Worth it to take a FREE G3 and put OS X on it?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by BiikeMike, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #1
    So, here is the deal. I'm saving money for a Mac Pro for my business, but my MBP is just going to have to do for now.

    Let me set the stage of my place of residence:
    I have a MBP, my lady has a MB. We BOTH have a Windoze Desktop Computer. They are both ridden with virii, running poorly, and just plain sucky. What I am looking to do is get rid of both of those computers, and replace them with one Mac to be the household internet browser, file sharer, print sharer, and paper writer. I was looking at possibly getting a Mac mini or iMac off of ebay to serve this purpose, but then i'm still looking at $600+, which won't help me in my saving for a Mac Pro for the spring.

    My mom has an old G3 that she said she'd give me, and it would be way cheaper to get OSX for that, put some RAM in it, and set it up to do what I want.

    My Question is, will it run OSX, Office 2004, and be able to handle my external hard drive and printer sharing and all that. The specs are as follows:

    PowerPC G3 400MHz

    Built in Memory: 192MB
    DIMM0/J19, 64MB
    DIMM1/J20, 128MB

    Video Memory:15.96MB

    Backside L2 Cache: 1MB

    Machine ID: 406


    I know I would need more RAM, whats the total this thing can take? RAM for it can't be too expensive can it? I have an older copy of OSX, so no cost there, the only cost would be more RAM.

    Whaddya Think?

    (and as an added bonus, it was still when Apple was doing the color thing, so its a pretty aqua blue :) )
     
  2. thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #2
    Oh yeah, it currently has OS 8.6 on it if that matters.........
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #3
    Panther with lots of RAM is acceptable. Tiger is a different story. But for your needs it might be acceptable.

    Are you a student, you should join the ADC so you get the OS for free and a good hard ware discount when your ready.
     
  4. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Cuidad de México
    #4
    You can get 1 GB of RAM in that old Power Mac. It'll running 10.3 and 10.4 just fine. Office 2004 is tame on PowerPC.
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    trainguy77

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #5
    It will be slow but usable. Don't expect anything more then some light internet browsing and word usage. Personally I would not want to use it for much at all. It may be better off just to buy a emac with a decent amount of RAM already in it. Maybe at the 1ghz or 1.25 ghz speeds.....
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #6
    Tiger loads really freaking slow on a G3 with 1 gig of ram.
     
  7. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Cuidad de México
    #7
    It works just fine on my Power Mac G3 400 w/1 GB of RAM. The only new component is a 40 GB hard drive.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #8
    So if I put a gig of RAM in it, and 10.3, I'd be good for my uses?
     
  9. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Cuidad de México
    #9
    At least more then 512 MB. You also have 4 slots. It makes it much easier just to pack in a lot of sticks.
     
  10. macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #10
    I might be wrong but I thought you had to have OS 9 on it in order to be able to run a couple of firmware updates that are needed for OS X?
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    #11
    I guess we have different definitions of "fine." I used to support several dozen G3 machines with tiger and alot of them I downgraded back to panther which satisfied the users. They didn't probably know panther was a step back but they didn't care as long as it worked better.
     
  12. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Cuidad de México
    #12
    You are correct.

    I had to use a Power Mac G3 is a my main machine for some time. Quartz Extreme was the only thing I really missed. That's not that hard to get working either.
     
  13. macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #13
    I ran Tiger and Office 2004 on my Power Mac G3 400Mhz with 512MB RAM. It ran just fine. With 512 RAM it would run a lot better, but even 512 was definitely useable.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #14
    So I have to upgrade to OS9, Do all the Firmware upgrades, then upgrade to 10.1, and then go from there?

    this is getting complicated ;)
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #15
    Thanks for all the info guys, MR Rules! :cool:
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Maxwell Smart

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    #16
    Nah, just install the firmware upgrade (if it requires OS9, then yes, you must upgrade), then install whatever version you want (preferably Tiger).

    I have ran Tiger on 300-400Mhz G3 towers just fine, and I currently run it on a 366Mhz G3 clamshell with 576MB of RAM. The key is to have 512MB or more RAM.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #17
    why not just reformat the PCs?
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #18
    Because its a PITA to try and get the Macs and PCs to talk to each other over the network and share a printer. I've tried and tried and tried, it just doesnt work well. plus, the file sharing is SLOOOOOOOOOW!

    And hey, why are you telling me to use a PEECEE?! ;)


    And I just installed 9.2, and i'm about to get all the upgrades, and then install 10.2, if it will let me with this small amount of RAM :) Then tomorrow, its off to CompUSA! What is the exact kind of RAM I need, anyone know?
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    #19
    yep, someone does know :D

    You need PC100, 168-pin SDRAM, 3.3v, 10 or 8ns, NON-ECC, ***MUST be low density** meaning that it has chips on both sides of the circuit board.
    256MB max size x 4 will get you 1GB.....

    ps you may wanna look around the marketplace forum (here & macnn also), alot of the members have stuff for older macs for sale, and/or ebay too, might save ya some $$ :p
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #20
    It'll be fine, my girl friend has a 400mhz slot loading imac g3 with 512MB of RAM and a 40GB HDD and she does everything it, including Office 2004, iTunes 7.0 and her new shuffle 2G works a treat with it.

    She uses it for her college work, watching DVD's, listening to music and it servers her just great.
     
  21. macrumors member

    USMaC

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Location:
    New Bern, NC
    #21
    Sorry if it's in here somewhere and I just missed it, but are you talking about a PowerMac G3 tower, or an iMac?
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    I'd use it as a server - I wouldn't really recommend it as a day-to-day (although I used a 333MHz G3 with 10.2 for quite some time) machine.

    Also the plural of virus is viruses, not virii.

    AppleMatt
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #23
    G3 with 266 MHz and 196MB RAM runs panther nicely and is not bad with Office X 2004.

    So go for it.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    RichP

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Location:
    Motor City
    #24
    What about a used, cheapo PPC mac mini off ebay? You can always resell it once you get enough money for the machines you want.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #25
    Its a G3 Blue and White Tower.

    And why not get a cheapo one? because I don't want to pay for a slow computer, did I mention this one is FREE?! :)

    I installed everything on it last night, updated it to 10.2.8 and everything seems to be working fine, even with 192 megs of RAM. So after I go to the store and get a bit more, I think it will be great. AND..... one of the major reasons to do this, is my fiancee has been bugging me to clear off the desk, it just has too much crap on it, and this will DEFINANTLY help!

    Hey, if it makes her happy, it makes me happy!
     

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