Want to buy a new G5 1.8...BUT....

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Johnkb, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. Johnkb macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2004
    Ugh! This is getting so confusing for me. Please excuse me as I am a newbie.
    Basically I've started my own small business as a side thing. I'm shooting weddings, sports etc. I already have been shooting for a local minor league football and hockey team. I put together quite a few music videos and a sports montage videos. I'll also be burning these projects, which could be up to 2 hours in length to DVD. I'd like to get a new computer, and I figured a G5 would definitely be nice. By the sounds of it a G4 would do just fine, but I think I'll stick with the plan and get a G5.
    I plan on buying from apple as I can get my student discount. I can't buy a refurb as I live in Canada, and I definitely would like the 8x drive.

    So here are my questions:
    I was thinking of getting the new dual 1.8. (i know for sure I couldn't afford the 2.5). I'm pretty sure I have no need for the PCI slots, so I'm not worried about that. I was all set to buy it, but it seems that everyone is really slamming it! What's wrong with it, and why shouldn't I buy it?
    Do I need more than 4GB of Ram? Is it really that bad? I see words like crippled and bad motherboards and audio chirping.
    Geesh, I was all set to get my first Mac, wanted to wait for the 8x drive, I've come here reading all these posts, and now I feel like I'd be totally wasting my money if I get the G5 1.8.
    Any and all opinions are GREATLY appreciated!! Please help :(
  2. adamjay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2004
    nothing is wrong with it, its just that some people will never be satisfied.
    they wish the low-level G5 was a 2.2ghz... even though they type those wishes on G3 iMac's.

    you wont hear anyone slam it that OWNS one, and that is what is important.
  3. QCassidy352 macrumors G3


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    there's nothing wrong with the dual 1.8 whatsoever. Unless you need PCI-X or more than 4 Gigs of RAM, which almost nobody does. It's a great machine and you'll love it.
  4. MrSugar macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2003
    Buy and be happy, the dual 1.8 is rockin'
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I haven't used one, but think about it: If people were so psyched about that computer 6 months ago, then how bad could it be 6 months later? Remember, when the 1.8GHz G5 was released, it only had a single processor if I remember correctly. It only later became the dual 1.8GHz G5, and although nothing good came of the last update to this computer, it'll still kick all sorts of ass. :)
  6. Sabbath macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2003
    I personally think the current dual 1.8 is fine, the things that have been downgraded on the motherboard (pci not pci-x and 4 rather than 8 RAM slots) few will need.

    However if you don't need a tower, but want a G5 I think there's a very good chance we will see an iMac G5 at WWDC (in two weeks) so it might be worth waiting. I'm sure they'll come with the 8x superdrive but I'm not so sure if they will ship straight away. Just to through another hat in the ring.

    To add a further, someone found a 1.6 G5 (ex display I believe) at compUSA (I don't know if you have those in Canada, I'm British!) for $899(US)!!! :eek:
  7. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States
    There are no problems with the dual 1.8. If I needed a new computer, I would get the dual 1.8. It's an extremely nice machine and with the 8x burner, it suits your needs perfectly.

    Buy it - you won't regret it :).

    Good luck with your new business,
  8. ionas macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2003
    Old Europe
    It is all right

    PCI-X is fake for most users,
    most users just do not need it, not because they do not need it now, cause they will never ever need it.

    the next basic pci standard companies will be mass-producing for will be pci-express (which will replace pci 2.0/pci-x and agp).

    pci-x is just a pci revision that only very few people will ever need.

    and then the ram point.
    first of all 4gb is NOT MAX. it is the max that apple says the system can handle. i would say you can put in 16gb (4x4gb stick) that would be awful expensive, but possible.

    besides that - it is 1.8 dual (and not 8ghz dual!) - you will NOT need more than 4gb ram; not even in 2 or 3 years.

    imho a ram about that is half of the cpu speed (1ghz ~ 500mb ram) works in most cases. so you will never need more than 2gig.

    the only thing i would suggest is buying the 1.8 dual with 512mb and not with the suggested 256mb. that will boost your normal day use performance about 30% i would guess. another bump will not do much if you do not use the computer for hard stuff (like rendering, or professional music or video editing)

    the 1.8ghz dual is totally suffient. i just bought a 2ghz dual and it is just about 10% faster if i play games. but with office or browsing i will never be able to notice any difference to the 1.8 dual.

