PowerMac G5 1,8ghz vs Mac Mini ? For mom&dad usage ?

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Hi there,

I own and owned my fair share of mac's - currently I have an intel Mac Mini as a media center, my wife has a MBP, I have as a desktop a MacPRO Xeon and have a MacAir myself...

My parents, as usual, keep bugging me to fix their computer - Windows.

So I ran into a store that is selling Powermac G5's CHEAP, I mean dirty cheap.

But its the 1,8 ghz, G5 version.

I was planning to buy them a MacMini so I can VNC from home and fix any problem or explain any issue but this PM G5 got me wondering...

Is it ok for normal usage ?

this is what they use it for :

Word
Powerpoint
Flash based games ( dont even ask why... my mom loves it )
Email
Internet Browing

Very light stuff that a G4 can do I know... the thing is :

I had my old and trusty Powerbook G4 1.0ghz there and my Mom found it DEAD slow.... so she stopped using it.

Its an online store so returning the Powermac is a nono... Is the speed of a PowerMac G5, but Macmini C2D standards, too slow ?

I know they would be super fine and happy with a MacMini ( intel ) but can a Powermac suffice ? Is it much slower than a Mac Mini 1.8 ghz core duo intel for example ?
 

Slydude

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Speed wise the G5 might suffice but I lean toward the Mini. The advantage there being that it will be current software wise for longer than the G5. I know they are not experimenting with other tasks that need more current software right now but are they interested in tasks which might require more modern software? If so go with the Mini.
 
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Hi Sylvester,

Thanks for the update ; again, no other software rather than iPhoto, Mail, Word & Powerpoint plus Safari ( flash based stuff ) and so on will be used in a near future for a very very long time.

My mom is retired so I do not see her doing any drastic changes and need to use any other application.

Basically, its really only web / photo storage ( iphoto is MORE than enough ) and some word and powerpoint documents ( viewing... ) ...

Also other two big pluses are :

- Time Machine automated backup
- VNC connectino ( I dont live with my parents anymore )

I'm really leaning towards the G5 for this since its REALLY cheap - its roughly 200 euros ( 300 usd ? 170 british pounds ) , with shipping and warranty... cracking deal in my opinion....
 
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I support your idea of the G5. A Mini is a good computer, but there's always the need for that extra lump of hardware, namely ... the monitor! Extra cost.

Speed? I don't think there'll be a discernible difference between 1.8 PPC and 1.8 Intel.

The only question really, given the circumstances you've explained, is PPC vs Intel software; and Flash. As I'm probably the same vintage as your parents, I find that PPC/Universal software works just fine.

Flash is an ongoing battle between Apple and Adobe and there seems to be no adequate resolution in sight. You may need to visit your folks from time to time via VNC to update the Flash player. How much longer support for PPC Flash plugins is to continue, I have no idea.
 
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Well you say your parents will use powerpoint. Well Apple's keynote in my opinion is a better application and is part of the iwork software package.

And a Power Mac G5 does not come with a monitor just like the mac mini. Unless you get a package deal from the store you are buying from. So no matter which of these you choose you have to add in a monitor cost.
And another thing to keep in mind. How long will Apple/3rd party developers support Universal Binary? I'm sure it's days are numbered. But will it be in 10 years and you'll have a new Mac by then or will the transition process start next year? No one knows.
 
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I support your idea of the G5. A Mini is a good computer, but there's always the need for that extra lump of hardware, namely ... the monitor! Extra cost.
The PowerMac G5 is not an iMac so it will also need a monitor and keyboard. I have one myself.

Proenca, I still have my PowerMac G5 2GHz and it's still an adequate computer but as hughvane stated the issue is the Intel vs PowerPC chip. Even if your parents don't use any new software, PowerPC is becoming less supported as the years pass by. Simple things such as Netflix not allowing streaming videos for PowerPC. I can see a point where a other internet browser plugins aren't made for PowerPCs. Another example is if your parents get a new printer. It might not have drivers for PowerPC.

It also means that in the future your parents might not be able to upgrade their software if that ever becomes an issue. If you get the Mac Mini now I think they will be set for many years to come. It will save them the headache of having to upgrade to an Intel Mac in the future if needed. One of the reasons why I finally got an Intel Mac was that I was noticing the increasing lack of support for PowerPCs.

