powermac G5 advice


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2005
I'm a photography student and my 4 year old dell isn't cutting the mustard anymore. i want to get a powermac. i'm looking for advice as to what specs would be good to start with. the powermacs seem to have lot of potential life as far as upgrading goes. i'm leaning towards the dual 2.3, 2g ram (possibly only 1G), 250GB hard drive (i store most of my photos on cds), ati radeon 250mb, 16xsuperdrive. obviously this is a monster of a machine but i'm feeling apprehensive about the purchase for obvious reasons. any suggestions?


macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
The 2.3 dual is a fantastic machine if you can afford it along with everything else photography related.

If you're on a budget, go for a 2004 model Rev B 2.0 G5 dually refurb@$1649 from Apple Red Tag Sales or new in box from the resellers for arount $1899.

The newer Rev C 2.0 has the dual layer burner but it's crippled with the
4 RAM slot prosumer motherboard.

SEARCH the threads here for 2.0 vs 2.3

1 GB RAM should be good for starters but more can't hurt.

If you're really on a tight budget and you also need a display, then the single processor 2.0 GHz iMacs are great.

Scarlet Fever

macrumors 68040
Jul 22, 2005
lol any mac will be better than your 4 yr old Dell.

That sounds like a great rig there. Personally i think the Dual 2GHz is more than adequate for photo editing. Dual 2.3GHz is awesome!

1 or 1.5 GB RAM should be sufficient, 2 if you if you really need that extra kick (the G5 chip currently requires that RAM is installed in pairs, so 1GB+1GB takes less space than 512+512+256+256; therefore 2GB is more efficient than 1.5GB).

Storing your images on HDD would make it easier to get images, so maybe think about a 400GB HDD.

From what I have heard, ATi make some excellent graphics cards. 256MB is heaps of memory (i still run everything on 32MB).

As far as i know, all the powermacs come with a dual-layer DVD burner, so Optical Drive is no problem here.

This machine is more or less a dream machine for me. If you do end up getting it, i hope you enjoy many years of fast computing with it!


macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2005
Behind the lens
Since you are probably going to be doing alot of Photoshop work, or at least looking at large photographs (ie files), may I just suggest a minimum of 2GB of RAM.

Get whatever G5 you can afford and then (dont buy from apple) upgrade the RAM. Its the true lifeblood of OSX and any multimedia program. Some may argue against tons of RAM, as unneccesary unless you are doing Offline Uncompressed 8Bit video. I disagree, more RAM everything is snappier, your HD clicks less and you can do a bazillion things at once (thank you Expose) without so much as one rotating beachball of death!

And also, it might seem like overkill, but get the X800 video card. Or whatever the top of the line ATI card is available. OSX does alot of GPU intensive tasks, and so do some multimedia programs you will use. And in the long run, the better the graphics card you have right now the longer you will have before you need another upgrade to stay ahead of the curve.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.