So, is it faster?


Er... Yeah, I guess so. Most of what I do these days revolves around remote sessions (now over a Bluetooth/3G link to headquarters, yay), so it's kind of hard to compare. My G4 was already pretty fast, and there is only so much you can do at the UI level. The iMac G5 boots much faster, windows are snappier, and switching desktops with Virtue is... mostly the same, honestly. There is only so much you can do to speed up shifting a couple of million pixels sideways, and most of it is the transition timing anyway...

Compiling Fink packages, however (which is what I'm doing in the background while sorting out my corporate mailbox), seems one hell of a lot faster, and I expect to enjoy the G5 a lot more when I finally have time to get back to coding. This weekend will be spent time-slicing between Advanced MPLS Design and Implementation, my Toshiba and (hopefully) David's project (as well as the usual family stuff), so there won't be much time left for playing around.

I am, of course, curious about iLife performance. My G5 came with iLife'04, and I will be investigating how to use the coupons to upgrade to '05 at the earliest opportunity. Anyone here in Portugal care to drop me a line on how to upgrade to iLife'05 using the coupons?

The essential stuff (managing my photos) is quite a bit snappier even with iPhoto 4, and a couple of dry runs with iDVD and iMovie were pretty damn impressive - scrubbing through the Doom 3 trailer effortlessly with a mere twist of my PowerMate while applying video effects kind of drives the point home - despite there being little perceived performance increase from my G4 at the user interface level, the raw computational power is quite considerable.

As to the upgrade process itself, well... The Firewire import trick saved me a whole lot of time and trouble. Despite the hours it took to copy my many gigabytes of stuff across, it made me instantly productive when it was done.

Of course there are still umpteen little things to reinstall, but I did want to start with a clean Applications folder, and will be copying only a couple of things from the G4. The first one was (obviously) Quake III Arena, which runs flawlessly - and with a more uniform framerate than on the old machine (the same settings apply, of course, since the screen is the same).

Which reminds me - I will get rid of the Apple mouse and install my white Microsoft wireless mouse at the earliest opportunity (I need a right button and scroll wheel for Remote Desktop and X11).

Physically, it's quite a bit different. It's a bit noisier (obviously), but nothing too much. Actually, the fan is louder than the disk drive (which I can barely hear at all), and the DVD drive is fairly quiet when compared to the old one. Despite the built-in speakers, I will miss the great bass from the G4's Pro Speakers (whose jack won't fit the G5), but then I don't spend that much time listening to music at the computer these days. And yes, the Harman Karndon Soundsticks 2 would be a nice match, but I can't really spend much more cash right now.

Update: Matt Green just added a comment pointing me to the iFire, which lets anything with a Firewire port power the Pro Speakers and might be a pretty neat idea if I really miss them and come across a pair at discount. My current set is being sold along with my old G4, but someone else might find the hint useful.

The machine itself does have a more imposing physical presence - the G4 is more elegant in that regard, since you can pretty much hide everything from view behind the screen. And until my G4 is sold, I won't have everything plugged in, so I can't really say if the connector arrangement is functional.

And now, back to MPLS.


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