Any reason not to get iMac G5 for pro use?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by jmufellow, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. jmufellow macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2005
    I am looking to get an iMac G5 in the near future for running pro applications like Final Cut Pro and soundtrack pro. I will need this for school needs as my major is Media Arts and Design. I already have an iBook that I just got, and as much as a dual-core powermac looks enticing, the iMac is much more affordable. Any feedback about the iMac for pro use? What would I be missing that the powermac would have? Thanks
  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    If you can afford a PowerMac and a decent display, and are willing to pay for it, it's a better alternative... But no, the iMac does everything the PowerMac does, just not as fast. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head that the iMac can't do is playback 1080p h.264 video... But not many people have need to do that. If you get an iMac, though, you will definitely want the 20''.
  3. jmufellow thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2005
    I've looked into it a little more and have found some specs that are greek to me between the machines:

    L2 cache: 512MB instead of 1GB
    Frontside Bus: 633MHz instead of 1GHz

    Graphics-- the iMac has:ATI Radeon X600 Pro with 128MB DDR SDRAM; PCI-Express

    Graphics-- the powermac has: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 LE with 128MB of GDDR SDRAM, one single-link DVI port, and one dual-link DVI port

    what does all this mean? will I need these extra features?
  4. Fireburst macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2005
    Does iMac have firewire? If not then PM or PB are your only realistic options.
  5. jmufellow thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2005
    yeah it does
  6. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    The simple way of looking at it is: The iMac is everything you need, the PowerMac is everything you want :p
  7. applemacdude macrumors 68040


    Mar 26, 2001
    Over The Rainbow

    all macs have firewire
  8. PCheese macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2004
    All Macs have FireWire 400. The iMac doesn't have FireWire 800.
  9. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    i think you meant kb and MB instead of MB and GB in the L2 cache

    When it boils down to it, DONT buy an iMac for "pro-apps". By the nature of the beast, the iMac is the consumer machine.

    Youll need a desktop if you want to stay ahead of the curve and continue to work on video in the years to come. You cant upgrade the RAM of an iMac or the graphics card to anything decent. Nor does it have room for another HD.

    Digital Video = the best and most upgraded computer u can afford.

    The stuff you listed isnt everything. A desktop powermac will render faster, be able to run more apps at the same time and Id go on and on but in the end at the bare minimum the extra cost associated from iMac -> Tower is offest by the length of time you can "get away" with using the tower to do digital video. As HD comes into play over the next couple of years (or months) the iMac will be laggy far behind.
  10. Doozy macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2005
    I have an 20 inch iMac at home I use in a crunch, but if you can, I would highly recommend getting a powermac. Using Motion on the iMac can be painful. Although, FCP and soundtrack don't give much problems.

    At work I use a dual 2g and I would stilll like more power.
  11. hyperpasta macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2005
    New Jersey
    Cache and FSB will make the Mac have more "speed" for its chip type. In other words, its faster.

    Graphics: The iMac can do everything the PowerMac can except view HD H264-encoded files and drive the monstrous 30" display. The PowerMac can also do a dual-display setup where the desktop stretches across two different monitors (only one 30-incher, though). The iMac can't.

    If you have good enough monitors already or are willing to spend $3500 on a computer/monitor set, go for the PowerMac. Otherwise, think about it.
  12. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    Actually, the PowerMac can drive up to 8 displays (23" or below). :eek: :D Of course, you have to fill all 4 slots with video cards to do that...

    I haven't seen anyone else address the fact that this will be a student machine, so I'll do that. Personally, I'd go for the iMac and save some money now. It'll run Final Cut and Soundtrack just beautifully (remember, it wasn't too long ago that a 1 GHz G4 was top of the line, and professionals got along just fine with those), and if you absolutely need something beefier, I would hope the school would have machines available for that. Then when you graduate, go get yourself an 8-core 5 GHz Intel PowerMac. ;)
  13. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    I run FCE on my new 20" iMac just fine. All the iLife apps are fast enough. I've even tried FCP and DVD Studio Pro, and I was able to run them without any hiccups. Not that slow either. Of course, I wasn't doing heavy compositing or anything and compressor is slow as molasses, but that's video for you. Just get lots of 3rd party RAM. I got 2GB. And an external firewire scratch drive (internal if you get the PowerMac).

