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Old Apr 12, 2012, 09:33 PM   #1
alexreich
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PowerMac G5 for retro gaming, and using PPC applications?

Over the last year or so I have become obsessed with the history of PPC-based Macs. Ever since then I've been into acquiring and making use of the older machines. As you can see in my sig, I have two 500MHz iMac G3s, two 400-450MHz PowerMac G4s, and a 16MHz Macintosh LC (not fully functional, floppy drive issues).

Even though each of these machines are old, they give me a 'new' experience, and I love that. Here lately, I've been looking into PowerMac gaming and have found that none of my PPCs are up to snuff to play any high-end games, or even decent ones with good settings. So I'm beginning to wonder...

Should I get a PowerMac G5 to play PPC games on? If so, should I get a dual-core, or a quad-core? What is the best graphics card available for gaming on the PowerMac G5?

*Background Information*
Other than the PPC's mentioned above, I only have an Intel Mac mini which is running OS Lion. The main reason I want to get a better PPC for gaming is because OS Lion (as we all know) dropped support for PPC-based applications/Rosetta, and therefore, I cannot use my mini as a backup for games that haven't been upgraded to Universal binary if I cannot play them on my 450MHz PowerMac G4.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 09:39 PM   #2
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If you are looking to do some hardcore gaming I would just simply purchase a new mac, or build a pc of your own. But for PPC I would defiantly purchase a machine with a quad-core, and as for the graphics card the G5 X1900 is the most powerful and affordable graphics card out there for the older macs.
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 09:44 PM   #3
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Now that you mention it, instead of buying a PowerMac G5, would it be better to buy an old Mac Pro? Like an 8-core Early 2008? Then I could just run Snow Leopard on it, and that way I could still use the Mac App Store (10.6.8) for modern games, but I could also still execute the older PPC applications and games. Would that be a better idea?
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 01:45 AM   #4
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Quad core ppc for gaming?? Not!! Grab a dc pm, that will be best for gaming. Quad core is nice, but won't help with ppc gaming. And yeah that ati card x1900xt (actually a gt) or the fx4500 will be the sweet point.

Games like hal0/max pain/Return to castle wolf will love those cards. Other games may require classic environment. I've never been able to get baldurs gate to play nicely.

For gaming stay away from the quad.
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 01:58 AM   #5
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Power Mac G5s can't natively boot to classic, which limits the number of retro games you can run.

Get some sort of G4 faster than the ones you have that can do a native classic boot. Faster stock G4 that could boot classic was a dual processor G4 1.25. I got one just for that purpose.

Got an AGP slot so you can stick a fast card in there.
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 08:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by goMac View Post
Power Mac G5s can't natively boot to classic, which limits the number of retro games you can run.

Get some sort of G4 faster than the ones you have that can do a native classic boot. Faster stock G4 that could boot classic was a dual processor G4 1.25. I got one just for that purpose.

Got an AGP slot so you can stick a fast card in there.
3 retarded people voted against that post.

Seriously... Get a mac that can boot OS 9 if you're serious about PPC gaming. Most games from 1995 to 2001 won't even run proprely (if they run at all) on classic mode in OS X. Plus, if you get a decent mac (good G4) with a decent video card, you will be able to play just about any game (high settings) that is PPC only.

For newer games that aren't PPC only, well just get an intel mac.

The only reason for getting a quad for PPC gaming would be to play Doom 3 at fairly high settings, but then if thats your goal you'd better get a Mac Pro.
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quad for doom 3?? Doom 3 is single threaded. Except for the audio..
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 06:34 PM   #8
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Graphics Card

The best Graphics card for the Quad G5 is the Quadro FX w/ 512 MB of graphics mem. This thing is a monster for the G5.
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 06:58 PM   #9
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Not to sound like an idiot. And I'm going to. Why don't you just get a decent windows PC if yoU REALLY want to do some gaming? The majority of games found on Mac can be found on windows as well
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Old Apr 13, 2012, 08:19 PM   #10
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Best gaming card for the late 2005 Powermac G5 is the nVidia GeForce 7800GTX 512MB, the QFX 4500 is a workstation card best for CAD work...
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 11:04 AM   #11
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Quad for doom 3?? Doom 3 is single threaded. Except for the audio..
Really? Damn... Well I guess it runs better on a dual 2.7 ghz then?
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 11:04 AM   #12
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Best gaming card for the late 2005 Powermac G5 is the nVidia GeForce 7800GTX 512MB, the QFX 4500 is a workstation card best for CAD work...
This is true. I've done the web research to basically prove this.
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 02:11 PM   #13
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I was torn before between GF 7800GTX and QFX 4500 for my dual core powermac. I decided on QFX 4500 for the reason that I don't play games. I design and do CAD work, I have read that the QFX 4500 is more suited to be on a workstation than GF 7800GTX.
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 01:09 AM   #14
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My dual 1.8GHz G5 with a Radeon X800 XT is pretty CPU limited by games. Stuff like UT2004 and Doom 3 are single threaded. A quad would offer now advantage over a dual.
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 05:12 AM   #15
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a dc(dual core) will outperform a dp(dual processor) by a tad only due to the 1mb cache vs the 512kb cache (l1)

at any rate the DC models are much, much more desireable as they do allow for the faster graphic cards.

and ofcourse, if your planning on running apps that use the quad cores, then ofcourse go for it. eitherway go for it as its an awesome box the quad. (prob my fave PM ive ever owned

cheers
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Old Apr 16, 2012, 05:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nova77 View Post
Seriously... Get a mac that can boot OS 9 if you're serious about PPC gaming. Most games from 1995 to 2001 won't even run proprely (if they run at all) on classic mode in OS X. Plus, if you get a decent mac (good G4) with a decent video card, you will be able to play just about any game (high settings) that is PPC only.
I agree, some of the best games available to Macs were in the pre-OS X days so having native support for them would be great.

