Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 49 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2005 4:52 PM by Nigel Hamlin
Michael McGarry Level 1 (105 points)

I have admired Apple computers since I was a child and even used the old Macs in high school (15 years ago). Finally, 2 years ago, I bought my first Apple system. I bought an iBook G4 12". I was smitten with Mac OS X. The power and tools from the Unix world married with the ease of use and attractiveness of the previous Mac OS versions. I now find Windows to be extremely inferior.

Unfortunately, my iBook had several quality issues that required it to be sent in for repair a few times. The genius bar system has been an extreme pleasure to use for support and repair. Apple even felt bad about all the repairs my iBook had to endure and they recently gave me a new iBook. (Very cool!!)

I now want to throw my Windows desktop in the trash and get an Apple desktop. Power Macs are a little too expensive for me right now. So, I am considering a 17" iMac G5. To avoid any issues with quality I would appreciate it if those who already have this system could share the pros and cons with me. I would be interested in Pros and Cons related to performance and quality. Has anyone had any issues that required repair? How is the performance compared to PCs and compared to the Power Macs?

Does anyone recommend a different Mac? (Mac mini or Power Mac)

Has anyone else recently switched to Mac? Please share your experience.

Forgive me, if this has been repeated in this group before.



iBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.3)
  • howwow Level 4 (3,500 points)
    Hi Michael, I am very delighted to help you answer your queries, from one mac lover to another...

    I think this is my 4th or 5th Desktop Mac that I owned, the last was the G4 Cube which I "loved to death" also I put in considerable upgrades, but the lure of the iMac G5 was simply just too powerful, I also had an iBook 12" and now own a PowerBook 12".

    iMac G5 Pros
    •Relatively "cheap", affordable - for everything you need in one sleek and extremely beautiful design, you can't find another in the market today
    •Space Saver - takes up little space, light-weight, easy to carry around, even to the Service Centre
    •Less wire clutter - if you go totally wireless with the keyboard, mouse and internet. But I would hold on to the Mighty Mouse
    •For a consumer mac, its G5 power is more than adequate for your computing needs, from iLife apps to games etc
    •You get a "free" iSight camera built-in

    iMac G5 Cons
    •Limited Expandability - Only supports up to 2.5G Ram right now, with just one Ram slot in the Rev. C, so you must choose your Ram wisely; Same goes with one Hard Disk, Graphics Card etc, it's all built-in, you will need to get external FireWire drives, should you one day run out of the (BTO) 500G HD space!
    •Only up to 20" Screen Space, if you want something bigger, you might want to opt for the Mac mini
    •Fan noise - this is really user-dependent, some suffer from constant buzzing and fan noise, especially from the Rev. As, some Rev. Bs, but others have absolutely quiet iMacs...
    •Hard or Impossible to Upgrade - again, with everything in a sleek enclosure, but harder if you want to change or add a new HD, upgrade a new Graphics Card, add another PCI card etc etc... but then and again, if you need to do all that, you'd probably better off with a Pro Mac G5

    I think that's about all I can contribute, but seriously, I would advice you to get the 20" iMac instead, the screen size is just nice, nowadays for home consumer computer needs, if you notice, LCD screen models are coming out with more and more 19" and above... You won't regret the 20", I love mine just the way it is...

    Althought it is a G5 processor, of course the computing power cannot be compare to a Pro G5, which has higher processor speed, front side bus, video ram, dual core etc, those are meant for pro running applications, if you find yourself needing to run apps like FCP, Motion etc everyday, then you should be looking for the G5

    Other than that, I think the iMac G5 20" is the "perfect home consumer" mac.


    iMac G5 20" (Ambient Light Sensor)   Mac OS X (10.4.3)   250G HD, 2G Ram
  • Nigel Hamlin Level 1 (5 points)
    Hi Michael,

    Take a look at what I wrote earlier, to a sort of similar question:



    iMac G5 (iSight 2.1GHz), PB G3 (WS 300 MHz) and 9600/350   Mac OS X (10.4.3)   Also still running 10.2.8 and 9.1 (for posterity!)
  • Hawaiian_Starman Level 7 (21,405 points)
    I recently purchased the 20" iMac. This is a great machine. Mine is very quiet. No dead pixels on a brilliant screen. I have no need for upgrading the system. I maxed out the RAM, and the machines speed (Photoshop/ Adobe Creative Suite/ iMovie etc. is more than adequate for me.

    What I like most is that the unit looks very clean on my desk. Friends are amazed when they realize everything is contained in one unit - a very sleek one at that.

    If you don't have high-end processor needs, I suggest you consider the iMac, or if wanting something more portable either a laptop or a MacMini. The high end machines tend to be on the noisier side, as fan requirements are more demanding. In any event, the computing experience is very efficent, user friendly, and far beyond anything a Windows system can produce.
  • Nick Stearns Level 3 (850 points)
    As someone earlier said it depends on your needs. If you don't think you'll be needing to upgrade beyond 2.5 gig RAM or any other internal upgrades the iMac is your computer. You can always upgrade hard drive externally.

