Power PC G5 vs newer MAC

lutherbaker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2007
2
0
I have an older G5 dual 2.0GHZ mac with 1.5 G of ram. I used it with ProTools for several years and now I now longer use it in the music studio.

I am a developer - and I would like to start writing software with the Mac. I am happy to upgrade the OS from Panther to either Jaguar or Leopard later this year - but I am slightly concerned about:

1 - performance
2 - compatibility

Would I be significantly better off going through all the hassel of selling the unit on Ebay and purchasing a newer, entry level Mac. I don't want to spend 'more' money than I could sell the G5 for ... so I think that means somewhere between 1000 and 1500.

I am quite happy with the dual proc - and I suspect that while it may not be as zippy as the newer machines - it may perform better were I running Tomcat and Eclipse and writing Java or Objective-C development environments. I have friends that weren't extremely impressed with performance boosts from the early intel chips ... and so if I wouldn't significantly notice such, I would be happy keeping the dual proc that I currently have.

Also - is new software being written for INTEL only or generally, will I be just fine upgrading to Leopard and installing most any modern software package.

Thanks for any advice.

-Luther
 

Willis

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2006
2,259
4
Beds, UK
You have a very nice system there. Really, I dont think you will see many real world gains from leaving the dual G5 and going to say an iMac.

The G5 is far more expandable which gives it a longer life span.

The only issue is that some developers (ie. Adobe) have started to make some software Intel only, not Universal.

On the whole though, you can make Universal apps from a PPC mac so like I've already said, your G5 has a lot left in it. My only advice is up the ram a bit more :)
 

chatfan

macrumors regular
Nov 2, 2006
103
0
in mah cribb yo
Have to agree with Willis on that one, recently replaced my G5 dual 1.8 with a Mac Pro Quad 2.66 Xeon, 16GB memory. Even with Final cut Studio 2 I can't say this is a huge improvemeent speed wise. Sure render times are shorter but in general use the G5 was pretty much the same. I would just buy a RAM upgrade and keep your machine. The only real improvemeent would be getting yourself a Octo-core when Leopard comes out IF your into heavy rendering. But then again, Leopard will use your Dual G5's more efficiently as well.

... almost forgot: Also got a Mac book Pro about a month ago, I guesss in some ways you can compare it to an iMac: the G5 was faster. It feels like its better at dealing with info, harddiska and memory wise. My main problem wwith both the notebooks and iMacs is: RAM the 2GB limit if you want to use the full bandwidth off the motherboard seems a bit silly to me. (as I understand it adding 3GB memory to the Maac book / iMac will cancel its dual channel memory capability)

Your mac has 8 slots for meemory, I wouldd like to say: expand it :)
 

tristan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 19, 2003
765
0
high-rise in beautiful bethesda
Don't worry about compatibility. All of the software you develop will run on both platforms. Compatibility issues are more likely between OSs - like you might write something that runs on Tiger but not on Panther.

And as for speed, well Dual G5 is still pretty fast buddy. Let's just say that while you may benefit from an upgrade, one is certainly not needed. At the very least i would wait for a product update.
 

vohdoun

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2006
1,035
0
Far away from Earth.
Have to agree with Willis on that one, recently replaced my G5 dual 1.8 with a Mac Pro Quad 2.66 Xeon, 16GB memory. Even with Final cut Studio 2 I can't say this is a huge improvemeent speed wise. Sure render times are shorter but in general use the G5 was pretty much the same.
After all that hype as well they made it sound like it obliterated the G5's.

I hate marketing.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,032
649
Pennsylvania
After all that hype as well they made it sound like it obliterated the G5's.

I hate marketing.
My family uses a G4 as the main computer, and for word processing, email, and music, it's more then fast enough. I wish I could say that the C2D's are much faster, but when it comes to basic computing, the G4's still just as capable as ALL of it's successors.
 

speakerwizard

macrumors 68000
Aug 8, 2006
1,655
0
London
well, they did really, as we never had g5 portables for a start, i replaced a dual g5 2.7 with core2duo 2.16 (both with 2gb) and there is a noticable difference, plus video encoding times are down significantly. plus the fans hardly ever came on, my old g5 was like a motorbike revving up in my bedroom.
 

