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Old January 9th, 2004, 04:03 AM   #1
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G4 or G5?

Hi,

I'm contemplating buying a G5, but I still hear horror stories about FCP4 with the new OS, about a video card that's problematic, unstable OS..
These stories are bound to arise, I know, so my question is: should I go for the G5 or a high-end G4, or just wait a year for Apple to sort out the growing pains?
(I'm coming from PC & Premiere)
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Old January 9th, 2004, 11:19 AM   #2
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My advice is to go for it (get the G5)! I also came from a PC & Premiere environment, and I have had a great experience moving over to Apple. I bought the dual G5, and upped the memory to 1.5GB. I bought a 200GB FW800 drive from Wiebetech (which I have had some slight problems with, but I have a work around). Overall, it has gotten to where I hate to get back on my PC when I need to do something on it. Without fail, it ends up being a bad experience, compared to my Apple experience. I realize that not everyone has had a great experience, but I count myself fortunate. I bought a nice 800-page tutorial book on FCP4 as well as a training DVD. I have been happy with both and I also like being able to burn DVDs without any problem (I did not have a DVD burner with my PC setup).

Anyway, I wanted you to know that not everyone is having those 'horrible' problems that always surface in the forums.

On my Dual G5, I am currently running:
OSX 10.3.2
FCP 4.1.1
QT 6.4

Cheers!

Jim
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Old January 9th, 2004, 12:52 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ted Springer : Never EVER get first generation Apple-anything. -->>>

That isn't such bad advice generally speaking, but I think you need to do your Due Diligence and research things before making a knee-jerk reaction on something like this. Personally I'm waiting on the G5, but I already have 2 G4 desktops and a new aluminum G4 powerbook.

I have had mixed results with first generation Apple products. I got a PowerMac 8100 which I used for video editing with a Radius Videovision card back around 1996. Now this was the first generation of Power PC's. That machine pretty much delivered on its promise, but was really a terrible design if you had to open it up to add memory or drives - quite a project! Now that whole system cost me $10,000 back then. It didn't take long for subsequent generations to provide more speed and better functionality for 1/2 that cost. But then again, I would have had to wait a year or two for that.

I got one of the first generation of Titanium powerbooks and it was really quite trouble free. I just replaced it with the new generation of aluminum powerbooks, and no real problems there either.

So like I said, don't rely on vague generalities. Do a little research on your own and make an intelligent choice. Happy shopping!
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Old January 9th, 2004, 01:14 PM   #4
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I would have to agree with Boyd. I have a first generation TiBook that has been absolutly trouble free and a joy to own and use. My wife has a first generation flat panel iMac that has been fabulous also. The school I teach at has a G5 in the video lab (use reserved for instructors) and while it has not seen extensive use, it's performance has been without fault.

Any product can have troubles and I think the leap in technology and features in the G5 sets it up for confused and disappointed users. The G5's are a true state of the art computing platform and it's release has not been trouble free for all users. Releasing an updated OS (Panther) during the same period and updating your flagship software package (FCP 4) sets up some new users for disappointment..

So, with potentially three new products starring you in the face, I think it is easy to see how some users could be having issues with G5's. Dan, if you're familiar with two out of the three new products (G5, OS 10.3.x, and FCP 4) I think your switch will be relatively trouble free. However, if you are learning 2 or 3 new products I think you are setting yourself up for some frustrating computer and editing experiences.
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Old January 9th, 2004, 01:23 PM   #5
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Thanks all!
Jeff, I'm running OS 10.3 on an old G3 (still going strong after 6 years!) and I'm really frustrated with my Dell with Pinnacle DV500 setup, even though I like Premiere, but it's the only program I really know. What I've seen of FCP4 doesn't worry me. I would also get the 800 page manual and in no time, I'm sure it will feel like home. What I am worried about is major bugs. That would really upset me and being relatively bug-free is exactly what attracts me to the Mac.
I'll continue putting some Euros aside for a while and will then take the plunge and order the G5. When is a typical "2nd generation G5" to be expected?
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Old January 9th, 2004, 01:37 PM   #6
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The "next generation" G5's are due any day. I expected them to be announced at MacWorld this past week. However, all that was introduced was new iLife products, upgrade to FCE and the mini iPod. New G5's, when released , are expected to have much faster IBM processors. I suspect the delay may be partly due to the speed bumps, but all of this speculation is just based on rumors etc. I too, am waiting to purchase my personal G5. I'm not delaying my decision to buy, on bugs etc. in the current model. Rather, I'm waiting to see what is released speed and feature wise and then compare the improvements to the price drop of the current products. I would be very tempted by a heavily discounted 2GHz Dual G5. A top of the line dual 3GHz G5 with the right feature set would be tempting also. But at what price?
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Old January 9th, 2004, 07:55 PM   #7
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Hey Boyd I've done plenty of research. Not very long ago Apple's products were great even when they were first introduced. No problems and few updates were needed. But recently we've had the influx of loud fans (described by some as vaccuum cleaner or hair dryer level), deleted firewire drives, goofy OS glitches, and plenty of buggy software that is not tested very well. After a bit those glitches get fixed (mostly). So I don't think my reaction was "knee jerk" at all. It is what experience has taught me. Apple has cut costs and let the consumer be the beta tester.

