How Troublesome...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by fatzmack, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. fatzmack macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2004
    I'm a third year graphic design/illustration major who intends to update his three year ol' g3 500mhz ibook [dual usb model] with a powermac. I'm taking classes that make my g3 ibook absolutely useless, and i hate spending my time at the graphic design lab. Anyways, I'd like to raise some questions... clear things up.

    For starters, I've noticed posts in various mac forums that there has been a significant amount of complaints in regards to "chirping"? and "fan-related noise'?, something that is not suppose to happen? Admittedly, I know that something as fast as the new g5's will obvious make some noise, but nothing to which it would be as annoying as some people have claimed [chirping]. Should I be concerned about such issues? Or is it simply overblown?

    Second, as much as I want to purchase a g5, I'd still like to save some money. As powerful as the g5 is, do you think I should go that far up in the product line? I talked to an apple specialist and he suggested that I purchase a g4 instead. Thought it was more appropriate. Btw, I do heavy work with Illustrator, Painter, Photoshop and the likes, usually at the same time (multi tasking). The guy also mentioned that having worked previously as a graphic designer himself, that most businesses in the line of graphic work were still stuck on the g4 line and probably won't upgrade to the new g5's anytime soon... I've configured a g4 and a g5 at the apple store and compared the stats... basically, a dual 1.2 g4 w/ 20 in apple cinema display, and all the shingles for roughly 3200. now, a dual 1.8 g5 w/ 20 in apple cinema display, and all the shingles for just 600 more. Is that extra 600 worth it? How long would each of them last me? *sigh*

    Third, should I simply buy a ... dun dun dun, PC? I've been a dedicated mac user for three years now [ever since i started college w/ my first and current mac, the ibook] but the fact that rev b upgrades in the g5 powermac product line are stallin' ass, it frustrates me. I know things will always be upgraded, and you're bound to lose some money b/c of it... but wouldn't it suck if i bought a dual 1.8 g5 now, only to have it arrive at my door around the time when the rev b's are out? When I'm shelling nearly 4000 for somethin, i don't like the idea that it's not worth that much anymore right after doing so. So, why not just get a friggin' pc. Saves me ****load of money, i can tolerate the bug ridden os... lookin at an athlon ABS system right now... but I love my mac!! Grrr... yeah, that's the gist of it. I figure I can wait til March to see if the rev b powermacs come out and nab myself one of those (hopefully they'll have all the rev a issues taken care of i.e. chirping, hum noise, quicktime issues...)... but I'm also tempted to just forget the powermac and switch back to the windows world. How troublesome...

    any comments, suggestions and the likes greatly appreciated.
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    G4...G5...Graphic design....

    In reference to the G4 vs G5...there are many threads in reference to that decision/dilemma and they all invariably side w/ the G5. Without going into too much detail, the gist is that the performance of the G5 will scale better over time, and when you are spending that much $$$ you want your machine to last.
    As far as a PC goes, it will invariably be a cheaper option, but well, you know the downside(s). I hardly ever use modern pc's(or XP) so I cannot comment on the pain-in-the-a** quotient...
    I am not that familiar with the chirping noise you describe, I have just heard of some excessive fan noise, but w/ 6 fans...some is to be expected, but I know they must be quieter than the last-generation(s) of G4s...not sure how much an issue that will be...
    Yes, revB G5 would be nice(as many have noted, to put it politely..)but how desperate are you? Can you wait 3-6 months(give or take)? Even so, would you buy a rev a @ a discount? If so, look for a refurbished rev a NOW. Cheaper than new, and almost guaranteed not to have any quirks like a brand-new machine might...(i.e chirping)
    Lastly, do you own any(or many) expensive Graphic design programs (or any expensive programs for that matter)? An important consideration for choosing PC vs MAC...even if you do not now, eventually you will and you will be somewhat tied to that platform(*hint*which platform would you rather be tied to?)
    BTW, if you are concerned about $$$, and you do alot of multitasking...I would ditch the 20" apple LCD and spend the money on mucho ram(available space a big plus for G5) and buy a cheap CRT for a while, or possibly a Dell LCD (which are pretty cheap..,)
    Hope to be of assistance...
  3. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    My advice would be to go G5, then sell it within a year, invest a bit more money, and get a new computer. If you stay on an upgrade path like this, which seems to be the preferred method for pros, you'll always have a great computer but you won't have to scrounge for cash like you do when you wait a few years, for your old machine to lose most of it's resale value.

