realistic system usage length

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I'm a relatively new Apple user, so i'd be grateful for some advice. Until earlier this year i'd only ever used Windows based machines, starting with 3.x, through 95, 98, ME, 2000 and now XP. My first (small) step into the Apple world was buying an iPod (lured by the excellent combination of design and tech) and as i was in the market for a laptop this new year i decided to look into maybe trying an Apple system.



Lured once again by great design and very good tech, i took the plunge and bought a 15" PowerBook. Now i love Mac OS X and enjoy using it vastly more than Windows XP. To the point though...



Sometime in the next few months/year i'm going to be in the market for a new desktop system. I've pretty much definitely decided to get an Apple system, but i'm not sure what to go for.



I love the look of the PowerMac G5s, but my question is this: If i buy a dual 1.8Ghz PowerMac G5 now, how long is it going to last me, in real usage terms? And comparably, how long would a dual 2.5Ghz system last me for?



I don't earn a fortune, so this sort of purchase is rare, and i need a system to last me as long as possible.



Thanks in advance for any advice
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    jwri004jwri004 Posts: 626member
    If you are using it for graphics its lifetime will be lower, but I personally use a 667Mhz TiBook with a G4 processor running Panther.



    I prefer using this over the 3Ghz PC monsters that work has. I think it is about 2 years old at the moment, and I expect to get at least another year or two out of it before I upgrade (though I am getting jealous of the newer machines!).



    I am positive I do not have the oldest machine on the boards as well.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    If I were you I would go with the dual 1.8 and not look back. I think it would probably last a video editing, graphics person about a good 3 to even 4 years. There are a lot of things you can do down the road to improve the system performance, but I think you would be happy spending less money and getting nearly the same use out of it.



    My advice: go with the dual 1.8 PowerMac.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    If the pbook is holding you over in the meantime and you can hold out between the next 6 months to a year that you've suggested, I'd wait to see the next revision of the G5's that'll be coming. It seems that the next machine will show some promise (PCI-E and the CoreVid/Audio/Image with Tiger, higher clock rates, etc.) and will be more than a Mhz bump. Machines with new designs have seemed to yield me a better return on my investment and last me quite a few years.



    If you need it now, the 1.8DP should do the trick. It's all dependant on your needs. If you use it for work does holding out make sense to your upcoming finances?
  • Reply 4 of 24
    maffrewmaffrew Posts: 166member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by netbanshee

    If you need it now, the 1.8DP should do the trick. It's all dependant on your needs. If you use it for work does holding out make sense to your upcoming finances? [/B]



    I don't use my computers for work (currently unemployed between University and finding work), but i'd describe myself as a 'power' home user. I use photoshop a lot and enjoy experimenting with video editing and the like, as well as doing standard stuff.



    I think you're idea about holding out as long as possible for new revisions is probably the best idea. That way i can save for as long as possible, get the best system i can afford and then make it last me as long as possible.



    How often are there revisions of the lines? For instance, will there be a revision for when Tiger is released? How many revisions will there be before a new processor and a new system entirely?
  • Reply 5 of 24
    I"d save up,and wait for the next revision also.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    staphbabystaphbaby Posts: 353member
    An average Apple system will probably last 4ish years for a not-too-ambitious user, and much longer for mothers and younger brothers. It very much depends on what you're doing, however. Our student newspaper are getting by on 400Mhz G3/4s (5 years old and counting) without too many problems (they need to buy more memory, but other than that the computers are usable).



    I don't know, I'd just jump and buy a new machine now. They're not likely to updated for probably 6 months, maybe more (hell, it could even be another year), and the current crop of machines are pretty fast for even a prosumer's purposes.



    It's your money though. I'd also be tempted to hold off until I actually had a job.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    I'm using an iBookSE thats almost 5 years old (G3 @ 466). Running Panther with no complaints (32MB ram).



    It still works fine although PhotoShopE sure seems slow compared to more modern machines (this was considered snappy when it was new ).