But if you want to get new stuff right as it's introduced, go ahead. I'll ask you about any glitches or bugs before I take the plunge. There are quite a few Apple apologists on this site I have noticed. If the attitude of "Apple can do no wrong" would change (especially the "Apple doesn't have the resources to test their software" attitude), then I think you all would understand where I was coming from. You are taking what is being given from Apple, rather than demanding better. Apple has the ability to be better and I hope they improve to their not-so-old ways of quality soon.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 12:00 AM   #8
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Gee, I just haven't any problems with my new 1.8GHz G5 and FCP 4.1.1. I added 1GB of RAM and it runs great.

I usually buy reconditioned Macs right before MacWorld. The price drops as they try to move them out. It keeps me off the front of the wave, but still on the rise of the swell.

(but then, I've had a Mac of some sort since 1984... so I'm no novice. As always, your mileage may vary.)
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Old January 11th, 2004, 12:52 PM   #9
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>>but then, I've had a Mac of some sort since 1984... so I'm no novice.

Michael, does that mean you have to tweak and pamper the Mac to keep it running smoothly? I just get down & work... is there some kind of maintenance recommended except for defragging..
I intend to get the Mac Bible with the new machine, it's probably all in there.
Things is, I don't want to be a car mechanic if I'm driving to Madrid and back.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 01:56 PM   #10
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You should download all the updates if they don't already come with your Mac.

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...ing_to_g5.html has some somewhat useful information on setting up a G5.

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...oot_drive.html <-- how to backup your drive and a link to maintaining OS X (repair permissions, leaving your Mac on, etc.)

Backing up a configuration that works in nice, because updates can break your system. Once you get a rock solid configuration, I'd back it up so you can revert to it later. It might help to partition your system drive to a smaller size so backing up is easier.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 05:18 PM   #11
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Most people don't even need to defragment as long as they occasionally reformat their media drive. There is a thread here, if you search, that explains how OS X defragments on the fly.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 07:05 PM   #12
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> does that mean you have to tweak and pamper the Mac to keep it running smoothly?

Nope, Dan you don't. In fact I do not do most of the things that people tell you to do. I don't defragment. I sometimes repair permissions. I don't run virus protection (shhhhh... the worse thing you can put on your system to make it unstable is virus protection.)
(disclaimer: I'm talking about my production machines, of course, not my play machines.)
I just stay behind the bleeding edge ever so slightly. I let others install the updates first. I wait a few weeks... ( I never installed QuickTime 6.4, I went straight to 6.5 after listening to others problems.)

AND as I did with the G5, I'll load all the latest and greatest updates on it and run it through it's paces before I put it into production. My main axe is still on 10.2.3, not Panther.

I need my machines to do work. I don't want to spend all my time futzing with them (which is what I do at my day job where we still are running on Windoze NT).
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Old January 11th, 2004, 08:04 PM   #13
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I should have waited

I now regret buying a G5.

I should have waited till the bugs are worked out, but I needed a new machine and took a chance.

I've had nothing but problems. However I can't be sure if those issues are related to the G5 or FCP4.

Version 3 ran rock solid on my dual 450 G4, but V4 and the new machine don't like each other at all.

We've swapped hard drives, reinstalled the OS and software, tried a new A/D converter box and installed all the relevant updates.

The folks at Apple are stumped, and I'm left with an unstable system.

My advice...don't buy first generation.

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Old January 13th, 2004, 03:46 AM   #14
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Mike,
I too am thinking of upgrading from a G4 Powerbook and FCP3 to a dual G5 and FCP4 and Iīm having a really hard time figuring out what to do.
A lot of people seem to be encountering problems, but can you give me some details on the problems? I donīt have a clear idea of what the actual problems are. Are they uniform problems that everyone who is encountering difficulties have or are they totally random?
Thanks,
Kirsten
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Old January 13th, 2004, 08:08 AM   #15
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The problems don't seem to be uniform across the board. Some folks are doing fine, unfortunately I'm one who isn't.

My biggest complaint is freezes in the timeline. Originally the audio and video would lock up on playback... they would stop playing until I hit the space bar.

After much tweaking the problem has been minimized to where the freezes are temporary (most less than a second). That's still unacceptable.

I can't trust the machine enough to walk away during dubs. I send out eight half hour programs each week and I'm forced to sit and watch each one. Of the eight tapes, I have to start two or three over because of freezes.

My other problem is IDVD 3 will not work with my single 1.8 G5. I've talked with Apple several times about this, but so far they can't figure it out.

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