G4 or G5? Dual? advice desired

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by coatss, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. coatss macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2004
    The frugal beast in me wants to get a G4 with all the bells and whistles possible for the best clearance price.

    The other me, the one that drooled when we got the 2.0 DP G5 w/ 20" Cinema at work... that one wants the best money can buy.

    I'm a graphic designer, I'll be running Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) and some stuff like Office, etc. I want to replace my home PC with a Mac so I can do some work at home and maybe some freelance.

    I was almost ready to go for a 17" PowerBook because it would be portable... but then... oooooh it is SO hard to decide!

    So I shall bow down to those with higher knowledge and follow the best advice given for my dilemma ... or at least consider it. :cool:
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    You can still be frugal and get a DP G5 1.8 and see what you can use off the PC in the Mac (Monitor, HD, Optical, etc).

    As with most people straddling the fence when faced with two machines with major architecture changes (PPC from 68k, PCI bus from Nubus, AGP from PCI, and now IBMs ElasticBus from SlowMotionMotorolaBus) -- the newest architecture is rarely the wrong choice.

    A year or two down the road, the old architecture really starts to seem limiting as the 3rd party crowd jumps on board -- and Apple starts dropping support for the old architecture.

    In the short term the old computer is a great deal.

    But it all depends on how long you see a machine sitting on the desk -- Motorola's the miserly speed bumps didn't make the old machines look too bad.

    But within 6 months (maybe) IBMs 3.0GHz DP G5 will make the 1.25GHz DP G4 look a little long in the tooth.
  3. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    how long can you wait to have a new machine? if you can hold out until more of the software you use is optimized for the g5, you will be doing yourself a favor.

    not only will the machines be better by then, but you will have the best software for it (since you would need to buy the software anyway when you switched from PC to mac). it would be like getting two upgrades for the price of one.

    something to think about, anyway.
  4. machinehien macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2003
    I would bank on IBM's G5 on this one

    If you want to grow your system over the next four or five years, the G5 would be the best platform to do that.

    The upgrade market for the G4 seems to be near the end of the road, RAM prices for my sawtooth G4 hit rock bottom last year and has since gone up 60%, processor upgrades using motorolla's chips are pretty expensive, and motorolla's future in processing is uncertain.

    Yeah so definitely get the G5, if you can wait till May/June, I am sure they'll update the line to Rev.B so you could get that or take advantage of discounts on older G5's.

    The G4 is only a good option if you have a bunch of G4 specific accessories/upgrades, still run OS 9 and/or depend on a specific system/software/plugin combination to make a living.
  5. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    g5. once the rev b come out (hopefully) then im sure u could snag some good deals on rev a g5s
  6. dudewheresmymac macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2004
    definately go G5 although it might be more now you will not have to buy a new computer 2-3 years like you have to if you got the G4....

    also you will see a huge difference in speed between the 2.0GHZ G5 vs the 1.25GHZ G4 especially on the programs that you are going to be using

    unless you need to be able to boot into OS9 or are otherwise tied to the G4 go G5

  7. invaLPsion macrumors 65816


    Jan 2, 2004
    The Northlands
    You can still get a G4 DP 1.42GHz at Smalldog for a fairly decent price. ($1999) Top of the line G4...:D
  8. noel4r macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Definitely dual G5, if you cant afford dual 2.0, go for dual 1.8. You know that G4 is yesterday's processor and the G5 is tomorrow's processor
  9. G4scott macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I would say get the G5 if you can. It's is a superior system in almost every aspect (except for price, but the price/performance ratio is still superior on the G5...)

    Besides, when more and more people optimize their code for the G5, it'll be about twice as fast as on a G4. The G5 will last you much longer...
  10. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    You speak very highly of the G5s, yet you're still "G4Scott"? ;)

    Seriously, I agree, the G5 is definitely the best choice, and although it's more money, it's completely worth it. If you can wait a little longer, wait until the RevBs come out, and then you'll either be able to pick up a new DP 2.0 GHz at a lower price (if it becomes the new low end of ther PM line, let's say), or you'll at least be able to get a refurb or "diascontinued" model (or whatever you would call it) for a great deal.

