Worthwhile upgrades for 600 MHz G3 iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by plinden, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #1
    I'm currently visiting family (halfway across the world from home) and have finnally been able to play about with the iMac (600MHz G3 Graphite) that my sister-in-law was given some time ago.

    It seems a pretty stable and decent machine, with plenty of HD space (almost 40 GB free) but only 128MB RAM. It can be slow to boot up. It's running OS 9.1 and she uses it for internet and writing documents.

    I am thinking of helping her upgrade it, but I don't know anything about pre-OS X machines.

    I think an extra 512 MB ($74 from OWC) would be worthwhile, but how about:
    1. upgrading to Mac OS X? How easy is that? Would the iMac be able to handle OS X?
    2. adding iLife (needs 1. of course)?
    3. external DVD burner?

    It seems to me that extra RAM, OS X, iLife and a DVD burner would add up almost to a new Mac Mini, but then she would need a new monitor ... any advice?
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    An extra 512MB may be overkill although having said that, it'd be nice. Are you sure that's the right type though? I mean, US$74 seems quite cheap for old RAM. It might just be that I'm used to overpriced Australian RAM though.

    Upgrading to OSX is fine but you need to install a firmware hack on OS9 first. I recommend aiming for Panther, it's the best compromise of great OS with low system requirements.

    Of course, iLife is the main reason I'd get OSX in the first place for her, so that's a must. The DVD burner isn't IMO, you need to factor in whether she really needs it.
     
  3. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #3
    A mate if mine runs the exact same machine. I don't recall him ever saying he had to install any firmware on it but he's running 10.2 and it seems fine. I've heard 10.3 would go even faster.

    More RAM and OS X. Maybe an external Firewire DVD burner.
     
  4. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

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    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #4
    i'd pass on the dvd burner. just an inclination...
     
  5. plinden thread starter macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #5
    This is the RAM, http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/add/3321/OWC133SD512328/.

    She lives in Ireland (so the prices would be higher) but I live in California, so I could order it and send it over. Her brother is a software engineer who has only used PCs, not Macs, so he wasn't interested in helping out, but he could at least install it for her.

    She would also use it for her digital photos, hence my idea about getting iLife onto it. Although I think Picassa is better than iPhoto, if we can get her set up cheaply, I'm hoping the iMac would be good enough for her, and would keep her away from getting a cheap (aka crap) PC for longer.
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6

    Sorry, I should have had more faith. That RAM should work fine. Good find, that's quite cheap (at least, compared with my local prices). :)

    I think upgrading the iMac is a good idea if it means keeping her away from a PC. Have you looked at getting a used mini with a cheap monitor? It may be a better compromise because those G3s are getting quite old.
     
  7. doucy2 macrumors 65816

    doucy2

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #7
    upgrading to OSX is fairly easy, i suguest you put tiger on it (it will run fine i have a imac g3 500mhz dv se running tiger)

    if you add the 512 you will have 640 wiich is plenty to run tiger (mine only had 512mb)

    iLife apps should come with tiger (dont they??)

    yes if you have the $$ get an external firewire dvd burner (via FW 400)
    but if you do that i reccomend you replace the 128mb stick with 512mb so that you have 1gb ram (then burning will be super smoothe and fast)

    good luck in fixing it up
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8

    I agree that Tiger would run fine on an old iMac but I really don't think it's worth paying the premium to get the latest and greatest OS. Panther should suffice at a lower price IMO. :)



    Nah. iLife comes with new Macs but it isn't bundled with a retail version of Tiger. :(



    Okay, this is the point where'd I'd say it really isn't worthwhile upgrading this ol' Mac anymore. There's only so far you can go before you hit the next bottleneck and spending the money to get 1GB of RAM isn't worthwhile, especially as it's an all-in-one.

    It's just my opinion, but I reckon a used mini would be more beneficial if you're thinking of spending that sort of money.
     
  9. doucy2 macrumors 65816

    doucy2

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #9
    yes panther would be the best choice for you if you dont need tiger
    because it will run faster then tiger
     
  10. plinden thread starter macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #10
    Thanks for your help.

    Here's what it would cost. Since she's a teacher, she can get Tiger for 90 Euros and iLife for 70 Euros, which together come to $190. So counting the cost of the RAM, it would be $265 in total.

    Hmm ... if it were for myself, I would do it ... I need to think about it more.
     
  11. cubist macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #11
    Well you know, if you ditch the iMac later, your software and external drive will still be usable, so they're not a total loss like the RAM.

    The 600MHz graphite has the firewire port, right? It's what was once called an iMac DV?

    I'd go with Panther rather than Tiger, too. Panther seems more sprightly to me, and I don't care about Spotlight or Dashboard. On iLife, Garageband won't work (requires G4); not sure whether iDVD will or not.

    If you put a 7200RPM hard drive in there, you will get better performance too, BUT it may not last more than a year or two because of the poor ventilation in the hard drive bay.
     
  12. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #12
    I just installed Tiger on 2 500 MHz iMac G3's with 384MB of RAM and it runs great! No difference between Panther and Tiger. I think people give little credit on how Tiger runs IMO. Yes, that iMac has a FW Port, AND a VGA Port. An AirPort Card will also work (not AP Extreme!), but you'll need to get the AirPort Card adapter along with the card. GarageBand would work, but not that well. I used it on one of the 500 MHz iMac G3's and it works, but kinda slow, especially when you get 5 or 6 loops going. I would pass on the DVD-RW Drive (Slot load) as its not necessary IMO. iDVD won't work as far as burning DVD Movies, but you can still archive the project and take it to a different Mac with a SuperDrive and burn them.
     

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