Inherited PowerMac G5 - Should I keep it or sell it?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by prvt.donut, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    prvt.donut

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #1
    Hi PPC aficionados,

    I always wanted a G5 PowerMac, neigh coveted the G5 PowerMacs.

    So, now I have one (the office threw it out), and I'm not sure if I should keep it!:eek::(

    Specs wise:
    Machine Name: Power Mac G5
    Machine Model: PowerMac11,2
    CPU Type: PowerPC G5 (1.1)
    Number Of CPUs: 2
    CPU Speed: 2 GHz
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 1 MB
    Memory: 1.5 GB
    GPU Model: GeForce 6600LE
    VRAM (Total): 128 MB
    Monitor: Apple Cinema Display 23-Inch

    I know 1.5GB ram is not much nowadays, but it has a clean install of Tiger and the OS feels nice and snappy (although web-pages seem to load pretty slowly).

    Can it be of any use in this x64 chipset world we live in?

    I was thinking I could drop a few HDD's in it and using it as a media Library. Although if I sell it I could get a Time Capsule with the money and server the same purpose. :cool:
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #2
    You've got a better computer than you think, tho crippled a little by the LE video card. Late 2005 final revision PMG5 Dual Core 2.0.

    16 gigs of ram
    2 TB HD
    Quadro video card.

    You'd be happier than you think with it.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    prvt.donut

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #3
    Hahaha!

    Yes. the upgrades!

    I was looking at the FX4500 cards on ebay they seem to be going for around $200USD.

    Then upgrading the RAM looks to be about $55USD for 2x2GB sticks, so around $220 to get the 16GB.

    Also doesn't have the Bluetooth airport card, so looking at another $70USD for that.

    Then drop in a 256GB SSD for the OS and a few 2TB drives for data! :D

    One question, can the FX4500 playback 1080p?

    One BIG issue with keeping this is the fact that I can't write X-Code iOS apps on the PPC platform...
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    ChrisMan287

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Location:
    NY.
    #4
    Just make sure you keep that thing cool.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #5
    Not always- this one is only $150 (only... :eek:), and if you are able to flash a PC card to a Mac, I believe this one should be flashable, but I am not at all certain. I don't know much more about it, though. Perhaps there is someone who has actually flashed the Quadro could comment on this.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    prvt.donut

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #6
    Can anyone report on if that card can handle 1080p?

    Would be cool to hook up to my TV and use it as the media centre/desktop workstation.

    Living in Tokyo though, no space for a desk to put it on!:eek: Sure I can work something out.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #7
    FX4500 and 7800GT

    In answer to the OP's question, Yes. Both the 7800GT(which I have) and the FX4000 are more than capable of playing back 1080p with no problems. In fact, I was able to play back even 4096p in some cases.

    So, yes you are fine with either of those fine cards. The 6600 also plays back 720p and 1080p just fine also. The muscle of the Quad is what allows it to perform this incredible power. Sometimes I am amazed myself on the power this machine has.

    Its more than capable of today's software. Shame Apple did not see it that way. Snow Leopard would have been a fine addition to this machine's multi-core capabilities, but alas... Apple does what Apple does best - forces the user into obsolescence.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    prvt.donut

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #8
    Really? The 6600 can handle the 1080?

    Maybe I will just buy 4x2GB RAM sticks for it.

    I will have to test it out for myself. The Mac is living at my office at the moment until I can work out where it can live at home.

    I just realized the G5 only has 2 HDD bays, I am used to working on the Mac Pros in the office and thought there were 4.

    Maybe it would be best to put in 2x 2TB drives in RAID 1 for parity.

    If I wanted to get wifi and Bluetooth, is it best to get the apple card?
    Or get aftermarket devices?

    Finally, should I upgrade to Leopard? Or leave if on Tiger?

    Sorry for all the questions!
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #9
    For your reference;

    I have a quad G5 late 2005 2.5GHz.

    I have 16 GB of RAM on it.

    I have an SSD as boot drive and 1 terabyte of HDD for data.

    I have Quadro FX4500 as my gfx card.

    I also have an apple cinema display 23" same as you.

    I fitted it with original apple extreme card.

    For external storage, I have a 1 terabyte for back up and time machine connected to an eSATA PCIe card on my G5. Accessing my external is faster than accessing my data disk.

    My job entails working in illustrator and photoshop as well as doing CAD work.

    And I will still have to find a thing that could choke my G5.

    If I were you I would keep and slowly kit it. It would last you for at least another 5 years.

    Leopard all the way.

    For graphics card, get the ATI x1900. It is faster if not better than QFX4500. The 4500 is a work station card, special functions can only be utilized if you are doing CAD work or some video stuff. The ATI is a much faster card than QFX afaik.
     
