My little PowerMac G5 story and surprise

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by rondocap, May 14, 2012.

  1. rondocap macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    The year is 2003, I'm still young and looking to get a new computer. I am instantly drawn to the new G5's that were coming out, particularly the dual processor models.

    As luck would have it, at the time I settled on a custom made gaming computer from Velocity Micro. Had multiple hard drives - raid 0 WD raptors, P4 3.6, a lot of ram, great nVidia card, etc. It was great for games.

    That was the right decision for me at the time - but something about the G5's left a magically mark on my psyche. A couple of years later, in 2006 or so, it was time to upgrade - and I got an iMac, my first mac.

    As time went on and I needed more and more power, I eventually got a Mac Pro - decked it out with ram, upgraded drives and video card, etc. I love it.

    It almost quenched my G5 thirst, but not quiet. So what did I do? I went out and bought 2 G5's. I wanted 2 varying models to see how they were, pretty much going straight out enthusiast mode here.

    The first was a single CPU 1.8ghz with 3 gigs of ram. The system obviously felt dated, and is fairly slow for even regular internet browsing, stumbling at the most simple of tasks. So I thought to myself; is this what the low end G5 was like?

    Next, I decided to go a bit more into the G5 future, and picked up a 2005 dual core 2.3ghz with 8 gigs of ram.

    Ah, much better. Everything is fast, responds well, even safari and youtube work pretty decently. In fact, if I throw an SSD drive in there, for everyday web browsing I can barely tell the difference between this G5 and my Mac Pro.

    Obviously there will be a difference when you push them, the Mac Pro will win every battle. But for me, that's not the point of the G5. It is relieving an era. I don't want Lion on my G5. I want Leopard and maybe Tiger. On my Mac Pro, I want the newest - but my G5's are historical. Almost like civil war re-enactments, I want to reenact what it felt like to have a G5 in 2003, 2005, etc. They hold a special place in my heart, they give me nostalgia - they are not just a tool or a computer. The design, and what they stand for - just resonate with me. Power Mac- that says it all! Sure, I won't use it as my primary system - but I sure love going on them.

    So my surprise is that this 2.3 G5 is actually pretty powerful. Heck, it's only a year older than the 2006 Mac Pros but the intel gap really dragged them down in history.

    There is something about having more power, that can work just as well when you limit yourself to a certain situation. (In this case, the G5's power and environment.)

    Anyone else with me?
  2. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    For the past year my G5 was my main computer, then about a month ago I added a secondhand Macbook after I scrambled up the cash and stuck an SSD in it. It's now my more main computer, but the G5 still gets plenty of use, it's got heaps of storage, somewhere in the region of a dozen USB ports, significantly faster graphics, etc... and my iTunes library is more than twice the capacity of the SSD in the Macbook. And the G5 is hooked up to a huge screen, something my Macbook cannot do (it's got a few faults including one that means I can't operate in lid closed mode.)

    But I agree, older Macs can still be useful for certain tasks. I have a G5 iMac I use for light internet browsing, movies, streamed music from my Power Mac, writing, etc, in the kitchen. It's got Leopard on it and I'm thinking that Tiger probably would have been a better choice, the performance difference between it and my Power Mac is night and day.
  3. rossmosis macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2012
    I've actually set my i5 laptop aside for the past few months and have been almost exclusively using my G5 for everything. It's fantastic and does pretty much everything I want. I plan on upgrading it to an SSD + massive HDD combo, 16gb's of RAM, and two Cinema Displays at some point this year. (Also because if I ever get a Mac Pro or any other nice desktop, most of those components can just transfer over) G5's are beautiful, monstrous machines. I can feel the power every time I turn it on!
  4. Medic278 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2012
    New York
    I agree with you whole heartily I am looking for a nice G5 to buy for the nostalgia and as a hobby. I current have late 2011s MBP MBA and iMac. But there is just something about PowerPCs that just interests me and much like you I have to quench that thirst! I cannot wait to find the right one for me. Sounds like you made a good buy enjoy that machine!
  5. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I have mentioned it here a few times, but my work G5 is a single processor and it does everything I need. I work for a newspaper and at any time I have anywhere from 8 to 10 apps open. It's maxed in just about ever final PowerPC released app and it's NOT slow.

    Usually this is what I have running: Entourage 2008, Word 2008, Excel 2008, InDersign CS4, QuarkXPress 8.5.1, Acrobat 6 Pro, Acrobat 9 Pro, Illustrator CS4, Photoshop CS4, TenFourFox 10, Suitcase Fusion 2, Chicken of the VNC (to connect to our headless G4 Applescript server), IP Messenger, and any other ancilliary app I may open. I'm also running a lot of processes in the background.

    My work Mac handles all of this without a hitch.
  6. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Dude I completely know how you feel.

    I lived in Hamilton for a short 1.5yrs. I worked my ass off for all that time, pretty much slaving it. My only hideaway from such a horrible time there (work, atmosphere, inability to provide beyond the bare necessities for my son) was to buy the monthly Macworld magazine.

