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

Is it worth to switch from iMac G4 to iMac G5??


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Mainyehc
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Hey!!
Having read that "iMac disappointment" thread, even though those benchmarks weren't considered much accurate, I started wondering wether I'm making the wrong choice here...

I've bought a last revision 17'' iMac (1,25 GHz), and all I can say is that it's a lovely machine. I mean, you can't get a computer more ergonomic and stylish than this (perhaps the Cube, but that's a bit off-topic )... And... it's my first Mac. It completely changed the way I think about computing. Besides of "Think[ing] different", I preety much became an absolut pain in the a**, always trying to convert people, but anyway...

And now, I was thinking of selling my iMac G4 and buy an iMac G5. The top end 17'' model or maybe the 20''er.

I don't have problems with having a G4, even though I dreamt of having a DP PM G5... I just don't think that my iMac is performing that well, even with Mac OS X 10.3.5. Maybe I have too much crap installed in my system, such as add ons like "Desktop Manager" or "Synergy", maybe my disk is too full (approx. 1/2 full), maybe I'm not repairing permissions as often as I should, dunno... Or... maybe it's the RAM, or the FSB, or...

I use mainly publishing/vector/photo editing software; Adobe CS, Macromedia MX, QuarkXPress, etc, as I'm a graphics design student. I'm going to start my 2nd year (out of 5), and I was wondering if the iMac G5 would a better machine for my needs. IMHO, in my iMac, PSP 8 takes ages to load!! QuarkXPress nearly chokes when I'm working with large files (+500MB); of course, that might be a RAM related issue, but I maybe better off with an iMac G5 and put, say, a 1GB DIMM of RAM, and one day, put another one without having to fiddle with its guts, than by spending heaps of cash just to put a 1GB SO-DIMM in my current iMac...
What I mean is, is upgrading my current iMac a waste of money, when I can get a new iMac G5 and upgrade it later, more easily and at a better price?? And, when Tiger and its sucessor are finally released, will the 64-bit processor performance be worth it? More specifically (and I know you guys can't predict that kind of stuff, I'm just asking your opinion as mere mortals), will it perform good for the next 4 years? (i.e., considerably better than my current iMac)...

Sorry for asking such hard-to-answer questions...
And on a side note:

My iMac G4 cost me €1900 (US$2329), with a nice 6% discount.
The new iMac will cost, here in Portugal:

iMac G5 17'', 1,6 GHz
80 GB HD

€1404.40 ($1723)
--------------------------

iMac G5 17'', 1,8 GHz
80GB HD

€1619.84 ($1987)
--------------------------

iMac G5 20'', 1,8 GHz
160 GB HD

€2050.70 ($2515)
--------------------------

So, this leaves me with a problem... The new, low-end iMac is waaaay cheaper than mine... and it has the same specs, except for the processor;
So, I can only sell my iMac for €1000-€1400 ($1226-$1718), which means if I'm VERY lucky and can get someone to buy it for me for the same price as the new low end model (after all, the iMac G4 is WAY mor ergonomic and might even become a collectible item, like the Cube), and decide to go for the top end 17''er I'll only have to spend €220 ($270). And in the worst case scenario, I'll have to spend as much as €1050 ($1290), if I can only get €1000, and go for the 20''er.
My point is: Is it worth buying the iMac G5 at all, and/or is it worth to buy THIS iMac G5 (with the GeForce FX5200 et al), NOW?? (because my current iMac may lose some of its value, and besides, I may have to face some tough challenges throughout my second year...

Any thoughs on this extensive subject would be very appreciated... If you guys managed to read all this, thank you!!
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MoltenLava
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It sounds like you just need to add more memory. How much memory do you have? For the task you are doing you need at least 1GB or 1.5GB.

One questions is will you be able to find a sucker, I mean a buyer who would give you $1300 when they can get a brand new iMac G5 for the same price?
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m1k
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Quote:
I've bought a last revision 17'' iMac (1,25 GHz), and all I can say is that it's a lovely machine. I mean, you can't get a computer more ergonomic and stylish than this (perhaps the Cube, but that's a bit off-topic )... And... it's my first Mac. It completely changed the way I think about computing. Besides of "Think[ing] different", I preety much became an absolut pain in the a**, always trying to convert people, but anyway...
Yep, Mac'll do that to pretty much anyone

Quote:
I don't have problems with having a G4, even though I dreamt of having a DP PM G5... I just don't think that my iMac is performing that well, even with Mac OS X 10.3.5. Maybe I have too much crap installed in my system, such as add ons like "Desktop Manager" or "Synergy", maybe my disk is too full (approx. 1/2 full), maybe I'm not repairing permissions as often as I should, dunno... Or... maybe it's the RAM, or the FSB, or...

