Slow G5?

Hi everyone,

I got to use the computers at my school music lab and i noticed that they were macs with piano keyboards. After i opened up a few programs, i noticed that they were very slow when loading and working. I thought to myself, "They are only LCD G4's. How fast could they be?" It turns out i check the system preferences and they were G5 1.6ghz single processors! From what i have heard, G5's are really fast and stable. However i was truly disappointed when even using the smallest of apps, how slow they load. I think its OS 10 holding back the system (they only had 512mb of pc3200 ram) and i thought G5 processors were comparable to Athlon 64 processors. My friend's A64 3000+ seems way way faster at loading small things and then larger apps/games like Battlefield 2. Is it just me or am i too used to PC processors?


You've got a nice Windows rig, however Mac systems run differently, of which I am trying to learn about. I've used Windows for many years and didn't like Mac's, now I just recently bought a iMac G5 with a 2.0 ghz processor and it's really fast. It is dependant upon the programs that they had open, they could be really RAM intensive, especially if they had keyboards hooked up, they probably were running GarageBand or something like that. Actually, comparing my Mac to normal Windows, this system is really fast, I've ran 12-15 programs (then it starts slowing down) with 512MB RAM.

According to what I've read, G5's are better processors than Pentiums, but not AMD's. They have a shorter pipeline, meaning they worker harder, but have lower clock speeds. G5 processor cores are pretty powerful, especially the dual-cores. AMD processors run a little better than a G5.

According to what I've seen, the Mac operating system is much smoother, runs a lot faster, and can do and use memory a lot better than a Windows machine, Mac OS X is lightyears ahead of Windows XP.
The problem is that those computers were exactly used for GarageBand, music ace, cubase, etc... you guessed right.

The G5s there were incredibly slow and i don't know how i would compare it to my P4 (even though i hate intel, i don't have enough money to get an A64. It would require me to sell my AGP mobo and my AGP video card, which is a big hassle right now...maybe in the future). Anything that a mac can do a PC can do to. Some programs like Garageband and Cubase would run easily on my computer. Garageband couldn't even scroll smoothly across the staff and couldn't keep up when i skipped far ahead in the music (my Cakewalk program is instant, but it was made 9 years ago - i still love it though).

I play a lot of games on my comptuer so obviously i can't own a mac. I specially bought a 6800gt and a SB audigy 2 sound card to play FPS games and i am very happy with it. Still my friend's A64 runs it better.

A64 4800+ dual core > *. No ifs, ands or buts. Simply the fastest stock desktop processor around. And it only costs under $1000! *Drools*

If only Apple spent more time on making macs perform better and do tasks faster instead of making it look "smooth, elegant" and add fancy animations. For one thing, the right click menus are absolutely useless on a mac (That is if you even have a 2 button mouse - what happened to cut, copy, paste, rename, etc?) and moving files around in folders quickly is hard. I could go on listing things that are inconvinient and annoying that windows eliminates, but it is too late. Mac OS is not light years away from XP in many ways. Graphically, it is ahead (but who cares how it fancy it looks? I care about how it performs).


Being a hardcore PC user, I know exactly what you mean, because I was going to spend the money that I spent on this iMac here, on a Athlon 64x2 4400+, PCI-E 7800GTX, X-FI Creative Sound card, 2GB system with a 550 Power supply, and just over clock the 4400+ to 4800+ speeds. I agree that AMD processors rock, simply because of how hard they work (mainly because of a small pipeline and good branch prediction, good architecture, and not too much power consumption, yet a 2.8 FX-57 can whoop on a 3.73 Pentium 4 Extreme Edition.

I understand all that, but I bought a iMac that I'm perfectly happy with. You can't really compare the G5 architecture with Intels and AMD's, it's like comparing Apples with Oranges, it's totally different, a G5 isn't even part of the x86 family. You can't even compare an iMac with an AMD 64x2 system, one is dual-core, the other is not. Supposedly, Mac's are supposed to release quad-core this month, even though I don't really like the PowerPC architecture. Apple OS's running different, but they handle more professional programs, they are built for professionalism, for Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Macromedia Dreamweaver, etc. That's why they are used in Image, Graphics, and Video editing.

