Power Mac G5 Right for Me?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by JamesHume, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. JamesHume macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #1
    This is my first post here at MacRumors. I've lurked here for a year or two, and decided to register and ask a question today. I currently on a MacBook Pro (2.4 GHz Penryn, 2GB ram, multi touch) and I love it, however I do have an issue with it. I can only run 1 external monitor with it.

    I started thinking about possible solutions. Of course I first thought of the mac pro. I looked at both brand new, educationally discounted, refurbished, and ebay offerings and none fit my budget. The Power Mac G5 however, does.

    So this is what I do with my Mac on a day to day basis. I would preferrbly like to do what I do, but x2 or x3, however screen real estate and ram limit my productivity. So at any given moment on my MBP, I have:
    • 10-15 Tabs open in Safari
    • Mail
    • iTunes
    • Numbers
    • Adium chat program
    • Transmit FTP
    • 5-10 Tabs open in Dreamweaver CS3
    • 5 Files open in Photoshop CS3

    As your probably know, my ram is often times 100% used (I monitor it with the application vmstat).

    Now would a dual processor, say 1.8 or 2.0 GHz, PM G5 with around 4-8GB of ram be able to keep up with what I do? I'd like to do everything above, but have much more tabs open in Safari, and a few more projects open in Dreamweaver and Photoshop. And finally, I'd love to be able spread that across a few monitors, ideally 3-4.

    Is the Power Mac G5 the right solution for me?
     
  2. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    #2
    have you looked at a student discounted Single-Quad Core MacPro? that runs roughly 2150? about 350$ more than the 2.4 Penryn MBP.
    and that can run upto 2 30" out of the box.

    the powermac g5's are nice systems, it depends if you want to be uptodate with the technology or what, but it will be incomparable to your MBP's performance.
     
  3. teohyc macrumors regular

    teohyc

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    #3
    I think what you need is to increase your ram to 4GB.

    Then get a 23/24" monitor.

    Check out your Activity Monitor to get a feel of how much ram you're using when going about with your work.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    The MacBook with 4 GB RAM will run circles around any PowerMac G5 on the CS3 applications.
     
  5. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Up the irons
    #5
    Aye. If you must have a G5, I'm sure you can find a few on your local Craigslist.
     
  6. JamesHume thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #6
    I see what you guys are saying, however I'm willing to sacrifice speed for real estate. And I could always use my MBP to run CS3 apps and just use Synergy to connect the two computers together. So then I can multi-task to my hearts content. Would that make sense?

    But seriously, the G5s can't be that slow. Has anybody done a 'real world' comparison of the G5 vs. current technology? Sure, the numbers say the current tech is better, but is it really THAT noticeable of a speed difference in real life?

    And regarding my work, I'm not what you'd consider a professional. Sure, I take my work very seriously and I hope to make a living out of it, but I find it hard to justify the need of a Quad or Octo core Mac Pro when my C2D MBP and PC are/(were, in the case of the PC :apple:) just fine.
     
  7. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    sure when using that many apps more ram will increase speed more than a faster processor, if you need THAT MUCH desktop space get the powermac g5, but i still think a last gen mac pro 2 x dual core 2.66 Ghz would be a MUCH better investment,if you get a refurb you can get them piss cheap and even cheaper on ebay, just remember that snow leopard will only works on intel, than soon after sow leopard there will prob be a league of intel only mac apps, so any intel mac is more future proof than a g5 IMHO
     
  8. headfuzz macrumors 6502

    headfuzz

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #8
    Fwiw my current gen Blackbook outperforms out my Power Mac G5 dual 1.8 GHz in Xbench - not by a massive amount, but it trumps it nonetheless. Both have 2Gb of memory.