    My only real complaint is the 800x600 screen ... the latest version of iMovie won't even start-up without 1024x768.



    That said... I just swapped out the origional 10gig drive for a 40gig and now expect it to last 'till a G5 'book is available. (no longer require an external drive to import the home-videos from the DVcam.)
  • Reply 8 of 24
    aslan^aslan^ Posts: 599member
    How about this then...



    Buy one of the new 20" or 23" monitors, a matching external keyboard and mouse (which you can leave plugged into the monitor) and use your powerook as a desktop. This should tide you over for some time and you'll be able to get an uber system after Tiger is released which isnt scheduled for what, a year or so ? Then at least you'll also already have a nice monitor for the G5 that you decide on.



    This is what I plan on doing when I eventually buy a 12" powerbook.
  • Reply 9 of 24
    maffrewmaffrew Posts: 166member
    That's a great idea actually, wish i'd thought of it



    I really like the 23" monitors (i love the 30" ones, but they are a tad expensive ), so that may very well be the way i go.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    majormattmajormatt Posts: 1,077member
    Macs last an extraordinarily long time in terms of real use and plain old it's still working. I expect a Mac to be useful for 4-6 years and work for 8-12 years.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    nagging question I have:



    Is the dual 2 worth the extra for the better mainboard (more ram, faster pci/pcix), If you want to upgrade 2 years from now will anything be streight PCI, or will it be pcix? 8 ram slots is nice but who needs 8 gigs of ram outside of scientests and HD editors?
  • Reply 12 of 24
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Maffrew

    I'm a relatively new Apple user, so i'd be grateful for some advice. Until earlier this year i'd only ever used Windows based machines, starting with 3.x, through 95, 98, ME, 2000 and now XP. My first (small) step into the Apple world was buying an iPod (lured by the excellent combination of design and tech) and as i was in the market for a laptop this new year i decided to look into maybe trying an Apple system.



    Lured once again by great design and very good tech, i took the plunge and bought a 15" PowerBook. Now i love Mac OS X and enjoy using it vastly more than Windows XP. To the point though...



    Sometime in the next few months/year i'm going to be in the market for a new desktop system. I've pretty much definitely decided to get an Apple system, but i'm not sure what to go for.



    I love the look of the PowerMac G5s, but my question is this: If i buy a dual 1.8Ghz PowerMac G5 now, how long is it going to last me, in real usage terms? And comparably, how long would a dual 2.5Ghz system last me for?



    I don't earn a fortune, so this sort of purchase is rare, and i need a system to last me as long as possible.



    Thanks in advance for any advice




    well, in theory, it would last you until it literally fell apart or something. we've reached a point where a dual 1.8 G5 is powerful enough to do literally anything on a computer--it's all about speed. your processor isnt going to slow down as it gets old, but somehow people think that they cant get work done unless their number is the highest possible (in Ghz). in a non-theoretical answer, I would say 5+ years. It all depends on what you do with a computer, but I think 80% of users could use the same computer for almost 10 years if they didnt have to walk into a room with a big head. of course, i'm speaking in G5 terms--PC's only last 12 months IMO b/c people constantly dowload ad blockers and anti virus things that build up over time.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    maffrewmaffrew Posts: 166member
    All pretty much true, ipodandimac.



    As a PC user i tended to upgrade my systems regularly for various reasons, one of the main ones being that i used it as a games system. Lately i tend to do my gaming on consoles though, and i don't need a desktop gaming platform.



    So yeah, i do need to get out of the mindset that bigger numbers and new stuff equals better. I do have a rather large flaw in that i love buying new tech, i like to have the new stuff to play with. Can't afford to do it though, so i'm not anymore.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member
    If you can afford the dual 2.5 then buy it.

    It is approx 5Ghz opposed to 3.8 with the dual.

    I would expect you would get at least 2 years longer life as it also has PCI-X slots higher FSB etc.



