breathing life into a single g5

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by revisionA, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. revisionA macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    I have 2.5 gigs of ram and a radean 9800 pro video card, but what is the next most effective way to get a speedier feel out of my revision A. Single 1.8 g5 (PM)

    primary use, design (photoshop, flash and dreamweaver).

    Secondary use, music production (live, logic, reason, peak)

    a) Would more memory help? Mine supports up to 8 gigs, i can throw 2 more gigs in without throwing any away... and 2 more, by shifting smaller modules to my pc, thank god its the same ddr3200.

    b) would having the os on a Raptor 10K drive be worth the cost, and the time involved to rebuild it (I cant back up to a smaller drive, right?)

    What would you do, with a 2400 dollar plus investment that sells on ebay for 500 bucks now?

  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Sells on Ebay for (choke) What? I think you are underestimating. I was on eBay pricing G4 towers last night and there wasn't one decent machine under $1000. $500 if you saw on auction close must have been an anomaly.

    It really depends what you are doing as to whether more RAM will help. With 2.5 Gb already, you can probably run without pageouts all day. RAM improves speed only up to the point where you have enough, nad adding more makes little marginal difference. If you are regularly exceeding 2.5 Gb in RAM consumption, and getting pageouts, then more would help.

    Using a Raptor as a boot drive, or at least splitting Scratch disk and data disk onto 2 separate spindles, is the next step.

  3. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    If there is a Power Mac G5 1.8 on ebay, for $500, I will buy it. :)

    You have a very capable machine, and you already have nice upgrades on it. Is it getting your needs met? If it is getting the tasks done, then I think you should be happy. There is nothing wrong with your machine.
  4. revisionA thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    Could you explain the splitting option you talked of?

    I have two 160 gig sata drives, one for overspill data (raw images, decoded mp3s for the chop shop etc...)

    If I could just change some settings for FREE and get a little performance boost, I will do a cartwheel in my office.

    I found a place to get those raptors same day shipping, if I could do the above technique, restructure and backup my data and then have 2 raptors running with better system efficiency... then maybe I can get Live to handle the crazy stuff I want it to do.

    Thanks. OH: the ebay prices were actualy closer to 700. Dual processor models really do hold their value better... wish i spent that extra 600 back in 2003.

    Viva la powerbook updates!

  5. Flowbee macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    A quck search of completed auctions on Ebay shows that single proc G5/1.8's are going for between $1,100 and $1,300... and those are with stock Geforce 5200s and far less RAM than your machine. I think you'd have no problem getting $1,500+.

  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Remember that there are only bays for 2 hard drives in your machine -- you can't add more Raptor drives without expensive modifications.

    The concept of splitting the work between spindles is simple: the two things your Mac does more than anything is read and write temporary (scratch) files, and read and write data files. If the scratch file and the data file are both on the same drive, the OS has to interrupt one read/write and say "hold on a sec, I have to swing the heads way over here to make a scratch file write, I'll be back in a moment"

    If you have the data file and the scratch files on separate drives, the data head doesn't have to leave the data in order to write scratch, and vice versa. Because the time delay of hard drives is 80% seeking the data and only 20% reading/writing, this translates to more efficient performance.

    Try this experiment: Duplicate a large-ish folder on a drive, and time how long it takes. Now, copy the same folder to your other hard drive. You'll see it does it in almost half the time - cause it didn't have to waste time shuttling one head back and forth between reading and writing two separate areas.
  7. paulypants macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2003
    Buffalo, NY
    Are you running Tiger on that machine? Are you having freezing and/or sleep problems with the display? If so wait til the 10.4.3 release for a fix and see how that goes.

    BTW... you should definitely get around $1500 for that machine the way it's spec'd.
  8. revisionA thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    Actually I am running panther still. 10.3.9. and no problems.

    I thought it over, and when I heard that my machine cant do the latest video compression codec up to par... I was worried there could be something wrong.