    so if that is all you can spend - go for it.
    just get 512mb instead of 256. if that isnt enough in future you can bump it again to 512+1025 (1.5gb ram).

    ah yes - and if you want to play games - get the radeon 9600 instead of the 5200 geforce - it is a good deal (the bto price)

    1.8 dual - default configuration + 256mb ram + radeon 9600 XT $2,124.00

    the 125$ are a very good investment - trust me! (all the people, tell i am right here ;)
  9. Engagebot macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2003
    LSU - Baton Rouge
    theres no way you need more than 4GB ram for the kind of editing you're doing. trust me, i'm a full time video editor. 1.5GB will be fine for anything you're going to be doing.

    I'd just as soon have a dual G5 than my dual Xeon to tell you the truth.

    The audio chirping thing has to do with pro audio recording, like within ProTools from Digidesign. All those audio interfaces run through super-specialized PCI cards and through the firewire bus. Every once in a while you get some noise through those buses that can translate to noise in your mixes. Basically unless you're building a pro recording studio, its not a big deal.

    You mentioned you're a student as well. If you're enrolled in a university, check out becoming a member of the Apple Developer Connection. You can save big time (as long as you're currently enrolled in a computer course).
  10. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I didn't know they made 4GB RAM sticks....

    What I'm guessing you meant is that RAM companies will make single chips with larger capacities as time goes on. Very very few people *need* more than 2GB of RAM.

    Buy as much RAM that will make a difference in your system. 4GB isn't really necessary; the price far outweighs the performance.
  11. PowerMacMan macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    See what you bashers do! You are making Apple be the looser by dissing products! The DUAL 1.8 is a kick butt machine... The third best from Apple!
  12. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    I recently bought the new dual 1.8 and am very happy with it. I did a BTO and added 2GB RAM and upgraded to the 9600 video card.

    it screams, plain and simple. very quiet also. get one, you won't regret it. should last you and run current sw for the next 4+ years.
  13. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    It's 2 pair vs. 4 pairs of memory.

    Basically says the new 1.8's memory can be upgraded ONCE, then you have to figure out what memory you want to toss in the next upgrade.

    Depending on how much you may spend on memory, it may or may not be worth a few hundred dollars to gain two more pair (aka two more memory upgrades).


    The PCI vs. PCI-X debate is pointless unless you are specifically looking at PCI-X cards -- other than that, all G5 machines have the nasty 3.3V limitation.

    So anyone with old PCI cards will be looking at the same difficulties if they have old 5V sound/SCSI cards.
  14. Johnkb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2004
    Thanks! Well I'm definitely feeling a little better about wanting to make the purchase. I was totally ready to give up the idea.


    For video editors out there, is 1Gb of ram sufficient, or should I definitely have 2? Also, how much better is having a dual processor is you're a video editor? Sorry if these questions sound ignorant, I'm fairly new to all this.
  15. JOD8FY macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2004
    United States
    A gig of RAM should be sufficient for editing with FCE and even FCP. I have 768MB in my PB and it's fine. FCE only requires 512MB to run. A dual processor is a help to just about any task. It goes with the old saying that two heads are better than one :). It expecially helps in multitasking or running intense programs.

    Glad to hear you feel better about the purchase :).

    Good luck with your wonderful new machine,
  16. aykew macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2004
    I had the same concerns about the new 1.8's but after seeing one and getting to benchmark it, I found it to be no less a machine than its older brother. For a $200 savings, you won't miss the old features! I have it now (still waiting for my ram and hard drives to arrive) and it's just a beautiful computing experience. (Kicks the crap out of my 1GHz powerbook!)
  17. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    1 GB would be fine to a certain level. it would certainly hold you over till you could afford more. get 1GB to start then add another 1GB later.
  18. Engagebot macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2003
    LSU - Baton Rouge
    Its not necessarily that 'two heads are better than one' when it comes to dual processing.

    The software you're using has to be specifically written to be threaded to two different processors. If its not, you're running on one just like usual. And yes, OSX does have some optimizations to run on dual processors, but thats just the OS itself. Its not able to break an application down to thread it for multiprocessors.

    To give you a simple example, what if the program had lines of code like this:

    x = 3
    x = (x + 1)
    x = (x * 3)

    on a single processor, you should get (3 + 1) * 3 = 12. Now say two processors are alternating taking an instruction. How do you know that those last two instructions are going to be threaded and taken back in the correct order? The wrong order would give you (3 * 3) + 1 = 10.