    In real world terms my Blackbook does perform better than my G5, though there a few factors which come into play here; namely the fact the G5 has been my main computer for the last 18 months and has a lot more stuff on it and so is generally under a fair amount of stress; the lappy on the other hand is my Ableton Live performing machine so has very little that isn't related to audio recording / performing on it. However, again, fwiw, the G5 is still the mainstay of my studio. I've done a bit of video editing on it (it's only got an AGP 64Mb Geforce FX5200 in it :eek:) and Ableton Live 6 and Logic Studio run fine on it. Occasionally I get the spinning beachball of doom but it's generally ok.

    So I reckon a G5 will suit your needs. I'd still recommend going for an Intel Mac if at all possible though. Dare I say it even the long outdated Mac Mini trumps my G5 on paper! :eek:
     
  9. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #9
    I would say that a G5 is not a good fit for anyone.

    I've been burned twice by the G5's. And, others have been bit much more. The G5 was a plague of sorts. The abilities of the machine were irrelevant given how much time the G5's would spend in the shop.

    Aside from that, I would say that if you currently have an Intel machine, perhaps you just need a way to expand it's video capabilities. There are dual-head video adapters out there for the Mac that will enable a single video port to be used to drive two displays. I've read of people using them with the Mac Mini's.

    I don't recall who makes them. But, they are available. And, personally, that's where I'd spend my money if your current system is meeting your needs in all areas but display space.

    Alternatively, I'd just get the biggest baddest monitor you can throw at it. A good size screen will easily provide the real-estate space of two smaller / normal sized ones.

    You don't need to worry about buying an Apple screen. Get a 3rd-party monitor of say 30 inches (or more - can't remember how large of monitor the MacBooks support) and save the money.

    Don't throw money at a G5. You'll kick yourself when it dies. I got so little use out of mine since they were always in the shop.

    Instead, work on finding solutions that will work with more reliable machines.
     
  10. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #10
    Hogwash. There is no reliability problem with the G5s and they are great machines.

    That said, the G5 is a dead-end and the 1.8/2.0 will be too slow for what you want to do. Get a used Mac Pro instead.
     
  11. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #11
    A simple search of the forums (particularly Apple's) and Google will prove otherwise.

    But, yes, all of the PowerPC machines are dead end systems at this point.
     
  12. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #12
    A simple search proves absolutely nothing. This is a forum where people come to ask about their problems, of course there are going to be lots of reported problems! Go to ANY forum about any product and you will find the EXACT same situation. People post FAR more often when they have problems than when they have no problems.

    There is no reliability problem with the G5s.
     
  13. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #13
    Well, sticking your head in the sand doesn't mean that everything is fine. Glad your system has served you well. But, by far, the G5 systems were plagued with problems in both the PowerMac and the iMac.

    Sure, not every single one got hit. But, significantly more than you would find in the G4 PowerMacs and the Intel Mac Pro's.

    Either way, the original poster can do some research on them, and determine if it's worth the risk.

    Funny how simply mentioning issues with some Macs gets some people all wound up. Seriously, sometimes it feels like a cult around here. Ooooh, don't say anything bad about an Apple product.... Come on people, it's just hardware.

    Either way, I'd expect the original poster to be much happier with an Intel machine and dual monitors than with a G5. Now, if you get a G5 for say $200, then go for it. Otherwise, I wouldn't spend the money. I'd use the money towards a solution for your Intel machine instead.

    Consider the dual-head adapters. See if that might work for you.

    Otherwise, consider a refurb Intel iMac and a secondary monitor to go with it. You can find some great 3rd-party monitors out there for some bargain prices.
     
  14. headfuzz macrumors 6502

    headfuzz

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #14
    +1

    It's the old "Go to a good restaurant and you'll tell 5 people, go to a bad restaurant and you'll tell 20 people" scenario. ;)
     
  15. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #15
    Thats because they sold many times more G4s than they sold of anything with a G5, same with the MacPro.

    Posting misinformation will usually do that.
     
  16. nplima macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    how about...


