PM 2x2.0 or iM 20"?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by quidire, May 21, 2005.

  1. quidire macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2004
    Washington DC (in Kalorama Triangle)
    Hello all,

    Well my gf and I have a PB12 each and we're thinking of buying a desktop.
    Projected uses:
    1. some light gaming (Homeworld 2, SW: Knights of the Old Republic, Sims 2 maybe)
    2. platform to operate an EyeTV 200
    3. Photoshop
    4. low traffic fileserver (our joint iTunes library, etc)

    We have a budget of $4k, but a good 1000 is going elsewhere; getting an eyetv and an eyehome, 2GB of RAM from OWC (for whatever we end up buying), etc.

    So basically my question is, what is the practical advantage that 1000 buys between:
    iMac 20" for $1699 (edu price)
    PowerMac w/ 20" ACD
    + wireless package
    + upgrade to ATI 9650
    which is $2632

    I realise that the PM has an extra 2Ghz processor and a better video card, but I'm wondering, how much utility does one get from that difference?
    (testamonials, benchmarks, links to the same all welcomed)

  2. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Well, to begin:

    I think you should wait for WWDC which is under a month, so if a new PM is released you would be getting a new one instead of an older one...

    BUT, if you can afford it, go for the PowerMac. Just because two people will share it and you want it to be on to stream music/files... Plus, gaming and photoshop are not, well, the lightest apps.
  3. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I say go with the dual 2GHz PowerMac. Yes, you get a second 2GHz G5 CPU. But you also get two 1GHz fsbs compared to the iMac's one 600MHz fsb. Plus you can upgrade the PowerMac up to 4GB RAM vs the iMac's 2GB limit. Personally, I like the idea of having a seperate CPU and monitor. All in one computers are great but are less upgradeable and usually harder to fix.
  4. macbaseball macrumors 6502a


    Feb 27, 2005
    Northern California
    I agree with all that.

    I can't remember where I read this, but the EyeTV 200 works a lot better on a dual G5 versus a single G5. If your recording HD you'll eventually want another Hard Drive, and I've always perferred internal versus external as it's one less thing on my desk, so I see that as another advantage.

    Also a video card upgrade will help out with gaming.
  5. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    I am having a similar dilema. A 20" iMac for $1800 after taxes and edu discount w/ 2GB of RAM for another $200 for a total of $2000 or a refurb Dual 2.0GHz Power Mac for $1750 after taxes plus $250 for a Dell 1905FP for a total of $2000. I plan on upgrading to a 9800xt shortly after.

    I plan on playing modest games such as everything Blizzard and maybe a little Halo. I use iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto & iTunes a lot at the same time putting home movies together. My wife uses Photoshop quite a bit but not to the extent that it would be beyond the capabilities of the iMac.

    One of my major concerns is which is quieter at load and idle, an iMac on the desk or a Power Mac under the desk both running at highest. I like the all in one design because I hate cables but I also like the ability to share a monitor between my Mac and my PC. I like the iMac because it is fast enough but I like the Power Mac because it has power to spare. I love the uniformity of the iMac/keyboard/mouse whereas the Power Mac, Dell display and clear plastic mouse and keyboard don't match but I like that the Power Mac is expandable with room for two internal hard drives and PCI slots. I also perfer tray loading drives to slot loading.

    As far as the orginal posters comment that he was going to buy an EyeTV, with a Power Mac, you may want to consider AlchemyTV. It is quite a bit cheaper and I believe that it will do everything that EyeTV will do.
  6. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Up to 8 GBs, only the Single 1.8 PM G5 is 4 GB
  7. auxplage macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2004
    Virginia Beach
    The new Rev. C Dual 2.0 only takes 4 x 1GB modules. The old Rev A & B Dual 2.0 took 8 x 1GB.
  8. SaleenS351 macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2004
    No, the new dual 2.0GHz PM have a 4GB capacity.
  9. zakatov macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2005
    South Florida
    Just think about this: you can run two F@H clients, one on each processor. Can't beat that :D
  10. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    I was assuming that they were looking at buying one of the current rev C dual 2GHz PowerMac G5s in which the ram only goes up to 4GB. (the rev a and b dual 2Ghz PowerMac G5s did go up to 8GB).
  11. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    darn, you and auxplage beat me ;)
  12. Bozola macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2002
    So close to Redmond, I can smell it!
    Another view

    I guess I would recommend the iMac, based on your description of your needs and these benchmarks.... The real advantage of duals in terms of performance is rendering and encoding.

    Expandability is nice, but if you never plan on expanding, consider the iMac

    My $0.02
  13. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    If you do get the PowerMac, get a Miglia Alchemy TV Tuner PCI card instead of the EyeTV. Eventually upgrade the RAM too. Third party, of course.

    Edit: Personally, I'm waiting for the next single G5 PowerMac. Hopefully, it'll be out soon. That would be the perfect thing for you as well I'd imagine.
  14. tuartboy macrumors 6502a


    May 10, 2005
    just a random idea:

    get the imac. for everything but the games it will work fine. I assume that your photoshop needs are modest or you wouldn't be asking about the imacs in the first place. actual photo editing runs great on 500mhz macs. I'm a little tired of the overkill people preach to run photoshop. Sure, I have worked with 1.5 gig psds before and they are a beotch, but 99.99% of the people aren't GDs and don't need it all. it's nice, but...

    ok, another taboo: use the "extra" cash to build a sff wintel with a decent graphics card. I have a little $700 machine that kicks the crap out of all but the newest powermacs in halo. It's a pain, but macs aren't primetime for gaming. (Good luck keeping the wintel clean hooked up to the net though ;) )

    Sorry to raise hell, but it's true.
  15. joshjohnson macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2004
    I personally would recommend the iMac 2GHz, the 9600 really is good for gaming. I have read several reviews, including the one at and according to Glenda Adams of Aspyr herself, the iMac for perhaps the first time is finally a games worthy consumer mac. I run Halo on an iBook G4 800MHz and it works well enough, though running it on our newer 1.8GHz iMac G5 sure kicks my iBook's butt, and that's with the FX 5200 too.
    one thing is for sure, I am not going to buy another PC for gaming, home built or otherwise as long as they insist on running Windows. I switched to mac to get away from Windows, and i'll be damed if I give bill any more of my cash for an OS that's never quite "good enough"! :mad:
  16. iSwift macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2005
    I agree. Wait for WWDC (even though I think they would update iBooks before anything).

    And yeah, go for the PowerMac. It doesn't sound like your budget is too tight and if you are going to go spend that much money on a computer, you might as well get the one that is bigger, better, and faster.

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