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  1. #1
    MacHeadCase
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    G5 vs Intel-based: what is the heat like in comparison?
    Just out of curiosity, I was wondering if someone in the membership can compare the heat created by an iMac PowerPC G5 vs an Intel iMac.

    Before the G5 iMac, I had a G4 iLamp iMac and quite frankly I never noticed any heat coming out of it. When I got my G5 I noticed heat radiating from the screen but, in the light of why Apple never made any G5 laptops, I would expect it's nothing excessive and it's quite normal with the G5 chip.

    A friend wants to switch from a Windoze box to an iMac and we're going to the Apple Store so she can play around with the iMac, check them out, etc. In her leisure time she plays music (guitar and bass) and would love to be able to use her iMac for that: she will first try out GarageBand if she goes ahead with the purchase then she'll want something more sophisticated.

    Oops! I'm going off topic with my own thread! LOL

    Anyway just for my own knowledge I was curious about the heat thing: I did notice some threads in here where members say the MacBook and MBP laptops get pretty hot and uncomfortable so I would guess Intel-based Macs radiate heat as well?

    Thanks for your input, gang!

  2. #2

    giulio's Avatar
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    Being that G5s are old technology already, and the Intels are newer, by theory they must be more efficient and therefore make less heat per horse power.

    My iMac has NEVER burned my lap. I barely feel the heat from it on my legs Then again, it might be the table in the way...
    schweb This has to be one of the best threads ever in MF history...
    Cherokee This gets my vote for most innovative thread on Mac-Forums... ever.

  3. #3

    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by giulio View Post
    Being that G5s are old technology already, and the Intels are newer, by theory they must be more efficient and therefore make less heat per horse power.
    Old is a little harsh.
    Previous technology is more fitting. G5's are by no means "old".

    And, though I caught your tounge in cheek reply....

    As far as "newer = better", that is not always the case.
    Bigger, Faster, Newer does not necessarily equate to "Better" or "more Efficient".

    To answer the question, in my experience with using both PPC machines as well as Intels, the Intels have always ran hotter. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but they do run much hotter than any PPC machine I have come across.
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  4. #4
    MacHeadCase
    Guest
    Ok thanks for your thoughts. Now I know that His Steveness, saying he ditched IBM because they weren't able to come up with a G5 chip for laptops because of the heat issue is a lie.

    *Sniffles* My heart is broken because Our Leader has lied to us. *Sob*






  5. #5

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    MHC, I have the same machine you have, the 2.1Ghz iMac G5. I agree that the heat from the back is not that bad. I have messed with the Core Duo iMacs but never really checked the heat. My core duo Mac Mini though runs quite a bit hotter than my G4 mini does if that tells you anything. I have a feeling that DB is correct on his points. Also the Intel is Dual Core where your and my iMacs are not. I have never felt the iMac G5 ran really hot. They did a good job with the cooling system. This G5 iMac has been one of the most reliable computers that I have ever owned.

  6. #6
    MacHeadCase
    Guest
    Oh yeah for sure! It's a little work horse and even though I've had it for almost 18 months, I'm still not finding it slow.

    I love my iMac.

  7. #7

    narf1899's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 05, 2007
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    iMac 20" C2D 2.4 ghz 2gb iMac 20" C2D 2GB 256MB Graphics Macbook C2D 2GB Powermac G4 Dual 450
    i use my iMac to its fullest potential and i never even hear the fans getting louder...and i put my hand on the back and it feels like...an early summer morning....and when i use my friend's G5, under normal pressure it is fine, but when playing a DVD, roller coaster tycoon, or rendering effects in iMovie, the thing starts to get loudddd...and theres tons of heat radiating from that little slit in the back
    iMac Aluminum 20" 2.4 ghz 2gb RAM 300gb HD
    iMac 20" Core2duo 2gb 250gb
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    Powermac G4 dual 450

  8. #8

    giulio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
    Old is a little harsh.
    Previous technology is more fitting. G5's are by no means "old".

