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Thread: More computer or more RAM for new G5?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default More computer or more RAM for new G5?

    Hey guys,

    I did some reading on this site and got really excited about customizing my soon to be bought G5 - but also overwhelmed. Basically I'm shooting/downloading/processing lots of RAW files from Canon - playing in photoshop CS2, resing up in Genuine Fractals, browsing in Bridge - that's about it for now. My budget for this whole thing is about $3,000 (not including the display)

    Am I right to think that I'll get more speed for my $$ if I refrain from the G5 2.3Ghz and instead get the G5 2Ghz. Take that $450 that I saved and put it into more RAM. Buy 8 sticks of 1GB Ram from Macgurus - install it myself.

    Originally, I was just going to get the machine bumped up to 500 GB of SATA harddrive directly from Apple. (which would be 250 on each of the 2 processors, right? Or would it just be one 500GB drive?) But after reading about the different multithreading options on this site, I'm considering alternatives.

    The site recommends that Western Digital's Raptor is good for OS and applications - and that basically more drives are better. If I were to go that route, I wouldn't actually be able to fit it inside my G5, right? I'd need to have that external - yes? And I'd want to start looking at your SATA enclosure kits.

    So let's say I got the G5 2Gz processors (automatically come with 516 MB ram) with 500 GB of SATA from Apple.
    Then I ordered 8 sticks of 1 GB ram from Macgurus - install it myself.
    Order a SATA enclosure kit (3 drive case) from Macgurus with 1 Rapture, and 1 Hitachi 500GB SATA. I'd leave one space empty to fill in the future if needed. I'd dedicate my original apple SATAs to my image files. I'd dedicate my Hitachi SATA for backup. Then I'd have yet another harddrive (Iomega) for weekly off-site backup.

    Does this sound like a workable solution?

    Thanks for your time - Bethany

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Under the Midnight Sun

    Default I have my opinion here...

    Although I think you are on the right track, by the time you invest what you are talking about for memory and a base G5 2.0GHz Dual Core, your money would be better spent on a refurbed (from Apple store online) G5 Quad ~ $2799.

    I currently have a DP 2.0 (not a dual core, but a rev. A) and although I love the machine to death, I can make it slow down.... Final Cut, Aperture all require tremendous horsepower. Yes, a G5 is a great CPU, but if you are buying a brand new machine, spend the extra $200-300 (for the G5 Quad) and then up the ram to 1.5GB or 2.5GB just to start. Two years from now, you can bring that to 8GB or even as high as 16GB.

    The processor will always be what you buy today, that you can never change.

    Also.. longwinded, but needed to put this out there...

    The other side of the coin is this, I estimate a PowerMac replacement within 3 months. All resources now are focused on the last PPC model. The Intel is the future, but a Quad will definitely not be obsolete. I frequent many sites, and also tinker with PC's... the Intel Conroe and soon coming Woodcrest from Intel will trounce a G5 Dual Core 2.0. Today a Yonah 2.0GHz (which is the Intel CPU in the Laptops) is keeping up with a G5 2.0. The Conroe is a step above the Yonah and will have speeds near 3.33GHz (high end). The future is indeed amazing.

    Can you wait 3-4 months? If not, buy the G5 Quad.
    MacBook Pro Uni 2.4GHz with express card slot

    iMac G5

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Mobius Strip


    Check out the Apple Store => Specials. (See below) You find great values there.
    Specials are often upgraded on RAM and disk drives, too.

    Use the WD Raptor internally for boot drive. the dual core G5s (PCIe) support the 150GB Raptor (the earlier PCI/PCI-X G5 does not). That is one item, along with Quad, that I would splurge on!
    I would not leave one drive bay empty.

    Depending on your ultimate storage needs (RAID, projects, etc) a Port Multiplier card costs more but can grow to support more drives, up to 20. After all the work your Quad can do let's you invest more.

    PCIe G5s can support 8 x 2GB of RAM, but 2GB chips (2 x 2GB) are expensive way to go. So you might want to go with 4GB now, and 4 later.

    I think MacIntel Towers are going to be sooner, rather than later, based on Intel's latest news, but CS3 is a ways off. In some ways, I would go for the Quad to make it future-proof investment, even if that meant putting off some of your needs or plans slightly.

    instead of two 500GB drives, three 300GB = $400 vs $700 (if necessary).

