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khogan16
Mar 1, 2004, 02:31 AM
Hello,
I just bought a used Imac G3 333Mhz with 6gig drive and 32 megs ram. I picked this up for my dughter since she uses them at school. I have no knowledge of Macs but have delt with pcs for over 15 years. I need to know what i can to do to speed up this computer. I am sure that adding more ram would help, but im not quite sure how much of a speed gain i will get. I was wonder if a new processor would help and if so what do i get. i would also like to update the OS it is running 8.6, but I cant figure out if this computer will be able to handle OS X or 9?

as u can see I have no real idea what to do when it comes to macs. Any help that U can give will be welcome. :D

MoparShaha
Mar 1, 2004, 02:45 AM
The RAM is a given. How much you want depends on what OS you want to upgrade to. Even though the computer is old, I'd still get a copy of OS X Panther. OS 9 will be faster, but it's old, doesn't have much application support now, and is not as stable as OS X. If you're going to run OS X, the minimum I'd run it with is 256 MB of RAM, although I'd recommend 512 MB. With this setup, the computer will be decent. If you're going to run OS 9, you should have at least 128 MB RAM, but again, I'd go with OS X. As for the processor upgrade, it's just not worth it. You can pick up a new eMac for a little more than the cost of the processor upgrade plus the RAM.

blue&whiteman
Mar 1, 2004, 05:30 AM
I would put whatever os your daughter uses at school on it so that her experience at school can continue when she gets home. as for speed boost the ram would help a lot yes but it would depend on what OS you run. there is no way that X will run on it with just 32mb though as it needs a min. of 128.

as far as cpu upgrades you can get a G4/466 upgrade for it for only 200. check it out: http://fastmac.com/products/processors/tl_imac.php. I went from a G3 350 to a G4 500 and it made a huge difference with osx.

hope this helps.

flyfish29
Mar 1, 2004, 09:13 AM
I would put whatever os your daughter uses at school on it so that her experience at school can continue when she gets home. as far as cpu upgrades you can get a G4/466 upgrade for it for only 200. check it out: http://fastmac.com/products/processors/tl_imac.php. I went from a G3 350 to a G4 500 and it made a huge difference with osx.

hope this helps.

How old is your daughter? What kind of macs do they have at school...crt iMac, eMac, flatscreen iMac?

I would start with the memory because you HAVE TO UPGRADE THIS to update to any other OS and be happy. How high you go depends on what she will want to do with it. What is she doing to do with it. If it is just email, word processing, digital photos and instant messages to friends then I would NOT upgrade the processor as you would see little difference on these types of things. The problem with upgrading just the processor is the bus speeds among other things on these machines will only let a certain amount of data through and still create sort of a bottleneck of sorts. Kind of like adding a Porche engine to a ford Fiesta. The engiine will rock, but the drivetrain will only allow it to go a little bit faster.

I don't know what you paid for this iMac, but if you are thinking of doing a new processor for $200, memory for over $100, OS upgrade for over $100 then you are getting dangerously close to affording a refurbished eMac on AppleStore.com for $649 which would have the following:
1GHz PowerPC G4
128MB SDRAM
40GB Ultra ATA drive (6 times the size of your current iMac)
Combo drive (CD burner plus DVD player)
17-inch flat CRT display
The eMacs flat CRT display has nearly 40% more viewing area than a 15-inch CRT.

Much nicer speakers
iLife software suite
Panther OSX 10.3!!!!
Quicken 2004 Deluxe, World Book 2003 Edition, Mac OS X Chess, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4, Deimos Rising and Sound Studio.
(It would also have many things you would not get from an os upgrade as well- ie newest appleworks word processing, games, etc.)

If you do the eMac upgrade the memory through Crucial.com and not through apple.com

Also, any software you need to buy can be bought at an educational discount. For example MS Office is less than $200 with ed discuonts and word alone is around $100. However, Apple works would be fine for her to type papers, etc for school.

Good luck and enjoy which ever mac you decide to get/keep.

flyfish29
Mar 1, 2004, 09:16 AM
Oh yeah, forgot about the OS. The Imac G# you have will handle OSX only ifyou upgrade the memory and don't have many other things to save on the hard drive that are large...ie tons of digital photos that are huge is size, digital movies, hundreds of CD's, etc. I have one of those machines, but it wasn't big enough hard drive for all my photos and music not to mention movies. However it is a great machine for more basic computing! :D

Horrortaxi
Mar 1, 2004, 09:25 AM
You can run Panther on that computer and it will be a very stable and reliable email/web/word processing computer. It won't set the world on fire with speed but it will do okay.

