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View Full Version : Can you advice me how to upgrade a good imac G3?




gusanitoverde
Mar 24, 2007, 01:01 AM
I have a top notch Mac book pro, but my 2 year old daughter received as a gift a G3 imac YOU SHOULD SEE HER USING IT!

Anyway, looks kind of dark blue, I don't know if it is an indigo.
Was bought on April, 2001.
Some specs:
PowerPC 750 (32.2).
It had OS 9, and I upgraded it to OSX 10.3 with not a problem, however it is soooo slow.
Apparently, according to the system profiler. It has only two slots for RAM and one of them has a 128 MB SDRAM, PC100-222S. Does this mean that I could put another 128, so I will be able to max out to 256? Can I max out to more than 256? I heard drumors that you could max out to... 1Gb?

I am out to best buy tomorrow to buy the Ram.

Thanks!!!



TheAnswer
Mar 24, 2007, 01:32 AM
First off...questions:

1. Does it have a slot-loading drive or a tray-loading drive?
2. When you go to About This Mac... what specs does it give for the Processor? What does the System Profiler say about the Video Card.
3. Also, if it has a Model # on it...what is it?
4. Also...what size in the Hard Drive?

I just want to make sure we are talking about the right model before we give out any suggestions.

Edit: Don't buy RAM at Best Buy...there are other places online to get it a lot cheaper.

Download Mactracker (http://www.mactracker.ca/), it's a free application that gives you information on all mac models...you can look at the iMac and compare with the various models shown in Mactracker. That will give you an idea want you can to with it. Ram is a good idea, I'd suggest looking online at either Crucial (http://www.crucial.com/) or Ramjet (http://www.ramjet.com/).

California
Mar 24, 2007, 03:08 AM
you can upgrade the ram to 1 gig with two 512 chips.

You can also upgrade the hard drive to 120gbs. I did this to a similar iMac g3 and WOW. It runs tiger great and is very fast for a six year old machine... Also, if it doesn't have a dvd drive, you can upgrade that part too.

gusanitoverde
Mar 24, 2007, 11:57 AM
Thanks so much!!!

Let me get topgether the specs...

gusanitoverde
Mar 24, 2007, 12:01 PM
1. Does it have a slot-loading drive or a tray-loading drive?
Slot
2. When you go to About This Mac... what specs does it give for the Processor?
400 Mhz, PowerPC G3
Memory 128 MB SDRAM
What does the System Profiler say about the Video Card.
I don't see a video card listed.
3. Also, if it has a Model # on it...what is it? No model number, just says iMac
4. Also...what size in the Hard Drive?
10 GB

TheAnswer
Mar 24, 2007, 12:16 PM
From the spec, you can definitely handle up to 1GB of RAM. You can also upgrade the OS to the current version (although I would recommend upgrading the hard drive before you do so). The RAM alone will probably be a big help.

Several revisions came in the Indigo color, but it looks like both take the same kind of RAM (PC100 3.3v 168-pin SDRAM). There is also a firmware update (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75130) available.

gusanitoverde
Mar 24, 2007, 12:29 PM
So, when I ask for the ram, what I am looking for is...
512MB PC100 SD RAM of 168 pins.

But what kind of Hard drive?

TheAnswer
Mar 24, 2007, 12:35 PM
The max size of the Hard Drive is 128GB, of the Ultra ATA variety...I think it is a regular-sized drive...not sure about that, though. If you have the documentation, it might say in there. If not, hopefully someone else can chime in with more info and maybe some tips for upgrading the drive.

On RAMJET, here are the specs for the RAM (http://www.ramjet.com/imacdv.asp). Shop around online to see if those prices are good (check Crucial the link above).

compudude86
Mar 24, 2007, 12:58 PM
The max size of the Hard Drive is 128MB, of the Ultra ATA variety...I think it is a regular-sized drive...not sure about that, though. If you have the documentation, it might say in there. If not, hopefully someone else can chime in with more info and maybe some tips for upgrading the drive.

On RAMJET, here are the specs for the RAM (http://www.ramjet.com/imacdv.asp). Shop around online to see if those prices are good (check Crucial the link above).

for clarification, i think you mean 128GB?

gusanitoverde
Mar 24, 2007, 01:15 PM
Yes it needs a firmware update. But I don't have OS9 and it requires it. Is the firmware significant or essential?
Otherwise i will have to install OS9. Still in the hard drive model I am lost.
What about the graphics card?

smokeyrabbit
Mar 24, 2007, 01:25 PM
.

TheAnswer
Mar 24, 2007, 01:28 PM
Still in the hard drive model I am lost.
What about the graphics card?

I'm not sure you can upgrade the graphics card. If i remember right, the hard drive might take a little work too...you want an Ultra ATA drive (not SATA) of up to 128GB in size. Here is a blog entry (http://notd.blogs.com/notd/2004/01/upgrading_a_400.html) on upgrading the model you (likely) have. Looks like you want a 5400-rpm drive instead of one with a 7200-rpm. It could be that the iMac already has the firmware update installed, but I'm not sure how to verify if it has or not.

