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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which one would you buy? The dual G4 is $2249, the G5 is $2799. Price aside, why would I want the G5 over the G4? I realize the cool case and 64-bit technology is unavoidable, however when it comes down to it, which is the better value right now?
 

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The strangest thing has happened this year: Apple's highest-end machine (Dual 2GHz G5) is the best value of all models. The 1.6 and 1.8s are priced far too high, making the price and vastly increased performance of the dual 2GHz the most attractive. It's sad that Apple isn't offering a single processor model with a matched/higher rating than the Dual 2Ghz. Back in 2001 I remember Apple introduced an 867 MHz G4 alongside a Dual 800 MHz G4.

Of the January 2003 Power Mac G4s, the mid-level (Dual 1.25GHz) was the sweet spot. Not a huge enough performance difference between a Dual 1.42GHz and Dual 1.25.

lowendmac.com agrees on the Dual 2GHz G5 being the best value of the bunch:

http://lowendmac.com/musings/03/0624.html

It's not often that Low End Mac points to the top-end model as the best value, but for real power users, twice the power at a 25% premium should be very tempting. In other words, the G5/1.8 is overpriced in comparison to the dual 2.0 GHz model.

Again, I'd have to say that the G5/1.6 is overpriced in comparison to the more powerful models -- something we don't often see from Apple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This will be my first Mac. I cannot justify spending $4199 (or almost $5000 after taxes) on my entry into the Mac world. I think I will try and stay with the dual 1.25GHz G4 until I decide I want to stay with the Mac platform.
 

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I'm struggling with the same comparison thoughts.
One thing to keep in mind, is that the dual 1.25 may actually be the better choice in terms of general OS X usage. Since OS X makes good use of a dual processor environment, the entry G5 may lag slightly behind in that area. In any event, OS X on a dual G4 is very responsive.

In the end it depends on what you use your machine for. But the good news is that, either way, you'd have a very capable machine with a great operating system.

-GW
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
At least if the resale value stays high, the upgrade to the G5 will be less painful when I am ready. I am trying to do this on a budget
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am a Windows power user and have been a professional Windows developer for 10 years. I would like to write some applications for Mac OS as a hobbyist in hopes of possibly making a few $$$ on it in the future.
 

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For writing applications for the Mac OS, a dual 1.25 G4 would be fine for you, with a decent amount of RAM with it.

But if you do hardcore video editing, etc, then a G5 is far more ideal, indeed.
 

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Lars, for non-professional video editing, would a G5 with 2 gigs of RAM rather than 1 gig be overkill, or a realistic investment now?
 

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Lars, for non-professional video editing, would a G5 with 2 gigs of RAM rather than 1 gig be overkill, or a realistic investment now?
For non-stop video editing, 1 GB is almost just cutting it. 2 GB would not be overkill, but enough to do whatever needs to be done. That and a good sized video card. And, within 1-2 years from now, 2 GB will be what a lot of people will have, IMO.
 

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Lars, I intend to get a new G5 1.8GHz Mac. Neil Y. has suggested an ATI 9600 card over the standard NVIDIA card, and I intended to get 1 gig of RAM. However, I can foresee the time when 1 gig will be standard and 2 gig upgrades will be as common as going from 256 to 512 today.

I appreciate your input and opinion on this matter.
 

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Lars, for non-professional video editing, would a G5 with 2 gigs of RAM rather than 1 gig be overkill, or a realistic investment now?
 
Dr. G

As I noted in an earlier post Apple grossly overcharges for its installed RAM. I'd recommend getting the minimum (512MB) and you can probably upgrade to 2 gigs for less then the price of 1 gig. Even then, for non-professional use, 512 will probably do you fine.

I'll explain it this way; there are still major tv networks here in T.O. that are using OS 9 and beige G3s to do professional editing (maximum RAM of 768). Mostly in the production of on-air promos and host segments. Animated graphics are done by entry-level to mid-level G4s because they require more rendering. Now I've watched the editors at work. The editing goes by almost instantly. The sluggish part comes when they have to render (colour-correcting, additional graphics, etc.). For that they leave the machine on and go for lunch, or let it run all night for lengthy footage. For non-professional use you're unlikely to do most of this rendering. The sluggish part may be in the outputting, depending on your method.

But keep in mind that a bare-bones G5 blows away what most professionals -- at least those I've seen -- use every day. And with a cheap RAM upgrade (method suggested above) you'll leave them standing in awe.

See how fast it goes at 512. If it's not fast enough you can easily upgrade later. That would be my suggestion.
 

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Klaatu, thanks for the suggestions. Rest assured that I shall NOT buy any RAM from Apple Canada. My university's computer purchasing center buys Kingston RAM, and not Apple RAM.

Four years ago, when I bought my Dell Dimension, it was state of the art, and people thought that I was mad to initially buy 256Mb of RAM and the upgrade that to 512. This machine has paid for itself, but is now chugging along and will be "donated" to my son, who uses it as much as I do anyway.

Once the G5 arrives, I think that it shall be my computer for far longer than 4 years. We shall see.
 
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