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G3 B&W, need advice for upgrades.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by drewsof07, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. macrumors 68000


    My friend is giving me his G3 B&W for free, just wondering what upgrades are available for them. Also, can I use an old IDE hard drive from my PC to upgrade the HD? And finally, which OS works the best on them? I know that it supports Tiger, but would it run better with Panther on it? It's for my parents to replace their aging PC. They only use it for internet, email, etc. but I want it to be as snappy as possible.

    Also, I'm not sure of the speed or any other specs right now, my friend isn't the most tech-savvy person. He's delivering it next week so I will update when I find out the specs. Until then, please post some advice :)
  2. macrumors 65816


  3. macrumors 68020


    You may want to reconsider using it for internet. The G3's are brought to their knees by any sort of flash. And with much of the internet using flash unnecessarily the G3's can't handle much of the internet. Any youtube videos will cripple any G3 or some low end G4's.

    I would recommend picking up a later G4 powermac, maybe a dual quicksilver, or a MDD. They can handle the internet much better then a G3, my iBook is occasionally crippled here on macrumors (the iBook has a faster processor then the fastest B&W), when a flash ad comes up. You can find a newer G4 for around $250, which is about cost of upgrading a G3 to "usability".

    Here is a Link to a G4 which would be good for your Parents needs: http://cgi.ebay.com/G4-QuickSilver-...18&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&timeout=1218812755360

    EDIT: You could even run Leopard on the above G4

  4. macrumors 6502a

    I have two G3 B&Ws, one an original 300MHz Rev1 and an upgraded Rev2. with this cpu-http://eshop.macsales.com/item/PowerLogix/PFZGX10001M/. Get this cpu, a DVD optical drive, and (4) 256MB PC100 RAM sticks. If the unit is Rev2, then you can add another HD. This will allow you install OS X and OS 9 on different HDs, which you can boot either one. The other respondents are correct, Flash will bog the G3/300. Depending on what you what to do, it is fine for email, iTunes, writing, spreadsheets, databases and other non-taxing apps.

    If you opt for the PowerLogix/PFZGX1000 cpu, then Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and other cpu intense apps are childs play.

    My 300MHz unit as been running constantly since I bought it Jan. 1999, never had any hardware failures. I have since regulated it to be my email unit while the faster G3 is my workhorse.
  5. macrumors 68000


    Well I AM getting it for free, so I don't want to pay $300 for a G4 that's going to be outdated soon anyway.

    And I was thinking about those CPU upgrades, but I saw that I won't be able to run tiger past 10.4.6 or .9 It's only a $129 upgrade.

    Does anyone know about GPU's for these? I doubt the stock one will be very good if its only 16mb.. Also, does it have the proprietary video out? or standard VGA. My friend is including the CRT :apple: monitor that came with it.
  6. macrumors G5


    It's old, but should work ok as a file/ music server.

    go to Everymac.com
    find the model, and you'll get some tips on upgrades.

    There is a software that will allow you to access >120GB of harddrive space by the way.
  7. macrumors 65816

    I beleive the B&W G3s do have the proprietary VGA, yeah.

    The highest you can run right now I believe is 10.4.9, because CPUDirector doesn't support 10.4.10 or 10.4.11 yet (assuming it ever will). That's what I'm running on my Beige G3.

    A G3/1000 upgrade is a good idea, as mentioned, and it's cheap (there was a time when a G3/300 would have cost you over $1000!).

    As for the GPU, it wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade to a Radeon 7000; 32 MB VRAM (64 MB if you buy a flashed PC version), and you can enable Quartz Extreme on it via the software PCI Extreme. That's what I did, except I use an original Radeon Mac Edition, a faster card. You could also get a Radeon 9000 128 MB DDR, and probably ebay it for about $60 total including S&H.

    As for flash, yes, it's much slower on PCI-based Macs; I believe it's because the older video cards are very poor at handling flash overlays (that's what I've read). Flash 10 (Beta right now) does speed things up a bit, especially in places like eBay where it's flash-based content but not flash videos.

