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In terms of overall performance, is a dual-processor 1.25 GHz G4 better than a 1.6 GHz single G5? I've read in many places that the dual G4 does actually outperform the bottom-end G5 in multiple tasks. How accurate is it to say that, and would a G4 still be a good investment for the next 3 years? (DP G4 1.25 GHz)
 

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If you're starting fresh with Mac, or have the capital to move 100% to OS X and deal with other upgrade costs (i.e. PCI-X issues whereby certain cards are not compatible with the G5) the G5 has the edge because of its bus speed and RAM expansion capability... but if you're going to spend those kind of bucks, then you might as well graduate to a dual while you're at it.

But your question suggests you want to keep your spending under $3k, in which case the G4 is an excellent value and should still last you for many years. Remember there are still plenty of us getting by with G3s and older for use in professional environments. If our machines can still be viable today, there's no reason a top-of-the-line G4 can't do the same.

Personally I've been see-sawing on the same issue for months, but I always lean towards the G4 for best overall value.
 

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"would a G4 still be a good investment for the next 3 years? (DP G4 1.25 GHz) "

Short answer is Depends...

Depends on your point-of-view and expectations...

3 Years is a long time in Computers... Klaatu is right, there are tons of G3 and previous Macs still earning their keep, but they have almost no resale value so are worth more on the desk than they are to trade in...

If you suffer from Mhz/Ghz envy because someone else has a faster mac... 3 years is a long time.

My G4 400 is a little over 3 years old and some people here are amazed it still runs at all... It has 8 more to go before it outlasts my old Quadra 650...

If you have no need to Boot OS9, Get a G5... Fast Bus is Good.

I am hearing a bit about software that won't run on G5 because of G4 Specific instructions... Nothing more specific, and that should be fixed as software upgrades become available.

If I could upgrade everything today, I would get 2 G5's and make the rest Dual G4's - Price/Value is good
 

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I concur JAMG. me actively looking into dual 1 / 1.25.
rollee
 

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From a performance point of view, from what I've seen on the net, the consensus seems to be that the single G5 1.8 GHz is almost on par if not better than a Dual G4 1.42 GHz. In some areas the G4 beats the G5, in some the G5 beats the G4.

Here's one review: http://www.macworld.com/2003/09/reviews/macworldlabfirstg5testresults/

The only thing I have a problem with, is if you go with the G5 1.8, doesn't it mkae sense to go for the G5 DP2.0 for $800 more.

Due to budget priorities and the delay in shipping G5 DP2.0, I think I'll wait for the next update in February, and either get a DP2.0 cheap or one of the new configs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The real reason I ask it because the G4 has dual processors, and I know many applications and games (UT2003 is one those games) that take sweet advantage of dual processors. And yes, I'm talking from a $3000.00 limit, so a dual G5 isn't exactly realistic in my case. ;)
 

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I hate to say this since I own a DP800 and play games, but very few games take advantage of a DP. Quake and a couple FPS games do (I think Jedi Knight II is supposed to). UT2003 takes advantage of it for the sound (probably gives you a couple of extra FPS).

It would be nice if more games did take advantage of DP. It'd be nice to see it in Halo. Hopefully since ID is doing DOOM III it'll have support for DPs.
 

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I agree that the 1.8 is probably the sweet spot in terms of price/performance. If you're going to keep it for a long time, it makes sense to look at the 1.8 over the 1.6.

If you're going to sell it in 2 or so years, the 1.6 is better, because you won't lose as much money (resale value in 2 years won't be much different between the 1.6 and the 1.8). But, if you're thinking along these lines, check out the DP-G4. I would guess it will only cost you about $500 a year to run the G4 and sell it 2 years from now, and quite possibly less.

The DP Macs have the best resale, but there's more money depreciating in the first place. So, if you're on a budget (or are stretching the budget you have), you may find it better to avoid the G5 dream machine.

If you are careful with the configuration and buy from the AppleStore, a DP or 1.8 can be very reasonably priced compared to the 1.6. Hint: drop the SuperDrive and go with the smaller HD, add them in later. Put the base RAM in but no more, and be sure to add bluetooth, as it's on the motherboard and can't be added later. Purchase a bunch of RAM from a 3rd party vendor, and you're good to go.

