About to purchase G5, how reliable are they?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by n8mac, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. n8mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    Long time PPC user here on a budget looking to retire my G4 and buy a G5 on ebay. I am noticing a bit of a slow down on my trusty powermac G4.

    Specs...
    PowerMac G4 867 single
    1.25gb ram
    10.4.11/classic
    2 fx cards for two old monitors

    I was planning on running this thing until it died but it just won't die ;). I do notice a bit of a slow down while on the web and playing online java and flash games, iTunes taking longer to load and do anything. :apple: no longer supporting Tiger is getting to me. Plus the boot drive has only 10GB free so I can't really use iMovie anymore. I did everything I know to keep it up to speed; permissions, check to see if I'm paging (I rarely do), run scripts, and even opened it and cleaned out all the dust and cat hair. While I wouldn't call it a dog, I do think it's age is showing. I just ran geekbench and got a 502.

    So I guess it's time to retire old faithful and jump on a G5. As never using one though I just had a few questions...

    1. Reliability - Been reading a few threads on here and while mostly positive I have seen some peeps say that the G5s are not near as reliable as the G4s. Overheating, power supply failures, and other things I just wanted to check before I head to ebay. Fan cooled vs liquid cooled, does it matter? Are there any PowerMac G5s models I should avoid?

    2. Fan noise - How loud are they compared to the mid-G4 powermacs? I am fine with the G4 noise and could even take something a little louder but I am in a usually quiet room though. Didn't want anything too loud.

    3. PowerMac vs iMac - While I am leaning towards the PowerMac as I already have two monitors, and the towers have more power, how do the iMacs hold up? Are they dogs compared to dual processor powermacs? I wouldn't mind going to a 20incher ( using 2 17" right now).

    I was planning on erasing the G4 and slapping Tiger on the new G5 and bringing over classic for some apps I have still yet to upgrade (Quark 4, Freehand 9). Then one day down the road get Leopard and CS 1 or 2 and run the G5 for 2 or 3 years until it is dead or outdated.

    Also I wouldn't mind bringing along my two old 40gb IDE drives, but I read I would need an adapter. What kind would I need and how much do they go for? And could I bring over either of my old FX cards? One is the original PCI ATI 32mb card and the other is a AGP Geforce 4 mx 32mb card.

    I been watching ebay and found an average price of $200 - $230 + shipping for the following minimum specs...
    PowerMac G5 1.8 x2
    2gb ram
    80gb HD
    FX card with a ADC port (main current monitor uses ADC)
    Seller with a lot of positive feedback, usually a store, plus 30 day or more warranty

    Seems good to me. Does that price seem about right?

    Sorry for long post, but any advice is welcome

    n8
     
  2. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #2
    It's obvious you're extremely frugal. Why not buy a new mac mini for a few hundred more?
     
  3. stroked Suspended

    stroked

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #3
    The G5 might not play flash games very well either, and it wont be long before leopard isn't supported.
     
  4. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    Location:
    Hogtown
    #4
    dont do it ... spend a bit more and get something better
     
  5. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #5
    It's truly shocking how many empty headed people offer a mac mini as an idea when someone obviously wants an expandable system. He already has a tower and is looking at another tower so spending more and getting what he doesn't want is a solution somehow.. Wow.

    Anyway.. some actual advice intended to help you. I wouldn't buy a G5 tower myself as they are far too unreliable. I have posted about this before and they are quite unreliable. This link shows extensive research based on actual Apple repair records on G5's. A quick sum up is that even the most reliable one (the dual 2.3GHz) saw 11% go in the shop for one reason or another. The worst model (the first dual 2GHz) saw a whopping 32% in the shop for repair.

    Best and cheapest solution in my mind..

    Get a G4 MDD dual 1.25 or dual 1.42. Even the dual 1.25 will be a world apart performance wise compared to your single 867MHz. Not quite as fast as a dual G5 but really not all that much slower and much more reliable. A fair price on ebay for these models would be maybe 150-225. I prefer the heavily upgraded Sawtooth I have but it's a much bigger investment than an ebay MDD. Even the low end dual 867 MDD I used to own handled all flash quite well. A 1.25+ won't have any issues with anything you want to do at all.
     
  6. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #6
    How is the Mac mini not expandable? The current mini, can handle up to 8GB of RAM, and can be configured up to 1 TB of HDD space. Then, you can add many, many peripherals. The dual core processor alone is worth the extra $. What can you expand on a G4 or G5 that you can't expand on a mini?

    If I had to choose $250 for a G5, or $700 for a mini, $600 or less referbed, I'd choose the mini.
     
  7. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere in Cyberspace
    #7
    I agree!!

    The best PowerMac G5 in my opinion is either the duel core 2.3 or Quad.. if you wanna take your chances with the LCS, I would consider the PM G5 Quad. I had one of those and used it to get the Mac Pro.. now I have the following Macs and for 70 percent of my usage, I use my PB G4 more than my mac pro..