    I'm still happily running my Beige G3 w/a G4/500 upgrade and 768 MB RAM (maxed out; an insane amount of RAM 10 years ago that would have cost me over $2000 at the time, and is now next to nothing). Upgrading to 1 GB is a good idea.

    You can put in any ATA PC HDD, though you'd get the best performance if you installed an ATA PCI card (or an SATA PCI card) and a new 320 GB or larger drive; a 500 GB SATA drive can be had for under $100, and an SATA PCI card, I believe, can be had for a similar price. A new hard drive can speed up your Mac as much as a new processor can (in the ways that it speeds things up).

    DVD-RWs are very cheap, $30-40, if you're interested.

    And I believe you'd be happiest in Tiger, Panther really is a little long in the tooth now, and Tiger is even a bit snappier in some ways, not to mention it supports thousands of pieces of software that Panther no longer does.
  8. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Gut it and put a dual-core atom in it and go the hackintosh route. :)
  9. macrumors 68020


    I never said that they aren't good for email, B&W is cripeled on the web, except for a few sites. With idiot web delevopers using flash where it isn't needed, the G3 stands no chance.
    Well, your already think about putting $129 in it, plus money for a video card. your going to spending nearly $150 on it. ThatG4 that I linked to was just an example, there are many G4's that run much cheaper. Even a dual 500Mhz G4 runs circles around any G3. As for the Monitor, as if you can get it alone. The G4's are still really capable machines, for those tasks. Whereas the G3's should be put in a closet or be used as a file server. Just my opinion.

  10. macrumors 68000


    Hmm, can you PM me some details about that?
  11. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    The dual core Atom mobo/processor should be out next month at around $120 sans RAM. Here's the detail on the single core and here's the B&W HW mod. I'm thinking about this myself. A little work, but I have a B&W just collecting dust at the moment.
  12. macrumors 68020


  13. macrumors 68000


    Alright, well after I can inspect it thoroughly, I think I am going to swap out the HD for a 60GB, enough for the OS + apps and a few pictures, and maybe buy some cheap RAM. *It's PC100 correct? Anyway, I think I'm going to hold off on the processor upgrade as that is fairly expensive. I have a Sony DVD-RW drive already from my old PC, does anyone know if it will have any compatibility issues? it works as an external with my powerbook just fine. After I get those upgrades done, I may look to swap out the video card to allow DVI. I have a Nvidia Geforce 128mb I think, possible it could be compatible? If not, i've found some Radeon 9200s on ebay for around $50 If i put $50 in the GPU and $50 in Ram, for around $100 I think I'll have a pretty nice system for the parentals.
  14. macrumors 68000


    I don't get this.. I've owned 3 Rev 1 B&W's and worked on another Rev 1 and never had any problems installing a 2nd hard drive without any ATA controller cards. Just put in a ribbon cable with a second plug and you're good to go. The master drive must be on the end of the cable, and the slave in the middle, but aside from that its pretty much plug and play. If it doesn't have a Zip drive I would bet you could get a 3rd HD in there on the same bus as the optical drive. Here are 2 of my Rev. 1's running quite happily with 2 hard drives. The one on the left has both Zip and DVD-ROM on the 2nd bus as well. And yes it does have a Rev. 2 heatsink, but thats only because I put in a 450MHz processor. I can assure you its a Rev 1.

    Attached Files:

  15. macrumors 65816


    Well then, you are in a lucky, but VERY small minority :p

    It is well documented that MOST (99%) of the Rev 1 units had a flaky mobo controller chip that caused massive data corruption as soon as a 2nd HD was installed, hence the need for a Rev 2......

    I've had and/or worked on approx. 50 rev 1 units over the years, and every single one of them had the bad chip, so count your blessings for sure !
  16. macrumors 68000


    That is interesting. I noticed in another thread you mentioned getting your 350 up to 500MHz. What all did you do to get that to work? Added fans? My one B&W has a 450MHz processor from a Rev 2 in it, but I can't get it to overclock to 500MHz stable. I found this odd because its only a 50MHz jump which has never been an issue on any of my other machines. I can get it to boot to 500 and run for a few minutes, but then it locks up. Any suggestions?
  17. macrumors 65816

    It might not be heat-related. It could be that at that voltage it's just not capable of a stable 500 MHz; remember, 450 MHz was Apple's high-end B&W G3 machine; if IBM had had reasonable yields at 500 MHz, they would have had that option. If you remember, they had to "speed dump" the original G4 from 500 MHz to 450 MHz because they couldn't get enough 500 MHz parts.

