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My First Mac Is A Gutted G5 DC 2.5 - What Do I Do Now?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by RadiusProject, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Hello Community,

    As a long standing PC user long unable to afford an Apple anything, I have been gifted a gutted 2.5 DC PowerMac.

    I use computers mainly for audio, mixing large sessions in Pro Tools and composing in Ableton Live on PC. For about 6 years now I have known I need to buy an Apple computer to respectably continue in my profession, but have had a budget of around £150 which as we all know, would buy me very little indeed even in the used market. I am also a big fan of gaming but am aware that PowerMac is not really the platform for running today's games anywhere near recommended requirements, so am willing to compromise on that.

    My PowerMac is has no RAM or HDD at all- I'm aware that only very slow RAM is available for these systems and therefore I may need a lot to try and compensate. I have a screen/keyboard/mouse etc that I plan to use from my old PC as again, my budget is around £150 and I need to keep costs low.

    If I had it my way, yes of course, I would get a brand new i7 intel Mac Pro with a Cinema Display. Hell, I'd love a new Mac Mini (yes yes, I know the debate re: powermac and mac mini, thats not what Im asking). But the truth is life isn't like that, I have this older PPC non-intel guy, and I'm hugely grateful to have that! The processor in this trumps my current windows machine by 800mHz and can actually run Logic and the same Pro Tools my work uses!

    My question is what to do now? Is it worth buying the full 8GB of RAM this system can support as this will cost me around £100? Should I watch for anything when buying the HDD or can I just buy any 1TB SATA? Is it worth trying to get great graphics on this system or should I just accept this will be an audio only rig?

    Bearing in mind when I turn this machine on, it will be the first ever Mac this entrenched and staunch Windows-supporter has ever owned. What do you guys recommend I put in and do to it to give it the best chance of charming me over to the Mac camp?

    Best Regards,

  2. MAC MAN JW, Jul 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011

    macrumors 6502


    Get at lest 4 gb ram,1tb+hard drive,and Leopard 10.5.8. any sata drive will work but only at sata1 speed (1.5gbps) sata3 hard drives will go down to sata1 speed so that will work fine!! a video card wood help as well but ram+Hard drive is #1 to get up and going the ram has to be installed in pairs! my first mac was a g3 450 B&W tower back in 2007(Still have today and use weekley:)) now i am up to 12 macs i use my powerbook g4 1.5 ghz (What i am typing From now) as my #2 mac my main mac is my PowerMac G5 Dual 1.8GHZ!!!:apple: i don't think there is a 2.5ghz dc mac only a Power Mac G5
    Quad Core 2.5GHz or a 2.5 ghz dual cpu model. they take not the same ram one is Pc 3200 and the outher is pc2-4200 what model is it? the hard drive is the same in all powermac g5s
  3. macrumors 6502


    Just be careful how much money you want to put in this. Those cooling systems are prone to leaking (and ruining the system)...Maybe some G5 owners can speak to how prevalent this is but from what I've read it's very common.
  4. macrumors 6502


    Your right, look for leaks inside before you buy any thing for your G5!!!:apple:
  5. macrumors 65816


    That'll get ya by for sure. I only have one question. Do you know that the machine works 100% ? If it doesn't, be careful as ya might just be in for some disappointment. That aside (if ya know it works), then I would just max the RAM and pick up a HD to start ya off until you can afford more. Besides, your still gonna be best off having your audio data on a separate drives.
  6. macrumors 6502


    They should plug it in and press the power butten and her beeps or a falshing power light (with out the ram) that wood atlest give some hope of it working:) i just hope that is not way he or she got that as a gift that wood be very sad:(
  7. macrumors 6502


    If it is A Quad G5 you can go up to 16GB RAM (That is what Apple says) i seen some people put it up to 32GB RAM in a Quad G5:)
  8. macrumors newbie


    Sorry all, I said it was DC out of habit, it is of course only DP.

    I wasn't even aware this thing was water cooled, but I know this mac was working before given to me as I used it many times at work. I can see no fluid anwhere inside the case or evidence of an earlier leak, so I should be good to go!
  9. macrumors 65816


    That's great! Be sure to let us know what you decide to put in the ole bird.
  10. macrumors 6502


    Her is about your G5 http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g5/stats/powermac_g5_2.5_dp.html

    You will need PC3200 DDR Ram for your G5 and can have up to 8GB Ram:):apple:
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Is it an aircooled or liquid cooled 2.5 Dual Processor? There were some aircooled models and ofcourse those are the way more desirable ones as the LC'd machines can and most likely will leak and take the internal down with it.

    First thing you should do I think is check to make sure its all good under the hood :)
  12. Cox Orange, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011

    macrumors 65816

    I would not call 1TB as a "minimum/must have" for a Boot Drive, I see 1TB Drives more as "data-graves". A smaller drive will be fine, a bigger drive can be put in the second bay, if he has over 500GB of samples, plugins,... or so.
    10.4 will work more efficient on PowerPCs and with some software... but you may not recognize the difference to 10.5.
    There was no air cooled 2,5GHz model. Not the 2x 1x2,5GHz (which he has), nor the Quad 2,5GHz (2x 2x2,5GHz).
    Everything with "2,5" in its speed has Liquid cooling.

