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Old Feb 16, 2009, 12:53 AM   #1
guyinrubbersuit
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Upgrade PowerPC Mac G5 to Intel?

Is there a way to upgrade my PowerPC Mac G5 to an Intel chipset? Replacing the mother board? Or is the architecture between the PowerPC and x86 chips so great that it would be impossible? I enjoy my current Mac, but unfortunately the new Mac Pros are expensive and I don't really have the funds for them. I do a lot of things on the PC side and rather than having two different computers I'd rather have the best of both worlds.

So is there any possible way or would I just be better off saving my money for a new Mac Pro?
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 01:07 AM   #2
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Buy a Mac Pro. It is really impossible otherwise.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 01:14 AM   #3
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Buy a Mac Pro. It is really impossible otherwise.

Is that due to just how different the hardware is?
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 01:34 AM   #4
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Let me put it this way... it's impossible. Short of replacing the entire insides of a Power Mac G5 it really wont work. An Intel processor will both not fit and will also not work. The "language" the processor speaks is not the same. It's like taking an average American and plopping them in the heart of Japan and expecting them to be able to hold a conversation with a purely Japanese speaking person. Basically, sell the Power Mac G5 after saving up and buy a Mac Pro.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 01:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by guyinrubbersuit View Post
Is that due to just how different the hardware is?
Well, that and Apple doesn't sell the parts to upgrade existing PCs. You could upgrade the motherboard to an Intel motherboard, and add an Intel CPU... then you'd need new RAM, and a new video card...

You could buy the parts and install them in your G5 case, but then you've really just built a Hackintosh inside a genuine PowerMac case. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you're aware of the limitations.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:30 PM   #6
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like notjustjay said ...
"... Apple doesn't sell the parts to upgrade existing PCs."

Why? Because they would lose a sale of a complete new machine ... they get more $ that way
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:32 PM   #7
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like notjustjay said ...
"... Apple doesn't sell the parts to upgrade existing PCs."

Why? Because they would lose a sale of a complete new machine ... they get more $ that way
May I ask how you come by this thread to resurrect it? Is there some www cult necroposting around the web?
It wasn't even a heated discussion that needed further posts.

I'm just killing cats here I suppose.
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Old Nov 22, 2009, 12:33 PM   #8
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You could always Hackintosh it.

Oops, just noticed it's an old thread
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 11:12 AM   #9
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upgrading an original g5.

theres got to be a way. selling my cpu is not an option!!! isn't there somthing??
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 11:16 AM   #10
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theres got to be a way. selling my cpu is not an option!!! isn't there somthing??
You already got your answer in the other thread you started on this topic. No, you can NOT put an Intel processor in your G5.
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 11:17 AM   #11
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theres got to be a way. selling my cpu is not an option!!! isn't there somthing??
Yes, buying a new computer.

The chipsets are completely different, the logic board is completely different. The firmware is completely different. There's absolutely no way to turn a PPC based computer into an intel computer, short of replacing the logic board, and probably the expansion cards (because they'll not be compatible at this point. You'll in the end need to replace most of the innards of the G5 so again you'll be better off buying a new one.
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Old Aug 21, 2010, 02:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by spinnerlys View Post
May I ask how you come by this thread to resurrect it? Is there some www cult necroposting around the web?
It wasn't even a heated discussion that needed further posts.

I'm just killing cats here I suppose.
yeah - I found it thru "Google" -- there are still MANY of these PPC boxes and it is a BIG cost to some people to upgrade (never mind the environmental impact of throwing away perfectly good high-end hardware - especially since it's only the mobo/CPU) -- I was looking for a way to upgrade a G5 Mac (dual core PPC) someone gave me from the 90+ they had that were obsoleted from the PPC - Intel switchover. The truth is that, if it was a PC, it would be extremely easy, just buy any range of new mobos & CPUs from any number of 3rd party vendors - but since it's a Mac, it seems it's impossible ... so I'm just installing Snow Leopard on a separate drive on my Win7 x64 Quad Core 2 PC box, a hackintosh to run few Apple apps that I use occasionally that don't run on a PC (p.s. - I hope you aren't really killing cats or dogs or panda bears, or any other small furry animals ... if you are, I'm hoping you end up in a hungry lion's cage so the tables will be turned ...)

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Old Aug 21, 2010, 02:19 PM   #13
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This thread has alligator blood, it just won't die.
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Old Aug 21, 2010, 02:23 PM   #14
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Old Aug 21, 2010, 02:31 PM   #15
dezign
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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
Yes, buying a new computer.

