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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:14 pm 
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Now that prices for dual-CPU G5 PowerMacs are down in the $500 range, I've been thinking about getting one. I'd particularly like a dual 2.7GHz system, but unfortunately it uses a liquid-cooling system that apparently had its share of quirks.

Can anyone attest to the reliability of these systems? With proper maintenance, can they be used over a long period? I'd like to put the system to work as a Final Cut Pro editing machine, which would require it to run for long periods at high levels of CPU usage.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:27 pm 
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So long as you or Apple have replaced the LCU O-rings you should be fine.

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:35 am 
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A little more digging on Craigslist has revealed that quad 2.5GHz G5 PowerMacs are going for about $100 more than dual 2.7GHz systems, so I might just spring for the ultimate G5 system. I hope Final Cut Pro 5 is well-optimized for four CPU cores. And I also hope that the cooling systems on the quad G5s are reliable.


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Unread postPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 8:15 am 
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I have the quad g5. It should be reliable if you leave it on or off all the time. The stress on all water cooling comes from continuous severe temp extremes. It's a nice box. I use it in my studio for FCP, and logic 8. Be aware PPC support dropped in all the latest version of Logic, FCP, protools, snow leopard, etc... When apple dropped it everyone did.

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:53 pm 
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skywriter wrote:
It should be reliable if you leave it ... off all the time.


Also applicable to 1978 Jaguars.

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 2:56 am 
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I had a DC 2.0 late 2005 model. They make for great web surfin and ppc gaming machines. If you are super worried, I would aim for the DC 2.3ghz late 2005 model. It's the fastest air cooled g5. The Dual 2.7s are an older gen G5 with I believe AGP and DDR1 vs the PCIE and DDR2 in the late 2005 models.

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:50 am 
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The pump, being a moving part, will inevitably fail just like fans and hard drives. The difference being the latter two are easier to replace. Would you still be pleased with the purchase if it lasted a year, two, or ten?


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Unread postPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 12:19 pm 
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I'm happy as long as it delays purchase of a new model macpro. The longer you wait the more you get for your dollar.

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Unread postPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 6:40 am 
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geeks.com had refurb macpros for well under $1k not too long ago, they were first gen (not 64 bit efi, AFAIK). If you want a good price from a "real store" they are pretty good.

There is also the option of getting an air-cooled one and DIY if you really want watercooling.

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Unread postPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 4:08 am 
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sybrfreq wrote:
There is also the option of getting an air-cooled one and DIY if you really want watercooling.


What I would like to do is the opposite, air cooling on a water-cooled model, specially the quad G5 one.

So far, I haven´t found any project like this.

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Unread postPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 8:12 pm 
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metallizer wrote:
What I would like to do is the opposite, air cooling on a water-cooled model, specially the quad G5 one.

So far, I haven´t found any project like this.


Air cooling is substantially easier to implement, more reliable, and less expensive. While I certainly wouldn't put it past Apple to go with something unnecessarily complex for the "coolness factor", I doubt that the G5 water cooled model was done because of coolness (if it were there probably would be a Cray-esque "waterfall" to show it off). They did air-cool on the lesser models, therefore it is likely that there was a technical problem precluding air-cooling on the water-cooled models.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 4:00 pm 
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SAQ wrote:
it is likely that there was a technical problem precluding air-cooling on the water-cooled models.


Yes, it's called "noise".


Often, for workstations from other vendors (HP, etc) the liquid cooling option has something like quiet or silent in the name.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:41 pm 
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sybrfreq wrote:
SAQ wrote:
it is likely that there was a technical problem precluding air-cooling on the water-cooled models.


Yes, it's called "noise".


Often, for workstations from other vendors (HP, etc) the liquid cooling option has something like quiet or silent in the name.


Could be that, could also be too much heat generated in too small a space, though with heat pipes that is becoming less and less a concern.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 2:22 am 
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I never met a water cooled mainframe that was quiet ;P

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Unread postPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Quote:
And I also hope that the cooling systems on the quad G5s are reliable.


Good god.

In a nutshell, no. I would not say that these systems are reliable. They're slow, they suck up a metric boatload of power, they throw a lot of that off as heat and they're not in particular that quiet once you're loading them down (the fans rev up, and things start to get whooshy). Likewise, the mere fact that there's any sort of liquid inside them should discount any thoughts of "reliability" immediately.

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geeks.com had refurb macpros for well under $1k not too long ago, they were first gen (not 64 bit efi, AFAIK). If you want a good price from a "real store" they are pretty good.


I too would recommend a 1st generation Mac Pro. I owned one for a loooooong time. It was a wonderful box. They're extremely well built and a quad 2.66ghz will kick the crap out of a quad 2.5ghz G5 any day. Despite the lack of a 64-bit EFI implementation, they will still run Mac OS X 10.7 as Lion is due to come out with a 32-bit kernel (minimum system requirements start at a Core 2 Duo).

IMHO; I would bypass anything PowerPC at this point. It's just not worth it. Noise, power consumption, performance. None of it is impressive in the least compared to the Intel machines. And if that Quad ever springs a leak, it usually lands up inside the PSU where something is going to get fried, or corrode away. Those drip pads on the top of the PSU never did anything in my experience, since the LCS modules tended to fail in rather spectacular ways, or slowly enough for corrosion to kick in until the machine finally died.

-DN

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