Single G5 vs. Dual G4

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by kuyu, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. kuyu macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2003
    For roughly the same price, ~$1500, I could get either a 1.6 Ghz G5 or a dualie 1.25 G4. I already have a decent 17" CRT, My question is, which would you buy?

    I plan to add 1 gig RAM in the next year, a 19 inch CRT, and Applecare. Both would have combo drives.

    I primarily surf the web, use office, garageband, itunes, mail, play a few games, and some photoshop. I also like to play around with bryce 5. Eventually I'll likely get into video editing and/or music production as hobbies.

    Any thoughts and first hand accounts would be greatly appreciated.

    Oh yeah, I can't afford a dualie G5 under any circumstances.
  2. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2003
    you can get a refurb 1.6 for 1399 or a refurb 1.8 for 1699
    both of these machines are single but the 1.8 is a whole lot better since it can handle 8 gigs of ram while the 1.6 can only handle 4
  3. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    seriously - are people putting 4GB of RAM in their computers?? Are people even putting 2GB in there??
  4. Soire macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2004
    Garden State
    Seriously- I'm guessing most Pros don't even use 8 gigs. How noticeably better is the performance going to be? What's wrong with 512 Megs?

    *good use of seriously, by the way.
  5. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I find 640 slows me down when I'm using several pro apps at once: Dreamweaver/Fireworks/Photoshop, or if I'm running anything in Classic mode and then anything else. I don't doubt that a lot of people are running 4 gigs--for video editing/3D work, it's hard to have too much RAM. 8 gigs is pretty intense, but I read an article recently about NASA scientists who routinely max out dual G5s. Still cheap compared to a booster rocket or a Mars rover :)
  6. ToddW macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2004
    I would get the G5 1.8. that way the machine willl not be old for awhile and you can always load it up for more RAM in time.
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I may be wrong on this but to buy the ram now to max out at 8 GB will cost more than the G5. And I am not talking about Apple's prices but street prices. Hopefully as Windows power users starting buying this high capacity memory, the price will go down. Currently they seem to be happy with 512 MB because their needs are less demanding. MS Office and viewing or listening to content created mostly from Macs.
  8. ou_phidelt macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2004
    Athens, Ohio
    Another positive of having the extra RAM slots is that it can make it cheaper to add RAM. Considering that most people are not going to max it out you could add a gig or two using 512 chips and still have plenty of room left if if your using the 1.8. Even if you do not need 8 gigs it can still be a good thin to have the slots open. Just remember that you have to add RAM in pairs with the G5.
  9. Schmittroth macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2003
    NYC, Astoria-Queens
  10. kirk26 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2003
    West Virginia
    I have one client that I setup that have dual 1.8Ghz G5's with 2.5GB of Ram.
  11. JamesDPS macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2004
    Irvine, CA
    Wow -- that article started quite a fight among posters afterwards over the whole Crucial endorsement thing. I'm planning on buying a G5 PM when new ones are introduced, and will be using it for sequencing, sampling, and mixing -- probably with Logic and ESX sampler, but possibly with Digital Performer and Mach5. Any opinions on whether there would be a huge difference between 2 and 4 GB of RAM (I certainly can't afford more than 4)? I know that simultaneous samples depends on "CPU" but does that include RAM or is it purely processor? Because I imagine it would be a combination, so 4 GB of RAM (even just to fill all the available slots) might be preferable (from a cost perspective, it's better than building a Gigastudio PC in addition to buying the G5). Any thoughts?
  12. bbarnhart macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2002
    I have the dual 1.25 G4 Mac OS X only. While I don't play games or render animation or edit video, this machine has never slowed me down. Not once have I thought, "I wish this machine was faster." I nearly always have a dozen apps running at the same time. Mail, Safari, Photoshop Elements, BBEdit, Activity Monitor, Quicken iView Media Pro, iTures and more. I have upgraded to 768 MB of RAM.

    I do not pretend to know anything about the 1.6 G5.

    There is something to be said about two processors. I have a dual 933 Xeon (w/SCSI) (Win2000) and a single 2.8 Pentium 4 (XP) at work. I usually use the dual 933 because it "seems" faster (esp. with the SCSI drives).

    I would go and try out a 1.6 G5 at a local computer store if you can and if it "seems" fast enough, go for it. On the other hand, I don't think you would be disappointed with the dual 1.25 G4. If only you had them side by side to test. Sigh.
  13. jap4n macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2003
    wellington, nz

    i'm thinking about doing the same. I've come to a decision that buying a dual G4 second hand is way cheaper.

    I'm trying to get my hands on a DP 1gHz G4 - with 512ram and Superdrive. All for $NZ2600... heaps cheaper than a brand new DP 1.25 G4 ($NZ3800)or SP G5 1.6 ($NZ4000).

    Now the reason is that Dual G4's work well with OSX. I've had a play on the G5 1.6 - and it seems to be only as fast as the SP G4 1.25! But this is just a quick play at the local mac shop. Nuffing testing.

