G5 1.8 DP vs. Mini C2D 2.0

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by kermit4161, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. kermit4161 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    Hi all,

    I'm trying to do a comparison between the older G5 1.8 Ghz DP, 4GB RAM, w/NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra with 64 MB VRAM and the new Mini C2D 2.0 Ghz w/4GB of RAM (I know it'll only recognize 3GB... but will benefit from the 128 bit addressing with 2 - 2GB modules...worth the extra $30 cost for the extra GB).

    We are in the position to replace 5 graphics computers at a small newspaper. The computers will be roughly the same cost with RAM upgrades. The biggest concern is the Mini handling the graphics tasks of the computers (putting out large four color magazines). The primary program they'll be running is Creative Suite 3.

    With the Mini's larger L3 cache, faster processor, etc... I'm kind of thinking its up to the task. But I haven't tested CS3 on a Mini... nor have I run it on a G5 PowerMac 1.8DP.

    Granted, I realize the PM G5 is more upgradeable, but that really isn't a concern of the owners (they won't be upgraded other than the RAM). They are interested in the best bang for their buck. What'll do the job and last the longest.

    Looking ahead, the minis would last longer (not needing replacement as soon as the PM due to software/OS), but I'm just a bit hesitant on recommending the Mini over the G5 (heart says yes... head says 'maybe').

    Any thoughts, experience with CS3 on either platform, recommendations?

  2. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    i would recommend running xbench on both machines to see which gets a better score. this will ultimately tell you which machine is faster and more powerful. i think the mac mini would perform better in photoshop than the power mac as the new intel core 2 duos smoke the dual G5s.
  3. lord patton macrumors 65816

    lord patton

    Jun 6, 2005
    I think you'd have great luck looking at www.macworld.com and investigating their benchmarks. They review everything Apple puts out, and some of their benchmarks are for photoshop/cs3.
  4. kermit4161 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    Thanks guys. I did print out a review from Macworld and one of the PC mags, but I didn't get a chance to look them over yet (left them at work).

    I'll take a look at them tomorrow and see if they have results from the G5 1.8 DP review too.
  5. kermit4161 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    Does anyone have any experience running CS3 on a new Mini and/or G5 1.8DP? Will they bog down while running both InDesign and PS??
  6. SheriffParker macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2006
    The land of love
    I would think the mini would be a bit faster. The only problem that I can see is that the mini doesn't have the biggest hard drive, and you might need external drives in the future.
  7. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2003
    You folks are kidding, right?

    We're comparing a professional grade computer against a bottom-of-the-barrel consumer grade (albeit new) computer. Just off the top of my head I can think of the following advantages of a PM purchase:

    1) A Graphics Card with its own memory: In my experience with graphic design (as a hobbyist during college) a stand-alone graphics processor takes a significant burden off of the CPU, making for a more fluid Photoshop experience. The mini has an integrated graphics card that is sharing the RAM with the rest of the computer...meaning that Photoshop has a greater propensity for borrowing the equivalent of much slower "virtual memory".

    2) Expandability/Accessability: I know you said this wasn't going to be an issue after the initial setup, but what about that initial setup? Photoshop's performance (and its cronies) is directly related to the amount of RAM it has at its disposal. Simply put, the more the better. You have the ability to put up to 16 gigs in PM, which would allow you to adjust how much RAM you need to have Photoshop perform at the level you demand. How much can you put in the mini, 2 gigs? And you want to have that RAM paired, so that's hoping you have a 2 gig stick already installed so you have no waste RAM.

    AND, since this is going to be used in a professional capacity, how would you deal with a hard drive failure (one of the most common computer failures) or optical drive failture in a mini? In the PM, swapping drives is a 10 minute DIY task, no need to disassemble a compact feat of engineering or get Apple Repair involved.

    3) Performance? Perhaps I'm an unreliable source, but I owned a SP 1.8 G5 and I could feel the difference that robust professional grade data interconnections made. I have a supposedly faster intel machine right now (MacBook) and it feels like I took a step backward from my three year old PM. The mini does not have the high end bus (667 MHz clocked back vs 900 MHz bi-directional), does not have strong cooling system for continual heavy use (as a professional computer would demand). I've not tried Creative Suite on a new mac mini, but I will probably feel like CS feels on my MacBook...second rate.

