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Member Mini-Review - iMac G5 (iSight)

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#1 PGHammer

PGHammer

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 31-August 03
  • Location: Accokeek, MD
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro with Media Center x64

Posted 13 January 2014 - 21:43

As I have said before. sometimes, odd duck hardware has been knwn to show up on my doorstoop, and yet another example showed up this past weekend - a 17" iMac G5 that was having various HDD-related issues (which turned out to be corruption-related).

 

What's In The Enclosure?

The G5 iSight comes with either a 17" or 20"display, a built-in camera. and normally shipped with OS X Tiger (it is upgradeable to Leopard).  It also includes gigabit Ethernet AND wireless (Airport). Contrary to belief, several non-Apple routers support Airport (such as Netgear's WNDR 3400 and newer - my own WNDR3700v4 was therefore not a problem).

 

The Minuses

As good as Apple has been as of late, the G5 was a rare victim of Bad Timing on Apple's part. 

Minus number one - these were among the last PowerPC Apple Macs (which means no Snow Leopard, let alone anything later).  Minus number two is low RAM capacity - the G5 hits the RAM ceiling at 2.5 GB of 533MHz DDR2.  Minus number three. fortunately for the used Mac marketplace, is a relative quibble - the standard HDDs (250GB for the iSight being reviewed, with a 400GB drive standard in the 20" model) and included DVD-burning SuperDrive makes this a serviceable, though dated, media machine.  Despite the lack of QuartzExtreme, the built-in  AMD Radeon 600XL PCI Express GPU is no slouch.




#2 Nick H.

Nick H.

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  • Location: Switzerland

Posted 13 January 2014 - 21:49

As I have said before. sometimes, odd duck hardware has been knwn to show up on my doorstoop

This might not be the place for such a question, but how does odd hardware show up on your door? Do you pay for it, or is there some magical Father Christmas somewhere that sends it to you? :p

That aside, I agree with the part about timing. Somewhat a shame, it had some great potential at the time.

#3 OP PGHammer

PGHammer

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 31-August 03
  • Location: Accokeek, MD
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro with Media Center x64

Posted 14 January 2014 - 17:25

This might not be the place for such a question, but how does odd hardware show up on your door? Do you pay for it, or is there some magical Father Christmas somewhere that sends it to you? :p

That aside, I agree with the part about timing. Somewhat a shame, it had some great potential at the time.

I support home users - relatives and family friends, mostly - and therefore see a wide - as in VERY wide - variety of hardware show up.  Desktops, notebooks, tablets, (including both Android and iOS - so far, no RT-based tablets) - even the occasional smartphone.  This is hardware that comes in for repair, upgrades (including upgrade evaluation), etc.  Generally, it comes from being "the family geek".

 

This is actually my second mini-review (my first was of the HP TouchSmart 610 - posted in the Windows forum).  This also the first Mac I've had come in (I've had a few iPhones, and one iPad, come in for software upgrades) - fortunately, because of my "Hack" experience, I can deal with the software side of Macs with no real issues.

 

Agreed - just from running this particular iMac, there was some serious underutilized potential there.  The RAM starvation shows even at the "midway point" between minimum and maximum amounts of RAM (the floor is 512MB, and the ceiling is 2.5GB - this iMac has 1.5GB) and it definitely shows in Leopard.  (That is, I think, partly due to the OS architecture of Leopard, compared to Tiger - Leopard, unlike Tiger, will also run on Intel hardware.  However, that same dual-arch support (both PPC and Intel) - apparently was why dual-arch didn't carry over to Snow Leopard, and thus roadblocked any PPC Mac to moving beyond Leopard.)

Another part of the underutilized potential is in (shockingly) the iSight camera - I've seen worse cameras - on newer Intel hardware, and not just portable hardware, either.  It's a real shame that this particular camera will never be used by FaceTime.

I seriously suspect this particular iMac came from an auction or liquidation - MarketPro Shows has one dealer that specializes in IT-related auction acquiring for resale - and generally has quite a few Macs - both PPC and x86, and parts for same - on offer, and I've seen a few iMacs on the offer sheet.  Once I get my own system properly upgraded, I will likely be looking for an Intel - not PPC - iMac for my bedroom.  (Intel, so I can run at least Lion, if not Mavericks, on it, and so I can take the same keyboard and mouse I have from my tower to it.  And iMac, due to the built-in camera.)