Worth buying a G5 anymore?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Boseph, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. Boseph macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    #1
    My current computer is a 1.25 ghz G4. I use it primarily for recording music, but feel i'm hitting a brick wall and need to upgrade. So, considering my limited budget...my 2 options are:

    -A used G5 with a 2.0 - 2.5 ghz DP

    -A 2.0 ghz mac pro

    Now, the benefit of the G5 would be that I use a bunch of plugins that are not yet Universal Binaries, so a G5 would be any easy transition, and I wouldn't be sitting around waiting for developers to make their software UB. Also it would be cheaper than the Mac Pro. On the other hand, the Mac Pro is a better machine, and it would obviously have more shelf-life.

    So the question is: now that G5's are techinically obsolete, is there really any point in buying one, or would I just find that a couple years down the line i'm going to need to upgrade yet again to keep up? A dual-processor G5 would be perfectly fine for me right now, but how long is it going to be useful? Now that everything seems to be heading towards Intel, would a G5 just be throwing my money away for a quick fix?

    Please: advice, guidance, opinions...anything.
     
  2. jamesi macrumors 6502a

    jamesi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Davis CA
    #2
    cough* its the same question everyone needs to ask when thinking about buying a powerpc or an intel mac. if you want to boot into windows and play games, then get the mac pro.
     
  3. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #3
    I have no PowerPC Macs left personally (not counting 10+ year old Macs). But depending on the price of the G5, I personally would consider it a very strong option. It can still do things just as fast as it could before intel transition. And with the money you saved, you can put that into RAM and make it a lot faster. I'd say go for the G5 if the price is right.
     
  4. Boseph thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    #4
    No, I don't need to boot into windows and I won't be playing any games.

    Just looking for a machine i'll be able to get atleast a good 4 years out of before having to upgrade again.

    For example: I'm a Logic user. When Logic 8 comes out, who's to say that a G5 suddenly won't seem so hot? Even if all plugins/ software are going to be released as UB's for quite some time...are those of us not on the Intel bandwagon going to start suffering in terms of CPU performance etc as the Mac Pro's (and whatever comes next) become the new standard?
     
  5. jamesi macrumors 6502a

    jamesi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Davis CA
    #5
    apple has promised to keep up support for the powerpc line for a long time. the G5 is still just as fast as all of those old benchmarks used to brag. the mac pro is just better. i think a souped up G5 would do well for you for several years. after 5 years with the same machine im sure you will upgrade whether its a G5 or mac pro
     
  6. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

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    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Roskilde, DK
    #6
    I think the g5 will last you a good long time yet.
     
  7. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #7
    Ditto - They will support PPC for many years.

    The 68K to PPC transition took longer than the Intel has, but I think the continued support for the 68k through the years might be some indicator for future PPC support. It probably won't be quite as long [as 68k], but for sure, many years.

    Until they dropped Classic, I could still run 68000 code. Actually, I still can, as I'm still on my soon-to-be-sold PBG4 1.67gHz. There was another thread asking what the oldest Classic app out there was: MacDraft 1.2a 1986 still runs great in Classic.
     
  8. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816

    fivetoadsloth

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    #8
    ids ay go for the macpro things willbe becomming universal binaries soon and when they are theyll be mcuh much faster. Both however are great computers.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #9
    Sounds to me like it would be a good idea for you. I think a G5 will serve you well for at least 4 years, if not more. I bought one in April and definitely have no regrets. Here's something I've mentioned before: if you get the G5, think about keeping it indefinitely as a server. It will serve you for a very long time in that capacity. That's what I'll be doing with mine when the time comes.

    It all depends on how much you'd be paying for the G5 as well. Also if I were you, I'd try to get the last rev G5. The video cards, superdrive etc. are all very current technology. Good luck.
     
  10. Boseph thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    #10
    Thanks for all the replies.

    The computer I had my eye on was a used G5 2.5 ghz DP. It's going for $2,000 canadian (about $1760 US). It's this model:

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g5/stats/powermac_g5_2.5_dp.html

    Another concern I had: if i'm buying a refurbished mac from an authorized mac reseller, would I be able to buy Applecare for it? I ask because i've read about there being some problems with the G5's that used Liquid Cooling, and though apparently it's quite rare, there's been reports of leaks. So yeah, is it possible to buy Applecare for a used mac?