  10. Guest

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    #10
    You can also overclock an ATI card on a Mac (using ATIccelerator) which you can't do with nVidia.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #11
    Keep the G5 : D you will love it ; p
     
  12. prvt.donut, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502

    prvt.donut

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #12
    Ok, so there are a few options.

    I wouldn't be gaming on it, as I said, smooth reliable video playback, plus it would be nice to have a system to video edit on (asuming that it can handle the 1080 video for editing.

    If I was using Final Cut Pro on it and hooking it up to the TV for video and Hulu video playback, which would make me most happy (probably both are overkill though for what I would be doing).
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

    prvt.donut

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #13
    You think I can flash that card? If so, will bid on it!!:)
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    Get a 120GB SSD as your boot drive, a flashed ATI FireGL X3 graphics card, 4GB memory, and a 5-port USB 2.0 port PCI card and you'll be happy.
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #15
  16. prvt.donut, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502

    prvt.donut

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #16
    Hold on, the seller says it has 512MB of RAM! Didn't think they made the G5 GT version with 512!!!

    Thanks Nameci, will buy that unless I win the dirt cheap bid on the PC FX4500 card that would need flashing. Doubt I will win it though!!

    I think for now I might get 4GB of RAM too. Putting little bits in each month should be a nice and cheap way to get the specs up! Although maybe getting the Hard drives would be the most effective upgrades to start with so that I can get my OS and data drives setup right.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #17
    the Mac elite seems to have the roms needed to flash the card. I just wish that someone here would confirm that it is flashable. I am not sure why it wouldn't work, but sometimes things can be picky. Also, have you ever flashed a card before? It will require a machine that can boot dos.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #18
    The problem with confirming that that specific card is flash able is not possible, as thee are a couple of different versions of that card floating about. Possibly Sheep666 may be able to identify if the card is flashable.

    ----------

    And as Nameci said, that gt card is much cheaper and you don't have to stuff around with it.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #19
    I picked up a BT USB dongle on Ebay for about nine dollars, plugged it in and bingo!
    Tiny little thing works like a charm.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #20
    Yes, if I remember correctly, it was due to the sizes of the rom chip on the card, and some cards having to small a size to flash the new rom onto it.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    ChrisMan287

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Location:
    NY.
    #21
    Just get the X1900 GT.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #22
    Yeah, that seems like the best option at this point.
     
  23. thorns, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    #23
    1. The graphics card has no noticeable influence on 1080p playback. The 2.0 GHz G5 can play 1080p MKV rips (15MBit/sec) since VLC 2.0 (and CorePlayer, but this software isn't free and completely unsupported by now).
    2. The X1900 is the best value for money card for the late 2005 G5. I have successfully flashed many cards from 7800GT to 7800GTXs and various X1900. I can confirm that the x1900xt 512MB and X1950XT 256MB can be flashed to the G5 version. I always wanted to test the x1950pro since there's an abundance of them in Europe, but didn't manage to get ahold of one by now.
    3. For Airport/BT support, I used a 3$ BT dongle and a mini-pcie card with wifi antennas, popped in a standard apple broadcom card and have full airport support since then. cost me about 40$, way cheaper than buying the standoff card and the combo card.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 6502

    prvt.donut

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #24
    Thanks for the info.

    I will see how well it performs with the base card it has, on my way to the office now, so will have a little play with it.

    I think I will get a Bluetooth dongle. I liked the idea of having the original card because it has a mounting bracket and the antennas inside waiting for it. Not sure if the price can justify that idealism though.

    I think I will order up some RAM today off eBay for it, maybe just 2x2GB this month and progressively work my way up. I will probably be fine at 8GB, unless I want to do something crazy with it.

    So you were saying the GPU will have no effect on the video performance. How about for HD video editing? I assume I can get an older copy of final cut or even iMovie and edit my iphone and camera videos on it.
     
  25. prvt.donut, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502

    prvt.donut

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #25
    I tried a 1080p movie i recorded on my iPhone and it was very jumpy.:(

    Only 1.5GB Ram might be a cause of that. but I don't want to throw money at it if it won't be able to fulfill my basic requirements as a media machine.

    What do you think? This is a dual CPU 2GHz Late 2005 G5. Should I be able to playback my video smoothly?

    If i can edit,but can't playback the content, it's not much use.

    I don't mind dropping $150 for a x1900 and 4GB ram. just need to be sure it'll do the job.

    I'm sure lots of other people here have the same setup, so can you please let me know?

    Thanks.

    edit;

    looking on Low End Mac, it seems this should be able to playback the video smoothly.http://lowendmac.com/schrader/11js/maximize-power-mac-g5.html

    maybe i need to get leopard on here
     

Share This Page