Should I buy a G4 at reduced price or a G5

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ddahlberg, Aug 15, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #1
    I need to buy a new computer. I now have a G4 667mhz 1gig RAM that has been crashing in every way a computer can crash. Disk Warrior says the hard drive has a pending failure. I have done everything...rebuilt the hard drive, reinstalled all my software, run all sorts of diagnostics, I've taken it to a "certified" apple repair service...still no fixes....and now I'm fed up. This has been going on for 8 months...ever since I installed Jaguar. No one seems to be able to help me, so I'm considering buying a new one.
    Now my conundrum is whether to buy a G5 or a dual G4 at almost half the price. I am a graphic designer doing web, print and CD work. I have a limited budget, but I don't want to paint myself in a corner if the G4 will not last for 3-5 years. I bought my current computer 2 1/2 years ago. I've been a loyal Apple customer since there were Apples, but I am so fed up with my present situation that I've even considered switching to a PC. Any advice will be sincerely appreciated.
     
  2. iPC
    macrumors 6502

    iPC

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Windsor, CT
    #2
    Sounds like it is a either a motherboard or hard drive problem. You bought good memory?

    If you have the extended Apple Care... then they need to fix it. That is what you payed for. If they say no, ask for that person's boss. And so on, and so on. Eventually someone will notice/care enough to get this fixed.

    If you don't have the extended Apple Care, buy the fastest G5 system you can afford. I would try to go for the dual 2.0GHz, it has more PCI-X slots and more memory slots for upgrades in the future.

    Don't look at switching until after you get everything sorted with Apple first. That means you have to buy new software also... and that aint cheap!

    Best of luck!
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, Fl
    #3
    G4 vs G5

    You should get a high end G4. A G5 is a great computer, but for what you are using it for you don't need that much power. A dual 1.25 G4 is enough power for design and illustration. Plus it should be in your budget range. I would recomend a G5 for things like 3D animation and Film. But even then the high end G4 was still capable of handling any task thrown at it.

    My opinon go for the Dual G4. It'll be a while before any software comes out that won't be able to run on it.

    P.S. I have a 400 G4 and I have had the same hard drive problems before I just got a new hard drive and everything was ok after that.

    P.P.S. I know alot of professional graphic artists and most them work with 500 - 800 Mhz single processor G4s, so anything more than that is luxury.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    THE BIGGEST NICEITY OF THE G4 is that you get the dual CD bays, on the G5 you do not.

    Sucks that they took that option away, it was nice.

    bums! what were they thinking!
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    #5
    I'm wrestling with this same decision as well. And I keep going back and forth. I know that the G4 would be plenty powerful for my needs, but I keep finding myself pulled towards the G5 (the 1.6...I know that the 1.8 is a better buy all things considered, but I am on a budget and I just don't need that kind of power or expandibility).
    It's just knowing that you are buying what is now considered "yesterday's technology". Yet that's not really quite true because the G4 will be around for quite a while in the form of iMac's and PowerBooks and eventually, I would guess, iBooks. That's the other thing, if I settled for the G4, I could almost justify keeping my iBook instead of having to sell it. I would really love to hang on to my laptop and have the best of both worlds.
    I've even gone as far as ordering both (at different times...thought I had finally decided) and cancelling. Doesn't help that I suck at decision making. :rolleyes:
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #6
    I would suggest to go with dual G4s. Seems to be a much better price performance from your application point of view. I think there should be great deals for the G4 out there at the moment
     
  7. macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #7
    Personally I would go with the G5, but many people have told me in the past I go for more power than I need
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    #8
    Actually, the G4 that I ordered was a dual, but when all was said and done, the price difference was only a little over $100.00 between that and the 1.6 G5 (which is why I cancelled the order...just didn't make sense for that minute a difference in price to get the older model). I was actually thinking of the single processor 1.25 G4 as the most intense I ever get is some home video editing, a little light web design, and some Photoshop. There is a price difference of roughly $400.00 between that and the 1.6 G5.
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    I ordered a refurb dual 1.25 from www.macwarehouse.com for 1399. (I found new ones for as low as 1550) If you can get one for that price, I would go for it. If not, get the G5.
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #10
    WOW - I thought that the price difference is much bigger. Maybe the prices drop when the G5 now really starts shipping.

    If not. Go with the G5. But I would recommend then the 1.8Ghz maschine.

    Cheers
    CmdrLaForge
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #11
    should I buy a g4 at reduced price or a G5

    Well, I appreciate everyone's input, but I am getting a lot of advice to get the G5 and a lot of advice to get a G4...does anyone have any definitive reasons for their choice? Will the G4 be supported for the next 3-5 years? How long is "awhile" before new software comes out that won't run on a G4? And which G4...the dual or the 1.8, and why?
    thanks in advance
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #12
    Re: should I buy a g4 at reduced price or a G5

    OK. Here some more advice:

    The G5s just started to ship. There are no benchmarks test beside the Apple benchmarks available. I would expect that soon after the first G5s arrive many magazines as well as sites like
    http://www.macspeedzone.com
    will publish there benchmarks. From those it should be possible to derive if a G5 1.6Ghz or a Dual G4 1.42 GHz is faster and what the overall performance is. As well in comparison to current single G4 1.0 GHz performance.

