Exchange new G5 iMac for Intel iMac?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
A few days before Macworld, I helped my mom order a 20" G5 iMac online. Yes, I know it was stupid to order it right before Macworld. She was excited about it, and I got caught up in it. My mistake.



But we're still well within the period where she can return it. It was delivered yesterday and I told her to not break the seal on the box, so she won't have to pay a restocking fee if she wants to exchange it for an Intel iMac.



But should she? I want her to have the best, fastest computer available, but I also worry about her first-ever Mac being a Rev. A that could be frought by bugs. Or am I just being paranoid about that?



Plus, I'm not sure how much my mom would benefit from any speed difference. She's going to be surfing the Web, using iTunes and iPhoto, and really wants to get into iMovie. Will she be able to do those things better if she had an Intel iMac? I'm not sure.



And of course there's the question of support from Apple if she sticks with the G5. I'm wondering if she'll get more support/software upgrades if she goes the Intel route, or if the Power PC will still be getting new software, say, 5 years down the road.



I'm really torn on this, so I'd like to see what others think. Thoughts?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by tetzel1517



    But should she? I want her to have the best, fastest computer available, but I also worry about her first-ever Mac being a Rev. A that could be frought by bugs. Or am I just being paranoid about that?





    I cannot make a comment about bugs. This remains to be seen. Right now, the biggest issue with the new iMacs is the software availability. If you want to use older PowerPC software, then perhaps it is not a good idea to get an Intel iMac.





    Quote:

    Plus, I'm not sure how much my mom would benefit from any speed difference. She's going to be surfing the Web, using iTunes and iPhoto, and really wants to get into iMovie. Will she be able to do those things better if she had an Intel iMac? I'm not sure.



    Quote:





    If this is the software she will be using, then don't expect any difference, since all this is not multi-processor aware. However, the Intel iMac will feel much more responsive under load since it has one more processor. This means that, in the same time, the Intel iMac can finish two CPU-intensive tasks, while the G5 only one. So what is better depends on the use at this point. By next year the situation may be quite different, the Intel model being the obvious choice.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    I wouldn't question support from Apple regardless of the unit you have. If it is under warranty, its under warranty. Rev. A, sure,

    but its still a good product.



    I personally would say exchange it. The new one is dual processor and faster. Its really the direction Apple is going so I'd ride

    that wave. And the ability to mirror to an external display is really great especially editing movies. You can't do that on your older

    iMac. I don't think you can lose exchanging it, other than you won't see one until after the 20th...
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by sandau

    I wouldn't question support from Apple regardless of the unit you have. If it is under warranty, its under warranty. Rev. A, sure, but its still a good product.



    Oh, I know that. By support, I mean how many future versions of OS X and iLife, for example, will have universal binaries? If it's likely that Apple will make software for both processors five years into the future, by which time she'd just upgrade the machine, then I wouldn't be too concerned.



    I realize no one has a crystal ball here, of course. But some may know more about how these things generally go. Of course, by exchanging it for an Intel iMac, those concerns, at least, become moot.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by tetzel1517

    Oh, I know that. By support, I mean how many future versions of OS X and iLife, for example, will have universal binaries? If it's likely that Apple will make software for both processors five years into the future, by which time she'd just upgrade the machine, then I wouldn't be too concerned.



    You can expect a minimum three years of software support from Apple, counting from now (they said that Leopard will be Universal). Beyond that it is anyone's guess. But if the past can serve as indication, perhaps the next, after Leopard, update will too be Universal. Which brings you to about five years from now.
  • Reply 5 of 21
    If all your mom does is surf the web and write email, occaisionally use iPhoto, iTunes, etc, then yeah you should swap for the Intel iMac.



    But if she uses any sort of application that isn't Intel native, don't swap. Quickbooks, for example, probably won't be updated for a while.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    If all your mom does is surf the web and write email, occaisionally use iPhoto, iTunes, etc, then yeah you should swap for the Intel iMac.



    But if she uses any sort of application that isn't Intel native, don't swap. Quickbooks, for example, probably won't be updated for a while.




