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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Feb 03, 2005
    Location
    Olive Branch, MS
    Posts
    40
    Specs:
    20" iMac Intel
    Want to switch back to Mac.
    Hello people. I know you are all probably getting tired of this question but....

    I've been away from Macs for about 10 years. And I'm thinking very seriously about coming back to the community. Left for the usual reasons... more games and work compatibility.

    I would like to get your suggestions on which Mac you would get. 90% of the time I use my computer for general home productivity (finance, word, web surfing, watching DVDs, etc). The other 10% would be for games. I would like to get a Mac that will play the lastest games just in case something comes out I want (Half-Life 2, etc). And I don't have to run games with all the bells and whistles turned on. Just most of them

    If it helps, right now I'm using a Dell XPS which has a Intel 3.2ghz CPU, 1gb memory and a ATI Radeon 6800 Pro.

    I've been looking at the Dual 2ghz PowerMac and the Dual 2.5ghz PowerMac. Both with the Nvidia 6800 GT. I'm leaning toward the dual 2ghz and adding another GB of memory since that would be enough for my everyday use. But if I would notice a difference in the dual 2.5ghz for games and DVD player then I think I might could get up the extra $450.00.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2

    Macman's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 30, 2004
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    4,374
    Specs:
    PowerMac G4 Cube 450mhz 832mb
    you wouldnt notice much difference, unless you were running lots of apps at once, and most apps, even processor intensive ones will only fully put their weight on 1 processor per app.

  3. #3

    Avalon's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2004
    Location
    Luxemburg, Europe
    Posts
    1,779
    Specs:
    PowerMac G5 Dual 2GHz (June 2004), 2.5GB, Airport, black 5G iPod 30GB, white MacBook 2.0 2GB
    Quote Originally Posted by Macman
    you wouldnt notice much difference, unless you were running lots of apps at once, and most apps, even processor intensive ones will only fully put their weight on 1 processor per app.
    Running multiple tasks at once will not benefit that much on dual CPUs...that's more a memory issue...the more memory you have, the more apps you can run smoothly at the same time.

    Some apps actually use both CPUs. Logic is one of them. It divides it's tasks between both CPUs, for example recording an electric guitar, and adding effects to it in real time. While one CPU takes care of the recording, the other is used to process the sound in real time, which with a single CPU can create some latency (time shift between playing and hearing/recording), due to the fact that everything is done with one CPU. That's one of several reasons why Macs are stil the N1 choice for music studios.

    Now deciding between a dual 2GHz G5 and a dual 2.5GHz G5 is more a question if you really need the extra performance. It won't be noticeable unless you doing some really processor intensive tasks, like for example professional real time video or audio editing. And even then, the difference will be quite marginal...but noticeable nevertheless.
    But for gaming, there won't be much difference, if any, between the two...

    But honestly, markd, for the things you want to use it, even a dual 2GHz is still overkill. For the general home productivity you described, any Mac would be sufficient, even the low end ones, Mac mini and iBook.
    I would suggest you keep your PC for gaming (Mac gaming performance still sucks, and that won't change anytime soon) and buy yourself a nice low end PowerMac, the single 1.8GHz, adding a better graphics card, 1GB of RAM, and you will have a nice, fast and more silent running computer for everyday work.

  4. #4

    witeshark's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Miami FL
    Posts
    2,860
    Specs:
    G4 1Ghz OS X 10.4.7
    You're returning to Mac after a monumental revolution in OS. Mac OS X is all new, based on a version of Unix FreeBSD called Nextstep With its own GUI (Aqua) and kernel (Darwin) It's IMO an absolute gem and extreme relief from that juggernaut non-Unix x86 OS :alien:

  5. #5
    forbin
    Guest
    markd .. I agree with avalon, If you only game 10% of the time, Keep your PC and some dough and buy a lower end unit .. Unless you have requirments for installing a bunch of internal components into the tower. I was also in the same boat as you, away from the Mac for about 8 years now (Had a Mac II CX and a 8600). I just purchased the 17" iMac and am loving it. Plently of power for the home stuff.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Feb 03, 2005
    Location
    Olive Branch, MS
    Posts
    40
    Specs:
    20" iMac Intel
    Guys, thanks for the quick replies and clearing up the dual processing for me. And giving me some ideas.

    forbin, What did you use before you got your iMac? And did you notice any speed diffence between the two? It hard to comprehend that a 1.8ghz CPU will be as fast/smooth as a my 3.2ghz CPU. BTW, I looked at the iMac with 20" display. I have a 19" lcd now, so I was wanting to stay about the same. Where I'll be putting it I would not have room on the sides to get to the superdrive.

    witeshark, OS X is one of the reasons I want to come back. And see what changes has been made since version 4.0 (I think) that I had so many years ago. It'll give me something new to tinker with also. Besides I'm tired of XP. I spend to much time making sure everything is updated, especially virus & spyware apps. Cleaning up junk files and the registry.

    Unless there is anything you guys know that Apple might have coming out anytime that needs more power, I'm thinking about taking Avalon's advice and go with the Single 1.8ghz PowerMac. Upgrade the video card to the Nvidia 6800GT and add 1GB of memory.

    I was really wanting to get the Dell out of my house. I don't really have a place for it when it's replaced. But keeping it is something I need to think on. I do have an Xbox. So there's my game fix except for FPS. I'm not very good with the controller with FPS. Anyways it's been a few weeks since the last time I played a game at all.

