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Thread: PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5GHz

  1. #1
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    Default PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5GHz

    Got this up and running a week ago- along with a 30" ACD.

    Unfortunately, it turns out the video card was bad; the dual-link DVI port was malfunctioning right off the bat, booting to a black screen.

    This seems to be my lot- same thing happened when I bought my last G5! A bad ATI 9600 Pro.
    Go figure.
    Anyway, after a week of troubleshooting, I got the replacement card today and installed and all is as it should be now.


    Some initial impressions and comments:

    The Quad is certainly quite a bit quieter than my former G5 Dual 2GHz. That might have been partly from a noisy 9800 Pro Se AGP. This one has a GeForce 6600 PCI Express graphics card with 256MB VRAM and can support two 23" Cinemas or one 23" and one 30" ACD.

    I've got 2 internal hard drives running in it right now; a 74GB WD740 Raptor and the stock 250GB WDC WD2500JS "Caviar SE", a "300 MB/s" model. A QB2 test of the Caviar SE with 48GB used on the 233GB volume:

    Extended Test Size: 20 MB Read: 56.289 MB/sec Write: 54.774 MB/sec
    Extended Test Size: 30 MB Read: 54.499 MB/sec Write: 55.149 MB/sec
    Extended Test Size: 40 MB Read: 55.251 MB/sec Write: 53.250 MB/sec
    Extended Test Size: 50 MB Read: 56.768 MB/sec Write: 53.779 MB/sec
    Extended Test Size: 60 MB Read: 57.829 MB/sec Write: 55.151 MB/sec
    Extended Test Size: 70 MB Read: 57.784 MB/sec Write: 38.754 MB/sec
    Extended Test Size: 80 MB Read: 53.940 MB/sec Write: 54.818 MB/sec
    Extended Test Size: 90 MB Read: 56.011 MB/sec Write: 53.466 MB/sec
    Extended Test Size: 100 MB Read: 56.406 MB/sec Write: 54.965 MB/sec

    Not exactly earth shattering...

    As far as memory goes, the rig- which I ordered without CTO ("Customer To Order")- came with 2 x 256MB DDR2 SDRAM and lists in System Profiler as "PC2-4200U-444". I have not taken a close look at the labels yet for the brand.
    The machine not surprisingly feels pretty hobbled with that modest amount of RAM; opening and saving a 150MB file in Photoshop was laborious for sure- even with the Raptor as the scratch disk.

    Eventually I plan to install faster SATA drives- in the near term, I may re-arrange and put the startup disk on the Raptor and Users on the Caviar.

    Power Consumption:

    Naturally, since Apple is suggesting max power use in the neighborhood of 10A, I was a bit concerned about wattage during normal use, and whether my APC BackUPS RS1500VA will be sufficient- but so far variations in wattage use seem to be about the same as my previous G5 Dual 2GHz.

    I bought and installed a Killowatt device between a normal 15A wall outlet and my APC BackUPS RS1500VA.

    The computer and display idle at about 210 watts with a startup peak of 370 watts.
    With a Firewire 800 drive, an inkjet printer, a Wacom Tablet, and an Epson scanner all attached and running- operations are between 320 and 420 watts.
    Once I get the UL5D, attach the 4 x Atlas 15K II Burly, and install more RAM, I expect heavy-duty Photoshop operations to bring that up to around an average of 500 watts give or take- again about the same as the previous G5.
    Since the RS1500VA is rated for 865 watts, I probably won't have to get a beefier unit. Other devices on the curcuit could bring the circuit's use up to 1000 or so watts at times, but that's still well under 1500 watts, so I think I'm safe not to require a dedicated curcuit for just this computer.. We'll see.

    As far as upgrading the graphics card, I figured I'd stick with the stock nVidia 6600 256MB for awhile and wait for retail versions of the nVidia 7800 or that real fast ATI card supposedly in the pipeline.