    1. PowerBook G4 1.67 Hi-Res w/PATA SSD 128GB(was only 150) + 2GB DDR2
    2. Pismo w/G4 550 upgrade - the most beloved of all Apple laptops and highly sought after - takes care of my OS 9 and earlier OS nostalgia, such as public beta, 10.0, 10.1, etc.. OS'es I never experienced when they came out.
    3. Mac Pro 2010 6-core - takes care of my heavy duty dvd ripping, and handbrake encoding.. I don't do video editing as I have no interest in it.
    FINALLY... 4. My Gateway P-6860fx - responsible for my windows only stuff.. While I can install windows 7 on my mac pro, I refuse to do so simply because my Gateway can do it all.. and has a total of 8GB memory.

    There you have it...I use both Intel and PPC.. Don't knock PPC, its still a good machine for BASICS, and yes with the right codecs and HTML5, its now possible to view up to 720p on the G4 1.67 and even G5. 1080p is not possible though..

    To the OP: Get the dual core 2.3 if you fear the liquid cooling system would leak... if not, jump at the G5 Quad and get 2 processors with 2 cores each - total 4 processors.
     
  8. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

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    #8
    To each their own.. most of my everyday work, about 70-80 percent is done on the PB G4 - basics.. only handbrake and dvd encoding is done on my 6-core mac pro.. I have no use for video editing, and personally will never touch it because I don't have the time nor desire to learn about it.

    Well, I just replaced the 5400 120GB PATA in my PB G4 and replaced it with a OWC Legacy SSD drive and it has brought new life to my power book G4.

    I say: Why not? My 2010 Mac Pro seems to love the company of its older brothers, the PPC macs.. and even my Gateway p-6860fx chimes along as well. All of them get along.. none of them hate each other.. why hate ppc? Why hate Intel?? So long as the computer can do what you ask of it, it is NEVER obsolete.
     
  9. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #9
    I agree with you zen, my dual 1.42 just screams... a tower would be a best bet for expandability. I recently upgrade to 2 320gb drive RAID0 for my boot drive, and will be putting up two more HDD on the empty IDE Drive caddies. A maxed out RAM and BTO ATI 9700 with QE/CI support. I can play flash with no problems, not HD movie though it stutters.
     
  10. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

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    #10
    We should all play nice.
     
  11. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

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    #11
    Exactly my sentiment! Remember, even those with 2006 mac pros are feeling the pressure of being driven into obsolesence, but for what its worth they are still capable of many things.. Both PowerPC and Intel have their advantages.. None is better than the other..

    When a computer fails to do what you tell it to do, then it becomes worthless and useless... but so long as it can do what you ask and throw at it, it will NEVER be obsolete.. Apple may mark obsolete the G4 and G5, but for many things they are great machines..

    Sometimes the latest and greatest isn't what we expect out of a machine just to do emailing, watching a video here and there.. yes, my PB G4 handles hulu and stagevu quite well..
     
  12. iVeBeenDrinkin', Mar 19, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011

    iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    #12
    I don't think anyone is better than anyone else. I simple stated my opinion, if I were in the OP's situation, I would consider a mini... then, I got flamed for it. PPC are still great as servers and for iTunes and web surfing. I apprecaite the PPC, but I feel, the mini is more bang for your buck.
     
  13. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
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    The Philippines...
    #13
    if a PPC would cost 700 bucks then i would go for a mac mini... but hey a PPC 2 core G5 for 300 bucks... it is still more affordable.
     
  14. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

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    #14
    Ah, ok... money seems to be the reason why you would think the Mini... but what if the OP could get a dual core 2.3 for like 250.00 on ebay w/the following:

    Dual core 2.3 PowerPC G5
    16GB of DDR2 PC2-4200 Memory
    2x320GB SATA Hard drives
    18x Superdrive
    Fully loaded with Mac OS X 10.5.8
    Original software/restore discs + manual + box.
    Nvidia Geforce 6800

    for like 250.00 - would that be a good deal for the OP? I think the Quads are also nice, but you have the risk of it possibly leaking later on.. though when I acquired my G5 Quad two years ago from a recycling company in NY for 1000.00 dollars(I was on a G4 MDD at this point), Apple confirmed that the G5 Quad I got had the "Better" quality grade LCS, and not the DELPHI which plaugued the Early 2005 dual 2.7 and dual 2.5 OF 2004.

    I think the dual core 2.3 is a good deal at 250.00 - do you agree?
     
  15. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Bay Area, Ca.
    #15
    Dude we're talking about 5-8year old PowerMacs. @ the guy that's saying that they had an 11% repair rate... DUDE. You WILL have to fix something in a machine that old eventually. My QS went into the shop more times than I care to admit, but I ran it into the ground and at 7 years old somebody stole the darn thing -_-

    The G5 I'm using right now is 7 years old, the memory controller was running alarmingly hot, but I yanked the backside fan and stuck a regular antec fan in its place and the temps are back to semi-normal now.

    Don't expect a 7 year old machine to not have problems, but if you have backups to fall back on you'll probably be ok.
     
  16. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816

    iVeBeenDrinkin'

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    #16

    Yes, that looks like a steal @ $250.
     
