G5 Tower, used. Bad idea?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by polaris20, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. polaris20 macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    After working on a friend's dual 1.25Ghz G4 tower and being amazed at how quick it is with Leopard, I am now wanting to get a used Mac, as they are a lot cheaper generally than new. For instance, lots of G5 Power Macs can be had for less than a grand.

    Is this a bad idea, given the rumours of 10.6 being only Intel? Or will Leopard be a viable OS for quite awhile? Or will Apple not ditch their PPC customers?

    Just curious what you guys/girls think. It'd be a shame for Apple to stop supporting PPC OS-wise, especially considering machines from 2002 still run very, very well and are still very much relevant machines, unlike their Windows counterparts of the same era.
  2. 7031 macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2007
    I'm pretty sure Intel won't be supported in 10.6. Why? Well, the Leopard beta didn't have G3 support, and neither does the final one. The 10.6 beta has no PowerPC support and so I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't supported in 10.6.

    Thing is though, if upgradability is worth missing out on any future support, then by all means this might be what you need. Personally though, I would recommend waiting until you could afford a Mac pro.
  3. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think it's a questionable idea less because of Snow Leopard possibly not supporting PPC and more because you can also easily get a newer used iMac C2D for less than $1000, and for most things, unless we're talking about a G5 Quad, the iMac will be faster. People often reject getting an iMac on the basis that they have to "throw away" the screen when they upgrade, but your new computer will have a new screen anyway, so ... and also, unless you have an ACD 30" (which seems unlikely, just since if you're upgrading to a PMG5, you must not have a computer powerful enough to drive one anyway), the iMac probably has a better screen than what you have now anyways.

    If the core question is whether Apple would really drop PPC support by next year, they may or they may not, but I think that most would agree that it's on a scale of things they would do, your reasoning aside, just based on things they have done in the past.

    Other than that, advice concerning buying a G5, know which one you're getting. Know about whether it's one that's very loud in terms of fan noise, if that bothers you. Also know if you're getting into liquid cooling or not, and consider the fact that how long the liquid cooling system will last is somewhat of an unknown. And if you want additional video cards, etc, investigate which interface it uses and whether you'll be able to get something you'd want. Finally, factor in OS upgrade costs... you're probably not going to find a lot of used PMG5's that come with Leopard.
  5. polaris20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    Hmm....used iMac C2D. That's an interesting option that I hadn't thought of. And I'm not concerned about the screen being throwaway; my current one's nothing to write home about. I'll have to check that out!

    Thanks to you and others responding; very helpful!


    Wow, yeah, not a bad idea at all. Check this out:



    Either one would float my boat just fine. I'm assuming these would be quicker than most G5's save the last of the multi-cores.
  6. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    I don't get it. Just because the next OS X will not support PPC, it does not make a G5 any less usable. But honestly, you will gain more for your money if you purchase used intel machines because they are a) faster and b) cheaper.
  7. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Ditto the used iMac idea. Have a look in Apple Refurb. There's some real offers there.

    If you already have a screen, consider a used or refurb Mac Mini.

    Seriously, I wouldn't consider buying a PPC Mac at the moment. The Intel macs are much much faster than the G5. Go for a C2D mac, not a Core Duo (first generation intel macs) as the C2D macs have had some of the bugs ironed out. You can get used / refurb C2D macbooks, mac minis, and iMacs pretty cheap nowadays.

    I'd only look at a PPC if it was just for light use, minor photoshop, web surfing, and you're not aiming to upgrade the OS in the lifetime of the computer (ie. give it to a granny)

    My macbook (C2D 2.2ghz with 4GB ram) is far faster than most powermacs (including older G5s) - only the most recent G5 models are faster. (not including gaming graphics :rolleyes: )
  8. polaris20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    Mainly because I am concerned with patches, security and otherwise. Even Tiger has the features I want, but if future apps only support a version of OSX I cannot use, then that's a concern.

    That being said, I think I'll be on the lookout for a C2D iMac, either used or refurb. It'll suit me fine. I do light audio (24/44.1, 24-30 tracks) so it should do well with that.
  9. Bobjob186 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2005
    Laguna Beach
    The only G5 you should get is the G5 powerbook... and seeing that they still haven't made that baby you should stay away. They're all messed up one way or another, just stay away from them.
  10. MarcBook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Cheap Mac Pro?

    I bet you could find a fairly cheap early revision Mac Pro out there... I mean, any Mac Pro, even the lowest models, will still be blisteringly fast. They are professional-grade workstation towers, after all. Plus, the Mac Pro form factor hasn't changed since its introduction, so future upgrades should be fairly easy to install. Tool-less, even.
  11. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    I would love a cheap Mac Pro but the cheapest one I have found was $1,800 for the 2.66GHz.

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