I use mainly publishing/vector/photo editing software; Adobe CS, Macromedia MX, QuarkXPress, etc, as I'm a graphics design student. I'm going to start my 2nd year (out of 5), and I was wondering if the iMac G5 would a better machine for my needs. IMHO, in my iMac, PSP 8 takes ages to load!! QuarkXPress nearly chokes when I'm working with large files (+500MB); of course, that might be a RAM related issue, but I maybe better off with an iMac G5 and put, say, a 1GB DIMM of RAM, and one day, put another one without having to fiddle with its guts, than by spending heaps of cash just to put a 1GB SO-DIMM in my current iMac...
What I mean is, is upgrading my current iMac a waste of money, when I can get a new iMac G5 and upgrade it later, more easily and at a better price?? And, when Tiger and its sucessor are finally released, will the 64-bit processor performance be worth it? More specifically (and I know you guys can't predict that kind of stuff, I'm just asking your opinion as mere mortals), will it perform good for the next 4 years? (i.e., considerably better than my current iMac)...
Well, what do you want it to perform like? I have a PowerBook G4 1.33GHz (only a few GHz faster than yours) and it runs smooth as butter. I added an extra 256MB RAM though, so I have 512MB RAM total. I think your Mac just needs a bit more RAM. OS X needs at least 512MB to run really smoothly, 256MB doesn't really cut it (it's unfortunate Apple doesn't put 512MB RAM standard in every Mac ). A 1.6GHz iMac G5 will be a bit faster, for sure, than your 1.25GHz iMac. But it's probably cheaper and quicker to just max out your Mac's RAM. More RAM means applications load quicker. More RAM means that PhotoShop runs much smoother. More RAM is the answer to pretty much everything in Mac-Land. If you want to download more pr0n, get more RAM. If you want your microwave to cook faster, more RAM'll do the trick. If you want to fall asleep faster, get more RAM. RAM is the universal answer to everything! GET MORE RAM!!!

OK, sorry about the long rant. But if you're using PhotoShop and professional **** like that, you shouldn't be stuck with a measly 256MB RAM. That won't do the trick. Instead of shelling out the cash on a new iMac G5, just max out the RAM to 1.256GB and your iMac will run as smooth as butter, guaranteed. And it's also cheaper than buying a new Mac.

If you're really into graphics design and if you want the best performance possible, get a full-fledged PowerMac G5 with like 4GB RAM. If you have the cash, that is. But the best option would be to just upgrade your RAM, you'll be amazed at how much that'll do for you.

The iMac G5 and the iMac G4 aren't actually that different, sure, the processor's a bit faster, the graphics card's a bit faster, but the RAM in both is still 256MB, which is inadequate for what you're doing.

The cheapest and probably most performance-effective method would be to just get a 1GB stick of RAM. If you get the iMac G5 you'd still have to upgrade the RAM to at least 1GB for what you're doing, which would be much more expensive.

So just upgrade the RAM, it's not really worth getting a new Mac.

Good luck!
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pphking

 
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My friend works in the Graphics Industry and uses Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXpress and Macromedia all day everyday .

I can tell you for certain that more RAM will do the trick .

Hope this helps
Paul
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psychotoe
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I think what Mainyehc is getting at is, is it worth getting the latest and greatest. In my oppinion if you can afford it then yes!!! You should get the 1.8 it is faster then the 1.2 iMac. I don't care what the documents or people say. The CPU is more advnaced then the one that comes in the old iMac. The new chip uses the 64bit arcitecture. It is faster then the original iMac and you would see a huge difference if you were comparing the two.
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Mainyehc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychotoe
I think what Mainyehc is getting at is, is it worth getting the latest and greatest. In my oppinion if you can afford it then yes!!! You should get the 1.8 it is faster then the 1.2 iMac. I don't care what the documents or people say. The CPU is more advnaced then the one that comes in the old iMac. The new chip uses the 64bit arcitecture. It is faster then the original iMac and you would see a huge difference if you were comparing the two.
Interesting point, that's exactly what I was thinking. On a side note, it's €1300, not $1300 (curiously enough, €s are worth more than $s, but Apple products are a huge rip off in Europe, and specially in Portugal, where the taxes are a whopping 19% )... the new iMac G5 will cost €1400, and the eMac G4 1,25GHz, with a BETTER Superdrive (8x) costs €1100... Ok, the sweet spot should be the average price between the two, hence, €1250. And no, it wouldn't be a sucker, I'm not trying to sell it to someone with the same computing needs as me, but instead to someone who uses mainly M$ Office, likes to surf on the Web, is sick of having to get rid of stupid worms and viruses, praises ergonomics above all things, and doesn't give a s*** about having a defective green pixel near the left center edge of the screen (and excuse me for the little rant, both psychotoe (to whom it's not directed) and MoltenLava, and all the other viewers).

