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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > G5 or imac

G5 or imac
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Jun 15, 2011, 06:14 PM
 
Hi
What's your opinion on buying a 2nd hand g5 vs an iMac
The G5
Model Family: Power Mac G5
Processor: 2.3GHz G5 (Dual-core 970MP)
Manufacturer: Motorola
# of CPUs: 1
Memory: 4.5GB (extra installed)
Brand: Apple
Wireless/Bluetooth: Yes (Bluetooth Airport Extreme Card installed)
Color(s): Aluminum
Original OS: Mac OS X (Tiger OS)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 (256MB)
Storage: 250GB 7200RPM SATA 3.5"
Optical Drive: 6x DL Superdrive

Now the IMAC



Tech Specs
2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
2 GB of DDR2 SD RAM (2x1GB)
250 GB harddrive 
20 Inch Screen (1680x1050 pixels)
ATI Radeon X1600 with 256MB VRAM
VGA iSight webcam  
Inbuilt Bluetooth and WIFI
1 Headphone and Microphone jack
3 x USB 2.0 ports 
2 x Firewire 400 ports
1 x Mini-DVI port
1 x Ethernet port
1 x CD/DVD SuperDrive    

Pre-Loaded Software
Default Programs: Mac App Store, Mail, Address Book, iCal. Safari, iChat, iTunes, PhotoBooth 
iLife 11: iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band, iWeb, iDVD
iWork 09 Trial: Pages, Keynote, Numbers
Office 2011 Trial: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Microsoft Messenger,
Chat: Skype
Other: Comic Life, Big Bang Board Games
     
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Jun 15, 2011, 06:25 PM
 
You should definitely go for the iMac and upgrade the iMac's RAM. The whole system is significantly faster than the G5.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Administrator
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Jun 15, 2011, 08:37 PM
 
What are the prices, and what do you need to do with it? For the G5 to be the better deal you'd have to get it almost for free, and have a need for internal drive expansion or PCIe slots.

As much as I like PPC, the Core 2 Duo is a much later chip. To smoke the Intel chip, you'd need a Power-6/7 based upgrade for the G5. And nobody's announced such a beast.
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Jun 15, 2011, 08:37 PM
 
Thanks, the iMac is a late 2006 model.It's going to be auctioned in Australia. Any idea what price it would bring?
     
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Jun 15, 2011, 08:47 PM
 
Our use would be fairly standard but I do use Photoshop fairly often. Also the kids like like to chat via camera to grannies interstate. The G5 is also going to be auctioned so I don't know how much to bid for either.
     
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Jun 15, 2011, 08:50 PM
 
Go for the iMac - it will be significantly faster. Your needs are not specialized enough for the G5, and you'd have to get it for free to even justify the shipping.
     
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Jun 15, 2011, 09:02 PM
 
Thanks, although I've only ever used macs I'm not very aware of how they've been developing this past decade. I also have a MacBook Pro which is brilliant but it seems to have a logic board issue which will be repaired soon hopefully.
Thanks again
     
Eug
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Jun 15, 2011, 10:57 PM
 
The G5 cannot run current OSes and software.

Consider getting a refurbished iMac:

A$ 1,059.00

Processor 3.06GHz Intel Core i3 processor
Cache 4MB fully shared L3 cache
Memory 4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; supports up to 16GB
Hard drive 500GB Serial ATA1; 7200 rpm
Optical drive Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive with 4x double-layer burning (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Display 21.5-inch (viewable) LED-backlit glossy 16:9 widescreen TFT active-matrix display; 1920 by 1080 pixels; millions of colors; IPS technology
Video Built-in iSight camera; Mini DisplayPort output with support for DVI, dual-link DVI, and VGA video (requires adapters, sold separately)
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256MB of GDDR3 memory
FireWire One FireWire 800 port; 7 watts
USB Four USB 2.0 ports
SD Card SDXC card slot
Audio Built-in stereo speakers with two internal 17-watt high-efficiency amplifiers, built-in microphone, optical digital audio output/headphone out, optical digital audio input/audio line in
Ethernet Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit)
Wireless Built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking2 ; built-in Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
Included accessories Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse
Other Built-in IR receiver
Size and weight Height: 17.75 inches (45.1 cm)
Width: 20.8 inches (52.8 cm)
Depth: 7.42 inches (18.85 cm)
Weight: 20.5 pounds (9.3 kg) 3
     
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Jun 15, 2011, 11:19 PM
 
The iMac is only worth ~500 USD no idea how the prices differ there. The G5s only value is the aluminum in it's case. If you were doing anything were you needed a serious photoshop machine for you wouldn't need advice.
     
