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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Mac Pro - G5 - Should I buy?


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raction

 
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Ok, I want to get into Macs, but cannot justify spending $2499+ for a Desktop computer (I would rather have a Mac Pro rather than an iMac). I know the short answer would be a newer Intel based Mac Pro would be the best bet (but again - $$)

I have come across a guy that has this:

Power MAC G5:
Dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5
5.5 Gig of DDR SDRAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Graphics Card
400 Gig of Hard Drive Space
Mac OSX 10.04.11 Operating System
iLife 08: iWeb, iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, Garage Band
iWork 08: Keynote Presentations, Pages (read and writes Word Documents and Excel Files), Number Accounting Software
Photoshop Elements
Final Cut Pro

Is this a good system? Would it still be plenty fast enough? What I am unsure of is whether or not they are dual core processors, or single core.

I know you all see emails like this all of the time, but I know you would be the experts. I am going to go see it run tomorrow (I only saw the hardware today, but couldn't test out).

What should I watch for?

I went back and looked and I already made my first Mac mistake - calling it a Mac Pro instead of Power Mac G5 - Doh!

Thanks much in advance

Rob Catron
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If you really want a Mac Pro...why not consider a used Mac Pro?

I paid $1050 for a used 1st generation Mac Pro about 6 months ago. That was an awesome awesome price then...but since that was 6 months ago (and newer Mac Pro's have been released since then)...you may be able to get a used 1st generation Mac Pro for around $1200-$1400.

- Nick
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raction

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
If you really want a Mac Pro...why not consider a used Mac Pro?

I paid $1050 for a used 1st generation Mac Pro about 6 months ago. That was an awesome awesome price then...but since that was 6 months ago (and newer Mac Pro's have been released since then)...you may be able to get a used 1st generation Mac Pro for around $1200-$1400.

- Nick
Well, I can pick up this unit for $700. I am just not for certain if I would be pleased with the performance or not. Also, it would be my first Mac period - so not certain if it would be a good first choice (I know all about G5 being dropped with Snow Leopard and all)....
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natenick

 
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Nick,

I am considering doing just what you suggested and was wondering how much performance difference there is between a first gen Mac Pro and the current base model Mac Pro?

Also, I am looking to use it for editing Photoshop documents of up to 200 megs and was wondering if it would handle this work without delays (saving, resizing, etc.)?
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Pretty old ordinary G5, not even a Dual Core. Does not have DDR 2 memory nor PCIE graphics and slots and certainly not worth that much IMHO. If the money is no problem stick out for a Mac Pro. If on a tight budget look for a late 2005/2006 Dual Core, not a Dual Processor for heavy photoshop work. Dual Core's can handle up to 16GB of DDR2 memory.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
Dual Core's can handle up to 16GB of DDR2 memory.
Harry,

If you're talking about the first generation Mac Pro's...you're correct in that Apple's official maximum ram limit is 16 gig...but this is one of those situation's where "unofficially" folks have had success with up to 32 gig of ram.

Apple Mac Pro "Quad Core" 2.66 (Original) Specs (Mac Pro - MA356LL/A) @ EveryMac.com

- Nick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natenick View Post
Nick,

I am considering doing just what you suggested and was wondering how much performance difference there is between a first gen Mac Pro and the current base model Mac Pro?

Also, I am looking to use it for editing Photoshop documents of up to 200 megs and was wondering if it would handle this work without delays (saving, resizing, etc.)?
Natenick,

Here's a link to a MacWorld article that may be what you're looking for:

Quad-Core and Eight-Core Mac Pros (2009 editions) Review | Desktop | Macworld

Check out the three tables with the performance comparisons.

As you can see there is a pretty good performance difference between the original Mac Pro and the current Mac Pro's.

But at the same time a used 1st generation Mac Pro may set you back $1200-$1500 bucks vs. $2499 for a new base model Mac Pro. Is that performance difference worth $1000-$1300 bucks more? To some people sure, but for most I would say not.

You might also notice from the MacWorld article...that a Core 2 Duo 3.06ghz iMac scored pretty good as well....especially in some of the frame rate tests with games.

