OK, Think I'm ready to fully switch, but require advice!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by nihilisticmonk, May 4, 2005.

  1. nihilisticmonk macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2005
    Hi guys,

    Ok, here's a bit of background first of all.

    I've had a 15" 1GHZ G4 Powerbook for around a year and a half now. I love it, I truely do :D

    I also have quite a beasty PC that I use for playing games, but have not been playing pc games much lately, so have lost my main reason for using the PC.
    I just keep using my mac for more and more, hence, bring on the desktop mac ;)

    A few questions, I really do like having good kit, and I want something that will last me a long while.
    I'm leaning towards a powermac due to upgradability of graphics & hdd, as well as the faster bus speed of the powermacs.

    I'll be using it for mp3's surfng the net, general office usage, ripping dvd's video editing (only home stuff, not professional), as well as photo storage and editing, and a little bit of photoshop (although nothing too excessive).

    I'd like the power for games, and to future proof myself as well, also I may do some music stuff in future (I play bass...would be nice to input that to garageband and play around I suppose).

    I want a machine that will last me at least two years, I then wish to sell it on and put the money towards another mac.

    so, without further adeue, here are my questions

    1) 2Ghz duel or 2.3 Ghtz duel? I can't think of a reason for pci-x at the moment, but i don't want to be left behind, also, must think of resale value in two years. Also coming from a PC background, I like a high bus speed, and also there is more brag value from saying I own a powermac rather than an Imac :rolleyes:

    2) Maybe an 20" imac? Heck, maybe it'll do everything I want it to? seeing as you can't upgrade the processor on the G5's anyway, maybe imac is the way to go....but then it's the graphics card issue!

    3) I have a decent LG 1720 b 17" tft, but it only has VGA...will this do, and will the colours/quality be up to scratch?

    4) I have corsair XML PC3200 Ram in my PC...very good quality ram....this should work in a mac, right?

    5) Will it really last?, I'll kick myself if I'm left out in the cold in a years time...

    6) Will it keep its value well to sell on? you see my theory is sell it off in two years at lower price (e.g. if bought new for £1500, sell on ebay for £1000 in two years, put money towards new mac). Should this work?

    Please guys, help a Mac Newbie out! :)

    Also, is there anything else I should consider?
  2. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Based on what YOU want to do, with gaming, photoshop, garage band, and iphoto, a PowerMac may be the best option. A Dual 2.0 G5 powermac is faster than a 20" G5 2.0 iMac.

    But, if you only really want GarageBand and photoshop, you should be FINE with an iMac, in fact you already have a display so you can get a hack for the iMac and have dual displays (VGA Only, which is great for you as you have a VGA Monitor...) and it would work - and games work on the iMac also!

    Whats the video card issue? The iMac has 128 MB Video card and that is not going to be gone anytime soon. Also, Apple says that a 2.0 G5 iMac 20" is faster than an Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz at gaming.
  3. nihilisticmonk thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2005
    Ah, sorry, the "video card issue" is upgradability....
    I'd like to be able to buy a better card eventually, and then maybe port that over to a new mac.

    The card really makes the most difference these days to gaming, that brings up another question.

    I have an NVidia 6800GT in my PC, but I belive I need a "mac" version of the same card to work in a powermac. I can't just port it across?
    I've heard mumblings of bios hacks, but am yet to find any solid info on this problem.
  4. TMA macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2003
    I'll give some of these a shot :)
    1) Dual 2.3 has PCI-X as you note, which would future proof you a little. Also the Dual 2.3 machine has 8 RAM banks instead of the 4 on the Dual 2.0. 8Gb Max VS 4Gb Max. Better bus speed may prove to be useful. If you can afford it then I would go for the 2.3

    2) 20" iMac - Recent updates make it very attractive at the moment. Graphics cannot be upgraded ever. You'd be stuck with an ATI 9600 - which is so-so. Powermac will take ATI X800 or Nvidia 6800. Should also support future graphics cards too. Depends how important being able to play games is to you. Asside from that, the iMac is a great machine for Internet/Music/general use and for basic professional use (e.g Photoshop, Quark, basic Final cut use, etc..)

    3) LCD's that connect via VGA only won't give the same quality you get from a DVI (digital) link. The difference is noticable as with DVI there is no degradation of signal at any point. Depends how picky you are. You might find a decent LCD with VGA is perfectly acceptable.

    4) Should do, although it's not a certainty. Your mac might appear to be fine with it in but you might get random program crashes/kernal panics if the RAM is not exactly to spec. Remember in the Powermac you must also install RAM in matched pairs. Matched pairs in an iMac is not a requirement but will deliver a slight (a few percent) performance boost.

