dual g4 purchasing advice...

rokrok
Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
okay, i am about to turn inside out trying to figure this out, and i know these forums are filled with people ready to give purchasing advice, so here goes...



how low a price would a G4 dual 1.25 or 1.4 GHz have to go before you would buy it INSTEAD of an upcoming G5?



i think i can get a refurbished dual 1.25 or 1.4 for around half of the price of a dual G5. but how many years of serious work would i be sacrificing by settling on last year's model?



of course, what would i use it for -- extensive use of the following: dreamweaver and fireworks, photoshop, illustrator, indesign, quark (whenever a client send me a file), office, email, web browsing. latest versions of each. i may dabble in the arcane arts of video editing at some point, but i don't even own a digital video camera, so that is hardly top priority.



i do need to buy a new system pretty soon. a company wants me to start working freelance for them soon. so i may be able to make up the $1500 or so for the dual G4 fairly quickly with production work. but i don't know if they would have enough work for me to recoup the dual G5 costs.



plus, i like the idea of taking the money i save and putting it towards things like peripherals, software, monitor(s), upgrades for some of my older machines, and more ram. i mean, and extra $1500 can go a LONG way.



well, there ya go, folks. what do you think? how much would YOU spend on a dual G4 for work to commence shortly, when you KNOW the G5s are around the corner?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    I'd say if the Dual 1.42Ghz was $1199, I would get that instead of the G5, and would be bundled with a monitor of some sort. But, Apple doesn't seem to like that idea of a complete computer "package"(alittle off topic)
  • Reply 2 of 6
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    okay, let's bump this thread back up, because my option for getting an old dual g4 super-cheap fell through, so...



    dual 1.25 G4 vs. the 1.6 GHz G5: with a little spec manipulation, you can get them for essentially the same price. i'm not getting the superdrive, as i don't have any need for it at all, and would rather wait until the speed of the drives gets to a point where i don't visibly age while burning and verifying a dvd.i gotta think they are essentially the same performance-wise (high-end last year's model vs. this year's low-end model), but i also have to think that the G5's longevity will serve it a bit better in the long haul. hell, if nothing else, that 8x AGP slot and PCI-X are nicely forward-thinking.



    so, which would be better: dual 1.25 GHz G4, or a single 1.6 GHz G5?
  • Reply 3 of 6
    gabidgabid Posts: 477member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    okay, let's bump this thread back up, because my option for getting an old dual g4 super-cheap fell through, so...



    dual 1.25 G4 vs. the 1.6 GHz G5: with a little spec manipulation, you can get them for essentially the same price. i'm not getting the superdrive, as i don't have any need for it at all, and would rather wait until the speed of the drives gets to a point where i don't visibly age while burning and verifying a dvd.i gotta think they are essentially the same performance-wise (high-end last year's model vs. this year's low-end model), but i also have to think that the G5's longevity will serve it a bit better in the long haul. hell, if nothing else, that 8x AGP slot and PCI-X are nicely forward-thinking.



    so, which would be better: dual 1.25 GHz G4, or a single 1.6 GHz G5?




    Remember, the 1.6 doesn't have PCI-X, just regular old PCI. Also, it has slower RAM and less RAM slots than the 1.8. I'll probably be getting a G5 myself and am trying to figure out if I'll miss these things if I get the 1.6. I really don't want to spend the extra $600 CDN for the 1.8, but there is a part of me that can't help but worry that every G5 that follows will have the specs of the 1.8 as a minimum and I'll end up having the odd machine out. Then again, how much power and RAM do I really need to work in Word all day long ?
  • Reply 4 of 6
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gabid

    Remember, the 1.6 doesn't have PCI-X, just regular old PCI. Also, it has slower RAM and less RAM slots than the 1.8.



    wow, thanks for that reminder. i guess the extra cash for the 1.8 GHz G5 pays for more than just 200 MHz. of course, the dual G4 does have other niceties, such as multiple optical drive bays, and plenty of room for additional hard drives. sure, ultra ATA is slower than serial-ATA, but you can cram a LOT of cheap drives in that chassis, which might make it a nice server down the road. the dual also still comes with the geforce4 titanium, which in my opinion is still much better than the default radeon 9600 in the new G5s.



    well, i'm not letting this topic die... not yet. come one, folks. which should i buy? having reviewed my cash, and planning for future investments in peripherals and getting my business started up, i need to save money. so i think the dual G5 is out for me. plus, i wouldn't even come close to tapping half of the power under that hood for probably 6-8 months. maybe even a year. so it seems like buying a hummer to just drive around town and get the groceries and the kids...



    so, dual 1.25 GHz G4, or 1.6 GHz G5, or 1.8 GHz G5???
  • Reply 5 of 6
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    hmmm... interesting and (i think) insightful examination from lowendmac.com (and since no one else seems inclined to chime in...)



    (****************************************)



    Quote:

    Quoted from LowEndMac.com



    Power Mac G4 Dual 1.25 GHz



    Apple trimmed the price of the dual 1.25 GHz X-only model to $1,699. The $400 extra buys you a second G4 processor, which will improve computing power by about 80%. Other than dual processors, the only other significant difference is the inability to boot into OS_9.



    We believe the second processor is definitely worth the additional $400. Then again, when you can buy a 9-bootable model for $100 less and gain a larger level 3 cache in the bargain, the June 2003 dual 1.25 is an even better bargain.



    Power Mac G4 Dual 1.42 GHz



    Soon to be eclipsed by a dual 2.0 GHz G5, the dual 1.42 GHz G4 remains the fastest Mac on the market -- and the price has been trimmed to $2,399, making it a better value than ever before.



