need advice on which G5 to buy.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bcpursel, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. bcpursel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    #1
    i am a freelance art director/designer and have gotten my money's worth out of my dual 1.0 ghz MDD G4. :) it's showing it's age and i definitely need to upgrade.

    i'm just wanting to get the most value for investment dollar on a G5. don't want a MP right now. so i guess i've narrowed my choices down to either a G5 Quad Core 2.5 (seen them obtainable for around $2000 or so) or one of the Dual Core (2.5, 2.3 or 2.0).

    basically, am i going to get $1000 of performance difference from say the Quad Core 2.5 to the Dual Core 2.0?

    i usually have about 6 or 7 software programs and browsers open at a time. i do a lot of back and forth between the adobe CS2 suite, acrobat, safari, suitcaseX1, itunes and MS office.

    i've been watching on ebay and other sources and have generally found these price ranges for each:
    G5 Quad Core 2.5 - $2000 and up
    DP 2.7 - $1600-$1800
    Dual Core 2.5 - $1600
    Dual Core 2.3 - $1200-$1400
    Dual Core 2.0 - $1000

    my gut says spend the $2000 to get the fastest machine. but if i can get a DC 2.5 for like $1500, and the performance isn't much difference, i may do it. even further, if i am going to have to upgrade to a MP or whatever else comes along next with intel, maybe it isn't worth it to put so much into a G5.

    any thoughts or advice folks?
     
  2. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #2
  3. bcpursel thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    #3
    i've just heard poor feedback about rosetta and CS2. plus i've got other older software...OfficeMac 2004, quark 6, suitcaseX1, etc. so i dont want to have to output $2000 in software to upgrade everything or switch right now.

    really i don't know that much about the new MP, and i hear varying stories about speed. the benchmark scores i looked at on some site had the Quad Core 2.5 and the MP Xeon 2.66 at the same 6.5 score.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #4
    Ugh- no, Rosetta is not a pleasant experience. However, if you're going to buy a G5, get the dual-core 2.0 and spend more money on RAM. I have one and I plan on keeping it til it dies. It's a great computer.

    On the other hand, my gut tells me you should just go with a used or refurbed Mac Pro. Honestly, since you're buying now that's what I would do. But certainly if you do the G5 you'll be happy as well. You'll just be happier with a MP in the long term.
     
  5. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    #5
    You should get the 2.0 G5 now, and use the extra $1000 to buy some of the software upgrades you'll need for a Mac Pro, which you can then buy in a couple of years or so. This will be the best choice since all your software will run natively, including the upgrades.

    --Eric
     
  6. bcpursel thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    #6
    so you think it would be plenty fast enough for any indesign/photoshop work with a 2.0 Dual Core? the Quad Core isn't worth the extra grand?

    i was planning to buy whatever config was available and bump RAM up to about 4 or 4.5 GB either way, if it isn't already installed.

    i was actualy hoping to maybe find a 2.3 Dual Core, just to get some more speed so i was not at the low end, but i'm open to suggestions. thanks for the replies.
     
  7. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Just to put my 2 cents in, my G5's specs are in my sig; it's a first gen dual processor 2.0gHz, and I do very similar work to you on it with no problems. So I'd say that any model tower with multi-processing (dual or duo or dual duo) is going to handle what you need.

    EDIT: My experience with CS2 has been more of RAM than processor; I do professional typesetting on mine (for Scholastic, SRA, McGraw-Hill, etc.) and the big difference in both my G4 and G5 came when adding ram, not when upgrading processor or machine. 4gb is the sweet spot for CS2, as I found when I just recently went from 2.5-4.5. G5 RAM is super cheap right now as well, you can get 2g (2X1gb) for around $100.
     
  8. bcpursel thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    #8
    ok, a couple more questions.

    should i be worried about the whole "leaking coolant" issue with a G5 Dual Core? i've read some posts about them and it seems like it could be an epidemic, but hard to tell what percentage of them have had problems.

    is that restricted to only the late 2005 models i'm considering?
    maybe look at an earlier DP G5?

    would more RAM in my G4 do anything? i've only got 756.:eek:

    to naimfan's point, would a refurb xeon 2.66 MP be as fast with CS2 and other dated software?
     
  9. 9Charms macrumors regular

    9Charms

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    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    Don't buy a first generation G5..... I did and i have issues...
     
  10. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #10
    Only the 2.5's+ have that problem as far as I know. I can tell you that any software you use in Rosetta will not be fun to use.

    Ditch the G4.
     
  11. bcpursel thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    #11
    looking into the leaking coolant, it does seem like those LC models are only the quad core, 2.7 and 2.5 models. i don't see any evidence, at least on everymac, that the 2.0 or 2.3 use liquid. so i guess those 2 would be safe options.

    is it worth saving my G4 to setup as a file sharing machine/external HD?
    i do have about 350GB of ata drives in it. or should i just keep it around for a backup in case of any down time?

    thanks for the feedback leekohler.
     
  12. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #12
    It's always worth keeping a G4 unless you need the money from selling it. It's still rather useful as a file server, back-up machine (both meanings), media machine, web server, network admin (if you have a network), intern/employee machine if you ever have to contract some help, etc.

    You could also gut it for parts to sell, and use the case and power supply to set up a bunch of hard drives for a RAID or just external storage tower...
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #13
    I completely agree. Good luck and have fun, bcpursel.
     
