New MAC Purchase - g4 vs G5?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by hunterofmacs, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. hunterofmacs macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2003
    Ok decided to buy a new Mac but budget is limited I cannot afford the new G5 with the dual processor my options are as follows:

    1) dual 1.25 GHz G4
    • Dual 1.25GHz w/ 2MB L3 Cache per processor
    • 256MB DDR333 SDRAM (PC2700) -1 DIMM
    • 80GB Ultra ATA drive
    • Optical 1 - Combo Drive (DVD/CD-RW)
    • Optical 2 - None
    - NVIDIA GeForce4 Titanium dual-display w/128MB DDR
    • 56K internal modem
    • Apple Pro Keyboard - U.S. English
    • Mac OS - U.S. English

    2) 1.6GHz G5
    • 1.6GHz PowerPC G5
    • 256MB DDR333 SDRAM (PC2700) - 2x128
    • 80GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
    • 56k V.92 internal modem
    • SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    • Apple Keyboard & Apple Mouse - U.S. English
    • Mac OS X - U.S. English

    So…I don’t know what to do?!?

    On the one hand I feel dual 1.25GHZ is more powerful then the single 1.6 GHz processor, on the other hand there are other changes to the G5 such as the bus and it will be easier to upgrade later ( but these might not be really big deals anyways?).

    I am not too worried about the differences on things that I can easily upgrade later such as RAM also I don’t really need the dvd burner in the G5 and I could always upgrade that later in the g5 if I needed to.
  2. iWantAMac macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2003
    Re: New MAC Purchase - g4 vs G5?

    I wouldn't bet on it.

    Personally, if I was in that situation and I couldn't get the 1.8GHz G5, but the 1.6GHz model was within my price range, I wouldn't bother spening the money on the 1.6GHz and I'd get the DP1.25GHz G4. The way I see it, the 1.6GHz G5 isn't worth the money. If you can't at least get the 1.8GHz, save the money and get a G4.
  3. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    I was in the same situation, and got the G4. I got the FW800 model, so its only got 1MB of L3 cache, but what the hey. I've been soooo happy with this thing. It's really awesome, but then again, I was using a 400 Mhz G3 before. If you look at barefeats, you'll see the dual G4 is actually faster than the single G5 1.6 in all but the Bryce rendering tests. The dual G4 beats out the G5 1.8 in all but the bryce and "non-mp" test. Just shows, "two brains are better than one". And those Photoshop tests were performed on "G5 optimized" versions of Photoshop. Aside from all that, the G4 is more expandable (I've got three hard drives and two optical drives in right now) and the deal closer for me was that its so much nicer looking. Buy the G4, its a damn good computer at a great price.
  4. hunterofmacs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2003
    That’s pretty much what I thought a dual 1.25 G4 would outperform a single 1.65 G5.

    Not knowing much about mac’s are there any other reasons why I might consider the G5 over the G4?

    Such as ability to handle new software in the future (like the new panther version), the better bus architecture, or expandability.

    Anyone know when the new version of panther is due for release?
  5. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    It'd be suicide for Apple to release Panther and not have it work perfectly fine on all recent G3s, all G4s and G5s. My guess is that Panther will have optimised 64-bit libraries for the G5 but will just use 32-bit ones on the other processors. I guess you won't be seeing 64-bit only apps anytime soon.
    You used to be able to get the base single processor model G4 upgraded to a dual w/2M cache for an extra £240-ish. That option doesn't seem to be available anymore which is a pity as dual G4 for approx. £1250 (£300 less than the G5) was pretty sweet. Maybe that's why Apple removed that option:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    FWIW I have a Dual 1GHz G4 and I'm very happy with it. The G5's will have to get to Dual 3GHz before I get megahertz envy...The G4's a nicer looking machine as well.

    Panther will be out 'later this year'. My hunch is the actual date will be announced next week.
  6. the future macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2002
    As more and more software gets optimized, I think the 1.6 G5 should become at least as fast as the dual 1.25 G4. Plus the G5 is much more silent, if that's of any importance to you. As to which machine looks nicer, the vote is decidedly split.
  7. PieMac macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2002
    :eek: Wow...I changed my order just in time! That option was still on the Apple website just yesterday as I had a single processor on order and decided to change it. Thank goodness I made myself set my decision deadline for yesterday or I would have missed out.
    Something tells me that with the price reduction of the PM G4's, Apple is maybe selling more of them and less of the low end G5(?)....just a guess. Why else would they remove that option? Plus I now have a two to three week wait on my dual...the only downside to changing my order :(
    Obviously the dual G4's are still in demand. The 1.25 single processor order that I originally placed last week would have shipped this week. Oh'll be worth the wait!

    And I agree, give me the old case design any day. I'm planning on keeping my G4 for many years to come. And by the way, I was going back and forth between the PM G4 vs the PM G5 for the longest time...glad I went G4!
  8. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    Actually I've just checked and if you take the 'Fastest' model and downsize the RAM , harddrive, video card and Superdrive you can get to the same spec machine as you used to get by dualing the 'fast'...for the same price too. It's a great price for a machine that powerful....
  9. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    the single g5's are not that great in my opinion, dual g4's can do the same or more work, dont look like hell, dont cost an arm & leg etc. now the dual g5 thats a machine(not including looks). anyways you made a good choice. 2-3 years from now everything will know what to do with that g5 but now? everything you need to do can be done on a high end g4.
  10. PieMac macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2002
    I really agonized over the G4 vs the G5 decision. What finally clinched it was that I actually got to try both out and I just wasn't that impressed with the G5 (the 1.6 version as that was all I would be able to afford). And I was comparing it against a single processor 1.25 G4 and I swear it (the single G4) was just as responsive if not more so. Plus, the fact that I really don't care for the design/look of the G5 did factor into things...if I am to be perfectly honest. Too, I've always loved the design of the G4 towers.

    Once I finally made my decision, it was a done deal with no looking back. Of course, then I agonized over whether or not to change my order to a dual. I finally decided that it was well worth the extra $300.00 even though I really feel that it is probably overkill for my needs. Still, in the respect of future-proofing and longevity, I know I made the right choice.

    Hope this helps in your decision making, hunterofmacs...I know it's a tough choice.
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    congrats, at least you can allways upgrade the video card,cpu, memory,add things,whatever. this is what makes the powermacs so great- g4 & g5.

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