Which Mac is comparable to my current PC system?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Gary King, May 29, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    Which Mac is comparable to my current PC system?

    Because I don't want to move to a Mac and suddenly feel as though the Mac is slower :)

    My current PC system is fairly weak and old; it is nearly 3 years old. Here it is:

    Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200

    Intel Pentium 4 - 1.8 GHz
    512 MB DDR RAM PC2100
    Maxtor 60 GB 7200 RPM
    Maxtor 80 GB 7200 RPM
    NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 128 MB
    Samsung 15" LCD
    LG 16X DVD IDE
    LG 32X10X40 CD RE-WRITER
    Soundblaster Live 5.1 Digital Audio
    1.44MB Floppy Drive
    PENT-4 Midtower 300W, USB Front

    500W PMPO with subwoofer 3 pcs.
    Microsoft PS/2 Keyboard Combo C59-00092
    Logitech Opti Bulk PS2 mouse

    I'm a high school student, so I have a tight budget as well. And if you suggest something, like say a Mac Mini, then I can keep my old monitor for it.

    Thanks! :D
  2. macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2005
    The heart of Europe
    I guess a Mac mini shouldn't feel much slower than the PC you described You have to stick in a lot of RAM, though.
    I have a P4-2.4 with 512 MB and a mini 1.25 with 1 GB RAM.
    The mini competes quite well in comparison.
  3. macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I agree, the 1.25GHz G4 mini is probably a close match for your pc (the 2.4GHz Pentium 4 that is). For the 1.8GHz Pentium 4 the mini should be faster, depends on what you do with your system. A ~1GHz G4 would probably be closer to your 1.8GHz P4.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2004
    If you're looking to keep your monitor, then the Mac mini or possibly the single processor 1.8GHz G5 PowerMac (which has more internal upgradability than the mini -- comparable to your P4 tower). If you're okay with not keeping the monitor, there's the lovely new 2GHz iMac G5 with 17" LCD built-in and the graphics (Radeon 9600) are better than your current FX5200.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2005
    that's all a bit optimistic. Benchmarks show the G4+ have roughly 150% the performance of a P4, so the G4 1.25 Ghz should be a close match to your P4 1.8 Ghz. The graphics for the mac mini will be weaker though, and you'll loose HD space. If you tend to feel you are outgrowing your current system the mac mini will be out of the question, or you could wait for the next (first) revision.
  6. macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2004
    Have you considered an iBook? It should be comparable to your current system (with enough RAM), and it's a relatively inexpensive Mac.
    I'm graduating this month, and I'll need a portable for University. I assume you're in a similar situation.
    This should coincide with the iBook updates I expect for WWDC on June 6.
  7. macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Are you all kidding me?

    Reccomending a Mac mini for that Machine!?

    My dad has a 1.8 GHz P4 Processor and its pretty fast... nowhere NEAR as slow as a 1.42 GHz G4...

    I reccomend the 1.8 GHz iMac G5 for you! Plus, with the screen spanning hack, your computer monitor can act as a second monitor - if you want it, the G4 PowerBook is almost as good as the PC you described. The iMac will shoot WAY ahead of it.
  8. macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    BEST DEAL!!!

    Apple Sale:

    iMac G5 17" 1.6GHz Combo Drive
    512K L2 cache
    533MHz frontside bus
    256MB DDR400 SDRAM
    NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
    64MB DDR video memory
    80GB Serial ATA hard drive

    WAS: $1,299, IS: $999
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2003
    He already has a monitor and some hard drives, so perhaps a better deal would be a used G4 tower. OP - are you looking to replace the PC or use both of them? If you're going to replace you'll want to take the HDs with you, I assume...

    Also note that certain GUI actions in OS X respond slower than in Windows, so in some instances you may "feel" like you have a slower computer... Hopefully this doesn't bug you...
  10. macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I agree, the iMac G5 is the better choice and at that price its an awesome deal. However, I think that Gary King wants to use his current monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc..., in order to save $$$ since he is on a budget.
  11. macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I agree, the iMac G5 is the better choice and at that price its an awesome deal. However, I think that Gary King wants to use his current monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc..., in order to save $$$ since he is on a budget. Hence the mini.

    Edit* sorry i dont know why this posted twice, i stopped from submitting it to add a line and it posted twice. sorry
  12. macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    You know that the iMac I said is the Rev. A, which is 16" and compatible with the screen spanning hack - so you can have a cheap two monitor setup... for only $1000
  13. Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Don't forget, quite a bit of your software will have to be repurchased, or you'll have to find new Mac versions of it. This can get pretty expensive. So your jump from Windows to OS X shouldn't be half-assed. It should be a concerted effort.
  14. macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location
    A Mac Mini won't feel slower, but a Mac mini WILL be slower at processing, if that makes any sense.

