Need some help - is this a good idea?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macsForLife, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. macsForLife macrumors member


    Jul 8, 2008
    Hey guys, I thought maybe some of you could tell me whether this is a good idea. I am leaving for school in about a week and a half, and am still trying to figure out what to do for a computer. I am on a pretty limited budget, would be nice to figure something out for about $1K, something that will work pretty well for what I need. Right now, I have a G3 iBook, 800 mhz, 640 mb of ram, and a 30 gb HD, which doesn't even begin to hold anything :rolleyes: I was thinking that for now I might be able to make it on this, but as I use it more and more, I realize that I really can't. It struggles to even have iTunes and Safari open at the same time. It's nice for the once in a while email check, but that's about it. I'm running 10.3.9, so that also limits a lot of what I can do. I was looking around, and I found a pretty good deal on a G5 quad. It's got 4 gb of ram, the rare 7800GT, a 500 gb drive, superdrive, the usual. He wants $800 for it. I was thinking that I could at least try to use the iBook during class, and then for any type of other use, I could use the G5. Is this a good idea? I don't plan on doing anything super intensive so I figured the G5 would still be enough for what I need it for. I am coming from a Core Duo 2 ghz iMac 20" 1.5 gb 250 gb, will it feel faster than that? I keep hearing how even a new Mac Mini will go toe to toe with a G5, but I have to believe it will be adequate for at least a year or two. Also, I found another guy selling for about $1100, also a quad, but this has a 250 gb hard drive, and 16 gb of ram, also has airport, keyboard, mouse, Bose speakers, a 19" LCD, a Time Capsule, and a Modem just in case :)rolleyes:) That seems like a great deal, I'm thinking even better than the other one. What do you guys think? And also, (sorry for the long post, really) I thought about possibly going with the cheaper one, because I found a good deal on a TiBook, $300 for an 867 with 1gb/60 gb. I was thinking maybe trying to get some money for the G3 and picking that up. I guess I am just wondering if any of this is a good idea, and mostly, is a G5 quad still fairly quick? Thanks so much, sorry again if you fell asleep while reading this.
  2. djjclark macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2008

    Not sure of any of your choices there. The lack of an Intel CPU guarantees you will be treated as a second class citizen from now on and the G5 doesn't seem the most robust system with ps issues and water leaks. I would look at what school discounts I could get and consider those.
  3. macsForLife thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 8, 2008
    Believe me I have, I can't really afford a new Mac, maybe a refurb white Macbook but that's about it, and I thought maybe just for a year or two it might do. I do know about the other things you stated, but I guess I thought maybe it would be ok for a short time. Not really sure, that's why I came here. :)
  4. macsForLife thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 8, 2008
    Nobody else has any ideas? Or should I just forget it and go with a 2 year old Macbook Pro?
  5. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    Your original post is hard to read, so forgive me if I missed something.

    If you have a $1000 budget, why not get a refurb MacBook? There's a white one for $750 and an 2.0 GHZ alu model for $850, both available in the refurb store as I write this. With their 2GB of RAM and more recent chipsets, they should feel faster (or at least as fast) as your current iMac. Plus, you can always upgrade the RAM or HD to increase performance. And it will last you 3+ years at least.

    In my mind, one of these would be a MUCH better purchase than the $800 GR5 you're considering.

    The other setup does sound like a pretty good deal, but do you really need all that stuff? Only you can be the judge here.
  6. IronFixXxeR macrumors member


    Jun 20, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    So you currently own a G3 iBook and a 2.0 GHz C2D iMac? I would stick with what you have and save up for something better.

    Unless you really want a faster portable, the new MacBook is $999 since you have a budget of $1,000.
  7. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    In your circumstance, maybe the $750 Macbook people are talking about would work well; if you want the desktop "feel", grab a cheap-ish external monitor (see if you can find a used 2209WA for this purpose - just not a TN monitor, if possible [whole 'nother rant]). Simply plug into monitor/keyboard/mouse when you get back from class.

    I have a G5 Quad, and I can say that for sheer volumetric processing, 2.5x4 beats out 2.0x2, even though the Intel processors have far better memory handling (on-chip memory controller, for instance); however, from what I've read, I don't think rendering and intensive applications are what you are using, so in this case Macbook>G5 Quad.

    Of course, there is always the option IronFixXxeR mentioned.
  8. macsForLife thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 8, 2008
    Sorry, I was typing in a hurry, just tried to get all the info out there, sorry for the lack of paragraphs, looking at it now is making my eyes hurt, haha. So far, the whole day, all I've seen is the $850 refurb white MB, where do you see the $850 unibody one? I could definitely go for that, I was originally going to try to get one, but couldn't find a used one cheap enough.

    EDIT: Just noticed the $899 unibody MB, will have to consider now. Thanks.

    No, only the iBook is mine, sorry if the first post is confusing. The only reason I can't really do the new MB is that it's at the limit right off the bat, with no software (office, etc), and the HD is way too small for me. I figure its about $1200 or so by the time it's where I want it, and I thought maybe it would be better to just buy a whole G5 package (most for sale have software installed already) for a couple hundred less. But I really would prefer a unibody MB to any other choice, that's for sure. Just a $$$ issue.

    I was hoping to maybe get a couple years out of it, the expansion room is nice, and I would really like to have some decent graphics for 1080p playback, and the large screen would be nice, having to use a 13" all day is a killer sometimes. But like you said, just picking up a screen and keyboard/mouse would be good, but probably not in the budget right now. Also, I like to screw around with music/video stuff and photo editing once in a while, and thought maybe the G5 would do well on that for a good price. I n the real world, if you had to pit a quad or even a dual 2.7 against a unibody Macbook/13" Macbook Pro, which one will feel faster?

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