20" iMac v. dual-2GHz G5 PM/20" monitor

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by milozauckerman, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. milozauckerman macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2005
    I'm looking at buying one of two machines through Apple's student program (upgrading from a G4/933 desktop and a g4/1GHz Powerbook that I'm selling), thought I'd see if anyone had advice.

    First off, uses: primarily Photoshop (CS2 once I buy the student package), some InDesign, standard word processing stuff. I may run some kind of light CAD program to help out at work (general construction/contracting) with plans but that would be minimal. Aside from that, lots of iTunes, poss. GarageBand, little or no video editing.

    My Photoshop uses are primarily 'digital darkroom' actions, from 20MB Nikon D70 RAW files to scanned 4x5 film (250+MB files). InDesign is just little stuff as I teach myself and take classes.

    The two machines I'm looking at:
    20" iMac G5, upgraded with 2GB aftermarket RAM, standard 250GB HD (300GB external for backup) and AppleCare. Total of ~$1800.
    Dual 2GHz G5, also 2GB aftermarket RAM, upgraded videocard to the 9650, Airport Extreme and a 20" Apple monitor plus Applecare. Total of ~$2800.

    A big jump, requiring that I sell a lot of Criterion DVDs or work out a way to pay for it. I'd like the space savings of the iMac and the free Bluetooth, but if I'm going to be bumping against its limits that would be frustrating.

    I've looked at the benchmark scores online at various places, but they don't have any real-world meaning to me. Is a Speedmark score of 174 v. 205 really a noticeable change?

    Will the iMac more than likely be adequate for photography and minor design, if a little slower on large files? Or should I just sell my soul and get the dual-2GHz?

  2. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    If you can afford the Power Mac 2.0 G5, I say probably the best option. The 2 GB of RAM will definitely make it faster. There is also more options for upgradeability with the Power Mac.

    I do think that the iMac will be very adequate for what you are wanting to use it for.

    It will end up being a personal choice. A $1,000 can make for a hard decision. I definitely would make myself unhappy with the decision. Do whatever you can comfortably life with.
  3. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    For files such as 250 MB in Photoshop, you should really get more RAM. Maybe 2.5 GB?
  4. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    For such heavy Photoshop work an extra CPU is greatly welcome. If you don't want to do everything at lightspeeds, iMac is a GREAT choice :)
  5. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    You might want to save some money by going with a Dell 20" display and 2x 1GB sticks from Newegg (for a total of 2.5GBs). Or keep the monitor you have now, and upgrade later. The dual will probably be better for you overall, despite what the benchmarks may show.

    I'm still waiting for a single G5 tower, but I have a feeling I'll be waiting awhile (if ever).

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