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2contagious
Feb 10, 2010, 08:33 PM
Hi,

I just bought an old iMac G4 17" 1.25GHZ, 768MB RAM on eBay (still love the design and I am currently out of a 'serious' Mac as my MBP died, but I need to at least use photoshop at home for uni work until new Macs are out). Are there any tips from iMac G4 users on what's upgradable, to what extent, and how to best clean the plastic, etc. (any other tips welcome, too).

I would guess the max. RAM on this thing is 1GB, is that right? What kind of RAM does it use, how big is the max. HDD it would take, is airport card installation possible (how much?) etc. (I am guessing there's no 3rd party cpu upgrade for the iMac's G4..?)

Finally, is it hard to open the iMac G4 to replace those components? (I know my way around hardware a bit, have assembled two Windows PCs in the past and replaced the HDD on a non-unibody MBP. Also, performance-wise which versions of Photoshop and FCP would run the best (I am aware that this is an old machine and it will be slow)? Is PS cs4 even remotely possible?

Thanks,
Chris



spinnerlys
Feb 10, 2010, 08:45 PM
Check here for components: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/stats/imac_1.25_17_fp.html

It will tell you the specifics of what you can do and what you need in term of hardware.

2contagious
Feb 10, 2010, 09:21 PM
hi, thanks for the URL. How about the software side of things? And the difficulty? (see first post).

spinnerlys
Feb 10, 2010, 09:24 PM
PS CS 1 or 2, FCP 4 or 5 should be okay.

MacHamster68
Feb 11, 2010, 05:12 AM
photoshop cs 4 is for osx tiger available, so should be fine on the imac g4 , maybe not as fast as on a iMac with i7 , but you didnt expect that or did ya ?

and upgrade the ram to max possible (2 gb ), other then that maybe a bigger harddrive if you wish , when you upgrade the ram to full 2 gb you have to take the iMac apart anyway so fitting a bigger drive is easy done then

OrangeSVTguy
Feb 11, 2010, 06:35 AM
Hi,

I just bought an old iMac G4 17" 1.25GHZ, 768MB RAM on eBay (still love the design and I am currently out of a 'serious' Mac as my MBP died, but I need to at least use photoshop at home for uni work until new Macs are out). Are there any tips from iMac G4 users on what's upgradable, to what extent, and how to best clean the plastic, etc. (any other tips welcome, too).

I would guess the max. RAM on this thing is 1GB, is that right? What kind of RAM does it use, how big is the max. HDD it would take, is airport card installation possible (how much?) etc. (I am guessing there's no 3rd party cpu upgrade for the iMac's G4..?)

Finally, is it hard to open the iMac G4 to replace those components? (I know my way around hardware a bit, have assembled two Windows PCs in the past and replaced the HDD on a non-unibody MBP. Also, performance-wise which versions of Photoshop and FCP would run the best (I am aware that this is an old machine and it will be slow)? Is PS cs4 even remotely possible?

Thanks,
Chris

You can use the Magic Eraser to clean the white plastic. It worked on mine. The max memory this can take is 2gb of DDR or 2x 1gb. DDR PC2700-3200 will work and it uses one desktop sized stick(inside) and a sodimm(laptop) sized in the user serviceable slot underneath the bottom, there's also an Airport Extreme slot under there too.

Any ATA/IDE HDD will work, and I believe the largest is a 640gb? You could also use an SSD or compact flash card with an adapter for a near silent and cooler Mac.

The CPU is not upgradable as it's soldered to the logic board along with the graphics card. However, the CPU is actually overclockable but usually the benefits aren't worth the extra 1-300mhz. Sure is fun to mess with them though :p.

Just remember that if you take it apart aside from just the serviceable slot underneath, that you will need to reapply thermal paste to the contact pads of the heatsinks, otherwise you run the risk of overheating and cooking your components :)

2contagious
Feb 11, 2010, 01:41 PM
Thanks for all the input guys. How does opening the case to replace the HDD and the internal RAM compare to doing an HDD swap on a MBP (non-unibody) in terms of difficulty?