    Apple Store Specials - Refurbished Power Mac G5 :

    Dual 2GHz SuperDrive
    512MB DDR400 SDRAM
    160GB Serial ATA
    16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
    Three PCI Slots
    ATI Radeon 9600
    Original price: $1,999.00
    Your price: $1,549.0
    G5 DUAL 2.5GHz/ 512MB/ 160GB/ 8x SuperDrive/ PCI-X/ Rad9600XT
    Original price: $2,999.00
    Your price: $2,049.00
    G5 Dual 2.7GHz SuperDrive
    512MB DDR400 SDRAM
    250GB Serial ATA
    16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
    Three PCI Slots
    ATI Radeon 9650
    Original price: $2,999.00
    Your price: $2,149.00
    Estimated Ship: 30 business days
    Quad 2.5GHz
    Two dual-core 2.5GHz PowerPC G5 processors
    1.25GHz frontside bus per processor
    1MB L2 cache per core
    512MB of 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM (PC2-4200)
    250GB Serial ATA hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
    NVIDIA GeForce 6600 with 256MB GDDR SDRAM
    Original price: $3,299.00
    Your price: $2,799.00
    Estimated Ship: Within 24 hours, Free Shipping
    PS: What are you using now? If you need a system, rather than feel you have to keep it "forever" buy something to hold you over... even if a great new system goes out or is announced this summer, sometimes it takes months for supply and demand, especially on the more popular models.
    Last edited by TZ; 05-20-2006 at 03:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Quad rather than Ram then..

    Wow Š Rguising and TZ Š thanks so much for your valuable advice. So lucky that I found this forum.
    So it sounds like more computer matters a lot after all Š IÕm a little confused as to why the 2.0 and 2.3 Ghz would become a bit outdated whereas the Quad would remain future-proofed. IÕm sure you have your reasons, but I wouldÕve thought that all current models would be improved equally.
    IÕm definitely going to consider the Quad now Š but IÕm thinking IÕd be better off getting new at $3,000 vs refurbed at $2,800. (IÕm also a P/T teacher so IÕd be getting a 10% discount off new computers) Š It didnÕt seem that the refurbed quad came with any extra goodies, the used one would really only save me $200.
    Anyway Š LetÕs assume that I go big and get the Quad. Then get 4 1GB sticks of Ram from macgurus.
    Then I get 2 internal slots for Harddrive right? If I just get the computer out-of-box itÕll come with 250 GB of HD off the bat. Does that leave me with one slot of space to fill? If I get the computer from apple with 500GB will it be spread over 2 250 GB Hds? IÕm just thinking that if I have an empty bay, IÕll go ahead and get a Raptor to put in there. But if not, then IÕll just wait a while and deal with external stuff later. Because basically, once I start adding drives externally, I introduce a whole new set of costs that bring me well out of my $3,000 range right? That can happen later, but sounds like itÕs wise for me to invest in the faster CPU and build as I go, right?

    By the way, IÕm currently on a PowerBook G4 1Ghz with 512 MB Ram and I filled up the 60 GB of HD Š IÕm out of room and have been using an external HD Š one LaCie and one Iomega. Things have been sloooooow. I could wait a few months to get a desktop, but IÕd really rather just get on with thingsÉ IÕm not so good in the patience department.

    Thanks for all your help Š Bethany

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Mobius Strip


    I like refur'd / specials because they have been tested and inspected. I think there is less chance of problems. You won't see whether or not Apple upgrades RAM or hdd, just that they often do.

    And yes, it will come with 250GB drive probably, one free drive bay, where you can put what you need.

    Quad = two dual core cpus vs one dual core cpu means you get a lot more computer for the extra $400? or so.

    Whether $200 new vs "special" makes it a harder call.

    Do you remember those first G5 ads? Going from G4 1GHz to G5 "10GHz (2.5 x 4) should 'take your breath away'. Lets hope

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default whoo-hoo!

    Ok then - I think I'll go ahead and get the refurb Quad and live it up! Once I see what's in it I'll get more drives/ram from there.

    Thanks for all your help - Bethany

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