Considering a PowerMac...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nicdic, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. nicdic macrumors newbie

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    Oct 1, 2008
    #1
    Hi there.

    I'm after any advice people can give me. I'm after getting a desktop to use primarily for use with Logic Studio. I have a MacBook, which is great for portable recording, but any editing and processing kills it. I'm a student and thus don't have a fortune to spend, but have been looking at second hand and refurbished G5 PowerMacs, the second hand MacPros are still unfortunately out of my price range. I think my two real options are the G5 PowerMac, or an iMac.

    I've had a look around, and www.scrumpymacs.co.uk seems like a decent place for buying a second hand one but any help would be brilliant.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    #2
    Won't a mid to high range Aluminum iMac be perfect for your needs?
     
  3. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #3
    This is a no-brainer, really. Go for an iMac. They're plenty powerful. The 3 GHz 24" iMac is way more powerful than the fastest G5 PowerMac ever was.
     
  4. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    #4
    Yeah, and buy a refurbed one at that.... save you some bucks :D
     
  5. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #5
    +1
     
  6. nicdic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    A refurbished 2.8GHz iMac is £1,149, which is definitely out of my price range :(
     
  7. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    #7
    what is your price range?
     
  8. allmIne macrumors 6502a

    allmIne

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    #8
    If he's going by this page then I think his price range is in and around 550 - 650, ish. I must admit, they're still an awful lot of computer for the money, and you're not paying for a screen.
     
  9. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #9
    Seriously, what about a Mini then? A 2.0 C2D is £499, and upping it to 4GB of RAM won't cost much.

    I've got to believe that this will smoke an old G5 and will have a much longer future ahead of it.

    There is no way that Logic Studio would tax a Mini. Audio just isn't that challenging.
     
  10. nicdic thread starter macrumors newbie

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  11. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    #12
    If you max out the RAM on this one: http://store.apple.com/us/product/FA878LL/A, I think you would be in good shape. I know its in USD, but you have roughly $1,400 USD to spend.
     
  12. nicdic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    I'm not sure I can order from the US refurb site.

    My Dad is going to be buying a new computer soon, and if I can persuade him to convert to Mac, I may be able to get him to go for an iMac, which would stretch my budget somewhat.
     
  13. allmIne macrumors 6502a

    allmIne

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    #14
    Are you in education?

    A base imac is £750 with discount, £799 without.
     
  14. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    #15
    Given that you already have a Macbook I would not bother with a Mini since essentially it is a screenless Macbook. Thus there would not be any appreciable performance difference.

    I would not think a G5 would be much faster if at all. To speed things up you may consider maxing out the RAM and using a faster, 7200RPM internal hard drive and possibly a large external using Firewire not USB (good for backups at any rate). With a fast internal and large external I would do my booting and app loading off the internal as usual but work with all of your files off of the external. That way when working with multiple files or large files you do not have one drive performing OS and App calls while processing data files.

    Otherwise save up for a faster iMac.

    The only reason to get the G5 or Mini is if you were looking to have a computer work solely in Logic while using the Macbook for other tasks. But the upgrades I mentioned are much cheaper leaving you money for better Midi equipment.

    Edit: One argument for a mini I did not consider is according to Apple's Cluster Computing Resources Logic Studio works in a distributed environment. I do not know all the details but it seems that it may be feasible to cluster your Macbook and a Mini for Logic Studio. I know they can be clustered but I do not know if you need Mac OS X Server and/or multiple Logic Studio Licenses. This just seems like an uber geek solution that theoretically would give a boost in performance.
     
  15. nicdic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I was thinking of getting this system for just using Logic, but I guess it's a lot of money to spend on a dedicated machine for just one program.

    To be totally honest, I'm completely at loss what to do.
     
  16. nicdic thread starter macrumors newbie

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  17. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    #18
    Max the RAM out to 4GB and you should be good!
     
  18. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a

    drummerlondonw3

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    #19
    that sounds good, the base imac is really a great all rounder

    to be honest spending some serious money (i.e. money you don't have to spare) on outdated hardware (g5) isn't the right way to go.

    for longevity you want to go to go down the intel route. The performance of even the lowest current mac models far outweighs the last generation PowerPCs

    If this is going to last you then go the intel route and the imac is a fantastic partner

    also - you seem very keen on using the scrumpymac website - do you have any experience of dealing with these? I have never heard of them

    also have you checked the UK refurb website some great deals especially recently on the 24" imacs, including some in your price range

    http://store.apple.com/Apple/WebObjects/ukstore.woa/wa/RSLID?sf=w2YF4JXY4AHCAJCDF&nclm=Certified

    d:apple:
     
  19. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

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    #20
    Right, Power PCs are headed to be a thing of the past. Some newer software won't even run on Power PCs; only run on Intel. Your best bet is that iMac that you listed above.
     
  20. nicdic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    I found the scrumpymacs, before I realised there was a refurb store on the official Apple store. Those two iMacs on there at the moment are both a bit too pricey for me at the moment.
     
  21. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #22
    Apart from the dedicated graphics vs. 3rd party GPU which explains a fair part of the difference between iMac and Mini benchmarks, their isn't that much between them, and after all, you aren't tapping graphics chips anyway with Logic.

    Honestly, if you have an old CD MacBook, I think that a new C2D might be a very nice upgrade. If you've got a monitor and keyboard, don't dismiss the new Mini too quickly. If you can wait, see if a new Mini is released between now and MacWorld as well. There is a lot to be said for not tying your laptop down to a desktop station.

    As for the G5, unless you are looking at a 4-core, both the iMac and Mini blow the PowerPC G5 towers with 2 cores away.
     
  22. nicdic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 1, 2008
    #23
    The only problem with the Mac Mini is it's limited to 2GB of RAM. I ideally want something that's not going to get left behind quite quickly. I guess really I'm looking at the iMac aren't I?
     
  23. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #24
    The Mini hasn't been updated for 422 days. Whatever comes by MacWorld, be it an upgrade or a redesign (brick?), it will no longer have a 3.3GB limit.
     
  24. nicdic thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 1, 2008
    #25
    I mean in terms of RAM, I think I'd be looking at getting 4GB of RAM straight away, as 2GB is the minimum requirement for Logic Studio.

    I think it looks like I may have persuaded my Dad to replace our PC with a Mac, so an iMac is looking like the best option.
     

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