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designboy

Time For A New Mac

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I am wanting to get some feedback from my "bestest" of geek friends hoping at least one of you will offer some feedback. If you don't mind. If you don't have time to respond I will understand.

 

My current G5 is showing it's age. Everything is getting sluggish. The machine is just slowing down. I feel like I have kept it maintained pretty well. I do repair permissions when I think it needs it. I may zap pram on occasion. I keep it on so it gets the system updates at night. I am at OSX 10.5.8. I keep everything updated which in turn requires more processor. As I upgrade the software my machine isn't getting the upgrade.

 

I am probably going to get one of the MacPro machines. Not sure which model or from where yet. That's one of the reasons for this email. Just wanting to know what you would do if you were in my shoes.

I've got a budget of about $3200. Definitely want AppleCare.

 

I have never done a fresh install of all of my apps. I've always done a migration from old mac to new or old drive to new drive. I would like to just reinstall everything from scratch and have a fresh machine with no extra junk.

 

I thought about using this G5 for a server in the living room next to the tv and apple tv or just use it as a media center. you think? A bit large.

 

I have shopped around several places. Amazon, Apple Refurb, Apple Store, etc. I do like the Apple Store's option to customize the mac but it gets pricey.

 

Will my SATA 640gb drives work in the MacPro? How will I do that? Put one in, wipe it. Migrate the info from the backup?

 

I have a G5

2- 640gb internals (boot/clone)

750gb external Time Machine drive

3 internal 250 gb on an add-on Sonnet Tempo SATA rack (one is a clone of the other)

1 external 250gb drive (clone of one of the extra inernals)

1 external that died on me

I have 100s of Apps

7 gb RAM

Plan on getting a 2 TB external at some point to upgrade Time Machine drive.

Tons of photos in iPhoto and photos and libraries in Lightroom

Lots of movies that I've transferred from either home DVDs, VHS, video camera, etc.

Graphics files from freelance projects.

 

I use my G5 for everything.

Video recordings and editing. mostly home movies

Graphic Design using Adobe CS2 - Freelance Graphic Design, Photo edits, etc.

Lightroom 2 - Freelance and personal photography

Email, Internet, Audio Recording, Bookkeeping, Word processsing, DVD Ripping for Apple TV (lots fo things synced to my apple tv from G5.

I'm sure I've missed something

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I would only advise that you wait awhile if you can. See MacRumors Buyer's Guide here

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

Are you saying wait for the new machines or wait for the old ones to get reduced pricing?

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I'd wait and review your options. Reduced pricing might be attractive as could the new machines.

 

Re: Your SATA drives -- Yes, they'll work in a Mac Pro. Just put them into any of the four drive sleds & format as you see fit. Very easy to do.

Edited by mobilexile

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I thought about using this G5 for a server in the living room next to the tv and apple tv or just use it as a media center. you think? A bit large.

 

I think you should keep it for that. Did G5s come with system install discs? If so you could use them. Then you could use whatever you're planning to replace your G5 with as your day-to-day computer and the G5 for entertainment and things like that. I don't personally think it's large enough to be annoying, but then that's my personal opinion :)

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I think you should keep it for that. Did G5s come with system install discs? If so you could use them. Then you could use whatever you're planning to replace your G5 with as your day-to-day computer and the G5 for entertainment and things like that. I don't personally think it's large enough to be annoying, but then that's my personal opinion :)

Why would I need my original install discs for the G5? I DO have them but I've got several OS X discs from all the upgrading over the years. Are you thinking I should go back to an earlier OS and why?

 

I would like to do a clean install and get it running smooth enough to use as a media server or with my TV but I don't want to have to copy all the movies and such back to it.

 

It's going to take some thinking to figure out how to arrange my internals and externals between the machines.

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Just an idea to throw out there. Alex Lindsay ( Pixelcorps ) has stated that he uses iMacs for most of his staff ( he does video editing, special effects etc. ... he only uses Mac pros for really high end rendering ). If iMacs can handle their needs, it should work for you. A 27" iMac ( 2.8 ghz ) with 8 GB RAM goes for $ 2500. That would free up your current monitor to use as a second ( if you use the G5 as a server ) and leave you enough extra cash to get a Drobo to hold some of those extra drives.

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Why would I need my original install discs for the G5? I DO have them but I've got several OS X discs from all the upgrading over the years. Are you thinking I should go back to an earlier OS and why?

