Looking for clarification on Dual Core?

reefdad

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Original poster
Mar 3, 2012
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I am considering buying a desktop computer for the family. My wife and I have always had and still have laptops. When shopping I am understanding all the specs of a computer but I don't think I am understanding the Dual Core concept on the power mac's, can Someone please explain it to me. I would like to buy a used power mac for the family desktop computer. I will probably use it for pictures, video games, homework all internet activities and well as a central unit for our home network. I have been looking at dual 2GHz systems. I guess my question is will a dual 2GHz power mac be a big upgrade from 2.66GHz macbook pro's?

Thanks
Erik
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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Dual core means that there is two CPU cores. Some Mac Pros are dual core and some PowerMac G4 and G5's are dual core. Then there are the quad core Mac Pros and PowerMac G5s and the eight core Mac Pros. All Mac Pros have at least two core and there are some PowerMac G5's that have only one core.

Going from a Mac Pro to a PowerMac G5 is going to be a downgrade unless you have the last generation PowerMac G5 and it is fully upgraded.
 

reefdad

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Original poster
Mar 3, 2012
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Dual core means that there is two CPU cores. Some Mac Pros are dual core and some PowerMac G4 and G5's are dual core. Then there are the quad core Mac Pros and PowerMac G5s and the eight core Mac Pros. All Mac Pros have at least two core and there are some PowerMac G5's that have only one core.

Going from a Mac Pro to a PowerMac G5 is going to be a downgrade unless you have the last generation PowerMac G5 and it is fully upgraded.
So a Dual Core 2GHz power PC G5 porcessor dosent have the potential to run a 4GHz? I am misunderstanding? And it will be slower that a 2.66 Mac book Pro Laptop?
 
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Intell

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Both cores run at 2Ghz, not a combined speed of 4Ghz. Most PPC Macs, like a PowerMac G5, will be slower than most Intell based Macs.
 

reefdad

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Mar 3, 2012
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Both cores run at 2Ghz, not a combined speed of 4Ghz. Most PPC Macs, like a PowerMac G5, will be slower than most Intell based Macs.
If I am looking for the next step up from my laptops, (keeping in mind that this is only a family computer) what should I be looking for?
 

reefdad

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Original poster
Mar 3, 2012
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any mac boom pro ever made is dual core, it is a dual core c2duo most likely

that is about double as pod as that mac
If I am looking for the next step up from my laptops, (keeping in mind that this is only a family computer) what should I be looking for?
 

Intell

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Jan 24, 2010
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If I am looking for the next step up from my laptops, (keeping in mind that this is only a family computer) what should I be looking for?
For a family computer, any Intell based Core2Duo or better Mac will be fine. Even a lowly Mac Mini will be adequate. While not a speed demon like your Macbook Pro, it will be faster than any PPC Mac.
 

reefdad

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Original poster
Mar 3, 2012
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Is this worth $500? This is what I am looking at!

4gb ram (can take 16)
4gb of used untested Ram.
Extra Nvidia video card (not compatible with latest leopard but works great with Tiger)
4x 2.5 ghz quad G5 powerhouse processor.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
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Is this worth $500? This is what I am looking at!

4gb ram (can take 16)
4gb of used untested Ram.
Extra Nvidia video card (not compatible with latest leopard but works great with Tiger)
4x 2.5 ghz quad G5 powerhouse processor.
It may have been a "powerhouse" in 2005...

2.66GHz MBP: 3500
2.5GHz Quad G5: 3280

Still slower than your current Macbook Pro if it is core 2 duo. If it is 2.66 i7 the laptop destroys the G5 at geekbench @5500. Also those Quads suck a tremendous amount of power to run and have the added bonus of possible leaking liquid cooling. I wouldn't spend anything on it. EOL.
 

Wardenski

macrumors 6502
Jan 22, 2012
464
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IMO investing any money on a powerpc machine is a waste of money in 2012 and you won't be able to play any modern game with it. Your macbook pro will run circles around it...which is presumably dual core.
 

reefdad

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 3, 2012
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It may have been a "powerhouse" in 2005...

