PowerMac G4 vs PowerMac G5

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Mac2004, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. Mac2004 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    #1
    I just found out tonight that the Apple Store near me has a few of the old G4 PowerMacs available for only $1294.00.

    I'm an average home office user and I use my computer for Internet, email, accounting, AppleWorks, Word, QuickBooks, PageMaker, PhotoShop Elements, photos, itunes, scanning photos and documents, etc.

    Would I be better off buying a new dual 1.8 G5 or should I save the money and get one of the old G4 Powermac towers. What are your thoughts? A new dual 1.8 G5 for $1999.00 or buy the PowerMac G4 for $1294.00?? (about a $700.00 savings)......

    Is the PowerMac G4 a nice system. I believe the ones they have in stock are single processors.

    Is it worth spending the additional $700.00 for the G5 and 8x SuperDrive?
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    Well, first of all, if you get the 1.8, you'll need to spend an extra $50 to upgrade from the base video card. So it's another $750, say, for the G5.

    Given that G3s can do 95% of Panther's features, it'll be some time before a G4 Powermac is outdated. And, in that time, that $750 you save will probably come close to buying you a decent G5 (or better).

    So, if you don't really need it, and money's an issue (when isn't it?), get the G4.

    That's not to say that the G5's aren't better, just that the low-end G5 probably isn't $750 worth of better to you.
     
  3. Mr Poop E Pantz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    WV
    #3
    If not having the newest tech doesn't bother you, the G4 and $700 cheaper isn't a bad computer. If you still have a need for OS 9 then it's an even better choice. It all comes down to what you find acceptable as far as computer speed. Keep in mind it still has a processor that is being used in most of the other new Macs. 1.25 vs 1.33 vs 1.5 vs 1.2 (all about the same)
     
  4. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #4
    Any issues with adding USB 2.0 ports to the PM G4? If not any card better than another?
     
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #5
    Machine is canceled and on clearance, but it will run OS 9.

    It also won't run the Core Video/Image stuff, unless you buy a new video card -- which will add $300-400 to the price of the machine.

    Of course, if you're really not interested in bare drive capacity, PCI slots, or having a AGP slot, the eMac isn't too bad a deal and comes with a SuperDrive/USB 2.0

    It would make a nice home-office computer.

    ---

    Plus if you wait for the September iMac announcement the iMac should beat the socks off the PowerMac G4 at the same price point.
     
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #6
    If it's one of the last Mirror Drive Doors dual 1.25mhz G4s then go ahead and get one (it's what I currently use at work for Pshop & DTP) except...

    expect pretty high noise levels from the fans.

    OK in a noisy office but not at home.

    My similar model (1.42ghz) was so bad that after 8 months or so, I spent about US$300 on a silencing kit made by Verax. It was so noisy that using iTunes was a waste of time except on headphones... it really set my teeth on edge and made working on the thing really unpleasant.

    Other users have gone to great lengths to get a bit of peace and quiet as you can see here.
    www.g4noise.com
     
  7. Sabbath macrumors 6502a

    Sabbath

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #7
    I'd say maybe look for something in between, there are likely to be some rev. A 1.8 duals around maybe refurbs, maybe just older models that are being sold off, and also some single 1.6 and 1.8s. You might find the one of those would suit your needs better. I just feel the G5 will be coming more and more into it's own with future operating systems.

    The PM G4 just seems a little over priced nowadays, also is the G4 you are looking at a dual? This would have a sizeable effect on the relative value on offer.
     
  8. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #8
    If I were you I would either get the emac (low-end and either upgrade the HD or get a external firewire) Or wait for the new iMac's.

    Seriously for what you are doing I would get an emac but if you are set on a powermac get the G4.

    Also to prove my point even more the high-end emac is $999 which would save you $300.

    For that $300 you get:
    -The ability to get many Hard Drives
    -PCI/AGP Slots
    -the same processor (1.25GHz)
    -The Same RAM
    -The same Hard Drive
    -A Worse Optical Drive! (Combo)
    -A Worse Video Card!
    -NO MONITOR!

    eMac Rules :cool:
     
  9. ddtlm macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2001
    #9
    jsw:

    That's an unthinking statement. Why on earth does a guy considering a G4 with a R-9000 need to upgrade from a GF-5200? Fricken sheep pissing all over the GF-5200 have apparently brainwashed you, but in reality its at least the equal of a R-9000, and either one of them is perfectly fine for anyone considering a 1.25ghz G4.
     
  10. Mac2004 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    #10
    Emac Hard Drive

    What's wrong with the hard drive that's currently in the Emac?? Why would I want to upgrade it and can it be upgraded?

    I have had several people tell me that the current Emac is nicer than the current Imac. Is that true??
     
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #11
    There's nothing wrong with it, and the eMac is more of a sealed unit than the iMac.

    While the iMac is a PIA to take apart upgrade, the eMac is a bit tougher carries that yellow electrical high voltage shock warning -- it can be done, but touch the wrong thing and it CAN kill you, dead.
     
  12. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #12
    based on the software list of yours, the G4 powermac will be enough FOR NOW.

    ...so you could try your luck and see how far that thing gets you. either you buy this older computer now and save some money for the next purchase (that will become reality sooner than you'd expect), or you buy a more powerful computer now and commit into using it a little longer.

    it's always nice to have the latest and think about keeping it longer, but you could also think about what it is you are paying for - is it the power reserve you are not using for some time, or is it the power capacity you need now. i'd say the latter makes more sence.

    and if you at some point face the need for so much more power that your current computer cannot cut it anymore, you can always sell the computer and then buy the faster one that suits your new needs. chances are that this way you will get even faster one at that point for the same amount of money, compared to buying the faster one in the first place.