When have you used a Mac? Have you used one with OS 10.3 or 10.4? I used to have a bad taste with Mac's because I always used OS 9 and back, which sucked big time. You just have to get used to the Operating System and in my opinion, it runs smoother, allows for you to do more, has a lot more nice features, and is compatible with a lot of Windows programs anyways. The organization of the folders is simple and effective, the memory usage is extremely effective as well. I love Windows computers, but it tends to seem a little better on the Mac side. I would never recommend it for gamers, but for hardcore software users, it's great and it's extremely good at multi-tasking and it's performance is flawless.

I'm very, very happy with my iMac, yet I understand the power of Windows machines, I still would like to build a great gaming rig, so I understand what you're saying, each machine has it's good points. I don't think that class should have used iMac's (especially Rev. A) for programs like that, they should have used Power Mac's, those are more professional.

P.S. Hope you get an AMD 64x2 for your gaming needs, they are uber cool.
It's not that Macs run the professional programs better and PC's can't, its that developers make a deal with Apple so they get paid more money. Apple's move to Intel processors will be a big advantage becasue we will start to see faster processors that are much cheaper.
How do you survive without all the useful Windows right click functions? and no full screen? I just don't know.


Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
SuperTyphoon said:
It's not that Macs run the professional programs better and PC's can't, its that developers make a deal with Apple so they get paid more money. Apple's move to Intel processors will be a big advantage becasue we will start to see faster processors that are much cheaper.
How do you survive without all the useful Windows right click functions? and no full screen? I just don't know.
Holding down the Control key while clicking the mouse will give you the contextual menu just like in Windows. (This is true since Mac OS 8 and continues to be so.)

The full screen issue has been discussed here before. It's very un-Mac-ish. The Mac only resizes windows to the optimal size of the document, be it a webpage or some other document. The reason for this is to be able to drag certain components from one application to another without having to manually move from one app to the other. While it's possible to do this in WIndows by dragging a component and hovering over to teh application listed in the taskbar, it's still a bit cumbersome when the application take over the whole screen.
But why do that when you can just right click on a mouse and get it right there, with out having to think about it? Why press control and click? Also, on some thigns you have to hold the mouse button down to get the easy right click menus of Windows. I think in the new mac os they should have that. How do you live without Cut, Copy and Paste functions in the right click menus? Also you can't select 'rename' without holding the mosue down or going into 'get info.' A lot of things on the mac are inconvenient and illogical, and can make fast computing easier. For example when im workign with a lot of digital pictures, i am constantly going back and forth cutting, copying and pasting various photos in many folders. On a mac i tried to do it and it was tedious.


Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Well, if you add a two-button USB mouse to Mac OS X, it automatically uses the right mouse button for the contextual menu. Remember that before the Mighty Mouse was released all Mac OS mice were one button only. This makes it easier for new users. And yes, two mouse buttons can be confusing to new users. I've done tech support with users and a lot of new users to computing don't know which button to use. I sometimes have to be specific as to which mouse button they have to click on because they aren't sure. Having the one button mouse allows users to become familiar with using it and enjoying the computing experience more without having to wonder which button to use. Plus, on the Mac most of the options in the conextual menu are available on the menubar at the top, so once they have mastered using the computer and the one-button mouse they can either buy a two button mouse or use the current one by holding down CTRL. If you hold down CTRL and then click the context menu comes up instantly. Holding down the mouse button does the same, but you have to wait, and that's annoying even for me.

All of the options you are mentioning are there. Cut, Copy, Paste, and various others. Don't want to use the menu to copy, paste, or whatever? Use the key commands. Apple-C copies, Apple-V pastes, Apple-X cuts. All the keyboard commands are listed next to the actual command within the menus.

You seem to be letting the complexity of Windows make the ease of using a Macintosh quite frustrating. Why right click and select Rename to change the name when all you need to do is click on the name of the icon and it will allow you to rename it. Less steps on the Mac. BTW, Windows also does this, but tends to take a little longer than the Mac.

The problem you are having is that you are treating your Mac like a Windows computer. That's definitely going to be a frustrating experience. The problem is that Microsoft has forced us to follow their way of doing things (which are actually quite convoluted if you ask me) when it's much simpler on a Mac. Install an app on the Mac? Drag the application icon to Applications. Don't want it anymore? Drag it to the Trash and empty it. Try that on Windows!