MacHamster68
Feb 11, 2010, 02:11 PM
easy? difficult? ..dont know , watch the video and decide

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG9p7RuMdfo

2contagious
Feb 12, 2010, 04:12 PM
Hi, I just picked it up. I love it!

A few more questions and a few tips from myself to existing iMac G4 users:

- the screen (matte) has a very very fine scratch, only visible if you focus on it. Is there any way to remove that scratch (with plastic polisher / scratch remover?)

- the bezel seems to be made of a similar plastic to the old glossy plastic iPod fronts. I tried applying AppleSauce (removes scratches on certain types of glossy plastic, I also used this to fix my Samsung T260HD screen bezel. It fell over on my desk once and got scratched up pretty badly, it looks like new now!) and it worked, but only if you use the dry wipes that come with AppleSauce).

- how do you polish chrome (I believe this is what the front Apple logo is made of?)

- thanks for the Magic Eraser tip, I willtry that..so far I've been using disinfectant wipes, which work pretty well, too because of the alcohol in them.

- is there any way to put a more silent fan in there? or is that major major surgery?

- does apple still sell airport cards in store?


cya,
Chris.

student_trap
Feb 12, 2010, 07:58 PM
i'd love to get one of these, how much did you pay for it?

2contagious
Feb 12, 2010, 08:26 PM
15" ones go for around 70-150 pounds, 17" ones go for around 150-300 pounds and 20" ones aren't on eBay that often, but go for around 250-400 when they are. I guess the prices are still quite high because many people still looooove the design and because they are actually still usable for general stuff (especially the highest end at 1.25GHz, G4 and if you max. out your RAM). I just installed Photoshop CS 4 and Office 2008, both are definitely usable (although I guess CS3 would run smoother)..but to be honest, I am amazed at how powerful the G4 was for its time. I am running Leopard on it and it's actually pretty snappy and I only have 768MB of RAM installed at the moment o.O

I also got a graphite G3 iMac on eBay once. I paid 12 pounds for it and it was in perfect condition. I love eBay..it gives new life to people's old Macs :)

Now, anyone got any comments on my last post ? :)

student_trap
Feb 12, 2010, 08:31 PM
yeah I have a bunch of G3 imacs and ibooks (clamshell of course!), but have never had enough cash to just spend on an imac g4. Hopefully I'll get my chance sooner rather than later, i'd love to use it as an itunes machine

2contagious
Feb 12, 2010, 08:42 PM
yeah I have a bunch of G3 imacs and ibooks (clamshell of course!), but have never had enough cash to just spend on an imac g4. Hopefully I'll get my chance sooner rather than later, i'd love to use it as an itunes machine

For iTunes it's perfect I think. Being able to pull the screen all the way down to the table (okay, not allllll the way,but it's only 3cm away from it if you pull it down completely) is a great feature and would make an 'audio-use-only' setup look even more simple :)

2contagious
Feb 12, 2010, 09:53 PM
I just finished cleaning it as much as possible. Is there any way to remove scratches on LCD displays without messing up the matte coating? (please see questions about five posts before).

Also, I can't believe I didn't notice this before lol....but .....the screen is bigger...the guy sold me a 20" as a 17" lol.. I wish there wasn't that slight scratch though..

OrangeSVTguy
Feb 13, 2010, 06:29 AM
I just finished cleaning it as much as possible. Is there any way to remove scratches on LCD displays without messing up the matte coating? (please see questions about five posts before).

Also, I can't believe I didn't notice this before lol....but .....the screen is bigger...the guy sold me a 20" as a 17" lol.. I wish there wasn't that slight scratch though..

Wow great deal! The 20" have 1680x1050 resolution while the 17" have 1440x900. But yeah they sure do have awesome displays in those iMac G4s. I had mine in my kitchen and was perfect for streaming music and movies while you worked in there.

Only thing it needed was a touch screen interface ;)

2contagious
Feb 13, 2010, 02:15 PM
Yep, it's definitely a 20" :) weird that the seller put it up on eBay as a 17" lol.