    --> get a G4 powermac. buy only essential accessories, or ones that you will want to keep after you change your computer the next time. don't buy too big hard drives or too many gigabytes of memory. just buy what you need now.

    (and... also evaluate the faster option. see what it would cost. find out how much money you have really saved at this point and understand that when you are buying one next time, you can count yourself that much of a discount.)
     
  13. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #13
    Get an eMac. It will be powerful enough for the time being and it is cheap enough that you can upgrade to a PowerMac G5 much sooner if you start to use more demanding applications. After upgrading, the eMac could also make a nice gift for a family member or friend.

    However, if you want true professional level power now then the G5 Powermac is your only choice.
     
  14. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a

    stevehaslip

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    The Ocean Floor
    #14
    if the g4 powermac is a bargin then get it, im not sure on US prices. But for me noise is one of the most important factors in buying a computer. preormance is one thing but in the actual day to day running of it this is one thing that you will notice. Both my brother and Dad complain constantly because their Windows boxes are so damn noisy! they druel at my G5 because its silent compared to their machines. the emacs are pretty quiet, but ive always heard bad things about the g4 powermacs and the noise issue? it might not be that bad though, ive not heard one on its own that wasnt in a shop.

    and

    there are plenty of top level graphic designers who use emacs and older powermacs and even imacs to do their work. seriously, on a day to day basis. what you want is something thats going to last and be a workhorse and i dont think that you will have a problem with any of the macs you mentioned.
     
  15. Mac-Xpert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #15
    :eek: uhmm, ever heard of unplugging it first :rolleyes:
    Might just be a good idea ;)
     
  16. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a

    stevehaslip

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    The Ocean Floor
    #16
    arent there capacitors or something inside emacs and all other cathode tube tvs or monitors that store a certain amount of electricty? even if its unplugged i think it can still kill you if you mess about with it. i think crt monitors can be very dangerous! :eek: (which is effectively what the emac is, with a computer too obviously)
     
  17. Windowlicker macrumors 6502a

    Windowlicker

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Finland
    #17
    what else do you need a better graph card for except shoot-them-niggaz —games? ...and gaming wasn't mentioned. I'm not sure if it runs the core video/image on tiger either, but there isn't really any use for those either in this case.

    but just as some people pointed out the eMac is a good one for basic internet/office usage. and it isn't any noisier than the PM. Then there's the iMac that will be out (or introduced) in september.. guess the prices will be pretty much the same.
     
  18. Windowlicker macrumors 6502a

    Windowlicker

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Finland
    #18
    HAHAHA! gave me a good laugh! I just happened to have my hands inside an eMac just a couple of minutes ago.. and it wasn't the first time ;D oh boy am I lucky to be alive ;D

    sorry if I insulted you but yes, unplugging the power before opening it is pretty wise.
     
  19. Mac-Xpert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #19
    As far as I know this could only be a problem right after you switched it off. So you probably should wait a few minutes before you can start working on it. But I'm no expert on this, so I might be wrong.
     
  20. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #20
    So you think the charge in the CRT is something to laugh at?

    It's quite odd that you think a CRTs capacity to hold a lethal charge (even long after being unplugged) is a warning worth laughing at. :rolleyes:

    Unless you discharge the CRT it can be considered a potential lethal shock, for somebody unlucky enough to zap themselves with it. :(
     
  21. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #21
    Ever heard of Darwin, he seems to be calling your name.
    Keep it up I'm sure you'll be able to come up with an award winning performance one of these days. :rolleyes:
     
  22. pjkelnhofer macrumors 6502a

    pjkelnhofer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    A quick check of the refurb section of Applestore.com finds:
    Now you spend the same money and get the G5 you want. :)
     
  23. Mac-Xpert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #23
    I'm not sure what you’re talking about with this Darwin comment, but anyway I did a little research and found This interesting article on repairing CRT screens. As it appears your right that CRT's can store some High Voltage even after they are turned off. However it's not forever as you imply but as the article states will discharge usually in a few minutes. Actually it appears that the High Voltage is not as dangerous as you think. Because of its low current. The real danger seems to be in the power supplies capacitors, which can hold a few hundreds of volts with around 13 watts of power.

    But to cut a long story short, you won't be having any problems with this if you only want to add memory chips to your e-Mac. Only when you plan to take the CRT-tube and it's power supply apart, then your right that this could be dangerous.
     
  24. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #24
    But we we talking about opening the machine up to do stuff like a HD swap, and this does expose you to both the power supply and the CRT quite soon after turning it off.

    Everything is wrapped around the CRT, quite tightly.

    So yes, laughing at the danger and saying simply unplug the machine before opening up is a potential step on the path to a Darwin Award if you're unlucky enough to let the accidental discharge pass through your heart.
     
  25. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #25
    Mac2004, did you make up your mind?

    $1299 is the normal going rate (it's not a special price) for the Power Mac G4 1.25GHz single-processor.

    I'll echo previous comments with recommending a new eMac for $799 (combo) or $999 (superdrive), or a refurbished 1.6GHz G5 for $1299. Whichever way you go, budget for extra RAM and find it from crucial.com or ramseeker.com.
     

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