    I have the 20" 2.1 iMac iSight model. I am very pleased and if I had the money I would buy another so the wife and I could use simultaneously.

    Mine is whisper quiet, and I do mean whisper. Only when I am really using the computing power do I hear any fans at all and then they are very quiet compared to Rev B. When burning CD's or DVD's you get some noise but not a lot.

    Seriously consider a 20 inch model. The 17 inch gets a little claustrophobic after a while.

    Good luck on your decision.
  • Michael McGarry Level 1 (105 points)
    Thanks howow this was a very thorough reply.

    I think in terms of the hard drive it is no big deal to go firewire after using up the internal hard drive.

    For the graphics card, since I am not a gamer I do not care too much.

    I am concerned about the RAM. It is unfortunate that it only has one upgradeable slot. I think Apple should of at least added another user upgradeable slot.

    I would go for the 20" model but it costs an extra $400USD. That puts it a little outside of my target price range. If there was a real compelling reason to spend that $400, I would probably do it.

  • Macsastic Level 4 (3,380 points)
    I have the iMac G5 rev C-iSight version too. I have the 20" and lemme tell you, if I were given the choice between iMac G5 17" or the Mini Mac and say a 20" ACD, id go Mini Mac. The 17" version of the iMac G5 uses a much less beautiful screen. The viewing angles are small with the 17". The 20" however is gorgeous!!! Everything about the iMac G5 20" REVISION C--(thats important! A or B had mmultiple problems!) everything about this machine is great.

    1.) 20" screen is magnificent.
    2.) Fast, fast, fast!
    3.) Rev.C includes all the extras u had to buy with rev.A. (ie. Airport Extreme card, Bluetooth, iSight camera, and remote control for Front Row.
    4.) This machine is absoltely SILENT! I mean you cant tell its running unless you see the screen lit up. Seriously, dead silent.
    5.) I owned the Rev A iMac G5 and besides the noise, the HEAT was enough to make me hot just using the machine. This one runs very cool. The machine is cool to the touch anywhere you touch it. Except at the vent on the back. Thats the only place the machine is even warmish. Not HOT like the entire unit was in Rev A.
    6.) Beautiful addtion to any room.
    7.) Pride in ownership.
    8.) You can sleep tight knowing the problems of Rev A and B have all been worked out. The insides of this machine had been moved around so that the heat producing parts are at the top of the units case. Right by teh vent and an addtional vent was added behind the alluminum arm to add to cooling.
    9.) I play World of Warcraft and the video card is amazing! I played for almost a year using the Rev A iMac G5 that had 64mb and had no idea the game was so beautiful!
    10.) I ran 2gb in the rev A and only have 512 now in thsi one and the speed is faster! The different ram is very fast!!! Very fast!

    1.) I do wish there was 2 user slots for memory instead of one, BUT the memory IS very fast.
    2.) Internal speakers are not very good. Not bad but they dont have alot of space so with the space they have the speakers arent bad.

    Hope this helps you alittle. I promise you this, there has NEVER been a better time to buy an iMac!!!
  • Paul Csibrik Level 1 (30 points)

    Be aware there have been lots of complaints about buzzing sounds coming from the lower left front of the iMac display. If you choose to buy one, buy it from an Apple store, with no modifications, and return it within 14 days if you don't like it.

  • Apple007 Level 1 (15 points)
    I want to add few observation of my own as being simultaneous user of mac and windows. I had 20 inch (isight) imac two weeks ago, it is a really cool machine to own , pretty slick, beautiful and very functional. I like os x tiger with all bundled application.

    My unit is whisper quiet but I had to return it for screen problem where mouse click on the desktop would leave circular dots on the screen and in no time screen will be filled with hundreds of dots. I took it to genius bar and they verified it and gave me the new machine. Now its mighty mouse acting up it would not select any hyperlink on the web page and if I click on desktop and move it it would draw a box. In short I am concerned that quality is a problem when you try to squeeze all computer stuff in a tiny box which has heat generating capabilities.
  • James Packer Level 2 (195 points)

    I would not overly worry about the quality issues. I have a Rev A 20" now over a year old and is working perfectly. Yes there is a little fan noise but only once the machine gets hot and to be honest it doesn't bother me.

    As for the new Rev C the ram issue shouldn't be a problem unless you are a prefessional video editor and then you would be buying an iMac your never going to need more than 1.5gb.

    As for speed the iMac is significantly slower than the current generation of G5 towers, but they come at a price; space and cost.

    The only issue I have with the rev c macs is the clumsy camera with it's pin hole. The black square really doesn't sit well with the sleek design. I would have expected apple to have done something smarter than this.

