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  1. #1
    Question PowerMac G5 advice, please

    A tiny tad of background first:

    I'm a recent (xmas '04) switcher. I replaced my P4 2800 sony vaio with a 12" powerbook at the end of the year, and everything is dandy with the laptop.

    I've just ordered a mini to replace my winxp server-lite at home (its duties being holding media on an external drive and running apache+php+mysql). This machine is not yet with me, but will be soon.

    The next (final) phase is to replace my main PC (which is an athlon xp 2500+), which is currently double-booting XP (one for work, which is web design and some photography, the other for personal use, meaning games). The plan is to replace this machine with above-mentioned powermac g5 box.

    Now, my plan at the moment is to check that I can get on with OSX as a full-time desktop OS by running the mini as a desktop for a little while, and then move to the pmac once I'm convinced. I will be bearing in mind all the while that the mini will have 512Mb ram not gigs of it (my pbook has 1.25Gb now), and that its a 1.25GHz G4 as opposed to at least 1.8 G5; so the mini will be slow...

    The dilemas begin when I start thinking about speccing this pmac G5. Lots of options, no real guage (in my mind) of the performance differences between the options in terms of what I'd be using it for day-in day-out. (notably games is not the issue now; much more freelance work, and PS2 + XBox have made the PC obsolete for everything by Civ3, which I no longer have the time to play very often...)


    I'm hoping some kind people here can give me a "descriptive" idea of the performance differences between, for example Single and dual 1.8 Ghz and the dual 2Ghz pmacs (assuming, for arguments sake 2Gb of ram in all cases), in terms of "from a to b there's not much noticable difference, but from b to c is a huge step" or some such.

    Plus I'd _really_ appreciate if anyone running machines with the 20 and 23 inch apple LCDs could furnish me with screenshots of them actually running some software (empty desktop backgrounds do not tell me if I can run editor and browser side-by-side on the monitor, or any idea what size the text ends up being).

    Essentially I've got a bit of optimising of my money to do regarding More Power vs Bigger Screen. (and also less-power means more RAM, but thats not so important)

    As a more clear description of my work; I write mostly the "middle ware" for websites, but my freelance work tends to extend to putting a designed front end on it (mostly in terms of the client supplying the mockup design and my turning that into as close a working design as possible). So I do a lot of text editing, a lot of testing in browsers, and a fair amount of photoshop work (which is why I want "more power"; it'd also be great to be able to work a lot faster on the output from my digital camera => big images). Also this machine has to last at least as long as the PC its replacing has; 3-4 years without replace/upgrade, hence getting the most poke for the money.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Hi! I own a Dual 1.8 GHz, and let me tell you, it is one amazing machine. I have mine running with 2 GB of ram, and it boots up in about 15 seconds, and everything flies on it. I have my hooked up to a 19" LCD, and i still cant get over how amazing this machine is. I replaced my 3.0 GHZ p4 with it, with no regrets, this machine hands down its 100% better than my PC was. My GF has a single 1.8 GHZ imac, and the dual processor makes a HUGE difference. Its night and day. If you can afford the dual, definately definately buy it. Throw in atleast 1 or 2 gb of ram, and youll be set. On a daily basis i run dreamweaver, and almost all adobe cs programs. They all fly on the powermac. My resolution on my monitor right now is 1280x1024, and i can see all text fine. I was going to get an apple display, but to be honest, i didnt think it was worth the money. I bought a 19" Dell Ultra LCD, got it for 375.00. Hope this all helps!

  3. #3

    thats pretty much the kind of info I was looking for, one of my options is to use a current display (I have a 19 inch CRT and a 17 inch TFT currently), I'll probably try them out with the mini once it arrives.

    The side-by-side aspect of the wide screen displays is what intrigues me; editor beside browser would be good, but I've never got on with dual-screen setups. I have one running XP at work and the second display only ever gets used for the ftp program - I hate having to swivel my head while working, and the 2 monitors refuse to show consistant colour, despite being identical models run from a single graphics card.

  4. #4
    PowerMac G5 advice, please
    johnnyluu's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 11, 2003
    Your Mac's Specs
    G5 2ghz Dual Processor, 12" Scrolling TrackPad Powerbook
    Rep Power
    DO NOT GET THE APPLE LCD unless you really must have an LCD monitor and you have money to burn. There's nothing really special about them other than they look pretty and match the Powermac. They're a thing of desire not a thing of necessity.

    You'd be better off saving 600/800 squid/bucks and get yourself a big CRT. I know they're big and cumbersome but for graphics work they're brighter, crisper and in my opinion nicer to work with.

    As far as performance differences go I don't know about the single or dual 1.8 machines, but my dual 2Ghz runs like a dream. I actually produce work now rather than attempt to.
    I say, "Unless it causes death, it's not a problem!".

  5. #5
    PowerMac G5 advice, please

    Member Since
    Dec 28, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    Your Mac's Specs
    15" MacBook Pro & 23" ACD
    Rep Power
    I have a PowerMac G5 DP 2, see specs on left, with the 23" Apple Cinema Display.

    Although some of the other users may tell you(rather strongly, I might add) not to get the Cinema Displays, from experience(I own one...) I can tell you they are wrong.

    It is absolutely impossible to understand the extreme joy I get from using my PowerMac/Cinema Display combination day to day. Honestly, the quality ROCKS, color matching is awesome, and just as importantly, I simply wouldn't be happy having a PowerMac with a display just like everyone else. The cheap looking, "Black plastic" look of these Dell LCD's may be cost effective, but if you are working from home, I bet you'll make the difference if you buy the Apple, since you can work so much more enjoyably with it.

    Here is a link to a screenshot of me working in Final Cut Express 2 -


  6. #6
    believe me i know that the feeling must be immense to bring home both a powermac and a cinema display. I just dont think having a matching case justifies the 500 premium that apple charges. The dell screens (ultra models) offer just as good of a picture, and the "crappy" frame really isnt crappy, i happen to like it. if you have 999 to burn on a monitor, i suggest splurging for a 2.5 dual computer instead

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