    Your MacBook Pro does this on 1 or 2 screens:
    * Numbers
    * 5-10 Tabs open in Dreamweaver CS3
    * 5 Files open in Photoshop CS3


    You brand new Dell/HP/PackardBell/whatever does this on 2/4 screens for about £300:
    * 10-15 Tabs open in Safari
    * Mail
    * iTunes
    * Adium chat program
    * Transmit FTP

    Your idea of using synergy is still very valid of course. You can also join the "I want a headless iMac or a Mac SemiPro" club.
     
  17. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #17
    Have you considered just getting a 30" display? I bought an MBP to hold me over until I get my Mac Pro (at which time my MBP becomes my portable). I intended to get a 30" display with my MBP and then transition it to my Mac Pro.

    A 30" display will offer three times the pixels that the 15" MBP display offers. You could move your less-used applications over to the MBP display and use the 30" for your primary work.


    With respect, your two statements that there are no reliability problems with any G5 are just as incorrect as other's statements that there are reliability problems with all G5s since both are absolute statements claiming facts not in evidence (some G5 users had reliability problems and some did not).


    And yet, that does not mean that the one person didn't have a bad experience at the restaurant. Of course, it also does not mean that everyone that went to that restaurant had a bad experience.
     
  18. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #18
    The only repeating issue with the G5 range was the liquid cooled 2.5, 2.7 and quad 2.5 models leaking, even that is not common. All computers have failures, saying that all G5s have reliability issues because of a few reports is misinformation.
     
  19. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #19
    My G5 has 0 issues. Not once has it crashed on me. And its pretty damn fast for what I paid (700).

    The one I got supports 16 gigs of ddr2, no MBP will do that. Harder to find though, its a Late 2005 model, the last ones they made and they take PCIE videocards.

    Where you'll loose is the water cooled models are prone to failure with coolant leaks. So only the non water cooled 2.0 and 2.3 models will do, and the new intel processors are faster, not much, but they are.

    My 2.16 macbook with 2 gigs of ram gets 110 on Xbench, and my 2.0 G5 with 2.5 gigs of ram gets 97.

    If you can get a G5 dirt cheap, its worth it. Otherwise, upgrade the macbook pro or buy a Com-Dell Packard Home-Made Whatever box and call it a day. :D
     
  20. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Up the irons
    #20
    Try to find a used first gen 2.0ghz Mac Pro with the "Woodcrest" processor. You can put four hard drives in that unit.
     
  21. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #21
    I would kill to get a mac that came with a Professor in it. :D
     
  22. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #22
    lolololololololololololololololololololololololololololololol :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
     
  23. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    #23
    I still think G5s are good, but not for a main system that wants to run current applications; even latest browsers etc etc.

    I have a 1.8Ghz Single CPU G5 and upgraded it to 2gb of memory and still has the 64mb fx5200 and it did photoshop cs2 fine and other applications, it will alittle pokey but it worked fine, but i needed it only for secondhand work and back end stuff and just monitor a fileserver/webserver.

    a 1st gen macpro might even be a good route, still con-current technology with good specs and upgradeable components.

    Ive honestly never had an issue with that Powermac g5 and I've had it for quite a while and have leopard running flawlessly on there.
    The macpro just tears it apart.

    but since your looking for a system for dual monitors, the G5 doesnt have really any good graphics cards to support dual monitors, depending on the model you pick up.
     
  24. evanXXbuddenboh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #24
    a powermac g5 could handle all of the work that you would be doing, but i would recommend 4 gigs of ram. if you dont mind spending the extra money, i would recommend the mac pro, because apples release of mac os 10.6 will be dropping ppc support so you would be stuck with leopard forever. but whatever floats your boat.
     
  25. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #25
    The late 2005 models came with 6600s with dual dvi connectors. Pretty good cards, very capable for games and work, even Doom3 :D. I have a 7800 GT coming to me though. Its the PC version, but its the exact match to the G5 7800 GT so I am going to flash it. :D
     

Share This Page