G5 advice/opinions?

  • Posted: 09 May 2004 12:16 AM

    When the updated Dual G5’s come out, I’ll be getting one, but need some advice/opinions.

    First, how easy is it to change RAM, and how much is truly neccessary? I make music and have a streaming-from-disk software sampler coming in the mail that apparently greatly benefits from stacks of RAM. Does anyone have more than 2 Gigs, yet want more?

    Secondly, monitors. Is a dual set-up majorly beneficial (keep in mind I’m coming from a 14 inch G3 iBook) and if so, which do you want or have - two 15”/17”/19”/23”(!!)?
    I’m leaning on one monitor because of space issues, but can’t decide on a 17” or 19”.

    And lastly, Harddrives. Can they be upgraded? (stupid question maybe) If not, I’ll get the biggest I guess…

    Thanks in advance…

         
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    Posted: 09 May 2004 02:28 AM #1

    My boss has a dual proc G5.  I was allowed once to view it’s innards.  RAM installation is as easy as it gets.
    Buy quality.  Buy as much as you can afford.  Macs are quality (mostly), and any Mac likes same.  You may not use all of it now—but (sooner rather than later) you will.
    Remember, “There’s No Such Thing As Too Much RAM”.

    Ciao’

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    Posted: 09 May 2004 05:27 AM #2

    Re: G5 advice/opinions?

    [quote author=“samuel beckett”]First, how easy is it to change RAM, and how much is truly neccessary? I make music and have a streaming-from-disk software sampler coming in the mail that apparently greatly benefits from stacks of RAM. Does anyone have more than 2 Gigs, yet want more?

    I have a dual 1.8 and the RAM is about as easy to install as it gets, 2 Gigs is a great start.

    [quote author=“samuel beckett”]
    Secondly, monitors. Is a dual set-up majorly beneficial (keep in mind I’m coming from a 14 inch G3 iBook) and if so, which do you want or have - two 15”/17”/19”/23”(!!)?
    I’m leaning on one monitor because of space issues, but can’t decide on a 17” or 19”.

    I have 21” and a 17” and I can’t imagine not having one of them. If you use apps with lots of palettes there is no greater joy then having all the palettes open, easily accessible and viewable.

    [quote author=“samuel beckett”]
    And lastly, Harddrives. Can they be upgraded? (stupid question maybe) If not, I’ll get the biggest I guess…

    The hard drive is just about as easy to upgrade as the RAM, there is room for a couple (3 more I believe) extras, and I read about a company that makes something that adds two more. So if I am correct here (it is after all 5:30am so I could be wrong) you can have 6 hard drives total. You would need an extra ide card but they are cheap.

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  • Posted: 09 May 2004 09:00 AM #3

    On the dual monitor issue if one monitor is used to display application tools a 15” will suffice.

    RAM is very easy to add. On the hard drives the 7200 rpm drives will serve you well for authoring and rendering. I like having two drives available, but buy what you need on original purchase. It’s very easy to add/change a drive, but the convenience of having what you need on original purchase is a plus.

    The IBM chip architecture likes lots of RAM. OS X’s built-in memory allocation scheme also works best with lots of RAM espcially if you are running lots of pro-level apps.

    Best wishes on your purchase!

         
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    Posted: 09 May 2004 11:24 AM #4

    I remember seeing an article online that pointed out the benefits of RAM above 4GB fall off dramatically. While that may change with future versions of the OS, 4GB of RAM seems like a good target area to get the maximum benefit from your system. I’ll see if I can track down the article.

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  • Posted: 09 May 2004 01:52 PM #5

    As easy as RAM installation is in the G5 tower, it is probably worth remembering (if I recall correctly) that it must be installed in pairs, or at least worth remembering to check the owner’s manual before even buying.

    Also, the G5 currently only supports 2 internal HDs, by dint of the fact that there are only 2 drive bays and that SATA requires direct connections (cables are not shared between drives). It is possible to obtain a PCI card that will allow you to add drives, but where to put them inside the computer becomes somewhat problematic unless you never have to move it. There are adapters that would allow you to use an older HD on a SATA line, but they most likely would not work in a G5 drive bay. The easiest way to increase storage is probably firewire, with the added benefit that FW drives are more portable.