    5) It will, as with all computers, feel slower and slower over time. The good news is that Mac OS X is now nicely developed so what you get used to now probably wont change in the next few years.

    6) Macs hold their value well compared to PC's. It's still hard to predict though. Apple may make a breakthrough with CPU's in a year or two which will leave your G5 in the dust or key technologies might slow down meaning your mac holds its value nicely. I can imagine the iMac 20" holding its value better than the 17", and the 2.3 and 2.7 Powermacs better than the lower models. Keep it immaculate, keep all the packaging, backup discs and manuals, and it should also be worth more than other second hand macs floating around.

    Hope this helps you even if just a little!
  5. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I have an iMac G4 (see my signature). It's lasted me nearly 1.25 years so far, and it hasn't crashed on me ever since I got the PMU (power management unit) reset shortly after I bought it. It runs Tiger great, and it even supports hardware-accelerated Core Image.

    As far as RAM goes, Macs are very picky about what RAM they will accept, particularly when it comes to latency. Super-fast RAM might be rejected altogether by your Mac (it'll refuse to boot); it also might cause your Mac to perform more slowly because your Mac will slow the RAM down to a speed it likes - this is often significantly slower than the speed of RAM designed for it.
  6. nihilisticmonk thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2005
    Great advice from all :cool:

    OK, I think I've decided on the 2.3Ghz Dual power PC.
    the ram is cas2 with tight timings, so it may be fussy in the mac, so I'll ditch that idea.

    I've been to crucial quickly (saw them reccomeneded in these forums and got ram upgrade for my powerbook from them.) and can see 1gb (2x512's) is £57.98. This is Cas3 though. is cas latency all that with a mac? e.g. should I go for the mega ballistix ram as I would with a pc?

    also, looks like I'll ditch my TFT and buy a new one. Apart from the pricey apple tft's what are other good manufacturers with DVI connectors I can look at?
  7. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Don't even concern yourself with CAS latencies. Like I said, Macs often won't accept low CAS latency RAM anyway, so it doesn't really matter in the end.

    As far as other display manufacturers go, I'd check out Formac.
  8. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    Dell makes good computer screens that can be gotten for much cheaper than retail at www.slickdeals.net (offers come up frequently for discounted 20+ inch Dell displays).

    As for the RAM, Crucial has a drop-down menu that has computer brand names. Select Apple. Then, when the next page reloads, it'll ask you for your computer's model. Select PowerMac. Then look for your model (2.3 GHz) and the website will reload and show all the compatibly memory that Crucial.com sells.
  9. nihilisticmonk thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2005
    Great, I can go for standard ram then that's mega cheap, that's great! :D

    Also, nice deal site, but i'm U.K. Based, so I'll dig around for a TFT. I'm sure the standard VGA adapter and my TFT will do for now! :)

    One last question, what's the noise level of the powermac like?
  10. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    You can buy Formac products in the UK too. That's what my father does, since he lives there due to his job.
  11. nihilisticmonk thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2005

    SOLD :cool:
    Am discussing this with My wife tomorrow, and I'll hopefully have an order in at the applestore by the end of the week for a 2.3ghtz beast!

    I'll keep the PC, but let it die it's death in peace without upgrades...!
  12. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
  13. nihilisticmonk thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2005
    One final question.
    If I buy now, I've decied on getting the Duel 2.3Ghz machine.
    My only fear now is the new duel core chips? What do we predict guys?
    Will this be a minor bit faster, or a totally revolutionary improvement in speed?
    Also, are there any independant benchmarks out there on the net, I've had a sniff around but haven't had much luck.
    Last thing I want to do is have a 2.3ghz machine now, and in 6 months have apple release a new duel cpu dual core 2.3ghz that is 40-50% faster.

    Perhaps I should hold back for now?
  14. cmvsm macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2004
    With the latest updates, I'd go ahead and buy now. You are ahead of the curve so to speak as the updates just came out. If you choose the waiting game, as many have, then you'll never have a Mac. Just pull the trigger and buy this weekend!!

    Seriously, I don't think you'll have to worry about a 40 to 50% boost in any update. That would take a couple of years so you're safe.

    In terms of benchmarks, check out barefeats.com. Those guys usually have some great comparisons.

    By the way...you should sell the PC. After using the Mac, it will probably just sit there in the corner looking pathetic, while at the same time, costing you money. Sell it for a few hundred dollars and put it towards an X800 video card as I see gaming is your thing. You'll be glad you did.

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