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Emergency: Intel iMac or iMac G5


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Emergency: Intel iMac or iMac G5
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mercmerc
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Join Date: Jan 2006
 
2006-01-12, 22:15

I really, really need some help here guys.

I've been a Mac user for many years, and I have NEVER had the money to buy the newest Mac when they were released.

Well this time, I smelled that something big was coming from Macworld, so I sold my G5 Powermac tower set-up early in December, hoping that my gamble would pay off I would be able to get a new system with the money. And if not, I would just pick up the latest iMac G5 iSight.

This is where the irony comes in.

I now, first the first time ever, have the money to buy the cutting-edge Mac, the Intel iMac, but after research I see that it will 1)not run final cut that I have (ver4.5), and 2)I will have to shell out hundreds of dollars to get a new version/upgrade IN MARCH! So if I get the new Intel iMac, I won't be able to use Final Cut for two months (I need to use Final Cut all the time), and frankly, I don't even know if I'll have enough money to buy the upgrade, or a new version. Damnit!

So now I'm actually considering buying the top of the line iMac G5 iSight (which will run all the software I have, NOW), or buying the Intel iMac, and walking a tightrope with a machine that I can't fully use unless I sell some blood to upgrade my software. I guess my real question is: am I completely crazy to NOT buy the latest Mac and actually buy the old version? [I 'can' buy the Intel iMac and wait and pay for the upgrade, but the two months of no Final Cut will hurt my business]

ADVICE???
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billybobsky
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2006-01-12, 22:24

Is this actually a serious question?

I think you have made up your mind, and the choice was obvious and the right one... get the imac g5... use the profits from the next year of your business and buy a second gen mac pro... all the bugs will be gone...
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mercmerc
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Join Date: Jan 2006
 
2006-01-12, 23:31

Thanks for the response. Any more opinions would be appreciated.

Two things I didn't mention:

1)The other reason this is a big decision is because I have almost always resold my Macs, and used the money towards a new Mac (been doing it for 10 years). So that's what also makes this a hard decision.

2)This is an emergency because I've been without an Final Cut editing computer for a month, I can't afford to be off any longer, I have to buy 'something' now. [typing this from an old old powerbook].


*Whiny Note: As to my post, I really think it's unfair that you have to pay again (Intel software upgrade) for something you already bought "just" because you are giving them "more" money for a new machine. It seems the right thing for Apple to do would be to offer free Intel software upgrade vouchers to anyone buying a new machine. Otherwise, it's like you're being monetarily penalized for buying into their new machines.
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chucker
 
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2006-01-12, 23:36

Um, I don't get this. You didn't seriously think that an iMac would be a good professional editing station for video compared to the PowerMac?
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mercmerc
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2006-01-12, 23:42

It wasn't so much about trading in for comparable specs per se, it was more about having a computer (the iMac) that I could easily move around. I have to travel the globe this year and need an editing station I can easily take with me. The tower simply isn't an option for that, and the PowerBook G4 wasn't either (old processor, etc.). So the iMac was fine. I've been using Mac for many years and the specs were fine for my needs (I wasn't doing star trek CGI, just basic final cut editing).
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BarracksSi
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2006-01-13, 00:33

Get the G5 iMac, and use it for the next four years or so. You'll have the best-ever PowerPC iMac model ever made.
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Dave_D
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2006-01-13, 01:31

And if you're travelling around the globe with it. An iLugger would be a good idea to keep it intact.
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Ebby
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2006-01-13, 02:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercmerc
[typing this from an old old powerbook]
How old? A powerbook can still run FCP, even if it is just temporarily until march or so.

I personally would use the Powerbook as much as possible until March. Maybe get a cheap external hard drive as a hold-me-over until then.

BTW, I still use a 400Mhz Pismo so don't tell me your 1Ghz+ laptop is slow.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
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alcimedes
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2006-01-13, 02:31

Plus you might be able to get a good deal on a used, high end G4 laptop as people unload them to buy the Intel models. Is the G5 really necessary?

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mercmerc
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2006-01-13, 03:07

Right now I'm working on a 667Ghz Titanium Powerbook G4, with a recently failed hard drive, which has forced me to boot from an external Firewire drive (running os x 10.4) to have a workable computer. Needless to say, I feel like I'm computing on a narrow ledge here. So I need something new very soon.

I thought about the G4 laptop option now that people will be trying to unload them, but passing up on a G5 seemed unwise. If the software upgrade prices weren't so high, this would be a no-brainer, but the Intel upgrade prices they are charging are like really high. I heard the $49 quote, but that's only for those who are super up to date. If you have FCP 4.5, like me, you've got to pay a whopping $200 bucks to have a usable app. Sounds small, but for me, that amount is big (when added to the price of a new machine with RAM maxed out). That, and I'm not totally confident that the pricey upgrade won't be really buggy somehow (FCP is very finnicky).

