Potential Switcher; have lot of questions about G5

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by PismoGuy, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. PismoGuy macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2002
    Skokie/Chicago, Illinois

    One of my neighbors is strongly considering getting a Dual G5 as his next computer and I will be in the market for a PM in about a year. He currently has a dell
    dimension 8100 1.3 Ghz pent 4; 384 MB of ram; 20 GB HD; 32MB radeon 7200. That dell of his is a pain, it is a piece of you know. It is a high maintance machine and therefore inconvenant. My neighbor is sick of it and is ready to move on to the more elegant, stable, and reliable mac platform :). He has ran some questions about the G5 that I had no answers too; hopefully some of you might know them. Q1. (I am interested in this myself) Will there be any processor upgrades for the PM G5 in the future? I haven't seen any info on this anywhere. I know that Powerlogix doesn't have anything (probably because the G5 is a rev A), but I assume if they want to stay in business they will whip something up. How do you think the upgrades would work? I mean the procs currently run 2x the bus speed right, so how are they going to go around that?<technical question for me>.
    Q2. Which one of the PM should he get? He wants to fiddle around with photographs, video editing, dvd making, (iLife anyone), maybe take some college courses online, and gaming is important (but not hardcore). He would like this purchase to last more than 3 years and still be able to play decently. I have informed him that if he gets a mac that he will get a great computer for his multimedia interests and general use, but it will be a trade off in the games department. What are some of your views on the gaming industry for mac (is it growing)? FYI He is not a Frames per second junkie.. just wants to play nicely. It would be nice to keep costs around $2500-2700 U.S. (he is available for a student discount) but more is ok if justifiable. We are all so waiting after Jan incase new PM come out. Sorry for the long post.:eek: thx :) recently he thought about peecees any reason why he should get one? And could you compare the resale value PC vs. Mac? Thanks a lot!
  2. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2003
    dual 1.8 is a good beat 2299 with edu
    i would image processor upgrades would be made but being that they're so new no one has anything on the market yet
    the dimension 8100 is definately high matiance i've gone thru 2 HD and about 3 reinstalls a yr on mine
    resale value for macs are much better than PC's just look on ebay
  3. pinto32 macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2003
    I assume there will be....but if he is considering a dual-processor G5, then he shouldnt have to worry too much...these are amazing machines. Besides that, Macs dont become outdated nearly as quickly as PCs do....Mac programs actually get faster with each new version...not slower like on windows....

    While Macs arent really known for gaming, most games that are worthwhile will find their way over to the Mac. There is a new "gamers" thread that could handle this question better though.

    Most people probably agree that the dual 1.8 G5 is the best deal right now. The G5's will probably be updated within a few weeks, so that will be a great time to buy one (super bowl?).
  4. the future macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    Yeah, your friend should just wait for the next speedbump (can't be much longer) and then get the middle one which will probably be a Dual 2.2 GHz (just my guess). For the gaming, he should definitely consider getting an ATI card (9600 or 9800) BTO *if* the middle model will still come with a GeForce FX 5200.

    It's almost amusing, though, that someone who is (maybe) gonna buy such a kick-*** system is already wondering about CPU upgrades... :)
  5. twinturbo macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2003
    CPU upgrades may be available since the G5 is on a daughter card on the motherboard. There might be some cooling issues since the fans are controlled by the OS, but maybe Powerlogix or whoever will provide some software along with the hardware upgrades. You may have to send your Mac in for the upgrades though when they do become available, since I don't think toying with all those heat sinks and fine-tuning the temperature control settings is for the average customer.
  6. MacBoyX macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2003
    East Coast, USA
    Re: Potential Switcher; have lot of questions about G5

    This is not something to be worrying about now. If you are that concerened wait for the next speed bump. My Dual G5 is faster than anything else I have ever used including IBM Dual Proc Server level machines. I think a Dual 2.0 should hold you for quite some time.

    Any Mac would be good for what he wants to do truthfully. The Dual 2.0 GHz G5 is Double the machine that you need for Photos and Video Editing. I used to do DV Editing (iMovie, FCE) on my 1GHz G4 iMac without too much trouble. Gaming is NOT that bad these days on a Mac, sometimes you have to wait a few months for a game to be ported but what you get by owning a Mac makes it all worth while!

    As for resale value, I defintely think that Macs hold their value better than a PC. I have sold every Mac I have owned, often for half of what I paid but more than I could really ask for a PC of the same age/type.

    Even an iMac G4 would be better probably in stability and usefulness over his Dell so any G5 would be kick a**!

    The only thing I can say for the G5 is load the sucker with memory! OS X loves memory and the G5 uses it so effeciently, it's totally worth it!

  7. yamabushi macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2003
    I think that processor upgrades will be available but you might need an Apple Certified Technician to install it. The main reason for this is that the cooling control settings will need to be recalibrated.

    For a simple cpu swap on an existing motherboard you could in theory just change the bus speed multiplier. As long as your new processor speed divided by the bus mulitplier is equal to or less than the current bus speed there will be no need to overclock and everything should be stable. So for example, if there were a 2.7GHz upgrade available for the 1.8GHz PM you could change the bus from 2x to 3x and you would be set.

    In order to add a second processor, a connector would need to be added on the motherboard which would be pretty tricky. A tech would more likely swap the motherboard out for one that is dual processor ready.

    I suggest getting a good graphics card as a build to order option when you order the PM. This will ensure a long life for your computer's graphics power . It will also go a long ways in helping out any game that is poorly ported to the Mac. Also graphics cards can sometimes be a little troublesome to upgrade. The Radeon 9800 Pro is currently the best card available for the G5 PM.

    Later on you'll probably want to upgrade the RAM. RAM is easy to add later and usually much cheaper to buy from a third party anyways.

    Neither the Dell 8100 or the G5 PowerMac are completely hassle free. However, I would say from experience that the G5 PM will probably give you only about one tenth of the problems or less than you are likely to experience with that Dell running Windows XP. Macs are great, but not quite perfect yet. :) So please be patient if you or your neighbor have any difficulties. We will be here to help and there is also help available from Apple.
  8. PismoGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2002
    Skokie/Chicago, Illinois

    Thanks a lot.
    All of you have been very helpful.
    The reason why I am asking about processor upgrades so early is because I don't want to end up buying a new machine every 4 or so years. Upgrading G4's and the old g3 powerbooks were relatively simple to upgrade, but now with the 2:1 ratio of proc to bus speed in the G5's .... it's hard for me to forecast the solution. :(

    Now forgive me for asking... is changing the multipler as simple as changing the pin settings on a PeeCee motherboard? I never found the need to fool around in my macs unlike their nemeses across the room... umm... in the trash across the room :D .
  9. yamabushi macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2003
    The difficulty involved with changing the multiplier varies depending on the specific model. From what I have seen current G5 towers appear to be designed for a single multiplier from the factory without an easy way to change it. I do not know for sure, but I suspect you would need to change firmware settings as well as do a bit of soldering on the motherboard. I doubt that it is as simple as changing jumpers but I could be wrong.

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