    @ OP: are you aware that this is a PowerPC architecture machine and no software for Intel-Macs (like Mac Pro), which includes OS 10.6 and 10.7 is supported? I am just saying because there are so many people new to Macs not knowing that there was a complete architecture/firmware change.
    I do not want to warn you, PowerPC Macs are still "lovable" machines:), if you do not need to use the newest software or audiohardware drivers.
  13. ecschwarz, Jul 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011

    macrumors 6502a


    Keep in mind that even though a lot of new software and OSes don't work on the PowerPC Macs, you still can use the latest versions of iTunes and Safari, and TenFourFox is a special Firefox build for PPC Macs. They're old, but still good, especially with Leopard installed.
  14. macrumors 6502a



    Fixed. And true.
  15. macrumors newbie

    yeah i've known since i got the thing that only certain versions of software will run, its not an issue. im going to primarily use this machine to run pro tools, and the latest version i can run is 8.0.1, which is fine for me.

    An update for everyone, i just bought 4x 1GB sticks of RAM for this machine. this set me back £100, i had no idea the ram would cost so much! My PC has ram 3 times the speed at half the price! I guess with older machines the cost can only go up! I got 4gb as this is all i can afford for now, next month i'll get another 4x 1GB sticks and max this machine out RAM wise.

    Now to get a HDD!
  16. macrumors 6502


    Just Tell us if you need any more help:):):) 4 GB Ram is good for now it will let leopard or tiger run very fast:) i ran my Powermac G5 With OS X Leopard With only 512Mb ram for 2 months:eek: and i do not want to do that again:D
  17. macrumors newbie

    oh god, this is becoming a bit of an epic hassle now.

    So my RAM looks like it might be delayed, and i'm finding it difficult to find a Leopard 10.5 disk. It looks like after RAM, HDD, OS Install disk and other bits and pieces this may cost me around £250. It's still a complete bargain, but I'm just at that point where I've paid out a lot for no reward- this thing has yet to be turned on.

    I bought a 500GB Green Western Digital SATA HDD today and fitted it. Hopefully when my RAM gets here I can at least see if the thing powers on. And then, after another wait for an install disk that may/may not work, I might have my mac. I'm pretty sure this will all be totally worth it. After the OS 10.5 is installed and I see how many programs I can/cannot install is when I find out I guess.
  18. macrumors 68000


    imho, the best thing you should have done is just buy a pair of ram first and let it boot. Hearing the "bong" or the startup sound when you power it up indicates that the system is good and it is still booting. Have yo tried to power it up? Before putting more money into it.

    My PM DC 2.3 came from ebay with 512mb of ram on it, no HDD. But basing from the posted picture on ebay it is booting up since the posted picture is showing a folder with "?" on it when it boots. That means it has booted successfully, the ram is good, it has video output and it is just looking for a hard drive. So I have taken the risk.

    As of today, I have added 4 gb or memory, 60 GB SSD as boot drive, 80 GB as internal storage, ATI X1900 that did not work, two 21.5" 1920x1080 acer monitor, aluminum wireless keyboard and magic mouse, and a USB BT dongle.

    So far for the project cost;
    Powermac = $115
    4 GB Ram = $50 (The other 4 GB is free since I already have them)
    60 GB SSD = Free (I have it already)
    80 GB HDD = Free (I have it already)
    ATI x1900 = $60 (Losses since it is DOA)
    2 Monitors = $250
    BT Dongle = Free
    Mouse and Keyboard = Free
    iSight = Free

    Total = $475 for a fast fully working system, with 8.5GB of ram.

    Check if your machine is powering up first, and boots up, if it is then it will be worth the investment.
  19. macrumors 6502


    Mine is air cooled... :cool:

    Took a bit of work, but yes, it's an air cooled G5 DP 2.5 GHz
  20. macrumors 65816

    Well, that way... but Tucom claimed, that some came air cooled from stock!

    @ OP:
    I do not remember how it was with this G5, but most Macs, make beeps, when powered up and something is missing or wrong. (There is a document on apple.com/support where they explain what number of beeps indicate what failure.). So you could press the powerbutton and see, if it beeps or you see a red LED light up looking through the "cheese grater".
    The others may correct me, because I am not sure.
  21. macrumors 68020


    Just wanted to clarify that using the word "gutted" in the thread title implies that all the hardware inside was removed. Not just memory and drives.
  22. macrumors 65816

    Funny thought though, that someone would suggest adding RAM and HDD to get it working without logicboard :)
  23. macrumors 65816


    You don't need no logic board! Just duct tape the parts to the side and drop a hemi in... ... ... ...


    OP: If you find it is not fast enough for Logic and Pro Tools (once it's running), the upside to turning it to a fully working machine is you can also sell it as such. If your patient selling it, you could get enough to purchase a Mini that would slay in Logic and Pro Tools. This only applies if you're using a firewire or USB interface... if it's PCI(x) then nevermind :p
  24. macrumors newbie


    I've just had a look on eBay and I'm not seeing good prices for PowerPC Macs of this particular model. It looks likely that I can at least get the money back on the RAM and HDD if I do decide to sell. It looks like if I buy Leopard OSX 10.5 on eBay I'll go beyond this "safety budget" that reselling the machine provides.

    The RAM has arrived however, now a copy of OSX 10.5 is all that stands in my way!
  25. macrumors 65816

    Did you try to start it without OS, anyway? I would do that first, before getting Leopard! (I do not know, if you have mentioned, that you tested booting).

    If you do not need flash-support on youtube and it is your recording machine only, get Tiger, if it is cheaper. It is more effective, according to numbers and tests lowendmacs.com provided. Perhaps, if your version of ProTools was launched (and optimized) with or after Leopard, then I would go with Leopard.

    A Tip: interestingly, many poeple don't know how to search for prices on Ebay, so it is not meant as an offense when I am telling this now.
    1. search for Powermac 2,5GHz in computers.
    2. then scroll down until you can see "ended auctions" as an option on the left. press it
    3. if you like you can then sort by "lowest prices first".

    (prices where I live are 177-300eur)

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