To crystalize all this down, really, since true speed gains in FCP (with third-party vendor plug-ins) are probably a year away, this decision is really about retaining RESALE value. Which is very important to me. If I hadn't been able to sell my two year old powermac G5, would even be able to entertain these choices. If I buy a G5 iMac iSight right now, it'll work just fine for my needs, but in terms of resale, I strongly doubt anyone would touch it a year from now as a resale item (at least not at a decent price).

Last edited by mercmerc : 2006-01-13 at 03:20.
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sloth501
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Join Date: Jan 2006
 
2006-01-13, 10:27

This is exactly the same quandary I had this week when Apple released the iMac-Intel. I had already decided to buy an iMac-G5 because I thought Apple would move their notebooks or the tower to Intel first since they just updated the iMac last month. After much debate, I went ahead and purchased a G5 last night because I can use the copy of Final Cut Pro that I have right now and don’t have to wait until March to upgrade.

As far as using an iMac for video editing…. The TV station that my Brother in Law works for does use iMacs for editing. If I remember correctly, they have 2 G5 towers and 2 iMacs in their editing bays. While my BIL does prefer to use the towers, he says the iMacs do a nice job. These units are used primarily for commercial and infomercial production so I doubt very little in the way of high end CGI is done on them either.

Hopefully you’ll get lucky and see a price drop in the G5’s in the next week or two as well. I know if the price drops in the next 21 days, I can get that difference back at the CompUSA where I bought it….Good Luck!
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bostongeek
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2006-01-13, 11:07

I would probably, if at all possible, go with a new Intel iMac or MacBook Pro. They are just much more powerful machines. If you can wait until the universal versions of Final Cut are released, that is what I would do. Apparently, if you currently have the latest version of Final Cut, you can crossgrade to the universal binary version for $49. If you dont have the most current version, it looks like they will offer fairly reasonable upgrade pricing (more info, apparently, will be released after February 1st).

You are going to get a lot more bang for your buck in the long run with the Intel based computers. In the short-run, it seems as though the G5 is your best bet. But, in the long run (and lets face it, you will probably have this computer for quite a few years) the Intel computer will fair better. Not only because it has better components (better video card, fast memory, etc), but because its resale value is probably a bit more predictable (if we believe that Intel-based Macs will hold their value like current Macs).

Just one person's opinion tho, and I don't have to live with it. I have an iMac G5 that I bought almost a year ago, and adore it. I am not looking to replace it anytime soon. Now, my PowerBook... that is a different story. I am hoping to get a MacBook Pro by the time summer rolls around.

BostonGeek

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curiousuburb
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2006-01-13, 11:14

Have you investigated the option to Lease a machine as a stop-gap measure? Some firms will let you upgrade the leased machine and/or apply your lease payments to the newer hardware as it becomes available, helping preserve your investment while maintaining the flexibility to juggle gear more than an outright purchase (with associated depreciation). Small premium in cost versus large gain in leeway. YMMV.

Might be another choice to ponder.
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skid_boy_99
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Join Date: Aug 2004
 
2006-01-13, 11:39

I bought a 20" iMac G5 on the 28th December. Returned it and have ordered the Intel iMac maxed out.

However with the BTO Graphics card and hard disc upgrades, it is saying 3-4 weeks to delivery. Oh well.

Considering that in <1 year all Macs will be running Intel, it is only prudent to go with the most future-proofed option. Plus listen to the rave experiences using the MacBook Pro - near instant power-on, super-slick multitasking.

Go Intel now, it's a no-brainer.
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bassplayinMacFiend
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2006-01-13, 13:17

If you're video editing and globe trotting, how can you not be making enough money from your business to cover hardware / software upgrades? IMHO, these costs should be built into your pricing plan.
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mercmerc
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Join Date: Jan 2006
 
2006-01-13, 15:24

Thanks for the responses guys.

BTW, I just saw something that has just confirmed that the Hardware Upgrade Panic has gripped many people in the Mac community. I just saw, get this, APPLE G5 DUAL 2.0 GHZ + 30 INCH APPLE MONITOR, all for $1500!!!! Not a scam at all, I checked.

D-mn!!

