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

Powermac 2.3 or Quad 2.5 G5


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strife3713
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Hello everybody, first time poster and long time mac user here.

Well I'm about to make my first switcher purchase but I'm kind of in a twist here. First off, I'm a graphic designer who will be using this mostly for CS suite, Quark, Macromedia programs and anything and everything else the print designer would need. Now my question is whether I really need the Quad 2.5 or is a 2.3 good enough for me? how much better is the Quad at getting things done vs a 2.3? I know my mouth waters for the Quad of course, but I havent had the chance to sit and play with one. The first order of business will be to get 2 gigs of ram into the system of course.

Also, I was looking at the apple refurbished systems at the Dual 2.7 they have. Has anybody here had experience with refurbished systems? I know back a few years ago my folks bought a refurbished Dell that was a problem and was promptly returned back for a new Dell within a week, it had boot issues.

I need opinions and any advice you can give me!
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The Dual 2.3 with 2 GB of RAM will be good enough for you. I can't speak for how much better the 2.7 or the quad would be though- but the 2.3 is the cheapest option of the three, and you will not be disappointed! My dualie 2.3 is still the fastest computer on the block by quite a bit, and it's a revision they aren't even making anymore.

"Luck favors the prepared"
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to_tough_to_die

 
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I wouldn't go for the 2.7 ghz. The new 2.3's are a much better alternative, with faster RAM, PCI-E graphics, and faster PCI slots.

I'd use Windows... but I like the Mac OS more.
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go for the 2.7 as they have their own cache failing that go for the 2.3 the quads are over rated IMO



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I personally think you should go with a quad. I have the quad and it is a very fast computer, I have 4 gigs of ram in it but I think that 2 gigs will be just fine. You can never have to much power, and the more powerfull your system the faster your programs will work and you can get your work to your clients a faster rate. This will leave them impressed and they will come back to you and recomend you.. Always go with the fastest computer you can afford if doing something where you have clients, such as a graphic artist, webpage designer, or a video editer. Just my 2 cents.

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zap2
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Quad, that word makes it worth it! But really, if you plan on using this system for a while, a Quad will out last they Dual 2.3
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sevenhelmet

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zap2
Quad will out last [the] Dual 2.3
How do you figure? They're both PowerPC systems that are well above baseline. With the Intel switch, I'm sure both systems will last until new programs aren't being written for the PPC platform anymore, so what's your logic on that statement?

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I think he means something like, If you have a 400mhz system right now you a running a pretty slow system, but if you are running a 800mhz system you are still running a slow system, but still bareable with the software that is out today. Possibly simular logic?

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Hm, you are getting a lot of conflicting opinions and advice here. Here's the rub though, the programs you mention can make use of multiple processors. Also, of the choices you mention, here is a basic ranking of their performance (*when you're actually doing something processor intense*) :

Quad 2.5
Dual cpu 2.7
Dual core 2.3
Dual cpu 2.3

The thing is, when you are moving an image around on the screen or doing basic tasks all of the above systems will perform more or less the same - simply because you aren't taxing the CPU. However, when you go to apply effects or render images, you'll see a performance difference. It will be most noticable between the Quad and the other 3 systems.

What it comes down to is not just the software you use, but how often you do those cpu intense types of things vs other things. You may be better off getting the lower end system and using the saved cash to put in multiple fast SATA drives in a raid config. If you are constantly loading and saving multiple big images, fast drives are better than fast CPU, since all the systems above will have the cpu loping along doing not much waiting on the hard disk in that scenario.

On the other hand, if you are doing a lot of conversions, effects, or rendering then the quad is going to be roughly twice as fast as its nearest sibling in some instances. If you only spend 5% of your time doing this sort of thing though, it's probably not worth the extra money.

The price difference might be better spent elsewhere as i mentioned. ie, if you have lets say $3500 budget, and spend 20% of your time loading and saving vs 5% doing effects and rendering images, you'd be better off getting the dual 2.7 and popping 3 more drives in a raid 0 or 1-0 config and going up to 4GB instead of 2GB.

Of course, if money is no object, the quad is going to be best at everything if all else is equal.
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bfx
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Was thinking of starting a new thread but since this one is here seems like a good place to ask some questions.

Any data on 2.3 dual core vs. 2.5 dual cpu?

For my use the cpus will be running 100% duty cycle rendering frames for 3D animations with some video editing thrown in.