I finally got it (in fact, I understood that from the moment I started working, and struggling with my teachers' deadlines)... what I need is... MORE RAM, and I figured out another interesting thing. What happens with Macs is that same as with the new iPods: no Apple branded accessories = cheaper iPod. Same thing with the Mac: low capacity Apple branded RAM sticks = cheaper Mac (and that's a Good Thing™, because you can pick the iPod accessories of your choice, and the same goes for the RAM, thus, effectively lowering all the costs ). And I know I'll have to buy RAM, even/especially for my new iMac G5. But what about Tiger? And its successor? I'm planning to buy a PM G5, like, in 4-5 years time, and turn this iMac G4/the new iMac G5 into our home computer (yes, the whole family will be switching ). Won't I be gaining more useful years of computing by buying *A G5* (in it's iMac-form), than just one more (because this is going to be bought in 2005 instead of Dec. 2003), just because of the fact that it is that, *A G5* and not a G4?? I mean, when the OS and most of the apps are 64-bit optimised, you're supposed to notice a big difference, right?? Or will you be noticing it only in high-end, huge professional tasks, like genome sequencing (lol)?

Another two interesting points: the AGP 8x found in the iMac G5. Apparently, the iMac G4 had an AGP 4x, which prevented the "oh-not-so-great" GeForce FX 5200 Ultra from performing at its full potential... And that bottleneck apparently doesn't exist in the new iMac.
And this other "fact", which I never heard of, and don't know if it's true or not: in a Cafι Macs review on the new iMac, they claimed, among other things (like the AGP 4x-8x thing), that "The iMac G5 also uses the same RAM as the Power Mac G5: PC3200 (a.k.a. DDR400) DDR-SDRAM. Though it's not dual-channel like the Power Mac G5 per-se, if the RAM in the two slots are a matched pair, it will perform as a single 128-bit bus, instead of a 64-bit bus if the RAM is of different sizes. It's a neat not-too-well-known feature of the iMac G5."

Hmmmm... Is a 256 DDR400 RAM module cheaper than those damn "user accessible" SO-DIMMs? I have a gripe with those... And I'm falling in love with the iMac G5 mainly because it's revolutionary, it's *user serviceable*. And, even though it's a megalomaniac thought, I think I'll go for the high-end model: YES, a 20'' screen instead of 17'', a 1,8GHz G5 instead of a 1,25GHz G4, and YES, 160GB hard drive instead of 80GB... And screw the BT and Airport modules, I love the clutter (and probably wouldn't want to spend the extra cash on the new Apple keyboard and MacMice's BT mouse either, their wired versions are already perfect, thanks)!! And ya know, I'd love to have an AirportExpress thingy, but I think I'll just wait for the remote, ehehe... And I can add the AE card later, no problem with that.

And all this for the exact same €2050, which was my iMac's price tag... I'm losing €700, it's true, and I'll have to add at least 256MB for now, and maybe replace both of them in the future with 512 or 1GB modules (if that theory is true) and sell the old modules on eBay or something. I'm preety sure there'll be some morons like myself who will be running their iMac G5s with the standard 256MB and would be, by then, desperate to upgrade it

Now, this brings me, again, to the same question: considering all the above mentioned facts/speculation, is it worth to dump a still capable, and also the coolest looking desktop in the history of computers (after the Cube, 'course!), and wasting €800-€900 ($863-$986) (remember the RAM) in the process, to get my hands on this new machine?

