Previous 1 2 Next 29 Replies Latest reply: Jun 5, 2006 1:08 PM by icebreaker
Sebastian the iPod noobie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi guys, I am in a process of buying a new computer... here are the two choices I am considering.

iMac G5
20-inch widescreen LCD
2.1GHz PowerPC G5
512MB memory (533MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
250GB Serial ATA hard drive
Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon X600 XT with 128MB DDR video memory
what I like
20 inch screen
big 250G hard drive
Price (1,699.00 for a Core duo w/ a 20in is over my budget)

iMac 1.83Ghz Intel Core Duo
17-inch widescreen LCD with 1440x900 resolution
1.83GHz Intel Core Duo with 2MB shared L2 cache
512MB (single SO-DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
160GB Serial ATA hard drive
Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive
ATI Radeon X1600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 memory
Built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0
what I like
Best Price for an iMac
newer technology - Airport Extreme, Graphics Card etc.

Now the problem
I can't decide! Screen Size and HD space are important to me... but new technology at a cheaper price is VERY tempting!

Question is.... is Intel Core Duo THAT superior to PowerPC?

Please iMac gurus me out!

  Windows XP  
  • Mr. Large Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)
    It kind of depends on what you want. If your just a basic user who needs a computer to browse the internet, check email, manage pictures/music, etc. then I would go with the 20" PowerPC. Also, if you really need to use Photoshop right now, the PowerPC is your only option.

    But if you want a really fast computer and don't mind the smaller screen, go with the Intel Core Duo.

    Personally, I picked the 17" Intel Core Duo. The screen is beautiful and plenty big for most people. I use my computer a lot and I'm still not close to filling up the 160gb hard drive. Everything just runs smoother on the Intel Core Duo. I'm the kind of person that would rather have a faster computer than a huge screen.

    In the end, I say go with the Intel Core Duo. Whichever you pick, you should probably upgrade to a gig of RAM. You would be amazed at the difference it makes.
  • Glorfindeal Level 6 Level 6 (9,330 points)
    The 20" G5 is becoming real scarce. Yo better decide quickly.

  • Jeff Hoeft Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    I was in the same situation that you are in now. I ended up going with the 17" Macintel. My biggest worry was about lack of support for PowerPC machines in the future. I upgraded from a 12" G3 iBook so the 17" screen is a great improvement as is the speed. I have used Photshop CS under Rosetta and it seems to run fine. But when the Universal Binary is released it will be even faster. If you plan on keeping your next Mac for a few years I would suggest going with the Macintel.
  • Sebastian the iPod noobie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    lack of support for the future? what do you mean by that?
  • Jeff Hoeft Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    I meant lack of support by software developers for the PowerPC platform. But it looks like Universal Binaries will run native on both PowerPC and Intel Macs so that probably isn't going to be a problem.
  • ibook911 Level 4 Level 4 (1,065 points)
    The intel machines are incredibly fast.

    Furthermore, the intel machine has mini-DVI output, which allows you to connect up to a 23-inch cinema display (or competative display) with extended desktop. Giving you lot of future possibilities.
  • icebreaker Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    welll, take it from me, i had the same exact problem, choices. the G5 or the intel imac. I went with the intel imac, but had to return it. I cannot knock the imac, it's NOT 2X fast as the G5, but the speed increase is however, noticable. the problem is, you need to decide what you want the mac for. I use mine for a lot of music recording and production, and that's simply the only reason why I returned it for the G5. The intel imac did run a few apps via rosetta, but all my m-audio and tascam drivers, didn't run at all. I coudln't take that chance wondering what else would or wouldn't run on the intel. So the choice, was the G5.
  • soso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi IceBreaker,

    I'm trying to figure out the best option between imac-intel (2.0 core duo) or powermacg5 (2.0 dual core )... to use logic & live (wich are both universal today).

    Planning to get the "m-audio firewire 410" and saw on their website that you can download beta drivers for mac-intel. Have you tried those ? Wich m-audio failed with your mac-intel??


  • icebreaker Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    well, how critical and powerful is your rig? i only use my imac g4 (soon to be the G5) for ideas and such, also to trade logic files back and forth w/ a friend of mine. live I don't use, nor do i have experience with that app. my buddy, however, has dual g4's and records live music, drums, guitars, etc and really needs that added power, so ask yourself, how much will you be running. if going for the whole live band thing, i would go with the power mac. currently the system has been reliable and proven and fast enough to handle most of your tasks. the intel is fast, but still has kinks and bugs in it, and not all apps, especially 3rd party are univeral yet. that my friend, will cause your music to suffer, and you do not want that.

    the m-audio oxygen 8 is what i use, in addition to the tascam us-122. neither are unversal yet, and like i said i couldn't wait for them to be released, it was interuppting my productivity. and i didn't want to go with the firewire 410 (an excellent unit by the way) because it meant more money for me to spend!
  • bense27 Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    well I have the 17" intel cd and it is great. I upgraded the hard drive to 250gb and the ram to 1gb. If you are a student, you can use your discount on it too. I used mine and altogether my iMac came to $1,480 or something around there. great deal!!
  • icebreaker Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    like i said, i can't knock the intel CD. when i had it for a week or so, i loved it, it just didn't support my needs. for basic computing and internet, it's great, but power hungry apps aren't or weren't available yet, something in knew, but i banked on rosetta to run them. until all the bugs are fixed, and all the apps i need are available, the G5 will suffice.
  • bense27 Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
    What are you going to be using the computer for mostly? If you are doing alot of video editing etc., the 20" would be awesome. But if you are just using normal programs like safari and iLife, the intel 17" is great.
  • soso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks Icebreaker for the info,

    I agree with your point of view (pro and reasonable). But getting a 20' imac display + being intel for less money is still very tempting...

    I'm very surprised not to find any benchmark on "dual core vs. core duo".. after all both are a dual 2.0 Ghz in one chip. This benchmark is without score for core duo but interesting :

    if anyone finds a secret argument (bus speed?) or benchmark "duo vs. dual", you're welcome.

  • icebreaker Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    you know, i just re-read your email and if you're on a budget i would get the G5. again, your choice of mac is dependant on your needs. would you buy a 2 door roadster to go on a ski trip? no, you'd get an SUV. So, with that said, determine your needs first, 2nd, determine your budget, but i think the G5 would be fine. additionally, you can always buy an external drive for more space, but i have to admit, the 17inch imac (G4) which I'm currently using in the meantime looks really small to the 20" core duo when i had it. you gotta love the big bright screen.
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