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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:08 PM   #1
QueenToast
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Advice for Upgrading G5 to Full Potential

Hi!

I just got a hold of a nice G5 Power PC and I'd like to upgrade it as much as is possible for the age of the machine (I think it was a 2003). I do realize that there is only so far that I can take it but I'd like to get it there. Here are the specs of my machine:

Mac OS X 10.3.7
Processor: Dual 2 GHz PowerPC G5
CPU Type: PowerPC 970 2.2
Memory: 1.5 GB DDR SDRAM
It is a June 2003 Model

I have done some research and it looks like the newest OS I can put on this is Leopard. I have found places to buy a copy. It looks like I can't update Aps like Safari and iTunes until I upgrade the OS. This is all I know so far and was wondering if anyone had any specific pieces of advice on what I should do, purchase, instal, etc. on this G5 to make it the best that it can be. I am new to non-intel based macs so any help I can get is GREATLY appreciated.

PS: This is were I am getting the download. Any cons about it?

http://syexdjjvqhba.jet-software.net...-10-5-leopard/


PSS: I'm mostly looking for software upgrades at this point as I don't have a lot of money to add new hardware at this point.

Last edited by QueenToast; Jan 23, 2013 at 05:19 PM.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenToast View Post
Hi!

I just got a hold of a nice G5 Power PC and I'd like to upgrade it as much as is possible for the age of the machine (I think it was a 2003). I do realize that there is only so far that I can take it but I'd like to get it there. Here are the specs of my machine:

Mac OS X 10.3.7
Processor: Dual 2 GHz PowerPC G5
CPU Type: PowerPC 970 2.2
Memory: 1.5 GB DDR SDRAM

I have done some research and it looks like the newest OS I can put on this is Leopard. I have found places to buy a copy. It looks like I can't update Aps like Safari and iTunes until I upgrade the OS. This is all I know so far and was wondering if anyone had any specific pieces of advice on what I should do, purchase, instal, etc. on this G5 to make it the best that it can be. I am new to non-intel based macs so any help I can get is GREATLY appreciated.

PS: This is were I am getting the download. Any cons about it?

http://syexdjjvqhba.jet-software.net...-10-5-leopard/
Max out the RAM, put a new graphics card into it, strip Intel code from the Leopard install using xSlimmer, and put a fast HDD/SSD into there (It has to be PATA).

G5's have a huge failiure rate compared to most Macs... you might not want to spend too much money on it.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:36 PM   #3
skateny
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Something doesn't seem right about this Web site. How did you find it?

There are several threads in this forum for making hardware and software upgrades/tweaks in order to make your Mac hum. And there are plenty of folks who'll give you some good suggestions right here.

If I can add anything, I will, but can't right now.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariii View Post
Max out the RAM, put a new graphics card into it, strip Intel code from the Leopard install using xSlimmer, and put a fast HDD/SSD into there (It has to be PATA).

G5's have a huge failiure rate compared to most Macs... you might not want to spend too much money on it.
G5's take SATA hard drives, only their optical drive is PATA. Some G5's are rather stable and able to work for a long time. The 2.0Ghz models, like the OP's, are one such model.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by skateny View Post
Something doesn't seem right about this Web site. How did you find it?

There are several threads in this forum for making hardware and software upgrades/tweaks in order to make your Mac hum. And there are plenty of folks who'll give you some good suggestions right here.

If I can add anything, I will, but can't right now.
I've been doing searches on on G5's and this site came up. I'll be looking through all of the threads over the next few days to get what info that I can. If you can think of anything software related let me know. I doubt I'll be putting any money into hardware upgrades. If I had money for that I'd be upgrading my Macbook Pro. Thank you!
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intell View Post
G5's take SATA hard drives, only their optical drive is PATA. Some G5's are rather stable and able to work for a long time. The 2.0Ghz models, like the OP's, are one such model.
Even the slower G5's had a high failiure rate compared to other Macs.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:57 PM   #7
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Even the slower G5's had a high failiure rate compared to other Macs.
It wasn't just the G5's, it was all computers of that era. The eMacs, the iMacs, the Dell and HP boxes. They all had the same common failure points. If one still has a working G5 right now, it'll probably still be working in another 10 years' time. Most of the bad ones have long since failed or been repaired.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariii View Post
Even the slower G5's had a high failiure rate compared to other Macs.
Not my work G5. 1.8Ghz single processor, 4GB ram. Bought new, February 2003 and it's been on 24/7 for the last ten years.