One thing I always found kind of funny was that we were getting cutting edge games for our Macs even though Apple was about to close up shop in the mid-late 90's.

Unreal/99, Quakes, and Carmageddon came to the Mac about the same time they did for Windows yet games like Battlefield 3 or MW3 will never come to the Mac.
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 08:59 PM   #17
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Would a Late 2005 Dual Core 2GHz PowerMac G5 be good enough for games like these at mid-to-high settings? I would be maxing out the RAM, and buying a new graphics card for it.

Call of Duty (original)
Call of Duty: United Offensive
Call of Duty 2
Diablo 1-2
American McGee's Alice (If I can ever find this game anywhere!)
Doom 1-3
Halo: Combat Evolved
Quake 1-4
StarCraft 1-2
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2-4
Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004
OpenArena
Marathon 1-3
Marathon FPS Series
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
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Old Apr 17, 2012, 10:06 PM   #18
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Put your Mini back on SL (or partition it) and upgrade the CPU on your on G4.
You get the best of both worlds and that 320M is probably better than most G5 cards, except for maybe a few for the late 05's PCIe slot.

I know Unreal 2004 runs great on a 320M as I was playing it on the highest settings on an Apple Store Air a couple years ago. Maps that my Macbook's X3100 struggles to play on low settings were playing great on high.
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 05:09 AM   #19
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Yep!

Personally, you could use a dual core, but I would run Quad Core.
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 07:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexreich View Post
Would a Late 2005 Dual Core 2GHz PowerMac G5 be good enough for games like these at mid-to-high settings? I would be maxing out the RAM, and buying a new graphics card for it.

Call of Duty (original)
Call of Duty: United Defense
Call of Duty 2
Diablo 1-2
American McGee's Alice (If I can ever find this game anywhere!)
Doom 1-3
Halo: Combat Evolved
Quake 1-4
StarCraft 1-2
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2-4
Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004
OpenArena
Marathon 1-3
Marathon FPS Series
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
My G4 can handle all of these except for SC2 (intel-only). Quake 4//Doom 3 lags though, but its playable.
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Old Apr 18, 2012, 09:54 AM   #21
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I can't simply partition my SSD for running SL alongside Lion because my drive is only 60GB. If I had a larger SSD I would.

EDIT: I actually partitioned my 60GB SSD the other day. I have 45GB for Lion, and 15GB for Snow Leopard. I can deal with 15GB in Snow Leopard because I can only play one game at a time, so I can beat a game, wipe the data off, and then load another, and repeat. Quite simple. Though I still appreciate my PowerMac G5 very much.

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Old Apr 19, 2012, 01:35 AM   #22
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By the way, I am curious about upgrading the CPU in my PowerMac G4, actually.

What real advantages can I experience from a new CPU? Doesn't the motherboard cache (or something of that nature) hold the machine back from taking advantage of the better processing power?

I have considered many times before upgrading my Sawtooth's CPU but from what I read (or at least the parts I thought I understood), I thought that there was not much of an advantage to upgrading the CPU due to other hardware limitations.

Can anyone kindly explain to me the advantages/disadvantages of upgrading my PowerMac G4 Sawtooth to a more powerful processor?
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 06:46 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexreich View Post
Would a Late 2005 Dual Core 2GHz PowerMac G5 be good enough for games like these at mid-to-high settings? I would be maxing out the RAM, and buying a new graphics card for it.

Call of Duty (original)
Call of Duty: United Offensive
Call of Duty 2
Diablo 1-2
American McGee's Alice (If I can ever find this game anywhere!)
Doom 1-3
Halo: Combat Evolved
Quake 1-4
StarCraft 1-2
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2-4
Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004
OpenArena
Marathon 1-3
Marathon FPS Series
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
I've got a dual 1.8 G5, and I ran these benchmarks on it a while back:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1348675

Since you've got a dual core model, which offers PCI Expressed slots for the graphics card, you can get faster stuff than my X800 XT though.
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Old Apr 28, 2012, 09:42 AM   #24
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Best gaming card for the late 2005 Powermac G5 is the nVidia GeForce 7800GTX 512MB, the QFX 4500 is a workstation card best for CAD work...
Nope, the X1900 is much more powerful for games than the 7800. VRAM does not equal power.

As you can see: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php
The 7800 GTX is #254 on the list while the X1900 GT is #169.
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Old May 29, 2012, 10:52 PM   #25
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I have a G4 933mhz 1.5 gigs of ram and a GeForce 6800GT 256mb and i can run Max Payne on full settings plays perfect !! i will be picking up more games to see what else this baby can do !
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