Willis

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2006
2,259
4
Beds, UK
After all that hype as well they made it sound like it obliterated the G5's.

I hate marketing.
Basic computing you never notice a difference. yet when I compared the iMac G4 to the iMac G5 I noticed a more responsive computer. Same goes for the G5 - MacPro.. Sure some things are the same, but when I need to use those cores, it really does fly
 

chatfan

macrumors regular
Nov 2, 2006
103
0
in mah cribb yo
Well when it comes to pure power, rendering video is a lot faster.

But you should remember that the currrect version of OSX and apps are not all full 64Bit so they do not support the full memory and definately are not very efficient using the 4 Xeon's.

I'm sorry to say windows XP does a better job at this at the moment... right up till the moment the registry starts filling up with sludge that is..

One point I must definately agree with: Its ooh so quiet... sshhhh shhhhh...

After all that hype as well they made it sound like it obliterated the G5's.

I hate marketing.
edit I see Willis made the same point yet again: more responsive thats exactly it, and you got more power to burn if you need it.
 

MacPossum

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2007
280
0
I can't really compare it to a new PowerMac but I still use my Dual 1.8 G5 and it's still amazing :D:D
 

lutherbaker

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2007
2
0
Thanks

Ok - sounds like I am probably just fine.

Now ... wondering if I should upgrade from Panther to Tiger since Tiger is so mature ... or - if I should hold out for a first-release Leopard. I wish I could purchase the upgrade now (to Tiger) and be eligible for a free copy of Leopard when it is released.

Each time I've upgraded my PC's OS, the newer version of the OS almost always ran slower on the older hardware - causing my productivity to go down and wishing for something that just worked snappily. I'm curious how the dual G5 will perform with a skip from either Panther to Tiger or Leopard.

Thanks all for your suggestions,

-Luther
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Each time I've upgraded my PC's OS, the newer version of the OS almost always ran slower on the older hardware - causing my productivity to go down and wishing for something that just worked snappily. I'm curious how the dual G5 will perform with a skip from either Panther to Tiger or Leopard.
This has been discussed to the point of nausea, but...

With OS X, generally, a new release runs as fast or faster on old hardware than the previous versions. Panther and Tiger both showed about ~5-10% speed increases on benchmark testing (pre-post benchmarks from, i.e., the final build of Jaguar vs. 10.3.0 and 10.3.9 vs. 10.4.0). So far, the Leopard builds have not been shown to be faster than Tiger, but they're essentially flat in performance. This isn't surprising, though, because optimization comes relatively late in development, from what I understand. The general expectation is that Leopard will run 0-10% faster than Tiger on identical hardware, probably with Intel Macs getting a bigger boost than PPC Macs (which may get little, if any boosting :( ).

There are three caveats:

1) Each successive version of OS X needs more memory to run. Not insanely more memory, but typically 128MB more memory than the previous version to run comparably. If you're close to utilizing all your memory in Tiger and you upgrade to Leopard, you can probably expect performance reductions resulting from insufficient memory. My example is that I had 640MB in my iBook when I upgraded to Tiger, and in Panther, I was very happy using several applications simultaneously (iTunes, iCal, Address Book, Word, Adium, etc). When I moved to Tiger, I just couldn't do this anymore. I recently went from 640 -> 1.125GB on that computer, and the difference is remarkable; the iBook feels almost as usable as my iMac now.

2) Recent versions have become more demanding with hard disk space. Panther handled almost full HDs very well, but Tiger seems to behave very poorly if you have less than 5GB free. And in my experience, even if you go from having 10GB free to having 15GB free, you see a small but notable improvement in performance. I had to really prune down the little tiny HD in my iBook because of this.

3) Typically also requirements for video cards get more stringent. Usually not a big deal -- what this has traditionally meant is that some of the more "eye candy" -ish features just simply "opt out" if your card cannot handle them. OS X automatically disables them. It's not that notable. The biggest example in Tiger is, for instance, that when you add a new widget to Dashboard, you get that famed "rippling" graphic effect. My iBook does not do that (whereas my iMac does). That's about the level of it, though.