How come the design of the G5 tower is so inferior to the design of the G4?


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 31, 2006
Why is this? I've always wondered.

1. G4 holds 4 Hard Drives, G5 Holds 2.
2. G4 holds 2 Optical Drives, G5 Holds 1.
3. G4 has the great door on the side for easy upgrade.
4. G4 has a Backside Bus and a Level 3 Cache. G5 Has neither. Only a Frontside bus, and a Level 2 Cache.


Please redeem yourself with the Mac Pro Mr. Jobs!!!


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 31, 2006
In that case I can hope for the return of the Backside Bus/Level 3 Cache/4 hard drives/2 optical drives, in the Mac Pro, right?

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
London, UK
The liquid cooling system in the G5 macs takes up half the case, there's not that much space left after that. I have to admit it is a sorry affair that the G5s only have space for 1 optical drive and 2 hard drives. Even ancient Dells with the old standard 2 ide channels had space for 4 drives!!
How many drives does the G5 hardware actually support, i.e. before space constraints? My DFI mobo on my A64 system supports up to 12 drives I think as standard, 4 SATA, 4 Raid SATA (or single) and 4 ATA.
Personally i'm expecting (and hoping) that the new Intel Powermacs support 4 ATA and 4 SATA drives, with space for 2 opticals and 4 hard drives. Hell, they'd better have space for four hard drives, I've got three drives waiting to go in one besides the drive that'll come with it!!


macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2002
New York
only the last generation MDD supported all the options you listed, i believe they made G4 for at least 3 years prior to your January 2003 Dual 1.25 G4. The quicksilver of 2001 and 2002 had only 3 ram slots for upto 1.5GB ram, 3 hard drives, and one optical bay/w option for a zip. and in fact you can have upto 5 drives very easy inside a G5. Let's see what the Intel powermacs bring us before badmouthing the G5s, Hell i love my G4 (specs below) but I'd kill for PCI-E slots and all the wonders that the G5 brings. Who needs a 2MB L3 when you get 2MB L2, the G4 only had up to 256KB of L2, thats why the giant L3 (which is much much slower then L2) and i'll take a 1.25GHZ front size bus over the 167MHZ bus the G4 had. my 2 cents


Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
The G4s haven't used the L3 cache in a long time, especially since the L3 cache has been very problematic for Motorola for years -- and hasn't had it's memory bus updated in a long time, still DDR.

The G4s with the larger L2 cache performed better than the G4 with a L3 at a lower cost -- to get a boost from the L3 would be rather expensive high speed DDR, and would only run at a fraction of the core clock speed.

Everything else is packaging.

The G5 has an updated frontside bus and memory architecture, something that Motorola never delivered -- both IBM and Freescale demanded tens of millions of dollars in fees to begin looking at the next generation.

The G5s problem was power and heat, it was it's achille's heel -- and Apple refused to pay to correct the problem.

The G4 was efficient, extremely so, but lacked a modern bus and an updated 64-bit memory architecture.