But...with 4 or 8 cores...any of the Mac Pros (old or new) have got to kick some serious butt vs. the 3.06ghz Core 2 duo iMac when using software that is optimized for multi-core machines.

Benchmark test comparison articles can many times be very confusing!

But I think the most important statistic is there's about a $1000-$1300 price difference between a used 1st generation Mac Pro, and a new 2009 base model Mac Pro!

Think about it...if you got a really good deal on two 1st generation Mac Pro's at $1250 each...you could get two of them for the same price as one 2009 base model Mac Pro.

Of course if you NEED the performance of a 2009 Mac Pro...then you got to spend the $2499 to get it!

Hope this helps...just my humble opinions,

- Nick
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raction

 
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Thanks Nick - interesting reading.

I did determine that the PowerMac G5 that I am looking at is not a good deal. Basically $700 for nearly 6 year old technology (even on a Mac), doesn't seem too wise. I guess the Final Cut makes it a bit more valuable, but I do not need that.

I had PowerMac G5 and Mac Pro confused. When I was researching on eBay for values, I was looking at Mac Pros and thought, "wow, this is a pretty good deal," but when I finally wised up, I noticed that a dual 2.0 2003 era PowerMac G5 can be had for around $500, I realized that I ALMOST made a mistake

Basically, the old DELL XPS gaming rig I am running now has similar spec (minus the second processor) - but all of the technology (AGP, DDR RAM, etc) is in line with Powermac that I am looking at.

If I could get it for $350-$400 to play around with, then I would, but not $700

Thanks for the insight. I will keep an eye out for Intel Based Mac Pros

Rob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raction View Post
Thanks Nick - interesting reading.

I did determine that the PowerMac G5 that I am looking at is not a good deal. Basically $700 for nearly 6 year old technology (even on a Mac), doesn't seem too wise. I guess the Final Cut makes it a bit more valuable, but I do not need that.

I had PowerMac G5 and Mac Pro confused. When I was researching on eBay for values, I was looking at Mac Pros and thought, "wow, this is a pretty good deal," but when I finally wised up, I noticed that a dual 2.0 2003 era PowerMac G5 can be had for around $500, I realized that I ALMOST made a mistake

Basically, the old DELL XPS gaming rig I am running now has similar spec (minus the second processor) - but all of the technology (AGP, DDR RAM, etc) is in line with Powermac that I am looking at.

If I could get it for $350-$400 to play around with, then I would, but not $700

Thanks for the insight. I will keep an eye out for Intel Based Mac Pros

Rob
Wow...good thing you figured out that a "PowerMac G5" and a "Mac Pro" are not the same...much much different.

I agree that $500 for a dual processor 2.0ghz G5 is a better price...but saving up for a used Mac Pro would be better in the long run.

Regarding the software (Final Cut). Lots & lots of sellers (Craig's List & e-Bay)...install software on their computers thinking they will get more money for their computer then it's worth...kind of like trying to sell a $300 computer for $500 or $600 with illegal software is just outrageous! Especially since the same $500-$600 will buy you a much better computer!

Many of these sellers are selling multiple computers, loading each computer with the same software...but only have a single software license for each program.

Unless you get the original install disks and registration codes/serial numbers...the software is illegal! And besides...what if your hard drive crashes & you are unable to recover any info...without the original install disks you now have nothing but an old crappy computer you paid too much for in order to get the illegal software.

Pay a fair price for a used computer...not some sort of inflated price to get illegal software!

Save up & hold out for a used Mac Pro...but if you can get a used PowerMac G5 at a fair price...they are still very good computers!

Good luck,

- Nick
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Apple Power Macintosh G5 Dual Core (2.3) Specs (Late 2005 - M9591LL/A) @ EveryMac.com

No this the one I refer to a Dual Core 2.0, 2.3 or 2.5GHz models which take 8x2GB memory modules of DDR 2 RAM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
No this the one I refer to a Dual Core 2.0, 2.3 or 2.5GHz models which take 8x2GB memory modules of DDR 2 RAM.
No problem Harry.

I wasn't sure if you were referring to the PowerMac G5 or the Mac Pro.

- Nick
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