  17. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    Location:
    Bay Area, Ca.
    #17
    The 2.3 doesn't have the LCS. :)

    I got my DP2ghz + 3.5gb ram for $50. But no HDs! I'm using a crappy ATA drive until I can afford to stick a decent HD in it. XD
     
  18. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #18
    Get the g5 mate , for that price you will love it!!

    I like the mini, but if it's got the gma vid chip inside it I would not piss on it to put it out if it was on fire. Pm g5 all the way!!!
     
  19. MacHamster68, Mar 20, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #19
    i am for the G5 too , i am just restoring modding a G5 dual core 2.3 single processor , which will then become my main computer , sure if i look on geekbench points a new mini will achieve more points , the mini will likely even be cheaper then the G5 after my modding , as i want to squeeze out every bit performance i can get , means maxing out the ram to 16gb ,a x800 GPU fit in my WD velociraptor 600gb hdd 10000rpm drive out of my iMac intel core duo , then i get one of these expansion bays , that gives me enough storage capacity
    but first i need to sort the case out as it is badly scratched.. it gets anodized in snow white, but can take a while as i get it done for free from a mate who works in a company which is anodizing motorcycle parts ...so i cant push him

    the problem i have with the mini its just to small , as we all know we need backups , and that means in case of the mini adding external drives and cluttering up the desk , in my opinion a mini is only suitable for people who want to use it as htpc only ..and it still comes as stand alone device , not even keyboard and mouse but costs now nearly double what the mini did cost initially in 2005, ignoring that everything got cheaper, and offering only onboard graphics and the now already old core2 duo processor in the times of i3 .i5 and i7
     
  20. SuperJudge macrumors 6502

    SuperJudge

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    The Triangle, NC
    #20
    Wait, is such a system actually available for that price? I mean, the NVIDIA Geforce 6800 Ultra DDL I've got in my G5 goes for about that much by itself (for reasons I can't really fathom). If so, I might need to upgrade.

    OP - As a computer tech who witnessed much wailing and gnashing of teeth as a result of PowerMac G5s, I can't really recommend them fully. However, I will state that I have been using a first-gen dual 2.0GHz G5 (the least reliable model) without incident as my primary home desktop for the better part of four years, it having replaced my faithful Gig-E G4. I'm pretty sure it's had some warranty work done, but since I've been using it, it's been fine. Just remember that anecdote is not the singular of data.
     
  21. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #21
    If you can, try to get your hands on the latest (late 2005) models.

    I used to have the DualCore 2GHz model and it was pretty decent back in the days. Upgrades are pretty cheap (due to DDR2 RAM and PCIe slots) and the machines run cool and quiet.

    You even have the possibility to flash Nvidia 7800 cards (the most powerful you can get for the G5) and run up to 16GB of RAM. Combine this with a small SSD for boot and a large mechanical drive for data and you've got a pretty decent machine that still runs most of today's tasks.
     
  22. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a

    PowerGamerX

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    Aug 9, 2009
    #22
    PowerMac G5's are awesome but they are also getting old, so unless you REALLY need to save the money, get a Mac Mini.

    NO you can't upgrade the graphics card in it and no you can't have 3 hard drives and all that stuff. However, the new Mini will still be much better for just about anything you'd want to do with that G5.

    As much as I love them, they are old, and, they are really showing their age.
     
  23. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

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    #23
    The above example

    This was only a sample of what i found on ebay.. The Quad G5's are still demanding in the lower 300's to mostly 400 and as high as 700 dollars. Again, the reason why I was suggesting either of the dual cores or Quads was because of how rugged they were + how fast they were.

    Once I know the position of my interview and get hired with a good company, I might go ahead and get either a dual core 2.3 or Quad. I originally had the Quad, but sold it as by doing so it allowed me to go with an Intel Mac Pro 2006 model. Currently, I have the 2010 Mac Pro.. so all my Intel stuff is well taken care of.

    I guess the G5 Quad would take care of my G5 nostalgia, but yet remain a perfect, and efficient machine for everyday tasks.. Although I use the PB G4 1.67 for my everyday tasks, the mac pro is only used for certain things like dvd ripping, handbrake, etc.

    Just that its difficult when you get some else's G5 Quad, you don't know if the LCS will burst or something.

    I mean, how much slower is the dual core 2.3 versus the Quad?
     
  24. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    The Philippines...
    #24
    Give me a DP or DC Powermac G5 for cheap and I will pick it over the mini anytime of the day. :D
     
  25. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    Less than 50% the performance, not that hard to figure out. :p :D

    Single threaded performance is almost the same (2.3 vs. 2.5), the Quad shows its performance in multithreaded apps, though.
    However, even though you might not necessarily run applications that can fully utilise all 4 available cores, I believe that the Quad will do better even in everyday tasks.

    The jump from 2 to 4 cores is definitely noticeable as most people run a lot of apps simultaneously and the 2 additional cores distribute the load.
    A single G5 core gets loaded pretty quick (web browses can easily max out a core, which doesn't leave much room for additional tasks).

    I see your point, though. The LCS is kind of a deal breaker if you're not too tech savvy and can't replace the pumps/hoses.
     

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