What to buy


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 10, 2005
Hello All
I have some questions that I just can’t answer . My current pc desktop has finally died after 5 misserable years ( the nasty 4 letter brand ) . I am looking into buying a mac and am currently looking at the I mac G5 17 inch 1.6 and 1.8 and don’t know which one to buy . I use my computer for internet , e-mail , quicken , some word prosssesing , burning cd’s , and editing photos and video . I would like to have a dvd burner but it is not a live or death thing and I could purchase an external burner later . For my needs do I need the 1.6 or the 1.8 , I will be upgrading the ram to at least 512 I just don’t want to regret my decision . I had thoughts of buying the e-mac but I think that will end up being too outdated too quickly . What are everyone’s thought’s , I just hate to make a major mistake and will have to keep whatever I buy for the next 3 to 5 years like I did when I bought my desktop that has been nothing but major problems . Thanks for your input in advance


Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
Bergen, Norway
If you're really worried about being outdated, you might want to consider an entry level PowerMac with a cheap 3rd party 17-19" LCD. It will last you longer and be much more upgradeable than the iMac (and you will be able to do all the upgrades yourself).

The 1.8 GHz PowerMac (which has a Superdrive) cost excactly the same as the 17" iMac with a Superdrive, both at $1499. Additional 256 MB RAM will be needed in both (but adding more later will be easier on the PowerMac), but you have to get a screen for the PowerMac. 17" start round $200, but are also replaceable, unlike the iMac's screen which you, quite litterarly, are stuck with...

Go for a entry level PowerMac... but you might consider holding on for a little while, as they are approaching end of cycle and then there's Tiger that's coming sometime soon...?


May 26, 2004
Randy's House
I'd go with the 1.8 iMac, although the above recommendation is solid - consider it. I just love the form factor of the iMac, but if long-term expandability is a must, the PowerMac is the way to go.

You won't notice much in the way of speed with the 1.6 and 1.8 - we have one of each in my offices.

But you will want to add at least a 512mb stick to the existing 256 - Crucial has it for about 70 bucks. You really need at least 768 mb of RAM to take advantage of the processor IMHO.

Be careful on both potential purchases: although the PowerMac front has been quiet, iMac updates have been murmuring around.

Good luck.


macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
Chicago, Illinois
PowerMac all the way. I've had my G4 desktop for close to 5 years and plan on keeping it another 2. I've maxed the RAM, upgraded the video card and processor. I did all those upgrades gradually over the years and it's still great. The iMac isn't very upgradeable-go for the PowerMac. :)
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