Which one? (Powermac G5 or Powerbook G4)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by JamerTheProgram, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. JamerTheProgram macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    One Infinite Lo- I've said too much...
    Im thinking of buying a Powermac G5 or a Powerbook G4.
    The Powerbook G4 would need to be atleast 1 GHz.
    The reason I am thinking about forking out for either of these is because I want to do developing for Power PC macs.
    Which one should I have? I have always wanted a Powermac G5, it looks great. You can upgrade it nicely. But then again, I also love the Powerbook G4. Its a lovely machine, but not as fast? I do spend most week ends away. (My family have a caravan we go to)
    So i need something that will suit my needs. I have no clue, I am totally torn, which one?
  2. lgwells1 macrumors regular


    Aug 27, 2011
    Get both, since either machines are cheap these days. :D
  3. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Any G5 is going to be as good as even the fastest G4 PowerBooks. I really do love my PowerBooks, but the RAM capacity really is a barrier that is hard to avoid. Aluminum 15" and 17" PowerBooks cap out at 2GB of RAM which really doesn't give you a ton of space to work with. That said, they are still very nice computers and if you get one thats 1.5GHz or better, you really can use it as an everyday machine IMO. What are you willing to spend? If you can give us a ballpark, it'll be easier to suggest what the best system is you can get your hands on.
  4. Goftrey macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2011
    Wales, UK
    I went through a similar dilemma, I went for portability over power in the end though. But your circumstances may/probably will be different.

    If you're looking at the G5's, at least get a dual 1.8, you can get these seriously cheap now, 125 gbp (190 USD), and for the love of Macs, stay away from the liquid cooled ones...

    If you're looking at the PowerBooks, but want for example, AS CLOSE speeds to the G5 you'll have to get either the 1.5 or 1.67. You can get a 15" 1.5 for around the same price as the G5's.

    But as lgwells said, if you have the money, get both! They're both awsome machines in my opinion and then you've got one workhorse for the desk and a little rocket for a portable! :)
  5. adcx64 macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2008
    Go for a top of the line MDD G4 like I have. See my sig.

    With a dual G4, you'd get more performance than a PowerBook, and still be close to lower-end G5s. The G5 is notorious for failure and i highly do not recommend getting one.
  6. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    A G5 will totally smush the PB performance wise, decent Powerbooks are nearly at the price of a Macbook anyway. Although for your purposes, developing, I'd say go for the Power Mac.
  7. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Get either a High End PowerMac G4 MDD or a G5. While the PowerBook is great for development (Before I jumped to Intel my main development machine was a 1.67 PowerBook G4), a PowerMac is much better as its faster, more expandable and lets you use more displays (a real boon for software development). It also doesn't have the 2GB RAM Limit which can be rather pesky. Ideally for PowerPC Development you'd have both a laptop and desktop. (I still develop for the PowerPC Platform as a hobby and I use my 1.67 PowerBook G4 and my PowerMac G4 (and when its not on loan, my G5) as development machines - and both have their uses).

    If you do get a G5 make sure you get one running at or below 2.3Ghz, as anything faster than this will be water-cooled and these are pretty much guaranteed to eventually fail and leak lovely corrosive coolant everywhere.
  8. JamerTheProgram thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    One Infinite Lo- I've said too much...
    Well it will be a 120 GPB ;)
    Still thinking wether or not I should go for it to be honest.
    Beleve it or not I used to be a Macbook owner (still am) but I owned it for a year and here is what happened:
    Bought it in Feburary 2010, thrilled with it (Macbook Aluminium 2.0 Refurb).
    End of 2010:
    Chips all over the casing (Really big ones. I take very good care of my laptops, not very sure how this happened. I do take it every where I go on holiday)
    Mid 2011:
    Sometimes, apon turning it on, the lights would be on, but the screen wouldnt. It would just hang, no bong sound, no nothing. You couldn't even turn it off by the button. You had to take the battery out.
    At boot the screen would flicker pretty badly.
    The GPU performance has decreased over the years of owning it (Minecraft doesn't play nearly as well as it used to, along with several other games).
    At the login screen, I would have a duplicate static cursor in the corner of the screen.
    Sometimes, my Macbook would show GPU artefacts after over 8 hours of use.
    But I did put it through its paces.
    It would usually have 9 xCode projects open at once. Usually about 30 tabs open in Google Chrome. Photoshop open. Spotify open. Steam open. Sometimes, even Minecraft would run in the background. Its safe to say, im a very unorganised person :D.
    But hey, it still works. I have another machine now, its a Sony Vaio running Kubuntu, which serves me well. If ever I need to do iOS development, I just crack out my MB.

    But another reason why I would want a Powerbook or Powermac is because I like collecting Power PC Macs. They are lovely machines.
  9. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    In your case I would recommend getting a desktop Mac. Especially as if you need Mobile Development you have a MacBook (depending on which version of OS X and Xcode you have it may be able to target PowerPC). It then becomes a choice between the G4 and G5. For your usage it sounds as if RAM capacity would be a plus, in which case Id do more research and find a stable (< 2.3Ghz) G5.

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