    Just my 2 cents.
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I suspect G5 might be better, especially with RAID harddrive scratch disks.

    G5 has desktop hardrives (as opposed to slower 5400rpm laptop drive which will be more expensive to replace).
    Opening files, saving will be faster on G5.
    G5 can take more RAM.

    I would check to see the benchmarks for Mini or G5. Another site with benchmarks is www.barefeats.com

    If you really want to make sure, get 1 mini and 1 G5 (I am not sure where you can still buy those through retail), and benchmark yourself.
  9. zakatov macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2005
    South Florida
    I've got a 2x2.0 G5 / 1.5GB / Radeon 9650 and a 2.0 CD / 2.0GB RAM / X1600 MBP. In everyday tasks, they are pretty much the same. XBench is quite predictable: G5 is faster in HD tests but the CD MBP is faster in CPU/RAM/Video as well as faster overall. So that's about what's expected with your G5/mini comparison, except maybe the GFX scores as both of those have crappy cards. So if you need faster CPU/Memory subsystem (rendering), get the mini, if you need faster HD subsystem (server or somethin), get the G5. That is all
  10. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    The Intel Mini will run Photoshop CS3 smooth as silk.
  11. kermit4161 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006

    Thanks for your input. However, some of your facts are a bit off.

    >>>You have the ability to put up to 16 gigs in PM, which would allow you to adjust how much RAM you need to have Photoshop perform at the level you demand. How much can you put in the mini, 2 gigs? And you want to have that RAM paired, so that's hoping you have a 2 gig stick already installed so you have no waste RAM.<<<

    This particular G5 model (1.8Ghz DP) has four RAM slots, which would allow a total of 4GB of RAM to be intsalled... not 16GB as in some of the other models The cost of RAM for this model is $129.99 per 1 GM module ($519.96 plus tax for 4GB).

    The new C2D Mini (what we are looking at) will actually accept 4GB of RAM and will address 3 GB (4GB RAM is $95.95 plus tax). If loaded with 2 -2GB modules, then dual channel addressing is activated for another boost in speed (2 - 2GB modules are @ $25 more than getting 3GB of RAM).

    >>>how would you deal with a hard drive failure (one of the most common computer failures) or optical drive failture in a mini?<<<

    The Mini is actually easy to service and I am qualified to do so. Although you do have a point. The Mini's drive isn't as fast as the PM's. However, all the computers will be working off of a server or networked drive, so that will be a minimal issue.

    The new 2.0 Ghz C2D Mini's is actually pretty danged fast. It has a 4MB L3/4 cache vs. the 512k on the PM. That really speeds up processing power. The graphics system is a weak point as it is shared memory.

    There is a difference in the actual build of the computers, however I don't believe it'll be an issue. The PMs are certainly tanks, but the Minis do hold up surpassingly well.

    Obviously, I'm a fan of the Mini. I've put them through their paces in professional production (graphics) settings since way back in the G4 days of yore (always wanted to use 'days of yore' in a sentence). The performance is excellent for the price.

    Add to that the PM is at its end. There is talk that the next version of OSX won't support the PM processors, so I have to consider that in this equation.

    I'd love to equip the place with new MacPros, but I don't have that choice. I've got to choose between the two... an old model that was top shelf in its day (almost four years ago), or go with newer technology in its consumer level form. If the new model will do the job (albeit with some disadvantages), then that is the one that makes the most sense to go with. Hence my thread...

  12. kermit4161 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    Thanks for the barefeats link. I'll take a look at it tonight.

    The computers (whichever we go with) will be working off of a networked drive or server (if I can convince them to set one up). So the drive speed isn't as big an issue as it could be.

  13. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2003
    I had forgotten that they pulled back the number of RAM slots in the revised DP 1.8 G5. So you're right, that makes the RAM quantity issue kinda moot.