Anyway.. what do you guys think about this:


- the screen (matte) has a very very fine scratch, only visible if you focus on it. Is there any way to remove that scratch (with plastic polisher / scratch remover?) without damaging the surface of the screen?

- how do you polish chrome (I believe this is what the front Apple logo is made of?)

- is there any way to put a more silent fan in there? or is that major major surgery?

- does apple still sell airport cards in store?
if not, who does?

cya,
Chris.

flopticalcube
Feb 13, 2010, 02:22 PM
Some people have had luck using vaseline to remove or reduce scratches.

2contagious
Feb 13, 2010, 02:42 PM
Some people have had luck using vaseline to remove or reduce scratches.

So that would be a temporary fix no? :(

flopticalcube
Feb 13, 2010, 03:13 PM
So that would be a temporary fix no? :(
As long as the vaseline is in place, you would not see the scratch. It doesn't always work but the idea is the optics of the vaseline are close to that of the plastic in the LCD.

oneoftheelect
Feb 13, 2010, 05:33 PM
Only thing it needed was a touch screen interface ;)

This is something I've been thinking about a lot.
I recently snagged a 15'' iMac g4 (the lowest model) as a digital frame/jukebox/addressbook/widgets appliance. Got an airport card in the mail. Might upgrade ram depending on need.

Anyways, back to the touchscreen;
I've been looking at options, and found a vendor on ebay selling what should be compatible touch screen kits.(link (http://cgi.ebay.ca/15-inch-USB-Panel-Kit-Set-Add-Touch-Screen-Function_W0QQitemZ320479196256QQcmdZViewItemQQptZComputer_Monitors?hash=item4a9e0c7460)).

I think it would be pretty damn sweet. I also stumbled across this youtube video showing basically the same thing. link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXccQdUXysU&NR=1)

Any reason why this wouldn't work/I'm being fooled?

2contagious
Feb 13, 2010, 06:12 PM
This is something I've been thinking about a lot.
I recently snagged a 15'' iMac g4 (the lowest model) as a digital frame/jukebox/addressbook/widgets appliance. Got an airport card in the mail. Might upgrade ram depending on need.

Anyways, back to the touchscreen;
I've been looking at options, and found a vendor on ebay selling what should be compatible touch screen kits.(link (http://cgi.ebay.ca/15-inch-USB-Panel-Kit-Set-Add-Touch-Screen-Function_W0QQitemZ320479196256QQcmdZViewItemQQptZComputer_Monitors?hash=item4a9e0c7460)).

I think it would be pretty damn sweet. I also stumbled across this youtube video showing basically the same thing. link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXccQdUXysU&NR=1)

Any reason why this wouldn't work/I'm being fooled?

how can they be so cheap?

ps: thanks I'll try the vaseline trick :)

OrangeSVTguy
Feb 13, 2010, 11:36 PM
This is something I've been thinking about a lot.
I recently snagged a 15'' iMac g4 (the lowest model) as a digital frame/jukebox/addressbook/widgets appliance. Got an airport card in the mail. Might upgrade ram depending on need.

Anyways, back to the touchscreen;
I've been looking at options, and found a vendor on ebay selling what should be compatible touch screen kits.(http://rover.ebay.com/ar/1/706-53473-19255-0/1?mpt=1293407545&adtype=1&size=1x1&type=4&campid=5336090759&toolid=10001 link (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/706-53473-19255-0/1?type=4&campid=5336090759&toolid=10001&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.ca%2F15-inch-USB-Panel-Kit-Set-Add-Touch-Screen-Function_W0QQitemZ320479196256QQcmdZViewItemQQptZComputer_Monitors%3Fhash%3Ditem4a9e0c7460)).

I think it would be pretty damn sweet. I also stumbled across this youtube video showing basically the same thing. link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXccQdUXysU&NR=1)

Any reason why this wouldn't work/I'm being fooled?

Cool thanks for the links. Wish those kits were a little bit cheaper. I'd hate to pay more for the kit than the iMac itself. Also a kit for the widescreen 17"/20" model would be more ideal. Would be cool to get a 1ghz 15" model with the USB2, DDR and APX then it would probably be worth it.

