g4 vs. g5

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by boxcar, Jun 26, 2003.

  1. boxcar macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2003
    Does anyone think it's worth it to pick up the older g4 dual 1.2 for 1500$ or should i just get the g5.
    i don't need the computer asap, but would like to have it sooner rather than later.
    i'm doing basic audio work... recording studio stuff. running reason 2.5 and digital performer.
  2. boxcar thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2003
  3. Wyrm macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2003
    Toekeeyoe, Japan
    If you have the money, and can afford to wait, go for the G5.
    It is the next generation stuff.

    Need it now, or need it cheap, $1500 for a current PowerMac is pretty good IMHO.

  4. djtet macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    i actually had a thread basically asking the same thing. got some decent feedback...although i would like a bit more.

    unlike yourself i basically do need a computer sooner than later, but am stuggling financially. however, credit cards were made for a reason! i just don't know if it's better to get a single 1.25 for $1300, a dual 1.25 for $1600, or a 1.6 G5 without the superdrive for $1770. basically, what's the best deal??? i know that for the time being i could pick up a 2.6 Pentium 4 PC for about $800, but i really do want to use a mac.

    if you get any feedback let me know and i'll do the same!
  5. allpar macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    Dual G4-1.25 vs G5-1.6

    I know the G5 is newer, but how do you think the dual G4-1.25 compares with the G5-1.6 (bottom of the line)? $1,570 for a dual G4 sure seems nice now, and $1999 for the 1.6 would be a lot if it's notfaster.
  6. Laslo Panaflex macrumors 65816

    Laslo Panaflex

    May 1, 2003
    I think that the g4s that they are selling in the apple store will be more than enough for what you are doing, that is unless you are going to have 30 plus tracks running live with 5+ plugins on each track, in that case get a G5. Really the G5 is for high end video and graphics, I am getting a dual 2gig personally becuase I use Final cut pro, and any thing that saves render time is great.

  7. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    My 'technical' answer to your query is...

    Buy a G5 cos' it's cooler... :D :p :p
  8. Dreamail macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2003
    Probably not as difficult to decide

    It's very early and benchmarks are rare, but from what I can gather it seems that the G5 CPU performs about linearely speed-wise in regards to integer number crunching and about 1.25 times to 1.5 times faster in regards to floating point calculations.

    That said, if you use MS Office or other mostly integer apps a dual 2GHz G5 would be about 1.6 times faster than the dual 1.25GHz G4.

    If you use 3D appls like Maya then performance should be about 2 times as fast on the dual 2GHz G5.

    Add to that the fact that the G5 is heavily optimised for data throughput. So if you have an application that handles loads of data like music or video apps, then there should be a huge performance gain additional.

    To sum it up:

    Joe Average should ask himself whehter a 60% speed gain is something he wants to spend another $1500 on.

    Ken Numbercruncher should ask himself whether twice the performance is worth twice the money.

    Lenny Videomusicguy should definitely buy a G5 since it is so much better suited to handle his data volume.
  9. allpar macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    Sure about that? And the 1.6?

    Wouldn't the 800 MHz bus and serial ATA have a substantial impact? I'd expect the 1.6 G5 to run at least twice as fast as a 1.25 single G4. I am a power user but not a big video or audio person, and I need something that'll survive 5 years of program bloat. The dual G4 is looking attractive because it can do two things at once. The G5 looks good because it's current, powerful, and only about $200 more than a similarly configured dual G4.

    Your thoughts? APpreciate your curren tpostings.
  10. Mr. MacPhisto macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2003
    Well, I think there's going to be a PowerMac G4 revision when the 7457s come out. The only likely improvement is a 200MHZ FSB. Since the low-end G5 doesn't have DDR400, I doubt this one will, but it would be nice. I think it may be possible for Apple to offer a single and dual 1.5GHz G4 with the expanded L2 memory and 2MB of L3 per chip. This could make for a nice headless iMac - which we may also see with dual chips because of the 50% reduction in cost of the 7457.
  11. irmongoose macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2001
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    Look, all I can say is, the low-end 1.6 G5 is not worth the money. If you need a machine soon (before September) and you're not ready to pay for the 1.8 or 2.0 G5, I see no reason why you shouldn't buy a current, cheaper G4.

    On the other hand, if you can wait a few months and can afford at least the 1.8 G5, I would definitely get that. The G5 is just too cool to turn down, heh.

  12. Dreamail macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2003
    The problem is the mix of factors, which is difficult to predict unless you programmed an application yourself.

    From initial benchmarks it seems that the raw CPU performance is linear in integer calculations, perhaps even a bit worse.
    But that of course would only apply to calculations completely stored in the CPU's L2 cache.

    Since RAM and HD performance is better on the G5 anything that is heavily influenced by these factors will improve more.
    It really depends on how certain applications use resources.

    I'd say the linear thing is the worst case scenario, but probably more likely something Joe Average will encounter.

    But there are many more factors in the decision, each of which could be make or break for some:

    How about noise? The G5 promises to be a lot quieter than even the very latest G4s. If noisy equipment is a problem for you, then don't even consider a G4.
    How about FireWire 800? If you crave for speedy external extensions, then forget the G4.
    How about internal expanability with a second CD drive or 3 HDs. Not possible on the G5, so go with the G4.
    How about 'future proofness'? If you want something that will last you the next 3 years relatively comfortably go with the G5 since it has all the latest tech like FireWire 800, USB 2, PCI-X, digital surround audio. There will be a time when the Mac OS requires a G5 as a minimum.

