G5 tower VS NEW IMAC which is better?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kincept, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. kincept macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #1
    This will be my first mac purchase, I will mainly be using it for music , running REASON and logic on it.

    I cant help but look at the G5 towers like a 2.4 ghz dual with 4 g ram with expansion up to 16 gb. 1000 fsb per proccessor?

    vs Imac 20 in 2.1 ghz duo 1 g of ram.

    which will be the best for me for now and in the future? it seem sthat the price of a tower g5 is great used. but I wonder what limitations i'll have with that over the next few years vs. IMAC? MUSIC Minded!
     
  2. gdesalvo@umail. macrumors member

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    May 1, 2007
    #2
    I would definitely go for the iMac 20 inch assuming it is a core 2 duo and not a core duo. The intel processor is what apple and your applications will support for future updates and as you said you want something which will last for the next few years. I would get the 20 inch imac and spend 100$ later on getting 4gb of ram for it. It is easy to install and will boost performance. Yes you probably are taking a small hit in terms of processor and bus performance but the ability to use new functions, peripherals and other not yet released utilities-not to mention probably an update to OSX itself within a couple of years-make the iMac the better choice in my opinion.
     
  3. kincept thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #3
    when do you think the next IMAC will come out or I should say IMAC update?
    I would hate to buy a IMAC right now and have a more powerfull version released months later???? Just your OPinion?

    You advice is spot on!
     
  4. a104375 macrumors 6502

    a104375

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    #4
    i would deffinity get the imac because it has intel and can run pretty much everything
     
  5. Flyer0815 macrumors 6502

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    PA
    #5
    Intel is clearly the way of the future. At this stage of the intel transition, and all major apps being intel native, I wouldn't look at a g5 machine. I think its days of service are numbered. Go the intel iMac route.
     
  6. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #6
    Get the iMac. As for updates, if you're afraid that there might be better hardware in coming months after purchase, then you should stay away from technology for good. I see the current line getting a speed bump around August.
     
  7. elmo151 Guest

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    NYC
    #7
    agreed. get an intel based machine.
     
  8. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #8
    If you are recording then you should get the G5 since it can take PCI sound cards. Otherwise G5's are ridiculously slow compared to Core 2 Duos (hell, they were slow compared to pentium 4's...)
     
  9. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    Ireland
    #9
    Even though I used a G5 Power Mac for a couple of very productive years, unfortunately I too must agree with those who recommend going the Intel route.
     
  10. BryanLyle macrumors 6502a

    BryanLyle

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  11. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #11
    iMac, and just use a Firewire sound interface...
     
  12. gdesalvo@umail. macrumors member

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    May 1, 2007
    #12
    The buyer's guide is a good place to start. I would buy the iMac refurbished, that way you are paying less for a basically brand new machine and you still get the full applecare coverage for a year. I do not follow the iMac market as I mostly use mobile computers (iphone, macbook, macbook pro). I personally would not worry about it too much as the performance increase is not likely to be significant, possibly 10%. Although for sound SSE4 might help? not sure, anyone have a definite answer on that 1? If SSE4 is not of any use to you I would not worry about it and get it now. As you said you are looking to get a machine to last you a few years, so it probably will not make much difference in the long term wether you wait a few more months for an apple refresh. Either way you get a pretty good machine that should be able to fullfill your needs. Personally I would go to the apple store or a friends house to see if the processor is good/fast enough for you.

    As a side note if you are into casual gaming you might want to wait for the refresh as it might include a better GPU? Really depends on your personal use.
     
  13. kincept thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #13
    yes i know i know dont buy a computer if your worried about a better one. I just wanted to get as close to 3 ghz as possible and want a fast Front side BUS. I was hoping the update would give better fronside bus and bring the 2.8 ghz down to the lower level imac.

    I have a tc konnekt 24 D interface firewire interface.

    Im so excited to use the NEW LOGIC it looks nice.

    Is software safe on ebay? I found some for under 400 new? just wondering if there are copies out there?
     
  14. kincept thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #14
    I cant help but consider the 17inch refurbished Imac for 849,
    How well do you think this would run logic with multple tracks?

    vs a refurbished 2.4 ghz aluminum imac. the only difference I see for the extra money is slight processor increase, double hardrive and a bit more fsb
     
  15. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #15
    Depends on what 17: you see, but assuming its the Core 2 Duo with X1600 (not GMA950) here is how it compares to 2.4 20":

    - Slower CPU (2 GHZ vs 2.4)
    - Takes 3 GB RAM max (vs 4 GB in alu.)
    - 160 HD vs 320 GB HD
    - Smaller screen (1440x900 17" vs 1680x1050 20")
    - Slower video card (probably doesn't matter in your case)
    - Slower FSB (667 MHz vs 800 MHz)
    - 2 FW400 ports vs 1 FW400 and 1 FW800
    - worse looking than aluminium.

