Turning G5 Tower into server?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Huntn, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. macrumors G3


    This has probably been talked about here before. Shoot, maybe I have asked it at some point in the past. I'm wondering if it easy and inexpensive to update a G5 Tower into an intel capable machine primarily for the purpose of acting as a home server? Are there companies out there who will do G5 Tower motherboard upgrades? I figure I'd have to update the hard drives which are getting on the old side.
  2. macrumors 68000


    What you think could be done. But it is much better to sell your G5 add more money and buy early generation Mac Pro, if you really wanted a tower.
  3. macrumors regular

    Theres no way to shove an Intel CPU system into a G5 unless you completely strip it's internals and install a custom motherboard and the associated components from scratch.

    Alternatively it could just be easier, as Nameci said to just sell it and purchase a first generation Mac Pro, as they have had an excellent reliability track record and can still run OS X Lion when it comes out :D.

    They would also be better on the power consumption, especially since it's going to be on frequently as a server.
  4. macrumors G3


    Thanks guys for your perspective. It's just that this G5 is a wonder of modern engineering. It seems criminal to trash it. I wonder what it would be worth for resale? I'll check around online.
  5. macrumors 6502


    As Hallivand has said, there is no way to upgrade a G5 to an Intel machine. Although they may look exactly the same, the internals of the PowerMac (G5) and the Mac Pro (Intel) are almost completely different, and completely incompatible with each other.

    Theoretically, you could upgrade your PowerMac to an Intel machine, but it would involve literally taking out all of the components currently in the machine, buying a PC, and stuffing those components inside instead. Pretty pointless.

    You could also sell your G5 and buy a Mac Pro, but as I'm sure you know, Mac Pros are expensive, and to be frank, you're not going to get very much for your G5. The value of a PowerPC Mac is falling quickly, as they cannot run the latest version of the Mac OS, and Apple themselves are phasing out PowerPC compatibility in much of their software.

    In any case, I think the most obvious answer is just to use the machine as it is. Maybe upgrade the RAM, if you want, but a home server does not to be a very impressive machine - your G5 as it is should be sufficient. What exactly do you want to do with your home server? Serve music? Web pages? Or just a central storage location? All of these things can be done with a regular G5.
  6. macrumors 6502


    The G5 hardware is capable of being used as a server. You could install a copy of OS X 10.5 server or even a powerpc based linux system such as ubuntu.

    I recently built a home server using parts that can run a vanilla install of OS X server. But I opted to use debian as my server OS. I have apple protocols installed that allow me to use it as a time machine backup and serve media and files to my other apple machines and devices.
  7. macrumors G3


    I can't tell you how old my G5 is, I want to say 6/7 years old. I'm concerned it's reaching the age where it might fail on me. I do have time machine running on an external terrabite drive which backs up everything. I'm wondering how long can I reasonably expect this hardware to go before repair is needed? I realize there is no real answer to this, just an expectation.

    I'm afraid I'm ignorant regarding servers. Right now I use my G5 when I'm home to surf mostly, email, and I do run some graphic programs like Adobe Elements. I also use it to synch up some important files with my laptop. For this kind of use would there be any advantage to installing MacOSX server software or just keep running Leopard on it?

    There will be an ipad in the house in the near future. Thanks!
  8. macrumors 6502


    And what G5 do you have? Do you have the Quad or the model before it?
  9. macrumors G3


    It is a 1.8 dual G5. Thanks
  10. macrumors 68000


    If you take good care of it, it will last for at least another 5 years... :d
  11. macrumors 6502a

    You would be pissing away money in electricity costs, the old G5s rape the power bill.
  12. macrumors G3


    Fingers crossed. Back to one of my questions, why would you convert a computer to a server? What extra capabilities are gained? I realize this will be considered a stupid question by some. :)
  13. macrumors regular

    Various reasons, really - making music and other media available around the house, webpage testing, etc.

    My personal server (although it's a 2002-era Optiplex) is simply something for me to ssh into while I'm away and I'm dealing with port blockages. It's also got some of my tracker modules (IT, XM, S3M, MOD, etc.) on it so I can use another machine as a sort of "remote" to play them. I mostly set it up originally so I could do things on DSLinux via telnet or ssh before I got the iPod Touch, though.
  14. macrumors 6502


    I use my server to host music and video to my tv and other computers. I have it set up as a time a capsule to backup my MacBook.

    It also hosts my blog and a friends website. I can ssh into the server and use as a proxy to bypass those pesky filters when on site.

    There are a few good reasons to have a home server.
  15. macrumors G3


    After reading these last two posts, it is obvious I need to get educated on servers. Thanks for the info! :)

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