    And, though I caught your tounge in cheek reply....

    As far as "newer = better", that is not always the case.
    Bigger, Faster, Newer does not necessarily equate to "Better" or "more Efficient".

    To answer the question, in my experience with using both PPC machines as well as Intels, the Intels have always ran hotter. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but they do run much hotter than any PPC machine I have come across.
    The G5 came out in 04.

    I wasn't being 'wise' or snobby about newer=better. I was being sincere about technology.

    The dual 2.5 G5 had to be water cooled. I don't know of any water cooled intels of any speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacHeadCase View Post
    Now I know that His Steveness, saying he ditched IBM because they weren't able to come up with a G5 chip for laptops because of the heat issue is a lie.

    *Sniffles* My heart is broken because Our Leader has lied to us. *Sob*
    Does my observation clear Steve for you?
    schweb This has to be one of the best threads ever in MF history...
    Cherokee This gets my vote for most innovative thread on Mac-Forums... ever.

  9. #9

    Mattlike's Avatar
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    Mar 30, 2006
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    Unibody MBP 2.4 GHz C2D/27" Core i7 iMac
    I do not notice any heat at all form my C2D iMac.

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Nov 30, 2006
    Location
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    Specs:
    2ghz Core 2 Duo Imac 1GB ram Superdrive
    All I know is that in my old 20" G5 I could hear it on.. and the fan start up.

    My new core2duo 17" I can't hear a thing. This computer is virtually silent!
    Core 2 Duo Imac

  11. #11
    MacHeadCase
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by giulio View Post
    *Snip*
    Does my observation clear Steve for you?
    Kinda. Guess it's safe to trust him again.

    Giulio, I almost clicked on your Ajax button instead of clicking on the M-F quote button! LOL

    And thanks for your input guys! Much appreciated.

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Apr 10, 2007
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    Hello, I can't speak for G5 vs C2D but, in the pc world liquid cooling and the such came to be mostly to keep cheaper/hotter running AMD processors cool, Intel procs are always recommended when cooling is an issue. I have an 20" iMac G5 and the only time I ever hear the fans is during heavy video use.

  13. #13
    MacHeadCase
    Guest
    The iMac G5 is wonderful, isn't it? I really like mine.

  14. #14


    Member Since
    Apr 10, 2007
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    absolutely, I tried out some intel iMacs and so far I think the G5 is faster. I expect/hope that to change when Leopard comes out.

  15. #15

    Kash's Avatar
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    Ok, there seems to be quite a bit of confusion and mis-information in this thread.

    For starters, let's debunk the Intel=hot thing. Yes, back during the Pentium 4 days, Intel processors ran hot, more so with the last revisions because of the Prescott core (lovingly called the Preshott). The thing was just inefficient and suffered from major heat issues.

    However, Intel has revamped its processor architecture with the Conroe cores (CoreDuo/Core2Duo). These processors are far more efficient than their Netburst predecessors. They also run MUCH faster despite the lower clockspeed. They are also much cooler than the older Pentiums.

    One last thing I wanted to point out is jakeroberts' claim that AMD processors run hotter than Intel. That simply isn't true, at least it hasn't been for quite some time. Back during the Athlon XP days with the Thunderbird core, the AMD processors ran hot. But with the Bartons and then subsequently with the arrival of Athlon64 processors, heat simply has not been an issue with AMD's line of processors. In fact, this was touted as one of the many reasons why one should avoid an Intel Pentium 4 processor.

    Steve Jobs wasn't lying when he said the G5 processor ran too hot to put into a laptop. Like Giulio said, the things ran so hot that Apple had to water cool them. Also, IBM had essentially thrown in the towel for making chips for Apple since it was getting bids from Microsoft and Sony to build them chips for their upcoming consoles, which would have made them FAR more money than selling chips to Apple.

    SO, to conclude, the Core2Duo processors run both faster and cooler than the G5 processors

    June 2007
    July 2009

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