    The Alu is a much better deal.

    BTW, don't get G5. Even at same GHz Core 2 Duo is much faster and the whole PPC architecture is fading away (Intel-only software is already a reality)

    Still, if you are any serious about audio, I suggest you get a single-CPU Mac Pro. Its just on another level compared to the iMac both performance-wise and functionally. Mac Pro was built for this kind of work and will last you a lot longer.
     
  16. gdesalvo@umail. macrumors member

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    May 1, 2007
    #16
    All good points, only one thing that I believe that you should note. The new iMacs aluminum all have a GLOSSY screen which in my opinion is complete rubbish. The glossy screen increases eye strain and glare, while taking away from contrast. This might make the older 17 inch worth it so long as it is a core 2 duo.

    You should again go to a friend's house and play with their glossy imac, the store uses special lighting so I would not consider it a good test ground for glossy displays. I would play with it for a few hours and see if you start getting headaches/dizziness.

    Good luck. If you find that the refurb iMac does not work for you a macbook pro is always an option for around 1500. It gives you good mobility, a SR platform and a decent graphics card + 15 inch display at the same resolution as the 17 inch imac. The Macbook pro is due for an update very soon and might also be a good buying choice. It is nice to be able to use it on the move. I'm waiting for apple to release the new MBP so that I can update myself from my 3 months old MBP.

    The disadvantage here is that your internal HD will be about half the size and a tad slower...but being able to use it at night in front of the TV is something that I have come to appreciate.
     
  17. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Russia
    #17
    I didn't mention the glossy vs matte because in normal room lighting conditions (no window behind you) it looks the same as matte. Plus, he'll be using the computer for audio, so precise color accuracy/saturation isn't an issue.
     
  18. kabunaru Guest

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    Jan 28, 2008
    #18
    Neither, get a single-processor 2.8GHz Mac Pro.
     
  19. Gaelic1 macrumors member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Mountains of No. California
    #19
    I agree. I sold my G5 tower and bought an iMac 20" and used the extra $ to max out the memory. This works out very well for me and will handle all the newer programs needing the Intel processing. The G5 tower, a good machine, is still a step back.
     
  20. kincept thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #20
    great advice!
    I didn't see a single processor mac pro?
    I did see a refurbished mac pro 2.6 ghz dual for 1999 which seems like a great deal? would those processors be upgradable down the line?

    do I really need all that power? Im not doing video work, Yes I do music but not a ton complicated, reason 3.0 doesn't drain the computer and I imagine Logic designed for mac wont drain it either. unless Im doing a billion plugins or vst's or something.

    I guess i feel a bit guilty buying a TOP of the LINE mac made for super professionals , but when I compare the price vs longevity of let say a 2.4 ghz IMAC @ 1299 is 1999 really that much more for what you get? prob not. But I gotta add the screen into factor also! Cant have a non apple screen for my first mac:):):cool:
     
  21. Bunzi2k4 macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    San Diego, California
    #21
    Hey, my dad composes a lot of music via reason and logic. His biggest issue is ram. He's made his own sample libraries and they take up a lot of space. He bought a MacPro and loves it. My dad says the higher the quality in samples, the more ram you'll need. 1 gig of ram might be too little for reason and logic.
     
  22. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #22
    My friend is using Cubase on his 17" iMac G5 with 1 GB of RAM and it works pretty good. He also uses a firewire interface but he doesn't really do any "hardcore" recording yet.

    I would recommend getting the Intel iMac for sure though. The 24" iMac would be amazing if you can afford it. All that extra screen space comes in handy for all the audio controls.
     
  23. KJdanReuben macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    #23
    I think I would have to agree with the people that said to get the single quad-core Mac Pro. You can choose a single processor when you are customizing it. I mainly agree with them because it can hold so much more RAM. Although, the Santa Rosa chipset in the Aluminum iMac can support 8gb Ram.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=358614&highlight=SR+mbp+memory+limit

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=367006&highlight=SR+mbp+memory+limit

    There are two threads that cover that. I think I would still, however, go with the Mac Pro. The expansion options are so much greater. I also think that the single quad-core has an empty processor slot. So, you may be able to add another processor in the future (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong). Just buy a monitor. It doesn't have to be Apple. I believe this setup would last you a lot longer.
     
  24. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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  25. kincept thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #25

    If the mac pro could just come down a bit in price I would be sold. the imac can hold4 g ram so 1 g is not a concern.

    Im running reason and reaper on a toshiba celron M 1.6 ghz it works fine, except if I want to sample above 44.1 khz.

    those new chips sound promising I would love to get closer to 1066 Front side bus,
     

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