    Thanks again.
     
  11. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #11
    There are a few details to consider when looking at G5 towers.

    If your audio cards are PCI or PCI-X you would have to replace them if you
    move up to machine with PCI-express expansion slots.

    Your safest picks in the Dual Processor G5's are the 2.0 GHz (8 DIMM) or the 2.3
    GHz (8 DIMM ) both with PCI-X.

    I would stay clear of the 2.5 GHz liquid cooled and the Prosumer 2.0 GHz (4 DIMM) released in 2005.

    If the PCI-X audio card is not an issue, then you might consider a 2.3 GHz Dual Core or a Quad with PCI-express, but then you might as well save up for a Mac Pro.

    If your goal is to run Logic Pro 7 and 8 and you plan to eventually upgrade
    to an Apogee Ensemble with Symphony cards, then you must buy a machine
    with PCI-express expansion.

    A G5 will server you well for a project studio, but if you plan to record multiple
    tracks at the same time, you may be better off going for a complete Mac Pro upgrade.

    If you make the jump to a Mac Pro, then try to grab a 2.66 GHz refurb.
     
  12. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #12
    I'd still go for a G5, but only if the price were right. If it were anywhere close to the price of a mac pro, I'd go that route, especially if you're planning on using this for years to come.
     
  13. Boseph thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    #13
    Why, exactly? What makes this machine less capable than the others? It has PCI-X and 8 RAM slots.

    Is it the fact that it's liquid-cooled?
     
  14. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #14
    I think they're saying that because the liquid cooling system leaked and that was a problem with them.
     
  15. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #15
    Yup and the 2.5 and 2.7 GHz models really push the heat threshold.

    The 2.5 GHz model has issues with coolant leaks shorting out the motherboard.
    Some production runs also had power supply related noise issues.

    The air cooled 2.3 GHz DP or Dual Core uses the well proven server chips.
    The 2004 Rev " B" 2.0 ( 8DIMM) is also a well proven workhorse.

    It's one thing to buy a machine like the 2.5 GHz new with Apple Care, but
    buying used with no extended warranty would not be a good idea.
    The subcontractor of the 2.5 GHz G5's liquid cooling system went broke forcing Apple to find a new supplier for the 2.7 GHz models.
    Some of those have been fine while others have had numerous heat related issues.

    My 2.0 GHz (8DIMM) G5 ran me $1599.00 NEW on closeout sale.

    You should be able to find a nice one for less than $1300 US and a bit more for
    a 2.3 GHz.

    Scrap the Maxtor 160 HD or use it for a rescue drive and load up your system
    with a pair of Seagates.

    My system is doing O.K. running 2 GB RAM for project work, but I'm adding another 2 GB ASAP.

    So far all my plugins are fine running 10.4.8

    It's really a tough call because things are changing so rapidly.

    If I were starting from scratch, I'd buy a refurb 2.66 GHz Mac Pro with 2 GB RAM and concentrate on 2 high quality I/O's.

    If you're recording more than 2 analog tracks at any one time, that's where it gets really expensive.

    If you want the best information on your alternatives, you might want to
    review the forums over at www.bigbluelounge.com and www.gearslutz.com
     
  16. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #16
    My Dual 1.8 (b) 4DIMM is a great machine still.

    Have 3GB of RAM, a Raptor HD and 250GB WD, along with the 6800 Ultra. And this thing can do anything I want and the RAM isn't even maxed out yet.

    I love this machine and it is the best computer i have ever had or used for a prolonged amount of time.

    And that is saying a lot considering how much I love my 12" Powerbook
     
  17. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #17
    The Rev B dual 1.8 GHz (4 DIMM) were very well liked, but the latter 2005 2.0 version limited the user to 33MHz PCI expansion slots while all the other models
    provided 8 DIMM slots and 133MHz PCI-X expansion.

    Your choice of expansion slots depends entirely on what type of Pro audio cards
    you plan to use for muti-track recording.

    If you're heavily invested into UAD-1cards and plugins it can be a nerve racking decision when it's time to upgrade to PCI-express.
     

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