Depending on how long you think your parents will keep this computer, the highest Mac OS they can go is Leopard. I'm already noticing the lack of support for 10.4 Tiger so I don't know how long Leopard will be supported in the future. You say your parents don't use new software that often but even things like web browsers you want to use the latest versions simply for the security updates.
 
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I stand (sit actually) corrected - thanks to 8thArk and EM. So much discussion these days is about the iMac, that's how I read it. I do beg pardon.

That said, I'd recommend to proenca that s/he do some serious reading about the processor, the PowerPC 970fx (G5). There are several threads about it on forums various, mainly to do with heat dispersal. Some G5 tower users have had to upgrade the fan inside to provide better cooling.

I see a lot of posts about "withdrawal of support" for Tiger, and perhaps later PPC OS, something I've never quite understood. Applying my own situation to the discussion, it's doubtful I'll 'progress' to Intel, and thus to Intel-only OS. I have little or no bother finding 'support', in terms of maintenance or software, for PPC.

What might force my hand though is the physical failure of my eMac, perhaps my iMac. If it happens, what will I buy to replace it (rhetorical question)? I quite like the idea of a Mini, largely for it's size (oops!). I still like CRT monitors too. :)
 
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I stand (sit actually) corrected - thanks to 8thArk and EM. So much discussion these days is about the iMac, that's how I read it. I do beg pardon.
Don't worry about. Everyone makes mistakes. I certainly do. ;) I kind of assumed you were thinking iMac when you read it.

I see a lot of posts about "withdrawal of support" for Tiger, and perhaps later PPC OS, something I've never quite understood. Applying my own situation to the discussion, it's doubtful I'll 'progress' to Intel, and thus to Intel-only OS. I have little or no bother finding 'support', in terms of maintenance or software, for PPC.
It does depend on what you doing on your computer. I was finding that some of my newer electronic devices and software weren't supporting PowerPC much. Also little things like my example with Netflix streaming media not supporting PowerPC at all. The OP's parents may or may not be effected by these issues but I thought it was worth noting so that the OP can make a thorough decision.

I still like CRT monitors too. :)
You are not alone. Unless you get the very high end flat screens I still think a good CRT is better. I have to admit flat screen technology is getting much better though.
 
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chas_m

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Despite being a good deal for you, the G5 tower is a huge hulking bulk of a machine that is much louder and noisier for what they are wanting to do.

I'd get them a Mac mini, they will love it. C'mon, they deserve the best right? A refurb Intel Mac mini will last them YEARS, can't cost much more than this battleship you're thinking of saddling them with, and runs dead silent.
 
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I stand (sit actually) corrected - thanks to 8thArk and EM. So much discussion these days is about the iMac, that's how I read it. I do beg pardon.

That said, I'd recommend to proenca that s/he do some serious reading about the processor, the PowerPC 970fx (G5). There are several threads about it on forums various, mainly to do with heat dispersal. Some G5 tower users have had to upgrade the fan inside to provide better cooling.

I see a lot of posts about "withdrawal of support" for Tiger, and perhaps later PPC OS, something I've never quite understood. Applying my own situation to the discussion, it's doubtful I'll 'progress' to Intel, and thus to Intel-only OS. I have little or no bother finding 'support', in terms of maintenance or software, for PPC.

What might force my hand though is the physical failure of my eMac, perhaps my iMac. If it happens, what will I buy to replace it (rhetorical question)? I quite like the idea of a Mini, largely for it's size (oops!). I still like CRT monitors too. :)

Get a mini G4, you can run MorphOS on it with leopard and linux, but they may have support for eMac and Power Mac G4 next. As for new ppc HW, get the AmigaOne X1000 we're expecting later this year. A-EON.com (Nice little teaser if you know AmigaOS)
 
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chas_m

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Get a mini G4, you can run MorphOS on it with leopard and linux, but they may have support for eMac and Power Mac G4 next. As for new ppc HW, get the AmigaOne X1000 we're expecting later this year. A-EON.com (Nice little teaser if you know AmigaOS)

Yeah, I'm sure his parents, who primarily use their computer for extremely basic tasks, would LOVE that. :Angry-Tongue:

Did you even TRY to read the OP's post?
 
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@Chas m

I was talking to Hughvane, thats why I quoted his post, get off my back please!

As for the OP, its up to you, a G5 is a great machine, but new SW will be hard to find and its VERY noisy. The intel mac mini would be better, longer software support but the CPU in it is no better than a G5 dual core, so you may get better SMP performance but for basic tasks, there will be no difference
 

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