    I mostly agree except on the point regarding non-native apps. I don't think your Mom will notice the difference for the few non-native apps she may have. And the new dual core chip should generally have more benefits than detriments.



    I think 99% of users should go with the newer intel-based iMacs.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    sport73sport73 Posts: 438member
    Well,



    All performance issues aside it sounds like she's getting it for iLife. Unless I'm mistaken, iLife '06 is INCLUDED with the Intel Macs, and will be a $79 upgrade from her current G5.



    All other crap aside, that would make my choice for me.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    sammicksammick Posts: 416member
    If she hasn't opened the box--I would return it too.
  • Reply 9 of 21
    Definitely go for the Intel iMac.



    So what if PPC programs are only 20% faster as opposed to 200-300% faster, they'll be upgraded within a year to full speed.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    Intel.... it'll have a longer "desk-life" for her.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    I'd return it.



    I almost had a similar story to tell. My father in law wanted his first Mac, and I thought he wanted an iMac, so I was going to take him to the local Apple store while we were visiting them over the holidays. Turns out he really wanted a portable, and I wouldn't let him buy one, reasoning that the Intel versions were due soon, and the G4 was so overdue for replacement that it would be a miserable choice to make right then, given the guaranteed massive performance gains it would entail compared to the creaky old G4 architecture. So he waited, and I called him up on Tuesday and walked him through getting his order in for a new 'Book.



    I'd be a bit embarrased right now if I'd taken him to get an iMac the first week in January, even though the G5 iMac is at least much more modern than the PowerBooks. Now I can't wait to get my hands on a new iMac myself.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    But if she uses any sort of application that isn't Intel native, don't swap. Quickbooks, for example, probably won't be updated for a while.



    Somehow I think that Quickbooks will run just fine on the new Intel iMac. It's not like there's any Altivec code in it.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    Thanks for the input, all. I told my mom last night to go ahead with exchanging it, and everything I've heard here makes me feel a lot better about that decision. I'm scared she'll run into some problem trying to do the return, yet I can't see a reason why that'd happen (the box remains sealed, for example).



    Of course, now I have to deal with the inferiority complex that comes along with my mom, a first time Mac-user, having a better computer than me. :
  • Reply 14 of 21
    I would as I said return it. If you have problems with the vendor, since you paid hopefully with a credit card--you can always expect the credit card company to back you up--since you never even opened the box.



    The vendor probably accept the return especially if you buy the new iMac from them.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    tekmatetekmate Posts: 134member
    I would have kept it myself. I am actually looking at buying an updated PowerBook so I can have a PPC machine to last through the whole change over 3+ years.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TekMate

    I would have kept it myself. I am actually looking at buying an updated PowerBook so I can have a PPC machine to last through the whole change over 3+ years.



    Like a 15" 1.5 ? ... I may have one for sale
  • Reply 17 of 21
    sammicksammick Posts: 416member
    I'm not sure it will take 3 years for people to update--

    The oldies will stay with the software that they have and the Mactel people will have the new versions of software.



    Photoshop and Office are the biggies-and they're working on porting-the others will either follow or just die out.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    tekmatetekmate Posts: 134member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by KingOfSomewhereHot

    Like a 15" 1.5 ? ... I may have one for sale



    Ooohhh maybeee.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    sammicksammick Posts: 416member
    As I said on another post, my wife just ordered a new iMac--



    I'm thinking of it seriously too--I am very competitive



    I have a G4--one of the first a 1 Ghz with an 80GB hard drive--



    The drive is almost filled



    but:



    I do use Photoshop and I want to convert a batch of VCR tapes to CD's and make some videos--



    I can always update to CS3 at the end of the year--but by that time there will be better, faster machines.



    it's like waiting for the nextbestthing-how long does one wait?



    What to do?
  • Reply 20 of 21
    sammicksammick Posts: 416member
    My basic question is;



    will 2GB of memory be adequate to run CS3?



    for a serious amateur?



    no batch processing, no massive photoshoot manipulations--
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