    All in all, there's a sense of immense power just waiting to be unleashed with more RAM and faster drives. I'm looking forward to the upgrade process.
    Oh, and that Mighty Mouse is superb! Scroll, tracking everything- a multi-button mouse was for sure worth the wait from Apple.




  2. #2
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    Thumbs up Well. OK.

    I'm wiping the drool off the keyboard as I write. Go Boots!!!!

    CB
    It's a nice nose! I like it! It's chewy!!

  3. #3
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    Default

    Me too with the drool Boots. And you are obviously carefully planning out your upgrades. One curiousity of mine as you progress is the state of the maintenance utilities that work besides Tiger Disk Utility. k

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up Yep. Questions...Questions...

    One that immediately springs to mind is in regard of the huge flat screen. What do you think of it? Is the colour REALLY good and true? I looked at one in an Apple store recently and thought it could have been a bit wider and correspondingly a tad less tall (if you see what I mean.) Apart from which it was hard to judge in a store how exact the colour rendering was.
    Secondly, any thoughts on this PCI-Ex expansion card business? In my case I am still wondering what people are doing to enable external SATA storage. (Now I have asked that, I remember you have used SCSI in the past.) So probably this wouldn't be a real priority for you.
    Lurking and curious.
    CB
    It's a nice nose! I like it! It's chewy!!

  5. #5
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    Lightbulb

    Those PCIe slots are capable of 150W each, which would be one reason for 1kw - if you should decide to gofor the full "panoramic view"

    Check out Crucial, some 2GB DRAMs if you want.

    ComputerWorld liked the Quad - a little - but felt it still suffered slow disk I/O.

    Guess Ul5D can't come soon enough. Atlas 15K II 74GB units have been dropping price quickly lately.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Chris: That 30" display sure is huge and takes some getting used to- especially at 2560 x 1600. I'm glad the aspect ratio favors a bit more vertical. I've always felt these Cinema displays should be more vertical. It's easier for portrait work I think. As far as the color goes- it looks pretty good to me, but I haven't calibrated it yet with a puck either.

    I sold my external SATA array, and am back to using swappable firewire 800 + ATA for backups- for a while anyway. The UL5D supposedly is not far off from release, so I should soon have a kick-butt stripe for Pshop. I not planning on installing anymore cards but I'm sure it won't be too long before we see PCI Express SATA cards.

    Kaye, I plan to make a Diskwarrior bootable cd, and so far DW has been working OK from an alternate system volume.
    Disk Utility sometimes returns errors when Spotlight Indexing is active, but a second pass always corrects these 'errors'. I haven't really tried anything else yet except Quickbench still seems to work.

    TZ, as far as the RAM goes, hopefully MG will soon offer 2GB sticks at a reasonable price- those Crucial sticks are still out of my league. It'll be tough to wait though. I may be forced to install a couple 1GB sticks just to get by!

  7. #7
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    Default

    Looks like we finally are getting in some 2 GB modules. Should be several hundred under Crucial
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  8. #8
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    Default 'Gurus 2GB 533MHz PC4200

    Got my first two 2GB sticks for this baby. Yah mon

    Thanks Rick and Laurie for gettin it out to me so quick- got 'em 4 days ago!

    They read in System Profilor as the exact same as the factory 2 x 256MB sticks:

    "PC2-4200U-444"

    And so far, they play totally nice with the Apple-supplied RAM.
    ------
    What a difference a few gigs makes too!
    With just the 512MB, the rig was paging on just about every app, beachballs were abundant, and that Caviar drive sure is broken in now! I managed to run several PshopTests with the 512MB test file anyway....took 19 minutes to complete each test regardless of the startup drive being the Caviar or the Raptor.

    Good to experience for sure the limitations of minimal installed memory....
    Now I can work normal more or less and the true power of this monster is becoming evident. All four processors rip on every Photoshop op I've looked at in Activity Monitor.
    ------

    The UL5D should be here within the next two weeks from CDW; the Atlas 15K II Burly is waiting patiently in the wings...I'll be keeping a close eye on power consumption as I continue to add RAM and drives to the rig.

