An Incentive To Still Buy A G4 IS...?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by redAPPLE, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    i need your help guys. is there still an incentive to buy a g4 (dual 1.25 for example)?

    how long would Apple still support these machines? is it a better investment to "go broke" and get a G5?

    the mac to be bought, would be used as test machine (basically learning to edit with dvd studio pro, fcp, burning dvds, photoshop).

    the 20" iMac is enticing. how about a 1,6 g5? thanks in advance.
  2. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    Unless you want to be able to boot OS 9 (for programs that won't work in Classic, for example) I'd suggest going for the G5.
  3. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    i think with those programs, you will definitely benefit from getting a G5...
  4. adamjay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2004
    yes the 20" iMac is nice, but the ram ceiling is low, it has 256k L2 cache, and a 167hmz front side bus ( i beleive )

    compare to the 'pro-line' G5 1.6's 4GB ram max, 512k L2, and 800mhz FSB... you are going to get alot more out of these specs for applications like FCP and Photoshop.

    but whatever machine you get, put at least 1GB of ram inside for those tasks.
  5. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    The runout dual 1.25GHz G4 model is a decent performer (in the Macintosh world), but you have to look to the future with something as expensive as a PowerMac purchase. Take a look at and for comparisons between the 1.25GHz MDD G4 PowerMac and the range of G5s to see how they perform against each other on a whole range of tasks.

    As far as support, if you're talking about actual warranty support, then of course Apple will have to honour whatever warranty it ships with, and if you get AppleCare, you'll be OK for up to 3 years. If you're talking about operating system and application support, I don't think there will be a problem for a looooong time to come...remember that Apple's entire notebook line (which accounts for approximately half of all their hardware sales) is based on the G4 is their entire consumer range (iMac and eMac). What you will probably find is that with time new software (especially 'pro' apps, things like Final Cut Pro and Logic) will probably be more and more optimized for the G5 (PowerPC 970) architecture and will run comparatively faster on that chip, rather than not working at all on a G4.

    I had to make the same purchasing decision about 7-8 months ago when the G5s first arrived. Here in Australia, the entry level 1.6GHz G5 tower was priced within about AU $100 of the run-out dual 1.25GHz MDD G4 PowerMac. The G5 was so much more up to date though...FireWire 800 (the current G4 PowerMac is only FW400), Serial ATA, optical audio I/O, AGP 8x, dual channel DDR333 RAM, maximum RAM limit of 4GB (versus 2GB on the G4, and of course 8GB on the 1.8GHz and 2GHz G5s)...all in all, it just seemed a lot more future-proof. Since I was completely replacing my Athlon XP 2000 PC as well, I wanted whatever Mac that I purchased to be a capable games machine too...and that's where a G4 PowerMac with something like the default Radeon 9000 graphics card really pales in comparison with even the entry-level 1.6GHz G5 with the cheap Radeon 9600 GPU upgrade (don't settle for the default nVidia GeForce FX5200!!). Don't forget fan noise too...the MDD G4 PowerMac is noisier than the G5...the G5 is a bigger case though, but damn, it is certainly sexay...and it has niceties like USB, headphone and FireWire jacks on the front of the case, which the G4 doesn't.

    Start at the websites mentioned above and see how performance differs in apps you're interested in. You might also check out which is a pretty good hardware reference. There are also plenty of G5/G4 comparisons elsewhere if you Google around. Just remember though that the prevailing opinion is that the G4 will stay about the same as it is now in terms of application speed, whereas the G5 has the potential to get faster and faster as more software gets optimized.

    The 20" iMac...hmmm...that's a lot of money to spend on what is essentialy a gorgeous 20" Cinema Display, but with an obsolete half-basketball computer welded to the bottom, which can't be detached or upgraded. If you're looking at PowerMac levels of performance and expandability, then the iMac won't be a practical solution. At least if you go the G4 PowerMac route, you can add/upgrade the hard drives, optical drives, add PCI cards, AGP graphics cards, addd 2GB RAM, and have dual processors. You get none of that with the iMac. And what's worse, Apple has configured it with basic a entry-level graphics system (nVidia GeForce FX5200), which can't ever be upgraded. Personally, I'd avoid the 20" iMac. The screen is great, but the non-detachable computer on the bottom of it is a long-term liability.

    In the end, no matter what system you decide to buy, holding out for a few weeks or a month would be an excellent idea. Apple seems due any day now to release PowerMac G5 updates, and if they do, then the prices of the current G5 lineup and quite possibly the older OS9-booting runout G4 PowerMacs too will drop. There are persistent rumours of Apple going dual CPU across it's whole G5 range...they tend to keep their price points the same and adjust specifications, so in a month's time you could be looking at a dual CPU G5 at the entry level pricing, not a single.

    BTW, if you would like any 'real world' benchmarks on a 1.6GHz G5 in addition to the ones published, let me know and I can see if I can produce some number on my system here. Unfortunately, the only G4 systems I have access to at the moment are my 1GHz 12" PB and a friends 1.33GHz 17" PB, so I can't do any comparisons with the dual 1.25GHz MDD G4.
  6. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    I was going to attempt a worthwile response, but I don't think I was going to be as complete as oingoboingo.

    Nevertheless, for my 2 cents, and your 3 thousand bucks, I'd say G5, for pretty much the same reasons as above.
  7. redAPPLE thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    i would like to thank you all, especially oingoboingo *bowingreallyreallylow* for the response. this is one of the reasons, i own a mac. i got a "family" out side of my home.

    ok. g5 it is. i guess.

    maybe getting one on eBay after the new ones come out would be the best way to get one cheaper, no?

    yeah, this would keep the thread alive. :)

    where is the best place to get one. if i am not mistaken, there is a macrumors mod, who works in an online store. and if i remember right, we "members" could get discounts, if we contact him.

    was it dukestreet? or better said, mr. anderson?

    any info would be great.

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