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Old April 29th, 2005, 02:09 AM   #1
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New Versus Old G5

Well, the new G5's have been announced and I thought I would start the obligatory "Should I go ahead and spend the money on a brand new one, or should I buy a generation behind and put the money saved into ram, disk speed, etc"


My requirements: editing DV, HDV, and HD. Motion graphics and high rez color correction. DVD authoring - but nothing on the level of feature films.

I am pretty concerned with fast through-put / big calc crunching / fast rendering.

Having reviewed the modest performance boosts (or not so modest considering that many small performance boosts can equal some pretty large gains in speed and time) my main concern is that the G5 is prime for some big time over-halls in like 6 months, and If I am gonna spend the loot I want every dollar to count (of course).

Also, I sense that I am getting into a strange mode of buyer beware: I keep hearing about these brand new processors on the horizon and suddenly I get pretty tight fisted on my moola.

So I ask all those who are using these machines, is the new improved G5's worth the showroom price, or would a slightly older model with some dressing prove a better use of my hard earned dollars (say 3,000 minus display)

Let the advice fly!

Dean
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Old April 29th, 2005, 03:07 AM   #2
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I just ordered the Dual 2.0 on Sunday with the follwoing upgrades...

2 gig of ram
250 gig HD
ATI Radeon 9600 w/ 128 meg of ram
Bluetooth module with wireless keyboard and mouse

When I saw that the new ones were out I went on the web site and for the same price I paid for the Dual 2.0 I could get a Dual 2.3 with even more upgrades...

2 gig of ram
400 gig HD
ATI Radeon 9650 w/ 256 meg of ram
Bluetooth module with wireless keyboard and mouse

Plus the newer models come with the 16x Superdrive with dual layer and Tiger installed. So, I called the Apple Store I ordered from and had them change the order to the Dual 2.3 because it is a much better deal.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 05:55 AM   #3
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The next major overhaul will be the dual core processors, I guess. But I'd like to know how hot those suckers will run. My main concern is to avoid water cooling. Although it's been around for years, the Apple implementation has only been in use for 1 year, and apparently the manufacturer only gives it a 2.5year warranty. I don't want to be stuck with a dead computer just as the warranty runs out.

So, It's looking like the dual 2.3 might just be the sweet spot, the fastest G5 without water cooling. We shall see, but if the dual cores do look like they're gonna need water, I'm gonna plonk down with one of those mid-range babies!
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Old April 29th, 2005, 05:00 PM   #4
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"the obligatory "Should I go ahead and spend the money on a brand new one, or..."

That's great!

Short answer - For the small amount of money and all the new upgrades... get the newer one.

Optional reading:

I'm using a G5 the same way you are. I've got a dual 2.0 that I've been very happy with (since last March). On Tuesday I ordered a dual 2.5 with 5.5 gig RAM and upgraded to the Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT DDL Card from MacMall and got next day shipping. Wednesday morning my rep called and told me the what could have been bad news, but ended up being good news about the new 2.7 being announced. After thanking him for his honesty I refused the order from FedEx on the new 2.5 and am now waiting for my dual 2.7 with the same upgrades as above.

For me (emphasis on "for me," as everyone is different), I like to have the best equipment (I can afford), this way it ages better and I know that it will work with all of the apps and equipment that I want to use. This dual 2.7 will be used 90% of the time for Final Cut Pro & Motion... and in the very near future a Sony FX1 or Z1 (currently using a GL2). With apple releasing the new FCP Suite in a few weeks and with knowing that I will be editing HDV, I wanted to have the most horsepower possible.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #5
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I got a dual 2.5 a little over a month ago. I have a big project coming up and didn't want to wait until after NAB. I can't say that I regret this, since my upgrade window was back then. But I see the same machine going for $300 less now which looks like a pretty good deal. I seriously doubt that the 2.7 will be much faster, although the new graphics card is probably a win.

The $600 price drop on the old dual 2.0 model seems like a really good deal personally. Or if on a tight budget the dual 1.8 at $1,700 would be a low cost entry into the world of dual processors. Whichever way you go, having more options is never a bad thing :-) However the MacMall website indicates "very limited supplies" on the old models

I think you will still get Tiger with the old models but have to install it yourself (or if it isn't included you can update for the media cost, something like $25).
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Old April 29th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #6
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Thanks,

My intuition has me leaning towards the newest and greatest.

I suppose the real issue is how far off in the distance are those dual core processors I'm hearing about.

However, with a 4 hard drive SATA raid, who really cares about processor speed when your moving 300 mb's a second!

Thanks for you input, I do believe I will be hitting up the 2.0 or the 2.3. I'm seriously considering the 2.0 but I would hate to cut my nose off despite my face.

Any reason I should spend the xtra 500 and get the 2.3? I plan on 4gb of ram and building a raid of some sort.

Dean

Note: I was checking out mac mall and it looks like the previous generation 2.0's have 3 pci-x slots while the newer gen seems to use the same config as the old model 1.8's.

Might be a better way to go if I plan on doing any sort of crazy card expansion.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Bull
However, with a 4 hard drive SATA raid, who really cares about processor speed
You are aware that you can only put a maximum of two hard drives into a G5, right? This is one of my disappointments with the G5 design; the g4 towers had lots of expansion space. But all that empty space inside the G5 monsters is needed for cooling...
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Old April 29th, 2005, 05:49 PM   #8
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Yes, I am aware of the design.

The raid would have to be external.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 05:58 PM   #9
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I suppose the real issue is how far off in the distance are those dual core processors I'm hearing about.

I personally wouldn't hold my breath.... ThinkSecret is now guessing sometime around the end of the year: http://www.thinksecret.com/news/0504newg5.html

I was checking out mac mall and it looks like the previous generation 2.0's have 3 pci-x slots while the newer gen seems to use the same config as the old model 1.8's.

This is consistent with their scheme of just bumping up the speed of each model without changing its position in the lineup. The new dual 2.0 also only has 4 memory slots, like the old dual 1.8, whereas the other models have 8 slots. The following table summarizes all these differences:

http://www.apple.com/powermac/specs.html
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Old April 29th, 2005, 11:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Bull
The raid would have to be external.
There actually are a few ways to implement an internal RAID into a G5.
The G5Jam mounts 2 extra drives to the inside of the G5's replacement air shield (or whatever you want to call that clear part inside the case door).
The Swift Data 200 mounts 3 drives vertically in front of the CPU fans (of course, not completely blocking airflow). They even have a nice little installation movie on their site that's worth watching if you're interested.

...of course, it is a pretty big decision on whether or not to trust their effects on cooling. But the option is definately there.

As far as new vs. old... like many others, I'm not too impressed with the recent "bump." After being so anxious to see dual core, the tiny 200MHz jump sort of took the wind out of my sails. I hope to be getting a new computer late this summer and would love to have dual core power, but seriously doubt those will be available by then, especially since ThinkSecret is putting the date so far off - if that wasn't an accurate rumor site, I don't think Apple would be raising such a stink right now.

[sarcasm] I might as well just stick to my dual 1GHz Quicksilver, geez! [/sarcasm].
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