2.66GHz MBP: 3500
2.5GHz Quad G5: 3280

Still slower than your current Macbook Pro if it is core 2 duo. If it is 2.66 i7 the laptop destroys the G5 at geekbench @5500. Also those Quads suck a tremendous amount of power to run and have the added bonus of possible leaking liquid cooling. I wouldn't spend anything on it. EOL.
If I want to buy a Mac Pro what should I be looking for, and I would like to spend under $1000.00 since it will mostly be for the kids!
 

Umbongo

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Sep 14, 2006
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If I want to buy a Mac Pro what should I be looking for, and I would like to spend under $1000.00 since it will mostly be for the kids!
Get them an Intel Mac Mini. If you wait the new ones might have cheaper quad-core options.
 

applephanatic

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Nov 10, 2011
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Everywhere you aren't
I think a Mac mini would be a great idea! however you have to buy all the accessories. They are a nice little computer. If you are lucky you might be able to snag a refurbed one. However and this is just me, I would go for a iMac, seeing how the main use will be homework and gaming, a iMac is always good. I have a 2011 one and its quite impressive. Obviously from the sounds of it, you dont need a powerhouse computer, but u could check out amazon or even apple refurb to see what you can find

iMac

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/imac/21

Mac Mini

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/mac_mini

hope this helps!
 

The-Pro

macrumors 65816
Dec 2, 2010
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since you were looking at used computers in the first place.
Look for a 2009 iMac with a Core 2 Duo (stay away from the one with the 9400M graphics card though) or a 2010 with an i3. They will be plenty fast for your needs. You can get those for under 800.
Or look at Mac minis. At least 2010 versions. they'll be at least 400. and thats without a screen, keyboard, mouse.
Best choice for a family computer is definitely a iMac.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
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I am considering buying a desktop computer for the family. My wife and I have always had and still have laptops. When shopping I am understanding all the specs of a computer but I don't think I am understanding the Dual Core concept on the power mac's, can Someone please explain it to me. I would like to buy a used power mac for the family desktop computer. I will probably use it for pictures, video games, homework all internet activities and well as a central unit for our home network. I have been looking at dual 2GHz systems. I guess my question is will a dual 2GHz power mac be a big upgrade from 2.66GHz macbook pro's?

Thanks
Erik
All Macbook Pros are already dual core.

This machine is slower than your Macbook Pro. It's not an upgrade, it's a downgrade.

Also don't buy anything with "Power" in the name. Those names were used for really old machines that aren't compatible with much. Avoid anything with a G5, G4, or G3. You'll be good with almost any machine with an Intel processor.

(The Mac Mini recommendation above is a good one. Even a used Intel Mac Mini isn't a pretty good idea.)
 

wallysb01

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2011
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If I want to buy a Mac Pro what should I be looking for, and I would like to spend under $1000.00 since it will mostly be for the kids!
If its for kids I wouldn't get them a Mac Pro. It costs too much for what kids will use the machine for, even for something from 2008.

I second the idea of a mac mini. If your kids want to play graphics intensive games the base mini will be a pretty big disappointment with its Intel integrated HD graphics. Basic games, like flash games on Facebook or something will be fine, but not much more. Though if your kids are really into games, they probably want a PC.

I'm not sure I'd wait for the next Mac Mini if its just for your kids either. The ivy bridge processors for the Mac Mini probably won't be ready until into the summer. This is because the mobile processors usually lag the desktop ones. The intel integrated graphics should be substantially better with Ivy bridge, but in real life gaming, its probably not going to be enough if graphics intensive games are really a priority.

This mac mini might be a good option if you want to keep it comfortably under $1000 once you add a monitor/keyboard/mouse: http://www.powermax.com/parts/show/c-u75662.
 

Fuchal

macrumors 68020
Sep 30, 2003
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I definitely recommend the 2.5ghz Mac Mini model. It will be perfect for your needs.
 

BigJohno

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You guys are making it very confusing. Reefdad, get a 2011 refurbished iMac from the apple online store. You can geta student discount as well to save even more. Any of the 2011 models will provide loads of performance and will last you a few years.

Just my 2 cents.