Upgade the RAM--even to run it as is 32MB is a little skimpy. RAM is a little tricky. It has 2 slots, one of which is uses standard laptop memory. The other uses "low profile" laptop memory and takes some disassembly to get to. But you can run 512MB on that computer, which isn't a bad idea. My mom has the same computer with 288MB and it runs okay.

Consider a new hard drive. The one in there is only 6GB and it's slow. 40, 60, and 80GB drives can be found fairly inexpensively and would be a great improvement. The OS will use up half of the existing drive, and young people tend to fill up hard drives like crazy. If you do get a new drive, this computer has a quirk. You have to partition the drive, making th efirst partition less than 8GB--install OS X into that partition.

OS X--give it enough memory and it'll run great. Update the iMac's firmware before installing OS X though.

kylos
Mar 1, 2004, 11:04 AM
If you want to run OS X, the expense will indeed be getting close to the price of a refurb emac. OS X almost requires 512 mb ram on a g3 333 (with that, though, you shouldn't have to worry about a proc upgrade, though a proc upgrade can also get you firewire). You'll want a new hd if you want os X. Panther takes 3 GBs for the installation and requires about a gig and a half more of your drive for virtual memory unless you restart every day. Subtract a third of a gig for formatting, and you're left with barely over 1 gigabyte for all your docs and third party apps.
My advice: bump your ram to 128 or 256 and put os 9 on it. Or, sell the imac and pick up a refurb emac for $649, toss in another 128mb or 256 mb of ram for a total of $700. You'll get much more use out of it in the long run.

kylos
Mar 1, 2004, 11:11 AM
Upgade the RAM--even to run it as is 32MB is a little skimpy. RAM is a little tricky. It has 2 slots, one of which is uses standard laptop memory. The other uses "low profile" laptop memory and takes some disassembly to get to. But you can run 512MB on that computer, which isn't a bad idea. My mom has the same computer with 288MB and it runs okay.


My mom has a 350 mhz imac and she has standard pc 100 ram. Is there a difference for the ram between the 333mhz and 350mhz imacs? It would seem odd to use laptop ram in an imac.

blue&whiteman
Mar 1, 2004, 12:28 PM
My mom has a 350 mhz imac and she has standard pc 100 ram. Is there a difference for the ram between the 333mhz and 350mhz imacs? It would seem odd to use laptop ram in an imac.


no, the 350mhz and up imacs had a 100mhz bus and therefore took pc100 where as the 333, 266 and 233 imac have a 66mhz bus.

kylos
Mar 1, 2004, 02:09 PM
no, the 350mhz and up imacs had a 100mhz bus and therefore took pc100 where as the 333, 266 and 233 imac have a 66mhz bus.
Interesting. In that case, the 333 looks very weak on OS X, it would need to be seriously upgraded. OS 9 or an emac seem to be the only best options.

UKMacBod
Mar 1, 2004, 02:31 PM
I'd just like to reiterate what everyone else here has been saying about adding more memory - it's generally the most cost-effective upgrade you can perform on a computer.

I upgraded the memory in my iBook 500MHz from 256Mb to 640Mb - and there was a noticeable difference in speed.

The only thing that didn't really improve for me was the speed of the Finder, and as my iBook only has an 8Mb video card, Quartz Extreme isn't enabled...

blue&whiteman
Mar 1, 2004, 03:15 PM
I'd just like to reiterate what everyone else here has been saying about adding more memory - it's generally the most cost-effective upgrade you can perform on a computer.

I upgraded the memory in my iBook 500MHz from 256Mb to 640Mb - and there was a noticeable difference in speed.

The only thing that didn't really improve for me was the speed of the Finder, and as my iBook only has an 8Mb video card, Quartz Extreme isn't enabled...

if your ibook has any form of radeon video in it then you can get a hack that will enable quartz extreme. it will only work on ati gpu's and only radeons. works on 8mb agp and any pci. I use it on my mac with a 32mb radeon 7000 and its great. you can really notice a difference in the 2D. I have the radeon 7000 in the b&w's 66mhz pci slot so maybe thats why I have had a better experience since a lot of people with beige G3's and older 9600, 8600 powermacs don't seem to enjoy as much of a gain as I with the same card in their 33mhz pci.