Dual 2.0 Gig G5 Fast Enough ??


macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2003
Mpls., MN
I currently have a Dual Gig G4 Quicksilver Tower that's maxed out (except for the original nVidia Geforce 4 MX card w/64 MB of Vram) running OS X 10.3.9. I do alot of intensive Photoshop, Illustrator, Bryce 3D. I'm really chomping at the bit to get at least a G5 because the 1.5 GB of ram is just not cutting it.

Will a Dual 2.0 G5 be enough of a noticeable power difference over my current Dual 1Gig G4 ?? Or should I look at the Dual 2.3 G5 as a minimum ?? I'd really like to stay with a G5 PPC because of the price and also because I have older versions of Bryce that I must keep and have to be able to run in "Classic" which is impossible with the new intels. Not to mention my other graphics programs which are PPC that would be obsoleted if I were to get the new Intel Mac Pro (which I definitely can't afford anyway).

Some of the files that I work on in Photoshop are up to 100 MB in size and can occasionally can be up to 200 MB in size (rendered Bryce Images).

I had an 83 MB size file open last night and tried to just use the "Zig Zag" filter in Photoshop 7 and it told me that it "cannot complete the Zig Zag command because of not enough memory" (ram). And that was with no other programs open at all with 1.5 GB of ram in 10.3.9. How is that possible ?? I'm wondering if it was referring to system ram or does it utilize ram from the Graphics Card at all for using filters ?? I also have plenty of Hard Drive space for the cache so that shouldn't be an issue (on a seperate HD than the OS).

Is that particular Photoshop filter really that ram hungry with that kind of file size ?? Or is my nVidia card with just 64 MB of ram playing any part in that ?? Will getting a Geforce 4 Ti card w/128 MB of ram alleviate any of these issues or is my G4 just getting too long in the tooth....especially with the limited system bus of 133 Mhz and 1.5 GB ram limitation ? (which I suspect it is).

Anyways, I'm hoping that maybe a Dual 2.0 GB G5 (with at least 4 GB of ram) would be enough of a jump from what I currently have to satisfy me for a couple more years.

Anyone out there with some insight and/or suggestions ???


macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2002
Midnight Sun
Not worth it..

I have had (and have) both, a DP 2.0 G5 and a DP 1 GB G4. Both are usable machines, with the G5 being that much better. However, we also recently tried a 1.5 Core Solo Mac Mini. That machine caused us to 'sell' the G5, the performance of the Intel line is stunning.

If you cant buy a refurb 2.66 or 2.0 Mac Pro, then buy an Intel Imac. DO not spend $1k on a G5.


macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2007
Go with an Intel-based mac. The G5s are problems. (especially the 2.3-> 2.7 Ghz with liquid cooling). From leaking coolant, to sleep issues, walk away. :eek:


macrumors regular
May 7, 2003
I have a dual 2Ghz G5 with 3 gigs of RAM. It works great for me and I work with a lot of large photoshop files for print work. I have never really had a problem with it and the performance (with PS CS3) is actually a bit better than my MBP with 2 gigs of RAM.

IF you absolutely NEED to run bryce in OS9 than go for a G5.


macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
Everyone should not forget why he needs the PPC-based Mac.

Rosetta works pretty well for a lot of things, but heavy PPC-based Photoshop work isn't one of them.

For OS 9 stuff, you could try Sheepshaver: http://gwenole.beauchesne.info/en/projects/sheepshaver
It emulates a PPC environment, allowing you to install OS 9 on a virtual PCC machine and install and run your OS 9 software on that.

But when I tried it out it crashed frequently. I also don't if performance would be an issue. I understand that people do use it without problems, so it might work for you.

Anyway, it's a real shame that you need to look at getting a G5. You'll be spending 1K on a short-term solution to your computing needs. If there's any way you hang on you your 1K until you can finagle CS3 and find a replacement (or an upgrade?) for Bryce, you'll be better off with in Intel based Mac.

Edit: Oh yeah, I forgot. Soon after the first Intel iMacs came out, we had one at my job at the time. I ran some limited benchmarks on it vs. a 1st gen 2.0GHz dual G5 PowerMac. Both had 1GB RAM. The Intel Mac was a CD 1.8?

The G5 ran equivalent Handbrake tasks about 20% faster, and was around 10%-15% faster at some compression tests (I was trying out different settings for mp4 and H.264 codec, trying to optimize a couple of specific movies for Internet delivery.

I tried some file copying tests, but did not time them because the G5 was so much faster. Something like 2x faster.

Anyway, I know it's not fair to compare an iMac to a G5, and possibly Handbrake wasn't well optimized for Intel processors at the time (though I know it doesn't run significantly fater on my MBP now than it did when I got it--around the same time as these tests), but the G5 performed well against an Intel CPU with the same number of cores and around the same clock speed.

So, PowerMac G5's are still pretty nice machines, and are the fastest way to run pre-CS3 photoshop.


macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2006
Far away from Earth.
Go with an Intel-based mac. The G5s are problems. (especially the 2.3-> 2.7 Ghz with liquid cooling). From leaking coolant, to sleep issues, walk away. :eek:
I also love this part, that maybe 10 people or so on here have had leaking G5's, so in other words that means that the majority of people jump the bandwagon and think G5's are write off's!

I'll bet theres still plenty of liquid cooled G5's to this day from 2 - 3 - 4 years ago are still running fine to this day. When all you ever hear are the faulty ones. You never hear about the good things, doesn't matter what it is.


macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
Bay Area
I think one of the last rev. dual-core G5s, a 2.0 or a 2.3, would be great for your purposes. They have none of the stability issues that some of the earlier ones did, and they would be a big upgrade from a dual 1 Ghz G4.


macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
I also love this part, that maybe 10 people or so on here have had leaking G5's, so in other words that means that the majority of people jump the bandwagon and think G5's are write off's!
Exactly. Not even 10...I've seen what looked like 2 confirmed reports of leaking in 3 years. Out of the many thousands of machines shipped, there are going to be a few that were defective. :rolleyes: My dual 2.5 is perfectly fine after 3 years of heavy usage and no repairs of any kind.

It would be nice if people actually read the first post and responded intelligently, instead of the usual "u need intel omgwtfbbq" dribbling, with no regard for the poster's needs. Sheepshaver is definitely not usable for a production environment. No, getting a new graphics card won't have any effect on your current machine, given what you're using it for. Yes, the 2.0 G5 would be fine, though if you can find a 2.3 for not much more, you might as well go for it.

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