2009 Mac Mini V.S. a Dual 2.7 PowerMac G5--is it better in every way? My G5 died. =(

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
So, my Power Mac G5 Dual 2.7 is on its way out. Bad processor. Very sad.



I don't want to spend much on a replacement for it. I am looking at the entry level Mac Mini. According to the Mactracker app, the entry-level Mac Mini has a benchmark score of 2782, while my 4-year old G5 powerhouse sits at a 2245 benchmark. Is it really possible that the little Mac Mini is actually faster than my Power Mac G5? This may be a silly question to even ask, but I just thought that there would be SOME advantages that my machine would have over the little guy. Can anyone think of any drops in speed that I might encounter if I went with the Mac Mini?



My main purpose for using my Mac is for pro audio; Logic Pro and such. Would I be taking any kind of speed hits, I don't know, with bus speed or cache or some other little thing that I am not taking into consideration?



Here are a few things that I have considered or pondered:



I know that the new Mac Mini can support dual monitors, so I can use my existing Samsung monitors, which is great (what kind of connectors does that Mac Mini have, I wonder?).



One thing I noticed is that the SuperDrive on the Mac Mini is 8X, instead of the 16X speed of my G5's. I don't really care about that though, how often does one really burn discs? I know I don't do it frequently.



My G5 currently houses 6.5 GB of RAM. I know that the Mac Mini maxes out at 4GB. I wonder how much I might miss that 2.5GB of RAM if I got the Mini. Honestly, I don't know how much of it I ever used at any one time. I think Logic Pro is a 64 bit app that could have the potential to grab what ever RAM may be available to it, so who knows. I should mention that I was still using Tiger, so I am not even sure how much 64-bit support that OS provided, anyway. I see that the speed of the Mini RAM is 1066MHz, but I do not know the speed of the G5's RAM.



Can this machine really replace my G5's job responsibilities? *shocked at the possibility* [excuse me if I am living in the past, but it seems wild that my once $3,000 machine can be beat by a $600 machine only after a short 4 years].



Thank you so much for your feedback!

Sincerely,

Sad G5 owner who wants to move on.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    futurepastnowfuturepastnow Posts: 1,772member
    Slower hard drive. That can be upgraded.
  • Reply 2 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    Slower hard drive. That can be upgraded.





    Really? Ahhh, very interesting! Thanks for the tip, FuturePastNow! I suppose that little Mini takes standard laptop 2.5 hard drives, right? Or has apple designed a custom drive so they can control the price?
  • Reply 3 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleComputer View Post


    So, my Power Mac G5 Dual 2.7 is on its way out. Bad processor. Very sad.



    I don't want to spend much on a replacement for it. I am looking at the entry level Mac Mini. According to the Mactracker app, the entry-level Mac Mini has a benchmark score of 2782, while my 4-year old G5 powerhouse sits at a 2245 benchmark. Is it really possible that the little Mac Mini is actually faster than my Power Mac G5? This may be a silly question to even ask, but I just thought that there would be SOME advantages that my machine would have over the little guy. Can anyone think of any drops in speed that I might encounter if I went with the Mac Mini?



    My main purpose for using my Mac is for pro audio; Logic Pro and such. Would I be taking any kind of speed hits, I don't know, with bus speed or cache or some other little thing that I am not taking into consideration?



    Here are a few things that I have considered or pondered:



    I know that the new Mac Mini can support dual monitors, so I can use my existing Samsung monitors, which is great (what kind of connectors does that Mac Mini have, I wonder?).



    One thing I noticed is that the SuperDrive on the Mac Mini is 8X, instead of the 16X speed of my G5's. I don't really care about that though, how often does one really burn discs? I know I don't do it frequently.



    My G5 currently houses 6.5 GB of RAM. I know that the Mac Mini maxes out at 4GB. I wonder how much I might miss that 2.5GB of RAM if I got the Mini. Honestly, I don't know how much of it I ever used at any one time. I think Logic Pro is a 64 bit app that could have the potential to grab what ever RAM may be available to it, so who knows. I should mention that I was still using Tiger, so I am not even sure how much 64-bit support that OS provided, anyway. I see that the speed of the Mini RAM is 1066MHz, but I do not know the speed of the G5's RAM.



