Buying a used PowerMac G5

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TheReef, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    I'm thinking of buying a used G5 1.6, 1.8 or maybe 2.0 Ghz.

    Would I see a big performance increase over my current PowerMac (in sig)?

    Is it a good idea to buy one?

    I don't really want to spend much more than what a Mac Mini would cost new…

    Were these machines especially noisy (like the MDD G4's)?
    Were they known for any problems?

    Also, can I fit more than 2 HD's in there?

    Thanks :)
  2. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hollywood, CA
    Huge performance increase over your PMG4. More than 4x faster, much faster FSB, cheaper RAM. They are solid machines. I don't know what you intend to use it for, but if you think it would meet your needs, I would consider it a good buy.

    They are not generally as noisy as the MDD G4. The MDD G4 had a couple high-RPM fans that ran full blast all the time. The PMG5 has a lot of variable-speed fans which run at low RPM most of the time. They do speed up and get loud during periods of sustained high CPU / 3D gfx usage.

    You can fit more than 2 HDs with the help of a third-party adapter. G5Jam is one, there are others, can't remember the names offhand - Google it.
  3. Adokimus macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2007
    Boston, MA

    Don't do it. Unless it's a super-cheap, super-awesome deal, don't do it. Look on craigslist or eBay and get a used intel-based mac, preferably a core 2 duo. Of course, it all depends on your needs, especially in the area of graphics, and it depends on the deals that you can find. But, that's my word on it. The PPC won't be supported much longer, and since it seems like you use your machines for a long time (or you always buy older machines), you might want one that is more future-proof.

  4. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    Going along with the advice above, the Mac Pro update is imminent. Could be as late as Macworld. But at that point you would probably see a nice dip in the refurb Mac Pros which would be a nice option as well.
  5. I'm a Mac macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    Don't get another powerpc. You'll just be wasting your money. Even an intel mac mini would be a huge increase over your g4. Want to save even more money? Buy a used mac mini. Still, any intel is better than a powerpc.
  6. lampdeskchair macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Keep your eyes out for a cheap Powermac on ebay after Penryn comes out. Not everyone is a pro user and the Mac Pro is overkill right now. But an older Powermac are great machines.

    I'm thinking of picking one up to use mainly as a home server. Load it up with an assload of hardrive space and hook it up to my HDTV for media content and basic iLife/websurfing on the television. Get a bluetooth apple mouse/keyboard and I'd have a slick TV setup as well.

    After Penryn comes out I'm expecting to see them for under 700-800 bucks easily. I already saw a 1.8 for 750 b/o in great condition and 2gb of ram the other day. So if you're in the market for one, I'd wait a couple months to save 1-200 bucks.

    Though if you're looking for something to use as your main computer instead (mine is a Macbook 2.16) you might wanna go with the entry 1199 iMac. While the Powermac is nice, a few hundred bucks more gets you a much faster computer that includes a monitor and keyboard/mouse.
  7. TheReef thread starter macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    Thank you all for your replies :)

    I would like to be using the new iLife 08, (with iMovie 6). I don't really mind how long iDVD takes to render. (on mums 1.5 Ghz PowerBook, it renders well enough).

    I generally do web development, but I'm interested in keeping our photos organized with iPhoto and editing with photoshop.

    A Mac mini has a single, slow hardrive, and it is costly to upgrade the ram. I checked out eBay, and even the PCC ones are still much too expensive. I also need a "good" graphics card.

    Also, I use Macromedia Studio 8 a lot, and tried it on a new intel Mac, it wasn't slow but wasn't that fast either.

    Right now, here in Australia, you can get 1.6 Ghz machines for $600A, would this run Studio 8 better than an intel Mac emulating it? Does iPhoto run okay? Should I be looking at dual processors?

    Oh, and can I move the DVD burner drive from my current PowerMac into a G5?
  8. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    If you want a G5, get at least a dual-processor/dual-core one. Singles are very slow by today's standards.

    The G5 is great, but some software developers already drop support for PPC and i'm sure the next OS release by Apple will be intel-only.

    Get more money and buy Core Duo or Core 2 Duo iMac. They run circles around old G5's.
  9. booksacool1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2004
    I have to agree.
    The single processor G5's are very slow in today's Core 2 Duo's world. Even the lowly single core 'core solo' (in the old mac minis) are about 50% faster clock for clock (geekbench 2.0).

    If you want a good graphics card, you'll also be in trouble. The older G5's had shocking cards (stock 5200's and 9600's). And the upgrades were (are) terribly expensive. Even the current Mac Pro has a pretty crappy card. This is apple's major failing point currently. Current Mac Pro's do have an interesting option of accepting 'current' PC graphics cards in windows. But that sorta defeats the purpose.

    I'd recommend a late model imac or mac mini. The ram isn't really that expensive for the mac mini. Just don't get modules from apple. If you really want decent hard drive performance, and a graphics card, the imac is the only other option.

    And yes, you can shift your dvd burner from a G4 PM into a PM G5. Just make sure the bezel lines up.
  10. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Geekbench is knowen to be a very synthetic benchmarking tool, so its not totally accurate. In reality core solo minis were about the same/slightly faster than 1.42 ghz G4 minis.

    But, I agree with everything else you said.

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