 

I would like to do a clean install and get it running smooth enough to use as a media server or with my TV but I don't want to have to copy all the movies and such back to it.

 

It's going to take some thinking to figure out how to arrange my internals and externals between the machines.

 

 

 

I'd forgotten about your music and movies :) sorry about that. On the Apple Discussion forums that's what I usually say to someone who's got a big problem with their Mac - back up and restore from the OS and Application CDs. I think you should just stick with the most recent OS that can run on the G5 OK.

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my next Mac will very likely be the 20" iMac with the graphics card. while I lust after a new Mac Pro there isn't always a a large enough performance gain to justify spending 2X the money for the box. and if I was going to spend my entire MP budget I'd buy a second iMac. to me having two machines is better then having 1. when one is busy rendering, compressing or some other CPU intense job I can jump to the other Mac.

 

also interesting is that I think I have purchased my last MacBook Pro or otherwise. the combo of the much cheaper, more powerful and more expandable iMac + an iPad makes it possible to think about. I very seldom carry my MacBook Pro)totype in my bag these days. and the only time I do that is when I'm going to trouble shoot somebody else's network.

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Not to hijack the thread but John, are you the John Foster of MacBreak Tech fame ?

 

Edit: Nevermind. Answered my own question by following John's link. Guy's, for the record, for anyone who doesn't already know, John is a "Graham-Class" source of knowledge. Welcome aboard John !!!

Edited by Dolphbucs

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thanks for the welcome. yeah, I confirm that I am that John Foster.

 

while MacBreak Tech may have podfaded we did manage to finally get the next show called Know Tech off and running after a few false starts. we learned a few things from MBT about what works and what positively doesn't. one of those things that didn't work was being confined to Mac-only subjects. while we talk about Macs on the podcast the show is not specifically about all things Mac. and this is a really good thing. it's a ton of fun to make and I'm having a blast.

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this MacPro is back in the refurbed store. It was unavailable for a while. I have my tax refund now. Now I'm wondering if I should wait until June when the rumored updated MacPros will release after WWDC. I guess it just depends on what my needs are and what I'm willing to sacrifice. Anything I purchase new or refurbed is going to be better than what I'm using. But my G5 still works. I use it daily.

 

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB871LL/A?mco=MTQwMzA1Mjk#overview

 

 

thoughts?

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Given the apps you list and the fact that you're doing design work (not motion design) a Mac Pro is, in all honesty, overkill. That said it's darn nice and, as a freelancer, you'll appreciate the speed, expandability and accouterments. If I were in your shoes, and you really want the Mac Pro, I'd buy a refurb after the June release. Then you get the power + speed without lightening your wallet by too much.

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Given the apps you list and the fact that you're doing design work (not motion design) a Mac Pro is, in all honesty, overkill. That said it's darn nice and, as a freelancer, you'll appreciate the speed, expandability and accouterments. If I were in your shoes, and you really want the Mac Pro, I'd buy a refurb after the June release. Then you get the power + speed without lightening your wallet by too much.

 

I do use iMovie to create a home movie and the G5 works really hard and takes forever to render video and also iDVD takes forever also.

I still like the thought of the Mac Pro simply because it has the expansion options and it's easier to switch things out. HD, RAM, Video Card, etc. if I ever need to. Also my current setup will not allow me to have the iMac and a second monitor on the current desk.

 

Here's my setup with a 21" Samsung on left and a 19" Samsung on the right. Don't want to give up my 21" Want to you that as a second if I get the iMac. I have my Xbox on my desk hooked to that. I know that's not a reason not to buy an iMac but with the big picture I still may want to get the Mac Pro. My desk isn't wide enough for both. I guess I could just get a new desk.

2524790858_201f27b531.jpg

 

So John Foster. Based on the link you shared. . . depending on what you're going to use the iMac for it's faster, right? But the Mac Pro is also faster in other ways, right?

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> So John Foster. Based on the link you shared. . .

 

so there's faster and there's price/performance. sometimes the computer in front of me is not about being the fastest. if the render time on FASTEST mac is only 20 minutes faster per hour I might choose two slower computers which allows me to keep working when one of them is busy rendering.

 

why would I want two iMacs instead of one Mac Pro? while a Mac Pro is faster but it's not faster if I'm waiting around for something to finish. better to switch to B to keep going or doing the next thing.

