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View Full Version : Need advice on G5 Power Mac 1.6Ghz




TheNotoriousROB
Sep 17, 2009, 09:16 PM
My first gen mac mini has been stored a for while now. The reason being the SuperDrive died on me. I thought about fixing it but realized it was outdated. So I picked a used G5 Power Mac. I know people will say I should have gotten the Dual. But my main purpose for this Power Mac is iTunes, Internet, iCal and World of Warcraft. It has 1 gig of ram. I think I want at least 3 gigs. It has a 80GB hard drive but I want to install one 320GB hard drive. I have a copy of tiger I can install all that I would need is just to install the harddrive? Lastly I want to install an wireless card, blue tooth and I need a decent video card. Can anything from my old mac mini be used.

Thanks and sorry for the length post.



California
Sep 17, 2009, 10:35 PM
My first gen mac mini has been stored a for while now. The reason being the SuperDrive died on me. I thought about fixing it but realized it was outdated. So I picked a used G5 Power Mac. I know people will say I should have gotten the Dual. But my main purpose for this Power Mac is iTunes, Internet, iCal and World of Warcraft. It has 1 gig of ram. I think I want at least 3 gigs. It has a 80GB hard drive but I want to install one 320GB hard drive. I have a copy of tiger I can install all that I would need is just to install the harddrive? Lastly I want to install an wireless card, blue tooth and I need a decent video card. Can anything from my old mac mini be used.

Thanks and sorry for the length post.

Nothing from you mac mini can be salvaged really for the Powermac.

But why don't you just buy a new Superdrive (I have an apple Superdrive I can get to you very cheap) and put it in the mini?

The 1.6 powermac is the first and really slowest of the machines. Get a 500gb 7200rpm 16mb cache SATA hard drive for it and stuff it with four gigs of ram and it will be okay.

You can get the bluetooth and an airport card for the Powermac off ebay. The bluetooth takes a little effort to install.

You should get a faster video card on the Powermac than the stock video card which I believe is only 64mb video ram.

the only advantage about the Powermac is you can upgrade it but still it is a SINGLE 1.6ghz G5, very slow.

Yes your tiger disc if a retail disc will install on the Powermac with a new hard drive or on the old hard drive.

Abidubi
Sep 17, 2009, 10:37 PM
IMO you made a big mistake. Dual or nothing. The difference that second CPU makes is unbelievable even when it comes to web browsing. Youtube low quality uses 102% on my dual 1.8 G5. When it had only 1 CPU it could get 85% max for safari, so even low quality videos would skip and lag. High quality uses 150% so isn't even playable on 1 CPU. HD is not an option on G5s except for maybe the dual 2.3 and up.

Any website with a couple flash advertisements will be sluggish on that thing. iTunes should be "ok" for pure music playing, but even the visualiser will stuggle. It will blow chunks for WoW. My dual 1.8 with X800 got low 30/40s on average and dropped to 7-10 in high activity areas.

No nothing from the mac mini can be used. Maybe the hard drive but I don't even know what size it is. If it is 2.5 then you'll need some kind of adapter to make it fit.

Your choices of video cards are:
Nvidia 5200, 6800 or 7300 (flashed PC cards)
ATI 9600, 9800, X800 or X850 (BTO only)

In terms of performance they are 5200<9600<9800<X800=6800<X850.

You really should have got a dual CPU system. It doesn't matter what you use it for, having more than 1 CPU will make anything faster. Having more than 2 may or may not make a difference. And considering dual 1.8s go for about $500, there is not much reason not to have gotten it. Twice as fast for $100 more is hard to ignor.

California
Sep 17, 2009, 10:42 PM
IMO you made a big mistake. Dual or nothing. The difference that second CPU makes is unbelievable even when it comes to web browsing. Youtube low quality uses 102% on my dual 1.8 G5. When it had only 1 CPU it could get 85% max for safari, so even low quality videos would skip and lag. High quality uses 150% so isn't even playable on 1 CPU. HD is not an option on G5s except for maybe the dual 2.3 and up.

Any website with a couple flash advertisements will be sluggish on that thing. iTunes should be "ok" for pure music playing, but even the visualiser will stuggle. It will blow chunks for WoW. My dual 1.8 with X800 got low 30/40s on average and dropped to 7-10 in high activity areas.