Figure about about 90% time rendering, 8% video editng and the remainder piddly stuff like image editing.

Also - any figures on heat output of the dual core 2.3 vs. the dual cpu 2.5? Is the closed loop cooling of the dual cpu 2.5 good enough to make it run cooler than dual core 2.3?
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lonerider

 
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The dual core 2.3 should be *slightly* faster than the dual 2.5 cpu. That's based on benchmarks from here :

http://www.macworld.com/topics/hardw...s/desktopmacs/

Unfortunately these benchmarks are not directly comparable. ie, if you look at the individual applications used you'll find that they are different versions.

Better and more comprehensive benchmarks are here, but nothing there for the 2.3 dual core :

http://www.macsonly.com/olderspeed.html

In any case, I would say that the 2 systems are pretty much equivalent on speed (dual 2.5 vs dual core 2.3). The question then comes down to cost, and expansion ability. You will find more things available in PCI and PCI-X format for the Mac right now, but that will probably change in a year or so. The new dual core systems use pci-e, not pci or pci-x. The dual cpu 2.5 also has 8 memory expansion slots vs the dual core's 4 slots (the 2.5 used to be top of the line, while the dual core 2.3 is a midrange model).

Quote:
Any data on 2.3 dual core vs. 2.5 dual cpu?
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bfx
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Thanks for the info - it helps a lot.

I had been leaning toward the dual core 2.3 as it has a faster writer and listed 16 gb as max ram - didn't realize that was using 4 gb sticks.

The price for refurbished dual core 2.3's vs. dual 2.5 cpus is the same at Apple's on-line store as of last time I checked.

All things considered seems the dual cpu 2.5 will suit me better in the long run.

Thanks again.

bfx
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strife3713
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Well the check is in so this weekend the computer will be mine! I think my power hungry self has decided on the Quad 2.5 after all. Now since Apple charges $270 through student discount for 2 gigs of ram total and I know theres more affordable out there for an additional 2 gigs (2.5 gigs total) does anybody have any reccomendations as far as brands? I know for $270 or less I can get a better deal from looking around some, but I would like to know what brand and model if theres something available for at store pickup. Theres a Fry's/Outpost.com store very close to me that I can go look at for a massive selection.

I'm thinking crucial or Samsung. Help and advice? I see some 4200 DDR2 533mhz 2 gig kit at Fry's for $189.99.

Edit and one last question: How much do you people reccomend me an apple care warrantee?
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to_tough_to_die

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfx
Thanks for the info - it helps a lot.

I had been leaning toward the dual core 2.3 as it has a faster writer and listed 16 gb as max ram - didn't realize that was using 4 gb sticks.

The price for refurbished dual core 2.3's vs. dual 2.5 cpus is the same at Apple's on-line store as of last time I checked.

All things considered seems the dual cpu 2.5 will suit me better in the long run.

Thanks again.

bfx
Actually, the current PowerMacs use motherboards with 8 RAM slots, so that's 2 gigs max per stick.

As far as performance, are we talking about PowerMacs from the current revision or the last iteration? The latest PowerMacs use PCI-E, as opposed to AGP graphics, have faster expansion slots, better pack-in graphics, and are a better buy than the older 2.5s or 2.7s.

I'd use Windows... but I like the Mac OS more.
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bfx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonerider
The dual cpu 2.5 also has 8 memory expansion slots vs the dual core's 4 slots (the 2.5 used to be top of the line, while the dual core 2.3 is a midrange model).
Quote:
Originally Posted by to_tough_to_die
Actually, the current PowerMacs use motherboards with 8 RAM slots, so that's 2 gigs max per stick.
I called two different Apple Stores in my town and got two different answers.

Called the order department at Apple - was informed they only take orders .... no "tech" questions answered.

If there's still a way to contact Apple via email it's really well camoflauged on their site.

So which is it?

Whichever way I go with it will have to have at least eight ram slots supporting 2gb sticks. 3D apps are very memory hungry once you start animating several objects each between two and three million polys plus a bunch of large texture maps.

Frankly I would still like to go with dual core 2.3 for now becauser it's a newer platform with a longer life span for support.

I'm also looking toward the release of the Intel PowerMacs. So I need to get something to span the gap between now and, most likely, the second-gen PowerTels or whatever they'll be called.

bfx
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