    Therefore - wait for the benchmarks if you can. Should be out soon.

    From the support point of view there is no problem for the G4s. And most software will be available or work on both systems.

    Hope this was helpful

    Cheers
    CmdrLaForge
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    CA
    #13
    My guess is that it's going to be a long time until the G4 becomes unsupported by software. I'm talking like 5-6+ years. Right now new computers will be released with the G4 in 'em, so it's got a lot more life in it. Plus, everything is on the PowerPC archetecture, so actually, as long as the PPC is in use, the G4 *should* work. Right?
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #14
    Try this route...

    You've got a decently spec'd machine with a problem. Spend $40 on a new drive & do a clean install. That will tell you if the original drive was the problem. If it turns out that something else is the problem, you can always put your new drive in a G4 if you decide to go that route.

    The G5 is sexy and tempting. It's also overkill for most people. Even a used machine would most likely give you more power than you need, but this is about what you want.

    The G4 is a solid practical choice and the dual processors will undoubtedly make it faster than the 1.6 G5 for some operations.

    Flip a coin. Get what you want. It's your money. - j
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #15
    "Yesterday's technology" is more of a marketing ploy or a geek rant than anything you'll have to worry about with any machine made in the last 3 years.

    Real "yesterday's technology" includes rotary phones, analog camcorders and floppy drives.

    If you've got AGP, USB & firewire and a couple of spare PCI ports, you'll be good for a number of years to come.

    - j
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    sphereboy

    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    MIAMI.FL.USA
    #16
    Apple Power Mac Dual 1.42GHz G4/512MB RAM/120GB HD/SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)/ATI Radeon 9000/OS X

    Order Total: $2,557.23 (shipped/delivered)

    Is this the way to go? .. if we don't really need the power of a G5 just yet? .. how come Apple doesn't offer the 1.42GHz G4 in their Apple Store?

    Any good feedback on these machines? Any bad feedback?
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    potterfast

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    #17
    G4 crashing

    Did you run Apple Hardware Diagnostics disk on the machine?

    I had a PB G4 that seemed fine but my RAM had issues. I sent it back, they sent me a replacement and I have not crashed since...knock on wood. Apps here and there but no OS crash.

    It has been about 2 months.

    Don't forget the iMac and eMac are still G4 and so is the laptops. G4s will be around a while and Dual G4 is pretty darn speedy. G5 gives you the latest in architecture developments including USB2, Firewire 800, Airport Extreme, faster system bus and the ability to address more than 8GBs of Ram.

    Hope this helps.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Location:
    Venice, CA
    #18
    Go G5

    What you're into today may change over the next two years. Things are movin' pretty fast. What seems like "overkill" today will just be keeping up tomorrow. The G5 with Panther looks like a real nice setup. Get all the RAM you can afford and don't look back! If you spend a lot of time on your machine it'll be way worth it.
    ~Just my opinion.
     
  19. macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #19
    well all i can say is thost g4's are discounted well below retail for a reason. go with a g5.

    iJon
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Location:
    Europe, UK
    #20
    OS X install

    I think there might be a possibility of error in the OS X installation. Not many people know that OS X has to be installed on the first 8GB of the HD. When you install the OS it usually notifies you of this when it is not the case, but your's might have misread the partitions and the disc space.
    Try and reinstall with another disc.

    P.S. This is in the OS X install readme file.

    KR
     
  21. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #21
    the G4s aren't really that cheap from the apple store...

    if we configure the specs on the dual 1.25 G4 to match those of the stock 1.6 G5, here's what we get:

    1.6 Ghz G5
    256 RAM
    80 Gig HD
    NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 w/ 128 VRAM
    Superdrive
    AE and BT ready

    Price: $1999

    Dual 1.25 G4
    256 RAM
    80 Gig HD
    NVIDIA GeForce4 Titanium w/ 128 VRAM
    Superdrive
    Airport ready

    Price: $1999

    Um... what am I missing here? Doesn't seem like much of a bargain on the G4. :rolleyes:

    (I know, you can probably get the G4 cheaper elsewhere... but what is apple doing??)
     
  22. macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #22
    well i agree with you for the most part. many resellers and warehouses still have the old g4's left, which are selling at nice prices as well. and also, the 5200 does not come with 128mb of vram, but 64. but still, g5 is a better buy.

    iJon
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #23
    Get the G5, it will save you money in the long run....
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    #24
    After wrestling with this same decision for over 3 weeks, I just had my first "hands on" experience with a G5 today (1.6 with 768 mgs of RAM)...that was all it took. I'm sold! Am ordering one this week.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Lombard, IL
    #25
    I did a G4

    I was weighing the pros and cons and came up on the side of buying a refurbed DP 1.25 (OS9 bootable) PM from SmallDog.com then tricking it out.

    Looking @ Barefeats.com convinced me that the base G5 won't really be much better than a G4 dualie performance-wise. The OS9-Bootable DP 1.25 doesn't have FW800 so I am having SmallDog plug in an OrangeMicro FW800 card for $75 installed. For the price of a base G5 I'll have a dual G4 1.25 with 2GB RAM, an extra optical drive bay, 120GB HD, and 2 channels of FW800 for RAID applications.

    Just my take.
     

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