Upgrading from PowerPC G5 Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wacomme, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. wacomme macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #1
    I have a Power PC G5 Mac. I have a beautiful NEC 30" Hi-rez external monitor (photographer - side business). I have several e-sata external drives. I'm a K-12 teacher. I have a PC laptop through my school district.

    I want to upgrade to an Intel machine. I don't want to spend an arm and a leg for a new home/photo business computer. I want to use my 30" monitor and would prefer to keep my e-sata external enclosures (if possible).

    Mac Pros appear to fit my needs but they're so expensive. I don't really need another laptop. I've read the iMac has the biggest bang for the buck, but I don't need a monitor, though I could perhaps use it as a second monitor (correct?). The Mini doesn't satisfy my e-sata wishes and I don't know if it will support my monitor nor adequately support Photoshop and Aperture.

    So, which computer should I buy and why?
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    The Mac Pro is the only desktop Mac with eSATA port capability, the 17" MBP can be updated to have eSATA ports via an ExpressCard.

    Maybe have a look into the refurbished section of the Apple Online Store.

    Example.
     
  3. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Does the SD Slot on the iMac support an e-sata card?
     
  4. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    $2800!!!! Yikes.
     
  5. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #5
    No, as eSATA cards are something else.

    SD card

    [​IMG]

    eSATA card
    [​IMG]
     
  6. brayden8181 macrumors newbie

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    I HIGHLY suggest a Mac Mini! These little machines are amazingly tiny, and very low priced(for a mac) Don't underestimate them, I use one for video,audio,photography production along with my old G5 quad 1.8GHz when I need the extra power. Check your local craigslist or Kijiji.ca if your Canadian like me. I found a Intel mini for $150.00 used with 1.83GHz dual core processor and 2 GB ram with a pro keyboard+pro mouse! It was a steal! Of course this is not the machine for you if you need alot of future expansion, however you can buy ESATA USB adapters if you need to use the esata drives.

    If you don't want to consider a mini, check your local Apple resellers and ask them about display models, sometimes they can offer a hefty discount to hardware that was only taken out of the package for a demo!

    Good luck!
     
  7. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #7
    If you need eSATA, I am afraid you will have to go with a Mac Pro, however, it is very possible to find one of the older versions for considerably less than $2800, heck, you can buy a new quad for $2500. Your enclosures may also include USB support, so you may want to check that. For your needs, I think the iMac would do you best, as it is considerably more powerful than the G5, and you could do a dual screen configuration. Even with my 13 and 20" screens, having two really makes me more productive, and I imagine it would help a lot with photo work too. If you would rather go for the mini, then you may want to wait for a refresh, although I don't know exactly what that would entail.
     
  8. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Update

    Perhaps the iMac is my best bet; just a lot of monitor on a small desk.

    I like the price of the Mini option. However, would the Mini run my 30" monitor and would it keep up with Photoshop and Aperture use?
     
  9. turugara macrumors regular

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    Pennsylvania
    #9
    Yes...kinda.
    I'm pretty sure it'll be better than your G5 in terms of performance. However, realize that the Mini is still based on a Core 2 Duo, dual core processor from yesteryears and a 9400m Nvidia graphics. It'll be rough handeling a 30" monitor but it's definitely "capable", albeit not "ideal".
     
  10. super_kev macrumors 6502

    super_kev

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    #10
    I wouldn't get a Mini if I were you, as they are bound to be upgraded soon, and the integrated graphics make for compromised Photoshop/Aperture performance, and would future-limit the machine. Keeping in mind that you have had your G5 for a long time (and this next purchase you will also have for a long time), I would suggest two options:

    1) A used 2.66 Ghz Mac Pro from eBay. I have a 2006 model Mac Pro, and while I would really like the newer, faster revisions, I am not pushing the '06 Mac Pro to the point I need to upgrade. The only thing I've done is drop in three SATA hard drives and a Radeon 4870 in place of the X1900. I'm sure it will last me another 3-4 years. Or, pick up the cheapest refurbished model from Apple.

