My new iMac G3

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by parish, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Wirelessly posted

    Today I was given a Ruby iMac G3. It's a 400MHz G3 with 192MB RAM and a 10GB HDD.

    It dual-boots Mac OS 9.2.2 and OS X 10.2.8. A bit sluggish under OS X, but I found 1GB of new RAM on eBay for £15 and at that price I couldn't resist :)

    Hopefully that should make it a bit quicker under OS X

    Now just wondering what to do with it. Perhaps u/g to Tiger if I can find a copy on CD (it's not got a DVD drive) - unless it can be u/g over a network?

    My wife loves the design - "it would be a shame to hide it away in your office". So it might be staying in the lounge

    I'm impressed with the sound quality of the built-in speakers, but they are Harman-Kardon units I believe so I shouldn't be too surprised.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Old Smuggler

    Turn it into a video poker machine like at the bars
  3. macrumors 6502

    Congrats on the iMac. I've got a 600MHz Graphite iMac G3 and I still love to boot it up regularly. Here's what you should do to optimize it:

    1GB RAM (I noticed you're doing this already)
    Install Tiger
    Install "DisableTigerFeatures" to disable Spotlight and Dashboard
    Change the color preferences to "Thousands" of colors instead of "Millions"
    Download G3 optimized versions of TenFourFox and Camino web browsers
    (I've always liked to have a backup browser just in case one is glitchy)


    This is what I've done for my 600MHz and it's worked quite well. Obviously, you can install an SSD or faster HDD to speed up the computer, but that will require a pretty steep investment.

    EDIT: In regards to the update to Tiger, I've always done "Target Disk Mode" via Firewire 400 to install Tiger in my iMac because I only have a Tiger DVD.
  4. macrumors 601


    it would be my new jukebox!!
  5. macrumors 65816


    Lots of useful info and links there - thanks!

    Am I correct in thinking that you can only use Target Disk Mode with FW devices, not USB?

    I don't have a FW DVD-ROM drive, but I do have a FW disk so could I create a small volume on that, clone a Tiger DVD onto it using Carbon Copy Cloner, and boot/install from there, or does it need to use the actual DVD?
  6. macrumors 6502

    That should work just fine. Clone the drive onto there and plug it into the iMac, go to System Preferences, then Startup Disk, then make sure your Firewire drive shows up and select it and reboot the computer.
  7. macrumors regular

    SSD's aren't too expensive. I did mine for under $60 and it's tremendously faster and now the computer is truly silent :)
  8. macrumors 6502a


    congrats :) i love the G3's with a passion!

    theres lots you can do with the higher end G3 models but they are still limited to Tiger unfortunatly. I definatly agree with tayloralmond's advice, it will significantly improve your experience. also you can get a hold of a slot load dvd drive for that computer for very cheap, its a worthwhile buy tbh.

    you can also install a snow leopard theme with a lion/ mountain lion desktop background which will make it look even better. i had it running on my Rev.B G3 233 before i started modifying it, check the link in my signature.

    Deffo max out the RAM though, hard drive wont make a great deal difference and an SSD is probably a waste of money even if its silent, you will not see any performance gain or very little as its only ATA133
  9. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    A solid state drive would be a good investment
  10. macrumors 6502a


    would it really make much difference on a G3? i thought it would be completely pointless?
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Not "completely pointless" per se but yes given the bus speed bottleneck (actually on a G3 it's more "strangulated hernia"), you're extremely unlikely to see any appreciable speed increase with a modern SSD install.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Completely agree with all of this. Exactly the feedback I was going to give. I cannot see an SSD being much of an advantage on an iMac G3 due to all of the other hardware slowing it down, lol. Maxing out RAM in these things is always best. Makes things snappier. I used to run Tiger and OS 9 on my old 500MHz iMac G3 with 384MB RAM before I sold it, and though it was sufficient for what I used it for, more RAM would have helped.

    Though you don't need much RAM for OS 9 games and old emulators, haha :)
  13. macrumors 6502a


    yeah, i had thought about purchasing one of the old WD Raptor hard drives as they are ATA133 and you can pick them up extremely cheap now. but of course they won't be silent... but its from 2000... you need to grab every last bit of performance lol
  14. macrumors regular

    Going from the stock hard drive to the solid state cut program load times in half. Transferring large files takes 1/3rd of the time.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    on a new computer yes, on a historic ATA133 computer... no
  16. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    I retract my previous statement and recommend That a larger IDE drive going at a decent speed may give the imac a lot longer of a lifespan, in terms of its usefulness to the owner. Try a 100 gig Seagate or something.
  17. macrumors P6


    G3 iMacs have an ATA/33 or ATA/66 bus that is shared with the optical drive. I think it's ATA/33. You can always do what I did to my G3 iMac, I got a CompactFlash to EIDE adapter and a 8GB ConpactFlash card. It a speedy one that is almost as fast as the iMac's ATA bus. Because of the slow bus, no expensive fast card is needed. It's silent, cheap, and fast. Of course all my iMac does is boot up and play iTunes via a shared library, but it works well.
  18. macrumors 65816


    That seems a good idea :)
  19. macrumors regular

    My experience having the two iMacs running the same programs says otherwise. ;)

    You are correct about there being a bottleneck. Is it worth the expense?

    No, but then I had an SSD sitting around anyway. So I put it to use. A newer 'conventional' hard drive would probably be nearly as much of an upgrade.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    i must be honest i thought about that back at the time i was sorting mine out, but i thought it wouldn't have been much use for the size of it so i didn't bother. also i didn't know anyone else that had actually used one lol.
  21. macrumors newbie


    I just put a 128gb samsung ssd in my iMac G3 (400MHz). It does make a big difference:

    a) Silent! Before the hard disc 'scratching' was kind of distracting, now - nothing

    b) It cuts down opening apps a lot. Remember the beauty of ssd's is the incredibly low seek time, even if limited to 33MB/s

    But I did have this SSD lying around. Wouldn't recommend spending ££ on a new one.

    Anyone got a link to a version of Spotify that works on a G3?
  22. macrumors 604


    If you stick with Mac OS9 you'll be able to play all those cool classic games off the Macintosh Garden, and still browse the internet with Classila :)
  23. macrumors 6502

    Its hard

    to call it Browsing with Classilla. More like shuffling, like an eighty year old man on Park Ave West.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Browsing ain't bad, its just anything with images its heart skips a few beats
  25. macrumors 65816


    I've found plenty of these adaptors, but how did you mount it in the drive bay?

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