No nothing from the mac mini can be used. Maybe the hard drive but I don't even know what size it is. If it is 2.5 then you'll need some kind of adapter to make it fit.

Your choices of video cards are:
Nvidia 5200, 6800 or 7300 (flashed PC cards)
ATI 9600, 9800, X800 or X850 (BTO only)

In terms of performance they are 5200<9600<9800<X800=6800<X850.

You really should have got a dual CPU system. It doesn't matter what you use it for, having more than 1 CPU will make anything faster. Having more than 2 may or may not make a difference. And considering dual 1.8s go for about $500, there is not much reason not to have gotten it. Twice as fast for $100 more is hard to ignor.

I agree, but sounds like he already bought it. I had to work my way up from a used 1.8 powermac single to the Quad. Let him learn about it and see for himself. He can swap the upgrades to a better machine when he gets a chance. I did and it is somehow gratifying to learn your way through.

TheNotoriousROB
Sep 17, 2009, 10:57 PM
The reason why I didn't replace the SuperDrive is because the max ram on the Mac Mini is 1 GB.

I actually paid 230 for the Power Mac. I thought it was a good deal and in it's in good condition. I look at this as a learning experience for when I purchase my next mac. The Tiger disk I have is the one that came with the mini. So I guess I have to find new OS for cheap.

After G
Sep 17, 2009, 11:02 PM
I think you could boot in Target Disk mode on the G5 and use the optical drive on the Mac Mini. Have two working computers :p

TheNotoriousROB
Sep 17, 2009, 11:35 PM
How can I tell if my Tiger disk is retail. Should it say some about Xcode?

Abidubi
Sep 18, 2009, 09:01 AM
How can I tell if my Tiger disk is retail. Should it say some about Xcode?

If it is retail it will have a perdy picture on it. If it is specific to the mini it will say something like mac mini tiger install disk on it or something, and be a brownish colour. My G5's was brown, my Mac Pro's is blue/grey.

If you really want to upgrade the graphics card (I don't know what you have now), I am shipping away my G5 but put the 9600 back in and took the X800 out to sell it. I haven't bothered to put it on ebay yet but was thinking of getting around to it. The official X800s go for about $350-450CAD, the X850 on there goes for $550-580CAD. There are also some flashed PC X800s on there from hong kong that go for about $200-250CAD, but I don't personally trust them (plus I think they need a power cable, which the mac version doesn't).

Anyway, if you are interested I was thinking of putting it up for $250CAD. I bought it retail so it has the box and software (it's actually the 9800 disk and manual, don't know why). The drivers should be included in OS 10.3 and up I think... definitely 10.4. PM me if you are interested.

California
Sep 18, 2009, 10:36 PM
The reason why I didn't replace the SuperDrive is because the max ram on the Mac Mini is 1 GB.

I think what you are saying is that the Mini's ram limit of one gig makes the machine not worth it to upgrade or fix?

I understand that... I had the silent upgrade PPC Mac Mini == the 1.5ghz with 64mb vram. But it's ram limit made it kinda slow and I did upgrade the hard drive to the fastest 7200rpm drive available.

However, you should fix it anyway and sell it if you are saying it is not worth it to upgrade. You wiil be killed in by potential buyers if you try to sell a machine without all working parts. Someone can use that machine on Tiger somewhere.

I vote to upgrade the video card, too. Remember you can always swap it out when you finally sell the 1.6ghz. But might as well upgrade it to get it to play your video games.

sysiphus
Sep 18, 2009, 11:01 PM
No point in worrying about shoulda coulda woulda with regard to getting a dual-processor model. My priorities for you would be graphics (get an X800/X850 or nVidia 6800 for good WoW performance, worst-case get a Radeon 9800...anything less isn't worth the money). RAM: Minimum 2GB, preferably more. The Airport Extreme card is an easy install, but make sure you get the antenna for it if you don't already have it! (T-shaped rubberized job that plugs into a special port on the back of your machine...without it, wireless reception isn't very good...the G5's case is practically a Faraday cage).

wpc33
Sep 19, 2009, 07:19 AM
You would be better off saving your money for a faster computer, than spending hundreds on upgrades. The thrift of this G5 will fly out the window once you double your costs, and are still inevitably begrudging your CPU.
I had a single 1.8 with the best GPU I could flash, and 4GB RAM
I put $300 into a machine I paid $400 for, and the CPU bottleneck could NOT be eliminated to the point of comfort. I was constantly budgeting CPU usage, but once I got the dual model, I never notice speed issues.

