Dual G4 not an option. iMac G5 enough muscle? Yes or No?

Discussion in 'Computing' started by razor_usmc, Oct 24, 2004.


Please read the post before answering the poll. Although a dual G5 would be your first choice, wou

  1. Yes, although it wouldn't be my first choice, it will work great for you.

  2. No, although a clever novelty, it is lacking what it would really need for success as a DAW.

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  1. razor_usmc

    razor_usmc Guest

    Okay. Now I know a lot of you will point a finger and say, "Hasn't this topic been covered ad nauseam?" Well, yes...and no.

    There are specific questions that have yet to be answered. Most of the responses, thus far, have been more opinion as to "preference", not whether or not one Mac could perform the needed operations without a hitch.

    I know that a dual G5 fully stocked with RAM and Hard drive space would be ideal, and every mac user's first choice, I am not an idiot. :roll:
    When answering this question, filter your answer not by what you would prefer to be using, but by what can honestly get the job done well.

    But, let's be honest for a second. Not all of us can afford a new dual G5 with all the fixin's with a drive-in-movie apple monitor and the like. I also am guessing, however, that if I got a maxed out imac new, it would probably do a very fine job for me and my applications. If that is indeed the case then it is an option for me.

    Here are the iMacs. Tell me what you think.


    If the iMac IS sufficient, would there be enough performance difference in the 1.6 vs 1.8 to warrant the extra cost??

    Now...some out there have recommended a used dual G4. I appreciate where they are coming from but I am woking in an 11'x11' project studio. The dual G4, albeit more powerful, from what I understand, sounds like a 747 coming in to land when operating...not too great for my sensitive vocal tracks. I have NO other rooms to put a G4 in, and therefore is not an option.

    When we talk about difference in performance of a program like protools or Logic on a dual G5 versus a maxed out Imac G5, are we talking about killing a rat with a 20 guage shotgun versus a double barrel 12 guage? Either way that friggin rat is dead and the jobs done with narry a hitch. What I am trying to say is that although the dual G5 is the king of the hill, is it overkill and more $$$ than I really need to spend?

    Is this a comparable analogy, or will my imac's performace be so hampered and frustrating that I should save up for a loaded G5?? Would protools or Logic with lots of plug-ins running get slow and choppy and make me wanna throw it against the wall, or are we literally talking milliseconds here? Please don't be afraid to be frank with me, I would rather face the reality that I cannot buy what I need and go another direction than sink a ton of money into a product that wont be up to snuff.

    Can the iMac G5 fully loaded get the job done very well despite not being the Big Man on Campus??



    From a review on the imac 1.8 G5 vs the pwer mac single 1.8 G5:


    We attempted to reproduce the same benchmarks we ran on the Power Mac G5 last year, upgrading the Power Mac operating system from 10.2 to 10.3.5. We did not run SpeedRun because it is no longer being updated, and we used a newer version of Cinebench, optimized for the G5 processor. While we were interested in seeing how the iMac compared to our previous tests, we were most interested in comparing the iMac G5 to the Power Mac G5/1.8GHz.

    These tests (iMac G5 Benchmarks) revealed that the iMac G5/1.8GHz performed on par with the single-processor Power Mac G5/1.8GHz system, which is very well indeed. While there were a few minor differences, some of these were actually in the iMac's favor.

    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.

    The iMac G5 uses Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics hardware with 64 MBytes of video memory, just like the Power Mac G5, and it shows comparable graphics performance.

    The Power Mac G5 came with a Sony DVD RW DW-U10A SuperDrive, while the iMac G5 has a Matshita DVD-R UJ-825 mechanism.The speed of these drives is comparable, though current Power Mac G5s ship with faster drives.

    There were fractional differences in performance for all tests, but not significant enough to be noticeable in real-world tasks. The one exception was the effect of processor mode: running in the Auto mode, video compression took substantially longer on the iMac G5, yet the speed was practically identical if the Power Mac and iMac were both set to "Highest" mode.


    Is the iMac for you? This question comes up with every new model, and this one is no different. Only an individual customer can answer the question.

    The Power Mac of today comes with dual processors, but the real advantage of the Power Mac lies in the expandability it offers. There are eight memory slots compared to the iMac's two; you can add a second internal hard drive and create a striped RAID array; or install PCI cards to speed up graphics or add more displays. The Power Mac also offers FireWire 800 support.

    But the iMac offers a surprising amount of punch with very few limitations. It's plenty fast enough for most people, and if you never expand the Power Mac, then you would be paying for capabilities you're not using.

    For the home user the iMac takes up about as much space as an LCD screen alone, and it's wonderfully quiet. These two attributes alone are enough to justify considering it! There's a lot less cabling and clutter, and it's very elegant, too.

    All iMac G5 models come with a scant 256 MBytes of memory; middle and high-end Power Macs come with 512 MBytes. The two low-end iMacs come with 80GB drives, while internal Bluetooth and AirPort are additional items. (Internal bluetooth is something you have to order when you purchase the computer; you can't buy a card later, unlike AirPort, but you can add a USB Bluetooth adapter.) We still think that the price/performance/features are more than acceptable, however, compared to other PCs.

    If we have any reservation, it's that when you decide to upgrade to that dual 4GHz iMac, you'll end up setting aside the beautiful display. (It costs $1299 for an Apple 20" Cinema Display.) It's a pity iMac G5s don't make it possible to replace the processor or connect the beautiful screen to another computer.

    full review:
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