Free Power Mac G5. How useful is it for today?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by -Z-MAN, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. -Z-MAN macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2010
    Hey guys,

    Basically I'm 'entitled' to a Power Mac G5 but before taking something for free, I wanted to consider the usefulness of it today. I'm not sure on the exact specs but I'm pretty sure I heard quad-core 2.6ghz, 4GB ram and that sort of stuff...

    Work wise the most intense apps I use are probably the CS4 suite and I do program here and there, though nothing intense anymore. Being a PowerPC architecture, I'm hardly going to be running any virtual machines off of I believe, which is a bit of a downside for me I guess.

    If the Power Mac has got the goods, I imagine myself doing some video editing on there, but again nothing intense or even entirely professional.

    Anyway, I'm hoping some of you can share your experiences with your Power Mac G5s and what state yours are in today! Thanks!
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    If it's a quad it would be 2.5 GHz. That's about the only one that is still of good use today. It could handle CS4 pretty well, especially for something that's free. Being quad core, it's also really nice for ripping things in handbrake
  3. sysiphus macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    So long as your needs/wants aren't limited to Intel-only programs (newest version of Adobe CS, WoW [in a couple months]), it's a fantastic machine still.
  4. -Z-MAN thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2010
    Oh ok, thanks for the correction, there were a few of them and I don't really know the details...

    Well ideally I'm looking for a basic home machine, but would also like to take advantage of whatever power it has left instead of burdening my MacBook with any video processing and design when necessary. I'm not a WoW fan, although I would love to play some good old Moden Warfare on the machine, but I've read that's Intel only :(
  5. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    You'll be very happy with this machine. I use my dual core 2.0 for video editing HD content. It works great! Good for you!
  6. -Z-MAN thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2010
    I guess I'll be taking it then. Means I gotta carry it on the train from one end of my city to another but hey, it's free!

  7. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    This is totally erroneous. I have a dual 2.0gHz G5 (first gen) and it runs CS4 amazingly well, especially everything needed for prepress and design (psd, ai, indd, distiller, etc.)--to give you an idea, I am a freelance typesetter and graphic designer, and it was my main machine until about June. I had zero complaints, I just had clients requesting things in CS5 so it was time for me to move on.

    Flash runs ok, though rendering and previewing are rather slow. The video apps won't work in PPC.

    As for day to day use it is pretty much as fast as my quad i7. Simpler tasks (like web browsing, email, etc.) aren't really improved all that much by newer machines, the base requirements are so low it's ridiculous.

    For audio production, a G5 is phenomenal, provided your software and hardware work with your system.

    For programming you're fine depending on what you do. If you're using Xcode, you just need to make sure you download the most recent PPC compatible version, as the current releases are all Intel only.

    The REAL limitations of the PPC line at this point:
    Animation Rendering
    Working with HD video (and, to an extent, HD playback, especially streamed)
    Newer software being Intel only
    Minimal chance of iPhone/iPad programming (by hand, yes; by kit, no)

    That is IT. It might run a bit slower for day to day stuff than a newer intel, but guess what? An older Intel will run slower than a newer intel as well. Put in as much RAM as you're willing to spend on, then get yourself an SSD (or a pair in RAID0) for a boot disk and you'll be shocked how well it will run for most uses...

    (NOTE--I HIGHLY suggest the SSD or a pair of them for a G5 upgrade. As opposed to anything else you can add to an older system, an SSD can move on with you when you upgrade to a newer one, so dollar for dollar it is the best performance increase plus best longevity of anything you can add to a PPC machine)

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