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  1. #1
    Swap a PowerMac for an iMac?
    Hello everyone,

    Iím a freelance journalist who is starting to get into amateur photojournalism and landscape photography. Iím hoping to possibly make photography a second source of income in the next few years. I also use my computer for storing my music collection, for doing a little layout work in Quark, and for surfing the net, doing the accounts and using iLife extensively.

    Iíve currently got a 1.8 GhZ single processor PowerMac G5, from the first line-up of G5ís released in 2003. I originally forked out money I didnít really have for the machine because I wanted longevity. As a consequence of the expenditure, I couldnít afford a great monitor. I bought a 15í LCD, and now Iíve got the money for a new monitor I want to upgrade to 19í or 20í.

    So I started shooping online for displays, but then I got a great offer from my local apple centre. They said If I traded in my G5, theyíd give me a brand new 20í iMac G5 for Ä550. I donít particularly want or need a new computer, but look what Iím getting for this dealÖ

    - A brand new 20í display.
    - A brand new computer
    - Both of these under warrantee
    - A chance to get AppleCare, Appleís Bluetooth moduleÖ
    - A gorgeous all-in-one machine which will save space and has the potential to be wall mounted (the aesthetics are REALLY temping meÖ)

    All of this for Ä550.

    Or, I can keep my Powermac and buy a secondhand 20í Apple Cinema display (one of the last generation) for at least Ä620, but probably more. Of course I could buy a third party monitor (The Formac Platinum 1900 could be picked up for about Ä550). Like I said, Iím moving into a new home soon so aesthetics are important, and the Apple Cinema display and Formac are the only monitors that really appeal to me.

    So would a move to the iMac G5 be a Ďdowngradeí?

    Both machines are 1.8Ghz G5, the most important hardware factor. The iMac can go to 2GB of RAM, the PowerMAc to 8Gb. But the most Iíll ever do is some light photo retouching, iMovie/iDVD editing, internet, word processing and using Quark.

    Will 2BG be enough to do this for the next 3/4 years or will I want more?

    The graphics on the Powermac are upgradeable, but not on the iMac. Does upgrading graphics only make a difference in games or will I notice a real effect in movies and photography? If itís only for games, Iíve no interest, but if it makes my pictures better and DVDís clearer Iím interested.

    Whatís my best option for colour accuracy? The Formac Platinum, the OLD 20í Apple Cinema Display or the 20í iMac? Iíd be really interested in hearing from people here about colour accuracy on the iMac G5 and the old cinema displays.

    The mac HD on the iMac is 250GB, and on the Powermac itís twice that. But even for someone into photography and who keeps a music collection on his machine, isnít 250 enough?

    Also, is it likely there will be processor upgrades for for my 1st generation PowerMac, and if so, how high could I expect them to take it?

    I guess what this comes down do is whether by plumping for the gorgeous good looks of the iMAC G5 (at a great price for a 20í screen) am sacrificing anything I might need to carry out me computing needs successfully for the next 3/4 years.

  2. #2

    Avalon's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2004
    Luxemburg, Europe
    PowerMac G5 Dual 2GHz (June 2004), 2.5GB, Airport, black 5G iPod 30GB, white MacBook 2.0 2GB
    I can't answer all of your questions, but at least some of them...

    The first line of single 1.8GHz PowerMacs had a 900MHz FSB, opposed to 600MHz in the actual one and the 20" iMac G5. This means that, allthough the CPU runs at the same speed, overall system performance is likely to be better on your PowerMac.
    But according to what you're using it for, the iMac will be plenty enough, you don't really need the upgradability of the PowerMac.
    CPU upgrades? Maybe, but not in the near's difficult to foresee how high they'll be...
    Graphic card upgrades? Even if the iMacs card isn't the nonplusultra, it's more than powerfull enough for your gaming = no better card needed.
    RAM upgrade? With 2GB you have plenty enough, unless you want to start some serious, professional video editing...
    Harddisk upgrade? Depends on the amount of disk space you need...250GB is really a lot, and it won't fill up too fast, I guess...

    Personnally, I would keep the PowerMac, because I like being flexible with upgrades. But that's just my personal preference...

    Both of them are great for your usage, but if aesthetics are your main criteria, the iMac definitely is the better choice...the PowerMac already looks really cool, but the iMacs slim all-in-one design just looks mutch cooler, especially the 20".

    Just my 2cents... :mac:

  3. #3

    Avid6eek's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 13, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Keep the G5, and just buy yourself a monitor. You do not need an Apple display either. The best 20.1" LCD available right now is the Dell UltraSharp 2005FPW Widescreen LCD (1680x1050). It meets or exceeds the specs of Apples 20.1" display, and can be had for $549, instead of $999. The only thing the Mac monitor has going for it is it will match your G5, but if your willing to spend nearly twice as much for a matching monitor, you have other problems that should be looked into
    Desktop Specs: Core 2 Quad Q6600@ 4.0Ghz | Asus P5E X38 Motherboard | 4GB PC8000 DDRII | EVGA GeForce 8800GTX | CL x-Fi Fatal1ty | 4 x Hitachi 73GB 15,000rpm SAS HDs (RAID 0) | Adaptec 3805 SAS Controller | Dual Sony 16X DVD-RWís | Dell UltraSharp 2405FPW 24" LCD | Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Speakers

  4. #4
    For what you are doing, I suggest, if you already have a PowerMac, just keep it. If you already had like a PowerMac G4 or something, then I'd say go with an iMac G5. But why switch when you've already got something that works fine.

    You should get either a Dell UltraSharp, as stated above, or an Apple Cinema Display, which of course, looks nicer, but is more expensive.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    May 16, 2005
    Wasilla, Alaska
    talk about bringing back an old thread!

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