Linked by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 15th Nov 2005 17:44 UTC
Apple I recently bought one of the new dual core PowerMacs. Having used the machine for a couple of weeks, I thought I would share some of my observations and feelings about it. First, let me get my biases out in the open. I have, for about four years, very happily used Linux on my desktop. Doing so has made me very comfortable with the UNIX environment in general, and with GNOME specifically. During that time, I have used OS X machines on a regular basis, so I am quite comfortable in that environment as well. Since I switched to Linux, I have not used Windows for anything more than the occasional bit of software testing or lab work, and generally feel quite uncomfortable with it. Thus, this article is very much written from the perspective of someone who finds OS X and Linux pleasing on principle. I implore the reader to make his own value judgments based on my comments.
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rayiner
Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure by some contorted logic a machine with quieter fans has vastly superior hardware to machine with ECC memory and slots for 4 times time memory.

I said, I quote, "superior in almost every respect". The memory support would be the reason for the "almost", as well as the extra PCI Express slots.

Clearly fans are the primary decision making point when it comes to choosing between two computers!

Given that the majority of PowerMac buyers will be running with less than 4GB of RAM and non-ECC memory, I'd say yes, the noise factor of the system is a more important concern. To me, who has only 2.5GB in the machine and has no use for ECC, the RAM factor is completely unimportant. Furthermore, I'd point out that the 4GB limit is simply the result of the motherboard I chose to use. If I had needed more than 4GB, I would've used a different motherboard. Since the X2 memory controller supports 2GB DIMMs, this wouldn't have changed the cost (or the conclusion) significantly.

Sure. But try this link anyway. samsung does make DIMMS and one of them is in the G5. Apple generally uses Micron, Samsung or Hynix branded DIMMS. A friends power book did come with nanya DIMMS. All name brands not generic.

I acquiesce that Samsung makes DIMMs. I still disagree about your usage of "name brand". Generally, "name brand" is considered something like Crucial, Corsair, Mushkin, etc. RAM from chip manufacturers like Micron, etc, usually hang at the bottom of the Pricewatch lists, and I've never heard anybody refer to them as "name brand".

You can guarantee this without having heard either.

When'd you sneak into my apartment?

Your point?

Does the fact that he changed his argument later have a bearing on his initial reaction? I'd argue that he clearly thought the machine was loud, then got used to it over time.

Your line of argument about the hard drive is really kind of silly. I have the two machines sitting inches apart. I can easily hear the WD seek, and I can barely hear the Seagate seek. You can try to convince me that I don't hear what I hear very clearly, but you're not going to get anywhere with that. You can say I'm lying, that I'm making up the problem to make the G5 look bad, but seriously: if I wanted to make the G5 look bad, couldn't I have just fudged the benchmarks?

So unless you are listerning to the drives in isolation you can't possibly conclude one is louder than the other.

34db is a quiet fan? In what alternate reality? The fans in my PC are rated at 23db running at 1000rpm. With these fans, the hard drive is the loudest thing in the system, and every bit of difference is noticeable. Again, the same thing is true for the Dell machines in here. You can easily hear every nuance of the hard drive's sonic signature.

You are comparing the sound of the seagate drive in the X2 chasis with the WD in tht G5 chasis. By your admission you agree that the X2 chasis is better damped. Put the seagate drive in the G5 chasis and have a listen. I bet you will find it equally loud.

Okay, ripped the covers off, took the Seagate off its isolation mounts. The difference at idle is not noticeable. The difference in seek is still there and still significant. I'd do a double-blind, but you wouldn't trust the results anyway! Now that the covers are back on, the difference is as significant as ever. I suppose I should simply shift some of the blame from the hard drive to the G5's case? I'm perfectly willing to do that.

Specified for measuring acoustics. Seagate and WD, I am positive follow these standards set by ISO, ANSI and ASTM.

If a number doesn't have a mark next to it saying the standard under which it was measured, it wasn't measured under any standard worth considering. Moreover, I'd point out that the standard you have listed has nothing to do with PC components, and still doesn't give distances! On top of all of that, you're expecting me to trust the numbers from a bunch of guys who think a 35db fan is quiet? That page is little more than feel-good marketing material.

You try and follow the arguments. If the specs are correct the WD drive is the queiter drive.

The specs do not list distances. Why can you not get this through your thick skull? PC components are tested under a very wide variety of circumstances, at a very wide variety of distances. Thermaltake sells fans that are rated at 18db, which are easily 28db+. Manufacturer's specs mean nothing.

Not according to seagates site the drives share the same quiet electronics the platter density shouldn't make that much difference.

What are "quiet electronics"? Most electronics are quiet. The noise is from the motor, platter, and head assembly. The difference isn't just platter density --- the platter and head are completely different generations of product. Seagate doesn't manufacturer different platter densities using the same technology --- when there are differences, it's because certain drives use the previous-generation tech.

Reply Parent Score: 1

japail Member since:
2005-06-30

How loud is your typing?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Arun Member since:
2005-07-07


Given that the majority of PowerMac buyers will be running with less than 4GB of RAM and non-ECC memory, I'd say yes, the noise factor of the system is a more important concern. To me, who has only 2.5GB in the machine and has no use for ECC, the RAM factor is completely unimportant.


I am guessing here on a limb that Apple just didn't decide and go through extra development costs and operation overhead to offer ECC support on powermacs without market demand.

Powermacs are used by Pros as well as enthusiasts. The pros seldom hangout in mac forums where you seem to gather "important marketing" data.

My guess is folks at virgina tech and all the desgin, film production studios decided to request Apple to put ECC in.

I think you are confusing the target market of the Powermac with that of the iMac G5.

Furthermore, I'd point out that the 4GB limit is simply the result of the motherboard I chose to use. If I had needed more than 4GB, I would've used a different motherboard. Since the X2 memory controller supports 2GB DIMMs, this wouldn't have changed the cost (or the conclusion) significantly.



It doesn't matter what motherboard you chose. It is in your X2 which you compared to the G5 and is clearlt inferior in most regards.

Reply Parent Score: 1

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

It doesn't matter what motherboard you chose. It is in your X2 which you compared to the G5 and is clearlt inferior in most regards.

I said the same thing in the article!

With regards to the ECC bit. The X2 doesn't have ECC because I don't need ECC. We're not comparing two machines you can buy pre-built here. The X2 is simply an example of a machine that can easily be built at a relatively low price using off-the-shelf PC components. If you needed ECC, and wanted to make a serious comparison between the two platforms, you'd just replace the motherboard with a Tyan K8E. This would cost you $200, about $70 more than the motherboard in the X2. You'd also put in an Opteron 175 (the Opteron version of the X2's chip). This would cost you $500, about $140 less than chip in the X2. If you want to have the ECC battle, go ahead. Just change these two components, and take $70 off the cost of the X2!

Reply Parent Score: 1