    If you have a monitor already, and don't mind the extra cost, get the PowerMac. But I got the previous gen 20" for ~$1300 on clearance, so it was worth it to me. I just couldn't justify $2000. If you can, get the PowerMac.
  14. RatVega macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2005
    Southern California
    For general work, an iMac is just fine, but for anything beyond "hobbyist" level video, audio, or imaging work you'll want a PowerMac.

    First and most obvious is the issue of processor speed in CPU-intensive applications. Nothing does the "heavy lifting" like MPEG-2 encoding like a multiprocessor Mac.

    Secondly (and just as importantly) the PowerMac architecture allows the system to be configured to support "bigger" work - more RAM, bigger/faster disks, faster graphics, etc. The laptops and small Macs all suffer from a lack of flexibility due largely to their size.

    If you have aspirations of running FCP, Motion, or any of the big third party apps, a PowerMac is the way to go.
  15. giveup macrumors member


    Dec 15, 2004
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Well not officially...
  17. jmufellow thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2005
    Thanks for the feedback thus far. I am leaning more towards the iMac now because of price.
  18. jacg macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2003
    Perhaps I could get some advice too...

    (I didn't want to start another thread on this similar question)

    I'd like to get an iMac for FCP and iLife (all apps). I also use Photoshop Elelments and InDesign. Sounds like it will be a big improvement over my 15" Powerbook (1.25 GHz, 1 GB, 64 MB Mobility 9600).

    However, I also play the odd game. Will The new 20" iMac be a big improvement in this regard? Will it be able to drive that high resolution at a decent rate?

    I am prepared to consider a PM 2 GHz + 20" monitor if I will notice a big difference (and I already have a couple of FW800 drives), although I'd prefer the portability of the iMac.

    Any thoughts?
  19. BrandonSi macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2005
    Chicago, IL

    I'm just waiting on the money for a refurb 20" ACD to try it out! a 20" imac + 20" ACD should be pretty cool.
  20. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    iMacs are plenty powerful for what you need to do. I would get the 20" if you can afford it. The screen resolution will come in handy for programs like FCP and SP.
  21. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    It does fine with the hack. No problems whatsoever.
  22. djkny macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2003
    I respect that opinion, but also tire of it. Unless you're cutting Peter Jackson's next epic, an iMac can easily rough cut picture for all purposes, albeit taking a little longer.

    I think this whole techno-bigger-better obsession seems to hinge on the fact that many want to hide behind power-systems for lack of resourcefulness and creativity. You can have a dual-quad-quad for FCP 10, but it won't make you a better editor; you can run Motion on a Mactel, but that won't make your effects enhance your story.

    All this to say, you need a system within your budget that'll serve your purposes enough to TEACH you something about technique, mechanics, aesthetics. You can hire tech-geeks (i.e. technicians) later to clean up audio, video, effects, titling. But they'll work for you, pay for your system, while you go on your way to making better art.
  23. crazyeyes macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2005
    Easton PA
    Actually just to let you know the iMac can play 1080p h.264 fine. I watched the 1080p Batman Begins trailer from, the other day on my 20" 2.0 G5 iMac and it worked fine. So the iMac CAN play 1080p h.264 video.
  24. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Since no one really addressed this question I will take a stab at it:

    L2 cache: Memory on the chip with the processor. It is very fast memory to access (more is better/faster)
    Frontside Bus: cycle speed of the connection between the Processor and the rest of the computer. (more is better)
    Graphics: The PM graphics card allows you to run a 30" display, or 2 smaller displays.

    Also remember that the new PMs support 16GB of RAM whereas the iMac maxes out at 2.5GB. This is of major importance for those apps. Although if you are just dabbling in those apps the iMac is a cheaper option.
  25. jmufellow thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2005
    You guys are awesome!

    Thanks for all the comments! You have made my decision to go with an iMac much more solid...I was just afraid there would be some huge kicker that I was overlooking--for example the ibook has no audio-in jack, just junk like that. But for my "college needs"...(haha isn't it great to get a new toy in the name of higher education?"...I think that the iMac will suit. It will be a while, 'cause I haven't gotten into my major core classes yet, but I will let everyone know when I do get it :)

    BTW, jacg, try this link to see if that answers your question about gaming:

Share This Page