(sorry for the loooooong, boring posts; thanks for your attention )
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IanCT

 
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I have the same machine, 17" 1.25 w/SuperDrive. 80GB hard drive, and I had to add more ram. The stock 256MB was too low for the capabilities of that machine. I added an additional 512MB from Crucial.com and it made a BIG difference, especially with PhotoShop, VirtualPC (Win2000 Server w/Exchange 2000 & SQL 2000), iMovie/iDVD, and all around system performance. Upgrade the memory first, you'll see the improvement.
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Mainyehc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanCT
I have the same machine, 17" 1.25 w/SuperDrive. 80GB hard drive, and I had to add more ram. The stock 256MB was too low for the capabilities of that machine. I added an additional 512MB from Crucial.com and it made a BIG difference, especially with PhotoShop, VirtualPC (Win2000 Server w/Exchange 2000 & SQL 2000), iMovie/iDVD, and all around system performance. Upgrade the memory first, you'll see the improvement.
Thanks for the advice. I'll take it, yes, but I still took the megalomaniac route: Buying an iMac G5 AND upgrading its RAM...
Just bought an iMac G5 20'', and I couldn't be happier with my purchase!
The screen is sooooo much better than that found in the iMac G4 (not just the sheer size of it, 20'', WOOOOW), it makes me wonder if these screens aren't actually Apple Cinema Displays with a G5 computer on their backs... The viewing angle is SO big, that I don't care about the screen's height not being adjustable; in fact, even the screen rotation isn't needed anymore.
This thing is awesome!! And I'm quickly falling in love with it! I still have the iMac G4 beside this one (and what a lovely sight this is), and I'm starting to find it obsolete. The only thing I'll miss, apart from its looks, is the Pro Speakers... They sound soooo much better that I'm actually thinking of buying some new ones for my iMac G5 (coz' I won't be selling the old iMac w/o them, its internal speaker sucks!), and a weird mini-plug to FireWire adapter which I found on some online store. Or maybe some creative speakers, dunno... I'll eventually do something about it
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to_tough_to_die

 
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Is the adapter made by Griffin? Because If I'm not mistaken, they took the technology form the USB Amp that shipped with the G4 Cube, but re-packaged it and converted it to Firewire.

I'd use Windows... but I like the Mac OS more.
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Pierre

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by to_tough_to_die
Is the adapter made by Griffin? Because If I'm not mistaken, they took the technology form the USB Amp that shipped with the G4 Cube, but re-packaged it and converted it to Firewire.
This thread is from 2004...

Macbook: 2ghz Core Duo, 2gb Ram

Don't forget to use the User Reputation System
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earltash

 
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Just because it is an old thread doesn't mean that someone may need some important info....................
Dam.....................

http://www.geocities.com/earltashjr/EARLTHEPEARL.HTML
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ByzantineRemnant

 
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Lets keep this ancient thread going.
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Mainyehc
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Ehehe, it sure is ancient... I thought I'd give y'all an update, just for kicks

My Rev. A, 20'' 1.8 GHz iMac G5 keeps performing its duties like a champ, but now it's being aided by nothing less than 1.25 GB of RAM, which, for now, is enough for the work I do with it, which is exactly the same I did two years ago... Aaaand, it has an iSight on its top, which, being external, is much cooler than those mini iSight thingies found on the Rev. C's and Intels (no, seriously, it's cool to be able to move it around ), and a Mighty Mouse alongside it. And it's running a LEGAL copy of Tiger (I think it was the first time I actually bought a box of software - excluding games)... So, all in all, its only shortcomings (when compared to the current offerings) are its meager graphics card, lack of wireless features, and... er... a "legacy" PowerPC processor. It didn't stop working because of that, though

The only thing bothering me is the fact that its logic board came from that defective lot, however, it seems that its capacitors were not of the defective brand that blew up and leaked... Still, the LB was replaced a few months ago, and the replacement LB was actually defective, so the guys from the Apple Centre put the old one back, and since then, I've been waiting for another one to arrive. The fans were also replaced, since the original ones were rather noisy, and... the new ones are noisy too!

Another piece of history: back when I upgraded the memory, I was so dumb I didn't run AHT before using the computer... After a few days of massive KP's, my filesystem got severely messed up, and then I ran AHT only the memory was defective. I just thought, "What the heck!", and erased and installed, thus losing lots of stuff... I don't give a ****, though, since I learned a valuable lesson: Macs are very resilient, as long as you don't mess with their hardware too much and don't install bad memory or other kinds of defective hardware. [Now this is the kind of important info someone might need].

About the Apple Pro Speakers... I didn't buy them, and in fact, I didn't buy any speakers at all. I'm just using my old PeeCee's speakers, which, even though being fugly, pack quite a punch. And while I'm at it, let me tell you, besides having bought a Shuffle right after they were launched, I've sold my old 20GB 3G iPod and got a brand spankin' new 60 GB iPod w/ Video, and I absolutely love it! So, all in all, even with all the fan-buzzing and money-wasting, I'm a preety satisfied MacHead™
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