    The question is, how much money are these worth to you? If you don't have the money or are notoriously short for cash, then forget about it, go with the cheapest option, a G4.
    If you have the money then make a list and try to value each point and see whether this is worth the cash for you and the apps you intend to use.
  13. MacBoyX macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2003
    East Coast, USA
    You don't need FW 800 for speedy external extentions most things don't even saturate FW400's band width and it will be a VERY long time before the G5 is the minimum for Mac OS.

    I say go with the G4 as most of us do not need the speed of the G5. The Dual G4 will be kick ass for what you are most likely doing.

    Just my opinion, I could be wrong!

  14. allpar macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    coming back again...

    I think I *do* need the speed of the G5. I'm trying to figure out if a single 1.6 G5 will be faster than a current dual 1.25 G4, and if so, what the difference is. The price difference seems to be only about $200 if you configure the same way. How much will I regret getting a G4 today, in other words?

    How 'bout a 1.8 G5...do ya think?
  15. Jimong5 macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    From what I've seen, the G5 is just more future ready and full of marketing fluff. Serial ATA! oh wait.. HDs cant even saturate an ATA 100 Bus yet, all serial does is increas the celing oon HD size from 180 to 250.
    AGP 8X! even the Mighty Radeon 9800 cant saturate 4x.
    the 1.6 uses the same DDR 333 as the G4.
    the 1.6 doesnt have PCI-X, and has one less slot then the G4. It also has half the internal HD bays and only one optical slot. both can be expanded to 4 GB of RAM, with a gig stick in each slot.
    the FX 5200 isnt anything to look at either, i beleve its on par with the 9000 for things. as I see it the only advantage to the G5 I see now is the CPU, however, duals a re very nice, and Apple has designed the G4 very well to deal with the bottleneck it has now. Id say at this point the G4 is perfect for the budget conscious.
  16. macphoria macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2002
    Go for G4 for now because version of the softwares you use designed to take full advantage of G5 won't come out for another couple of years. By that time, newer and faster G5 will come out and you can get G5 with the right software.
  17. djtet macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    g4 prices up!!!

    Someone else just posted that the g4 prices have gone up on apples website...

    not really a problem, since you can just reconfigure your specs and get the same deal (dual 1.25 for $1599)

    the only problem is the fact that you get the system for $1599, then you have to spend at least another $100 for more RAM, since 256MB is a joke! then sales tax and you're almost up to $1800 - $1900. So for not much more you can get a 1.6 g5 with the combo drive, instead of the superdrive!

    why can't apple make this easier?!?!
  18. Jimong5 macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    Re: g4 prices up!!!

    Wheres your figues of the G5s own tax and G5s RAM prices, because the G5 comes with a silly RAM limitation that it is installed in pairs. so it would actually cost more to upgrade the RAM in the G5. and when you apply Tax, the gain is moot, and i have a feeling the G4 is just fine. Id prefer Duals personally, they are so much nicer then singles, in the fact they have a bigger horsepower thing.
  19. djtet macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    Re: Re: g4 prices up!!!

    you are correct...overall, no matter what, you're going to pay more for the g5. and yes, you'll probably have to up the ram and pay taxes, etc on the g5 as well...

    i'm trying to figure out if i should buy a g4, g5, or nothing. i do need something but i'm trying to find out what's the best deal...as is boxcar, allpar, etc...
  20. allpar macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002

    Agreed. 'Course the fast bus will be good for booting, making CDs while working, etc. But I'm now leaning more to the dual 1.25. I'll note that the difference between an identically configured dual-1.25 and 1.6 is $200 - almost exactly.
  21. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    for those considering the dual g4 1.25 remember this will your favorite app use that 2nd cpu???? also you can look at other world computing they show a lot of benches on many machines and upgrades so you can get a better idea on a machine or upgrade. In most cases that 2nd cpu isnt doing that much. for example in wolfenstein a single 1.33 can hang with a dual 1.25 but in other test it may not.
  22. Dreamail macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2003
    Once read in a thread that a dual CPU Mac makes a huge difference as opposed to a single CPU machine. OS X reportedly runs so much smoother on it.

    If your options are either a dual 1.25 G4 OR a single CPU G5 and if you're not using it for video or music editing (and if none of the new G5 features are a 'must have' for you, things like quiet operation, PCI-X, etc) then by all means go for the G4! Your experience in day to day work will be a lot smoother on a dual 1.25GHz G4 than with a 1.6 or 1.8GHz G5.

    However if you're thinking whether it's worth to spend twice as much money for the dual 2GHz G5 as opposed to a dual 1.25GHz G4 - then things are more complex and I would lean towards the G5 because the dual 2GHz seems like a good value for its money (if you have the funds available).
  23. allpar macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002

    ...would have been nice if Apple had posted some real-world comparison of the G4 to the G5, it's all speculation now. I did notice on their performance PDF that the 1.6 G5 outperforms a 3 GHz Pentium IV. Does the dual-G4 do that?
  24. dabirdwell macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2002

    i am trying to make this decision also, what to replace the dual 867 with...

    anyone want a MDD 867 with a buttload of software?
  25. allpar macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    MDD 867

    Actually, yes, that would do quite nicely for a while, and letme wait for the second generation of G5s.

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