Apple just keeps on rockin' and rockin' harder
I work on an Apple at work. I have to admit I was one of those Windows people who hated Apple only because of a few bad experiences I had on a few Apples (not in the same place). But my office got me a G5 to edit on, and my feelings have gone from hatred to love for Apple. I love the G5 we have . . I'm sure I could go on with reasons why but you all already know those reasons . . it's just magic wrapped up in one computer box. Anyway . . I want to buy one for myself now. But in the short time that I have been working on this Apple at work, I have learned that Apple loves to continuously update their equipment.
I've read that later on Apple will be using Intel chips. When , if anybody knows, will this happen? I know that I'll have to wait until then. I don't want to buy an Apple now, and then the Intel ones come out. I'd rather wait.
But then there are the bug stories I've heard. I guess I am lucky because the G5 we got was a second wave one (2.5) . . Would Apple be willing to fix the bugs under the waranty? I know that might seem like a silly question, but remember which world I'm used to . . Dell and Windows :)
I mean if I buy the first Intel G5s when they come out . .or whatever they're called . . and it has bugs in it . . the computer will not be stuck with those bugs right, they'll have lots of updates will they not? Somebody online told me that the bugs are never serious issues, and easy fixes anyway.
The only bugs I've experienced on the office G5 is Safari shutting down all the sudden, and my Final Cut Pro program (4.5) does not do the Capture Now function. I have to log everything first before I can capture. Capture now will freeze the program up. I think the bugs could be due to the fact that my office refuses to take the Mac off the network , and we're also using an AJA IO la.
Answer this question for me:
What will you be using this hypothetical Mac for? What programs do you want to run?
I mean, I know you're a video person, but do you want to use iMovie for home projects? Final Cut Pro for big projects? Final Cut Express so you can log at home and take the file to work? Motion or Garage Band so you can make elements to take to work? Would you own your own copy of Photoshop?
Fill us in a little on what you'd do with this machine and I can offer far more detailed advice than I could at this moment.
Final Cut Pro HD
Motion (still learning)
IDVD, but trying to convince the office we need DVDSP
Those are all the programs I work with at work. So I'd want the similar system for my personal use. Similar strength that is, or more with the Intel chips. I already have people asking me to make commercials for their local companies too.
As far as audio programs go, I do not have any experience with them.
And yes, I'd also buy Photoshop . . whatever the latest version was when I decide to buy one soon, or wait till the intel chips hit.
This is just my opinion, but it's what I'm doing myself so I believe in it.
I'd suggest jumping in and just buying a Powermac now. Even the lowest Dual-2.0 model should do you just fine. (Get the 2.3 if you plan on lots of DVD projects over 1 hour in length. Compressing takes time.) Add a second SATA hard drive yoruself, upgrade the graphics card for $50 from Apple, and buy 4 GB of RAM from someplace like crucial.com and put that in yourself.
That will give you a nice solid system to use over the next 2 or 3 years. In that amount of time you can watch as the Intel machines come out and every software company updates their products bit by bit. Then, you can switch to a new Mac at a point when you feel that all the software you want has new versions that are optimized for the Intel Mac and that any small bugs have been worked out of the Intel machines.
Apple says that software written for the G5 will work on the Intel Macs but I'm sure there will be a performance hit to doing that. I'd rather wait until I can just jump to a total Intel-based system instead of moving inch by inch.
I'm going to hang onto my (now 1.5 year old) G5 for at least another year. Once the majority of the "switch" has taken place I'll upgrade all my pieces at once. The next version of OS X will probably come out near the end of next year...I'll probably start thinking about upgrading at that point.
Cutting-edge technology sure is fun to look at, but I usually like to buy about 6-months behind the curve when it comes to computers. I think I usually get a better value on a safer, more stable system.
Like I said, that's just an opinion. We're getting close enough to Intel Macs that I know quite a few people are just going to wait for them. But those are mostly people who already HAVE G5 machines. If you have no Mac at home then I think owning a G5 for the next 2 years is better than owning no Mac for 1 year and an Intel Mac for 1 year. You may have the most advanced Mac next year by going with the waiting-plan but you give yourself less play-time than if you just buy now and hold off on upgrading to Intel for a little while.
That's totally up to you to decide, but hopefully you can see why I think the way I do.
Yo, Jeff... That's a really useful post! I'd like toget one of those G5 Quad dealies... I had been thinking and wondering if I should wait until the Intel macs come out... but then backtracking because I have a feeling there will be 'issues' for a good little while. Plus, there could be problems interfacing with clients that may have a either G4's or current G5's.
