going all out on the Intel iMac, I think I've decided to go for Daystar's 1.92Ghz G4 upgrade. I can get the upgrade for either $500 or $600 with express shipping. I have to send out my machine and they do all the work and testing.

    The end result will be a G4 iMac that should match the performance of the Rev A and Rev B iMac G5 in most tasks. This will mean about 2x performance gain for me. It won't match the Core Duo but I also run Final Cut Express and Soundtrack Pro so I'll also save on the $50 fee for Universal versions of these.

    This will keep my iMac G4 cruising thru 2006 and into 2007. Then I can see what new machines Apple has released.

    The other option is to pick up a refurb 17" iMac G5 and sell the G4. I never thought I'd get the 17" as that is what I have now and I want to upgrade to the 20". But, this is another option. I can get a 17" for about $900, sell mine for $600 and only spend $300.

    Any ideas????
     
  2. neocell macrumors 65816

    neocell

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    #2
    I love my 1GHz G4 iMac, I wouldn't go for the PPC iMac (if you do, make sure it's a rev C, NOT an A or B). The plan is to get an intel iMac in a year or two anyways so why not go the cheaper route (1.92 upgrade) and still have a much more user friendly/asthetically pleasing hardware interface than go for a somewhat ugly and dodgy (rev As for sure) computer that would be the same speed (or slower than the 1.92) and cost more. I would do the upgrade, based on my experiences with my own G4 iMac and the piece of crap G5 rev A iMacs I've used at work (which, by the way are slaughtered by the mini Mac we have beside them)
     
  3. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    May 18, 2004
    #3
    my experience with 3rd party cpu upgrades is that you cant always count on compatility with future system software updates
     
  4. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

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    Feb 7, 2005
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    Spending $500-600 on the card alone is too much money in my opinion. I don't think you will be satisfied with the speed gains for that output of money.

    I like your second option better. Buy the refurb G5 iMac now, sell your G4, then buy your dream computer later.

    BTW, I don't believe the new iMac is such a rush job that it needlessly suffers and is slow. I simply don't believe the new computer is slow.

    Search the forums. There are a few threads with initial real-world tests of the new iMac.
     
  5. shadowmoses macrumors 68000

    shadowmoses

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #5
    Dont bother with a $500-600 upgrade card it wont make that much difference, buy a refurb Rev.B or Rev.C iMac G5 they can be picked up real cheap now and they are a great comp, besides you'll grow to like the design,

    Shadow
     
  6. Johnny Rico macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    #6
    I'm considering a similar course of action, not because I care anything about the intel imacs but because i can't plug my video ipod into my G4 imac! The lack of firewire support on those things is nothing short of astounding, and the lack of usb2 on my imac is nothing short of glaringly obvious (now). I like that I can use the usb1 for S L O W file transfers when I have to, and I like that FW still charges the ipod, but I HATE that I have to use my sisters powerbook and target-disk-mode my imac to get stuff from my computer to my ipod. Bunk. Why are there no FW-USB2 adapters? WHY?
     
  7. Macbenny macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #7
    How do you tell the diff between rev's? I'm thinking about buying an iMac G5 from the online store.

    Thanks
     
  8. sigamy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    You tell the difference by looking at some key specs like processor speed, base RAM, and video card. There have been 3 revisions of the iMac G5. The first Rev A's only had 256mb RAM and the GeForce FX 5200. The Rev B's had 512MB and the Radeon 9600. The Rev C's have the iSight and ATI Radeon X600 Pro. You can find all the details here at this link:
    http://www.everymac.com/systems/by_casetype/allinone.html
     
  9. Macbenny macrumors newbie

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    Jan 16, 2006
  10. sigamy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Just wondering why you say it won't make that much difference? Barefeats shows 39-100% improvement from the 1.25Ghz G4 to the 1.92Ghz upgrade. I'll be going from a 1Ghz to 1.86Ghz with this upgrade. Plus the cache goes from 256KB to 512KB. And I'll have a machine that I like better than the G5, and is much quieter.

    http://www.barefeats.com/imup.html
     
  11. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #11
    For me the G4 iMac has one big flaw - its video card. It is just too old for newish games like Call of Duty that I play. And it isn't upgradable. The G4 iMac really isn't relevant anymore for gaming.

    But if you are not into gaming much than upgrading the iMac is certainly an option - it should perform very well in OS X as long as you don't run a lot of 3D-intensive apps.
     
  12. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    Mar 20, 2003
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    Bay Area
    #12
    You've answered your own question :) Get the refurb G5. Hell, for the $600 you could spend on that upgrade, plus the $600 you can get for your machine, you could get a rev. A 20" refurb from the apple store ($1150).

    why spend $600 to upgrade your old machine when for the same total cost you can upgrade to a 20" G5?
     
  13. smwatson macrumors 6502a

    smwatson

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    London, England
    #13
    Go for the refurb iMac G5. Go for a Rev. C if you can. probably (emphasis on that) the best of the G5s, and better looking (curves and all). It also has the best specs of the three Revs.
     