You can see in the video that it's a 15" model so I'm sure he used that eBay kit. Also it's real because the mouse "jumps" to the location that he touches on his screen so it's not a touch with left hand, move mouse with right hand off-screen trick ;). The eBay kits also mention OSX compatibility. :)

student_trap
Feb 14, 2010, 07:33 AM
how can they be so cheap?

ps: thanks I'll try the vaseline trick :)

that
looks
awesome
(want one really badly)

2contagious
Feb 15, 2010, 08:37 PM
Is it possible to replace the 20" panel with another 20" panel (a non original one?) or would that not fit/not have the right connections?

Also, that touchscreen kit.. you would put that on top of the panel right? It's not a standalone touchscreen LCD panel (is it?)

Is it normal that it has problems with Flash 10? Flash on the G4 is really quite slow :/

pvmacguy
Feb 15, 2010, 09:44 PM
Here is a link to the apple service manual for an iMac G4 in case anyone is interested in having it.

Download Here (http://files.me.com/jonathanchadwick/15w5xw)

oneoftheelect
Feb 15, 2010, 09:45 PM
I was following another thread in which a guy performed that feat. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=224698&page=7

You have the right idea for the touchscreen kit. You gotta put it over the lcd panel- either under the bezel for a cleaner look, or even over it if you want to make it an easy installation.
I'm debating whether its worth it.

And yes, for me flash is a extremely slow. Maybe flash 10.1 will make a difference...but I'm not holding my breath. (For youtube i'd recommend turning on their 'html5' beta setting, MUCH easier on the cpu)

2contagious
Feb 17, 2010, 12:26 PM
Just finished the 'external' and the internal RAM upgrade. I maxed it out with a total of 2GB RAM. I also replaced the PMU battery while I was at it.

Can anyone comment on the 20" panel swap? -Does it need to be the original part or could I replace it with a different 20" panel of the same size?

Also what kind of HDD goes in the iMac G4? 2.5" IDE? Any specific height?

OrangeSVTguy
Feb 17, 2010, 04:54 PM
Just finished the 'external' and the internal RAM upgrade. I maxed it out with a total of 2GB RAM. I also replaced the PMU battery while I was at it.

Can anyone comment on the 20" panel swap? -Does it need to be the original part or could I replace it with a different 20" panel of the same size?

Also what kind of HDD goes in the iMac G4? 2.5" IDE? Any specific height?

I believe the panel needs to be an original part. Using any other type of monitor might give you problems since you will need to reroute the cables through the gooseneck which is a pain to take apart and there's only limited space. I believe there are some threads on this topic, just try a search.

IMac G4s use 3.5" IDE/ATA drives.

fairbanx
Feb 18, 2010, 03:16 PM
Hello, I'm a long-time reader, now first-time writer:

I still have an iMac G4 17" 800 Mhz in use (beside my MBPro). What is your opinion? I wonder, if I can change the orig. logicboard, with the iMac G4 20" logicboard (1.25 GHZ). Does this cause any problems with the vidcard or lcd-resoultion? There are also refurbished 17" (1GHZ) logicboards on ebay. May these ones are better?

--
edit: I read some minutes ago in an ebay-auction, that the 1GHZ/1.25GHZ logicboards are not compatible, with the 800 MHZ, because of the wiring!? I wonder, if there's a way to manage that?
--

Thanks for your replies!

oneoftheelect
Feb 19, 2010, 05:13 PM
I ordered the touchscreen kit, and am waiting for it to arrive. I'll update how things turn out, if anyone is interested.

And sorry fairbanx, I don't know about anything about switching the logicboard, but good luck with that- definitely interested to hear if you figure that one out.

2contagious
Feb 21, 2010, 04:17 PM
I ordered the touchscreen kit, and am waiting for it to arrive. I'll update how things turn out, if anyone is interested.