So I found your post helpful. I think I'll go ahead and get one now, then get an Intel Mac in a few years when all the bugs have been cooked. In the meantime, I'll have a rockin' system that would put my current one to shame. A G4 733 mhz. It's been great for the last four years... never a single problem. But time to move on!
[Matthew giffin] "Yo, Jeff... That's a really useful post! I'd like toget one of those G5 Quad dealies... I had been thinking and wondering if I should wait until the Intel macs come out... but then backtracking because I have a feeling there will be 'issues' for a good little while. Plus, there could be problems interfacing with clients that may have a either G4's or current G5's.
So I found your post helpful. I think I'll go ahead and get one now, then get an Intel Mac in a few years when all the bugs have been cooked. In the meantime, I'll have a rockin' system that would put my current one to shame."
Another strategy would be to get a less expensive G5 (maybe discontinued or refurbed) and not wait as long to update to an Intel Mac.
The dual 2,7 is a good bargain at the moment and still has the pcix slots if you need them.
DEFINITELY buy RAM and a second HD from someone else than Apple. Way overpriced stuff, but go with Crucial or some other brand RAM. (I've ended up with only Crucial after some non-brand problems). Samsung should be good, too, as that what Apple is mainly putting in.
For uncompressed work I've built an external SATA RAID in a PC-Box with the Rocket RAID 1820A card as a basis. 8x400 SATA disks makes the world spin faster. And an internal 2x400 RAID...
If you're picking up a second hand machine, get one with eight RAM slots and as many PCIX slots as possible. (This differ a bit from model to model)
And get a good videocard if you're working with motion. (I think Shake also is affected by this)
An advantage with the PCI-E macs (apparently) is that some of (or all) the rendering - not only previewing - in Motion is done in the GPU.
That's worth a lot of hours, if true.
Apparently the 7800 GT is the best price/performance buy. (And it doesn't steal two of your precious PCIE slots)
If possible, I'd buy the quad. My experience is that buying the "top" machine gives a considerable longer lifespan that more than pays for the extra $$$.
(Formerly owner of SE/30 - / 9600 / B&W 400 1st ed
Currently running a Dual G5 2Ghz 1st ed/6 GB RAM/FCP studio/Cubase SXC3 + a TiBook 667/100Gb HD/1Gb RAM)
[Gunleik Groven] "An advantage with the PCI-E macs (apparently) is that some of (or all) the rendering - not only previewing - in Motion is done in the GPU.
If possible, I'd buy the quad. My experience is that buying the "top" machine gives a considerable longer lifespan that more than pays for the extra $$$."
There has been speculation that in the future with PCIe the GPU will be able to perform the rendering.
As fast as computers improve getting a longer lifespan is not necessarily the strategy. Another option is to purchase a less expensive model initially and upgrade more frequently.
[MitchJi] "As fast as computers improve getting a longer lifespan is not necessarily the strategy. Another option is to purchase a less expensive model initially and upgrade more frequently."
Agreed! Just my two cents thus far... Bying highspeced machines has this far saved me a lot of cash. And the Quad definitely seems to pick up som of the lag the nonexisting 3Ghz G5 created.
And the upgrade expendses are more than the $$ for the machine. You have to take into consideration all the transitional costs (if you are not in a big shop) of moving all your setups from one machine to another.
Still just my two cents -;)
Another bit of advice for now is to not rush to FCP 5....
Ive been a mac user since i had an LC, and always a pusher.
Recently as ive learned to know this system and FCP inside and out,
any problems are now gaping holes and glaring errors.
This is very frustrating because this system can be a rock on one hand,
but on the other can frustrate to such a level....
While FCP has stepped forward with its capabilities with its move to version 5,
it has stepped backwards with its stability... which is even more important.
Awesome responses all. But let me be redundant , just a tad.
Get the G5 now, so that when Apple releases the Intel Macs I'll still have a good G5 while the Intel macs get all the kinks worked out. Plus the Intel mac will still not have all the software written for it, so it's still better to get a current G5.
Then I read people saying I could just upgrade. Still being windows minded, I'm confused with this. I had always been told by people that you could not upgrade Macs from G4 to G5, etc. etc. That you had to restart and buy a completely new system.
So if I bought a G5 now, I could upgrade it to the Intel macs, cheaper than buying a brand new Intel mac?
The upgrade from G5 to intel will most likely never happen.
My upgrades have been:
From 512 mb RAM to 6 Gb
From 1 160Gb HD to 2x 400 raided internal + 8 400gb sata Raided external
From stock gpu to the hottest and newest
But with these upgrades, my mac is still in competitive shape 2 years after bying it...
(Who hopes to pic up one of the last high-end G5's when that happens...)