1.25 G4 Tower VS 1.25 iMac Which To Buy

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Rykkster, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. Rykkster macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2003
    I am not a rich man and on the horns of a decision. I can afford either the 1.25 G4 Tower or 1.25 iMac that was just released. I am leaning toward the tower for the simple fact that I can expand the RAM to 2 Gig and expand the video card and hard drive etc. whereas the iMac is not as expandible. My worry is that the G4 tower will be archaic too quickly now that the G5 is out.

    Which is the best choice for longevity?
  2. Physiognome macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2003
    The G4 tower may be more archaic then the iMac in the sense of not being updated as recently, but it's still slightly superior in the power department. And if you plan to upgrade your machine later, it just makes more sense.

    The only issue would be that if you want a 17" 16:9 monitor like the iMac's, you'll have to pay a premium for the aspect ratio- probably about $200. Someone in the Dell monitor thread, which I lost, noted that these types of monitors have less pixels then a regular 17".
  3. AngryAngel macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2003
    Re: 1.25 G4 Tower VS 1.25 iMac Which To Buy

    Obviously the G4 tower. The iMac has the same processor, FSB and RAM speeds, but lacks expandability. Add a USB2 pci card (make sure it has Mac drivers) if you need it (the new iMac has USB2).

    The choice of monitors is infinite for the G4.
  4. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    The difference in price is still substantial, so the tower is a better deal (assuming you've got the space).

    As for the longevity, G5's are still scarce and expensive. It will likely be a couple of years before they come into the used market. The 1.25 G4 has good performance and is a mature, reliable design.
  5. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    If you have to buy a 17" FP display along with that 1.25Ghz tower, then the iMac becomes a much better deal!
  6. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    I love the imac 1.25, with that said a tower is allways a better choice. 1 example i got hit by lightning knocked out my ethernet. well for 25 bucks i bought a ethernet card and presto back to full speed. if i had a imac well that would be the end of my ethernet. so many ways to expand those powermacs. also i dont see any g5 only software do you?
  7. peccles macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2003
    San Diego
    But cubist can replace/upgrade the tower
    or display separately.
  8. Physiognome macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2003
    Not really. A very nice, name-brand 17" display (4:3) can easily be found for $500, which makes the low-end tower effectively the same price.

    However, I just noticed the iMac has the SuperDrive and AirPort Extreme, while the tower wouldn't. Those would cost you an extra $400 to customize in if you want them.
  9. Tim Flynn macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2003
    I think the Tower will be faster.
    That L3 cache works well.
    I tested a database application on my DP 867 G4 Tower to a 700 Mhz 15" iMac FP. The Tower is significantly faster.
    When comparing clock speed and other factors, it appeared that L3 cache made the difference.
    But the plop of bread dough, looks cool and is quieter :) :)

    Your mileage may vary :D
  10. nek macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2003
    If you want expandability I would recomend that you get the PowerMac G5 instead. When configured the same there is little difference in price between the 1.6GHz PowerMac G5, 1.25GHz PowerMac G4, and 1.25GHz 17" iMac.

    With 1GB RAM, 160GB HD, and Superdrive the prices are $2499 G5, $2299 iMac, and $2199 G4. The G5 should be quite a bit faster and space for 4GB RAM, but the G4 is $300 cheaper and has more space for hard drives and optical drives. The iMac takes up less space and is the cheapest with display but is not upgradable.

    I'd go with the G5.
  11. Jerry Spoon macrumors 6502a

    Jerry Spoon

    Jan 8, 2002
    Historic St. Charles
    If you're looking for long life, go with the tower. You can expand the heck out of that thing and it will last you years longer than the iMac.
  12. Anna macrumors regular

    May 25, 2003
    You should make your decision on what you will use it for, the space and your buget

    I would recommend a powermac - A) becuase the bus is faster, easier expansion and generally designed for professional use. Whereas the iMac has a slower bus and mainly designed for the home non professional user.

