single G5 1.6 impressions?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by kuyu, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. kuyu macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2003
    I've been debating which mac to buy now for about six months. I've lately been focusing on *books because I'm a student. But my needs have changed, so now power in a desktop is more important.

    The dualie 1.8 is ~$2300, a refurb dualie 2.0 is ~$2500, and a single 1.6 is ~$1700. I mainly play with GB, safari, mail, office, toast, and itunes. But, I want a system I can expand later (the main problem with my emac 700). I don't play games on the computer, and my emac drags in GB.

    Is a single 1.6 fast enough for my needs, or will a dualie give me more time before the next inevitable upgrade.

    Anyone with single 1.6, I'd love to hear your first hand thoughts.

    Thx, kuyu
  2. Dreadnought macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2002
    Almere, The Netherlands
    Re: single G5 1.6 impressions?

    It will probably give you more time for the next inevitable upgrade! Even if you are gonna do some thing that use more power (video editing or whatever), you'll glad you have a dual!

    edit: typo
  3. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    I dont have a G5 but macmall does have the 1.8 single for 50 bucks less then the 1.6 and is a way better value. just in case you didnt know.
  4. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    I have a G5 1.6GHz with 1.25GB RAM and a Radeon 9600 Pro video card. It runs GarageBand quite well in my limited experiences with it, but subjective comments like that aren't always very helpful. Is there some type of GarageBand test I could perform for you? I think I'll go and try and load up as many tracks as I can before I get the 'slow CPU' warning message. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Apart from GB, I'm generally pretty happy with the 1.6s performance. I've had some nasty hardware problems along the way though (my first 1.6 had to be returned after 6 days due to constant crashing, and my current 1.6 suffers from the infamous 'black screen of death' problem caused by the Radeon 9600 graphics card, although since it's quite hot here in the middle of an Australian summer at the moment, the problem has disappeared for the last month or so).
  5. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Ok this is probably a meaningless benchmark, but I just threw 18 loops together in GarageBand and played them (and it didn't even sound all that bad!). My G5 1.6GHz played the composition in real time (ie: no audible slowdown or skipping), although the display that keeps track of time elapsed and counts of beats and measures wasn't updating would start at 1 beat and then not update for the next 2 beats and then jump straight to 4. Like I said though, it didn't seem to affect the actual audio playback.

    I don't know how other Macs perform in this regard...this might be a completely bogus test for all I know...maybe a 700MHz eMac can also handle 18 tracks without breaking a sweat. However, it gives you an idea of what a 1.6 G5 can do in real terms.

    You might of course want to wait through the next 30 days or so before buying any type of new G5. The rumour mills are buzzing with the prospect of G5 updates Real Soon Now, so you might find the entry level 1.6GHz system being updated to a 1.8GHz or 2.0GHz for the same price (or dropped altogether and replaced with a dual could be anything).

    Let me know if there are any other 'benchmarks' you'd like me to try. XBench and Cinebench scores are only useful if all you do all day long is run Xbench and Cinebench :)
  6. kuyu thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2003
    oingo, thanks for the reply. my emac boggs out at around 8 tracks (with full effects and voices). do you wish you'd bought a dualie, or are you quite content with the 1.6. Also, just out of curiosity, what are your xbench scores. My average is about 70.

    I don't plan to buy anything until summer here in lexington (5-6 months). By then I'll have the money for a dualie, but I've always believed that having the money and being able to afford something are COMPLETELY different. Maybe I'll get lucky and the bottom of the line will be 2.0!!!

    I'll probably keep rockin my emac until then, and buy an ipod now to cure my apple fever. Hopefully that will tide me over.
  7. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    I just ran Xbench 1.1.3, and the results are pasted in below. The overall score is 144.14 for my system. I just ran it while everything else on my desktop continued along, so it may not be the most scientific benchmark (not that Xbench is anyway). Check out the Xbench site for more scores...there will be plenty of G5 scores to compare there.

    Apart from the quality issues that I mentioned before (the original G5 with the faulty motherboard and the current black screen of death problem), I'm quite happy with the single 1.6. My usage consists mostly of web, e-mail, office (Word and Excel), a bit of Keynote for presentations, MP3 encoding, light Photoshop work, iPhoto, some Perl and MySQL development and of course now GarageBand....basically the same stuff lots of other people use their systems for :), and it handles all of those tasks without any slowdowns or breaking into a sweat. I'm about to start a PhD in molecular biology and bioinformatics, and the 1.6GHz G5 also runs scientific apps like BLAST nicely too (although if all I wanted was an ultra-fast scientific CPU workhorse, I would have built an AMD Opteron system).

    There's no way I could have afforded a dual CPU G5, so it was never really a consideration. I have owned dual processor Intel systems in the past though. They have undoubted advantages in multitasking and for SMP-optimized apps. However, the skeptic in me still says that the rabid devotion to dual-processor systems in the Mac community has more to do with a carried-over mentality from the bad old days of the G4 where Apple needed to ship dual-CPU systems to stay competitive with x86 systems, rather than any real need for an SMP Mac. The G5 is now competitive with many x86 offerings, even in a single CPU configuration. Please feel free to flame me...just my opinion.

    I think you're right to wait for another few months though. There will almost certainly be revisions within that timeframe, and with something as expensive as a G5, you want to get as much for your money as possible. Hopefully Apple will have ironed out some of the kinks in the G5 by then too. There doesn't appear to be any shortage of them if you browse the Apple forums (and from my own experiences too).

    Like I said before, let me know if there are any specific tasks you want to get benchmarked and I'll see what I can manage.

    Results 144.14
    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.1.3
    System Version 10.3.2 (7D24)
    Physical RAM 1280 MB
    Model PowerMac7,2
    Processor PowerPC 970 @ 1.60 GHz
    L1 Cache 64K (instruction), 32K (data)
    L2 Cache 512K @ 1.60 GHz
    Bus Frequency 800 MHz
    Video Card ATY,RV350
    Drive Type ST380013AS
    CPU Test 151.80
    GCD Loop 90.28 3.53 Mops/sec
    Floating Point Basic 254.56 920.57 Mflop/sec
    AltiVec Basic 108.67 3.16 Gflop/sec
    vecLib FFT 180.25 2.80 Gflop/sec
    Floating Point Library 314.18 12.58 Mops/sec
    Thread Test 90.64
    Computation 58.85 794.52 Kops/sec, 4 threads
    Lock Contention 197.10 2.47 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
    Memory Test 252.55
    System 268.86
    Allocate 587.94 383.51 Kalloc/sec
    Fill 198.68 1581.51 MB/sec
    Copy 226.04 1130.18 MB/sec
    Stream 238.10
    Copy 205.62 1503.07 MB/sec [G5]
    Scale 206.45 1523.59 MB/sec [G5]
    Add 273.15 1748.19 MB/sec [G5]
    Triad 291.41 1780.53 MB/sec [G5]
    Quartz Graphics Test 189.26
    Line 176.55 4.49 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
    Rectangle 176.13 12.39 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
    Circle 184.00 4.24 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
    Bezier 171.37 1.86 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
    Text 262.65 4.28 Kchars/sec
    OpenGL Graphics Test 138.40
    Spinning Squares 138.40 96.85 frames/sec
    User Interface Test 205.21
    Elements 205.21 66.01 refresh/sec
    Disk Test 104.14
    Sequential 112.49
    Uncached Write 148.19 61.77 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 118.85 48.67 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 79.35 12.56 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 128.27 51.83 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 96.95
    Uncached Write 82.28 1.23 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 100.51 22.67 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 95.92 0.63 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 114.57 23.58 MB/sec [256K blocks]

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