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We need to add a 4th drafting station in our office. We currently have three G4 Power Macs running Vectorworks. The new computer will be used primarily for two dimensional drafting using Vectorworks 11. Our projects are typically broken into three referenced files; each file is generally 10 MB.

We can choose between the 1.8 GHz duel processor Power Mac or the new 1.6 GHz single processor I-Mac.

As I understand it, the duel processors are not utilized by Vectorworks for 2 dimensional drafting work. If this assumption is correct, then the I-Mac may be a good choice. I know that Renderworks takes advantage of the duel processors, but we hardly ever use Renderworks.

20? I-Mac, 1 1.8 GHz processor: approximately $2,000

1.8 GHz duel processor Power Mac, with 20? monitor: approximately $3,200

Any advice? Will the Power Mac be noticeably faster for our work?

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If you're not doing RenderWorks, you will rarely notice the performance difference with the second processor, especially if you are only running VectorWorks and not switching between it and other applications a lot.

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I can see your logic when stating its use the only thing I'd consider is if you have seperates at least if a fault develops with a machine or a monitor it means you can still use the other item.

For example if the machine was not being used much and one of the other monitors went down it would be easy to swop monitors rather than loading files across then back again.

Also upgrading at a later date may cost less with only the computer to buy using the existing screen.

Apart from the graphics card spec, not really relevant from what you have stated, the new imac does sound very good when you consider the price of the stand alone 20" Apple display, you are not paying that much more to get a G5 computer with it!

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Our office has been buying the old "new" iMac's (the iLamp/sunflower) for our office machines for a year or so now. similar situation mostly 2D but most the the office does the occational 3D work. As weel as a few 17"powerbooks.

So we have G4's running VW11 and generally mail, itunes, maybe part of office or our databse, safari as so much technical information is web based these days. all running at the same time. VW is still responsive for most things. even large 10meg files.

Our Advise would be buy lots of memory, it is the thing that will have the best effect on getting the most out of any machine.

but considering the new iMac 20" 1.8Ghz and 1Gb ram is about the same price as the 17" sunflower with 256Mb ram 12-18 months ago.

the new iMac 20" looks like a very good cad machine.

but the question is does the all in one thing worry you?

we found it to be a non issue, that have cad being so visaully intensive upgrading monitors always happens with machine upgrade, and we have no trouble finding uses for the whole machine once it gets a bit to slow for cad 2-3 years down the track.

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Buy the G5 and just shuffle all the other equipment down a notch. Last person in line gets the oldest machine, first person in line gets a big smile. =-)

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I would be cautious about the new iMac for a while. The G5 processor generates a huge amount of heat (just look at the cooling schema on a G5 enclosure - it has 6 fans) and I am not confident that the cooling designed (3 low speed fans) into the iMac will be enough for processor intensive tasks, and could effect the LCD if to much heat builds up. The enclosure also houses the power supply which can generate a considerable amount of heat. Remember that the iMac is a consumer machine and designed for occasional use, not heavy duty all day burns. I would opt for the low end G5 if cost is a factor, or find a new discontinued model through a reseller.

HTH!

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The 1.8 dual w/ 20"Cinema Display is a great setup. I use it every day. It is reliable, powerful, fast, quiet and expandable. What more could you want?

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quote:

Originally posted by CipesDesign:

The 1.8 dual w/ 20"Cinema Display is a great setup. I use it every day. It is reliable, powerful, fast, quiet and expandable. What more could you want?

The 2.5 dual with a 23" or 30" display?

For the mentioned $3200 budget, though, the original purchaser might consider getting 2 20" iMacs, and selling one of their old G4s. The G4 -> G5 improvement is quite significant for some operations, such as solid operations.

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