Another G5 question

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ILOVESOUND, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. ILOVESOUND

    ILOVESOUND Guest

    A 1.8 iMac G5 is the same price as a 1.8 PowerMac G5. As far as I can tell, the specs are identical, save for the exapansion slots in the powermac. 2 questions:

    1 - Would the imac match the tower in performance in regards to audio?

    2 - Does anyone know if the imac is as quiet as I hear the powermac is?

    The iMac route would save me from having to buy a monitor. My latest thought is to go the firewire interface or AD/DA route therefore bypassing the need for a soundcard or any expansion slots for that matter. This would be dedicated for audio only.

    As an aside, my current dream is:

    Apogee Rosetta 200 2 channel AD/DA
    New Mac
    Digital Performer
    Great River 2NV

    I'm just looking for 2 channels of the highest quality I can afford as opposed to several channels of prosumer quality and a bunch of effects.

    Thanks

    ilovesound
     
  2. adamw

    adamw Guest

    The iMacs are indeed very quiet. Apple claims (on their site) that their noise is about 25dB when idle. Since I can hear it when I'm near it (in a room with about a dozen other live computers) I might dispute that claim, but it is quieter than our single 1.6 GHz G5 tower without question. Most of the idle noise will come from the hard drive, which is in the top left hand corner of the iMac if you're facing it head-on.

    You should know that the fans in both the iMac G5 and PowerMac G5 are software controlled, so as you do more intensive computing, thus heating up the processor, the fans will kick up to a higher RPM. A G5 tower with its fans going full bore is easily 60dB, and I'd suspect that the iMac would get a fair bit louder too. The good news is that the fans rarely will go to full power unless something has gone awry with some piece of software, or you have your mac in target firewire mode.

    As far as performance goes, I don't have any experience using either for audio apps (my budget does not allow me to do so) but I can tell you that the iMac has a 533 or 600MHz front side bus, while the dual processor G5's have buses that range from 900MHz to 1.25GHz, and you can put more memory in the G5 towers than the iMac. With those numbers in mind I would speculate that the towers are faster machines, but as always it will depend on what kind of software you use, how many plugins you're using, what kind of audio tasks you're doing, which way the wind has shifted, who wins the election, etc. You should also be aware that the new single 1.8 G5 tower apple just released has almost identical specs to the higher end iMacs, including the slower bus.
     
  3. ILOVESOUND

    ILOVESOUND Guest

    Thanks adamw. Maybe I'll have to hear one for myself before taking the plunge. It's good to know the fans increase proportionate to processing power. I currently have G4 quicksilver which (until we recently moved) I could hear through the wall of the adjacent room I had put it in. Now I'm stuck with it in the same room I track in. I was also looking at the XP Professional - supposed to be "whisper quiet".

    I did some searching and there was some mac site that tested the imac G5 1.8 against the power mac G5 1.8 single and they showed the performance was actually almost identical. They also addressed the front side bus issue. In case you're interested, this is what they said:


    From a hardware perspective, the Power Mac's most significant difference to the iMac is that it has a higher bus speed (900 versus 600 MHz), but none of the benchmarks, or even our real world tests, showed a major difference, as a result.

    We also noted that About This Mac describes the iMac G5's chip as a "PowerPC G5 (3.0)", while the Power Mac G5's is a "PowerPC 970 (2.2)." Obviously there must be differences in the motherboard and firmware, as well, that could be responsible for minor differences.


    Anyway, thanks for the input. I'm not a good decision maker when it comes to lotza $. One of these days I just need to slap down the cash and get something.

    Later,

    ilovesound
     
  4. adamw

    adamw Guest

    The G5 towers are definitely quieter than the G4 towers. I bought a dual 1.25 G4 for a colleague's studio, and you can hear the thing all the way across the control room. The iMacs are very quiet, about the loudest mac I've heard is the eMac, which always has its fan running.
     
