Got a cheap Powermac G3 - So many questions!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by livingfortoday, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    So, the other day I found a PowerMac G3 at a yard sale for $50, so I grabbed it up hoping that I could use it for... well, nothing - it's just an awesome computer I can fix up. The specs listed by the seller were completely wrong (it's 400Mhz, not 300Mhz, it's got a 9GB HD, not 4, etc), but there are some things on it which I just don't know much about.

    For example, it's got a Rage 128 card, which is ok, but it's also got another ATI card built in, which has a DFP port, a TV out port, and a "CRT" port (which is just VGA). I can't tell what kind of card this is, and was wondering if anyone knew? It says "Rage LT Pro AGP" on the chip, but it's clearly in a PCI port. It works fine, but since I can't boot the computer back up for a week until i get home, I was wondering it anyone knew what this card was, and if it was better than the Rage 128.

    Secondly, it's got a SCSI card, which is what the hard drive is connected to. I've never used SCSI, so I wonder how the speeds compare to an Ultra ATA hard drive. I see that you can get 10k and 15k rpm drives that are SCSI drives, but I don't know if there's different SCSI speeds and standards, or if the PowerMac has limitations that wouldn't let it take advantage of newer SCSI drives. I have an extra IDE drive I'm gonna stick in there, but I don't know if it'll be faster than SCSI to use as the main drive, I guess is what I'm wondering. They're both 7200rpm drives.

    Man, ok, that was wordy for two simple questions. Sorry, I guess I'm just excited to get a new Mac!

    Oh, one last thing. Do these things use USB 1.1 or 2.0? And is there any site you could point me to where I could pick up a front bezel for the zip drive for cheap? This one's missing its.

    Oh! And is it possible to put a wireless PCI card in these older G3s? Sheesh, I'm full of questions.


    Exact specs:
    PowerMac G3 (Blue and White)
    400Mhz G3
    384MB RAM
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    USB 1.1
    You can install a wireless card - Sonnet makes one, its not cheap.

    You probably want to ditch the SCSI card at some point, as SCSI drives are small and expensive and come in about 4 mutually-incompatible flavours -You need to do some learning about them. Also you may want the slot for other uses.

    A good investment is an IDE or SATA PCI interface card, because then you can install inexpensive and large hard disks. (the machine is limited to IDE (Parallel ATA) drives of no larger than 128 Gb.
  3. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
    If you run Panther/Tiger, there's a ton of PCI wifi cards that will work in it. I use a Motorola something or other 802.11G card in my Power Mac and it works great under Tiger.

    The B&W's definitely use USB 1.1...usb 2 wasn't introduced even in the 933Mhz Power Mac G4 Quicksilver's.

    Front bezel...hmm...PM "MacEffects", he used to have a bunch of B&W's and parts for them.
  4. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    Hey, thanks guys! One final thing, can it take Panther or Tiger without XPostFacto? I have Jaguar, which I know will run on it, but I'd like to put Tiger if possible.
  5. Maxwell Smart macrumors 6502a

    Maxwell Smart

    Jan 29, 2006
    Yep, all tiger needs is built in Firewire, so you're good to go :D
  6. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2003
    New England
    Good luck with the B&W. I still own 2 of them. There is lots of good information at xlr8yourmac about these (and many other) systems. Read up on them. They have a few quirks you should know about.
  7. livingfortoday thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    Cool, I'll check it out. Thanks for all your help, you guys.

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