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pvar's picture
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Joined: 2013 Jan 13
Are G5 DPs worth it???

Sorry, this not a Classic OS related question, but perhaps one of you has recent experience with it.

My MDD G4 (Dual 1.42) is superstar and handles all my OS9Boot and OSX 10.4 stuff with fluidity and ease, but now, I'm seeing some of the more reliable (non-liquid cooled) G5s on ebay for super cheap and wondering what you all think.

If my system is handling all I need well, will there be much of a boost for OSX stuff moving up to a G5?

I remember years ago using G5s at a job and not feeling that they were noticeably faster than my eMac G4, but now with TenFourFox's high overhead and doing much more with video/3D rendering now, am curious if this might be worth dropping a couple of C-Notes on to stash in the closet and run from my MDD with a VNC client (would never actually have the thing at my desk - looks too modern and quaint ;0)

What have all of your experiences been?

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max1zzz's picture
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Joined: 2010 Oct 3

For video encodeing the g5 will beat your g4 hands down, however in just normal use, you wouldn't see too much difference (at least i didn't...)

it is also worth noting, g5's are loud as hell, espically under high loads

pvar's picture
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Joined: 2013 Jan 13

Thanks Max! Loud as hell??? I guess I am lucky with my MDD, as it is one of the quieter ones. Another good reason to run a G5 from a distance with VNC.

max1zzz's picture
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Joined: 2010 Oct 3

yeah they get pretty loud, not unbearable though (not like haveing a Xserve g4 on you desk, those are really damn loud!)

But the the g5's are nice machines though, gotta rebuild mine at some point (i had a damn liquid cooled one, gonna air cool it Wink )

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

Gotmy dual 2.5 G5, SO much faster and quieter than my dual 1GHz MDD - so 'd recommend it in a flash. Big benefits:
Much bigger and faster video cards - some have ADC support too. 8x AGP instead of 4x AGP in the MDD.
SATA drives - I use a 2TB and a 3TB, instead of toping out at 500GB in the MDD.
RAM - up to 8GB instead of 2GB
64-bit operation - only 32-vit in the MDD.
Noise - the G5 has a much quieter drone sound compared to the MDD. Not as quiet as my Mac Pro (almost silent) but the MDD is deafening in a smaller room
USB 2
FW400 and FW800

As you've probably already worked out, make sure you get a dual processor model, OSX 10.4 and 10.5 have a lot of background activity that interfere with whatever you're doing on a single CPU.

Only downside you might find is the single optical drive, but I still have my MDD and Mac Pro if I want to backup my optical media directly (without making a toast or other image to HDD first).
I suppose only 2HDDs can be annoying if you're in the habit of always swapping them about, but once you get to multi-terabyte drives you don't swap out any more.

I would love another dual (or quad) 2.5 / 2.7GHz but they still go for silly money here because of the students. Hopefully there will be a deluge of G5s on the market when they all graduate soon.

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

@bertyboy -- DAMN!!!

That is a kickass G5 !!

pvar's picture
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Joined: 2013 Jan 13

I guess I really got lucky with my MDD, because I always hear these horror stories about them being like jet-turbines and such but really mine sounds just like a Quicksilver most of the time. The only time it sounds loud is for the first hour or so after booting into OS9, but since the firmware update that has not really been too bad (usually just turn up the sound sticks a notch or two and don't really notice it after that). It really does sound like a G5 would be nice though, to have when needed. I have seen several DP models for 2-3 hundred dollars (3-4 hundred when you add shipping) on ebay and for doing video and 3D rendering, it would save a lot of time.

Thanks for all your feedback. Software has actually kept up pretty well for me, but we can always use more power from time to time, and if you can do it cheap - Hurray!!

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

I guess I really got lucky with my MDD, because I always hear these horror stories about them being like jet-turbines and such but really mine sounds just like a Quicksilver most of the time.

I think so. Maybe (and fortunately) your MDD was one that went through the Apple PSU exchange and firmware update back in the day, while still under warranty, making your MDD behave in a more civilized manor. - See this old xlr8 article First Fan Mods in a PowerMac G4 MDD Tower.

You can also (still) DL the official DIY "Power Mac G4 (MDD) Power Supply Exchange Program" for how to instructions, in PDF & MOVs, from Apple.

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

$200-$300 is quite high for a dual G5 now, US, Aussie or Kiwi. If you're looking on Saturday and Sunday nights, that's probably about right. Look for stuff that finishes before 10am during the week, bargains to be had - seen G5's go for NZ$65, got my 8 core intel xserve with 8GB RAM for NZ$400. Watching a PMG5 just now for $50.

pvar's picture
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Joined: 2013 Jan 13

one that went through the Apple PSU exchange

This was the very last one (was originally a single 1.25 GHz - Later added the Dual 1.42 card to it). So probably by that time they were coming standard with the quieter parts. That having been said, when in OS9, before upgrading the final firmware was pretty painful with a constant cycling of the fan from super high to low over the course of about 4 seconds (Sort of like if Police drove around chasing bad guys in giant vacuum cleaners). After the update, it blows pretty hard at first and then finally settles at a medium level which isn't too bad.

$200-$300 is quite high for a dual G5 now, US, Aussie or Kiwi. If you're looking on Saturday and Sunday nights, that's probably about right. Look for stuff that finishes before 10am during the week, bargains to be had - seen G5's go for NZ$65, got my 8 core intel xserve with 8GB RAM for NZ$400. Watching a PMG5 just now for $50.

