Mac PowerPC and Intel questions

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Mac PowerPC and Intel questions

Postby Douggie » Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:10 am

I was considering buying a Power Mac G5, as I heard editing on Final Cut Pro goes pretty much smoothly there and I was interested in using Final Cut Pro (yes, I don't only do AMVs, but other stuff as well). G5s are pretty much half the price of the new MacPros (1000-1500 EUR) - secondhand though - so that's why I was interested in in getting one.

But I just had a few questions: first of all is it wise to do this? I don't know what's going on with the new Intels, but let's say a new version of some software will be released, what's the thing on the compatibility with the PowerPC Macs? Is new Mac software optimized especially for the Intel processors and will they only work for those or can programs be used on whatever Mac (as long as its strong enough)?

And second, will Motion run on a G5?

Thanks in advance!
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Postby Minion » Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:02 am

i would suggest going with the g5. the macpros are nice, but if you can get a g5 for half the price, get the g5. it'll run FCP just fine. try to get at least a gig of ram.
yes, it will run motion.
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Postby Douggie » Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:06 am

Thanks for answering my question, but will there problems with the newer releases of Final Cut?

BTW. How easy is it to upgrade a Mac? Can you use any (SATA) HDD and RAM, or do you have to buy Apple(tm) stuff which is probably overpriced?
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Postby Minion » Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:29 am

i only use a mac at school, so i'll try to answer the best i can.


really, theres no shame in continueing to use FCP5 after newer versions come out. it's very common practice, especially in the amv community. i still use premiere 6.5.
i don't know if newer versions would work on a g5 or not

upgrading ram shouldn't be any different than any other computer, but you MAY need to use apple's hardware, but i do know that it's upgradable.
if you don't wanna risk it, take it to an apple store and buy the ram there. they usually install shit for free if you buy from them.
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Postby Willen » Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:29 am

Currently, most Mac software is still written for the PowerPC and are going to run slower on the Mac Pros. Universal Binary Apps will run faster on the newer Mac Pros than the G5s. http://www.barefeats.com/quad06.html So programs like Photoshop which currently run slower on a similar speed Mac Pro than a G5, when rewritten in Universal Binary, will run faster. When this will happen depends on the software developer.

BUT, if there are programs that you need that don't work on the Intel Mac Pros (i.e. 'Classic') then the G5 might be a better choice. The question is, are there any pre-2001 Mac apps you use that you cannot replace or upgrade?

The price difference is pretty big, so this makes the decision harder. But in the long run, the Intel Mac Pro is a better choice. Better performance with Universal Binary apps, the possibility to dual-boot with Windows or Linux, newer hardware with more upgrade options in the future.

And Motion is compatible with Power Mac G5s http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/specs.html?motion
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Postby Minion » Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:32 am

and as a comparison, we recently switched form the powermac g5s with 512 ram to intel macs with 2 gigs of ram.
as far as speed, it's a bit faster. not HOLY SHIT, but still faster. we've had problems with adobe software though.
for instance, about half of our computers in the class can't use pathfinder in illustrator without it crashing. a bad shipment, maybe? :/
version cue won't connect with the macpros either/
a few other assorted problems with adobe as well. hopefully cs3 will fix that though
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Postby Shazzy » Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:34 pm

Most of the Macs in use today run on PowerPC cores. Support for PowerPC is not going away anytime soon. I am not worried at all about FCS running on your G5 for years ahead. Remember, FCS is written by Apple, who is not going to alienate multitudes of film/graphics studios built on Apple hardware. I would say the same for most software companies, since maintaining PowerPC support requires minimal effort.

By the time your favorite software won't run on your G5, you wouldn't want your G5 anyway.
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Postby Willen » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:30 am

Shazzy wrote:By the time your favorite software won't run on your G5, you wouldn't want your G5 anyway.

I'll take your G5 case, though... :P
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Postby Beefy_Suavo » Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:29 pm

The G5 will take regular SATA hard drives, the same ones you'd put in a PC.
RAM must be installed in pairs. Getting RAM upgrades directly from Apple is a rip-off. I recommend http://eshop.macsales.com/ they sell their own RAM and even Samsung modules and I've never had a problem with them.

As for software: as Willen said, unless you have older software that will only run on a Power PC processor, get an Intel Mac.
The next version of Adobe software will have a universal binary for some titles: After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
While other titles will be Intel Mac only: Premiere Pro, Encore DVD, and Soundbooth.
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Postby Douggie » Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:11 pm

Thanks for the help people. I just bought a MacBook (actually wanted a VAIO, but they couldn't deliver one, so I found a MacBook instead), so I I'm just going to feel around Mac OS X. It seems that Final Cut Pro works quite okay on my MacBook, but haven't tried installing Motion yet.

I actually have to replace my PC, but for now it works okay (it just looks a bit ghetto though). An Intel Mac Pro is just way too pricey and is something which I have to save for for quite a while, so I might go with a G5 if I find one real cheap.

BTW. Is the 4th generation G5 the only one to go (the one with the water cooling and Dual processor) or are the other ones as good as well considering the difference of $500 between a single processor and a dual one? Even though water cooling is really cool, I heard there were some problems with them (some would leak) - does that happen often?
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Postby Joe88 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:17 am

Douggie wrote:Thanks for the help people. I just bought a MacBook (actually wanted a VAIO, but they couldn't deliver one, so I found a MacBook instead), so I I'm just going to feel around Mac OS X. It seems that Final Cut Pro works quite okay on my MacBook, but haven't tried installing Motion yet.

I actually have to replace my PC, but for now it works okay (it just looks a bit ghetto though). An Intel Mac Pro is just way too pricey and is something which I have to save for for quite a while, so I might go with a G5 if I find one real cheap.

BTW. Is the 4th generation G5 the only one to go (the one with the water cooling and Dual processor) or are the other ones as good as well considering the difference of $500 between a single processor and a dual one? Even though water cooling is really cool, I heard there were some problems with them (some would leak) - does that happen often?


dont they use dual xeon CPU's ?
thats why its so pricy

if they just used one core 2 duo E6300 or E6600 it would fix it...

I wouldn't trust water colling my self
but another point is why would you even need it ?, dont think you can do extream OC and the board probably has the CPU's locked
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Postby Shazzy » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:19 pm

Douggie wrote:BTW. Is the 4th generation G5 the only one to go (the one with the water cooling and Dual processor) or are the other ones as good as well considering the difference of $500 between a single processor and a dual one? Even though water cooling is really cool, I heard there were some problems with them (some would leak) - does that happen often?


I've used multiple generations of G5s and haven't had any noticeable problems. At this point, any G5 unit you can pick up should be considered on a case-by-case basis. The individual history of the computer is more important than the model. If you're worried about leaking, only buy a 4th generation without problems from someone you trust.
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