Whats the right Powermac for me?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by whoathere, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. whoathere macrumors 6502

    whoathere

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Rockford, IL
    #1
    Hey guys, I need opinions on what would be the right powermac, or mac pro even, for me. I currently have a 2.0 2gb CD Macbook, and I have it hooked up to a Samsung, 19" display. I do everything on this computer, all of my school work, editing photos, and playing with illustrator and photoshop. My problem is that I have entirely way too much going on on this laptop. I also have a lot of external drive space, (2) 500gb Acomdata Firewire drives. So, I've been thinking about getting a Powermac or a Mac Pro. I tend to lead towards a Powermac G5, due to prices. I want at least the G5 because I want that style, the look is awesome to me.

    My main reason is that I would free up a ton of space if I could get rid of my external drives, save 1 for time machine, have the display dedicated to the powermac, and then use my macbook for school and more as a portable compared to a desktop. I find myself leaving it at home because I've got something going on, or downloading, or who knows what. With the desktop I would be able to have all of my home use on one machine, and my schoolwork and other things on the macbook.

    I realize there are several options out there for the powermac, but I'm hoping to find something cheap, like maybe a dual 2.0, or 1.8 and then upgrading RAM as I see fit. My main uses for this would be storage, I would probably have quite a bit of large files (RAW images, movies, music, etc.) and I need it to be able to at least handle Aperture and CS3, and other programs I play around with.

    Any suggestions? It would be nice if you could include a ballpark price figure with any suggestions you guys toss my way. Again, all I need is the tower, I have an aluminum keyboard, wireless MM, and a 22" display on the way, so I'll be selling the 19" shortly.

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. whoathere thread starter macrumors 6502

    whoathere

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Rockford, IL
    #3
    I've considered the iMac as well, but I think I can get an equal performing powermac, even without the Intel chip, for much less right?
     
  3. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #4
    Well not quite. UB apps on an iMac will outperform a G5. There really isn't much of a point in going backwards. It is ultimately your decision, but most people will warn against buying a PPC Mac at this point regardless of how much it may be, well to a degree of course.

    What kind of prices are seeing for G5s?
     
  4. joemama2413 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    there are plenty of power macs on ebay.
    Apple Power Mac G5 2GHz Processor 1GB Ram 160GB HD
    found a couple of these for US$750
     
  5. whoathere thread starter macrumors 6502

    whoathere

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Rockford, IL
    #6
    Prices seem to be about the same as what Joemama just stated. I guess I didn't consider the UB to run slower on the PPC, but it does make sense. I guess the main reason why I tend to disregard the iMac is because, if I get a 2.0 2gb 250 for however much, thats kinda what I'm stuck with. Maybe I just dont know enough about the iMac, but I'm assuming it isn't really that expandable.

    Whereas with a 2.0 basic powermac, I would be able to add bigger/faster hard drives, and more RAM, which I equate to better performance. I could be way off though, which is why I came to you guys.
     
  6. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #7
    I don't think you want a G5 powermac, they are overpriced at what they go for, since an intel Mac Mini will beat them at most things and is cheaper. if you really want internal storage go for a G4 powermac, or even a G3 with a new HD controller, but the best deal would be external drives with an intel Mac Mini.
     
  7. whoathere thread starter macrumors 6502

    whoathere

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Rockford, IL
    #8
    Another thing I'm trying to rid is the clutter. I have so much wasted space right now. The mini isn't really on my radar, if that was my only option, I would just stick to my same setup.

    I feel as if either an iMac, which would be sweet to have running a 17 or 20" iMac, and then my 22" display together, or the powermac, which I think is an awesome looking machine. If it's not reasonable for me, I'd like to be able to come to that conclusion before buying it and finding it isn't right for me.

    Maybe it would be a better idea to wait for Apple to announce upgrades to the Mac Pro and then see if people will be unloading old G5's or Mac Pro's, which I'd assume I could catch a deal on.

    I'm not really in a hurry to pick one up, but ideally I'd like to have something by mid January when my spring semester starts.
     
  8. Schroedinger macrumors regular

    Schroedinger

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #9
    Here's how I see your situation:

    Mac Pro - definitely not. As I always like to say, if you need to ask if you should get a mac pro then you don't need a mac pro.

    iMac - basically your macbook with a bigger screen and more storage, but you'll hit the ceiling again and be right back to where you are now.

    Mac Mini - If you are willing to/can afford to invest in new external drives, this is an intriguing option. You don't need a lot of horsepower, and with a couple of stackable externals, you could have yourself the tower of mac mini.

    G5 - I think you can get one of these and not worry about performance. It's not like it's a G4. It won't be blazing but you don't seem to want blazing. Add a couple of terabyte internals and the external HD problem goes away. You also seem to be enamored with them. I think it is perfectly okay to take into account which product makes you excited in this kind of decision. Any way you go you're going to drop some bank, so you should get something that makes you excited.

    In my opinion, the best option is the Power Mac.
     
  9. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #10
    The right one is always the best you can afford.
     
  10. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #11
    A Powermac PPC might seem like a great deal now, but what about in a few years when new apps don't release PPC versions.
     
