Making my Dual G5 "whole" again

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by BufordTannen, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    #1
    I am seeking a bit of advice here.

    My current setup:
    Dual 2.0Ghz G5
    5.5 GB RAM
    150GB HD
    64MB GeForce FX 5200

    The problem:
    When i first got this thing a couple of years ago, it SMOKED. I mean it was fast. But lately it's just rediculously slow. When working in photoshop i stare at the spinning icon all the time just doing stupid standard tasks like clicking a tool, etc. Also i just hear the hard drive working like a dog. I've tried to repair it a few times, but it hasn't really helped. It's just not the same machine anymore and feels like a dog. Recently i upped the ram to 5.5gb but that did nothing. Im convinced it's just from years of hard drive abuse.

    My plan:
    I'm going to install 2 new dual 500gb internal drives... and a new 512mb video card, as well as a fresh install of OS X, hoping to put everything back to normal as if the machine is new again.

    I'm just wondering if it's a waste of time and money. Once i put all my files back on the drives will it just be the same as it is now? I just don't understand how it seemed so fast a few years ago and pretty crappy now.

    I am a web designer and only work with 72dpi files in photoshop so i think dual g5's should be plenty fast for me. I want to avoid spending $5k on an all new mac pro.

    any advice is appreciated.

    thanks!!
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    A fresh install will make it as fast as new. You are doing the right thing.
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #3
    Agreed, a fresh install will make the machine feel like new.

    That machine is still very capable, especially with all that ram and the upgrades you put into it.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #4
    I made mine whole again by pumping up the RAM to 4GB, replacing my video card with an X800 XT, and adding a second internal 150GB Hard Drive. Oh, and an external LaCie 150GB drive as well. I'm very happy with my box at the moment. And the beauty of my 23-inch Cinema HD has yet to wear off either :)
     
  5. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    A new video card will do next to nothing for Photoshop - Photoshop is a 2D program and does not utilize a GPU for acceleration. The machine performance overall would pick up a bit with faster OS onscreen drawing, but it won't make any difference to the beachballing.

    A clean install (or a new hard drive with a clean install) should help clear some problems up. (A failing hard drive can have some of these same symptoms.)

    Also test your RAM to see if you are actually getting the full 5.5 Gb. With 5.5 Gb RAM you should be at near zero Page Outs.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    zero2dash

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    Fenton, MO
    #6
    New hard drive(s) are also future proof because you'll need SATAs which work in both G5s and Mac Pros, so if/when you upgrade to a Mac Pro, you'll be able to keep your drive(s) that you buy now. ;)
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #7
    If you are looking to save as much money as possible, you might try performing one upgrade at a time. Obviously the fresh install will be free, and that might restore most of your performance.

    Also, I had a G4 laptop that was behaving very similarly - spinning beach ball, slow performance. Finally one day I checked the disk SMART status in Disk Utility and it showed the disk as failing. I rushed out and put in a new HD and the funky performance went away. The thing to note here is that the computer was performing strangely BEFORE the SMART status indicated anything.

    Good luck!
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #8
    I'm pretty sure I selected a preference for PS CS3 to use my GPU. I'm in the failing HD camp though, regarding the OP's Mac sluggishness.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #9
    Me and you are in the same boat. I'm going to do the same thing with a new 500GB hdd, but am going to weight untill Leopord is out...for a verrrrry fresh install. Only thing I ask:

    Should I (even topic author) just install all the apps again, or migrate using the assistant?
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #10
    Personally, to capture every ounce of performance I'd reinstall everything again, it'd be worth the time. But that's just my opinion.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    Hoosiertown
    #11
    my dual 1.8 had its life prolonged by a new graphics card and a 300gb HD. also I had 2gb from the start. 4 256mb sticks so upgrading isn't practical, I only have 4 slots.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #12
    PowerMac G5 RAM is dirt cheap, you could just remove all the 512MB sticks and replace them with 1GB sticks for a rather minimal cost.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    ziwi

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Right back where I started...
    #13
    I am in the same boat, but am thinking it is now time to fish or cut bait - same machine and I can get $1K at least for it so if that is the minimum and figuring on new HD's (~2 500 HD ~ $400and Video card (impossible to find any and if so still AGP) for $300 xt800) That is like almost the cost of a new Mac Pro. Sure you fall in Ram and there may be software concerns (CS 2 on intel) but it almost seems to make sense to future proof for almost the same cost versus upgrading the outmode...does this make any sense? What would folks do in the same situation?

     
  14. macrumors newbie

    baggss

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    Margaritaville
    #14

    What exactly have you tried?
     

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