iMac vs. Powermac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by EJBasile, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. EJBasile macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    Hey Everyone,

    Which would you reccomend for me (imovie, FCE, itunes, garage band, word, excel, etc)? (edu pricing)

    1) iMac G5 1.8ghz, 512mb Ram, 80gb, 17", SuperDrive: $1466

    2) PowerMac G5 1.8ghz, 512mb Ram, 80gb, SuperDrive: $1426

    I like the iMac because of its small size included monitor (obvisouly) and the good price tag. I do like the powermac though because its not an AIO so if the screen or computer breaks its not like the whole thing is dead. The powermac also can hold more ram, a 2nd hard drive, monitor spaning, and possibly processor upgrades in the future thus probably lasting longer in todays world on growing technology.

    Also other questions:
    1) If I want the BT mouse + keyboard kit- can they (apple store) give that to me and install the module at the store or is that BTO only?
    2) Which computer has a better resale value?
    3) Whats a good LCD to go with the PowerMac around $300?
    4) How loud is the powermac?
    5) Do the iMacs & PowerMacs come with iLife '05?

    Thanks you very much to all who reply!
  2. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    You answered yourself. Go with the powermac, even upgrading to the dual 1.8 if possible. And load it with as much RAM as you can (will help a lot for FCE and GarageBand)

    the BT module has to be installed by apple when you order it. After that you have to get an external USB dongle.
  3. SurfinSHELL23 macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2004
    Aberdeen, NJ
    Well, if you already had a monitor to use I'd say the PM, but it's a rough decision since you'll be out the ~$300 to buy a monitor if you get the PM. They're both beautiful computers, it's so hard to decide!

    Maybe the PM for the expandability, though...
  4. 2A Batterie macrumors 6502a

    2A Batterie

    Jun 9, 2004
    Out of a Suitcase, USA
    do you have a monitor already? You may want to consider the cost of getting a nice LCD if you don't already have one. I've never used a G5 iMac, but my G5 runs fairly quiet. I wouldn't call it "whisper" quiet, but it works fine. I've heard about some noise issues with the iMac, but you may want to search for the forums for some people complaining about that. GBand is a total CPU and RAM hog. I used to use an eMac 800mhz with 1gb RAM and GBand and iMovie brought it to a screaching halt. You can load up the Powermac with lots more memory than the iMac. I would suggest trying to get a dual 1.8 refurb, which are currently at 1699 at the Apple store.
  5. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    It really depends on what your budget allows and what you already have at hand. Looking at your post, I'd guess your budget is in the $1500 area. If that's the case AND you need a display, then the iMac is the only option. If you have a display that you like now, then the PM becomes a viable choice.

    The machines that you listed are functionally identical. The CPU, memory, and FSB are all the same. The GPUs are identical as well. The SD on the PM is faster than the iMacs, I think. For the tasks that you listed, the iMac and the PM will be equally capable, and you'll be happy with either.

    Some things to consider: if you are a "serious" gamer the PM will of course give you the option to upgrade the GPU at some point, but for 'casual' gaming the iMac will suffice. Also, you can build a fairly fast, compact gaming PC (microATX sized mobo/case, Athlon2200, 512mb RAM, 40gb HD, DVD drive, NVidia 6600GT) for under $500 including a KVM switch, just a bit more than a top of the line Mac video card is going to run you, and it will likely perform better for games than a PM w/ an x800.

    Of course the option to add more internal HDs is nice, but 80gb is pretty adequate to hold all of your program and OS needs, and if your data storage space grows beyond that 80gb, external drives will be perfectly adequate for video, audio, or photo work. The prices aren't even that bad; a (MAxtor/WD) SATA 160gb drive is about $100, a 160gb LaCie external drive is $130-140 (depending on USB2 or FW model).

    After all that, you're left with the same choice: $1500 for an iMac, or $1750 and up for a PM and an LCD monitor. If you either have a nice LCD now, or can afford to buy one, the PM is going to be a better deal in the long run. If you have an absolute maximum budget at $1500 and don't have a nice display to go with the PM already, the iMac is a great bargain.

    Also, as a note, you can get a refurbed iMac 17" 1.8ghz for $1299, add $71 for a 3rd party (Crucial) 512mb DIMM, and you're up to $1370 and 768mb of RAM. With the saved $100 you could add a Shuffle, an external 80gb HD, a wireless keyboard/mouse combo (with external dongle, as the refurb can't get the internal BT BTO option), etc.
  6. EJBasile thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    I do have two monitors

    1) a 17" CRT, but its just so big and along with the powermac it would eat up too much of my desk space. An LCD + Powermac would work though.

    2) I also have a dell 15" LCD, but I might get get a 17" LCD for the extra space.

    Ughh- Its a tough decsion! its practically the same computer yet one has more expandability while the other for $50 more has a 17" Wide Screen LCD and is smaller.

    I wasn't quite sure on the first responders answer to my BT question. Can I go to the apple store, and there they can upgrade me to an internal BT module and wireless keyboard and mouse?
  7. jadam macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2002

    They most likely could. It might even be user serviceable, but I wouldn't really know.

    I would say, go for a refurbed iMac, it will save you money in the long run. Plus unless your a gamer, the iMac is perfect, even for games it is rather decent. The thing with the powermac though, is that you can get a nice 9600xt for it for only an extra $45.

    As for displays,

    My friend has one of those on his XPS Gen4, and it is a rather nice monitor.
  8. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I am almost certain that the internal BT module can only be added at the factory where the iMac is built. So if you get one from an Apple Retail store or a refurb model you will not be able to get internal BT.

    It is a tough choice. What's the budget you are working with? It can't be unlimited, else you would be getting a DP 2.5ghz and a 30" ACD... so you must have some upper budget limit. If it's more than $1500, go for the PM add a 9600XT, get a Dell 17" UltraSharp LCD for $250, and use that along with the 15" in a dual display setup.

    If it's less than $1500 get the iMac, unless you absolutely need more than 2gbs of RAM and a better GPU... then get the PM and use the two displays you have now until you can afford something better.

  9. jadam macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2002

    Isn't it just a miniPCI slot inside the iMac that they have to plug it into? Unless they have to install antennas into the case(assuming its not already installed) then I see no reason for them not being able to add it at an apple store. Then again ive never taken apart an iMac so I really don't know.
  10. EJBasile thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    (Still cannot decide)


    My budget is 1500 for the computer but i would be willing to spend the extra $300ish for a LCD.

    I still cannot decide on which. Its a difference of $350-$400 here and some screen real estate, size, etc. I've come up with a pros + Cons list so maybe you guys can help me determine which is best.

    PM Pros:
    Upgradeable, more expandability, better looking iMo (IMO in mac version), Monitor spaning, 8x superdrive, FW800,
    PM Cons:
    Size, No monitor thus more $$, price,

    iMac Pros:
    Price, size, portability from area to area, 17" widescreen LCD,
    iMac Cons:
    Not as sophisticated looking (its cool looking but i like the PM more), not as upgradble, only a 4x superdrive, AIO- one parts dead so then the whole thing is

    Also, DO THESE SYSTEMS COME WITH iLIFE '05?????????

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