The only problem I've ever had with this Mac was a bad ram stick.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ariii View Post
Even the slower G5's had a high failiure rate compared to other Macs.
You might be thinking of the iMac G5s, which were horribly unreliable.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Intell View Post
It wasn't just the G5's, it was all computers of that era. The eMacs, the iMacs, the Dell and HP boxes. They all had the same common failure points. If one still has a working G5 right now, it'll probably still be working in another 10 years' time. Most of the bad ones have long since failed or been repaired.
Well, you can start by rounding up the usual suspects. I found Camino to be a good browser for PowerPC; others swear by TenFourFox and Aurora Fox, but I don't like either. MacTubes to play YouTube videos (set the player for QuickTime in the MacTubes menu). You can also download videos from MacTubes. VLC and MPlayer OS X Extended for playing other videos.

You can find all of these to download when you include "PowerPC" in your search. Each application will be suited for different versions of OS X. If you can get a retail version of Leopard (the black, not the gray disks), your Mac has plenty of power for it, and you'll have fewer compatibility and other issues than with Tiger.

As was posted earlier, get rid of all the unnecessary Intel code by using Xslimmer. It's a snap to run. Dump anything on your HDD that you don't want or need. All of it.

Plenty of word processors for PowerPC, including Bean and LibreOffice.

There are workarounds on this forum for either using or circumventing Flash, which is still used on a number of Web sites.

Half the fun of owning these Macs is learning how to make them hum, and then going ahead and doing it.

Above all else, enjoy!

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenToast View Post
I've been doing searches on on G5's and this site came up. I'll be looking through all of the threads over the next few days to get what info that I can. If you can think of anything software related let me know. I doubt I'll be putting any money into hardware upgrades. If I had money for that I'd be upgrading my Macbook Pro. Thank you!
Also, though you wrote that you don't want make hardware upgrades, you'll truly benefit from maxing the RAM. You've got a powerful rig, and it will sing with more RAM.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 02:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by QueenToast View Post
Hi!


PS: This is were I am getting the download. Any cons about it?

http://syexdjjvqhba.jet-software.net...-10-5-leopard/


PSS: I'm mostly looking for software upgrades at this point as I don't have a lot of money to add new hardware at this point.
That looks like they are selling illegal software.

They say they are selling OEM software, which sounds off-hand to be legitimate as there are many OEM parts suppliers, but OEM software should still come with a physical disc and a printed license provided by the manufacturer.

The fact that they include Creative Suite in their store is a bit of a giveaway too as that would never have been shipped with a PC.

OEM Windows also can not move the license to other PC's according to the Licensing Agreement.

Final, there is no OEM retail version of Leopard. The closest there is, would be the grey disc versions that come with Macs, but they can only be installed on the Mac it came with.

The last nail in this websites coffin is the fact that they say after you buy, you will download the software from the site.

What they are doing is clearly illegal and you are just throwing money away if you buy from them as anything you purchase will be no more legal to use than if you downloaded a Torrent of the software for free.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 03:04 AM   #12
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I bought a second hand dual 1.8, 2004 model about 18 months ago.

Put Leopard on it. Used the Secrets preference pane plus Onyx to turn off or speed up slow eye candy.

Max out the memory, although 2x 1GB sticks cost about $45, and personally my maxed out 4GB is fine, it's never a bottleneck, ever.

Stick an SSD in it, use that as your boot disk. Make your other HD a nice big (1TB+) and fast (7,200rpm) one.

Don't bother with the optical drive. Mine is a Superdrive, but only single layer. Don't care about that, I don't need to burn double layer DVDs, plus, those things are now about the same price as an 8GB thumb drive anyways now.

Get a USB 2.0 PCI card. Go for $10-$15, you get 5 more USB ports. Awesome. One is an internal USB port, I use that for Bluetooth (the metal case greatly hampers speed if you have the BT card inside, but I nearly never use it so I don't mind.)

Graphics card: the ATI FireGL X3, PC version, can be had on eBay for about $40. You'll need to flash it though. Pre-flashed ones for Mac go for about $150. That's what I did for mine, it's a damn beast of a card, can drive two monitors at above 1080p resolution without skipping a beat. Currently mine holds the highest OpenMark GPU bench score of any PPC Mac, just over 22,000, which is pretty incredible. Luck went my way that time

The main bottleneck I find is the CPU, and the fact that software never really made the jump to being optimized for 2 processors until after the Intel jump. That, and the lack of support of newer software, which the internet is increasingly relying on, plus the lack of built in special hardware acceleration that helps with AES, H264, stuff like that.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 08:50 AM   #13
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I've got a OEM 6800GT DDL if you want it, mine is just collecting dust in my closet
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 11:32 AM   #14
QueenToast
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Originally Posted by prvt.donut View Post
That looks like they are selling illegal software.