    I have no formal training in computers or engineering, but I picked up a good understanding from the people I hang out with...Isn't L3 cache quite a bit slower than L2 cache? I seem to remember quite a debate about amount of L3 vs L2 in the days of the GHz G4s. A number of people were saying that L3 cache was more or less a stop-gap technique for the technologically weak late G4s. I remember this debate occuring with the DP 1.42 G4 PMs and the design reviews of PPC 970 (which supposedly had such wide processing ability that it didn't need the L3 cache).

    Could you explain the benefit of the C2D L3 cache?
  14. kermit4161 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    I wish I could in specifics... but I can't. I'm just not up on it enough to talk intelligently about it. I do know that reviewers were accounting a lot of the improved processing speed to the increased L3 cache in the 2.0 Ghz model though.

    Actually... I'm really hoping that the new MacPros will be announced/released on Tues., and the prices for the MacPro 2.0 will drop significantly. THAT would be my dream situation come true for this project. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (toes too). But I'm not going to hold my breath. I don't think the prices will come down enough to tempt my bosses.

  15. DenniZ macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    I've seen many people talking about the hard drive, ok maybe it does spin at 5700rpm, but you can buy laptop hard drives that spin at a desktop speed of 7200rpm.
  16. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    I would select the G5 any day over a Mini. The G5 can support 4GB (16GB in last models). You can also install better video cards and plus the G5 just looks cool. G5 all the way!
  17. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    i miss my silver 'supercomputer'

    no CS3 experience on either, but have owned both G5 dual 1.8, and built a c2d 2.0 mini out of a old 1.5 solo. ran cs and cs2 on both, and the mini was faster.

    G5 dual 1.8, 9800 pro se 256mb, 4gb ram, 300gb 3.5" 7200rpm drive

    mini t7200 c2d 2.0, 2gb ram, 100gb 2.5" 7200rpm drive

    seat of the pants, the mini felt much faster in everything except games, and even then on the older stuff, the mini did a pretty decent job. played wow fine.

    you could use something like a firewire ministack if you needed faster drives. actually, since you said you had the skills, i would recommend using an external drive and removing the internal drive, as it's a source of failure and additional heat. the recommendation comes from experience with folding on mini's @ 100% cpu usage on both cores 24/7 for months at a time. only failure EVER has been the internal hard drive. really well designed cooling system.

    as a further resource, look HERE for a comparison between a faster G5 and a slower core duo mini. then look HERE for a quick comparison between the older 1.83 cd mini and the new 2.0 c2d mini. at around 20% faster, the 2.0 c2d would actually outscore the G5 dual 2.3 on everything except drives and video, and neither matter much for what you are proposing to use them for.

    hard to do as my dual g5 was one of my all time favorites, but i would go the mini route due to the stated application, overall speed, power consumption, and cost. oh, and noise! :eek: best of luck.
  18. kermit4161 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2006
    Thanks!! That is exactly what I was looking for. With CS3 being coded for the Intel processor, I'm sure the speeds will just go up on the Mini over CS2.

    Thanks also for the links. I'll pass on this info to the powers that be.


    I agree... the G5 does look cooler :). However the RAM/video cards won't be upgraded if they select the G5. So the advantage of being able to upgrade to better components is negligible. It just won't happen past (maybe) bumping RAM up to 2GB.

    Cheers everyone!
  19. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    rapid access and stuff.

    sorry to bump a mostly done thread, but my friend WIKI might be able to help. have fun with that...:eek::D

    it's like valet parking, except they know you are all done and going home, and have already your car waiting when you show up with your ticket even though you didn't tell them you were leaving, and you are like 'whoa'. sort of. except i never use valet parking.

    oh how about this. no L3 cache is like Dionne Warwick's psychic friends network, and having L3 cache is like having a real psychic person who can see the future and doesn't charge per minute... ;)

    from personal experience, more is always better. technical, i know. i can tell you that the g4 'digital audio 733mhz' with L3 processor kicks the living crap out of my g4 'quicksilver 733mhz' without L3 processor. :eek:


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