    The Dual 2ghz G5's completely rock though. I played around for a long time on that beast! wow! if i had a million dollars.. "besides doing two chicks at the same time", i'd get one of these... :p

    BTW. i'm gunna be using my DP G4 for dvd production and video edit
  14. lind0834 macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2003
    *On Topic*

    Back on topic. I'd pick the G5 over the Dual G4..

    You can check some of the tests over at BareFeats, seems the lowest G5 usually beats a Dual G4.. but you can check them out yourself.

    Also, the G5 is 64bit.. that doesn't mean much right now, but hopefully in a year or two OS X will be 64bit and all the Pro Apps will have 64bit revisions. You don't want to be stuck in 32bit land when that bomb drops.

    Lastly, on average the G5s are quieter than the G4s. Doesn't mean you won't get a loud G5, or a quiet G4, but Apple designed the G5s to be less noisy.

    My 2 cents.
  15. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2004
    South Australia
    The current lineup of G4 towers are great if you want some sort of a server, however I'd have to agree and go with the G5, even though it only has 1 cd Dirve bay.
  16. jap4n macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2003
    wellington, nz
    well i just bought a DP G4 1.25... so it shall be here in about 5 days.

    $300 cheaper than a SP G5 1.6 - but hopefully heaps better at crunching them numbers.

  17. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Rev B/C G5. need I say more? That will be the ticket just as the D.A 533 was or Quicksilver 733. rev B & C machines are the way. not A not D or E. Plenty of room for upgrades and not boxed in by some new stuff that dont work quite right or old stuff with no where to go. my 3 cents :p
  18. fartheststar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2003
    From a guy who bought the same 1.25 DP G4 in Canada, I would say you are going to love your machine. No need to "re-consider" or worry about what others say now, you have a great machine and it will last you a long time. Yes, there will always be new and better, but you got a great deal on a desktop.

    EDIT: And a good point about the rev a / b thing. I wouldn't touch a Rev A, which also helped my decision.... as I needed the computer when I bought it (last August) and no Rev B was on the horizon.. heck, Rev A hadn't shipped.
  19. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    Livermore, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    I'm in the same boat - At this point, I can afford a dual 1.25 G4 with the CDRW/DVD Combo drive and a gig of RAM, and that's with both an educational discount and the current Apple memory promo.

    I'm reluctant to invest in a single processor 1.6 or 1.8, mainly for reasons folks have cited regarding revision A/B machines and the fact that Apple will be dropping these machines first from its lineup. Also, I'm waiting for the G5 form factor to evolve: with the G4 tower, I can add a second internal optical drive once DVD burners speed up a little more, I can add in my existing hard drives from my Beige G3 (30, 60, and 100 Gigs, respectively) and still max out the memory to 2 Gigs in the future. The cooling requirements for the new G5s eat up a lot of this space.

    Sure, with the G5s there's the (mostly) 64-bit processing, Firewire 800, Serial ATA and PCI-X, but the questions I return to are what do I need versus what do I want, and how expandable are the form factors to accomodate my potential future needs? For the moment, that's the dual G4s. For serving a few very low-traffic Web sites from my home, doing low-grade sound processing and graphics, and general office work (email, Word/Excel, etc.) I'll have a solid machine that will last 5 more years and give Apple time to refine the G5s, release OS 10.4 exclusively for a 64-bit platform, and introduce its next-generation processor. In the meantime, if I want Serial ATA, I'll add a PCI card to the G4. Same goes for Firewire 800 (although I don't see this being widely adopted).

    Just my $.02. :p
  20. jap4n macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2003
    wellington, nz
    holy crizzap my Dual G4 kick sass!!
    im so glad i went the Dual streets instead of the boring old singlez..

    zing zing zing!!!! woah.. this is my ferrari
  21. jap4n macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2003
    wellington, nz
    hey - i think this sounds a little stupid.. but im having trouble

    my nice new G4 is awesome. i'm trying to add some extra ram, but dont wanna buy off apple as its way more expensive.

    i tried installing my pc's ram (512mb double sided pc2100) into the G4 but it wouldnt recognise it.

    can i just use generic 512mb pc2700 DDR ram 333mhz!? or is there a brand name i should be looking for..

    as i say this sounds stupid. but i thought that macs could handle any brand ram
  22. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    It's NOT the a question of 2GB, 4BG, or 8GB capacity, it the capacity for 4 banks of memory in the SP 1.8 G5 that makes it a better choice than the SP 1.6 G5.

    People already complain that the iMac/iBook/Powerbook only have 2 slots -- and any memory upgrade in the future will mean removing memory.

    Well the SP 1.6 G5 is basically 2 banks (although they're 128 bit) of memory -- upgrade once and toss out something every time after that.

    So it's not a question of whether people will use 8GB of memory, but how many times will you want to add memory? and whether shelving memory in the G5 1.6 appeals to you?

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