SteveG4Cube
Mar 24, 2007, 02:08 PM
Here are the specs for that system:

http://www.apple-history.com/?page=gallery&model=imac_cdrw&performa=off&sort=date&order=ASC

You could also overclock it to 450, 500, 550... The iMac G3 is pretty simple to disassemble, you can do the hard drive upgrade while you're in there:

http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~t-imai/imacde1.html

California
Mar 24, 2007, 02:52 PM
I'm not sure you can upgrade the graphics card. If i remember right, the hard drive might take a little work too...you want an Ultra ATA drive (not SATA) of up to 128GB in size. Here is a blog entry (http://notd.blogs.com/notd/2004/01/upgrading_a_400.html) on upgrading the model you (likely) have. Looks like you want a 5400-rpm drive instead of one with a 7200-rpm. It could be that the iMac already has the firmware update installed, but I'm not sure how to verify if it has or not.

You DO NOT need to worry about heat issues and get a 5400RPM hard drive instead of a faster, better 7200rpm hard drive. They are full sized 3.5 ata drives. (Not SATA) Also, try to get a 8mb cache hard drive instead of a 2mb cache. That's old news about getting a slower rpm drive for heat issues. New hard drives run wth less heat problems than older ones did.

The ram is also EITHER PC133 or PC100 168pin ram. Your iMac will recognize either. PC 133 ram is backwards compatible. I even have some 128 sticks and maybe a 256 stick i'll sell you. The fastest way to go is 1 gb of ram but with 768mb of ram -- a 512mb stick and a 256mb stick -- you still will be sailing.

I've never bothered with the firmware update on all the G3 iMacs I've run. This is because i just wipe the hard drive clean and start from scratch.

gusanitoverde
Mar 24, 2007, 08:13 PM
I just came back from Fry's. I bought a 512 Kingston for $79.00, just to test it out.

I will reply with the results.

gusanitoverde
Mar 25, 2007, 01:42 AM
Now it's really moving, only with a 512 and the 128 RAM, now I need to get another 512 and the hard drive. Fry's said that they didn't have a HD that small (128 GB).

Aniej
Mar 25, 2007, 01:46 AM
advise.

Angrist
Mar 25, 2007, 11:01 AM
Just order from someplace like newegg.com (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=Property&Subcategory=14&Description=&Type=&N=2000150014&srchInDesc=&MinPrice=&MaxPrice=&PropertyCodeValue=359%3A7789&PropertyCodeValue=359%3A7788&PropertyCodeValue=353%3A7793&PropertyCodeValue=355%3A7776&PropertyCodeValue=360%3A7800)

They have 120GB drives for about $60.

brop52
Apr 7, 2007, 01:36 PM
Along the same lines I want to upgrade this iMac before getting a new one this summer. I'm going to hand this one over to my mom to use.

Right now I only have 384 MB RAM but I just bought a 512 MB chip from crucial to have a total of 768 MB. What exactly do you do with old RAM chips? I know some of them have toxic metal components and need to be recycled somehow. I would be getting rid of the 128 MB PC100 chip that is in there now so I'll have the 512 and 256 chips together.

My other question is whether or not it is worth upgrading the internal HD. 10.5 probably will not be compatible with this computer or will it? If it will be then I will certainly upgrade the HD since I can get a decent one for 40 bucks at newegg. Right now I have a 20 GB drive and I think it is heavily fragmented since it is near capacity and therefore slow. After I get a new mac I will be removing a lot of the files and wiping the HD so that it is suited for my mom's needs as a business comp using excel, various graphics programs, and everyday use. I will probably get a firewire external HD when I get a new iMac as a backup HD but as of now I don't have one.

Will the: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144122 (Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JB 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM) be compatible with my G3 Indigo 500 MHz. iMac in terms of dimensions? It is below the 120 GB max so I know that's fine. It seems like a good product with the 8 MB cache instead of the normal 2 MB. It is 11 dollars cheaper than the 120 GB model. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144118 (Western Digital Caviar SE WD1200JB 120GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive - OEM)

One final question and I apologize for hijacking the thread. I don't really need to burn DVDs on this iMac if I get a new one so would it be worth it to buy a combo CDRW/DVD ROM drive? Getting the Tiger Disc to work on this was an experience of transfering here and there with another HD I got from my girlfriend for the job. I've seen various iMac compatible combo drives around the internet for under 100 and some far above that. I'd like a bare minimum thing but I'm just testing the waters.

I don't really need any of these things and I'm just wondering how much the HD/combo drive would help in terms of speeding up the machine. A wipe of the HD now would probably speed it up big time or with running some defrag program since it is at its limits.