California
Sep 19, 2009, 04:57 PM
You would be better off saving your money for a faster computer, than spending hundreds on upgrades. The thrift of this G5 will fly out the window once you double your costs, and are still inevitably begrudging your CPU.
I had a single 1.8 with the best GPU I could flash, and 4GB RAM
I put $300 into a machine I paid $400 for, and the CPU bottleneck could NOT be eliminated to the point of comfort. I was constantly budgeting CPU usage, but once I got the dual model, I never notice speed issues.

He's on a learning curve. Let him have fun with his relatively cheap 1.6. He can sell off the upgrades when he does upgrade.

TheNotoriousROB
Sep 22, 2009, 01:20 PM
Where can I get a replacement antenna for Airport and Bluetooth?

I have the new wireless keyboard would it work with the old Bluetooth technology?

Abidubi
Sep 22, 2009, 02:05 PM
Where can I get a replacement antenna for Airport and Bluetooth?

I have the new wireless keyboard would it work with the old Bluetooth technology?

Does your G5 even have an airport and bluetooth card? If you don't have the antennas I wouldn't assume you have the cards.

If you do have them, google it and you will find stores that sell old parts.

Edit: it took me 2 seconds to google it and the first hit is welovemacs selling it for $30. http://www.welovemacs.com/9226043.html

gugucom
Sep 22, 2009, 02:09 PM
If the wireless technologies in your G5 do not work it is best to replace them with modern low cost components.

A PCI Wireless-n card with a Ralink chip will be available at appr. 30-40$ with MiMo technology (3 external antennas) and 300 Mbit/s. The Ralink chips are supported by Mac drivers on their web site.

Bluetooth ist best done by USB 2.0 stick. The D-Link DTB-122 is compatible with Apple airport drivers and small.

TheNotoriousROB
Sep 22, 2009, 02:18 PM
Does your G5 even have an airport and bluetooth card? If you don't have the antennas I wouldn't assume you have the cards.

If you do have them, google it and you will find stores that sell old parts.

Edit: it took me 2 seconds to google it and the first hit is welovemacs selling it for $30. http://www.welovemacs.com/9226043.htmlI plan on add them on the G5. I already pick up the Bluetooth card. I'm willing to bet the G5 doesn't have the antenna I need.

gugucom
Sep 22, 2009, 02:33 PM
The G5 original is ancient. Do not bother with it!

California
Sep 22, 2009, 02:48 PM
I have a friend who has either a new airport dongle or bluetooth dongle, I think it is the airport. They have the last PCI/PCIx Powermac G5 made, the 2.7ghz.

I'll ask if they want to sell it to you.

leighonigar
Sep 22, 2009, 03:35 PM
If the wireless technologies in your G5 do not work it is best to replace them with modern low cost components.

A PCI Wireless-n card with a Ralink chip will be available at appr. 30-40$ with MiMo technology (3 external antennas) and 300 Mbit/s. The Ralink chips are supported by Mac drivers on their web site.

Bluetooth ist best done by USB 2.0 stick. The D-Link DTB-122 is compatible with Apple airport drivers and small.

Agreed, just get third party bits. My brother recently went to uni and he's still using his eMac (now, that is slow!), anyway, he needed wireless for the internet. I picked up an Edimax EW-7711UAN which works fine (though he only has USB 1). Pretty good signal, and it cost 12 shipped.

I'd do that, plus sticking in a gig or two of extra RAM (depending on cost, it's not so cheap anymore) and the 500gig hard disk, which shouldn't be too expensive, and you can take it with you if you upgrade. I wouldn't spend a fortune on the graphics card, the CPU will bottleneck it, as the others have said.

I love the G5s. I'm on intel now but they were brand new when I bought my first (brand new) macs, I got a G4 MDD but the G5s were so lusty! Have fun with it!