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View Full Version : Got a G5 for free... What now?




jmeeter
Sep 19, 2011, 03:35 PM
So the computer lab at school was getting rid of a bunch of PowerPC G5's and I got one for free. My main computer is a '07 era Macbook Pro but is the G5 usable for anything? All I'm interested in is surfing the web, seeding torrents, and maybe typing school stuff. I'll save the resource intensive projects for my MBP.

Any ideas or thoughts?



wrinkster22
Sep 19, 2011, 03:37 PM
a digital photo frame

adcx64
Sep 19, 2011, 03:38 PM
Is it a PowerMac or an iMac? Most likely an iMac since it's from a school. Specs?

Paulywauly
Sep 19, 2011, 03:43 PM
Dump all of your media on that thing and turn it into a kick a55 media/torrent server man :D

joepunk
Sep 19, 2011, 03:48 PM
Why is it that I never hear of this free computer stuff from any of my old schools :(

alust2013
Sep 19, 2011, 03:50 PM
It would certainly be up to browsing and other fairly basic tasks. Depending on which model you got, you may even be able to play flash on it.

jmeeter
Sep 19, 2011, 03:53 PM
Is it a PowerMac or an iMac? Most likely an iMac since it's from a school. Specs?

It's a PowerMac. :)

InuNacho
Sep 19, 2011, 07:10 PM
Depending on the model it could be on par if not better than your MBP.

If it's got Tiger you can put every PPC and a fair amount of Classic games on there.

jmeeter
Sep 19, 2011, 07:47 PM
It has Leopard on it. I am trying to install Leopard over it from my external hdd and so far no dice... this is a nightmare!

Nameci
Sep 19, 2011, 08:09 PM
You just don't know... it is not a nightmare.

Nova77
Sep 19, 2011, 08:19 PM
It would certainly be up to browsing and other fairly basic tasks. Depending on which model you got, you may even be able to play flash on it.

What are the specs?
Even a G4 can make a good web browsing// basic tasks machine, and you can watch flash videos using quicktime player, so I bet the G5 is good for alot of things! :)

Ryy
Sep 19, 2011, 09:01 PM
You just don't know... it is not a nightmare.

Thank you!

Marcush1286
Sep 19, 2011, 10:57 PM
What G5 is it? If its a Quad or a Late 2005 model, those are good for almost everything and anything EXCEPT for more modern software like CS5,CS5.5, etc and also modern gaming - all this moved to Intel ways back.

I too have a G5 Quad and am happy with its results. Very fast and wicked machine.

AdrianK
Sep 20, 2011, 01:32 AM
I am trying to install Leopard over it from my external hdd and so far no dice... this is a nightmare!

Needs to be a FireWire drive.

Nova77
Sep 20, 2011, 07:51 AM
It has Leopard on it. I am trying to install Leopard over it from my external hdd and so far no dice... this is a nightmare!

Try installing it using your laptop with your G5 on target mode via firewire cable. Its simple as installing it on your laptop, just don't forget to select the good hard drive (the one from the G5).

To start your computer in target mode, press "T" at startup. Press the power button when you're finished installing stuff, it won't damage your computer (because it acts like an external drive).

jmeeter
Sep 20, 2011, 08:20 AM
I realized that this was actually a clean install... I thought it was loaded full of student junk but I guess they wiped it before I got it. So I scratched the clean install idea and just created a new admin account, deleting the other one.

I was also able to get some extra RAM - it had four(4) 256MB sticks in it but was only showing 512MB in system info. I replaced the two 'bottom' (read: closest to the ground) sticks with two 512MB sticks and now it's reading as 1GB total. Why aren't the other sticks working properly?

doctormark77
Sep 20, 2011, 02:51 PM
I had the same issue with my g5. Come to find out they have to be installed in pairs.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2248 give this a shot.

VanneDC
Sep 20, 2011, 06:12 PM
still no spec info???

mate if its en edu model G5, its worth Jack, and has a crippled FSB, single cpu and wont be able to do much at all...

what spec is the one you have?

goMac
Sep 20, 2011, 06:15 PM
mate if its en edu model G5, its worth Jack, and has a crippled FSB, single cpu and wont be able to do much at all...

Apple never made edu versions of the Power Mac G5, only the iMac.

I believe the eMac was still around at that time as well?

VanneDC
Sep 20, 2011, 06:20 PM
i was ofcourse referring to the 1.6ghz single cpu model.. which is next to useless..

andy.barron
Sep 20, 2011, 06:26 PM
I have a 2.7 Dual G5 running os x server, works like a dream.

Also depending on the software (non Intel) they are still very capable machines, CS4 for instance.

reddrag0n
Sep 21, 2011, 03:59 AM
still no spec info???

mate if its en edu model G5, its worth Jack, and has a crippled FSB, single cpu and wont be able to do much at all...

what spec is the one you have?