  4. masterjedi73 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2004
    Don't get a pc. I've done some mild graphics work on both pc and mac and mac is infinitely easier and faster. It's just a better system.
  5. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    for the applications you are using you would have no problem with either system. Whatever you choose just make sure you have plenty of RAM. I would spend the cheaper money on the G4 and load it up with RAM instead of going for the G5.

    I do more video work than graphics work and have had no problems with my PB which should be a slug compared to either of the machines you are looking into.
  6. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Definitely get the G5. That $600 extra is leaps and bounds in performance and the overall life of the machine. The G5 has such a faster bus, RAM, I/O and AGP that it will last a lot longer.

    However, i want to question you as to what "all the shingles" are. Are you buying things that are worth the money for a graphic designer? Are you buying the RAM from Apple? If you post the specs that you are looking at, we could probably give you some more suggestions.
  7. Crikey macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2004
    Spencer's Butte, Oregon
    The "chirping" and audio problems I've read about have not been acoustic sounds like fan noise, but artifacts in the Mac's audio output (they come out of your speakers, not directly out of your Mac). Not all Macs seem to be affected. Many of those with problems are using prosumer or better FireWire-based external audio interfaces.

    That is one of the things I do with my G4, so I'm going to wait for upgrades to the G5 line before I jump. For your purposes, I'd buy a G5 over a G4, and if it won't kill you, I'd wait a month or two just to see what happens.

    My sweetie bought her 466MHz G4 tower two weeks before they replaced that model with a 733MHz one.

    You can't escape obsolescence in the computer industry, but there have been consistent rumors of upgraded G5s lately. For me, it's worth it to wait for a few months.


  8. fatzmack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2004
    these are the following configurations i am considering [with a budget of $4000, give or take an extra 100 or 2 if need be]...

    dual 1.8ghz powerpc g5 [$3960 approx.]
    - 512mb ram (+another gig from
    - 160 gb hd
    - ati radeon 9600
    - apple cinema display 20"
    - superdrive
    - app

    refurbed dual 2.0ghz powerpc g5 [$3947 approx.]
    - 512mb ram (+ another gig from
    - 160 gb hd
    - nvidia geforce fx 5200
    - apple cinema display 20"
    - superdrive
    - app

    amd athlon 64 3000+ [$2700 approx.]
    - 1536mb ram (corsair pc3200-xms ddr400)
    - 120 gb hd (western digital)
    - 256mb nvidia geforce fx 5600, dual heads, 8x agp
    - 16x/48x lite on dvdrom, 52x/32x/52x lite on cdrw
    - soundblaster audigy 2 with 1394 firewire port, 6.1 channel
    - 6 usb 2..0 ports
    - samsung LCD 19" 191T

    ...i've made the decision to disregard the g4 powermac, and move on to either the g5 or something like the amd athlon configuration mentioned above.

    i think i have the patience to wait til the rev b's come out... assuming it's around march. as for the refurb, i figure i could buy it now, assuming i can't wait for the rev b's, and the pc seems rather good, considering the $1300 differential... more or less.

    *shrugs* the g5 is still dreamy :)
  9. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    G4 should have been replaced with a G5 2 years ago. Do i need to go on? Think stagnation,more stagnation,and some more this was and is Motorola. G5 is the answer.
    Forget the Apple display they are overpriced. Get the most horsepower and buy someone elses 19 or 20" also the dual refurb 2.0 G5 should have a 9600 allready with it. the rest of G5s come with fx5200. Fx5200 isnt a very good card many benches prove this. Go for the horsepower everything else is secondary. my 1 cts worth.
  10. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Actually, as seen in another thread, for anything but high-res gaming, the FX5200 keeps up with the 9600. This will probably not be true with future gaming (Doom3 comes to mind) but by that time, you will want a 9800+ anyway. (In other words, if the machines comes with a FX5200, dont worry about it, it doesnt matter at all for 2D).

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