Should I buy a dual g4 or a g5?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Tim Fullerlove, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Tim Fullerlove macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    #1
    Im planning to buy a G4 or G5, primarily for gaming. Im a bit confused as to the relative merits of G4s and G5s with various graphics cards.

    Ive narrowed my choice down to either the Dual 1.25Ghz G4 with a GeForce 4 Ti graphics card, or the 1.6Ghz G5 with an ATI Radeon 9600 card. The two packages cost roughly the same, but Im not sure which one to get. I know the G5 is basically a more powerful processor, but Ive read that in certain applications specially written to make full use of its dual processors, the G4 will outperform the G5. Do many games use the dual processors?

    The other main issue I have is that while the G5 is more powerful, I can only afford to get it with an ATI Radeon 9600, which I understand is a slower graphics card to the GeForce 4 Ti. Is it sufficiently slower that overall, the G4 will be faster for playing games?

    Id really appreciate any advice as to which will run games better. My other concern is that the G5 will presumably be more upgradeable for lower cost in the future (so for example in a year or so I could buy a better graphics card) whereas if I buy the G4 Im pretty well stuck there with little possibility of improving it.

    Currently, Im leaning towards the G5, but Im worried that even after spending that much money I might still not be able to run newer games at the best graphics settings, whereas if I buy the G4 I might be able to do so. Id really appreciate any advice...

    cheers,

    Tim
     
  2. Freg3000 macrumors 68000

    Freg3000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    I do not think the 9600 all that much slower than the NVIDIA Ti. It does have half of the VRAM, but it is still a good gpu. One more thing about the G% is that is has 8X AGP, so future high end cards will work in the G5 better than they will be in the 4x AGP G4 machine.

    I'd go G5. Good Luck with your decision.
     
  3. mattmack macrumors 6502a

    mattmack

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco Area
    #3
    I would go with the G5 as well, faster FSB means better Ram access and if you could squeeze out a few more dollars go for the 9800. If not go 9600
     
  4. 3-22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    #4
    I also agree with the other comments, your probably better off with the G5 1.6Ghz. I don't think many games take advantage of dual processors, but on the other hand, if your doing a lot of final cut pro encoding or something that would. You will also be on the new chipset (G5, HyperTransport, etc), that will be the primary focus of Apple now. Keep the standard video card, and upgrade later when it's cheaper.
     
  5. cubist macrumors 68020

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    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #5
    The Radeon 9600 is a very good card! Is the VRAM upgradable?
     
  6. Genie macrumors 6502a

    Genie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    heaven
    #6
    Perhaps this will help you decide:

    it's a big, unedited, uncensored web gallery of me opening my G5 and maxing out the ram.

    [​IMG]

    please don't laugh- I left all the pictures in no matter how embarassing...
     
  7. Tim Fullerlove thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    #7
    Thanks for the great advice everyone, I will certainly get a G5 now. My only remaining decision is whether to get the 1.6Ghz with a Radeon 9800, or the 1.8Ghz with only a Radeon 9600. They work out at a fairly similar price, and Ive been advised that with the better card the 1.6 would actually perform better.

    But then again I could always upgrade the card on the 1.8 in a year or so. Also, the 1.6 only comes with 256MB of Ram and I really cant afford to buy any more.

    Decisions decisions....

    cheers,

    Tim
     
  8. BIGgui_X_ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    #8
    THE 1.8 FOR SURE

    If you can buy the 1.8, go for it !
    For a couple of years to come, you'll have enough power with the 1.8 and the 9600 tp play any game at a good resolution. When the time will come... you'll just have to buy a faster video card.
     
  9. 3-22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    #9
    It is a big decision, but let me add one more thing to chew on...

    Besides the obvious .2GHz speed difference, the 1.8 has this going for it...

    Faster CPU, Faster BUS, Faster Memory, Faster PCI Bus, More Memory, More hard drive...

    900MHz bus vs 800MHz on the 1.6
    512MB (PC3200!) RAM Standard vs 256MB (PC2700) Standard
    160GB HD vs 80GB on the 1.6 - more space
    PCI-X support (100MHZ - 64 Bit Slot)

    The 1.8 is an excellent deal, when you get all the above for only $400. (Even less if your a student) Video cards can be changed later, but try adding a faster bus, PCI-X, or support for PC3200 ram. (not gonna happen) Besides the 9600 is a good card, I don't know what you plan to play but I'm sure it'll handle anything on the market now...
     
  10. markjones05 macrumors 6502a

    markjones05

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #10
    Don't pay 4,000 dollars for a mac to play games on. It's a waste of money. Spend 1,000 on a jacked PC. More games and better performance. Again, if you are only playing games get a PC.
     
  11. Tim Fullerlove thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    #11
    I see your point, but Ive owned and used Macs for about 15 years now, and all of the software Ive ever owned, all the games Ive ever bought, all the documents Ive ever written and so on are all for Macintosh. By the time Id bought them all for the PC, Id probably have spent more than I would save buying the PC. And I have to say that Ive never found a problem buying games for the Mac - anything Ive ever liked the look of has also been released on the Mac. The only down-side is that Mac games rarely get sold in shops, and I have to use mail order. But maybe that saves me money and prevents random impulse buying?

    Besides, I dont really like Pcs. Too fiddly, and they never seem to do what I want them to....

    Im beginning to see a final decision forming. The 1.8Ghz G5 to take advantage of the extra RAM, hard drive space, speed etc, and maybe buy a new graphics card in a year or so if my computer stops being able to run new games fast enough. Does that seem a good plan?

    Thanks all for the advice,

    Tim
     
  12. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #12
    That sounds like a great plan.

    Now here's where to ship it...
     
  13. Genie macrumors 6502a

    Genie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    heaven
    #13
    My brother at jaredg.com just built a nice thermaltake/2.4p4 system from new egg for about $1000.

    of course it's no match for my G5...
    [​IMG]
     
  14. esheep2001 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #14
    I'd say go for the PC too. With the money you save you can probably buy all the games you already have for the mac and have some money left!

    e.
     
  15. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #15
    i would form your decision around the 9800, make that your pick then choose the computer you can afford. Also the best stuff allways comes to mac and the better game companies like id or blizzard always have a mac version. anyways a dual 1.25 with 9800 will outperform the 1.6 with the fx5200 & even 9600. anyways good luck and enjoy your mac gaming and with that said i think its time for some UT2003 or RTCW!
     

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