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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 09, 2008
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    G5 dual 2.0 VS. Intel Mac mini
    Hello all and thank you in advance.
    Situation...
    I have to return the computer I use to it's owners and I'll need to purchase one of my own. My dilemma lies in which choice to make. I have a $1000 budget (max), a great screen already, a couple of external drives and ms/kb's....
    So do I go for a PowerMac (MacPro) G5 Dual 2.0 (non-Intel) Tower or Mac Mini Intel Core Duo 2.0???
    I know I'll be outdated in no time, but I'd hate to be left out completely a couple years down the road. (ie. rumor of Mini being discontinued / non-Intel G5 tower and future Universal Binary programs).
    Just looking for your 2 Cents cuz I have my $1G.

    As an additional note... If there is a link, existing thread or other site to assist, please feel free to add it.

    Thank you again.

  2. #2

    skaheadpunk's Avatar
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    Jan 12, 2008
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    MacBook, iPod Classic, 8GB 3G iPhone, Time Capsule
    I think I'd go for the Intel Mac Mini TBH.

  3. #3

    mac57's Avatar
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    Frankly, I would go for the PowerMac G5. Both machines sport 2.0 GHz dual cores, but the PowerMac is more expandable, both from a memory and hard drive perspective, plus it has a real graphics card - the Mini uses a shared memory graphics setup.

    My guess is that side by side, the PowerMac will run faster than the Mini.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac57 View Post
    Frankly, I would go for the PowerMac G5. Both machines sport 2.0 GHz dual cores, but the PowerMac is more expandable, both from a memory and hard drive perspective, plus it has a real graphics card - the Mini uses a shared memory graphics setup.

    My guess is that side by side, the PowerMac will run faster than the Mini.
    Thank you for this input. I know about the expandability of the PowerMac and would prefer it buy my additional concern is the lack of Intel and as noted, kinda missing the option for upcoming programs and compatibilities.
    Am I not realizing something about the non-Intel dual core?

    Thanks
    MX

  5. #5

    baggss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelx View Post
    Thank you for this input. I know about the expandability of the PowerMac and would prefer it buy my additional concern is the lack of Intel and as noted, kinda missing the option for upcoming programs and compatibilities.
    Am I not realizing something about the non-Intel dual core?

    Thanks
    MX
    Since Apple has not specified if 10.6 will be Intel only or not, we can only guess. Since the G5 is a 64 bit chip and we know 10.6 will be 64 bit, they may maintain compatibility or they may cut it. The G5 is probably the better machine, but you would be hedging your bets that 10.6 will run on it. 10.6 will almost definitely run on the Intel box though.


  6. #6

    mac57's Avatar
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    It is worth noting that 10.6 is at least a year away. Also, if 10.6 did come out without G5 support on it, your G5 wouldn't suddenly stop working. You just wouldn't be able to upgrade it to 10.6. Heck, I still have my old G5 and I have left it on Tiger - it works just fine. Now that I have this Mac Pro, I don't use it as often but it works just fine.

    So, I would recommend the G5. In the worst case, you will have to stay with Leopard. There are many worse fates than that!

    My personal opinion, BTW, is that 10.6 will support dual core and quad core G5s. I doubt that you will be "caught out" if you go with the G5, but even if you are, per the above, the world doesn't end.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  7. #7


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    Bump?

  8. #8

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
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    I would go with the mini. According to Geekbench, the processors are 25% faster in the mini.
    The Power Mac only supports two HD's, 8GB of RAM, and one superdrive. That's not a lot of expandability these days. 4GB of RAM is very much on the high end so the 3GB max of the mini is plenty. Plus, the RAM is far cheaper. You could drop in a 500GB external drive for the mini, max the RAM out and still be under budget.
    Unless you have plans to video edit or game, the mini will suit almost anyone well. Not that I would recommend the dual 2GHz G5 for either these days. I use a dual 2GHz at work and it is SLOOOOOW! And loud!

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  9. #9

    mac57's Avatar
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    That is strange Bryan. Before I got this Mac Pro, I had a 2.3 GHz PowerMac G5. It was plenty fast and fairly quiet. In that same generation, Apple had a 2.0 GHz Dual Core and a 2.5 GHz Quad (2 * Dual Core). I would not expect that the 2.0 GHz would be that much slower than the 2.3. I never found the 2.3 to be SLOOOOOOOW (as you say). I upgraded to the Mac Pro simply because, as long time readers here will know, I am a performance hog, and since I managed to do quite well on the stock market for a time, I could afford it. A fool and his money...

