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-   -   Power Mac G5 comparisons (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/final-cut-suite/32005-power-mac-g5-comparisons.html)

Greg Barton September 15th, 2004 08:18 PM

Power Mac G5 comparisons
Alright, I'm trying to decide what kind of Powermac I want. I am trying to decide if it's worth it to get the dual 2.0 ghz over the 1.8 ghz. I know the dual 2 has a faster frontside bus, but is it really worth the extra 600 bucks for it? Keep in mind that i want to keep this for a long time (5+ years) so do you really think it's worth it? Also, the dual 2 and the dual 2.5 have a max 8 gigs ram, and if I want to buy a 1 gig stick, do I have to buy two 1 gig sticks and add them at the same time? I appreciate your answers.

Jeff Donald September 15th, 2004 08:43 PM

G5's require that ram sticks be added in pairs. If you intend the computer to last as long as possible spend the extra dollars now (budget permitting) to get the better performance. Over time the faster bus, greater ram capacity will all add up. Besides, it's only a $500 difference. Do you qualify for the education discount, family member or your self in school.

Greg Barton September 15th, 2004 09:08 PM

I do qualify for the student discount. So, no matter what size RAM I would want to add, I would have to add it in pairs? And, how long do you think it would be before the G5 becomes obsolete?

Glenn Chan September 15th, 2004 09:13 PM

The dual 2.0ghz is no more than 11.1% faster. For rendering, it should be close to 10-11% faster. At other tasks it won't be.

You could ask yourself if you'd pay $4500 to make your G5 render twice as fast. If you wouldn't, then I wouldn't pay for the 2.0ghz over the 1.8ghz.

Also... $500 will make a big difference 6 years from now. The G7/G8 will probably be out and put either G5 completely to shame. The 1.8ghz G5 makes the most sense IMO.

2- You can save money by buying a refurbished G5.

3- RAM: Get 2 sticks of 512MB RAM off crucial.com (their website helps you pick). It is much cheaper than apple RAM and better or equal quality RAM. crucial has an excellent rating over at resellerratings.com.

You could also go with other vendors.

Jeff Donald September 15th, 2004 09:26 PM

The 11.1% speed boost is merely dividing 18 into 2 and getting 11.1%. This does not take into account the faster bus etc. Look at the tests on Apple's site and you'll see about a 15 to 20% speed advantage in most tests. Also, in 5 years the price of ram will have dropped sufficiently that you might very well have populated your system with the full 8 Gb of ram.

It also depends what you might also spend the $500 savings on. More ram, a RAID drive system etc. would also speed up your system.

Ken Tanaka September 15th, 2004 09:42 PM

A few comparative results from BareFeats.

I agree that if "long-term usage" is your genuine intention (i.e. you're not an impulsive gear head that must always have the newest model) and if your budget can comfortably accommodate a little bigger dent, go for the higher performance specs for longer-term value.

Jeff Donald September 15th, 2004 09:50 PM

Ram always has to be added in pairs, no exception. G5's will be with us at least the next two years. I wouldn't expect a G6 until mid 2006 at the earliest. The education discount will save you $200, but the difference is still $500.

Greg Barton September 15th, 2004 10:33 PM

If I did get the 1.8, then I'd probably spend the money on more ram, and maybe put some of it to my software fund. But since the G5s will probably be with us for a while, I think I'm gonna go with the 2.0, and I'm gonna look at my budget and see if I can get a 2.5. Thanks for all your replies.

Glenn Chan September 16th, 2004 06:50 PM


The 11.1% speed boost is merely dividing 18 into 2 and getting 11.1%. This does not take into account the faster bus etc. Look at the tests on Apple's site and you'll see about a 15 to 20% speed advantage in most tests.
The speed increases don't multiply like that. If every individual component of your G5 was twice as fast, the whole system would be twice as fast (not exponentially faster). When your computer is bottlenecked, then not all components have to be twice as fast to get your computer about twice as fast.

2- It makes a lot more sense to save the $500 towards the purchase of your future computer. Just ask yourself if you would pay $4500 or more to make your G5 twice as fast now ($500 makes your computer no more than 11.1% faster; pretend there is a mythical 3.6ghz G5 whose price difference is $4500).

Something else to think about:
About two years from now, a new computer would be about twice as fast (if Moore's law/curves holds true, which is a big if) and less than $4500 (AND you have a G5).

If you look at benchmarks, the 2.0ghz G5 isn't quite 11.1% faster. On the Apple site the 2.0ghz is ~9.6% in Photoshop, ~8.7% in video rendering. If you re-calculate the mythical G5 system above (using the 8.7% figure), the mythical G5 that's twice as fast is $5700 more. (Note: the numbers from barefeats.com show different results which puts the price difference of the mythical G5 less).

3- Five years from now, the 1.8 and 2.0ghz G5 will still be very close in speed. I don't see the 2.0ghz G5 outlasting the 1.8 by much. On the other hand, any new computer five years from now will put the G5 to shame.

Les Wilson September 18th, 2004 06:20 AM

I also target 4+ years out of my NLE system. No question about it. Get the 2.0 or 2.5. Always buy as much processing performance as you can afford. Whether it's 11% or 20%, that speed pays off many times over the years. There's more to performance than processor speed and the 2.0 gives you a leg up in bus speed and with the 8 slots, makes adding memory over time more affordable because you aren't forced to get the more expensive dense chips.

Also, getting a top performing machine lets you get off the "get the latest machine" merry-go-round because a top performing machine will be viable even tho new systems come along. This has the important advantage of tying you over until the rev 2 systems come out which is exactly the situation now with the G5.

My dual 500 G4 that I bought in July 2000 is still in service running FCP HD and I estimate will continue to do so for several more to come (for my daughter who greatly enjoys it over her Cube 450 while I enjoy a G5 2.0 dualie revision 2).

Also pay attention to the video card you get. Make sure it's one supported by Motion. That will also boost your performance in terms other than number crunching.

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