And sorry fairbanx, I don't know about anything about switching the logicboard, but good luck with that- definitely interested to hear if you figure that one out.

any news? :o

edit: I noticed that my screen also has a slight red tinge in the top left and top right corners and when the screen is black (like when frontrow is being used), it the black background looks red-ish when looked at from the side. What does this mean?

oneoftheelect
Feb 28, 2010, 04:29 PM
just received the touch screen kit this weekend in the mail. Not too bad; 7 business days.

I don't have time to start the project, but I will update once midterms are over, and I can get to it.

And, not sure what the red tinge means....though when im in frontrow i notice the side edges of the screen are all brighter, though i've seen this in many lcd's.

raysfan81
Feb 28, 2010, 06:14 PM
that touch kit looks freakin awesome! When I find a iMac g4 im getting one of those. Actually wonder if that would work in place of the crt in a iMac g3....:confused:

raysfan81
Mar 1, 2010, 03:37 PM
just received the touch screen kit this weekend in the mail. Not too bad; 7 business days.

I don't have time to start the project, but I will update once midterms are over, and I can get to it.



Sweet, keep us posted. Which seller did you actually buy from? (I assume you bought it on eBay.) I really want to try one of those kits on something (preferably crappy! :D)

oneoftheelect
Mar 2, 2010, 12:00 AM
Sweet, keep us posted. Which seller did you actually buy from? (I assume you bought it on eBay.) I really want to try one of those kits on something (preferably crappy! :D)


Bought it from the ebay seller "race-buy"

raysfan81
Mar 2, 2010, 02:27 PM
Bought it from the ebay seller "race-buy"

Okay thanks

poobah
Mar 3, 2010, 05:12 PM
Hello, I'm a long-time reader, now first-time writer:

I still have an iMac G4 17" 800 Mhz in use (beside my MBPro). What is your opinion? I wonder, if I can change the orig. logicboard, with the iMac G4 20" logicboard (1.25 GHZ). Does this cause any problems with the vidcard or lcd-resoultion? There are also refurbished 17" (1GHZ) logicboards on ebay. May these ones are better?

--
edit: I read some minutes ago in an ebay-auction, that the 1GHZ/1.25GHZ logicboards are not compatible, with the 800 MHZ, because of the wiring!? I wonder, if there's a way to manage that?
--

Thanks for your replies!

The 1GHz+ G4 boards are quite a bit different from the slower ones (different connectors, RAM, etc). They are 2 different breeds.

rodti
Mar 8, 2010, 10:01 AM
I've just picked up a 17" iMac G4 and fancy doing the touchscreen mod. I'll check out those panels from race-buy on eBay. Would be nice to hear any tips you guys have.

oneoftheelect
Mar 14, 2010, 11:28 PM
So I had some spare time this weekend, and I got started on the project (this is going to be a bit of a long post and image heavy...sorry! :D)
http://imgur.com/y2SUzl.jpg

I had considered just putting the touch screen over the entire lcd+bezel and then getting a matte shaped like the white bezel to go on top. I decided against this- i wanted to preserve/showcase the imac as much as possible.
http://imgur.com/bHL2xl.jpg

I followed the iMac g4 service manual guide to take apart the screen's unit.
It's not too difficult to get the lcd by itself, though i'd recommend going slowly.
http://imgur.com/jyf2il.jpg

Theres especially one part, where the manual warns about breaking a ferrite bead that is on the video connector. It really is pretty fragile - I broke it.
http://imgur.com/3Uy8Jl.jpg

After securing the lcd unit by itself, I thought the front bezel (the white rim which has the "iMac" written on it) would simply be able to be unscrewed from it. Unfortunately, thats not how the bezel is joined: instead, its glue and more importantly, plastic tabs that are hardened/connected onto the lcd's unit.
http://imgur.com/vDhLcl.jpg

You have to break the tabs to get the bezel free from the lcd. I used a small credit card to slip inbetween the bezel and the lcd unit, sliding it along, and using it as leverage to 'pop' the tabs off.
http://imgur.com/oJSICl.jpg
http://imgur.com/Ue03Ol.jpg
http://imgur.com/x5aeAl.jpg