  14. bcpursel thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    #14
    can i connect and file share through any common connection? (like firewire) or does it need to be ethernet? as i haven't had the need to do it before, i have never gone through the process.

    i found the attached info on the web.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #15
    There are lots of reasons to jump off the PPC, one G5s history is poor, many issues with all G5s plus the new Macs are just way faster and newer software isnt going to be supporting PPC. For the Money you are talking a new Mac shouldnt be a problem. Apple didnt make G5s very long and there was a reason for that.
     
  16. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    Portland, OR
    #16
    If you're a designer and you don't have the grand or so to spend on upgrading to CS3, stick with PPC for CS2. It will cost you less right now (which means more money later when you need to do a full upgrade), and it will actually run it faster, as Rosetta is kinda crappy.

    I'm speaking in practical, not tech geek, terms. If you won't have CS3 soon, you're better off moneywise, and ultimately speedwise, picking up a dual or duo G5.

    And there is nothing wrong with the architecture or performance of the G5. Don't listen to Intel snobs on that. ;)
     
  17. Not-a-cliche macrumors regular

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #17
    What happens when you need to upgrade from the G5?

    You're going to have to do this eventually.
     
  18. bcpursel thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 3, 2007
    #18
    yeah i will need to upgrade, but it will be from a $1000 machine, rather than a $2500. i don't think CS2 will be going away too immediately. i'm a lagger. i like to sit back and see how things play out with the new conversions before i switch over and upgrade. hey, what can i say...i need to watch the budget!
     
  19. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    Oct 29, 2005
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    Portland, OR
    #19
    CS2 isn't even the print industry standard currently, they just moved up to CS1. You have time.

    For design and graphics on a budget, CS2 and a G5 with a good amount of RAM is perfect. For rich kids or larger firms, a quad Mac Pro and CS3 ultimate is probably the way to go...
     
  20. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #20
    Also, if you click that link in 9Charms post, you'll find he's quite happy with his G5 now...
     
  21. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    Dec 11, 2006
    #21
    honestly, i think it would be a waste of money to get a G5 now. they're dead end technology.
     
  22. muskratboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    #22
    I had to make the same decision

    obviously the mac pros are a heck of a lot more future proof... but there was just no way i could swing $2500 for a new computer. Total pain in my ass that the only way into a current machine is so much damn $$$.

    THIS is where that stupid missing mac comes in... I don't NEED 4 freaking cores. I just want a 2 core mac tower with current tech and core 2 duo. but that machine JUST DOESN'T EXIST. It drives me bonkers. I could build that PC tomorrow for $800, and it would KILL my dual G5. and apple WON'T LET US HAVE IT.

    I avoided the liquid cooled scariness and ended up with a sweet dual core 2.3 (the fastest air-cooled G5 ever made! awesome!) ... so far, so good.

    and incidentally, if you are finding dual core 2.3 for $1200... BUY IT. The price ranges are more like $1500-$1900. $1400 is about the cheapest one you will ever find that isn't all crushed up.

    And yeah, it's THEORETICALLY "dead end technology"... but it's at least $1000 cheaper, will work FINE for the next year and half (especially if yer sticking with CS2), and you can always upgrade later when the NEXT overpowered mac pro comes out with 28 cores and still costs $2500.

    Sometimes future-proofing just doesn't matter if you just don't have the extra $1000.
     
  23. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Chicago, Illinois
    #23
    How about it? I bought the last rev dual core G5 on the advice of my IT guys for that very reason.
     
  24. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #24
    I think the big difference in most of the opinions in this thread can be boiled down to needs and wants. Needs require certain things; buying an intel mac vs a last gen PPC when all your software runs smoother on a last gen PPC and you don't have the money to replace software or even really to afford the grade of intel machine you want is pointless if you have work you need to do now. Buying a G5 is pointless if you plan on buying one machine for the next few years and buying all new software. Remember that, in addition to the cost of the machine, upgrading to CS3 is VERY costly, it's an added $600-1500 depending on the version you need. For an everyday user who is likely going to upgrade to an intel machine later but currently has a restricted budget, the G5 makes good sense, both financially and practically.

    Nobody is arguing that there is a future in the PPC line. But to say a G5 isn't current is silly; I just upgraded from a G4 earlier this year and my machine flies for what I use it for. Also remember that if a machine does what you need it to, then it works for you. My boss (or rather, the guy I contract most of my work from) does the same work I do, using CS2, on a Powerbook G4. That's a single G4 processor, under 2gHz (1.8, I think) with less than 2gb RAM. Works for him, he's not even thinking about upgrading until he can afford CS3. Also, CS3 runs on the PPC platform, the only real difference is that it will really fly on an intel machine, as opposed to CS2, which lags under Rosetta.

    Ultimately, for a graphic designer who essentially wants what he/she has on his/her G4, the G5 makes sense. They're still solid machines, and buying top of the line isn't really that feasible for a lot of us, since it requires more expense than just the machine. If you can afford all of it, by all means go for it. But it isn't a need currently, it is a want, and if the price isn't justifiable, it's an unnecessary expense IMO (though I'm sure I'll feel differently in a year or two, but then I'll have more money in a year or two)...
     
  25. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #25
    Here here [​IMG]
     

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