I think you are referring to this G5?
Power Macintosh G5/1.8 Single (http://lowendmac.com/ppc/power-macintosh-g5-single.html)

VanneDC
Sep 23, 2011, 12:50 AM
Nah I was referring to this crap box

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g5/stats/powermac_g5_1.6.html

mrsir2009
Sep 23, 2011, 03:36 AM
Why is it that I never hear of this free computer stuff from any of my old schools :(

Its not only schools. My uncle gave me a great condition iBook with a brand new battery a year or so ago. :D

Since they still support the Classic environment they're great to play old-school games on.

chrismacguy
Sep 23, 2011, 07:15 AM
Nah I was referring to this crap box

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g5/stats/powermac_g5_1.6.html

While that G5 *is* a little bit crappy as G5s go, its certainly a long way from "useless" or a "crap box". (Heck, Im still using a 8100/100 for actual work). Single G5s make darn good servers, because lets face it, file serving etc doesn't need much CPU power, and neither does doing any non-flash based web browsing, or playing music in iTunes etc. (If I can still do most of my web browsing on a Dual 867 G4, Im pretty sure a Single 1.6 G5 could still do plenty). It can do a lot more than you seem to be implying. It can't hold a candle to a Intel Mac (bar the Core Solo Mini), but its still a potentially useful computer.

VanneDC
Sep 23, 2011, 04:32 PM
Sure it can still do useful work, but I wouldent waste my time with a box like that. Same as using a dual g4/single/dual g5 as a server, way to expensive in power usage. But that's just me, where I live the power bill is more than 300nz dollars a month, that's around 300 us a month.. Adds up for the year..g5 for server, on 24/7 ??? No thanks... Even if it's the crappy single 1.6.

ecschwarz
Sep 23, 2011, 05:22 PM
Sure it can still do useful work, but I wouldent waste my time with a box like that. Same as using a dual g4/single/dual g5 as a server, way to expensive in power usage. But that's just me, where I live the power bill is more than 300nz dollars a month, that's around 300 us a month.. Adds up for the year..g5 for server, on 24/7 ??? No thanks... Even if it's the crappy single 1.6.

I'd use it as a backup or just an extra machine if your main one is tied up. I'm using one and it's sleeping most of the time, but comes in real handy if I want to do things and keep my MacBook Pro free. It's a bit geeky, but these are still solid machines.

As for serving up things, you may want to grab a cheap G4 Mac mini - mine used to be my main computer and I've since retired it to serve videos for my Apple TV and other Apple products on my network. The power consumption on those is next to nothing.

chrismacguy
Sep 23, 2011, 05:31 PM
Sure it can still do useful work, but I wouldent waste my time with a box like that. Same as using a dual g4/single/dual g5 as a server, way to expensive in power usage. But that's just me, where I live the power bill is more than 300nz dollars a month, that's around 300 us a month.. Adds up for the year..g5 for server, on 24/7 ??? No thanks... Even if it's the crappy single 1.6.

See I live in the UK with a more acceptable electricity pricing, and I use 2 Dual G4 MDDs as file servers, and their perfect. They don't cost a fortune, and they sit nicely in a cupboard reliably serving up files and running as Logic Nodes. Id quite happily take a G5/1.6 as a replacement, especially for the Dual 867 G4 (Similar speed and SATA instead of IDE - so much more storage capacity).

Heck, I use a Dual 867 G4 as my "do everything I don't want to gum up my Mac Pro with" machine, including email, safari, twitter etc etc, and its perfectly capable, or as mentioned above, as a backup machine. (Id use a Single G5 while my Mac Pro was in the shop as long as it could connect up to my screens - sure things might take a while, but its a good backup machine/extra machine to chuck stuff at if your main one is under heavy load).

VanneDC
Sep 24, 2011, 01:30 AM
Has old mate told anyone the specs of his free g5 box yet??
I am really curious.. Getting 2nd hand PM is always great ESP if you don't know what your actually getting.. Have found so many surprises inside previously...

rdp5008
Oct 19, 2011, 01:46 PM
i was ofcourse referring to the 1.6ghz single cpu model.. which is next to useless..

I have this model and I'm trying to unload it. I upgraded the RAM to 4GB, put in a 7200 rpm HDD, and upgraded the video card. It just isn't quite fast enough to comfortably browse the web. I have Aperture 2 installed and it works nicely as a backup but any editing takes ages.

So it might be a crapbox but it looks pretty and still runs some things. AND it works great as a space heater in the winter!

macintoshbg
Oct 21, 2011, 04:57 PM
Dude you are so luck y to get a free PowerMac! I just bought one for 180 GBP! :D COngrats! Anyways, I'm thinking of setting up a file share between my Win 7 Dell lappy and the "big boy", and slowly migrating over to the PowerMac. I'm probably going to keep the Dell for some Windows/AMD/Intel only stuff, a few games, or when friends come over and they want to use a computer, stuff like that. But big boy is going to be the work computer. I guess I'll be using it with Leopard (will max out RAM and HDD(s) as needed :D) and I'll probs be doing a LOT of net and Skype "work", word processing, PPT creating and stuff like that. iMovie is also something I'd be using sometimes. Before I snatched up mine I looked all over the internet and most people are saying the G5 is still capable enough for this stuff. Good luck with yours! :apple: :)