So the Mac doesn't have a "Start" menu. So what?? Most of the options are either already on the menubar or listed on the Finder window. All the links to the most used locations are at the left of every Finder window since 10.3. And you can even drag those folders you use often to the Dock, like your home folder and documents folder...even the Applications folder. That's how I have it. Need a quick shortcut to an app?? Drag it to the Dock.

You might want to look at a book for Mac OS X beginners. It's definitely a helping hand in getting used to the Mac experience. Not that much difference, but it's there.
Windows is not frustrating, its just that its more convenient. Pressing rename is much easier (or pressing F2) and safer (not accidentally clicking and renaming to nothing). Yes, installing/uninstalling is a bit easier, but other little nit picky things keep me away from macs. Also im a gamer so i don't even bother with them. All of my friends use PC's and i can't move away from them. I find that using a mac is much more frustrating than using a PC, like find it more frustrating to use a PC. I guess its what we are used to. And i don't own a mac, i use ones at my school music room a lot. I try to snatch the windows pc so i can use Cakewalk as much as possible. its hard because everyone wants it, no one knows how to use macs. Plus it is much faster at doing things like finale, music ace 2, and sibelius (its a pentium 4 2.8 ghz, 512 mb ram).


Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Well, hopefully this site will help you make a decision. Considering that you don't own a Mac, learning about the intracacies from the users here might be of benefit if one day you do become curious about them.

As for the applications themselves, it all depends on how well the developers optimize the applications for the Mac. Some don't even bother to optimize either because they don't have enough resources for Mac development or becaause they jsut don't really care and are just jumping on the Apple bandwagon. In the end, the latter tends to be a losing plan in the long term, whiel the former could benefit from an influx of more Mac R&D.

Gaming has never been a major genre on the Mac, but it's not absent totally. Check out MacGamer at and you'll see that the Mac gaming community is thriving, even if it doesn't enjoy the majority of the desktop share. ;)

As you said, it's what you're used to. I started on the Mac, and begrudgingly moved to Windows when Apple was at its all-time low. I have used Linux and am pleased with it, so much so that I only use Windows now for gaming and when at work since their computing infrastructure is Windows-based..for everything else I'm on Linux. And now I have come full circle owning my own iMac G5. Mind you, I've had other Macs but nothing current since about 10 years ago. I still have my Quadra 650 and my StarMax 4000 PPC Mac clone and they are still kicking (the Quadra with Mac OS 8.1 and the StarMax with Mac OS 9.1 and Debian "testing").


That's an amazing things I've learned about Mac's, is that those who use them can use them for years, I mean YEARS down the road, my teacher still uses his G3, I use a G3 at work, it's amazing how long a Mac lifespan is. This is coming from a hardcore PC user, I can build and have built Windows PC's before, it's not hard, I know the specs inside and out, yet I still appreciate a hard working, easy to use operating system and I find that with Mac, it's taken a little while to learn (like 2 weeks) and I already feel more comfortable after these two weeks.


Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Heck, I'm a major Linux and BSD fan, and I also build PCs. Yet I find myself drawn to the Mac and OS X every time. :D


[Bobs/Prog/Design:~] mod%
Staff member
NarutoSasuke said:
That's an amazing things I've learned about Mac's, is that those who use them can use them for years, I mean YEARS down the road, my teacher still uses his G3, I use a G3 at work, it's amazing how long a Mac lifespan is.
Tell me about it...both my machines are G3 based. An iBook (primary) and an old beige desktop. Right now the desktop is being used as a file server (back in Cincy) for some XP Pro machines. Works great, probably will for many more years to come.

I think I will buy a new desktop soon...I wanted a new PB, but after thinking about it for a while the iBook is more than capable for what I'll use it for and it is a very battery friendly laptop. My battery is only at 72% or the original capacity when 100% charged, but I can still get 4.5 to 5 hours of light use out of her. The high-capacity one offered by OWC (71w vs the originals 55w) will probably be my next purchase...that should give me quite a bit of cord-free enjoyment. :)