Powermac G4 buying guidance...?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MIDI_EVIL, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I currently use a powerbook G4 with 1.67Ghz as a portable and a desktop. I was considering buying a G4 powermac to run at home to deal with photoshop, illustrator, final cut pro 4 and maybe some music production (a couple of releases behind the previous pro tools)

    What powermac G4 would you consider as capable of doing all of that?

    I'm looking at the 1.0 Ghz Dual, but if you know i can run them well on a lower spec machine, then please speak up...!

    Great forum by the way, i'm hooked.

    Thanks in advance.

    Rich.
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    Music production? Some of the dual G4s are famously noisy — I speak from personal and bitter experience.

    They're called 'wind-tunnels' for good reason. Excruciating racket which caused me to replace all the fans and heatsink in mine... :(
     
  3. MIDI_EVIL thread starter macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Bloody hell...!

    Ok, what about the single processors? what are my options ?

    Rich.
     
  4. xyian macrumors 6502

    xyian

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    PDX
    #4
    What did you get to rid the noise? I have a dual 800 that sounds like a damn race car.
    It's making me think more strongly about getting a new iMac.
     
  5. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    On towers: I run CS2 (often 3 or more components simultaneously) on a Sawtooth with a 1gHz upgrade. So I'd say that a single processor above 800 would be fine; I ran mine as a 400mHz up until I installed CS2, which lagged too much on the old low-end processor. But yeah, a dual will definitely be faster, but you might not notice that huge a difference.

    As for music, quiet is more important. There are several things you can do (again, I run our studio on a G3 b/w, now with a ZIF upgrade to G4 550, but it ran fine with the 350mHz G3, though I do use an older version of Cubase). I'd suggest the same machine as above; a couple ways to cut down on noise is to replace the fans with noise reducing fans; I've found that strategically adding a fan or two easily compensates for the difference in strength of a single one and is a lot quieter.

    But there are several ways to go about it; our studio has a control room, so we don't worry too much. But the easiest way to circumvent noise is to build or buy an enclosure (something as simple as a desk with a closeable cabinet, glass door is fine, will work). You can also use sound buffering materials on the exterior of the tower, and build a "wind tunnel" (sorry to borrow your wording there, Blue Velvet) out of it; we just used a desk with a closed cabinet, lined it with egg crating (foam, not container), and built an air vent and intake out of old PVC tubing. It was simple and worked perfectly until we moved into our new space.

    All of that said, my G4 1g, even with the upgrade (which has a fan built in), is still worlds quieter than the duals I've seen.

    EDITED TO ADD: I don't know much about Final Cut, but Amazon lists the requirements at G4, 500mHz, so I'd say a single gig would run it just fine.
     
  6. MIDI_EVIL thread starter macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Ahhh,
    Great advice. I like what you said about the enclosure. That's something to consider.

    Do you think it would be more cost effective for me to buy a more recent G4, like the 1.0Ghz quicksilver, or to buy and older powermac and upgrade the processor?

    Thanks for all your replies.

    Rich.
     
  7. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000

    FadeToBlack

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Accoville, WV
    #7
    Just bought a Dual 867 MDD a couple of weeks ago and I love it. It runs great. I can definitely feel a noticeable difference coming from a 1.25GHz eMac. I am gonna be upgrading to 2GB of RAM here soon, which should make it run even better. I totally recommend the Dual G4.

    It is one of the famous "wind-tunnel" models. Honestly, though, it's not THAT loud to me. My friend's PC is way louder. Sure, it's louder than my eMac was, but it doesn't bother me at all.
     
  8. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    It depends what you can get them at. The Sonnet 1gHz upgrade hovers around $150 new, and if you want to spend more you can get higher speeds. So if you can get a Sawtooth for, say, $150, then it's $300 total (not counting RAM, drives, etc). Whereas Quicksilvers generally go for a bit more, but their bus speeds are higher, so overall a 1gHz Quicksilver will outperform a 1gHz Sawtooth, if all stats (RAM, drives, etc.) are identical (also note that the stock graphics cards are slightly better in the QS). But not by much, so really just weigh it against cost by what you need; I would say if you can get a good quicksilver for the same or around $50 more than you can get a relatively identical Sawtooth and upgrade, it's worth the little bit extra. If it will cost more than $100 more, I would say get the lower end and upgrade. But that's just an opinion. ;)

    Also, I've heard people say that the Quicksilver is far less stable than the Sawtooth. But I've never owned a QS, so I can't say from experience.
     
  9. horace macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #9
    Quicksilver

    I'm still running OS9 and Logic Pro 6 on my G4 733 which I recently upgraded with a powerlogix 2Ghz. Man this thing flies now! OSX is a lot faster too, but the biggest improvement is really the amount of plugs I can load onto the tracks. I had loads of tunes nearly finished but they kept stopping due to high CPU load. After upgrading, I can run all of these fine and really go to town on the processing.

    I guess you're probably running X by now, but I have to tell you that OS9 on a 2GHz G4 is sublime. It's the only configuration I have found that can keep up with my editing :) For some reason when Apple bought Emagic they made Logic look all Final Cut Pro and took away the ability to zoom in and out quickly with ctrl-clicks. It's a crazy world when my rig has a faster UI than a dual 2.7 G5!

    I haven't had any problems so far - I only get crashes in the really old tracks that were started pre Logic 5. If I'm working on a newer track the machine NEVER crashes. Anyway, I have a strange reflex that hits Apple+S after every edit...

    Check with Avid about processor upgrades though. PT is very fussy about what hardware it runs on.
     
  10. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Horace makes a very valid point. When it comes to audio tracking and mixing, especially when using external racks/analog compression, effects, and eqing, OSX and newer applications may look sleeker but are pretty unnecessary. We've worked with albums that went to public release using Cubase VST 5.0 and OS9, and it is completely fine (and, in fact, on older machines works a hell of a lot faster than OSX apps). Always remember that bells and whistles are neat, but especially when dealing with audio, if what you have works, there is no reason to go with a better system/software set up...
     
  11. OryHara macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Location:
    San Bruno, CA
    #11
    in hs i ran FCP on an imac 6 hundered and some mhz. ran fine while editing but it was hell as far as rendering.
     

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