  9. #9
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    Default

    That's great Boots, Gurus 2GB sticks. The bar just keeps going up and up. Running the Pshop test with 512MB RAM, the fact that it completed the test no matter how much churning is a sign of a very stable MacOS, same for CS2, and your new G5 quad platform. I'm impressed. k

  10. #10
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    Default UL5D PCIe

    Installed the card yesterday- went in easily enough. Got it for $500 at CDW.

    The card is a 4x PCIe. Tried it in the 8x slot first, then the 4x slot.

    Performance seemed about the same in either slot running a few Quickbench tests.

    PshopTests to follow...
    Last edited by Boots; 02-24-2006 at 11:44 AM. Reason: was supposed to be 8x not 16x

  11. #11
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    Default G5 Quad 2.5GHz PshopTest2 Results

    Computer: Power Mac G5 Quad 2.5GHz ROM vers: 5.2.7f1
    OS: Mac OS 10.4.3
    Graphics card: nVidia GeForce 6600 256MB PCIe
    PCI card: ATTO ExpressPCI UL5D 1.5.0 ROM, ATTOExpressPCI4 3.5.0 driver, ATTO Configuration Tool 3.04
    Display: Apple Cinema Display 30" 2560 x 1600 resolution
    Installed RAM: 4.5GB (2 x 256MB (Apple), 2 x 2GB (MacGurus) DDR2-SDRAM PC2-4200U-444).

    System settings:
    Processor Performance: Highest
    Internet, scanner, microphone, audio system, inkjet printer, and firewire 800 drive connected and running.
    Dashboard running in background, Spotlight on but all running hard drives on "privacy", no Finder windows open, Activity Monitor not running, no antivirus or disk protection software.
    Journaling on all drives except 4 x Atlas 15K II striped RAID0 volume.

    Photoshop settings:
    Photoshop CS2 (9.0)
    Memory: Available RAM 3072MB, Maximum Used by Photoshop: 100% or 3072MB.
    Image Cache: 6 (tests 4, 5, and 6), 8 (tests 7 thru 13)
    Bigger Tiles Plug-in installed & active.

    Hard drives tested:

    Two internal SATA drives:
    1. 69.2GB WDC WD740GD-32FLAO "Raptor" rev. 21.08U21 formatted with HFS+ Journaled as one 69.1GB volume with 40.2Gb available space, 28.9GB used space, Apple Disk Utility 1.0.4 driver.

    2. 232.9GB WDC WD2500JS-41MVB1 "Caviar SE" rev. 10.02E01 formatted with HFS+ Journaled as two volumes: a 60.8GB outer volume with 60.8GB available space, 35.3MB used space, and a 171.8GB inner volume with 107.6Gb available space, 64.2GB used space, Apple Disk Utility 1.0.4 driver.

    4 external SCSI drives:
    4 x 34.3GB Atlas_15K_II-36WLS "Atlas 15K II" rev. JNZH formatted with HFS+ non-Journaled as one 137GB RAID0 volume with 136.9GB available space, 46.6MB used space, SoftRAID 3.3 driver optimized for 'workstation' with 128k stripe size.