While you're playing around, have a hard look at the DualG4 base configuration, which is pretty much stripped of all the extras as it sits. For $2250, it's a true bargain. If money is tight, you have to shop in the basement.

Consider any software deals or display options that might be available with a new Mac as well.

There are really 2 things to consider when buying a computer (any platform). One is the initial cost, and the other is what it will cost to run (depreciation). If you're just stepping up to a desktop Mac, you may find it pays to get a bargain machine now and use the better resale value of that to help pay down the one you really want, 2 or 3 years from now.

My own rule of thumb is to never consider upgrading until the new machines are at least twice as fast as what I have; 3x is even better (best bang for the buck).

[ September 24, 2003, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 

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I make it a rule never buy at the bleeding edge. I feel that buying a newly introduced platform puts you in the position of paying a premium to be a beta tester. Just my view. My strategy with Macs is to buy the last model of a particular line just as they've reached the peak of their evolution - and are, ironically, being blown out the door at bargain prices.

My previous purchase was the ultimate G3 - a Blue & White 450. And now I've just picked up one of the latest and finest of the G4s (almost - I got the single not dual).

I had NO trouble selling my Blue & White (now a G4/500) at a decent price (for me and the buyer). It was gone before I even got a chance to post it here! Somebody said you don't get anything for a 3 year old mac - but my experience has always been that my old macs are still worth something to somebody - though I do upgrade them regularly.

When I consider upgrading I usually compare the price of upgrading to the cost of trading up. Or visa versa. My net outlay (new G4 & RAM minus old Blue) this time around was similar to the cost of purchasing a 1.25 cpu upgrade. But the highest I could take a B&W currently is 600. So all considered - I'm pretty happy with the transaction. The new G4 is faster in so many ways. The G5 promises even more - but I will wait and see.

One last thing - the G5/1.6 is a clip-winged G5 (slower bus, less max RAM, etc) - and, to me, harkens back to the G4/YIKES? Still, it IS QUIET - and very cool looking.

my 2c
 

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"In terms of overall performance, is a dual-processor 1.25 GHz G4 better than a 1.6 GHz single G5?"

... likely. Purchasing a G4 MDD will possibly save you the aggrevation of any teething pains a new G5 might experience. If it was my choice, I'd buy the dual 1.25 versus a single 1.6.
 

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Have to say that it is great to have a dilema as to whether to buy the newer single or the older Dual because they are both great in power and value....

Feels like a long time since there was anything but marginal speed bumps.... {That is not really true... just feels like it...}
 

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Why is it that when this debate comes up nobody mentions the Dual 1.47 (?) that was released?Is this a server machine or something?
 

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Damn!
 

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The 1.42 are still around are over priced but so is the 1.8 G5 UNLESS you are intending on loading it with RAM and then you should get the dual 2 anyway.
The 1.6 is the deal.
The 1.8 needs a better video card and needs to be a single 2.0 to justify the price.
Benchmarks show the 1.6 and 1.8 very close - not $500+ apart.
The bandwidth advantages of the G5 easily outweigh the currently minor lack in absolute processing against the dua G4s.
For anything short of heavy daily rendering in a Video suite the G5 should be the choice and the 1.6 is the value point for the individual with the dual 2 for the heavy lifting.

As to leading/bleeding edge we would normally be in complete agreement but in this case the G5 is simply a better engineered box than the MDDs even tho the latter have improved.

The G5 is very simply the best first gen box Aple has EVER introduced. It is just astoundingly stable.

Not a single test driver has had an issue and I abuse mine thoroughly even on a Beta OS with 3 months to go before release :eek:
If you don't have legacy PCI cards don't let leading edge put you off. We've had WAY more problems with MDDs than with G5s.
This is a great box and will only get faster as apps and OS catch up.
Apple did it right this time with the architecture and it shows in the clean design, well dressed cabling and rock solid stability. :cool:



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