Best Mac for Photoshop New v Old

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Lancer, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Lancer macrumors 68000

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    I have a G4 APG Mac with a number of upgrades, 1.5Gb RAM, 200Gb HDD space, 1.6Ghz CPU and 64Mb video card with 19inch LCD. But being 8 years old it's showing it's age.

    I need it for Photoshop CS and other graphic work and have seen some great prices for G5 Powermac on eBay but don't want to buy a dud, on the other hand I'm limited in what I can afford so any new Mac would have to be a base model iMac, MacBook or MiniMac. All of which once spec'ed with more RAM and HDD space will be about the same price.

    Which is my best choice?
     
  2. Vulcan macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #2
    If you want to save the most money possible, the White MacBook (get a refurb for about $850) will be able to run Photoshop and will also be able to support Snow Leopard when it comes out. The mini is extremely out of date and the MacBook's graphics card is better than it anyway.

    The G5 won't be able to support Snow Leopard and Adobe is discontinuing support for it, it's a bad move.

    The iMac is a great choice if you don't need portability. It will cost more than the MacBook but I'd wait till Jan if possible, the revision will knock down refurb prices.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    I'd get the iMac unless portability is a concern. I only say that because there's a lot of mystery about the Mac Mini's future at the moment, with many saying it's not at all good value right now for what it is. It depends on how long you're prepared to wait for a new Mac Mini... the MacBook's display in itself isn't great to work on in Photoshop.

    However, if you keep running CS on it or any other Intel Mac, you won't get the best performance out of it as it will run through Rosetta which will severely compromise performance. Time to upgrade to CS3 (maybe from eBay) or CS4 which are both universal binaries and will run properly on Intel machines.

    White Macbook is a good idea but you'll probably want an external display, and an external keyboard and mouse with it, if that's what you're currently used to.
     
  4. Lancer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Thanks for the info, I didn't consider CS on Intel Mac, I guess CS will still run much quicker on a new Mac (or G5 PowerMac) than my old G4?

    Ideally I would like a laptop but can't afford a Pro model with 15inch screen and getting a smaller one just to add monitor and KB could blow the budget as well. Thats why I asked about the older but still after G5 PowerMac and their value for money being USED and maybe 3-4 years old.

    Thanks again for the help, I'll look in to CS3 but know that can cost as much at the new hardware I need.

    I didn't know 10.6 wouldn't run on a G5 or Adobe discontinuing support for it. Is that why there are more and more G5s going cheap on eBay?

    I might wait a month and see what Jan 09 brings, maybe they will have a cheaper MacPro?
     
  5. Sly macrumors 6502

    Sly

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Airstrip One
    #5
    If you already have PS CS stick with the G4, seriously, save yourself some money. I use CS all the time on my Powerbook G4 1.67 and its quick, really quick with everything I do. The only time it slows up a little is when batch processing large numbers of images but being a Mac i can get on with something else while it processes in the background. :D As CS was optimized for the G4's Altivec unit, I'd be very surprised if it would run faster under Rosetta on an Intel machine (unless its a Mac Pro of course), infact when the Intel machines first came out this was given as one of the reasons to hold out on up grading to Intel.
     
  6. Lancer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    But what about a good price on a used G5 PowerMac, surely it must be faster than my G4 with PS CS?
     
  7. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #7
    It will be much faster, but an Intel Mac will be even faster again, and if you got an Intel Mac, you'd be much more prepared for the future as well.

    It's cheaper for you in the long term if you spend more in the short term. If you get a G5 PM, you'll have to upgrade to an Intel Mac in the next year or 2 anyway to keep up with software. See if you can pick up a Core2Duo model iMac or MacBook; they use 64 bit processors, unlike the Core Duo models (32 bit), which means they'll probably be faster with 10.6 on them.
     
  8. Sly macrumors 6502

    Sly

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Airstrip One
    #8
    If PS CS and light tasks like web browsing email etc is all you do then personally I would still tuff it out for another 10 months or so until the Ci7 processors are introduced in to Macbooks and iMacs, by which time 10.6 will be out, combined is going to make a big difference.

    As you can see from this bare feats test, the old single processor 1.42 G4 spanks the CD 1.66. A dual processor G4 is going to be nearly twice as fast again! Of course the Intel chips have moved on a bit from the CD 1.66 but even the current 2.0 C2D Mac Mini is going to be much slower in PS Cs than a Dual 1.42 of faster Power Mac. A G5 is going to be even faster again but really its not worth making an investment in PPC now. If however you can strech to CS3 or 4 then PPC doesn't make any sense.
     

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  9. Lancer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Thanks again for the advice, I can't really afford the cost of CS3 right now so will have to stick with the original CS. That said a 2nd hand G5 at a good price might be my best option for the short term giving me the extra power I need at a lower cost. I'm still running 10.4 so I don't mind being limited to 10.5 in the short term. Later when I can afford it a laptop running 10.6 could be the way to go in 1-2 years.

    I just needed to know if CS would run quicker on a G5 tower but also give me an added boost in speed for other tasks.

    Now I just need to find a reliable low cost secondhand G5 tower on eBay, how hard can that be?

    On that, is there a huge difference in speed with CS between a twin CPU 1.8 G5 and the cheaper single CPU model?
     
  10. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #10
    Given that you can not afford CS3/4 upgrade alongside an Intel Mac I definitely agree with your decision to get the G5 instead.

    The single 1.8 G5 would not be much of an upgrade over your single 1.6 G4, aside from SATA and RAM capacity. However a Dual 1.8 or better G5 would be a major improvement since Photoshop is multiprocessor aware and has been so since the time of the Powermac 9500. Since DDR memory is cheap start at 2GB minimum. A new hard drive would be good too. As they have a much higher data density than the originals giving faster read/write speeds.

    I know a lot of people are against the PowerPC Macs but they are fine machines. Especially if you are not running the latest and greatest software.
     
  11. Lancer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    When I tell people my main computer is a 7-8 year old Mac they look at me weird but like I said 90% of the time it runs just fine but I'm doing graphics as a business now so I need something with a little more power. And while I would love a new Mac with 10.5 and CS3 I just can't afford it.

    I had to replace the PC recently (used as an Internet server, long story but we can't' get ADSL here) of course my copy of CS doesn't run on PC so I can't make use on the much newer AMD 5000 it has.

    What ever happens I will not be selling off this old Mac and may set it up as my music server when I make the switch to something newer.

    Now I just need to trust someone on eBay, yes I've heard the stories of people paying for Macs they never get on eBay.
     
  12. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #12
    If they have good reviews you should be fine. Also only choose sellers in your country and only pay through Paypal. I have never had a problem with eBay and have bought several Macs that way.

    Scammers target the new Macs more than older ones. So steer clear of Mac Pro Octo 3.2 $300:p
     
  13. Lancer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    There is a nice G5 1.8 SP for just $250Au, (1gig of RAM and a 80gig HDD easy to upgrade) but that's not much better than the 1.6 G4 I currently have. Mind you it's a G5 so has fast BUS and other parts meaning the slight difference on CPU speed should be greater than it looks on paper right?

    As a guide better Duel CPU 2.0 G5's are going for about $1200Au depending on spec.

    I'll keep looking and maybe some people will get new Mac's for xMas so more older ones will end up on eBay in the coming month?
     

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