PowerMac G5 Relevant Still?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Jamesfolo, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. Jamesfolo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    #1
    Hey Everyone,

    I'm starting to take work, both audio and photography more seriously, and am hoping to move up from my macbook to a more powerful desktop.

    I'm wondering would a powermac g5, such as a dual 2.0 gHz be a reasonable step up, or are they too dated. Should i bide my time and save up for a more up to date machine
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    The Power Mac G5 would be a step back in processing power.

    You can get 4 GB of RAM and 320 GB 7200 RPM drives for the MacBook right now.
     
  3. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #3
    I'm thinking the powermac g5 might not be the best choice. Save up and get an iMac or MacPro, depending on your specific needs.
     
  4. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #4
    if your looking for a desktop the iMac would kill the Power Mac now. but as you are looking at a Power Mac im guessing you are looking for a tower but the Mac Pro is too expensive for you? you could maybe go for a refurbished previous model Mac Pro for a little cheaper?

    The Mac Pro is about the same price as the Power Mac was back in PowerPC days and the same performance when considering the evolution in technology. you are essentially taking a step back buying into PowerPC rather than buying an Intel Mac.
     
  5. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #5
    The PowerMac G5 has some benefits to it.

    -They can be had for cheap (as low as 500 it seems)
    -Multiple harddrives
    -Larger amounts of ram (up to 16GB on some models)
    -User replaceable parts
    -Excellent for a dedicated machine to leave on all the time

    So if you are looking for a suitable sister computer that works as a double / backup, its perfect. But not one g5 shy of the quad 2.5 or dual 2.7 would be concidered an upgrade.

    My dual core 2.0 g5 benchmarks just under my 2.16 c2d macbook (110 vs 120 on Xbench).
     
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #6
    ^ i agree a Power Mac would be perfect for running RAM hungry apps and for storage as a server. just add wireless to it,it place it near your router or add a wall switch and youve got yourself a headless Mac server.
     
  7. Reach macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Norway
    #7
    I'd prefer the last G5's over a new iMac for sure if I was doing audio/photo work.

    RAM is a crucial factor (at least for me), and being able to replace HD's etc. is a great advantage.

    It should be pretty cheap though, as the new Mac Pro's would be far more future-friendly machines if the price of the G5's you are looking at start to get high.
     
  8. Jamesfolo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    #8
    Thanks so much for all the quick replies. I think the best option after reading here is to wait it out for a while, and save towards a mac pro. How long can it take to save 2k? :)
     
  9. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto
    #9
    I cannot speak for the Audio side of your needs, and if your photography is not cutting edge, consider the dual 2.0 G5; the models that can take up to 8 GB of Ram.

    I'd seriously consider this option if you already have CS2 Photoshop or the Creative Suite from your previous computer purchases. Tiger for this would be great.

    Sure the new Intel Mac Pro is faster, but seriously, how much do you need this kind of speed if you are learning Photoshop and it's you, the user, that is the slowest part of your workflow. I'm putting 300mg Tiffs through some simple edits and I am very pleased of the G5's speed compared to my 1.2 G4. Load it up with inexpensive Ram and you'll be surprised. Based on my own modest experience, a 30" monitor would speed my overall workflow more than a faster, new computer. Sometimes its the human factor of moving things around on the screen that gets me bogged down than how fast my actual computer is. However, a video card that can handle a 30" monitor are getting tough to find.

    People are dumping their G5s to upgrade. Hurry, the deals will only last so long before the recession overtakes us then we're all stuck with the machines we have heading into the recession.

    If you don't have the software, and cannot find an inexpensive copy of CS2, then my thoughts would have to be reconsidered. For me, already having the CS2 software, Corel Painter, amongst other packages, getting a used G5 for $1,000, and not paying any sales tax was a great value in savings over a new system. With buying a new system, I would have also had to upgrade to CS3 and that pushes the cost up another $800 ontop of a new machine.

    It's a tough call. Only your needs and finances can dictate what you should do.

    Mike
     
  10. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philly
    #10
    About a month using the 1 Top Ramen a day diet. Doesn't help you lose weight, but does let you pack on the bils :D
     
  11. Razzerman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    #11
    Patience

    Great observation - it really is about what you can afford and what you need. It's very easy to spend other people's hard earned cash - you'll have to work out how serious your work is.