    512MB Test File:
    Test #4:
    System, Users, file save on Raptor. Scratch on Caviar SE first volume.
    126s

    Test #5:
    System and Users on Raptor. File save and scratch on Caviar SE first volume.
    126s

    Test #6: System, Users, and Scratch on Raptor. File save on Caviar SE first volume.
    123s

    Test #7: (Image Cache set to 8) System, Users, and Scratch on Raptor. File save on Caviar SE first volume.
    123s

    Test #10: System, Users, file save on Raptor. Scratch on Atlas 15K II stripe.
    76s

    Test #11: System and Users on Raptor. File save and scratch on Atlas 15K II stripe.
    67s


    Test #12: System and Users on Raptor. File save on Caviar SE first volume, scratch on Atlas 15K II stripe.
    77s

    1.5GB Test File:
    Test #8: System, Users, and scratch on Raptor. File save on Caviar SE first volume.
    488s

    Test #9: System, Users, and File save on Raptor. Scratch on Caviar SE first volume.
    483s

    Test #13 System and Users on Raptor. File save and scratch on Atlas 15K II stripe.
    224s

  12. #12
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    Default New WD1500 Raptor

    Installed two WDC WD1500ADFD-00NLR0 rev 19.06P19 "Raptor" 139.74 GB inside the Quad...

    Quieter than the WD740 Raptor and fast as hell.

    PshopTest2 Results:

    Computer: Power Mac G5 Quad 2.5GHz ROM vers: 5.2.7f1
    OS: Mac OS 10.4.4
    Graphics card: nVidia GeForce 6600 256MB PCIe
    PCI card: ATTO ExpressPCI UL5D 1.5.0 ROM, ATTOExpressPCI4 3.5.0 driver, ATTO Configuration Tool 3.04
    Display: Apple Cinema Display 30" 2560 x 1600 resolution, millions
    Installed RAM: 4.5GB (2 x 256MB (Apple), 2 x 2GB (MacGurus) DDR2-SDRAM PC2-4200U-444).

    System settings:
    Processor Performance: Highest
    Internet, scanner, microphone, audio system, inkjet printer, and firewire 800 drive connected and running.
    Dashboard running in background, Spotlight on but all running hard drives on "privacy", no Finder windows open, Activity Monitor not running, no antivirus or disk protection software.
    Journaling on all drives except 4 x Atlas 15K II striped RAID0 volume.

    Photoshop settings:
    Photoshop CS2 (9.0)
    Memory: Available RAM 3072MB, Maximum Used by Photoshop: 100% or 3072MB.
    Image Cache: 8
    Bigger Tiles Plug-in installed & active.

    Hard drives tested:

    Two internal SATA drives: both 2 x WDC WD1500ADFD-00NLR0 rev 19.06P19 "Raptor". Each drive was 139.74 GB formatted with HFS+ Journaled as single 139.6GB volumes with Apple Disk Utility 1.0.4 driver.
    First drive had 110.2GB available space, 29.4GB used space (System & User data).
    Second drive had 120.8GB available space, 18.8GB used space (just User data).

    4 external SCSI drives:
    4 x 34.3GB Atlas_15K_II-36WLS "Atlas 15K II" rev. JNZH formatted with HFS+ non-Journaled as one 137GB RAID0 volume with 136.9GB available space, 46.6MB used space, SoftRAID 3.3 driver optimized for 'workstation' with 128k stripe size.

    512MB Test File:
    Test #014:
    System, Users, file save and Scratch on WD1500 Raptor.
    105s

    The same setup as above except using a WD740 Raptor was 127s

    Test #015:
    System, Users, file save on 1st WD1500 Raptor. Scratch on second WD1500 Raptor.
    98s

    Test #018:
    System, Users, file save on 1st WD1500 Raptor. Scratch on 4 x Atlas 15K II RAID0.
    71s

    The same setup as above except using a WD740 Raptor was 76s

    Test #019:
    System and Users on 1st WD1500 Raptor. File save and scratch on 4 x Atlas 15K II RAID0.
    67s

    Test #020:
    System on 1st WD1500 Raptor. Users and file save on second WD1500 Raptor. Scratch on 4 x Atlas 15K II RAID0.
    68s

  13. #13
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    Default

    I was one for two today:

    1. Installed a second replacement Geforce 6600 256MB graphics PCIe card today after pulling the first replacement card which exhibited random "green snow" artifacts just like the card which shipped with the Quad which was DOA also since it would not support the ACD 30in 2560 x 1600 resolution.