    All in all I'd recommend the iMac it's by far the best value Mac but you must go for 20" you'll only regret the 17" later.
  • Macsastic Level 4 (3,380 points)
    Speaking on the heat issue, I owned the first ones to roll off the line. I bought a Rev A. iMac G5 the day it came out and had HUGE problems with it. Here is my own personal opinion of what Apple did wrong with this model.

    The iMac G5 is no small feat of engineering! I mean like the previous poster stated, its amazing they were able to fit all these heat generating components into such a small package. The first revision was IMO a terribly faulty machine. In 10 months, I had to replace a mid-plane assembly, a motherboard, a graphics inverter, a power supply and a Superdrive. Eventually after all these problems I started having power issues AGAIN. I was lucky enough to have my machine replaced with the new Revision C iMac G5 iSight. I dont think the first two models had the cooling down yet. I think Apple released this machine way to early and should have done much more experiments with what they could do with getting rid of the heat. The answer, and the only reason I agreed to a replacement and not a refund was that they TOTALLY redid the iMac G5 this time around.

    They put all the heat generating modules at the top of the case, nearest the vents. Before these items had been placed at the bottom and the heat would just cook the insides and is the reason so many people I know personally had problems. They also flipped the insides around to face the back of the machine. The first gen had them facing the screen which in itself generated heat, so they created somwhat of a furnace with all the heat being focused to the center. Now they are both facing away from each other. The Screen and motherboard face away from each other. Which has got to add to the ability of this machine to dissapate heat. Heres a link to compare what the insides looked like in Rev A and what they look like now.

    As you can see they did alot to change this recent model. I have noticed that where my first Rev. iMac was HOT to touch on the outside of the case, the new one is cool. There is only two spots on the outside that are even moderately warm. No HOT areas can be found on this one. The first revsion was hot in many places and most of them were located on the lower part of the outside case.

    So anyway, i just wanted to give my two cents of the heat issue. I had alot of first hand experience with two different models and I must say, I think Apple got it right this time. The wonderful computer they promised the first two revsiions wasnt quite there. With the newest revsion, I believe its been delivered and with the extras they threw in like the iSight camera being built in, the faster memory, the built-in Bluetooth, and Airport card all for me make up for the year of **** I went through.
  • Glorfindeal Level 6 (9,330 points)
    And why is that, most pc's can't even expand to 2 gb. If you build your own, a lot of the motherboards only allow 2gb, some 4gb put with some issues. The iMac can expand to 2.5 gb which is better than most.

  • 0b81 Level 1 (10 points)
    I have the 17" iMac G5. I bought the 17" mainly because I am an impatient person and needed my iMac THAT day. Anyway, the 17" screen is VERY good. Perfect for veiwing from acroos the room. The lighting is great and everything. My friend has a 20". You really can't notice the difference until you are about 10-15 ft away. besides size, the 20" screen is the same as 17" when it comes to clearness and resolution, although my friends does seem a little bit brighter than mines for some reason.
    If you using your comp to type papers/burn dvds/play games/surf internet/download you won't even notice the difference between 512 and 1g. And you surely won't notice the difference between 1g and 2.5 gb, UNLESS you are doing some major multitasking on your comp. I went with 1gb memory and i kept the regular harddrive, 140gb I think. I purchased an external 200gb harddrive, very small and compact because I didn't want to take away from the beauty of actually having all my compenets within my screen. I experience no noise during regular use. And only a slight, normal sounding hummmmmmmmmmmm when I am burning DVD's and CD's.
    I am thinking very hard about what I don't like about the iMac G5. IF only if, I was forced to say something bad about it, it would be the default harddrive space for the 17".
    But as far as not being able to upgrade your iMac G5, thats crap. Techworld listed the iMac G5 as one of the BEST upgradeable compact computers due to the easy access and only having to remove 3 screws I beleive.
    OH! Teh 1 slot memory thingy may be an issue, because buying a full stick of RAM could be very very costly.
  • joeuu Level 5 (5,075 points)
    Check out Walter Mossberg's column today--the Greatest of reviews!


    15 pb g4 1.25ghz 2gbRAM 80gb Superdrive; 20iMac 2.0ghz 512gbRAM   Mac OS X (10.4.3)  
  • Barbara Brundage Level 7 (22,065 points)
    But as far as not being able to upgrade your iMac G5, thats crap. Techworld listed the iMac G5 as one of the BEST upgradeable compact computers due to the easy access and only having to remove 3 screws I beleive.

    Well, I also agree that everyone should immediately run out and buy an iSight iMac, but this is referring the earlier models, I believe, where you could remove the back and get easy access to the entire workings of the computer. This is not true for the isight, which is not user accessible at all, and requires removing the screen to get into the guts of the thing. But I wouldn't let that dissuade you from getting one, unless you just can't be happy without spending your days hardware modding your machine.
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