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

New Imac 2.7Ghz v. Old G5 1.8Ghz


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Bicycleman

 
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Apologies everyone. I posted this earlier in the graphics forum. Decided to re-post here as it seems more relevant.

By way of some pre-purchase research, I'm trying to get some unbiased views on my possible imminent decision to move from my outdated 4Gb ram 1.8Ghz PPC G5 running OS 10.4 to a new 21.5" 2.7 Ghz Imac.

I use my G5 and before that a G4 for my work as a professional illustrator, working mostly in Illustrator and Photoshop. PSD Files are typically around 30Mb, but are occasionally up to a few hundred Mb's. Current Photoshop/Illustrator version is CS2.

I always work with two displays - a 30" Apple Cinema HD and a 20" Apple Cinema.

Cost restraints mean I have to make my decision very carefully. I neither want to spend a fortune on power I'll never need, nor upgrade to something that will be showing its limitations within a few years.

So with all that said, my decision is starting to come down to the 21.5" 2.7Ghz Imac. It seems this machine will be able to run my 32" screen as well as its own display (with the appropriate cable) and I am nearly sure the extra power available relative to my old G5 will mean I will have a machine that will run significantly more quickly than my G5 (opening and saving operations mostly) and will remain acceptably quick for at least another 5 years of software upgrades, small changes in working methods, etc.

Maybe a tricky question, but based on what I've said, can anyone confirm for sure that moving from an old 1.8 G5 to a new 2.7 Imac will give me a significant speed/efficiency improvement and will not prove to be a waste of money within a couple of years?

Thanks
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycleman View Post
...I'm trying to get some unbiased views on my possible imminent decision to move from my outdated 4Gb ram 1.8Ghz PPC G5 running OS 10.4 to a new 21.5" 2.7 Ghz Imac.

I use my G5 and before that a G4 for my work as a professional illustrator, working mostly in Illustrator and Photoshop. PSD Files are typically around 30Mb, but are occasionally up to a few hundred Mb's. Current Photoshop/Illustrator version is CS2.

Cost restraints mean I have to make my decision very carefully.
You mentioned "cost restraints". Do you realize that you're going to have to replace basically all software (non-OS based) that you currently use?? You're going to need at least CS5 (plus other programs you may use).

Upgrading from a 2003-2004 G5...most likely running OS 10.5.8...to a 2011-2012 computer running OS 10.7.x...is a BIG leap forward. Basically...the software upgrades you need will cost more than the computer.

This is a pretty BIG price tag on top of the computer purchase...which you mentioned already has cost restraints.

- 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
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Bicycleman

 
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Yeah thanks Nick, that's 'constraints', not 'restraints'...:

Anyway, yes, I understand the software issue and I have factored into the price a new version of CS and some other stuff I regularly use. The software's expensive, but not quite more than the computer!

The OS I've been using with the G5 is 10.4.11 - I never made the Leopard move. I like to squeeze every drop out my gear...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycleman View Post
Anyway, yes, I understand the software issue and I have factored into the price a new version of CS and some other stuff I regularly use.
Great you are aware of the software upgrades you will need. Many folks forget (or don't even realize) this...and then they're in for a BIG surprise...when they realize CS2 or CS3 won't run on new computers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycleman View Post
The software's expensive, but not quite more than the computer!
It certainly depends on what is needed...and what version is being upgraded from. If only Photoshop & Illustrator are needed...then yes...the computer still costs more. But if someone is buying the full CS5 or CS6 Suite...then it is more.

Also remember..."Nick" always shops the Apple refurbished section first!...so that $1499 iMac you want really only costs $1249!:

Refurbished iMac 21.5-inch 2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 - Apple Store (U.S.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycleman View Post
The OS I've been using with the G5 is 10.4.11 - I never made the Leopard move. I like to squeeze every drop out my gear...
YIKES...you need an upgrade!!!

Good luck,

- 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
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Bicycleman

 
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There's probably an obvious answer to this, but my original question was, will the Imac 2.7 be appreciably quicker than the G5 for what I want to do? And will it definitely be able to run the 30" Apple Cinema display in addition to its built-in 20"?
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Bicycleman

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Also remember..."Nick" always shops the Apple refurbished section first!...so that $1499 iMac you want really only costs $1249!:
Yup, that's where my G5 came from and that's most likely where I'm going for my next Mac.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycleman View Post
There's probably an obvious answer to this, but my original question was, will the Imac 2.7 be appreciably quicker than the G5 for what I want to do? And will it definitely be able to run the 30" Apple Cinema display in addition to its built-in 20"?
I'm a very technically minded person...and there are lots of "ins & outs" when it comes to "is computer A faster than computer B?".

When older computers are running older versions of software...these old computers can still be very fast...because they are running software that is "vintage" to the computer.

With that being said...what I think a better question would be is..."Will a 2011-2012 iMac running CS5 or CS6 and OS 10.7.x...be appreciably quicker than an older G5 computer running CS2 with OS 10.4.11?"