    2) A refurbished 27" iMac from the Apple store, with a Firmtek SypderHUB eSATA adapter. Currently, there are two iMac models I would look into: 3.06Ghz C2D 4670 w/256MB for $1449, or 2.66Ghz i5 and Radeon 4850 w/512MB for $1699. Even though you already have a display, the 27" iMacs are gorgeous and will run you the same price as a used Mac Pro.
     
  11. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Given these two choices, which option is preferred - older Mac Pro or newer iMac?
     
  12. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #12
    Option

    Would this work?

    iMac 20 inch (viewable) widescreen active-matrix LCD display
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
    6MB shared L2 cache
    1GB of 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; supports up to 4 GB
    250GB Serial ATA hard drive
    Slot-loading SuperDrive (DVR+/-R DL/DVD+/-R RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT graphics processor with 128MB of GDDR3 memory
    Built-in iSight video camera
    Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet (externat DSL and cable modem ready)
    One FireWire 800 port; three high-speed USB 2.0 ports; two high speed USB 2.0 on keyboard
    Built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking (802.11n)2 and Bluethooth 2.1 +EDR
    Audio:built-in stero speakers:integrated microphone; optical digital audio input/audio line in ;optical digital audio output/headphone out
    DVI video output: VGA video output, S-video and composite vido output
    Apple Remote, Applte Keyboard, and Mighty Mouse
     
  13. RGunner macrumors 6502a

    RGunner

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    #13
    probably would work

    However, this would not be my choice, given what you have asked.

    A Mac Mini will keep up with this machine, you will find the 20" monitor coupled with your 30" just will take up space... For my money a used Intel Mac Pro ($1600-1800) or a Mac Mini, low end with a SSD boot drive would be your best bet. I would not buy a 20" iMac.

    /puts on flame suit

    after looking at refurb store, this is the machine I would buy. (Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5- $1,699.00) or the Refurbished Mac Pro 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon - $2149)

     
  14. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

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    Germany.
    #14

    The OP mentioned that he is a photographer. Once you've used an application like Aperture with two large screens (preferably two 30" displays), you don't want to go back to a single screen setup. I use the second screen for poster-sized previews of my photos while I have the library and the tools on the first screen.
     
  15. RGunner macrumors 6502a

    RGunner

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    #15
    and I fully agree


    two screens are excellent, however one being a 20" is just not usable for anything... I know, I have that presently at work and choose just to not use the 20". Two 30"s or two 27" HD's, would be perfect for him., hence the Mac Pro, or start with a 27" iMac (minimum)
     
  16. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    A used Mac Pro seems to be the logical choice. I just wish they weren't so expensive.
     
  17. iSpoody 1243 macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #17
    if you make money of your photography work you should be able to justify a refurb/used mac pro considering how fast and capable they are. probably wont need to buy a new one till this one dies.
     
  18. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #18
    Good point. However, having bought a lot of photo equipment over the past few years, I'm just now starting to make money at the business; it's a small business that I do when I have spare time (spare time is few and far between).
    I suppose any Intel Mac Pro will suffice, correct?
     
  19. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a

    DesignerOnMac

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #19
    If your photography business is a business, your camera equipment, computer and software are tax deductible if you live in the US. If your in Canada as mentioned they must have business expenses as deductible also, no?
     
  20. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    US. True. It's still money out of pocket.
     
  21. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #21
    I would say any mac pro would suffice, especially for moderate photo editing. A newer iMac would definitely work too, I suppose it just depends on price, if you can find a pro for cheaper than a new iMac with an ATi graphics card, then go for it. Definitely would not recommend the iMac you listed though, a new mini would work much better than that, especially with the extra RAM and video RAM.
     
  22. ClassicII macrumors 6502

    ClassicII

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    #22
    If interested you could get a used 2.66 mac pro fro around 800-1000.

    Also is your g5 just not fast enough any more? What version do you have?
     
  23. wacomme thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 21, 2009
    #23
    I might be interested in your Mac Pro offer. Please tell me more.

    I have the Dual 2.3 GHz PowerPC G5 with 6.5GB of memory. Nice machine. Limited only that it's not Intel and thus somewhat limited in newer software options.
     

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