    Still, that's a lot more money than the dual 1.25 GHz model -- 41% more money to gain about 14% more power.



    From a power standpoint, it just doesn't make economic sense. In fact, it rarely makes economic sense to pick the fastest Mac; that extra 10-15% of performance commands a huge price premium.



    You do get 512 MB of memory, a 120 GB hard drive, and a SuperDrive, which adds about $300 worth of value. Still, at today's blowout prices, the 1.25 GHz dual G4 is the only G4 model we can call a best buy.



    Buy Now or Wait?



    It's unfortunate that we have no performance comparisons between the Power Mac G4 and the G5s that will be shipping in August. The G5 not only runs at a higher clock speed, but the general consensus is also that it's a more efficient CPU than the G4. Add to that the HyperTransport motherboard architecture, still better video cards, and a significantly faster memory system, and the G5s should smoke the G4s.



    The big question remains how much faster it really is. I can hardly wait for Bare Feats, Accelerate Your Mac!, MacSpeedZone, Macworld, and others to get their hands on the G5s and run some Mac benchmarks. Until that happens, we'll have to guess at the performance boost.



    Entry Level



    The entry-level G5 runs at 1.6 GHz. It can be equipped with a Combo drive at $1,799, making it roughly comparable to the single processor 1.0 GHz Power Mac G4 being blown out for $1,149 or the new single CPU 1.25 GHz model at $1,299. Assuming a 60% boost in processing power (based on the GHz rating alone), both entry-level models would offer the same amount of power per dollar spent. But the G5 should be even more efficient, making it a better value for those who can justify $1,799 for a Power Mac.



    Then again, we consider the entry-level G5 the worst value among the new models based on price vs. power.



    The 1.25 Dual G4



    Comparing a single processor 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz G5 to the dual 1.25 GHz G4 is more complex. When running OS_X applications, a pair of 1.25 GHz G4s will provide the equivalent of a 2.0 to 2.5 GHz G4. We'll split the difference and call it 2.25 GHz.



    MHz for MHz, the Power Mac G5 would have to be 40% more efficient than the Power Mac G4 for the 1.6 GHz entry-level model to match the power of a pair of 1.25 GHz G4s. We are going to see improved efficiencies thanks to the new CPU design, HyperTransport, and faster memory, but I don't expect that to improve overall system performance by more than 20-25%. (We're not talking about CPU benchmarks here, but benchmarks that test the whole computer.)



    In short, if the G5/1.6 and dual G4/1.25 were priced the same, the G4 would probably outperform the G5. In terms of price, the dual 1.25 GHz models sell for less than the 1.6 GHz G5 will, whether with a Combo drive or SuperDrive. On top of that, the $1,599 price on the new dual G4/1.25 makes it a vastly better value -- even in comparison to the G5, we still consider that one a best buy.



    Comparing that to the G5/1.8 at $2,199 with a Combo drive, the processing power per dollar spent improves. The Power Mac G5 only needs to be 25% more efficient than the Power Mac G4 for this to match the power of the dual 1.25 GHz G4, and I strongly suspect it will be. But at $600 more, the value crown remains with the June 2003 G4/1.25, and the January 2003 model is a close second.



    The Top End



    We consider the dual G5/2.0 the best value of the Power Mac G5 line. Assuming the Power Mac G5 system architecture results in a computer 25% more efficient than the Power Mac G4, this will be roughly equal in power to a dual G4 running 2.5 GHz processors, something Motorola has never been able to produce.



    This essentially offers twice the power of the dual 1.25 GHz G4 at $2,799 with a Combo drive or $2,999 with a SuperDrive. Compared to the new dual 1.25 GHz G4 at $1,599, the G5/2.0 dual is the better deal.



    Read that again. Reflect on it. The top-end G5 provides more power per dollar spent than the blowout G4/1.25 dual. A brand new top-of-the-line machine. A blowout deal on a dated model.



    Like I said yesterday, the Power Mac G5 changes everything.




    Conclusion



    There are precisely two standout values -- the dual 1.25 GHz G4 (June 2003) at $1,599 and the dual 2.0 GHz G5 scheduled to ship in August. These are the clear cut winners when looking at processing power per dollar spent.



    If you have $3,000 to spend and can wait until August, you may want to hold out for the Power Mac G5. This machine represents an awesome value that will give you incredible power for years to come.



    If you can't budget $3,000 or if you can't wait to buy a new Power Mac until August, the introduction of the dual 1.25 GHz Power Mac G4s at $1,599 creates an excellent value. You could almost buy two of these for the price of the top-end G5.



    While they last, this is quite simply the best Power Mac G4 value ever. Grab them while you can. You won't regret it, and the power should satisfy you for several years.



    (****************************************)



    bold and italics emphasis added by me
  • Reply 6 of 6
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,455member
    I know I've boasted about it ten times over but I managed to find a dual 1 gig Powermac with superdrive, 80 gig HD, and 512 megs ram for $1100. I jumped on it because Even if the 1.6 is much faster it is also $900 more with the superdrive. That is nearly double the price.



    Plus I get two drive bays for now. Cheap access to IDE drives and also the MDD Macs are compliant (I think they call it 48 bit addressing) with the specs necessary to address IDE drives above 120 gigs. It has 3 drive bays which means I can have up to 750 gigs of storage.



    Considering Apple does optimize their products for the G4 velocity engine, it should still be great for quite a while.



    These last line of PowerMacs may not have been able to hold their own against say a Pentium IV with hyperthreading, but since I don't own one of those I don't care. Likewise all the work I do blazes along.



    Nick
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