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    Posted: 09 May 2004 03:09 PM #6

    Sydde,

    I remember the article about what Doc is talking about. There is a product out there that will allow you to put two SATA drives in the G5 with no problem. It has it’s own chassis and all.

    Now if only I could find it on the net or in one of my MacWorlds..

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    Posted: 09 May 2004 03:57 PM #7

    Here is the   product I was talking about. It lets you have a total of 5 drives.

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  • Posted: 09 May 2004 08:42 PM #8

    There are 2 different product for sale that allow you to add hard drives.
    1 is a metal baffle that replaces the plastic one in the G5.  This setup allows 2 extra drives, but limits full size PCI cards.

    Second is simply a bracket that holds 3 drives, and gets mounted down near the ram (and is a cheaper, if less elegant solution).

    Both are linked here.


    Otherwise, it’s 2 serial ATA drives max, and RAm must be installed in pairs.

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  • Posted: 10 May 2004 01:28 AM #9

    If you can afford 2Gb RAM, that’s a fairly sweet spot.

    There’s so much bandwidth in the G5’s architecture that anything less, IMHO, would be compromising the hardware’s performance potential.

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  • Posted: 12 May 2004 12:20 AM #10

    Wow, this forum is great. Thanks for the advice everyone.

    As with many others, I’m going to wait for the upgrades to see all the RAM/HD/processor combos - who knows, 4 Gbs could be standard…  :wink:

    This is a question that will go nowhere, but what chance is Jobs of keeping his Dual 3Ghz promise? Will it come at the expense of something, or just kill my expenses?

    Thanks again…  smile

         
  • Posted: 12 May 2004 09:12 AM #11

    There is talk that IBM is on the verge of solving the problems associated with the smaller “90nm fab process”, meaning there is a real chance that we will see sanctioned 3.0 G5s by October (not on the shelves, probably, but more available than iPod minis currently are) and very possible a G5 PBs as early as January (next summer, more likely).

    I am hoping Apple considers a modular design for the next G5, where the basic machine can be relatively compact but can easily be attached to stylish housings for HD and/or PCI expansion as needed. I doubt that will happen, but I can always dream (Apple has not done anything particularly stunning or unusual lately, it almost seems like they are thinking same).

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    Posted: 20 May 2004 07:03 AM #12

    Speaking of modular…

    Does the G5 allow for a “swappable processor” housed on a separate card?  I haven’t had the benefit of getting to crack one of these babies open yet.

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  • Posted: 23 May 2004 10:12 PM #13

    Ooh, ooh, rumours! This french site has some…http://croquer.free.fr/

    For those who failed french…

    2004-05-20 - G5 Trinity at WWDC G5s equipped with the PPC975 (codename: Trinity) will be announced at WWDC and available at Apple Expo (not sure if this means MacWorld or Apple Expo Paris), at the latest. The PPC975 consumes an average of 65W at 3 GHz and uses 98 million transistors. All models will have 2 Superdrive and 4 hard disk bays. As for audio, 24-bit 192Khz at least, on the high-end machine. Apple and ATI will propose a PCI-express Fire GL graphics card.

    Config (may change):

    Single PPC 975 at 2.2 GHz
    AGP 8x
    FSB 1.1 GHz
    Superdrive

    Dual PPC 975 at 2.6 GHz
    PCI-Express 16x
    FSB 1.3 GHz
    Superdrive Extreme (dual layer)

    Dual PPC 975 at 3 GHz
    PCI-Express 16x
    FSB 1.5 GHz
    Superdrive Extreme (dual layer)

    Wow…  :D

         
  • Posted: 23 May 2004 10:21 PM #14

    SuperDrive Extreme with Dual Layer? That would have to mean support for moer than DVD-R, wouldn’t it? DV+RW would have to be part of the package?

    I don’t know why I’m assuming this to be the case, other than it seeming ludicrous to have dual-layer support in only DVD-R.

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  • Posted: 24 May 2004 08:11 AM #15

    In another 18 months or so, we should start to see high-speed SATA-II Bleus. 35Gb on a single-layer 5” disque will make RSDL look like a kludge (and your HD movies will no longer have that step in them at the turn-around point). So fail to get your knickers in a bunch over dual layer, it is already nearly obsolete.

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