Superb point. Hadn't thought of this in connection with one of these but you are right, those auctions that end at 9AM on a Tuesday are often great (barring eSnipe-of course :0))

This whole PPC thing really still has me thinking, has the computer industry (and Apple too) really screwed us on this x86 thing? We have very rural (functional, but not too fast) internet here and so have been using the Nintendo Wii for Netflix and stuff, which runs a 700MHz G3 cpu, and it still amazes me who it handles Netflix's Silverlight plugin as well as the web-browser on the console, that gets used from time to time when the MDD is running OnyX or doing a backup. How have we gotten back into bed with CISC processing when RISC is so OBVIOUSLY superior (especially for the money)??

Several of my friends have the new WII U and it, with its 'TriPlex' G3s seems just as peppy as anything else I've ever used. Moreover, after doing several Ubuntu installs for customer's on PCs, and seeing how x86 performs on several tasks, I am just NOT Impressed, especially when it comes to multi-tasking.

I think this is more about lazy programers and lack of desire to run compilers properly that has necessitatated x86s return, since it can pretty much parse anything, even if it doesn't do it very fast. Well at least Nintendo and ARM are continuing to show the world how to do it right.

I just secretly wish in my soul that Apple would have dumped IBM and kept Motorola and evolved the 7448 Freescale stuff. They really missed the boat (IMO) on that one.

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

I remember the jump to Intel came after IBM's PPC roadmap just stopped, they had nothing substantial in planning. Intel, on the other hand, had a roadmap for the next 7 years, with multiple cores (up to 50 core CPUs), reduced die sizes to help reduce heat and throuhgput, and so on. The roadmap on 50 cores was brilliant, the individual cores would run until they got too hot to operate efficiently, the inidividual cores would go "off" until they cooled down enough to take more instructions.

When I'm busy with HQ video encodes into H264, what my dual MDD takes 25 hours to encode, my dual G5 takes about 5-6 hours, but my Mac Pro does it in under 4 minutes. First time I ran it, I thought it was broken.

Ebay / other - yes, you also need patience. I've chased plenty of kit that I didn't get, just outbid at the end. There will always be more, and for the right price. Missed an ATI card for my Mac Pro one week at $80, month later I got two for $32.

pvar's picture
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Joined: 2013 Jan 13

When I'm busy with HQ video encodes into H264, what my dual MDD takes 25 hours to encode, my dual G5 takes about 5-6 hours, but my Mac Pro does it in under 4 minutes. First time I ran it, I thought it was broken.

That is a good point. Most of the work I have done for customers is on systems 4-8 years old (Pentium 4s/Ds, Core 2 Duo, AMD 64, etc). In Linux, by in large even the best of them perform about identical to my MDD for H.264 and such, and quite a bit slower if also web-surfing/listening to music/watching a DVD (Mine is very well optimized and multiprocesses very well). I am told that since Sandybridge/Hyperthreading, things have really gotten better for Intel, and barring their monopolistic business model, they are really making some good stuff. Have not actually done much with the newer stuff. I just remember the first two generations of Intel Macs being pretty disappointing (permissions never verify completely, lots of kernel panics etc).

At some point will look into what they have to offer now. I just keep hearing about how hard there newer stuff is to upgrade and the new Mac Pros don't even have expansion bays. This is troubling - because if you by an iMac or Laptop, it will be hopelessly obsolete in 4-5 years and to get long-term usefulness, you have to cough-up serious money upfront. It seems the value equation is not as good as it used to be.

Will probably pick-up a 12-core Mac Pro Running 10.6 at some point - these machines should be pretty long-term serviceable and the prices are finally getting reachable.

I still think their is no value like OS9 though ;0) Was showing off to my brother the other day and opened about 6 hundred images (500-600 pixels or so) in one second, and closed all just as fast. He was stunned!!

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

@bertyboy, I remember moving from a Core-2-Duo 3.0GHz to a Core i3 3.0GHz. Rebuilt the database for Serials2k.

Comparison:

Core-2-Duo = 57secs
Core-i3 = 8secs

I thought it was broken too... I'm sure with my 3.6GHz Phenom II x4, I could do it in 4 seconds now Smile

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

To reinforce my pont about Sunday night buying, just seen a dual 1.8GHz G5 auto-bid up yo $132. We know that this model is limited to four sticks of RAM (came with 1GB). Avoid this one, 4GB RAM max and 33MHz PCI slots will upset you.

But there's another model on sale, finishes Wednesday 10am, no specs given, 4GB RAM suggested, only know it works. But from the photos, I can see an ATI Redeon 9600 card in it. A photo from the back shows an ADC and a DVI port on the card - this card came only with the dual 2.5GHz. I can see 8 RAM slots in the photo, two HDD's, we also confirm that it's dual because of the 'G5" markings on the inside - it has 2, single cpu G5's have only 1. Anyway, it's up with a Buy It Now of $100.
Sunday night buyers, eh ?

pvar's picture
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Joined: 2013 Jan 13

I am probably going to pick one up in the fall. My G4 is good for now, but will be back at graphics/web/video by Christmas.

My brother though is ready NOW to buy after reading all of your comments. Thanks Guys!