    Can this machine really replace my G5's job responsibilities? *shocked at the possibility* [excuse me if I am living in the past, but it seems wild that my once $3,000 machine can be beat by a $600 machine only after a short 4 years].



    Thank you so much for your feedback!

    Sincerely,

    Sad G5 owner who wants to move on.



    The mini also has on board video that takes 128-256 of system ram for video. Apple really needs a desktop tower the mac pro is about $1500 over priced.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleComputer View Post


    Really? Ahhh, very interesting! Thanks for the tip, FuturePastNow! I suppose that little Mini takes standard laptop 2.5 hard drives, right? Or has apple designed a custom drive so they can control the price?



    It's a normal 2.5" SATA drive, but all the drives Apple offers on the mini are 5400RPM. A 7200RPM 2.5" drive should be no problem, though, or a SSD.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    The mini also has on board video that takes 128-256 of system ram for video. Apple really needs a desktop tower the mac pro is about $1500 over priced.



    I see, Joe. Well, thats not great news, but that shouldn't be too disparaging for me. I could see the mini being less functional for pro video editors, but what about someone who is a logic pro user? I suspect that the video card in the Mini is better than the one in my 2.7 dual G5, anyway.



    Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    It's a normal 2.5" SATA drive, but all the drives Apple offers on the mini are 5400RPM. A 7200RPM 2.5" drive should be no problem, though, or a SSD.



    Well, thats cool, just so long as I can swop it out for a faster one when I need to. SSD? That term is escaping me at the moment.



    thanks for the reply!
  • Reply 7 of 15
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    It's a normal 2.5" SATA drive, but all the drives Apple offers on the mini are 5400RPM. A 7200RPM 2.5" drive should be no problem, though, or a SSD.



    If you're willing to pry open the case with a putty knife and then almost completely dissemble the system to do so.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    futurepastnowfuturepastnow Posts: 1,772member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    If you're willing to pry open the case with a putty knife and then almost completely dissemble the system to do so.



    You say that like it's a difficult thing to do.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    You say that like it's a difficult thing to do.



    Yah, with marvin's instructions it took like 10 min to upgrade to a 7200 320GB HDD and 4GB RAM.



    Could have done a 500GB 7200 drive but they had just come out and newegg was out of stock.



    Here's the link since it fell off the front 3 pages. Marvin, you should sticky this:



    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showp...69&postcount=1
  • Reply 10 of 15
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleComputer View Post


    This may be a silly question to even ask, but I just thought that there would be SOME advantages that my machine would have over the little guy.



    Yes. Slots and more RAM.



    Quote:

    My main purpose for using my Mac is for pro audio; Logic Pro and such. Would I be taking any kind of speed hits, I don't know, with bus speed or cache or some other little thing that I am not taking into consideration?



    I'm assuming you're using firewire? If so, should be fine.



    Quote:

    I know that the new Mac Mini can support dual monitors, so I can use my existing Samsung monitors, which is great (what kind of connectors does that Mac Mini have, I wonder?).



    Your mini will come with a mini-DVI to DVI adapter. You will need to buy a mini-Display Port to DVI adapter as well.





    $10 from here:



    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2



    Quote:

    My G5 currently houses 6.5 GB of RAM. I know that the Mac Mini maxes out at 4GB. I wonder how much I might miss that 2.5GB of RAM if I got the Mini. Honestly, I don't know how much of it I ever used at any one time.



    Logic Pro and ESX24 can use all the RAM you have rather than be capped at 4GB like in 7.



    Quote:

    Can this machine really replace my G5's job responsibilities? *shocked at the possibility* [excuse me if I am living in the past, but it seems wild that my once $3,000 machine can be beat by a $600 machine only after a short 4 years].



    Probably. If you need 8GB of RAM the MacBook Pro 13" will do it bit the memory is a bit...ah... pricey. I don't think the current MacBook will do 8GB.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleComputer View Post


    According to the Mactracker app, the entry-level Mac Mini has a benchmark score of 2782, while my 4-year old G5 powerhouse sits at a 2245 benchmark. Is it really possible that the little Mac Mini is actually faster than my Power Mac G5?



    The Intel architecture is better and software is better designed to take advantage of it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleComputer View Post


    One thing I noticed is that the SuperDrive on the Mac Mini is 8X, instead of the 16X speed of my G5's. I don't really care about that though, how often does one really burn discs? I know I don't do it frequently.



