NewsFactor reviews entry-level Apple Power Mac G5

“The single-processor G5, the entry-level box, occupies an odd spot: It’s the bottom-end version of a machine built for the highest of high-end users,” James Maguire writes for NewsFactor Network. “As I sat down to work with it, I wondered if it would blow away all my previous computing experiences. Sure, it’s the entry-level G5, but Apple claims the G5 is the world’s fastest personal computer. Virginia Tech University assembled a warehouse full of G5’s into a supercomputer now rated as one of the world’s fastest. The processor that powers the G5 is IBM’s PowerPC chip — the core of which can run servers, not just personal computers.”

Maguire writes, “Does the entry-level G5 scream? Not in my experience. A basic task like booting up a Web browser is certainly prompt, but it still takes several moments. And a more robust application like Photoshop definitely takes a few moments. A fast machine, yes. Blazing, no.”

“Of course, there are faster G5’s than the single-processor 1.6 GH model. By a long shot. The dual 1.8 GHz is faster, and the dual 2 GHz is fastest. (Yes, these machines actually have two processors. That’s forward looking.) The entry-level machine’s frontside bus clocks in at 800 MHz. The higher-end models run at 900 MHz and 1 GHz, respectively. But the attraction of the 1.6 GHz single-processor unit is price, and price is an issue that divides the G5 into two camps. The 1.6 GHz starts at US$1,799, within the range of general users,” Maguire writes.

Maguire writes, “The bottom line: The entry-level G5 may not be blazing enough to satisfy the high-end professional the G5 targets. But as a family or average user machine (granted, a pricey one), it has major pluses. Its 64-bit design means it will stay current for years to come, and its generous allotment of ports means you can use it for most anything. To top it off, you won’t have to worry about the plethora of viruses that plague Windows users. Just don’t expect it to scream.”

Full article here.

21 Comments

  1. This is complete Bullsh*t. I’ll put my single 1.8 w/ 1GB against his best PC crap and smoke it. I use high-end PCs at work and know exactly what they will do. I have a G5 at home and know what it will do.

  2. Aside from the speed issue, the G5/1.6 is an oddity with its standard PCI slots, 4GB RAM limit and such. I have been very pleased with the performance of mg G5/1.8 single at work. It handles multiple operations with ease and seems very responsive. I like speed and specs as much as the next engineer geek, but my G5 works well and is a pleasure to use. I suppose if I was performing work such as CAD, Maya or FCP then I would have a G5/2.0 dual and still be screaming for the release of the dual 2.5. But I believe that I will be happy with what I have at work for a few years.

  3. Actually, I think it’s a rather positive article. A little more tongue-in-cheek than I would have expected, but still good. That topper was the last line, about not having “to worry about the plethora of viruses that plague Windows users.” I must say, it was definitely a good, honest review.

  4. I thought about going out and getting a G5, my mates have, and it;s an impressive machine, but I still get all my work done on my Dual 867 G4. It takes everything I throw at it and asks for more.

    I am happy.

    I can wait…

    And if Apple is as predicatable as usual, I won’t have to wait too long before the next batch of upgraded G5’s are out!

    I can’t wait !!

    OK, ok, I’ve got it as bad as the next Mac geek, I want one now !!!

  5. Compared to a $1000 Pentium4, it’s not blazing. Just fast. The P4’s clock speeds count for a lot.

    Fortunately, Maguire notes the G5’s strongest point, which is OS X.

  6. The entry level G5 is a excellect choice for a lot of people. Its for someone who does’t need a top of the line machine, but doesn’t want to change machines very often, so having the G5 is a plus. I have a first gen. G4 tower (1999) and it still gets the job done, most of my PC friends have had two or even three computers in the time I have had this one computer. So it can cost more, because it wont become a dog as fast, how many people are still happy with their 1999 pc?

  7. Buffy, put that 1.6 in a headless mac and sell it for $900 and you would sell many millions, lots to pc users that want to use their old monitor. This is such a friggin obvious move that I cannot believe it has not happened yet.

  8. I have one, it gets the job done.
    I run a CAD modeling application on it all day.

    I am about to get a G5, though I am going to
    wait a few months and see what is un-veiled.

  9. I bought the 1.6 as my first desktop mac a month ago, and it has blown me away, I would say slightly faster in CPU-intensive tasks as my 3GHz Intel PC, and that is with only 512mb RAM, not bad for the entry-level machine. Once you factor in how sweet it is working with the Panther OS, my XP machine is a klutz by comparison. The ONLY downside I might mention is the weight, they really are as heavy as they look, even with the handles…

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