View Full Version : Need advice, please

2006-01-18, 09:52
Hi, I have a problem deciding wich Mac to buy, why? Here's my story:
I'm a mac user since april 2000, I was looking for the best computer available at that time and I bought a Power Mac G4 500 mhz. the fastest Mac at the time, with a 21" Studio Display, all for $5,400.00 USD aprox., I was very pleased.
My next purchase, august 2001, was a Power Mac G4 867 Mhz. and a 22" Cinema Display, for $5,800.00 USD with 1.5 GB of Ram, preety fast compared to the 500 Mhz.
But now, even this PM it's not fast enough, I have a Powerbook G4 17", the last one, and it's really faster than my PM G4, the point is this:

1.I don't think it's a good idea to spend another 5-6K for the "fastest" computer just to discover the next 2 months (the case of my last PB I bought in november 2) it's going to be replaced with another one, I know this is how things work in the compters world, but this is ridicolous.

2.I only use Photoshop CS2 and Illustrator CS2 as a Pro programs, and I'm not a heavy user, I do video with iMovie or FCE, iTunes and surf the web, what I do want is the faster graphics card the computer can handle.

3.I think the new iMac is a very beautiful computer, what I don't know is how fast is compared to the 2 Ghz Dual Core G5.

4.Do you think it's better to buy an intel iMac rather than a Power Mac G5 with a Power PC processor?

5.Does anyone recommends the intel iMac over any of the existing Power Macs? Of course, not the Quad G5.

I think the actual iMac is a very good computer, should I buy now or wait for another revision with a speedier processor, or buy one of the actual Power Macs?

I'll appreciate all the comments about the intel iMac, because I haven't use one.

Thank you very much.

P.D. Sorry about my english, but I promise I'm trying my best.

2006-01-18, 09:58
The new iMac is a GREAT machine, but I really don't think it is FASTER than a 2GHz Dual Core G5 PowerMac. That being said, it MIGHT BE once the Universal Binary versions of CS 2, FCE, etc... ship. Basically, we just don't know exactly how fast the Intel iMac will be until those Universal Binaries come out. I DO think, though, that it will fit your needs fine since you say you are a light user of those apps.

Oh yeah, and your English is not that bad. At least you are making an attempt. :)

2006-01-18, 10:35
You shouldn't need to spend that much on the 'fastest' machine given the apps you use and the loads you'll require... high end movie making (FCP/Motion/DVDSP) and 3D rendering might demand the quad or the top machine, but if you're mainly a Creative Suite user (unless you're doing massive print work with gajillions of layers), you probably don't need the ultimate box and its ultimate price tag. Plus, you can probably reuse your existing 4 year old Cinema display (provided it's still displays proper colour).

Of the apps you mention heavy use of, only iMovie, iTunes and Safari are Universal Binary now. This means that even if you had an intel machine today, your Adobe apps and FCE would be running in Rosetta emulation and would suffer a serious performance hit (likely slower than they would be on a '2x slower' G5). Either wait for your core tools to ship in UB version (who knows how long) and wait for the benchmarks (who knows if they'll be that much faster in their first UB version), or get a G5 in the interim and enjoy known performance levels today.

There are a few benchmarks of the iMac G5 vs the PM Dual G5, but very few of the new intel Core Duo iMac, and of those, most of the main apps are still running in emulation, so it isn't a total picture of the performance they might have once those apps ship UB versions. Patience.

4) & 5)
It's a Rev. A... (normally a bit buggy compared to later models when they've ironed out problems), and the apps aren't optimized yet.
See below.

If you absolutely need a faster machine than you've got now, and you need it now, I'd suggest a G5, if only for the fact the apps are already optimized, and even a faster intel chip won't show its benefits with non-UB apps for who knows how long until Adobe updates CS apps.

If you can manage with your PB and PMs, I'd suggest you wait.
The intel machines are Rev. A, which always have quirks to work out.

By mid-year, there will be new machines (probably intel PM -or whatever they'll be called- ) and possibly some Rev. B models if they discover a problem that costs them a lot of returns between now and then.

A few months from now we may also see more UB apps, and/or a timeline on when to expect Adobe's CS tools to be Universal.

Hold off on buying anything if you can... a few more months will see more info for you to absorb for making more informed choices, and may see more choices too.

2006-01-18, 10:40
I agree with curiosuburb. What I mentioned above is what I would tell a person who NEEDED a new Mac NOW. You already have a decent (but in your words kinda slow) Mac. So hold off.

2006-01-18, 10:57
jcampa, the two apps you cite...if those are your most demanding apps, then I think you might be severely overbuying.

Why not just a nice $1299 17" iMac Core Duo next time around (once the Adobe stuff is Universal)?


I think if you do that, and pack it to the gills with RAM, you'd be well taken care of for a good while...for MUCH less money.

Remember too: the new Intel iMacs allow spanning now, so you could get a 17" (affordable) one and set it next to a larger display too, for lots of workspace (if that was a concern).

IMO, the $1,299 17" Intel iMac is Apple's new "sweet spot" machine. Plenty of power, dual-core, generous RAM allotment, nice graphics, gorgeous display, nice resolution, built-in wireless, bundled Mighty Mouse, all the necessary ports and I/O, small footprint, Front Row, iSight, DVI/spanning, fast hard drive, fast optical drive, great design, great price.


2006-01-18, 11:07
Thank you very much guys, this is really what I needed, a very good and complete explanation (thanks curiousuburb) of all things the iMac can give you for the money, now I'm more convinced with the iMac, and for my wife it's a more friendly machine.