  5. Thomaster

    Thomaster Guest

    my advice;
    never buy an imac/emac/whateveriscalled 'all-in-one-box' unless you plan to use it only for textediting, browsing, matching your white curtains..
    if you ever get fed up with it, only thing u can do is sell it, cause upgrading is a pain with these machines. some things don't even fit properly. (i have never seen an iMac/eMac with built in PCI-soundcard, ive worked in an applestore for a year)
    g5's are just properly built, everything has its own nice little place, and isnt crammed on top of eachother just because the design has to be cool..
    by the way, monitors are not expensive, and for audio u dont need a top-of-the-line monitor. look for a secondhand tft screen.

    ok, if you definitely wanna go with the design, do it.
    but i'd say, just spend some $$ on a monitor, and get yourself a decent built machine.
    remember the ads from apple about how good the g5's cooling system was? it had all sorts of different compartiments for cool air, and one for hot air... well. now there is this new iMacG5, and i just cant stop wondering what the hell theyve done to that cooling system.
    take a look at this gallery and figure it out yourself:
    http://www.apple.com/hardware/gallery/
     
  6. ILOVESOUND

    ILOVESOUND Guest

    Thanks - all good advice. That's true, I don't have to use Apple's mega bucks (though cool looking) monitors. This forum is invaluable.

    ILS
     
  7. ILOVESOUND

    ILOVESOUND Guest

    Hey, one more question. Is it risky to buy a used computer (i.e. faulty harddrives, bugs, etc)? And would anyone recommend for or against buying off of Ebay. I saw what looked like a good deal on a G5 and monitor. I've never purchased used computer stuff nor anything off of ebay. Advice?

    ILS
     
  8. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Whittier, California, USA
    Be careful when making a large purchase- make sure its a reputable dealer- call them and talk to them and use a credit card you can cancel if something goes wrong- stay away from money orders or money grams- once you send them you are at the mercy of the seller- if he is a crook you are toast!
     
  9. ILOVESOUND

    ILOVESOUND Guest

    Thanks Mantinger. In your opinion, is it better to buy new in order to have the factory warranty? It seems like it might be like insurance just in case a used machine is screwed up. I would hate to have to dump money into a used machine only to have it total what a new one would cost in the first place.

    ILS
     
  10. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Whittier, California, USA
    you take your chances- I bought my last mac (dual 867) used and had no problems- however, there are no guarantees, so, do you feel lucky!? I also want to add that I have gotten some reat deals on e-bay and (cross the fingers) have not been burned- I try to buy from people with positive feedback and will not send moneyorders to anyone- credit cards are ok with paypal-

    on the subject of warranties, I had a mac that died on me the month after the warranty expired- so like everything else, its all about timing- what can I say- I also had a monitor that went kaput a few months after the extended 2 year warranty ran out- so i tend to stay away from those- seems like a waste of $$ as things do tend to last at least 2 years anyway- If something is defective it usually goes out in the first 6 months ar so and you are (usually) covered against defects anyway
    for the first year
     
  11. ILOVESOUND

    ILOVESOUND Guest

    Yeah, chance taking isn't my strong suit. I'll have to think about it. I'm not some computer guru, so having to fix stuff scares me a little. At the same token, my current G4's harddrive crashed in the first year and I had to have it replaced. Thankfully covered. So you're right, it's a risk. Anyway, thanks for giving me some things to think through.

    ILS
     
  12. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Whittier, California, USA
    the good thing about macs is that they don't usually break down anyway- hard drives, well that's something else- I had a maxtor become unreadeble- I took it off and my friend checked it out- He said everything wa still there but the directory was screwed up- wondering on wonders, 6 month later I plugged it back in and everything is back except for one partition- what can you say...

    On the subjects of macs, like I said they usually don't break down. My mac dies because my assistant (at the time) was unscrewing a hard drive without unplugging the thing- he dropped the screw on the mother board and fried it, just like a month after the warranty expired. $500 later it was back up and running-
     

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