Are the Xeon Mac Pros worth the extra cost over the PowerMac G5

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AppleStart2013, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. AppleStart2013 macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2013
    Looking for a media station to do some photo editing but don't have enough money for the new mac pros (can design ones).

    Are the older Xeon Mac pro towers (from 2008-2010) from Intel worth the extra $100-200 over the Power Mac G5? How do the older Power Mac G5 still run?
  2. Surrat macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2014
    United States
    I happen to love the PPC macs, I have many, including a G5 Quad. But, once the xeon macs came out, the G5's were totally outclassed. You will get more use, and more performance from even a 2006 1,1 mac pro, than you can squeeze out of a G5 Quad, and no water cooler to stress over. So despite my love of powermacs, I would never, ever, choose a G5 over a mac pro knowing what I know now.
  3. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    aww man that water cooler tho. my aunt had a g5 that used to leak like a damn 94 civic
  4. Surrat macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2014
    United States
    Perhaps the saving grace of the G5 Quad, is that it has by far, the most reliable water cooler of any mac. The older versions were pretty terrible I agree. I found a near mint condition G5 dual 2.7, took it apart for a checkup, and found the cooler was just starting to leak. I converted it to air cooling, and it still runs fine now.
  5. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Reasons to choose Xeon Mac Pro over G5 Power Mac:

    1. Xeon Mac Pros are much faster than G5 Power Macs.
    2. Mac Pros 3,1 and newer are still officially compatible with the latest versions of OS X. The G5 Power Macs are not.
    3. There are more options in terms of upgrades for Mac Pros such as USB 3 cards and video cards.
    4. Mac Pros can do Bootcamp.

    Reasons to choose G5 Power Mac over Xeon Mac Pro:

    I can't think of any.
  6. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    Definitely go with a Mac Pro. The G5 is based on the outdated PowerPC architecture, meaning it can only run mostly outdated software and is stuck on Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard. The Mac Pro 1,1 can go to Lion 10.7.5 and run more current software. With a GPU upgrade and some work, it's even possible to install Yosemite on it.

    In terms of power, even the low-end 2006 Mac Pro with beat a G5 quad.

    Legacy PowerPC software.
  7. IowaLynn macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2015
    Quieter. Even the 1,1 low end showed it topped the Quad G5. PCIe along with bootable PCIe-SSDs. 4 internal drive bays. Cheap and easy to get 16GB RAM or more. SATA II on 4 or 6 ports.

    Seemed like half the LCS Apple used in 2.7DP and others were failing left and right, heat up a room, and not quietest.

    Snow Leopard can do PPC/Rosetta.

    G5's OpenFirmware always seemed like it would forget or not recognize changes and needed to reset/rebuild device listing.

    Can still get 10.10.x up and running should you want to.
  8. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    From personal experience, I would say go with a MacPro.

    Of the PowerMac G Series towers, The G5 was the best... but since having my Mac Pro 1,1, and now a 3,1; I would hands down say that I have gotten way more use from my MP than any of the others.

    One thing i would suggest is to get a MacPro, and make sure it has a 64bit Kernal.
  9. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    If it's going to just edit photos and serve media I'd get a Mac Mini because of the power. If you need a big silver tower to do that job and power is no concern then I'd get a G5 because it's cool and a real Mac. Mac Pros are better machines period but G5's are better emotionally
  10. Surrat macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2014
    United States
    Cute answer... hehe
  11. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
    I think you'd have to be crazy to buy a ppc mac these days unless you have no other choice.
  12. Ih8reno macrumors 65816


    Aug 10, 2012
    I've had a quad, a dual 1.8 and now my mac pro 1,1. While great older computers they simply cannot offer the upgradeability and usability of the mac pros.
  13. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    The only reason to get a G5 these days is if you need to run classic mode applications or PPC applications. Other than that, the Xeon is much better. The G5 would be holding you back in virtually every way.
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    I'd go so far as to say that for "classic"(i.e. OS 9) applications, you're better off with a high end G4-specifically a single or dual 1.25 MDD(not FW800). In my experience, not even a high-end G5 can run OS 9 programs as well as running them natively in OS 9.

    As far as OS X native PPC-only applications, though, it is hard to beat a high end G5.

    I use a dual core 2.0 G5 daily, but don't do anything strenuous on it. Actually, it's been out of commission for a week or two, as I borrowed some parts from it(air deflector and hard drives) to get my G5 Quad working at home. I've been using a Macbook Pro for everything at work.

    I'm currently shopping for a Mac Pro to replace it.

    I love PPC Macs(a check of my posting history will show that it's the forum where I'm most active, and it wouldn't be too hard to turn up a list of how many I have-it's over 60 at this point). I do what I can to keep using them, but for many things an Intel Mac is just better.
  15. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003

    I second the Mini suggestion. The last generation was step backwards in many ways, but if you can get a slightly older mini (2013), used or refurb, you'd get a very nice media and photography machine. I wouldn't part with my 2009MP, but if I was on a very tight budget, I'd look at last gen minis. But whatever you do, don't get a used G5. :p


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