    I managed to convince management here to buy a couple (delivery sometime October but I'm not holding my breath) based on a performance and longitivity in the workplace.

    If a Dual 3.Ghz comes out you are only 1Ghz away with the dual 2.5 but it is nearly twice the speed of the Dual 1.8. Even a Dual 3.5 wouldn't be so bad in comparison.



    This is if you can afford it.

    We have Dual 1.8's and 2.0s and I think both are fine machine.



    Dobby.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    leppoleppo Posts: 66member
    Quote:



    I managed to convince management here to buy a couple (delivery sometime October but I'm not holding my breath) [/B]



    Hi, long time lurker, first time poster here. Where did you get the October estimate? Does it say that when you check your status, or are you using some other guess? I ordered an dual 2.5 and the order status still says on or before 7/30.



    As for the actual thread, I'm on a G4/400 Sawtooth/AGP here, great machine and it's lasted me 3 or 4 years(not ONE problem ever), can't remember, and would probably last another 3 or 4 if I wasn't greedy. It all really depends on what you're using it for. Like you, I like to play games and that, along with some hobbyist audio recording ambitions, is the reason that I'm getting the 2.5.



    If you are just doing some basic video stuff that isn't heavy lifting, along with the usual web-browsing, email, etc..., then you're just fine with the powerbook. I agree with the other poster that said to get a nice monitor and sit tight. That way when you want something with more power, you don't need to buy a monitor at the same time.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    enderender Posts: 353member
    Howdy,



    I've been using a dual 500 MHz G4 system now for 4 years, and the only thing that it can't do is run the absolute latest games. I don't do much in video though, I spend most of my time in Photoshop and Xcode. I'm working on getting a G5 now just because I want the power, but this machine would last me another year or two at least if I needed it to. My rule of thumb is that a top end Apple desktop machine will last you 4 to 5 years without any problem.



    Laptops, well, not so long. My TiBook gave me about 2ish years of faithful service and then took the plunge. It sits in the closet now. Get AppleCare on laptops or you'll most likely regret it. I don't bother with AppleCare on desktop machines because it's so easy to replace anything in them.



    I'd say that the best options are to get the high-end G5 when it starts shipping, or get the monitor for the laptop and buy a high-end desktop when the laptop doesn't cut it anymore.



    -Ender
  • Reply 17 of 24
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Define 'useful'.



    I have a 350MHz G3 Blue/White at home that's still cranking along running MacOS X Server 10.3.4, with a quarter terabyte of storage, sharing a printer, files, running the web site, mail system, and DNS for my domain. What is it, five years old? Six?



    Granted, it's a bit painful if I log into it directly, but since everyone in the house has laptops and WiFi, that almost never happens.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Leppo

    Hi, long time lurker, first time poster here. Where did you get the October estimate? Does it say that when you check your status, or are you using some other guess? I ordered an dual 2.5 and the order status still says on or before 7/30.





    Yeah well in the States you do get the goods on time.

    Here in NZ we have to wait at least 3-6 months before we see anything.



    Dobby.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    quagmirequagmire Posts: 558member
    My old Powermac 6100 lasted for 6 years then got struck by lighting. My Powermac is so far lasting 4 years and running.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    moazammoazam Posts: 136member
    The Dual 1.8 will last you the same exact amount of time as the Dual 2.5.



    The difference between the two is not significant enough to warrant different upgrade timings. The only difference I would be concerned about is the 4GB limit on RAM that the 1.8 has. The 2.0/2.5 will allow 8GB of RAM. You may not think this is a big deal right now, but depending on the type of work you do it can be crucial (pun intended).



    BTW, I have a Dell P3 1Ghz laptop with a UXGA/1600x1200 14.1" screen that I bought brand new. While the new stuff is much faster in terms of Ghz and such, the fact is that my current laptop still does everything at blazing fast speeds. The only thing I did was upgrade the RAM to 640mb...and I might go to 1Gig sometime this year.



    -M
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