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the_anarch
10-14-2009, 01:13 PM
Either of these are free to me from a family member. Which should I rather have?

a) PowerMac G5, 1.6GHz, 4GB RAM (one of the first G5s, 2003)

or

b) Mac mini, Intel Core Duo (not Core2), 1.66GHz, 2GB of RAM (early 2006)

Both are stock except the mini has a replacement 7200 RPM 160GB Seagate SATA drive.

Assume both will be running Leopard, and will be used for CS3/4 with maybe some light video work (Final Cut Express, After Effects).

There is the possibility of an upgrade for the PowerMac video card coming from a friend (I've been told it can handle two 30" displays, but that's all I know). However, since I'm not sure about this, I need to leave that out of consideration. Also let's leave the future ability of the mini to run Snow Leopard out of consideration.

Damien
10-14-2009, 06:18 PM
Man that's a tough one.

I'll offer this though... that G5 has the crippled motherboard..

I bought that same Mini for my kids (early teens), they abuse it horribly and it still works fine. It usually get shut off at the surge protector with no proper shutdown, then will get left on for weeks at a time. A workhorse for it's size. But your external storage ability is limited to Firewire 400 or USB2.


I think I would take the G5 simply because crippled or no you can still add SATA drives and cards for fast and large external storage

ricks
10-14-2009, 07:09 PM
That is a toughie. I'm a tower fan myself, but the G5 has 4 RAM slots and is less capable PCI bus than a MDD G4. Hence where the hemming and hawing from Damien and me.

R

unclemac
10-14-2009, 08:26 PM
Nah, that's easy.

Take them both and sell the mini to me. Then we are both happy. :D

Greentree_uk
10-15-2009, 04:29 AM
mini all the way. I'd take an intel over any G5. not on the basis that one is more powerful than the other but purely because its an intel and that where apple are at.

rwm
10-15-2009, 11:10 AM
I've got a bias to towers..... but think I would take the mini. :)

the_anarch
10-15-2009, 02:52 PM
Just noticed my message count (for the previous post). Yikes!

Anyone care to elaborate on how that particular G5's motherboard is crippled? Are we just talking about how it only has four RAM slots instead of eight? And what's this about the less-capable PCI bus?

So I'm getting a sense from most of you that you'd rather have the mini. Maybe I should phrase it this way which would you rather USE for doing Adobe CS work? Forget power, speed, etc... well OK I guess this is what we're talking about: which of these two machines is going to be easier, higher efficiency, less hassle, more capable, etc etc, for me to use as an everyday graphics production machine?

Again, I need to leave Snow Leopard out of this. Ignore the fact that "Intel is where Apple is at". Assume that both of these machines, as I described them, are stuck the way they are, and that includes the OS. You know what, that also means forget the crippled PCI bus and the lower RAM ceiling- I'm not putting any PCI cards in this machine and 4GB RAM in the G5 is still more than the mini's 2GB. (I guess I will have to consider future storage possibilities though- SATA for the G5, USB2/FW400 for the mini).

There is that possibility for the G5 to get a better graphics card that I mentioned, and something I have totally forgotten about up until this point is that only the G5 can do dual monitors. But again, ignore the better graphics card option for the G5, and assume only a single monitor for either machine. How big that monitor is- well that depends on what each machine can handle. Yes I realize I'm tying one hand behind the G5's back.

I guess I'm just trying to boil it down to the purest "CPU/MB bus/RAM/hard drive/video" head-to-head match-up as I can.

Thanks everyone for your replies so far! Keep 'em coming!

rwm
10-15-2009, 03:18 PM
These may or may not help. You have probably searched the same links.

http://lowendmac.com/mail/0803mb/0317.html#1
http://forums.mactalk.com.au/10/20750-imac-g5-vs-mac-mini.html
http://forums.mactalk.com.au/19/66557-mac-mini-vs-powermac-g5.html
http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/apple-desktops/170989-powermac-g5-new-imac-2-66ghz-intel-core-2-duo.html
http://search.freefind.com/find.html?oq=1st+gen+G5+vs+1st+mac+mini&id=65514143&pageid=r&_charset_=&bcd=&scs=1&query=1st+generation+G5+vs+1st+mac+mini&Find=Search&mode=ALL&search=all
http://www.asterfind.com/results?ref=F0637954%2DB2DC%2D4203%2DB20B%2DDC19D5 E6E7C5&subId=90001&t=1st+generation+G5+vs+1st+mac+mini

Some of the links might help ... some probably won't. :(

ricks
10-15-2009, 05:52 PM
The reason that we don't particularly care for the 4 RAM slot G5s is they have a horrible PCI-PCI bandwidth. The limits are far lower than a MDD G4 for EVERYTHING.

Some would ask, what goes through the PCI-PCI Bridge and why is that important?
<ul>
<li>internal SATA drive bus</li>
<li>USB</li>
<li>Firewire</li>
<li>Audio</li>
<li>Graphics card</li>
<li>PCI cards</li>
<li>ATA optical bus</li>
</ul>

That's why. The computer is crippled compared to 8 RAM Slot G5s. It has been years since I tested a 4 RAM slot G5, but 125 MB/sec sticks in my mind, for some reason. It is so bad that there were lawsuits over them.

Rick

the_anarch
11-08-2009, 11:17 PM
Well, I went with the G5. Having the abiilty to power dual monitors is just too important to me in my work. I' ve been running it for a couple of weeks now and it's been great.

But now I am left wondering- all those years where we heard about the "megahertz" myth- that slower PowerPC chips actually outperformed their Pentium rivals because of other differences in hardware, software and OS- were those lies? Or was it just that Intel finally managed to kick the PowerPC's ass when they put out the Core processors?

I know Apple was porting OS X to Pentiums ever since the beginning- but could you imagine actually using OS X on a Pentium? Or is that the dirty secret- that if Apple had just switched sooner, we would've had faster (or maybe just comparably-fast) Macs running OS X long before 2006?

Damien
11-09-2009, 07:31 AM
No the mghz myth was all true. The reason Apple switched was that as long as Moto and Intel were staying in the same ball park on mghz Moto was faster. But intel was becoming more and more efficient while at the same time pulling even further ahead in the actual mhz #. While MOto had hit a wall in their production process 2 walls actually, they could not produce a reliable 3ghz chip AND they could not produce a G5 that would run in a laptop at any speed Apple was willing to buy

ricks
11-09-2009, 08:57 AM
Concur,

Apple/PowerPC used RISC, Micro$oft/Intel used CISC. Meant more power for less MHz for Apple.

IBM was flat unable to project a delivery date for a low power low heat G5 laptop chip. 50% plus of Apple's business. The switch was on.

Of course, not 4 months after the switch was announced IBM proceeded to announce the new low power G5 processor. Too late by a long ways. Too bad, in many ways the advantage was PowerPC.

Rick

cowboyonamac
11-18-2009, 04:28 PM
No the mghz myth was all true. The reason Apple switched was that as long as Moto and Intel were staying in the same ball park on mghz Moto was faster. But intel was becoming more and more efficient while at the same time pulling even further ahead in the actual mhz #. While MOto had hit a wall in their production process 2 walls actually, they could not produce a reliable 3ghz chip AND they could not produce a G5 that would run in a laptop at any speed Apple was willing to buy

I'd add to that the temperature influence.

Moto PPC processors were notorious for running much hotter for the same processor speed than Intel.

Having lost my G5 iMac to excess heat, I can attest to that.

My MacBook Pro (Intel) runs much cooler. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-45 cooler.