    I personally think you've made the right choice in waiting and saving for a Mac Pro - Intel is the future (for now); the PPC has had it's day.

    Good luck.
     
  12. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #12
  13. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #13
    If you decide to go for a G5 make sure it has 8 RAM slots.
    Steer away from liquid cooling models as well, users on these forums will tell you they leak (I'm sure there are plenty of liquid cooling models working perfectly out there though).

    Be wary that as you move up the line towards the quad G5s you approach the price of a new iMac.

    I'm running a single 1.8 G5 with the Aperture trial, it's running at a level I call fine, editing RAW files with many adjustments can slow things down. Keep in mind I upgraded to an ATI Radeon 9800 PRO.
    You'd be sacrificing processor but a dedicated graphics chip will help with Aperture (for example), I think you will loose more than you gain however.

    Tough call, save up for a base level Mac Pro and you'll be laughing.
     
  14. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto
    #14
    I do agree that the future is Intel from this point moving forward.

    However, if your needs as a photographer are modest in your efforts to learn more about photography, that you aren't trying to blast through a huge number of big files, then a maxed out Ram G5 is still worth considering. You can still do great things with it in terms of upgrades; second internal scratch disks, eSata cards, faster hard drives, raid, and 256 video cards to speed things up.

    CS2 and Tiger are a great match if it is an obtainable and realistic option for you. I've been reading the book "Professional Photoshop" by Dan Margulis and am struck by the fact that to slowly learn and grasp the fundamentals of Photoshop would take many years - years that can easily be done with a G5. I am continually amazed at how well my G5, with 6GB of Ram, performs for my level. I would mention I have a D40 with 6mg Raw files that expand to 34 mg Tiffs. CS2 Bridge opens folders of these images in a reasonable amount of time (I'd guess the Mac Pro would open this instantly), and performing edits in Photoshop with decent speed for me. Capture One Raw processing takes some time, but then I am not processing all my images anyways - only the ones that I wish to work on.

    Again - maybe get a good deal on a G5 and a used copy of CS2 that is cheaper and you have a system that is functional in a meaningful way and doesn't break you financially. I know for me this is what made sense for the level of skill I am at. Later, when you've saved up - you can buy an Intel Mac Pro and pay cash when you are better able to step up to that level of increased speed.

    I maintain for myself, that until the techniques of Photoshop become fluid and intuitive, I am struggling with the mechanics of it, and wrestling with the smallness of my 21" LCD. I don't think I could tame the potential power and speed the new Mac Pros has to offer anyways. It would be money better spent elsewhere; like a 30" LCD.

    Also, I've accepted the fact that I will be left behind soon when software for the power PC is abandoned. The G5 is a great stop gap for me. Maybe for you as well.

    Enough arm twisting.

    Mike

    p.s.

    I think it is worth mentioning - to keep this in perspective - in Dan's "Professional Photopshop" book, he says that the thought processes to use Photoshop effectively can be done using a few versions back. A G5 using CS2 is still a viable solution to consider. CS2 contains all the tools needed for all of the techniques in Dan's book. That alone could keep you out of trouble for many years.
     
  15. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    G5s are too dated now. You should go Intel. Especially if you plan on getting into programming. For example, the iPhone SDK doesn't even install on a PPC machine. It's Intel only.
     
  16. IroquoisPliskin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    #16
    The G5 CPU is still great for photography, I use mine every day for it. :)
     
  17. vohdoun macrumors 65816

    vohdoun

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    Far away from Earth.
    #17
    What was that site that had a generator thing that you specced out your Mac to see what it would sell for...

    Anyone remember?

    I think it was purple and black graphics.
     
  18. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #18
    http://www.mac2sell.net/
     
  19. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #20
    That Mac2Sell site doesn't work very well. It wouldn't let me select 1.8GHz for my PowerMac CPU (topped out at 1.67 GHz) and it didn't ask about the graphics card or any extra PCI cards (e.g. Radeon 9800 Pro, USB 2.0, Sonnet Sata hard drive card and an internal USB 2.0 + Firewire + headphone jack HUB (goes where the jazz drive used to be). Not that I'm looking to sell it.
     

Share This Page