Re: dual G5 -- do you recommend it?

George Johnson <see.address@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> I have been happily loping along with a 500 mhz Cube. With 1.5
> gigahertz of memory and a 7500 rpm hard drive, it is impressively
> snappy,

I assume you mean "gigaBYTES" of memory....

> but my wish to upgrade to Tiger and to run a dual-monitor extended
> desktop has me hankering for more speed. (I have two of the old
> picture-frame Studio Displays, a 15" and a 17".)

A Cube can run Tiger just fine. Especially with the amount of memory
you have installed.

Dual-monitor is something else. You'd need to replace the stock video
card with a different one, that has two video-outs. I don't know what
may be available, however. And modern video cards may generate too
much heat for the Cube's convection-cooling system.

> The only option, right, is a Power Mac? I know I'd be leaving behind
> the diamond silence of the Cube, but are the G5's really as noisy as
> some of the postings on the Mac forums suggest?

If you want dual-displays, then you're talking about a PowerMac or a
PowerBook. (PowerBooks support external displays that don't just
mirror the built-in display. You can also hack an iBook's software to
provide this functionality.)

PowerMac G5's have software-controlled fans. The software measures the
temperatures at various places inside the case, dynamically adjusting
the fan speeds. Depending on the ambient temperature, what you're
doing with the computer, and the revision of the software, the fan
speed (and hence noise level) will vary.

> And how about the freezes people report? Are these anomalies or a
> serious concern?

No more so than the freezes/crashes reported for any other computer.
Most people don't have problems, but the ones who do tend to be very
vocal about it.

The one exception I can think of right now is the iMac/G5 - the
immediately-previous generation had some serious problems with the power
supplies and the capacitors on the motherboard, leading to a very high
failure rate. Other model Macs have not had this problem, and it's my
understanding that the current generation of iMac doesn't either.

> I realize that forums attract people with problems and magnify
> defects, but I'm a bit apprehensive about taking the plunge. Your
> advice would be appreciated.

I'd say "go for it", but also choose to buy an AppleCare service
contract. You may not need it, but replacement parts for things like
motherboards and power supplies can be very expensive. If you happen
to need servicing after the first year, you'll appreciate having it.

-- David

Relevant Pages