    However, there is one Windows program I really need to run. It an editor program for my universal remote control (Home Theater MX-700). It hooks up with a serial connector. But I've been using Belkin's Serial-To-USB adaptor. Is there anyway I would be able to run this on a PowerMac?

    Thanks
    Mark

  7. #7

    witeshark's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Miami FL
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    2,860
    Specs:
    G4 1Ghz OS X 10.4.7
    Yes you can as shown here

  8. #8
    gdestiny
    Guest
    keep the PC for games. all the AAA titles come out on the PC first. it doesn't have to be PC or Mac only; you can have the best of both worlds.

  9. #9

    bassplayrr's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location
    San Fransisco Bay Area, CA, USA
    Posts
    500
    Specs:
    20" G5 iMac; 14.1" G4 iBook; 60Gig iPod Video
    Quote Originally Posted by markd
    forbin, What did you use before you got your iMac? And did you notice any speed diffence between the two? It hard to comprehend that a 1.8ghz CPU will be as fast/smooth as a my 3.4ghz CPU. BTW, I looked at the iMac with 20" display. I have a 19" lcd now, so I was wanting to stay about the same. Where I'll be putting it I would not have room on the sides to get to the superdrive.
    I can't speak for forbin's experiences, but I converted from an Athlon XP 3200 based PC with a gig of ram to my 20" G5 iMac 1.8 with a gig of ram and for MOST day-to-day applications, my mac is much faster. Much of this is probably due to the OS, but everyhting operates more smoothly and opens more quickly. The only time I've noticed that it doesn't beat my Athlon system is in games, and as many have already stated, just keep your PC for that.

    -Chris

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Feb 03, 2005
    Location
    Olive Branch, MS
    Posts
    40
    Specs:
    20" iMac Intel
    witeshark, thanks for reminding me about the Harmony remotes. I'll keep that in mind. But if I keep the PC then I can keep my beloved MX-700.

    Quote Originally Posted by bassplayrr
    I converted from an Athlon XP 3200 based PC with a gig of ram to my 20" G5 iMac 1.8 with a gig of ram and for MOST day-to-day applications, my mac is much faster
    bassplayrr, that makes me feel a lot better about the 1.8ghz PowerMac. My PC actually has a 3.2ghz Pentium and not 3.4ghz. So it's about the same speed as your Athlon PC.

    Well if I'm going to keep my PC I need to read up on KVM switches and see if I would be able to use one with the 20" Cinema Display. I assume the Cinema Display will work with an ATI 9800 Pro video card that's in my PC.

  11. #11
    forbin
    Guest
    markd .. My other system is a amd xp 2200 with a gb of ram. It's my main box which I use as a ftp and backup server plus normal day to day stuff. When I built it, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on it since I promised myself that my next system would be a Mac. Like others, I spend way too much time keeping everything up to snuff on windows (I have 3 boxes at home plus one at work). I'm still getting use to the Mac but I can say that I have zero performance issues coming from the pc to mac

  12. #12

    Aptmunich's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Location
    Munich
    Posts
    9,073
    Specs:
    Aluminium Macbook 2.4 Ghz 4GB RAM, SSD 24" Samsung Display, iPhone 4, iPad 2
    "forbin, What did you use before you got your iMac? And did you notice any speed diffence between the two? It hard to comprehend that a 1.8ghz CPU will be as fast/smooth as a my 3.2ghz CPU"

    If you'd like to see apple explain that one to you, I'd recommend watching this little video on the Mhz myth.
    http://www.esm.psu.edu/Faculty/Gray/movies.html
    Go to that site and download the mhz myth film...

  13. #13


    Member Since
    Feb 03, 2005
    Location
    Olive Branch, MS
    Posts
    40
    Specs:
    20" iMac Intel
    Quote Originally Posted by Avalon
    buy yourself a nice low end PowerMac, the single 1.8GHz, adding a better graphics card, 1GB of RAM, and you will have a nice, fast and more silent running computer for everyday work.
    If I'm going to keep my PC for games, and use it for backups if possible, do you guys think the Nvidia 6800GT will be overkill? Would the ATI 9600XT 128MB have enough power for my use?

    Mark

  14. #14
    Thud
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by markd
    If I'm going to keep my PC for games, and use it for backups if possible, do you guys think the Nvidia 6800GT will be overkill? Would the ATI 9600XT 128MB have enough power for my use?

    Mark

    I'd pick the nVidia 6600GT over the ATI if you want a pretty fast card for under $200.

    Whether the 6800GT is "overkill" depends on the games you play. Do you want to play Doom3, Half Life 2, and Far Cry at 1600x1200 resolution, with fast frame rates? You'll need the 6800GT.

    I found that even my old Radeon 9700 Pro (running on a P4 2.4GHz) was plenty fast enough for Half Life 2, with all the graphics details turned up, although Doom3 was a bit sluggish.

  15. #15

    Avalon's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2004
    Location
    Luxemburg, Europe
    Posts
    1,779
    Specs:
    PowerMac G5 Dual 2GHz (June 2004), 2.5GB, Airport, black 5G iPod 30GB, white MacBook 2.0 2GB
    Quote Originally Posted by markd
    If I'm going to keep my PC for games, and use it for backups if possible, do you guys think the Nvidia 6800GT will be overkill? Would the ATI 9600XT 128MB have enough power for my use?

    Mark
    Well, unless you want to buy that huge 30" display from Apple, the nVidia 6800GT will be overkill. The ATI 9600XT 128MB wil be powerfull enough, and definitely outperforms the nVidia GeForce FX5200 that's in the standard config of the 1.8GHz...and costs only $50,- more.

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