    Anyway, I wish there was an "in-between" machine to recommend you, but there isn't, so the iMac deal above may be the best. :)
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
  16. macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Jan 17, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I've found the 1.42 to be quite zippy - much faster than the 2.4 GHz P4 IBM I used to have at the office, but I do have a DUAL set up, so it's hard to judge. (keep in mind the difference dual makes - my 1.5 GHz PB is MUCH slower than my dual 1.42 PM - you may want to get a dual machine if you can strech it) - my suggestions:

    At the upper end, recent but no longer in production PMs seem to be good values - some sellers have stock of the DUAL 1.8 G5s still - they're a bit over $1,600.00 so that might be too much for you and not justify keeping your KB, monitor, etc. - here's the Macmall link: http://www.macmall.com/macmall/families/powermac_g5/ ; they also have a SINGLE 1.8 G5 for $1494. - If I was looking at packing a Mini with BTO options, I wouldn't spend the $900 on it and I'd probably just keep saving $500 more for the single 1.8 G5 (at which point, I'd probably save just a wee bit more for the dual 1.8).

    As a general matter - it pays to probably wait a week and see what kind of price drops on out of production macs might follow WWDC if new products come out / current prices lower on in production models.
  17. macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2004
    Well that is good........then he can have a dual display set-up ;)
  18. macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Have you ever used a 1.42GHz Mac? Because I had a 1.2GHz upgraded G4 that was faster than the 1.8 P4s we had at my last job. Same amount of RAM, 512MB. I've used a P3 that was faster than most of the lower than 2GHz P4s I've used.

    Get the 1.4GHz mini and add 1GB of third party RAM (very carefully, or pay to have an authorized dealer do it). The 1.2 is fine, and I hear the hard drive is the faster 5400RPM variety (the 1.4 uses the 4200 one). If you can afford it, get a 7200RPM drive to match what you have now to add at the same time as the RAM. The only real issue is the video card. It's only a 32MB Radeon 9200. If you can, maybe wait a week for the new iBooks. Then you can use the mouse and kb as externals, and use the hack to get dual monitors. Maybe an external fw and/or usb case for one of your drives as a backup. Or wait for the new single G5 that should be coming out soon. Or a refurb single 1.8G5. It's a little cheaper, and would kick the *** of what you have now, even with a 64MB card vs. your current 128MB one. Just buy more third party PC3200 DDR RAM as you can afford it (I recommend Newegg.com).

    And if you've been accepted to a college, Apple counts that as being able to use the educational discount. Either that, or you have to be a person who works for a school system. They do have other discounts though, like if someone in your family is a government employee.
  19. macrumors 65816


    Feb 14, 2003
    dotdotdot, I hate to sound like an *******... But have you ever actually USED a mac?

    A 1.42 GHz G4 beats the pants off a 1.8 P4.
  20. macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
  21. macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    I have used a Mac - I never owned one, but I go to the Apple store at least once every two weeks...

    My dad has a 1.8 GHz P4 and it is not incredibly fast, but it is pretty fast.
    Before I wanted an iMac, I wanted the Mac mini - it was so affordable. I used the 1.42 GHz with 512 MB RAM at the Apple store and it was also pretty fast.

    But with my dad, and Gary King's system, their computers are faster than the Mac mini.
  22. macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2005
    Hmmm, is it just me or is dotdotdot underestimating the G4?
  23. macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2005
    Perhaps it may come as a shock to you, but playing around on a computer in a shop does not give you any information about the speed of the processor. Especially when you are comparing two different systems, with a GUI that responds in a different way.
    For a proper judgement you'll have to work your computer, video encoding, rendering etc. Also, you can only judge acurately if you have good reference (making your own benchmarks of certain similar actions you can repeat on both mac and pc). Otherwise you are just talking sh*t.
  24. macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2005
    Well said!! a G4 1.42 or even 1.25 is definatly faster than a P4 1.8ghz and that is not mac fan boy talk
  25. macrumors newbie


    May 30, 2005
    Everyone is suggesting an iMac or mini....what about the emac. Has 1.42GHz, 160gb hard drive, and can have superdrive for a cheap price. And he is a student so he can get the superdrive for $900 instead of $999.

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