    The Mac Mini DVD burner isn't great. It's so slow and noisy. I'd recommend an external tray drive if you plan to do this a lot. For occasional burning it doesn't matter. It partly depends on the discs you get but pretty much every superdrive I've seen has issues burning over 4x with even decent brand 8x discs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleComputer View Post


    Can this machine really replace my G5's job responsibilities? *shocked at the possibility* [excuse me if I am living in the past, but it seems wild that my once $3,000 machine can be beat by a $600 machine only after a short 4 years].



    This is where the computer industry is finding a problem because consumers are realizing they can get by with laptop-level hardware and so are buying laptops so desktop sales are dropping significantly. Although the Mini is a desktop model, it's basically a Macbook without a screen at about half the price.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleComputer


    I see, Joe. Well, thats not great news, but that shouldn't be too disparaging for me. I could see the mini being less functional for pro video editors, but what about someone who is a logic pro user? I suspect that the video card in the Mini is better than the one in my 2.7 dual G5, anyway.



    Using integrated graphics isn't a huge problem any more because the machines use DDR3 Ram. It's not quite as fast as dedicated GDDR3 but it's still fast enough for most things. The 9400M is about twice as fast as a Geforce 6600 with dedicated VRam.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea


    Marvin, you should sticky this:



    Yeah I think people would benefit from it, I stuck both the old and new Mini upgrade guides up in the Current Hardware forum.
  • Reply 12 of 15
    Hi All;

    My 2003 G5 [1.8GHZ] Powermac is still running but I can relate to the O.P.

    I'd like to make some musical slide shows via iPhoto/iMovie. If I buy an Mini when Snow Leopard comes with it would the Mini be much faster than my almost 6 year old G5?
  • Reply 13 of 15
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    You say that like it's a difficult thing to do.



    A lot more than it should be. Good design is making something easy, not cramping stuff into the small space possible.
  • Reply 14 of 15
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post


    If I buy an Mini when Snow Leopard comes with it would the Mini be much faster than my almost 6 year old G5?



    It depends on your old G5 and what Apple do with with their optimizations.



    If you have a single CPU G5, the Mini will be over double the speed.



    Even if it's a dual processor, the software optimization is so much better on the Intel side and the engineers on Snow Leopard have been able to rework the whole system by dropping PPC support.



    Every Intel Mac supports SSE3 optimization minimum and according to this article:



    http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...ut_new_laptops



    Bertrand Serlet says they have reworked over 90% of OS X's code. The PPC side won't see any of those changes.



    If Apple are reworking pretty much their whole OS and the engineers are focusing on optimization, I would certainly expect to see dramatic improvements in speed at least in some areas of the system.



    Early Snow Leopard benchmarks weren't promising but that was last year. Apple's own benchmarks of Snow Leopard server show some dramatic improvements in filesystem performance:



    http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/performance.html



    I'd expect those improvements to find their way into Snow Leopard too. They won't be all that impressive though because Leopard just handled network filesystems poorly.



    Few people seem to be commenting on the recent builds performance-wise so that could mean that there's not much to talk about, we'll have to wait and see.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It depends on your old G5 and what Apple do with with their optimizations.



    If you have a single CPU G5, the Mini will be over double the speed.



    Even if it's a dual processor, the software optimization is so much better on the Intel side and the engineers on Snow Leopard have been able to rework the whole system by dropping PPC support.



    Every Intel Mac supports SSE3 optimization minimum and according to this article:



    http://www.computerworld.com/s/artic...ut_new_laptops



    Bertrand Serlet says they have reworked over 90% of OS X's code. The PPC side won't see any of those changes.



    If Apple are reworking pretty much their whole OS and the engineers are focusing on optimization, I would certainly expect to see dramatic improvements in speed at least in some areas of the system.



    Early Snow Leopard benchmarks weren't promising but that was last year. Apple's own benchmarks of Snow Leopard server show some dramatic improvements in filesystem performance:



    http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/performance.html



    I'd expect those improvements to find their way into Snow Leopard too. They won't be all that impressive though because Leopard just handled network filesystems poorly.



    Few people seem to be commenting on the recent builds performance-wise so that could mean that there's not much to talk about, we'll have to wait and see.



    Thanks for the good news!
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