    I suspect that a 2.0 GHz PowerMac G5 would be quite a bit more powerful overall than a 2.0 GHz Mini, if only because of the graphics and the faster hard drive.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
    My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
    My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
    I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007

  10. #10

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
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    Maybe I am a little pampered here. But a $1000 computer cannot be slow in my opinion. I feel I shouldn't have to wait for things to happen. I can do meaningless tasks like open two Safari windows and I can hear the main processor fans kick in like the computer is working quite hard.
    I figured I would dig into the graphics notion a little more. I compared specs from GPUreview.com and Wikipedia. I chose the fastest of the standard video cards found in all 3 models of the 2GHz Power Mac. It is the Radeon 9600 XT and compared that to specs for the 950 chipset found on Wiki. It's funny because that chipset preforms almost equal to the 3 year old video card.
    That being said, how many apps really make use of a video card? From my knowledge, most apps do not use a lot of graphic memory. This is suppose to be one of the new things addressed in Snow Leopard. And if that's the case, according to all of the rumors, 10.6 will be Intel only so only the mini would benefit.
    Lastly, I'd pick the mini because it comes with a warranty. If the Power Mac breaks down and the OP spends all of his/her money buying it and it goes down, it turns into a gigantic paperweight. With the power supply issue the G5's have/ had, that's not something I'd risk.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  11. #11

    dadsgravy's Avatar
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    I'll pipe up a day late and vote for the mini. You'll have an intel processor, a decent machine and some change left in your pocket.

    Have you given any thought to an imac? You can always use your monitor with it. It'll impress the heck out of any one who sees your set up. It'll also have a better graphics card and be a nice in between the mini and G5 computer. Apple has the lower end imac on their refurb site for $949. You can also get a used/refurb macbook and use it as a desk top when you want and then unhook it and take with you when you want. Mine works fantastic like this.

    Her are some sites you can search for deals on, if you like:

    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...m=CertifiedMac

    http://www.macmall.com/

    http://www.macofalltrades.com/

    http://www.megamacs.com/holiday/

    http://www.smalldog.com/

    http://dealmac.com/

    http://lowendmac.com/deals.shtml

    Good luck, and I hope you find what you are looking for.

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Jun 09, 2008
    Posts
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    WOW!!!
    You are all amazing, thoughtful and informed (if not informative).
    I should also add a bit about what I do with my computer and maybe this will help in the decision making process.

    I DO work in/with...
    ...Photoshop or Illustrator CS2 (basic editing and filters. Nothing TOO extravagant.)
    ...iMovie and Final Cut Express (some projects get fancy and deep, but I'm not a professional editor.)
    ...I am known to have 10 Apps open at a time (iTunes, Audacity, Soundtrack, iMovie, Rapidweaver, QuickTime, Safari, etc...)
    ...My gaming experience consists of Yahoo Backgammon. That's it.
    That's me in a nutshell.

    As for iMac and MacBook, I've tossed the idea around as well but I'm not sold on them either.

    So once again, thank you all in advance.

    Still searching.

  13. #13


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    Bump?

  14. #14


    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2007
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    MacBook Pro (17" Unibody, 2.93GHz, 8GB DRR3, 320GB 7200, Anti-Glare Screen)
    Deca-tasking might be a bit much for either the Mac Mini or G5, so you're setting your standard a little high. Personally I'd go for a refurb iMac, as you're getting a better, more well-rounded package.

    You get graphics power, a stronger GPU, and a second gorgeous display. Plus an Intel processor, and from what I've seen Snow Leopard will be Intel only (On Engadget or Gizmodo, I don't remember which, there was a picture of minimum requirements that said Intel processor. It's possible that they will make it PowerPC compatible before it's release, but I wouldn't bank on that.

    So I'd say iMac first, then Mac Mini, then G5.

  15. #15


    Member Since
    Nov 11, 2008
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    I bought me a macmini to replace a dualcore G5 2 Ghz with 4,5 GB RAM with startup troubles (once running not a single problem), The macmini is a dualcore 2 2 Ghz with 4GB RAM (uses 3GB), I run it from a La Cie 500GB FW drive. In real world situations (Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Powerpoint, etc.. it is about 25% faster. Xbench tells me the same, only marginally slower on harddisk test, all else faster, even grafics (1,5 for quartz, almost double for open GL)

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