Don't understand different Powermac G5 specs..

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Amber, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Amber macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    I'm in the market for a second hand G5 with Applecare. I will be using it for my recording studio as I'm sick of PCs. There are some great deals on eBay and my limit is looking around £1000.

    I don't understand the different specs, some can take 4 gig ram, some 8 some 16. Some are Dual Core, Dual, Quad. Which is the most powerful? What's better Dual Core or Dual CPU (I take it this is right?)

    I have an Athlon 3200 XP 2.21ghz with a gig of ram right now. What Powermac G5 is similar to that speed?

    Any help is appreciated. Also, anything else I should look out for when buying a Powermac G5?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Just about any PM G5 will be more than adequate for your task. Although you aren't even considering it, your hard drive capacity is as important or more important than any of your other considerations.

    As for power, let me give you a quick little anecdote. There is a little app called piX which does nothing more than compute pi to whichever number of decimal places you choose. Owing to its small footprint, the processor is the only part of your computer that it should stress. My 2.0 GHz PM G5 runs piX at about 80% of the speed of a 2.0 GHz Core2 Duo.
  3. kered22 macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2006
    Torrance, CA
    For the first bit: Some can only take 4 GB due to limitations Apple made in the design with the early PowerMacs. The low end 1.6Ghz and 1.8Ghz models came with only 4 RAM slots total and the mid and high end models came with 8 RAM slots. As for which is more powerful... I'd honestly say the dual core (the quad core model just uses 2 dual core chips). The dual model is the earlier G5 which uses 2 single core chips in it.

    I was tempted to say to go with the quad core if you can get it, but there is an issue with that. That G5 uses a liquid cooling system and there are already reports of the system leaking coolant. The G5s power supply is at the bottom, so some systems die due to the power supply shorting out. Another issue with the dual core G5 models is that the power supplies have been blowing, it's gotten bad enough that Apple has a power supply replacement program for certain dual core G5 models even if the system is off warranty.

    I'd recommend reading through the reader reports on the G5 at macintouch. It is a good system, but it can be a handful at times too if you're affected by any issues. I'm not sure how much higher you can go budget wise, but if you can get a MacPro, that may be better from the speed, expandability and reliability factors.

    If you have any other questions, don't be afraid to ask. :)
  4. DEXTERITY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004
    I have a dual 2.0 G5 (June 2004) and it is great. I run pro tools easily on it. I never heard of the issues with the intel based G5's but if you are going to get a G5 I wouldn't get the power pc one since Apple has moved toward intel processors. If you do research the quad and there really is an ongoing issue then hang tight, an update to the line up may be on the way. It's that time of year. In regards to macs having issues, not sure what the above poster is referring to, macs hardly ever have issues. defrag your hard drive with disk warrior from time to time, repair your permissions also and you will be fine. I leave my G5 on for literally weeks at a time and use pro tools on the regular also along with a few other aps running in the background (maybe not suggested but i do it, lol).. and get an external hard drive to record on.
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada

    The Dualcore systems are the newer ones introduced Oct 19 2005. They take DDR2-533 RAM whereas the older Dual Processor machines used DDR 400 MHz (PC3200) RAM

    Important distinction for anyone intending to install cards (audio interface, SATA interface, audio DSP cards like the Universal Audio and TC Electronics PowerCore, ProTools TDM cards) the older Dual Processor machines have PCI-X slots that are backward compatible with PCI, while the Dualcore machines have PCI-E slots that are not backwards compatible with anything. This means you need to be very precise about which machine, and which cards, you have or plan to buy. PCI-E is obviously the new standard, and most companies are onboard, but most existing cards are PCI.
  6. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
  7. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    There are no "Intel-based G5s." There are PowerMac G5s and there are Mac Pros. The G5 is a processor, not the name of the computer, if you are getting a PowerMac G5 you can only get a PPC version because the G5 bit is a PowerPC processor. If you want an Intel-based pro desktop you will get a Mac Pro which is based on twin dual-core Intel Xeon processors.

    The dual-core PMG5s will most likely run somewhat cooler as there is more room in the single processor models allowing better dissipation of heat. As for which would be faster, a dual-processor PMG5 or a dual-core PMG5 you'll have to ask those who deal with them in the everyday work.

    The dual-core models have the advantage of PCI-express graphics and more current technology but the dual-processor versions can be had for much less cash (mind you, most PowerMac G5s are going for a song these days and when Adobe CS3 arrives next year you can expect to see eBay flooded with perfectly good PowerMacs as the pros upgrade to whatever version of the Mac Pro works best for them.

    Anyhoo, keep researching, try and get the most recent version of the PowerMac you can afford and if you can stretch it check out the lower-end Mac Pros - even the 2 x dual 2.0 GHz version is a beast for Professional Application work.
  8. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    Thanks for the replies, I also thought the Dual CPU was better than dual core.

    I didn't realise the G5 had problems, still I guess people always say when there is a problem not when it works perfect!

    I imagine even if I did buy a G5 with Applecare, if anything went wrong with it regarding the PSU, coolant and CPU Apple would most likely replace it with a Mac Pro. If I'm buying a G5 with around 4gig of ram do I need to check who fitted the ram to see if it voids Applecare or could I just take it out if there were problems?

    Also, I recently bought two Seagate SATA 7200.10 HDDs 250g and 320g. I can add these into a G5 with ease correct? It won't void the Applecare?
  9. Grenadier macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    Voiding Applecare = Overclocking, Installing 3rd Party Cooling, Changing
    motherboard. ETC

    NOT voiding Applecare = Installing a new GPU, Installing a new HDD, Buying
    new monitor. ETC

  10. shellbryson macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2006

    I wouldn't touch a G5 without AppleCare. We lost many hundreds of G5s (literally, I think it was in excess of 250) over summer '06 due to a bad batch of boards and then PSUs... just a nightmare.
  11. 2ndPath macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2006
    The G5 only has space for two hard disks. So you can put these two in if you remove the one which is already in there.
  12. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    So having 3rd party ram installed by someone other than Apple doesn't void Applecare? Also I'm find putting in my HDDs?

    So Dual Core would be the best option?

    Also, how hard is it to transfer over Applecare?
  13. theblotted macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2006
    Los Angeles
    3rd party RAM or HDs will not void AppleCare.

    Quad (Dual Dual-Core) is the best out of bunch for all G5's.

    but i'm also one of the unfortunate souls who lost my beloved Dual 2.5GHz G5 due to liquid cooling system leaks. i can recall replacing the logic board in the 1st year, but it was covered under warranty.

    i ran Logic, ProTools, Digital Performer, Reason, Peak on it everyday. after 2 years, it died horribly. too bad i didn't have AppleCare. now i replaced it with a MP (along with AppleCare), and i feel like it's the best purchase for a long time.

    if you're willing to risk it (and need some PPC apps), G5 with Apple Care. if you can swing it, definitely go for MacPro.

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