    The fact is, the majority of instructions that go through the CPU depend in some way or another on instructions or data from previous instructions. The only times you can really get full use out of a parallel processing is when you assign multiple tasks that dont depend on each other. This is a *WAY SIMPLE* example, but you can get the drift.
  19. Jo-Kun macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2003
    Im happy with my Dual1.8 rev A so I don't see any reason what's all this fuzz is about

    I work as a Professional Photographer, now I have 1,5GB ram inside wich is fine, maybe when I find the funds I do a ram upgrade to 3,5GB (buying 2x1GB for the remaining slots) as long as I use files wich are 750MB in their maximum size I don't see any reason why I need more than 4GB anyway ;-) ideal photoshop ram = largest size of files commonly used x3 = ram for comfortable use... now I'm at 2x that size and it works fine 2,25 GB would be the ideal for me according to this calculation ;-)

    those PCI slots left over can be useful if you need a raid array built-in for video (see other threads about expansion HDD capacity inside a G5, you can go up to 2,8TB internal when getting the right systems, so I guess that can be enough (and expensive too)

    I like to buy the middle model when I buy a new system (thus the 2X1.8 in my case), mostly the performance isn't that much lower and you can spend the extra money on ram or whatever...

    and due to the fact that I bought mine +/-2months ago I got a 8x superdrive inside, lucky me :-D
  20. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    All true, but the fact that the dual processors let you run more than one app literally simultaneously is an enormous improvement. I can be maxing out one CPU with, say, the horribly slow iDVD, and yet still have another CPU to use for other apps.

    Dual processors will typically not help you finish one task faster, if you're doing nothing else, but they will help you if you're doing more than one thing at once. So, all in all, they're a big plus.

    However, I'm not sure a quad-processor would help me (or most people) all that much. I tend not to have more than one CPU-intensive thing going on at any given time.

    And, on topic: the dual 1.8 is a fantastic system. Definitely upgrade to the 9600XT - it's such a minor price for a major performance enhancement. Go for 512MB or 1GB as well. Save your pennies and buy an additional GB ASAP. Yes, Apple rips you off on RAM prices. But, with only two pairs to use, it's better to pay them than to have to throw it all away. And word to the wise on RAM: G5's are picky. Be sure to buy G5-'approved' RAM, not just sticks that seem to fit the specs.

    Personally, as a Bluetooth user, I'd pay the US$50 to get it built in. I bought my G5 at a brick-and-mortar Apple Store and so have to use a dongle, which isn't optimal but which works. If I could have done so, I would have had it pre-installed.
  21. Johnkb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2004
    Thanks! I guess I'm not going to see too many reviews for the new 1.8, I'm sure they'll all be for the 2.5.

    Any user reviews for the NEW 1.8 would be great. Thanks again.
  22. MacinDoc macrumors 68020


    Mar 22, 2004
    The Great White North
    I absolutely agree.
    I guess this depends on whether you think name brand RAM such as Crucial really outperforms generic RAM spec'd for the G5 (see this article in BareFeats about name brand vs. generic RAM). If G5 spec'd generic RAM is just as good as the name brand, then you could save money by just getting RAM from a 3rd party supplier. Currently, Coast to Coast Memory is selling matched pairs of 512 MB DIMMs for Dual 1.8 and Dual 2 GHz G5s for $156/pair http://www.18004memory.com/category.asp?catid=9&subcatid=911&guid=D7D72B02C196449D9F8B804329349DC0, so you could just sell the 128 MB DIMMs on eBay and buy 2 GB for $312, as opposed to 1 GB for $225 or 2 GB for $525 at the Apple Store.
    Agreed, if I got Bluetooth, built-in would be preferred.
  23. 748s macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2001
    Tiger Bay
    what editing software will you use?
    over 2gb of ram is a waste for final cut pro/final cut express.
    adding 1gb is enough
    whatever editing software you use, get another hard drive.
    don't keep your editing software and media on the same drive.
    get another 160gb sata or a 250gb sata internal (if you use DV).
    don't buy your ram or hard drive from apple (too expensive).
    i use a 1.6 g5. it's more than adequate for editing.
    forget the g4.
  24. Rocksaurus macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2003
    buy it

    I have a single 1.6 and love it, and would be grateful for a dual 1.8... just buy it, it flies.

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