 

however, there are times when I don't like the iMac at all. for example the G5 Mac and the Mac Pro both have fast internal storage. I can easily swap drives to get full gigabytes a second transfer speed. this is important to me when I'm working with video and sound files. Firewire 400/800 and USB2 are pretty slow by comparison. but even file copying is not a reason to thrown down for a Mac Pro.

 

the biggest reason is video card swapping. although there aren't that many choices. and there are no choices for 1G of onboard memory which is a good idea if you are doing 3D or working with HD in Motion. then you want that. but

Edited by johnfoster

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Well, I totally changed my mind on my purchase. I ordered a refurb 27 inch iMac Quad Core i7 from the Apple Refurb store. It went for $1932.21 including tax. Price was $1849. I couldn't pass that up. I bought 8 gb RAM from Crucial (8GB Kit (4GBx2)) $439. The following from Amazon.com: Drobo regular, 3 Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB for the Drobo, a Time Capsule 1TB, Adobe CS5 upgrade. All should be here tomorrow.

 

Now I've been thinking of this setup and wish I would have thought a little harder before I actually finalized my purchase. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to use the Drobo and I wish I would have either purchase a larger HD for my Time Machine instead of the Time Capsule. I like having a larger HD for my Time Machine than the source it's backing up. As for the Drobo I can't decide if I want to only use it as a backup or use it as my working files. I do mostly photography but also have movies that I sync to my Apple TV.

 

If you'll look at my original post you'll see my current setup with my G5. Lot's of HDs and clones of everything. I don't have any clones like I do with the G5.

 

What I have as far as content on my G5 is my iTunes on my boot drive which is like 5,000 plus songs, podcasts, movies, etc. Some of those movies are synced from a separate internal drive. (alt + drag to iTunes), then the rest is photography and graphic design that is personal and freelance work.

 

I'm thinking I need to get another external drive or something. I feel like I'm missing something.

 

Also I want to connect my G5 via Firewire 800 to my iMac so I can gradually move things over as I need to rather than using the wireless network. Would be faster. But the iMac only has one Firewire 800 port. I want to use that for the Drobo. Maybe need to get a Firewire 800 hub? Then eventually I want to put the G5 in another room and just have it be a server for the movies that are on it. Then connect a second monitor to the iMac. Or I could just leave the G5 where it's at but that would be a lot of power coming from just 2 outlets in my bedroom.

 

Lots to read, you got this far, thanks for reading. I would love to hear your feedback. If you are going to say, "you should have ..." well don't because that would make things worse. "you should have..." means nothing so please don't give me that feedback. Just offer what I CAN do at this point to make this even better.

 

Jim Felder

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Well the only realistic way to back up your drobo is to buy another drobo (altho as you'll only have 2tb usable with the drives you've bought for the drobo, so you could also get a 2Tb external).

 

 

 

You will have two fw800 ports on the drobo, so you can daisy chain devices (plug drobo into your mac, and the g5 into the drobo) and that will work just fine.

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Hello Folks, When I bought the Time Capsule I wasn't thinking and forgot it was also a full fledged router. I was just going to connect it locally to my iMac. Now I'm wondering how I'll use it and where. I was going to send it back but decided to keep it and opened it.

 

The way my wireless is setup is it's in one of our bedrooms in the corner of the house. My room is on the other side of the house two rooms away. I know the TC will backup wirelessly but doesn't that chew up bandwidth for other devices on the network? Especially when it's every hour.

 

I'm also wondering if I should use the Drobo as my working files (graphic design, photography, etc.) or strictly backup. But then I've also got the TC. Also I'm totally losing the whole clone setup I had on the G5. My internal HD had a clone and so did my other internals and externals.

 

Just having a tough time deciding how to set this thing up when it gets here tomorrow. I'll probably have my iPhoto and iTunes libs on the iMac boot drive just for ease and consistent connectivity. I thought about getting a KVM switch for the two machines but the switches are not able to go up to the large resolution of the iMac as of yet and they're quite pricey.

 

I'm still going to keep the G5 in my room for a little while until I get what I need from it via firewire 800 direct to the iMac. Then I'll move it to where the Router is and make it a server for all the movies and photos.

 

Another question:

Since I have started a new iPhoto library because it's getting very large and sluggish, I found that when I am using the new library I lose my default library that I use to sync to my iPhone and Apple TV. How does one do that and still be able to keep the other photos on the two devices?

 

Sorry for another long message folks. I am getting the iMac tomorrow then I'll probably be installing Adobe CS5 and any other Apps I need. Then I'll need to decide how everything will work together.

 

Thanks again,

Jim

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