    You could try thermal paste (G3s don't have any), and extra fans.

    I OC'd my 300 MHz Beige G3 desktop to 366 MHz, which isn't bad (and the fastest Beige G3 they released was 333 MHz), but I think that was one of the luckier ones.
  18. macrumors 68000


    Ya I've got a 333MHz beige G3 running at 350MHz stable. Anything more than that gave me problems..
  19. macrumors 65816

    I used thermal paste to get it past 333; I'd try 366@66 MHz FSB, as a 70 MHz FSB actually decreases performance a bit (and at any FSB speed other than 66 MHz, the memory automatically defaults to CL3 even if it's CL 2-2-2) because the motherboard was designed with 66 MHz bus timings in mind. Even an 83 MHz FSB doesn't increase speeds (I've tried it).
  20. macrumors 68000


    What could I do with this as far as a server goes? I've never attempted anything like that before as it's never been one of my needs. It might be a cool project though, give me some more details on that please :)
  21. macrumors 68000


    Web server? File server? Print server? I've got mine setup right now as a file server since my MBP only has 120Gb of hard drive space and the G3 has over 150. Its just hooked up to the network and I've got Remote Desktop to control it. Also works great as a torrent machine. At one point I installed 10.3 Server on the second drive, but never really did much with it. I don't know a whole lot about setting up webservers, but I'm sure someone can help you out if thats what you're after.
  22. macrumors member


    OK ill clear thi up for you. G3's CAN handle flash..mine does. mine can play games, go to taco bell.com, and even run photoshop. But to do this AND get quartz support i had to put some stuff in it.

    -1.1GHz PPC G3 Zif (powerlogix)
    -60GB HD
    -64mb radeon 7000
    - 1gb ram

    Works great and can do ANYTING on the internet, deffinaely worth the upgrade
  23. macrumors 68000


    Thanks! I have a 60GB HD ready to put in it from my old PC, and I was planning to upgrade the RAM to at least 512 to run Tiger and a video card. I think I'm going to hold off on any processor upgrades, as I don't want to put more than $75-100 in this little project.
  24. macrumors 68000


    Other options (sorry if this is a repeat of previous info):

    A G4 zif upgrade--they only go to 500mHz (550 w/ overclocking), but the added AltiVec engine helps a lot with Flash. I definitely second adding 4X256mb RAM, especially if running Tiger, as it is a memory hog. The IDE drive from your PC will work fine provided you have a working optical drive and install discs (or some other creative workthrough).

    You may have a problem with Rev 1s and secondary drives; a workthrough for that is to buy a larger dive (up to 120gb, I believe, is the cutoff for the hardware to recognize) and if you want the OSs separated, put OSX and OS9 on separate partitions; you can install OS9 on a very small partition, as low as 1gb (though you probably want to give it 2-3) if you save all your files to the other partition. This can slow things down, though, so I suggest getting, say, a 100gb drive and doing 10-20gb for OS9 and 80-90 for OSX.

    The VGA out on my stock ATI PCI card is standard, not proprietary.

    On workthroughs, note that you cannot install OSX via an Intel Mac to that drive, as OSX for Intel is different than OSX for PPC. Good luck!
  25. macrumors 68000


    Thanks! This is the type of advice I've been looking for.
    1. I can put a G4 in there??
    2. I have a Sony DVD-RW drive (also from PC), think it will be compatible? *it works as an external right now.
    3. Not really concerned about a second internal HD. OS9 is too complicated for my parents lol
    4. standard VGA= AWESOME so I can use an lcd monitor instead of the :apple: CRT.
    5. I have a powerbook w/Superdrive and FW cable, I can install Tiger via target disk mode correct?


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