    I called Apple Wednesday and the new card was on my doorstep this AM.

    We'll see how this one fares; so far so good. I guess this is somewhat of a common problem with nVidia cards....here's looking forward to a retail kit of ATI's new X1800.

    2. Broke one of the knurled screws on a Granite external SCSI connector>UL5D. These screws are so brittle and tolerate very little in the way of being slightly misaligned when mating them with their receptor holes, and eventually from all the testing and hooking up and unhooking up the Burly, metal fatigue is a serious threat. This is the second one I've busted. Fortunately it broke with the connector all the way seated in the UL5D- so the unit is completely operational in the meantime, but I'll almost certainly have a job getting the broken screw shaft out of the card...
    Kenny at Granite was nice enough to send me some replacement screws the last time- I'll give him a holler.

  14. #14
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    Confused Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boots
    We'll see how this one fares; so far so good. I guess this is somewhat of a common problem with nVidia cards....here's looking forward to a retail kit of ATI's new X1800.
    Green snow wouldn't work for me either. I walked out of the Palo Alto store last night with a 23" LCD, and planned to be going back next weekend (once my checking account cools off and my hands stop shaking) to pick up a 2.3 Dual Core. Noticed ATI was not offered as an option. Are you looking to this ATI 1800 solely for support for your 30" (and no snow of course)? Give us the scoop dyood.

    Regards.
    CB.
    It's a nice nose! I like it! It's chewy!!

  15. #15
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    Default

    The 6600 in my quad has been flawless. Not a bug yet. I wish I could say the same about the AII 800 that we got in a 2.3 Dual. That piece of junk is both incredibly noisy, it just craps out now and then leaving you with a screen full of garbage. Usually a logout-login is enough to fix it, but all in all the most troublesome card I ever had.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  16. #16
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    Default

    boots,
    Keep the information flowing. I will certainly need it when my monster arrives.
    A very useful thread.
    marrand

  17. #17
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    Default

    Noticed ATI was not offered as an option. Are you looking to this ATI 1800 solely for support for your 30" (and no snow of course)?
    I figure there will be a selection of better retail PCIe graphics cards available before too long- both ATI and nVidia. I'd like to have the option of using something for 3D that has more sack than the 6600. The ATI cards have the advantage of their software- ATI Displays, where you can futz with OPen GL settings, rotate the display, and so forth. There's the nVidia 7800 which appears to be quite good and fast but not yet available for retail purchase, then the new ATI X1800 which I gather is in the first Macintels. Don't know yet about it's performance but would hope its on a par with the 7800 anyway..

  18. #18
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    Default UL5D and Deep Sleep

    No deep sleep with the UL5D card installed- doesn't even have to be running drives.

    I'm told I can put the card in the 8x PCIe slot or either 4x slot without performance loss. I'll probably move it to either slot 3 or 4 to get it away from the graphics card in slot #1

  19. #19
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    Default

    The 6600 in my quad has been flawless.
    Turns out my 6600 is fine too- it is the 30" ACD that is producing the green snow because the native refresh rate of 60Hz doesn't quite jive with the DVI spec...

    I can mostly cure the problem using SwitchResX, but it's not perfect...gotta be 100%.

    I have a RMA in for the display but gotta figure out what to use while it's being repaired or replaced.

  20. #20
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    Default More on Quad Power consumption

    I expect heavy-duty Photoshop operations to bring that up to around an average of 500 watts give or take- again about the same as the previous G5.
    Now with UL5D and 4 x Atlas Burly plus 16GB RAM- I have seen over 600 watts on occaision but not usually. With everything attached and running, it idles at about 450 Watts.

    I've also had several power outages in the last couple of months and the APC RS1500VA BackUPS (865 Watts max) handled them easily and without a hitch. Still, I am glad the Quad and it's associated peripherals are on a dedicated 20A circuit...

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