Apple iMac G5

Info & chat about quiet prebuilt, small form factor and barebones systems, people's experiences with vendors thereof, etc.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
ejl10
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:17 pm

Apple iMac G5

Post by ejl10 » Sun May 15, 2005 6:11 pm

Just wanted to check in and give a quick review. I bought one of these (20" 2.0GHz Revision B) a few days ago. First off, it isn't silent. My PC (listed in my sig) is nearly silent, and the difference is noticeable. That said, it isn't loud, and the noise I hear is pretty benign. Right now it is in the middle of a 20 hour file transfer marathon getting movies over the 802.11g network from my PC. The hard drive is active, and I have a dynamic 3D desktop background, so the system is running pretty warm compared to where it will be when passive. I think it sounds a bit louder because everything is on the desk right in front of you (like a SFF system), but it is tolerable.

Anyhow, I'm sure I'll have more info in the future, but I wanted to give you all a quick update of the Revision B machines. For reference, it uses an ATI Radeon 9600 chip, so thats good. The HD is 250GB, but I don't know the brand yet. I'll have to crack the case to find out.
[size=75]My 20" iMac G5 is not silent. Oh well, its still nice.[/size]

ejl10
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:17 pm

Post by ejl10 » Mon May 23, 2005 9:26 am

Still haven't opened it up, but I found a little utility that shows me the hard disk is a Maxtor. No big surprise there. I did find something out that makes me uncomfortable... apparently changing the hard disk in the iMac G5s voids the warranty. That isn't a good thing, as I was already starting to think about replacing it. I have three days left to return it...

Edit - Read below... this does NOT void the warranty.
Last edited by ejl10 on Tue May 24, 2005 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[size=75]My 20" iMac G5 is not silent. Oh well, its still nice.[/size]

Green Shoes
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 477
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:41 am
Location: Nashville, TN

Post by Green Shoes » Mon May 23, 2005 9:34 am

Simply opening the casing on an iMac voids the warranty....you don't have to do anything besides unscrew the backing. It is a very proprietary layout, but Apple's always been overly anal about this kind of thing. But then, most "power PC" users probably aren't going to own an iMac anyway, and if they do they probably won't care about the warranty very much. I've got a PowerMac G4 and I've voided the warranty four times already :lol:

ejl10
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:17 pm

Post by ejl10 » Mon May 23, 2005 1:29 pm

Actually, a nice thing about the G5 iMac is that you can open it up and do a few things. However, theres a thermostat cable attached to the drive rails that needs to be removed in order to replace the HD, and you're not allowed to remove it. Of course, if you purchase a new "drive assembly" from Apple (e.g. drive, rails, and thermostat) you can install it yourself... whatever that's worth.
[size=75]My 20" iMac G5 is not silent. Oh well, its still nice.[/size]

Straker
Posts: 657
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:10 pm
Location: AB, Canada
Contact:

Post by Straker » Mon May 23, 2005 8:21 pm

shrug, no other vendor allows its users to do anything either, which is to be expected - most people shouldn't be allowed to use computers, let alone open them up. the only difference here is that building your own Mac usually isn't an option. :P

Mac cases used to actually have plastic struts across the latches/holes/whatever on the inside, so they'd crack and crunch and sound like you broke them when you first opened the case, but it was just so Apple could tell the case had been opened. Thing is that they didn't (and don't) have any way of knowing whether you've opened the case or not, so it's just like replacing a used PC CPU under warranty - as long as you haven't done anything egregiously stupid, it shouldn't matter.

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Mon May 23, 2005 8:55 pm

Straker wrote:shrug, no other vendor allows its users to do anything either, which is to be expected - most people shouldn't be allowed to use computers, let alone open them up. the only difference here is that building your own Mac usually isn't an option.
Not sure that is completely true. On most PC's you can add or change components without voiding the warranty on the original components. Obviously, if a CPU or video card fails, and you have replaced the HSF, that might a different story. But in many cases, you can put the OEM HSF back on.

This is especially true since in most situations, you can just return the defective parts and get replacements, so they obviously expect you to open the case.

ejl10
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:17 pm

Post by ejl10 » Tue May 24, 2005 7:22 am

Well, I've cleared the issue up a bit. I chatted with Apple tech support last night, and they said that the user is free to upgrade the hard disk without voiding the warranty. They ask that you keep the original disk so that it can be put back in for diagnostic purposes if you ever run into problems. That's much better than the rumor I'd heard, so I'm pleased.

With regard to the other components... the CPU, video card (chip), fans, etc. are all either built in or proprietary in their form factors, so theres really no way to upgrade them. The only internal upgrades are the memory (up to 2GB) and, now, the hard disk. For an all-in-one machine, thats all I expected. I'll be getting an external firewire drive for backup once the 400GB Seagates come down a bit. I'll tuck it somewhere out of the way where I won't have to hear it.

By the way, the built in 802.11g and Bluetooth both work fine with excellent range. The speakers are better than laptop speakers, but not great. The Logitechs are staying with the Mac. The screen is excellent- no dead or stuck pixels, vivid colors, and bright. The 20" size doesn't hurt either. I don't use it for games, so I'm not sure if ghosting would be a problem.

If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask.
[size=75]My 20" iMac G5 is not silent. Oh well, its still nice.[/size]

ejl10
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2003 6:17 pm

Post by ejl10 » Fri May 27, 2005 3:09 am

Another unsolicited update -

I ran the iMac all day yesterday with the energy saving features (sleep, display sleep, and hard disk sleep) turned off and a 3D screen saver running. Unfortunately, when I returned home from work it was hard to miss the noise. It was borderline loud, and beyond unacceptable from silent PC standards. I'm going to stick with the iMac, but I'm starting to think about the money I spent...
[size=75]My 20" iMac G5 is not silent. Oh well, its still nice.[/size]

Entropy
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 5:51 am

Post by Entropy » Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:30 am

ejl10 wrote:Another unsolicited update -

I ran the iMac all day yesterday with the energy saving features (sleep, display sleep, and hard disk sleep) turned off and a 3D screen saver running. Unfortunately, when I returned home from work it was hard to miss the noise. It was borderline loud, and beyond unacceptable from silent PC standards. I'm going to stick with the iMac, but I'm starting to think about the money I spent...
Uhm, if I may ask - if you want to have a quiet computing experience, why do you run it with all energy saving technology off, and with a 3D screen saver? Isn't that pretty self defeating? Particularly when you're not even using the machine?

Use the energy saving tech. It's works well, the fan will spin down, the disk drive will go into stand-by and be completely silent, et cetera.

If you're not afraid of voiding your warranty, (which you seem to be) there are steps you can take to ensure that the fan keeps civil no matter what. Apple hardware typically has good engineering safety margins, but you should be aware that you make those margins slimmer if you fiddle with the cooling. But then, that is the case with any silent pc project as well. (I did this very quickly with my own 17" lamp-mac.)

I'd use the iMac as it was intended first, and see how I felt about it. Then I would wait for the new Samsung drives, and see if it was quieter than the competition. If so, change HD, because having the HD in front of you does make it more noticeable.

Post Reply