    Go G5, you won't regret it at all! :cool:
  11. vixapphire macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    Los Angeles
    wow; $2000 for a 1.42 G4 is a good deal? dude, i payed a shade under $2400 for a refurb'd dual 2gig G5 from smalldog a few weeks ago; the $400 is well worth it, believe me.

    if for no other reason than the quietude of the newer machines (we've all got to work with these things fairly nearby, after all), spend the bucks. that and the fact that you're ready for when apple and it's 3d party software developers finally up the ante to a true 64 bit environment without needing further upgrades makes the g4 the worse choice.

    on the other hand, if you think you'll upgrade in a year or two anyway, you'd be well off to buy used a dual 1gig quicksilver or a dual 1.25 g4, both of which can be had on the cheap; if you upgrade in the future to the then-outgoing top of line machine, you may save yourself some dough.

    i hesitated to buy the g5 in anticipation of upgrades to 2,6 or whatever, but then the talk on the 'boards turned to the upgrade being only to 2,4 (as though 400MHz per processor isn't a ton of added power or something!) and i began to lose interest in buying the $3000 new machine when refurb's were still available on the comparative cheap. after biting the bullet, i had a bit or remorse during the shipping period, thinking "what if they announce the 2.6 machines the day after mine arrives...", but once it got here and i installed it in my studio, i was a very happy camper. and now, several weeks on, with no upgrades in sight, i'm confident that this was a great machine, and even with dual 3gig machines expected in a few months, the blowaway factor of this thing over the previous line of g4's is such that i won't be thinking about upgrading for several years.

    so, in a nutshell, bite the bullet, jump the gun and go for the gusto with a g5 if you're choosing between it and a g4 that's >$1300. if you're looking at cheaper g4's with the plan to upgrade to a used g5 in a few years, that's a sound plan, too (i did that during the g3-g4 transition myself).

    in any event, enjoy harnessing the power!
  12. coatss thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2004
    Okay, say I go for a G5 Dual something... I want to buy by April I think (okay, yesterday) so I can get the educational discount (college student, final semester) unless of course I can get a better price somewhere other than the apple store.

    Where/how do you find the best deals on G5's?

    Thanks again!
  13. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Ignore the Frugal Beast! That Beast will turn into a full blown monster in a year or two if you listen to it. G4 is going bye bye:) But then again Apple needs to unload those old stagnating G4s. yeah yeah thats the ticket.
  14. G4scott macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I was young, and the G4 was hot stuff... I guess it's still hot stuff these days, seeing the fans in the latest G4's, and my 12" G4 PowerBook are going off all the time :D :cool:

    I've been thinking of changing it, but then I have to change my .Mac user name, and then let everyone who e-mails me know about the change. It's going to happen eventually, but not as long as I own my G4 PowerBook... :)
  15. Torajima macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2004
    Well, if you're going for the educational discount, you pretty much have to buy the machine at the Apple Store or maybe your college bookstore.

    If you want a good deal now, Smalldog Electonics has been selling Dual 1.8 refurbs (with full warranty, Panther, and iLife) for only $1995. I just ordered one of these babies for work.... it should arrive tomorrow.

    I have a dual 2.0 at home, and find both machines to be comparable in speed. Both are about twice as fast as the single 1.8. The 1.6 is quite a bit slower still... noticeably slower than the single 1.8, and in many cases, slower than the dual g4.

    I'm not going by benchmarks here, I'm talking real world tests with opening applications and applying a 1 second transition in iMovie.

    For comparisons sake, my old computer (a blue and white g3) proves to be 30-40 times slower than my dual G5.

    So I'd definately recommend the G5 (dual 1.8 being the best deal), but if you can't afford a dual G5, the dual G4's are still pretty decent machines.

    And of course, Apple is due to release new G5s any week now....
  16. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2004
    South Australia
    G5 DP1.8, today, I can't comment on what's goin gto be released in a few weeks time, but I'm hoping for apple's sake that the wait has been worth it.
  17. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    I have a dual 867 G4 at work and a single 1.8 G5 at home.
    I recommend going with a dual.
    IBM announced the 970FX, Apple announced the 970FX in the xServes. Its only a matter of time for them to come to the Power Mac.
    If you can wait, wait. Then get a dual G5 thats in your price range ( or what your wife will let you get away with, if you have one :) )
    Remember to factor in extra memory, so you can do those big files.

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