From there i referenced this site's guide to the touchscreen installation: http://www.cyclotouch.com.au//installation.php
(it was the exact same kit components (for the most part) too...must be manufactured from the same place)

After cleaning the lcd, i placed the touchscreen on top. I didn't bother using double-sided tape here, as the glue left behind (to attach to the bezel) was still strong enough to hold it well (also, less bulk).
http://imgur.com/MUXJMl.jpg


The wire for the touch screen comes out the left side of the screen....I suppose I could pass it through the neck of the mac, but to be honest, that is far more work than I bargained for- and the neck is not easy to work with at all.

I sanded down the tabs on the bezel, put double-sided tape on the back of it, and stuck it to the touchscreen after testing it out.
http://imgur.com/a0YDgl.jpg

Of course, with the added bulk of the touch screen, there are a few sacrifices.
1) Something I wasn't aware would happen/didn't even think of: the weight of the lcd is so precisely tuned for the neck... This means I can only keep the lcd in the top most position, or it must stay at the bottom- it cannot be held inbetween, it will slide down (and if placed high enough will crash down).
2) There is a space between the front bezel and the clear siding/lcd....I plan to place a matte around the edges of the bezel to keep dust out and for a cleaner look.


Notes: I had to go searching for the correct driver, the one provided kept crashing on the calibration: i found the right one here:http://touchkit.com/Drivers.htm (I used the Mac osx driver version 1.0.8.4226)

I had Leopard installed first...I wanted the touchscreen to work with frontrow (since i'm using this as a semi-jukebox)...but there is absolutely no support whatsoever, so my second choice is xbmc, which runs alot smoother on tiger (for me), so I reinstalled tiger (which is a bit zippier anyway).

Theres only really one skin that works well with xbmc for touchscreen at the moment (that I've found), and its the new default, 'Confluence', since it has the back buttons for easy navigation use. However, the skin does not look the greatest on a 4:3 display.
So, i'm still looking for solutions here. In the meantime i'm using itunes, and I love that when I come home it can see/share my macbook's library(which would be perfect for jukebox use, except theres no coverflow over a network)


Sorry! I don't have pictures of the finished unit besides this crappy pic taken with my phone in low light.
http://imgur.com/7710Al.jpg

I'll get back to the project in another few weeks (and hopefully add a few videos). Please, feel free to give some advice/suggestions, or ask questions! This is my first time doing a project like this, and it was/is really quite fun and rewarding.

mrsir2009
Mar 15, 2010, 12:30 AM
Hey nice buy, I've always wanted one of them:D It'd be a great machine with Tiger on it, and if ya could upgrade the RAM to 2GB;)

OrangeSVTguy
Mar 15, 2010, 09:34 AM
So I had some spare time this weekend, and I got started on the project (this is going to be a bit of a long post and image heavy...sorry! :D)

**snip**

I'll get back to the project in another few weeks (and hopefully add a few videos). Please, feel free to give some advice/suggestions, or ask questions! This is my first time doing a project like this, and it was/is really quite fun and rewarding.

Awesome! I would however strongly suggest you start a new thread of your own with this great work along with a catchy title. That way you will get maximum exposure from this site along with people who google for this sort of thing.

Great work and keep us posted!

danfog
Feb 23, 2011, 03:57 PM
I know I'm starting on an old post but here goes!

I've got a hand-me-down iMac G4 which is pretty top spec:
1.25GHz G4
80GB HDD
256mb RAM (defo doing something about that!)
20" Display

At the moment I've got it sat at the bottom of my bed running EyeTV and a nifty piece of shareware called iSleep (turns off/sleeps after however long). It's a great set up and perfect for the job, but I was wondering what the best way is to get it to run more quietly/cooler? I know that running EyeTV is no mean feat for a computer of this age but if I buy a gig stick to go on the external port will it make much of a difference? Also, has anyone had any luck with installing an IR sensor? I'd really like to use the Apple remote with it rather than Rowmote on my iPhone.

Thanks in advance :D