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

Is Dual G5 Powermac worth it?


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willanderson

 
Member Since: Mar 11, 2011
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i'm sure that similar posts like this have been started hundreds, if not thousands of times, but I can't seem to find any that relate specifically to me.

I'm a freelance graphic designer. business is good, but i don't have just a whole lot extra to shell out right now on a brand new top system. in my defense, i don't require too much. i work mostly with web graphics, which don't require much and I still work happily with adobe cs4. i do however work with some large photoshop projects or print files from time to time, as well as some other intensive projects like flash and possibly some light video editing and very light animation. more or less I try to be as well rounded as possible for clients.

i am currently working pretty happily on a 2008 white macbook with 2.4 c2d and 4gb ram. i hook up to an external monitor when i'm working at my desk. for the most part things work out great. this little machine is a trooper and hasn't let me down. There are several times nowadays though that I she gets pretty sluggish when i've got a lot open and working on a big project or something. The fans kick in and she's working pretty hard. by checking activity monitor, i usually notice that i'm using up most of, if not all of the ram.

i know that i can up the ram to 6gb and i'm looking into making that upgrade as well as an ssd possibly just to squeeze a little more out of it.

recently i have found an old powermac with dual g5 at 1.8 or 2.0 ghz for around $200. before we get into a huge conversation about them not being supported and all that, i completely realize that and realize that these are old and that I will be stuck with leopard. what i'm looking at more is that fact that I can squeeze a good bit more ram into these, 8gb in these i believe. there are also a few other areas that can be upgraded, like the gpu, albeit with older cards as well.

having said all that, i intend to be running cs4 for a while, which will run on one of these machines. what i'd like to know is if these would be a viable option as a desktop for handling very large workloads at a time? i realize that these aren't the newest mac pros or anything. i'm ok with a load times as i'm currently have to wait for things now. more or less, i need a good strong workhorse for the time being and wondering if these could offer anything more than what my current white macbook is giving.
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dawson1112

 
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The G5 units were really good work horses for the time. Depending on what year it was built will dictate the ram that can go in it. early 2005 units were maxed at 8 gig ram while the late 2005 models were maxed at 16.
the graphics card options were not to bad for the year also
◾GeForce 6600 LE
◾GeForce 6600
◾GeForce 7800 GT
◾NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 (part number 631-0110)

More ram and a better video card would probly help with the intense graphics editing in photo shop but your over all speed would probly be slower as the g5s have a slower bus speed.
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willanderson

 
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do you think that the speed decrease will be very noticeable or a big enough decrease that it would make a big difference? more or less, given that i would be able to upgrade the ram much more and the video card, do you think it be worth it to get the machine to use as a workhorse vs my macbook, even considering the price of the powermac?
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dawson1112

 
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Yes I think it would be a noticeable decrease in speed. You would be better off upgrading your ram in the MacBook . I am thinking that your MacBook can support up to 8 gig ram but Im not sure with out the product identifier.
The macbooks of 2008 are really pretty powerfull machines.
I think youd be happy upgrading the ram , and if you go to a ssd you will really see a performance gain in accessing files from the hdd.
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willanderson

 
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ok. it's an early 2008 macbook. everymac.com shows that it can be upgraded to 6gb. i was thinking of making those upgrades.

thanks for your thoughts on this
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chscag

 
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Your early 2008 MacBook can take 6 GB of memory. However, the problem with that particular machine is its graphics. You're stuck with an integrated chipset: an Intel GMA X3100 which maxes out at 128 MB of borrowed VRAM.

The G5 will give you better graphics performance albeit at a slower bus speed. Also, if the dual G5 is one that uses a liquid cooled CPU system, they're highly susceptible to failure from leakage. But for $200 it might be worth seeing what it can do.
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willanderson

 
Member Since: Mar 11, 2011
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yes the x3100 is a good bit of what the problem is i fear. that was one of the things that was appealing about the powermac.

also, i have looked into and this is not one of the models that used the liquid cooling system as i have heard of all the problems that these have.

what i'm really looking into for the g5, i guess, would be whether it would be enough processing power, if that makes sense. i am fairly knowledgeable about computers, so i know spec-wise that it's very outdated and that the intel chip in the macbook is much better in every respect. i know that the g5 will probably be slower, but would it make an adequate workhorse for when i'm sitting at the desk if it had something like 8gb of ram and a decent gpu? would it be a significant enough machine to justify getting it as an office workhorse to use instead of my macbook. i still plan to use the macbook, but in this setup, it would be my portable machine for when i go to coffee shops or travel.

there are just several times that i may have photoshop or fireworks, illustrator, and dreamweaver open, along with several tabs in chrome and a handful of other apps open at the same time that slows down my macbook. would the powermac just power through all this?

thanks
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harryb2448

 
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Keep well clear of the liquid cooled G5's. After using an Intel MacBook any G5 will disappoint you as it will drag its feet. Also newer software may well have problems running on a PowerPC computer.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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