    Good luck with your decision
  13. 512ke macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2003
    What about noise?

    I'm making a similar choice finally to upgrade my beloved Mac. What about noise? I'm a screenwriter and I love golden silence. Is the 1.25 tower more a cat's purr or a 747 taking off? I've read contradictory reports. It's hard to tell in the Apple Store due to background noise.
    Many thanks!!!!!!
  14. Tim Flynn macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2003
    About noise:
    With my limited exposure, I'll comment.
    I've used 15" iMacs - whisper quiet.
    DP 867 Power Mac - Was a 747, now a small commuter jet. About the same as a typical PC.
    Power Mac G5 1.6 & DP 2.0 - whisper quiet !
    If you want quiet & top performance then get a G5.
    If you want quiet & consumer level performance, then get an iMac.

    simplistic view :)
  15. Ensoniq macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    Bronx, NY
    Another biased opinion...I believe, and always have, that the tower-based machines are overrated for TYPICAL home use. Yes, they have always been slightly faster than the iMacs due to L3 cache, and yes they are upgradable. And for some, that is a make or break decision.

    But to me, a 17" wide-screen iMac with an FX 5200 Ultra and 80 GB (160 optional) hard drive and SuperDrive is just an amazing system right out of the box now. Neat, clean, space-saving. And equal in every way, unless you have a SPECIFIC need for L3 cache and slots, to the G4 towers.

    For me, it only makes sense to buy a G4 tower over the new 17" iMac if you can answer YES to at least 2 of these 3 questions:

    1 - Are you certain you'd rather have the ability to buy a G4 upgrade later rather than just saving up for the G5 now?

    2 - Are you certain you want/need a screen larger than 17" wide-screen?

    3 - Is it likely you'll actually need a video card more powerful than an FX 5200 Ultra over the next 3 years?

    If you don't get at least two YES votes on the above, then I think you don't qualify as the type of person who really NEEDS a tower over an iMac. Most don't...they just want the "glory and power" of one, not being realistic about their NEEDS instead of their desires. And either way, if you talk yourself into a tower machine, then NOT buying a G5 now makes even less sense. Save for the G5, don't settle on a G4 tower if a tower is your requirement. :)

    Good luck with your decision.
  16. Mac til death macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2002
    I think that the 2nd processor made more of a difference than the L3 Cache...
  17. comrade macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2003
    orlando, fl
    Just a quick note. The imacs ram can be expanded up to 2 gigs now. Some company makes that. I think I saw the link on macrumors.
  18. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    Actually I am an iMac fan, because for a home computer system I think it really compliments your house if you worry about things like that and the new 17" has specs that should hold up well. I guess it depends what kind of a user you are. If you like to get in there and change stuff, you don't want an iMac, if you buy a system like me, add some RAM and run it for a few years and then get a new one the iMac is perfect.

    Now about the bus speed. I am pretty sure the memory speed and the bus speed of the G4 tower and the iMac are the same now.
  19. MacMaelstrom macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2003
    Down the hall and to the right.
    1. Unpack
    2. Sit on desk.
    3. Plug in power
    4. Plug in keyboard and mouse.
    5. Press power.

    1. Unpack
    2. Unpack all the other crap.
    3. Find space for the tower and plug in the power.
    4. Connect the monitor.
    5. Move the tower once you realize the monitor cable is too short for where you put the tower the first time.
    6. Try connecting the monitor again.
    7. Plug in keyboard.
    8. Move tower again once you realize that the keyboard cable is too short.
    9. Try connceting keyboard again.
    10. Connect mouse.
    11. Press power.
    12. Press power on the other stuff.
    13. Listen to commercial airliner take off.
    14. Curse yourself for not buying an All-in-One.
  20. arvidvdb macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2002
    The Netherlands
    I'd get the iMac, almost identical performance, looks a zillion times better, is much much quieter; much easier to fall in love with than de G4tower blowhole.
    Not talking 'bout a g5 tower of course :)
    I'd only go for the tower if you need your PCI slots.

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