  14. Macbenny macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #14
    What's the best course of action on gettting an refurb iMac G5? Should I be constantly checking the "special deals" section of the online store, or calling the local Apple stores? From what I'm reading through the posts is, I should definately get the Rev C version or opt for the Intel version. From what I understand I will not be able to run several of my "pro" apps (final cut express hd, photoshop cs, dvd studio pro, livetype, soundtrack) with the Intel iMac until March when the Universal versions are released. Also, I believe the uni apps are $49/app?
     
  15. Jovian9 macrumors 68000

    Jovian9

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    #15
    I don't blame you for wanting to upgrade your iMac G4. I still wish I had mine....even though I love the performance of the iMac G5. The iMac G4 was and is definitely my favorite Apple machine of all time. You'll definitely miss the elegance and functionality (of the moving screen) when switching to the iMac G5. I suggest you upgrade it and wait until the next revision of the Intel iMacs, then go with a new iMac (by then most software should be universal and all the kinks, if any, that are associated with RevA's should be worked out).
    I know that someday I'll buy a G4 iMac (again), and I'll upgrade it just to use as an internet machine and for its beauty :)
     
  16. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    #16
    If I were you, I'd go for a refurb iMac. I would want to get a Rev C, but I'd settle for Rev. B or even an A. I think the upgrades for G4 iMacs are too expensive for what you actually get.

    You may think Rev A iMac G5s are crap (and there are many people who do), but to say that the Mac mini is faster than an iMac G5 is just plain laughable.
     
  17. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #17
    In upgrading your iMac G4 to a faster processer you will make the machine faster because of the faster G4 chip. However, if you were to buy a refurb iMac G5 not only do you get a G5 chip but the rest of the critical components -- system bus, RAM type, video card -- are upgraded as well. Overall I believe you would be better off with your option of selling the G4 and buying the G5. The $500-600 doesn't get you too much for the money.

    I don't see the cost benefit of upgrading --in this case -- compared to selling your G4 and buying a refurb G5. How do the barefeats score of a G5 iMac compare to your upgraded G4? I bet the G5 is faster.

    But if you like the form factor of the G4, then upgrade it. I think you want people to say what you want to hear...

    Best of luck to you.
     
  18. sigamy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Of course the G5 wins by a few seconds on the CPU tasks. On the video card tasks it really screams ahead. But, I don't play any games at all and I'm not running Motion. Just FCE and iDVD, which are CPU intensive.

    There is some degree of that going on here. :)
     
  19. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

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    #19
    This is where the rest of the G5 components really run circles around the G4. The system bus is 4X faster than the G4, the RAM is faster, plus the G5 chip. Every component must be considered when evaluating which computer is faster. The speed of the chip is important, but so are the other system components.

    Nothing wrong with wanting people to agree with you. Just don't expect it to happen:D
     
  20. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #20
    G4 iMac was the best screen wise in my view, G5 imac looks like a toad to me. Face it that floating screen rules and Apple went cheap with G5. Going from 1 ghz to 1.92 you will see a nice improvement,plus if you havent maxed out that ram you can still get speed from that and install a faster bigger hard drive one day. That thing will be good for a long time if you want it. Sure you could swap it all out and in the end have a faster machine but G5 imacs have a history to say the least. Do what feels right for you. Unless gaming or running really high end apps speed is overrated. G4s are reliable, G5s are iffy and Intels will be making G4s and 5s look slow. Your imac is unique:) who would have ever thought an upgrade cpu would even come to G4 imac? i didnt.
     
  21. sigamy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    NJ USA
    #21
    Exactly! I just don't like the look of the iMac G5. (And my wife hates it and loves our G4. Makes upgrading very difficult.)

    I still remember Jobs introducing the iMac G4 and saying things like "let each piece be true to itself" and "if you slap a bunch of stuff behind a screen, is it still flat?" He basically blasted all those other all-in-ones that threw the components behind an LCD. Now the iMac G5 is much better than the attempts by Gateway, IBM and others but it still, in my mind, is nowhere near the design of the G4.

    I know that it's the inside that counts, but I'm still very, very productive on my iMac G4 and I'm doing more than surfing. I'm editing my first short film on it right now with iMovie, FCE, Soundtrack Pro.

    I too couldn't believe when I saw this processor upgrade. I'm still on the fence. Maybe I'll head to the Apple store to play with an Intel iMac and check them out in person.

    Thanks for all the views.
     
  22. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

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    #22
    Best of luck. You and your wife are correct -- the iMac G4 is a beautiful machine. Nothing else compares visually to it!
     
  23. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

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    #23
    I would never, ever buy a CPU upgrade. For price-performance they're a big loser. $500-600 will not turn your G4 into a G5, and it won't increase the resale value by more than $100. It's like putting $3500 of after-market upgrades on to a $2000 honda civic. I would only do it if you're really interested in the machine itself or enjoy building frankenstein macs.
     
  24. kamil97 macrumors newbie

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    #24
    DID YOU DO IT??????
    my imac g4 1ghz is slow but sadly the upgrade is not available anymore.:mad:
    
     
  25. Randyrat macrumors member

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