The chipsets are completely different, the logic board is completely different. The firmware is completely different. There's absolutely no way to turn a PPC based computer into an intel computer, short of replacing the logic board, and probably the expansion cards (because they'll not be compatible at this point. You'll in the end need to replace most of the innards of the G5 so again you'll be better off buying a new one.
The chipset & firmware are attached to the logic (main/mother)board along with the CPU ... you make it sound like many separate pieces need to be changed ... it's a matter of changing 1 thing ... (something unfortunately which is not made available by the manufacturer) - it's a 25 minute job to change it.

Also, the expansion cards are generally just PCI cards ... the same as used in a PC or other Macs & Linux boxes with PCI slots ... Apple standarized on these a while ago switching from SCSI & other proprietary formats. Even the hard drives are standard SATA drives, just formatted with HFS+ Mac format instead of the NTFS "PC" format, or Linux ext3 file system.

I just like the truth to be known for the next person that finds this thread on Google ... Okay I'll let it die -- like my Mac G5 dual-core PPC ...

this topic also it seems to also be discussed here ...
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=433080

Last edited by dezign; Aug 21, 2010 at 02:44 PM.
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Old Jan 23, 2012, 05:32 PM   #16
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another thing

If you plan on revising your PG4/5 to use Intel, there are options (albeit probably equivalent of new purchase):

acquire logic board of Intel Mac Pro unit--there are hack/repair shops that make these available on swap defect for working board basis (an acquisition is higher priced)

acquire power supply of Intel Mac Pro to swap for PG5 PSU.

Just for kicks be sure to use the right pci-x or pci-e accessories, vid or sound and airports. these extras can also be found as upgrades or second-market.

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Old Jan 23, 2012, 08:06 PM   #17
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Congratulations on digging a 2-year old thread out of a grave.
By the way, the Mac Pro motherboard does not fit the G5 case.
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Old Jan 24, 2012, 04:47 AM   #18
Jethryn Freyman
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Congratulations on digging a 2-year old thread out of a grave.
By the way, the Mac Pro motherboard does not fit the G5 case.
THIS, it's like people saying you can upgrade a G4 Mini to an Intel Mini - by ripping out every single component, drilling holes through the case trying to make things fit, by the end of it you've got a totally new computer inside and a mutilated case. Yeah, I can also convert my old Ford to a Ferrari - if I replaced every single part, panel by panel and then it'd still be a nasty chop job. And certainly not a Ferrari.
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Old Jan 28, 2012, 11:32 PM   #19
dsours
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Slightly different Reason

I too would like to upgrade to my PPC to an intel chip but for an entirely different reason. I really like my "table lamp" iMac stylistically, I really believe is is a classic design and would like to take the guts from a Mac mini and totally replace the guts of my PPC. I would need to hook up the DVD drive and the screen. While I know anything is possible, is this a reasonable task for the untalented?
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Old Jan 29, 2012, 12:46 AM   #20
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While I know anything is possible, is this a reasonable task for the untalented?
No, not for the untalented.

If you had a few computers to practice on (both "table lamp" and mini), that you were willing to discard on failure, you could eventually gain the experience and skill, but it seems like a potentially expensive proposition.
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Old Jan 29, 2012, 02:24 PM   #21
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So this is not something somebody else has done and could supply instructios and pictures?
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Old Jan 29, 2012, 02:53 PM   #22
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Mod G4 iMac with Intel Mac mini innards?

Google search terms: mac mini imac g4
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Old Jan 30, 2012, 04:56 AM   #23
hwojtek
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Quite a different story. There is a LOT of space in a G4 iMac to fit a Mac Mini inside.
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Old Jan 30, 2012, 09:43 AM   #24
Fishrrman
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"Is there a way to upgrade my PowerPC Mac G5 to an Intel chipset?"

Simple, direct answer:
No.
No way, no how.
Not possible.

If you want Intel, you have to _buy_ Intel Mac. There is no "conversion path" upwards to one.
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Old Jan 30, 2012, 11:03 AM   #25
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I thought about upgrading my G4 Mini until Lion came along and killed Rosetta. Now I keep the mini around so I can ssh to it when I want to run a PPC app. Seeing this old thread come back to life, and some of the responses over the years when somebody wakes the thread up again reminded me of something from the movie Uncle Buck...



Necrolex, John Candy has something to say to you for waking up this two year old thread...

Quote:
Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.
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