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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 09:23 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
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G5 imac vs. G5 powermac advice?

Hello. I am trying to decide between buying a new G5 imac 2.0/20"LCD
...or a new G5 powermac dual 2.0... I have a few questions that I was hoping to get some guidance on? This will be my first computer upgrade since the powermac 7600!! I want to know which is the better option for my uses.

I would like to use the computer primarily for video editing, and graphics/photography. For video editing, i want to be able to do some heavy duty stuff with FHP if i choose to, but at first i will be using imovie/idvd and such.
I realize the powermac is instantly the more upgradable expandable option and can become a video monster if i arm it to the teeth...but i am not sure how much power i really need, perhaps the imac would be enough for me, and besides, i love the 20" LCD screen. If i went with the powermac and had to buy a seperate LCD, I would have to pay a heck of alot more to buy that same quality LCD screen as is found in the imac. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

regarding the LCD screen, is there anyone out there using the G5 imac for video editing who can tell me if video shows well with this (or any) LCD? I will be capturing and editing analog video who's ultimate purpose is to be burned to DVD and shown on conventional dvd players and CRT televisions. With that in mind, after capturing and while editing, will the imac LCD give me an accurate representation of how it will look on a standard TV (eg. brightness, grain, contrast, etc)? Or will that be something i can only achieve using a CRT monitor?
Also, is the 2.0 G5 imac powerful enough to efficiently run the latest Final cut studio package?

-there are a few other things about the imac i am unsure about:
-can you remove the 8x dvd drive and replace it with a 16x drive? Or are they different sizes and it wouldnt fit?
-if i wanted to put in a larger SATA drive, like 400gig, do the larger drives tend to have any possible issues with reliability or performance?
-is it possible to put a 256mb radeon card in? Or is it too big? in the builld to order option at apple, they only give the option for the 128mb card.
-my wife gets migraines often and has to stay away from florescent lighting. I heard somewhere that the imac LCD screen is backlit using florescent light. Is this correct? If so, does anyone know of someone who has ever had problems because of it?

Incase i decide to go with the powermac and a CRT over an LCD...anyone know of good places online to get used (or even new) 19" CRT mac studio displays???
Thanks everyone!!!
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 10:37 PM   #2
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Just a couple of thoughts on this:

1. You are talking of changing drives, upgrading video over time, etc. iMacs are really designed to just use. If it is suitable out of the box, fine. But I don't think you will be doing very many do it yourself upgrades on one of those puppies. If it does what you want, it is probably a heck of a good deal in a more than elegant package. If it doesn't, you will be fighting with it.

2. I do not know how good LCD screens are for this. I have played on some machines where I could not stay at the LCD screen from more than 15 minutes. I could catch a flicker. I do not know enough about them, so this comment is as much a question as anything. I spend a lot of hours in front of a screen programming and it is really important to me that the display be "Rock Solid".

3. Today's luxury is tomorrow's necessity. A standard box can be upgraded, sometimes quite substantially. This can gain you 2 to 3 years without having to go back into the hardware wars again.

4. You can go with dual screens on a standard box. This lets you have a good display to put your pictures up to work on and a less than good display for your tools. In addtion, dual displays work in the same plane as your eye ... less hight and more width. There is an affordable PCI video card from Sonnet whose purpose is to expand the desk top...Not fancy, but would hold tools on a used monitor. Two smaller monitors could actually give you better screen real estate at a lower price. I do this all of the time now. I can even set them at separate resolutions to see how a program appears at one size versus another. Note that it is my understanding that you cannot do this with either an iMac or an eMac ... The eMac has the video out, but it is for mirroring only. I do not know what the iMac has for ports out.

5. In terms of display purchases, with a new machine you are no longer into Mac RBG monitors. Displays have pretty much become standard across platforms. So you can pretty much shop where ever you like for quality versus price.

This is not an endorsement of one strategy over another, but more saying that they are not the same. Once you get your needs clear in your mind, I think that the decision on one over the other will be obvious to you. Just a few things to think about.

Hope this helps

Dave McQueen
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