  11. volvoben macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    nowhere fast
    #12
    It seems obvious that you're smitten with the G5/Mac Pro in general, quite understandably. My opinion is that a PPC mac purchase at this point is still reasonable, but in most cases should be avoided. If you find a nice dual 2.0 for $750, go ahead and buy it, it's a good machine that will last a few years, but just don't think of it as a long term purchase. the reality is that in 2 years you'll be seeing diminishing support for PPC, and it'll seem further outdated than its age would imply (it'll still look good though).

    Another thing to consider is that the G5s only had 2 HDD bays. The G4s and Mac Pros have 4. 2 is much better than 1 in an imac, but as you accumulate disks and try to accommodate larger files and backups you'd still need externals before long.

    I doubt you have the financing for a Mac Pro (which is no doubt overkill in all other respects beyond expandability), but if you can live with your current setup for a while you might look into a 1st gen. 2.0ghz mac pro in 6 months or so when the 2nd gen have taken over. I suppose a stripped 2.0 model might go for ~$1500 by then?

    I'm not even going to touch the consumer tower issue here.
     
  12. whoathere thread starter macrumors 6502

    whoathere

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Rockford, IL
    #13
    Thats what i was thinking about...waiting to see if new Mac Pro's are announced and then picking up a used one like you mentioned. Maybe I should just wait and do that. I can live with my set up, but I can always want or "need" more. Thanks for all of the input tho guys. I'll keep my open for a deal too good to pass up in the meantime. If I don't come across one, I'll just jump on the waiting wagon, but for a different reason.
     
  13. adamzx3 macrumors regular

    adamzx3

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    #14
    I was in the market for a machine the last few months and I was going to get a dual 2.7 G5 but the price was around $1800 with 2-4gb of ram. Thats a lot of dough for what your getting. Keep in mind the benchmarks on a 2ghz MBP is the same as the dual 2.5 G5. I saved up a bit longer and bought a MacPro 2.66 (thanks to the guidance of the forums) The extra $400 was well spent compared to the 2.7 G5.

    It sounds like you really don't need a G5 or MacPro in my honest opinion. If you can afford it, it's a great machine. I think you are a lot better off buying a 24" Imac and an extra stick of 2GB ram. Plus you'd have a 24" monitor (factor in another $800 for a cinema display + G5) You already have a TB of storage to plug in. You can purchase a 24" for $1699 with a student discount, a 20" 2.4ghz would be another option, faster than a 1.8ghz G5 and cheaper.

    If your just messing around with photoshop and illustrator or doing beginner projects for school the iMac should be more than enough power.

    Buying a 1.8 or 2.0 G5 will be a big downgrade from the 2.0ghz macbook (I had a MBP 2ghz a few months ago)

    Hope this helps
     
  14. whoathere thread starter macrumors 6502

    whoathere

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Rockford, IL
    #15
    So, I've been doing a little research today, instead of working on this massive project, and I may have found something I should look into further.

    The new Aluminum iMac. I could get the 20", 2.4, 1gb, 320gb HD, and the 256 card for 1299 from the refurb store, or with a student discount, for 1399. Either way, its not too much more than what I would spend on an older powermac. The good thing is that it supports up to 4gb RAM, which would be great for a while.

    Another thing is that I could sell my aluminum keyboard and mighty mouse just to get back some of my cost, not much I know, but still.

    I would also be able to keep my externals for Time Machine, and the iMac doesn't take up much space to begin with, so I may be leaning that direction for now. Maybe later on down the road when I have money to play with, I'll look back into a Mac Pro.
     
  15. adamzx3 macrumors regular

    adamzx3

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    #16
    Good thinking, I wouldnt get a mac pro untill it can make you money. I think you will be surprised on how well it will work for you, I used one in aperture with 10mp images and I was impressed.

    Also you can get 2GB of ram for $50 at Omni Tech, I have used 2GB in my MBP and I have 4GB in my Mac Pro and they work great. You could add that to the 1GB (assuming theres not 2x512) and get 3GB total. You should be find with 4GB, I cant max out 5GB with photoshop with a 1.5GB .psb file, and I have yet to page out, even running Premiere (only 2GB of footage though).

    Omni Ram Link Might have to go through ramseeker.com to get the price though.

    Also I made an edit in my last statement, the 2.7's where going for $1800'ish not 2800 :)
     
  16. whoathere thread starter macrumors 6502

    whoathere

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Rockford, IL
    #17
    Very good point on waiting to get the Mac Pro until it can make me money. I guess I was thinking I could get in over my head, without getting in over my head. The future cost would still be approximately the same, and I would have a powermac that would virtually be useless. Whereas, the iMac will inevitably have a longer life, regardless of its use.

    It would be smarter to wait until I actually need the pro, strictly based on it's cost vs use. For what I will be using it for out of the gate, the iMac will be fine. RAM is cheap enough these days that I can upgrade to 4gb no problem, and then I've got a computer to get me started. It will even last a long time, and I still have a macbook that I can use until it's no longer usable. Thanks for everyone's help... any other opinions are still greatly appreciated. I'll post updates when I have them.
     
  17. adamzx3 macrumors regular

    adamzx3

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    #18
    Also you might look into getting a entry level monitor color calibrator, they really help make your prints come out near perfect. Providing your monitor can provide the gamut to display the colors right. I hear the imac monitors had a yellowish cast to them, may have been fixed, but a good screen for the money. (I noticed a huge difference between my Eizo coloredge and my 22" Acer LCD)

    Wasn't sure how far you where into it since you mentioned you use aperture and photoshop so I thought i'd throw that in there.
     

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