I mean sure, the set-up is out of date and all, but $1500? The 30-inch monitor alone is worth that (used). It's very hard to resist that deal, but I can't go backwards (even for the 30-incher). Wow.
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709
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2006-01-13, 15:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercmerc
APPLE G5 DUAL 2.0 GHZ + 30 INCH APPLE MONITOR, all for $1500!!!! Not a scam at all, I checked.
Sorry, but I find that extremely hard to believe.
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mercmerc
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2006-01-13, 15:32

Quote:
If you're video editing and globe trotting, how can you not be making enough money from your business to cover hardware / software upgrades?
Er, because globe trotting is expensive, and I live in New York City, where 50% of my income goes to rent.

I hear you though. I guess sucking it up for the software upgrade isn't "too" bad. But then all the third-party plug-ins I've payed for over the last few years may now be worthless, and I definitely can't afford to replace all those. Dang this is a hard decision...
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mercmerc
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2006-01-13, 15:35

Quote:
Sorry, I find that extremely hard to believe.
Right, and this is the part where I post the link to the set-up, right?

I have no reason to make that up. Remember, there are a good many people out there who don't really have money problems and can afford to sell for a quicky 'get rid of it' price. Still, selling the 30-inch WITH the tower for that price...ouch.
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709
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2006-01-13, 15:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercmerc
Right, and this is the part where I post the link to the set-up, right?
If you'd like you can just PM me.
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mercmerc
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2006-01-13, 16:01

Here's a quick question. If I "were" to purchase a used iMac G5 w/iSight from someone, what's the MOST you think I should pay?
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daMACdaddy
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Join Date: Dec 2005
 
2006-01-13, 16:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercmerc
Right now I'm working on a 667Ghz Titanium Powerbook G4,
Is that right? You might want to hang onto that Powerbook since even the fastest laptops these days hover around a measely 2Ghz :smokey:
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tommyo
 
 
2006-01-13, 19:34

My question would be why did you sell the PowerMac in the first place? I'm about to buy one in seven days, mainly because I'll be able to do everything that I need to do with it, it will last, and because I'm sick and tired of Windows. Sure, I would love to go with an intel-based PowerMac type system, but they're not here yet, and my old Windows box is acting up. That said, try finding a refurbed dual-processor or dual-core PowerMac that meets your needs.
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mercmerc
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2006-01-13, 20:27

I had a dual 2ghz powermac, and frankly, it was being wasted on me. the most intense thing I did on it was final cut. after testing my friend's imac G5, I was convinced that I didn't need as much expandability/etc. the tower had to offer. Sure it's nice to "know" you can max the machine out and start doing 3D animation, but after years of being a hardcore Mac user, I've realized that isn't my thing at all. In fact, I was just fine with my Powerbook G4 for Final Cut editing until I experienced the G5 tower.

So all that to say, I think the G5 tower is still great, but since I don't need it, this was the time for me to cash out and try to trade in for something fresher.

I'm starting to think my solution is to buy Final Cut 5, or Final Cut Studio off someone second-hand, and then eat the smaller price hit of the Intel upgrade. In the meantime, maybe I can snag a free second-hand copy of Avid from someone and use that for editing until March (since Apple sez everything will be somewhat usable under Rosetta 'except' Apple software).

See, all that jumping through hoops is what has me strongly considering just getting the latest G5 iMac. eh...

Last edited by mercmerc : 2006-01-13 at 20:33.
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alcimedes
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2006-01-13, 20:41

And I'd hold off an saying the intel machines are "much more powerful" until we've had some real world independent benchmarks to show for it.
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julesstoop
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2006-01-13, 21:23

Yeah man.
You seem to be more than just living on the edge, you are looking for it.
I mean, I don't know many people who would sell a reasonably fast and reliable machine and consequently accept to have to live without a production machine for a month or more expecting 'something big' would happen on MWSF.

If I were you I'd buy the faster iMac G5 and run my old software. OTOH, the new iNtelMac can drive an independant second display which is a huge plus when editing video.

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mercmerc
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Join Date: Jan 2006
 
2006-01-13, 22:50

So far (excluding answers that were on the fence) the general opinion is:

iMac G5: 5 votes

Intel iMac: 3 votes

Last edited by mercmerc : 2006-01-14 at 01:50.
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Dovek916
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2006-01-13, 23:44

if you look at, apple aint looking back, and in a year, you'd have to pay someone to take you g5 w/isight. pay the money to buy the universal adapterand you'll be happy
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billybobsky
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2006-01-13, 23:58

It is a first generation apple product... it will have issues... many...
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Dovek916
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2006-01-14, 00:12

but apple always has these "problems" and they are easy to get around because people figure them out and post the answers.
if you want the best of the best you'll always be waiting! get it now and you'll have a jump on everyone who gets one in march
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