This is a hard question to answer. Assuming we are working with Photoshop files...we would have to be:

- working with EXACTLY the same files (size & complexity)
- asking asking each computer (old G5 and new iMac) to have Photoshop make the same modifications to a file (maybe some sort of rendering)
- then have both computers side by side
- get the stopwatch out
- click "go" on both computers at the same time
- see which computer finishes first

This would tell us which computer was truly faster...doing the Photoshop task they were asked to do.

But...lets look at this computer purchase from another standpoint. We are comparing a 2003-2004 computer to a 2011-2012 computer. In the almost 9 years that separate these two computers...there have been TONS & TONS of advancements, MANY features have been introduced into the latest OS version, and a 2011-2012 iMac is CERTAINLY going to be MUCH more hardware compatible with todays devices (iPhones, iPods, iPads, printers, special input devices, etc.).

Also...graphics hardware has advanced TREMENDOUSLY since the G5 Mac's (not sure if we're talking a G5 iMac or Powermac G5). So this alone will most likely GREATLY speed up any Photoshop or Illustrator project.

I think what I'm trying to say is...I hardly think you will be disappointed if you purchase a new iMac & a newer version of Adobe Creative Suite. Yes there will be some differences in the OS (going from OS 10.4.11 to OS 10.7.x). But since you are very familiar with the Mac OS...I'm sure this is nothing that can't be dealt with.

With a 2003-2004 G5, running CS2 & OS 10.4.11...you've got to be running into some bottlenecks & roadblocks in terms of compatibility (software & hardware)...so EVENYUALLY...you need to upgrade!

At this point your choices are:

- buy a newer (but still used Mac computer)
- buy a new model Mac
- stick with what you got

HTH,

- 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
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dtravis7

 
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I own an iMac G5 2.1 Ghz G5 iSight. My 1.66 Intel Mini blows it away in overall speed. One striking example is converting a video. Took 3+ hours on the G5 and 22-24 minutes on the lowly Core Duo Mini.

If you can afford it, go with any Intel Mac over that old G5. Very large difference in speed. Also 10.4 Tiger is long gone with no support. Safari and the older versions of Firefox are way behind the times as the Web keeps changing. There is a lot more I could say, but that should tell you what you need to know.

A G5 is no where near as fast as Steve Jobs used to claim. When I bought the Intel Mini I was shocked at the speed increase and dramatic difference in time it took to convert, Compile, ETC. BTW the Apps I used for the numbers above were exactly the same and Universal Binaries so they ran on both platforms.
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Bicycleman

 
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Thanks for the comments. Seems there's a bit more to it than just 'speed'. The old G5 is a tower by the way. Any thoughts on the display set up? Will the Imac 21.5", 2.7Ghz comfortably handle the two displays?
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycleman View Post
Thanks for the comments. Seems there's a bit more to it than just 'speed'. The old G5 is a tower by the way. Any thoughts on the display set up? Will the Imac 21.5", 2.7Ghz comfortably handle the two displays?
You probably should have mentioned this 2 external monitor requirement earlier in the thread!

Since you're currently using 2 monitors with your Powermac G5...with an iMac you would also have two (the iMac built-in display & 1 external). So what you're now talking about is a 3 display setup.

The 2011 21.5" iMac has one Thunderbolt port...the 2011 27" iMac has two. The Thunderbolt ports have multiple uses for peripherals (including external displays). With two Thunderbolt ports...the 27" iMac can more easily support two external monitors.

So the 2011 21.5" iMac may need extra hardware to run two external monitors...the 2011 27" iMac can run two external monitors out of the box. And in reality...you can get a 27" iMac for just a couple hundred $$$ more than a 21.5".

- 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
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dtravis7

 
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I thought he was talking about the internal and 32" External.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
I thought he was talking about the internal and 32" External.
Original post mentions a 20" and a 30" Cinema display...I'm assuming these are the two external displays being referred to.

- 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
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Bicycleman

 
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Sory about the misunderstanding. I want to run just one additional display, an Apple 30" Cinema HD. Will theImac 21.5" 2.7Ghz comfortably manage this?
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dtravis7

 
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He also said this in his First post.

"So with all that said, my decision is starting to come down to the 21.5" 2.7Ghz Imac. It seems this machine will be able to run my 32" screen as well as its own display (with the appropriate cable) and I am nearly sure the extra power available relative to my old G5 will mean I will have a machine that will run significantly more quickly than my G5 (opening and saving operations mostly) and will remain acceptably quick for at least another 5 years of software upgrades, small changes in working methods, etc."


To the OP, That will work just fine. Just make sure you have the correct adapter to interface with your 32" Display.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycleman View Post
Sory about the misunderstanding. I want to run just one additional display, an Apple 30" Cinema HD. Will theImac 21.5" 2.7Ghz comfortably manage this?
If you're only looking to run one external display...then yes...no problem running the 30" Cinema Display with the 21.5" iMac.

But...for just a couple hundred more $$$...you could get the 27" iMac. You then get the 27" display...and could run both of your monitors (20" & 30").

- 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
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