Looking to buy a 2005 iMac G5

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Murblur, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Murblur macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2010
    I am looking at buying a G5 or comparable system for the sole purpose of learning electronic music production. I want something that makes financial sense so I am looking into used units.

    Someone I know wants to sell me the following for $800.00 -
    Specs are as follows:
    2005 G5
    2.3 Dual Processor
    250 gb HD
    2gb Ram
    256 Mb
    geforce 6600 graphics card
    Computer does have Logic and Garage Band

    20.1" Viewsonic Monitor included.

    Can someone with some knowledge help me understand if this is a good starting point for me? One friend said do not do it unless it is the Intel G5... I need some other thoughts on this please!

  2. Durious macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2008
    Calgary, Alberta
    G5 is PPC not intel, however unless the software cannot run on intel I don't see a specific reason to invest in ppc however i do not work in the audio industry
  3. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    With those specs, tell him you aren't paying no more that $600. $800 for a 5 year old computer that can't even run the latest OS (OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard), and is known for faulty capacitors shouldn't be going for more that $600. If he/she won't lower the price, buy a used Mac mini from ebay or pay $699 and get a new one from apple and get a display for it. Oh, you need a keyboard and mouse. But $800 for outdated specs and hardware that can't run the latest OS is a bit too much.
  4. Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
  5. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Not for $800. You can get a quad G5 system that will smoke that 2.3 for less than that. Thats a $350 system right there.
  6. Murblur thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2010
  7. Murblur thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2010
    I need to understand all the terminology and technology so thank you for pointing that out!! I appreciate your feedback...
  8. Murblur thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2010
    Excellent advice. Thank you!
  9. Devie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I have a 2005 G5, not that one though, its the revision before it clocked in at 2.0 GHz. It is showing its age quite badly now, still completely usable and is fine for things like surfing and emails, but doing audio? I'm pretty sure it would need a bit of a meaner system to handle the new software. I wouldn't go for anything other than an intel processor if you're keen on getting second hand.
  10. dudeofblokes macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2007
    carrickfergus, northern ireland, united kingdom
    id second this, although a beautiful machine to look at with scope for some upgrades like memory, graphics and harddrive, you can easily get a mac mini for that cash which runs a intel chip leaving you with more scope for future work and the ability to keep the operating system up to date
  11. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth

    Brief history lesson:

    On June 6, 2005 Apple opted to switch from using the PowerPC architecture processors switching to Intel.

    Prior to that time all Mac computers ran on Motorola or IBM PowerPC processors.

    Even though the PowerMac computers of that time were capable machines, you will be FAR better off buying a used Intel Mac Mini which will be more capable yet.

    One thing you need to know about the tower G5 machines is that the liquid cooled models tended to leak (I am an owner of a G5 tower that leaked).
    One other thing you need to know, G5s run HOT (cpu temps in the 180 degree range under load, backside of the memory controller as high as 213 deg fahrenheit). It serves as a room heater in winter. In the summer it can be unbearable without air conditioning.
    One other thing you need to know, G5s use a LOT of electricity (my electric bill has been excessive for the last five years I've owned the thing - over 350 watts in regular operation).

    The repairs for the leak were VERY expensive and I had Applecare so I didn't have to pay $3000 for the repair. Next up, the power supplies tend to be brittle. I'd hate to see you buy an old, obsolete computer only to be dead in the water in six months.


    A Mac Mini will have more horsepower than the G5, and will generally be a more capable useful system with faster memory, faster processors (and fabbed at a smaller nanometer) all around better.

    The other downside of PowerPC processor Macs: You are stuck at 10.5 Leopard. There is no Snow Leopard upgrade for PPC machines. There are software packages you WILL NOT be able to run.

    Want the latest version of Logic Studio? The premiere Mac based digital audio workstation application? Forget it, it only works on Intel processor Macs with Snow Leopard. My G5 has 3 TB of disc and 8 gigs of ram and a super hot video card but it can't run it. It runs the last version but that's not current.

    Some more examples - want to stream a Netflix movie? Only works on Intel Macs under Snow Leopard. Doesn't matter how fast your processors are or how much ram you've got, you're locked out.

    Want to run Steam Mac games? Only available on Intel Macs. Same problem.

    Get the picture? Do yourself a favor and seek out a 2-3 year old Intel based Mac if price is a problem and go from there. Or better yet: seek out a NEW Mac at the online store at apple.com and look at the reduced prices of REFURBED machines that make terrific values.
  12. Murblur thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2010
    FANTASTIC!!!!! I really appreciate your time to help me understand this. Very good information for me to now have a better understanding of what I'm looking at. I will start looking at the Mac Mini and start heading in another direction.
  13. dudeofblokes macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2007
    carrickfergus, northern ireland, united kingdom
    proof why the macrumors community is so fantastic with people willing to go out of their way to help others.

    i wish you luck with your hunt i cant see you being disappointed and if you save any money over what you were willing to spend consider an external harddrive and you will have a great system than should last u some time.
  14. mdavies macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2010
    our g5 tower runs hot. We had to get the logic board (motherboard) replaced because the Firewire ports went out. After the board was replaced, the ports still didn't work. About a year or so later, I tried a Firewire port and weirdly enough, it worked!! We also have problems with its fan running really high. Another problem it has is that it won't sleep. When we put it to sleep, it'll just wake up. It is quirky and has weird problems which we can't figure out.

    Besides that, it's PPC and I can't install Snow Leopard on it. I really wish I could use Snow on it.

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