They say they are selling OEM software, which sounds off-hand to be legitimate as there are many OEM parts suppliers, but OEM software should still come with a physical disc and a printed license provided by the manufacturer.

The fact that they include Creative Suite in their store is a bit of a giveaway too as that would never have been shipped with a PC.

OEM Windows also can not move the license to other PC's according to the Licensing Agreement.

Final, there is no OEM retail version of Leopard. The closest there is, would be the grey disc versions that come with Macs, but they can only be installed on the Mac it came with.

The last nail in this websites coffin is the fact that they say after you buy, you will download the software from the site.

What they are doing is clearly illegal and you are just throwing money away if you buy from them as anything you purchase will be no more legal to use than if you downloaded a Torrent of the software for free.
That's what I was worried about. It looked WAY too good to be true. I'll start hunting on ebay for the black disks. Thanks!
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 11:34 AM   #15
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That's what I was worried about. It looked WAY too good to be true. I'll start hunting on ebay for the black disks. Thanks!
Unfortunately, those disks tend to be very expensive. I don't know where else you can look for them, other than Craig's List.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 11:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jiggly Billy View Post
I've got a OEM 6800GT DDL if you want it, mine is just collecting dust in my closet
I'll take it! I'll send you a message with my info and other details.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiggly Billy View Post
I've got a OEM 6800GT DDL if you want it, mine is just collecting dust in my closet
Ok I can't message you. New to this forum so I may be missing something.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by skateny View Post
Unfortunately, those disks tend to be very expensive. I don't know where else you can look for them, other than Craig's List.
Yeah, it will be a snipe hunt for sure.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 04:07 PM   #17
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G5's take SATA hard drives, only their optical drive is PATA. Some G5's are rather stable and able to work for a long time. The 2.0Ghz models, like the OP's, are one such model.
He states it is a 2003 Dual 2.0. According to this page, which gets its data from this page, his model is in fact the least reliable Power Mac G5.

However, I don't think it's fair to give G5s such a bad rap, when the G3 iBooks had insane failure rates with the Graphics Card, TiBook hinges...
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 04:12 PM   #18
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He states it is a 2003 Dual 2.0. According to this page, which gets its data from this page, his model is in fact the least reliable Power Mac G5.

However, I don't think it's fair to give G5s such a bad rap, when the G3 iBooks had insane failure rates with the Graphics Card, TiBook hinges...
Still, if the OP's machine was going to fail, it would have long ago. If it is still running well, it's in its downswing years and will continue to operating for its designed lifespan without a problem.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 09:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ariii View Post
Max out the RAM, put a new graphics card into it, strip Intel code from the Leopard install using xSlimmer, and put a fast HDD/SSD into there (It has to be PATA).

G5's have a huge failiure rate compared to most Macs... you might not want to spend too much money on it.
G5s HAVE SATA DRIVES
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 10:17 AM   #20
Jiggly Billy
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I'll take it! I'll send you a message with my info and other details.

----------



Ok I can't message you. New to this forum so I may be missing something.

----------



Yeah, it will be a snipe hunt for sure.
Shoot me an email
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 05:18 PM   #21
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Still, if the OP's machine was going to fail, it would have long ago. If it is still running well, it's in its downswing years and will continue to operating for its designed lifespan without a problem.
To be fair, this machine has been sitting around doing nothing for years so I have no idea how much use it has gotten since 2003. But it was free and I was hoping to use it as a backup computer in case anything ever happens to my laptop.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 05:29 PM   #22
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To be fair, this machine has been sitting around doing nothing for years so I have no idea how much use it has gotten since 2003. But it was free and I was hoping to use it as a backup computer in case anything ever happens to my laptop.
That's a good reason to own one and trick it out.

My iBook was barely used when I got it three years ago. Only thing that failed from age/use was the DC-in board, a quick, easy and cheap fix.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 05:57 PM   #23
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That's a good reason to own one and trick it out.

My iBook was barely used when I got it three years ago. Only thing that failed from age/use was the DC-in board, a quick, easy and cheap fix.
Well if I am lucky and get a refund from taxes this year, maybe I can start to get it into good shape. I't nice to have a project.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 06:02 PM   #24
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One thing I can really recomend if you plan on making one of these into a file server is the G5-Jive product that lets you mount more SATA drives. Only issue is it's like $100 and doesn't even include the controller card, but they are great for mirrored RAIDS or RAID5.

I have one doing this right now, running Leopard Server and ZFS for Mac.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 06:44 PM   #25
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G5's take SATA hard drives
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabidz7 View Post
G5s HAVE SATA DRIVES
No need to post things twice, rabidz7. The all caps is a nice effect.
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