PowerMac G5 1,8ghz vs Mac Mini ? For mom&dad usage ?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by goncaloproenca, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. goncaloproenca macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hi there,

    I own and owned my fair share of mac's - currently I have an intel Mac Mini as a media center, my wife has a MBP, I have as a desktop a MacPRO Xeon and have a MacAir myself...

    My parents, as usual, keep bugging me to fix their computer - Windows.

    So I ran into a store that is selling Powermac G5's CHEAP, I mean dirty cheap.

    But its the 1,8 ghz, G5 version.

    I was planning to buy them a MacMini so I can VNC from home and fix any problem or explain any issue but this PM G5 got me wondering...

    Is it ok for normal usage ?

    this is what they use it for :

    Flash based games ( dont even ask why... my mom loves it )
    Internet Browing

    Very light stuff that a G4 can do I know... the thing is :

    I had my old and trusty Powerbook G4 1.0ghz there and my Mom found it DEAD slow.... so she stopped using it.

    Its an online store so returning the Powermac is a nono... Is the speed of a PowerMac G5, but Macmini C2D standards, too slow ?

    I know they would be super fine and happy with a MacMini ( intel ) but can a Powermac suffice ? Is it much slower than a Mac Mini 1.8 ghz core duo intel for example ?
  2. gglockner macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    PowerPC-based Macs are a dead end now. You won't be able to patch, get software, etc. Look for a used Core 2 Duo Mac Mini instead - on Craigslist, Small Dog, PowerMax, etc.
  3. gglockner macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    And I see no reason to apologize for liking Flash-based games. They don't have the snob factor, but they can be very fun and addictive.
  4. goncaloproenca thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2008
    True but ( and this is what is killing me ) is that the Powermac G5 is less than half the cost of the MacMini used... to put things in prices ( I live in Europe ) an average price of a MacMini is around 400-450 euros ( used, C2D 1,8, etc )... on the low end you can have one for 350 if you really have some luck.....

    Now, this Powermac ( although with a paltry 80gb disk but I do have a spare 600gb around ) costs 160 euros... and that is quite less than the MacMini...
  5. rickvanr macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2002
  6. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I'm tempted to tell you to get the G5 because the price is definitely right. But like others here, I think it would do your parents better to have an Intel Mac.
  7. macgeek18 macrumors 68000


    Sep 8, 2009
    Northern California
    If all they do is basic programs,and they aren't worried about SL or having the latest version of iMovie,then get the G5 and put 2-4GB of ram in it and it will fly.I had a dual 1.8 G5 before I got my MacBook and that thing was extremely fast with 1.5GB of ram.
  8. CCK macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2010
    I agree, If it has 10.5 on it you'd be good for a while, if it's got 10.3, look at $150-$250 to upgrade the OS. A lot of simple web browsing alone doesn't work on 10.3. Then as mentioned all the new software is phasing out or has already phased out PPC.
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    The OS has ditched the PPC, fully expect iLife and iWork to follow soon and require Intel and Snow Leopard.

    Perfectly fine to use the G5 tower, if you never plan on updating the OS or the apps.

    However, the Mini will be cheaper in the long run with more HD space, more RAM, up-to-date apps including iLife and cheap to add iWork if you already have the DVD for your machine. Updating the apps, OS, RAM, and HD on the G5 is a cost.

    And look for a used Intel Mac Mini or buy a refurb if they offer them near you.


    Really the only reason to buy the G5 is if you still have some Classic apps, and you should be looking at getting away from those anyhow.
  10. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003

    If you had not mentioned that, i'd say just get the G5 as it would be enough. But flash is VERY slow on PPC machines - and its just going to get slower the more complex flash becomes. If your mom got fed up with the Powerbook G4, she's going to be disappointed with the G5. Just get the Mini.
  11. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Honestly, get a Mac Mini. I wouldn't even consider a G5 because of the speed.

    If you really do not want to spend so much money, get them a PC. It can do everything you said they were going to do. I don't see the reason in overspending if that is all they will do.
  12. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    To be honest, anything 1.66GHz Core Duo and upward will outperform the G5 and have more of a future ahead. That G5 is now nearly seven years old and most new software that comes out won't even run on it. I realise your parents don't use too much of it but what if Adobe decide to give up on PPC builds of Flash? It's not such a crazy idea since Apple's basically killing PowerPC off. Adobe has already said that they are no longer developing Creative Suite for the PowerPC platform and will not release any more patches for it.

    If you really want the cheapest Mac Mini you can get then get any old one. Pre 2009 they are all pretty much identical internally just with different CPUs dumped inside so you can always upgrade if you later want. Spend some time looking for deals though. I managed to pick up a 1.83GHz CD 2GB 160GB Mac Mini for under €200 a few weeks ago although I admit that was especially lucky.

    To answer your performance question, the core processors performed pretty much clock for clock with the G5s at launch if I remember (in native apps) so a 1.83GHz dual core Mac Mini would be about the same as a dual processor G5 at similar speeds. Of course, the G5 you're considering is single processor.

    I guess the one other pro with the mac mini is that if they decide they want Windows back then you can always install it on there for them.
  13. swampbits macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2007
    Additional Considerations

    To add to the other considerations already mentioned:

    • A PowerMac G5 has a fairly large form factor.
    • The PowerMac G5 is fairly loud (mine anyways) when the CPU get busy (and fans spin up).
    • The PowerMac G5 will almost certainly have a much larger power draw, costing much more over the long term in electricity costs.
  14. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
    The mini is better in every way except graphical power and hard drive speed.
  15. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Coming from experience that has actually owned a dual 1.8ghz G5, I will tell you that they are still good machines even for flashed based stuff. For every day stuff, the G5 will be just as good a Mini. If you keep them clean, the G5s will be quiet and load it up with 2-4gb of memory and it will be quick.

    I've really felt no difference between my Mini and my dual-core 2.3ghz G5. They both stutter after awhile with Flash as it's has more to do with OS-X.

    If you do decide get a G5, make sure it has 8 memory slots(8gb max '03-early '05) and ditch the Geforce 5200 for a better graphics card. If your mom plays heavily flashed-based online games, then I'd recommend buying a PC for her then.

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