2nd Hand iMac G5 (pre Intel chipset)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by psionpete, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. psionpete macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2011
    I have been offered an iMac G5 20" which has OS X Tiger. This would be my first iMac (I am a long term PC user so don't know much about Apple Macs), but want to dip my toe in the water and try a one.

    Would it be worth while upgrading to the Leopard or even the Snow Leopard OS?

    Are there any pitfalls in buying a second hand iMac?

    What is the max RAM that can be fitted? (it has 1.5 Gb currently).

    Any advice appreciated
  2. davegoody macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2003
    Reading, Berkshire, England
    Only if it is very cheap !

    Leopard is the latest OS that will run on this Mac. You will find that you will have to use older revisions of software increasingly as nothing much is written or supported on older PPC (G3, G4, G5 etc) Macs any more. If the machine is very cheap then consider it, otherwise maybe consider getting a Cheap 1st Intel Gen (Core solo or Core duo) Mac Mini. Bear in mind that the minimum spec that will run Lion is Core 2 Duo.

    2Gb RAM is the max that this machine will take. (DDR 400MHz)

    Nice machine, but sadly getting rather obsolete.
  3. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    The latest OS you can put on pre intel macs is Leopard (10.5.8) It should be worth it indeed.
    Aslong as the mac is in good condition and runs well then there shouldn't be any pitfalls. Maybe you can try it out before hand to see if it works well. I still use G4's and a iMac G5 20" on a daily basis. There not very quick but they work well. If the mac was taken care of then the chance it will run well and keep running for some time is quite high. I'd advice you to check ebay for how much 20" iMac G5's sell there to make sure you aren't being ripped off. An old iMac like this is excellent to get some experience of the Mac world.
    Max RAM: This depends on which 20" iMac G5 model it is (Model Identifier) You can check this under the system profiler in the general section. If it says PowerMac8,1 or PowerMac 8,2 then the max RAM will be 2GB. If it says PowerMac12,1 (which is the G5 model with iSight camera) then the max RAM is 2.5GB. If you want to get the most out of the iMac definitely max out the RAM.

    Good Luck and have fun with it if you purchase it :)
  4. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    The other posters are giving good advice - I'd only say that the G5 iMacs are getting old now and starting to fail as they tend to overheat (the Intel models are much more durable in my experience). Worth it if VERY cheap, but otherwise I'd hold out for an early Intel model.
  5. psionpete thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2011
    Thanks everyone for your advice, which I took and bought an intel based m/c for not much more than the G5.

    I've had it now for a month now and I love it. I'm just kicking myself for putting up with my various Winoze systems for so long.

    Thanks again

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