Mac Elite
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Jun 16, 2011, 02:04 AM
 
NO on the G5. Like Blaze said "The G5s only value is the aluminum in it's case.
     
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Jun 16, 2011, 02:06 AM
 
If he were into serious work, a late 2006 iMac is not a good choice either. He's limited to 3 GB RAM. It will take 4, but only 3 will be recognized. A later iMac can take 6-8 GB and a current Refurb will go up to 16 GB.
     
Mac Elite
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Jun 16, 2011, 03:58 AM
 
The G5 is so outdated it's a very bad buy. Even at a low price.

You have to rely on very old software and are completely out of the loop in regards what is happening now with computers. You have no access to current generation browsers and OS .

Another detail: Lion drops Rosetta support - no more PowerPC applications. This means anything PowerPC is really gone.

Go with the iMac.

But I'd recommend a more modern version. The 2.16 Core 2 Duo is what I have. It's really a processor on its last leg if you run more demanding applications or have a camera with a lot of megapixels.

Also: the 20 inch screen is a joke. At least get the 24" version - the screen is larger and much better.

Or get the basic version of the 21.5 inch iMac. You'll have a lot more fun!
     
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Jun 16, 2011, 06:19 AM
 
I definitely do a fair bit of photography.
Seems like unanimous advice. I'll steer clear of the G5. My decision now is whether to go an apple refurbished later iMac model as suggested above for a thousand or take a punt on the older one for probably 4 or 5 hundred. With the refurbished one it does come with 1 yr limited warranty.
Thanks very much for the help. I'm learning something here.
     
Eug
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Jun 16, 2011, 08:11 AM
 
Keep us updated on the old iMac. If it goes for $400 I'd be somewhat surprised. I'd guess $500+, even though it only has 2 GB RAM.
     
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Jun 16, 2011, 09:00 AM
 
Buy the fastest machine you can afford. Moores law is never ending.
     
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Jun 16, 2011, 11:50 AM
 
I just spotted this for sale

Time to upgrade to new machine so am selling my 27" iMac computer. It is in perfect condition, no marks, no scratches, NO dead pixels etc. It comes in box with original packaging including recovery discs and wireless keyboard and mouse. I will also include a copy of Microsoft Office 2011 with the sale of this computer. Here are basic specs: 27" screen LED 2560x1440 3.06ghz Core2Duo processor 4gb RAM 1TB hard drive 256 dedicated graphics card DVD/CD superdrive SD card slot wireless, bluetooth and webcam inbuilt wireless keyboard and mouse OSX snow leopard + microsoft office 2011 If you have any questions please contact via phone call or SMS. Thanks for looking!

I'll ring them soon. Anything in particular I should ask?
Any thoughts
Thanks again
     
Mac Elite
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Jun 16, 2011, 12:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by kevtamba View Post
I just spotted this for sale
How much is it for sale?
     
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Jun 16, 2011, 07:45 PM
 
$1,100
     
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Jun 16, 2011, 08:44 PM
 
Get the serial and check warranty status.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Posting Junkie
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Jun 16, 2011, 09:15 PM
 
Xcode 4 can't build for PPC unless you really kludge it. What this means is that you can expect no new software to run on a G5. Really bad idea in 2011.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
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Jun 16, 2011, 11:08 PM
 
Buy a refurbished iMac.

I'm a bird. I am the 1% (of pets).
     
Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Jun 17, 2011, 08:57 AM
 
I went to see the 27 inch iMac tonight. What a machine. He put it through it's paces and I had to buy it. I'm so glad you guys put me off the G5 as well as the older iMac. At $1,100 it was a little over what I was going to go but I'm not looking back. Couldn't be happier.
So thanks everyone for your advice. I wouldn't have this amazing thing if it weren't for this forum.
I know where to come if I need any help.
All the best.
     
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Jun 17, 2011, 05:49 PM
 
I just replaced my first gen DP G5 with a Mac Mini, which is faster. The old machine is still working fine, but as others have said, nobody is writing software for it anymore and a lot of the software I was using was falling farther behind. From reading the above comments, it doesn't look like I'll be able to get anything for the old machine.
     
Mac Elite
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Jun 17, 2011, 06:13 PM
 
The G5 can only support operating systems up to MacOS X 10.5.8, and some of the latest builds of popular software programs are only available for Intel Macs. If you don't need up-to-date software solutions, it'll work just fine, but IMHO there's really no point in getting one if a faster more compatible machine is available.
     
   
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