    I've never owned a Mac at that time, only using them in grade school or the lucky chance of borrowing a friends G4 Quicksilver (G4 733Mhz beaut) for 3-4mths. Let's just say I was hooked.

    Then Macworld magazine featured an entire issue on the PowerMac G5 and Panther!! :eek: I recall just how SHOCKED the world was, and even more so how impressed & quite Microsoft was with this machine and OS version, not to mention the humble nods from Windows gamers for the first 30days trying everything in their might to find fault at it. At that time these boards where on FIRE!!!

    Taking a long walk reading that and came across a local authorized dealer that had them in stock at the very earliest opportunity. The sales rep satiated my every interest in the G5 even though he could tell I was never going to afford one anytime soon. I guess this didn't matter, maybe it was sales pitch practice, maybe those in the store that had the coin where intently listening and he was really pitching to them; whatever the reason it was cool.

    Flash back 10yrs later ... life is good, son is happy, daddy is doing his thing and setting up for his future and doing good at it; pat on my back. I've owned a 2008 uMB, 2011 MBA Ultimate, and now a mid-2011 MBP 13". I'm quite happy with Mac ... however something was missing.

    I finally decided to cruise the Kijiji and see about the G5 all over again. I find one Dual 2Ghz model with video card for sale - no HDD, no RAM, all for $100. I couldn't pass that up since everybody wanted $300+ (one fool trying to gut a fish for $850CAN). The seller was in Hamilton.

    Go bus all the way there - take a walk around this city that I cannot stand, some place I really HATE, but it was a refresher - a reason to continue doing my best ... just like Apple & IBM did with the PowerMac G5. Seller and wife where very cool, a credit to those that live in Hamilton - had I known them personally back then I'd have enjoyed that city.

    I got home at midnight wake up my son and show him this beast. The look of surprise in his eyes with such wonder "what is THAT :O " was enough that he was mesmerized as well.

    This machine IS the epitome of design, build quality, and engineering for any company of its day, let alone Apple. The iPhone 4/4S for the past 2 yrs is also a design paradigm along with the Cube & MBA. If this beast doesn't work - it will NOT be a PC ... unless Apple screws up with OSX ... it will be part of a custom coffee table or a computer chair.

    Cheers guys.
  7. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    Does the SSD on G5 help?
    I have one lying in the corner of my room but I dont use it often due to the speed...
  8. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    Sorry for bringing up a old thread but thought I would ask rather then starting new post.....

    As per above....would a PowerMac G5 1.6GHz single core be to slow for basic use? (internet browsing,utube ect).....Was looking at buying one on craigs with a perfect case (a must for me) with a 1.6GHz cpu,1.25g ram,gforce 5200.....I would do a clean install leopard and use my own 320g sata hd.....(btw: the price would be $100)
  9. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2012
    I wouldn't call it slow but my fastest PowerPC Mac is my Powerbook.
  10. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    A late model PowerBook G4 will out perform a 1.6 single. I would recommend at least a dual 1.8 if possible. If they take $75 it would be an okay deal, but like I said you are buying a very low end G5.
  11. trewyn15 macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2013
    The RAM is what's going to hold you back a bit.

    I would try and get it for $75-80 or so and pick her up.
  12. joplinG5 macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2014
    For a 1.6 GHz single core in complete working shape I'd probably start negotiations at $50... then settle around $70. There is very little demand for them.

    These normally sell at the local recyclers around here for about $30... usually missing HD, video, and RAM. I just picked up a late 2005 G5 2.0 dual core for $30 and have about $60 in it right now after adding the missing items. It runs perfect and have no regrets buying it.
  13. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    The killer on that G5 is the little RAM that it has. Definitely max it out if you can.
  14. trewyn15 macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2013
    People aren't really fond of 50% offers lol

    Hence why I said $75-80, which is somewhat fair for what they're going for online. I would still try to find a dual. My 2.0 dual I'm about $80 in with a 500GB hard drive and 5GB RAM.
  15. joplinG5 macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2014
    You never know unless you try. People will surprise you.

    Even I've got to admit I barely offer anything for older Mac stuff... and I always seem to end up hauling the stuff home.
  16. trewyn15 macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2013
    Hmm, it may just be my location then haha

    People in Milwaukee always want top dollar.
  17. tampasteve macrumors 6502

    It all depends on location and average sell time.....

    Speaking as a frequent ebay and craigslist PPC seller if someone offered me 50% of what I was asking (and it has happened) I would not bother even replying as I know my prices are fair and I can afford to wait for the right buyer.

    Here the dual G5 PPC goes for closer to $100-$200 easily as most sellers are trying to get $350 or more, so anything lower is a quick sell. This would be for craigslist.

  18. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    Okay thanks for your on craigs in vanc $100+ seems the going price for a starter G5...but maybe ill hold off and try and wait for a dual to come for sale.

    It's more of something ive never had and always wanted to try,rather then needing as have (way to many) other computers for daily use...

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