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  1. #1

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    35,339
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Powermac G5 & Relevancy in 2012
    With all of the excitement (and some disappointment) with the announcements made by Apple at the 2012 WWDC yesterday...and in the light that I sold my 2009 8-core Mac Pro last week...I thought that I would dig out my old Powermac G5...and see how it would perform.

    I have to say that I haven't used this computer in a while...so I wasn't sure what to expect. Specs on the computer:

    - Powermac G5 (from 2004-2005) 7-8 years old
    - dual 1.8ghz cpu's
    - 4 gig ram
    - 160gig HD
    - OS 10.5.8
    - GeForce FX 5200 video card with just 64meg of vram
    - built-in Airport

    The primary daily tasks I use my computers for are internet surfing, e-mail, instant messaging, and some video chat. The websites I normally frequent are:

    - Cnn.com
    - MSN.com
    - Online investment sites
    - Mac-Forums.com
    - Everymac.com
    - Macsales.com
    - e-Bay
    - Insidemacgames.com
    - Craig's List
    - Apple.com
    - etc., etc.

    I got to tell you...I would be hard pressed to see much performance difference between this Powermac G5...and my 17" 2.5ghz core 2 duo MacBook Pro...or even the 8-core Mac Pro I recently sold (for the activities I mentioned above).

    Even You-Tube and internet video runs smooth as silk...including the new Apple videos for the new products just announced yesterday!

    When you consider that internet surfing & e-mail are the primary activities for many many computer users...and the fact that I saw someone last week buy a very similar Powermac G5 on e-Bay for $55 bucks (usually they sell for more like $125-$150). Folks could sure save a lot of money buying a used computer, versus spending $1500-$2000+ for a 27" iMac or the new MacBook Pro with the retina display.

    Of course being a long time computer person...I understand the:

    - excitement
    - "sexiness"
    - bragging rights

    ...of buying & owning the latest model Apple computer.

    But you can see the cost gap between a brand new Apple computer ($1500-$2000+), and a 7-8 year-old Powermac G5 ($55-$150)...and the performance gap that the average computer user actually needs...and the amount of performance they actually own in a much newer & more expensive computer.

    Of course again...this is primarily for the computing tasks of internet surfing, e-mail, instant messaging, even video chats (tasks most folks do)...I would say a dual-cpu Powermac G5 is just fine...and you certainly cannot beat the price!

    If we were talking gaming, video or serious photo editing, running the latest versions of Adobe Creative Suite or Final Cut Pro...a Powermac G5 won't/can't run these apps.

    Just something to think about before swiping that credit card or writing that check for $1500-$2000+ for a brand new computer!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  2. #2

    RavingMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 07, 2008
    Location
    In Denial
    Posts
    7,925
    Specs:
    4GB Mac Mini 2012, 13" MBA, 15" MacBook Pro OSX 10.7, 32 GB iPhone 3GS, iPad2 64gb 3G
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Just something to think about before swiping that credit card or writing that check for $1500-$2000+ for a brand new computer!

    - Nick
    Very pertinent and time appropriate post!

    I am debating exactly this issue right now. My needs are very limited for 90% of what I do . . . on the otherhand I want some serious power for Photography and Video (not so much of the video so far). And, though the Retina Display is beautiful, not sure it really gains me that much.

    As much as I hate to admit it, I am honestly thinking about getting a Windows Desktop for Photography and sticking with Mac and IOS for everything else. (Never thought I would find myself thinking that way).
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  3. #3

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    49,067
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    As much as I hate to admit it, I am honestly thinking about getting a Windows Desktop for Photography and sticking with Mac and IOS for everything else. (Never thought I would find myself thinking that way).
    Nothing wrong with that trend of thought. I'm a firm believer in using whatever works best and is currently economical based on what I can afford. Of course there are some who post in these forums who would consider what you said (and I just wrote) blasphemy.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Mar 30, 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,744
    Specs:
    12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)
    The biggest impediment to a G5 in today's world is software support, from Apple and other developers. The G5 was a hot, hungry beast of a chip, and it copes pretty well if you can find the software for it. Unfortunatley, that basically boils down to Linux, or increasingly outdated versions of OS X.

    I personally wouldn't pay a dime for one, but if I had one, I'd have no problem putting it to use. And I think that a big ol' G5 tower has a sort of sexiness and bragging rights that no new off-the-shelf Mac can match.

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    35,339
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by technologist View Post
    The biggest impediment to a G5 in today's world is software support, from Apple and other developers. The G5 was a hot, hungry beast of a chip, and it copes pretty well if you can find the software for it. Unfortunatley, that basically boils down to Linux, or increasingly outdated versions of OS X.
    No disagreement there...totally agree with all of that. The POwermac G5's were definitely "power PIGS"!!

    The version of Safari that it runs (5.0.6 from mid-2011) still works great. If it didn't...then that would be a serious negative. I happen to have a lot of software that's 2004-2005 "vintage" to the computer...so I have lots of titles that run great (Office 2004 and Adobe CS3 for example).

    Quote Originally Posted by technologist View Post
    I personally wouldn't pay a dime for one, but if I had one, I'd have no problem putting it to use. And I think that a big ol' G5 tower has a sort of sexiness and bragging rights that no new off-the-shelf Mac can match.
    I think considering the computing performance that a dual-cpu Powermac G5 still wields in 2012 isn't too bad. We hear of folks all the time (switchers or brand new Mac-Users) looking for an inexpensive way to try out the "Macintosh Experience".

    I'm thinking that a $100-$125 dollar (or even less) dual-cpu Powermac G5 could fit that niche real nice. The key would be that it already comes (at the time of purchase) with a decent amount of ram already installed...and OS 10.5 on the HD. The whole idea goes down the drain if someone has to spend a couple hundred bucks for ram & an OS 10.5 install disk.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2009
    Posts
    19
    Tenfour fox is a ppc port of Firefox runs great!

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Oct 03, 2010
    Posts
    27
    Specs:
    iMac 3.0 Ghz C2D 4G Ram
    timely post indeed. One of my sons might be able to get me a 'free' G5 in the near future. I'd have to buy a monitor, but am looking forward to having a 'spare' Mac to use. I have a 2 yr old iMac for primary computing and so forth, I would use the older one much as you describe; surfing and some light photo editing (the IMac would be my usual platform for photo work).

  8. #8

    Germany_chris's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 31, 2011
    Posts
    283
    In day to day activities I an tell the difference between the computer that score 18,000 on Geekbench and the G5 which score about 2000. There only times I notice a difference is when watching an HD youtube/hulu/amazon video I can't do anything else or the video gets funky. The same thing with handbrake if I'm handbraking something thats what the computer is doing nothing else is going to happen with any speed while handbraking..

    Late model PowerPC are relevant in 2012 and will continue to be relevant going forward especially as Flash is replaced with HTML 5.

    You should check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7vsZ...ure=plpp_video

    Followed by this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if11I...ure=plpp_video

    He's a smart young man..
    Mac Pro 4,1 (Flashed to 5,1) W3570 3.2 Quad..48GB RAM..Gainward GTX 570 "Phantom."
    MacBook Pro 5,2..2.8Ghz C2D..8GB RAM..240GB Vertex +

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