Mac Mini or G5 tower.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Rafalski24, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Rafalski24 macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Yes strange question. I just can't seem to bring myself to buy such a low power machine for 600 bucks. I want a computer for my big LCD in the family room. And the mac mini certainly fits the bill. Would it be idiotic to buy something like a dual 2.0GHz G5 tower instead. I know the G5's are out of date. But wouldn't it be able to play 1080p? Any ideas as to where to get a gently used mac mini for a good deal. Looked on local craigslist (boulder/denver area) not seeing much. Thanks!
  2. abev macrumors newbie


    Jun 20, 2010
  3. bvanlieu macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2008
    You can't bring yourself to buy such a 'low power' computer? I imply you mean the processing power, which if you did some research you would realize that CD2 Mini's will out perform a G5 in most tasks you throw at it. I believe Anand posted an article to this effect a few weeks ago (reviewing current Mini but last gen is not much different in terms of overall performance).

    If you mean power as in raw consumption, then the G5 will win hands down and your local utility company will be happier.

    To use your own words, it would be idiotic to buy a G5 and expect it to play back flawless 1080p, especially if you spend more then say $300 on the setup.

    I have a 2.26 refurb last generation Mini ($499 when they are in the store) as my HTPC. 1080i playback with Plex and 9400m hardware assist means about 30% CPU utilization. Many other forum owners enjoy the same. No apple branded PPC can do that . :D

    Happy hunting,

    - b
  4. MattA macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    My Mac Mini runs circles around my G5. I wouldn't touch a PPC anymore unless I had a specific reason to. I had a single proc 1.6Ghz G5, and it wouldn't play 720p properly let alone 1080p. My early 2009 2.0Ghz Mac Mini will play any video file you throw at it with no problems.

    Save your money on the G5 and get the Mini. It's a much MUCH better investment.
  5. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2009
    You should avoid spending any significant time or money on any PowerPC Mac. Apple has been steadily dropping all support for each PowerPC Mac model upon seven years after that particular model was last sold. Desktop, notebook, and server; it makes no difference.

    For that matter, I strongly suspect that Apple will kill support for all 32 bit Intel Macs as soon as they can. But those owners with a Core 2 Duo or better are in good shape as they've got a dual core 64 bit Intel machine that shares too much with current offerings to be abandoned any time soon.

    It's a shame, really. The PowerPC had an excellent programming model and a clean instruction set. But IBM just couldn't be motivated to make desktop and notebook versions that were competitive with the x86 chips.
  6. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2005
    Get the G5 if you can get it for $200 or less (and assuming it's 2.0 dual or better). At that price, a G5 is worth it as a casual use machine, or a server of some kind.

    Most people in my area (and elsewhere, I assume) are trying to sell dual G5s for $500 or more. Under no circumstances should you pay that kind of money for one. At that price, definitely buy a faster mini.
  7. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth

    I was the biggest G5 proponent around. My G5 2.5 dual is a great machine.

    BUT - its time has passed.

    I had to throw a $200 aftermarket video card into it to be able to play HD video. You won't have that. Flash runs very mediocre on this platform even with said video card.

    Native HD content is somewhat shaky at highest resolutions/bit-depths. I had to run a special video player that uses both processors to decode some HD video.

    It sucks down twice the electricity of my Corei7 iMac. Be prepared for big electric bills.
    It idled at 250 watts with just 3 gigs of memory and a single 1 TB drive. It's now 8 gigs of ram with two 1.5 TB drives.
    It's kind of a server of sorts but it hurts the wallet every month.

    It generates enough heat to heat my room in winter. You might like that, you might not.
    In the summer it's awful. In the winter it's nice.

    I seriously would not recommend a G5 - the PPC architecture is already starting to lack support:

    Want Google Chrome? It won't run on PPC.
    Want Steam for gaming? It won't run on PowerPC.
    Want Netflix for movie streaming? It won't run on PowerPC.

    The last one is especially useless for a "watch movies" room.

    My friend got one of the recent Mac Mini machines and it geekbenches quite a bit more than what the G5 could.
    He uses it in his media room hooked up to his giant tv.

    Do you see my points?
  8. Rafalski24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Of course I see everyone's point. I know getting a g5 would be stupid. I am a self proclaimed power user who does HD video editing, After Effects work, Photoshop work (big pano stitching), among other things and I am starting to save for a mac pro. My roommate just wants me to buy a mac mini for the big TV, and while I like the idea. I don't know if I want to dip into my Mac Pro savings to buy a mac mini. I am about half way to a decent mac pro, and spending over 500 on a computer that will be pretty much only playing Video seems like a lot. We have a first gen appleTV but its pretty useless... Most of my videos are HD mkv's or SD avi's. I really don't want to re-encode all my media just for the appleTV which can only store 40GB's. Sorry for the rant! I just can't decide what I want to do.

    PS yes I have hacked the appleTV. It still is pretty useless except to play audio through my sound system.

    Good deal? Worth it? I am gussing the extra ~100 isn't worth it for the new one?
    Looks like it is already sold out.
  9. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    From someone that owns both. Get the Mini ;) [/discussion]
  10. Evan_11 macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2004
    Get the mini. I was lucky enough to sell my G5 2 ghz a few weeks back for $475. I recently bought a refurbed 2.5 ghz 2009 mini. The only thing the G5 had going for it was the hard drive capacity. The mini otherwise is roughly twice as fast in most usage.
  11. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2006
    Definitely mac mini for you. Mac mini would use much less power and is much quieter. Mini would also be a lot faster than a dual 2ghz G5 - the only G5 faster than the current mini is the G5 Quad.

    FYI, the dual 2Ghz G5 should be able to play 1080p video easily.
  12. MikeinJapan macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2010
    I have a mac mini 2.26Ghz as a media centre and it rules, not a single problem in 5 months.
  13. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Personally, I consider any cash paid for a PowerPC Mac now to be a waste. Some reasons include:

    1. Mac minis are more powerful than G5s.
    2. Mac minis use far less electricity.
    3. Mac minis run a whole lot cooler.
    4. Mac minis don't leak.
    5. Mac minis take up much less physical space.
    6. LOTS of software are Intel only now, including OS X.

    If you just need something to play MKV files on your TV, I suggest you look in to something like the Asus O! Play media player. I have one that is connected to my NAS and my TV. It has played everything I've thrown at it including 1080p blu-ray rips in MKV format. It costs less than $100 and I consider it a far better investment than a G5.
  14. samk8000 macrumors regular


    Jun 22, 2010
    toronto, ontario
    Unless you were going to buy a quad core PowerMac G5, The 2.4 ghz mac mini would be great.
  15. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Buy a used or Apple-refurbished Mini. Just be certain it has an Nvidia 9400m or you may cry... you may cry...

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