    I will try the scratch disk on the second drive when I get home.

    I would be pulling the 160s out and putting two 74 gig drives in their place. I am hardly using the second drive and removing WoW would free up lots of space too. haha.

    Thanks for all the tips.

  9. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    the only machines that can run the video codec up to par is from my powermac on up basically.

    EDIT: and that is for the HD version of the codec.
  10. revisionA thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    thats what i figured, i dont do video, but audio was/is my passion.

    its great that we have this sense of community going on here.

    I have only had one hard crash since I bought my g5, hard crash = had to powerdown and restart because machine was unresponsive.

    Compare that to a daily WinXP MCE fubar!

  11. davebl macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2003
    HD speed is a big bottleneck... get a fast drive and fast bus to access it.
  12. yenko macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2005
    Cut your losses and buy a dual (1.8,2.0,2.3 ??) refurb from Apple on line. :eek:
  13. gogosama, Oct 4, 2005
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  14. revisionA thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    The true professional g5 vs the new 1.8

    When the 1.8ghz G5 was the middle of the line machine, it was the one with the professional configuration and a single processor. I have the same motherboard as a dual g5, minus a few necessary bits of electronics for the second cpu. The bus is 1/2 processor speed and there are 8 rams slots, I have one agp slot and four pci-x slots. IIRC the last bit.

    The whole pci-x thing really soured a lot of people. because it wouldnt support 5v pci cards at all. Like pro tools 24, for example. They revised the design of the single 1.8 with a slower bus speed and regular pci

    I have the mighty white elephant, the slowest of the professional powermacs. The 1.6 g5 had 4 slots for memory and a slower fsb, smaller hard drive but the same video card. I upgraded my card for $399, as well as the memory which was like 250 for the first gig I added, back in the day. ;-)

    Its not a bad machine, I just dont like the spinning wheel. Some things are faster than my pc (3.2HT p4). Like games, liquid smooth Command and Conquer Generals!

    I shouldve bought the dual 2.0, but it was 600 bucks more and I had to have a g5... you know, wanted it like JFK wanted Marilyn, kinda want.

  15. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I've got the same G5 - great machine! :D If you want to know what would have the most impact on your performance, you should download a free utility (you can just search for one) that monitors what % of the various components (RAM, processor, HD) are being used at any given time. I'm on my ibook now, but when I get back to my desk, I'll check the name of the utility I have on my G5 and post it - works really well.

    So basically, if everytime you see a slowdown you notice that the processor useage is at 100% but the RAM useage is at 75%, then you'd know that adding more RAM wouldn't do anything for you. And so on, with hard drives as well.
  16. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Another hard drive you might consider besides the Raptor are two 300GB Seagate 7200.8 drives. They are nearly as fast as the raptors but are cheaper and have significantly more storage than the raptors. I have two of these in a RAID 0 setup and it made a significant speed boost to the performance of my G5 over the standard single 160 GB. This speed boost was most remarkable in final cut. This was on a dual 2.0 G5 with 2.5GB RAM and GeForce 5200 64mb. If you need storage get these drives the 400 GB models are slightly faster. If you don't need storage but top notch speed than the dual Raptors in RAID 0 would float.

    Check out the speed scores for different drives here.
  17. revisionA thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    Is there a way to assign the second drive as temporary storage, like mentioned above?

  18. illegalprelude macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    yea bro, im not sure what ebay your checking on but your computer is easily worth $1300+ not $500-700
  19. Dreadnought macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    Almere, The Netherlands
    I know I will get a lot of criticism, but: A G5 can support 2 GB Ram sticks. So your machine can really hold 16GB of Ram instead of the 8 you mentioned. Apple never acknowledged this, but a great little app called mactracker had this in its database. It doesn't say it anymore because it gets its data now directly from Apple. I never tried this, but the app was also correct with ibooks. Apple said that they could only hold 640 mb of Ram, but in fact you could put a 1 GB stick of ram in it, which it supported!

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