can an old G3 be made "new" again?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by boz2004, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. boz2004 macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2004
    I have an old G3 mini-tower taking up space in the office at home... I know my wife'll ask me to chuck it sooner rather than later but I figure it's likely a salvageable machine with some upgrades...

    so, what I wanted to know was:
    a) Can I upgrade the machine to a G4,and if so, where'd be a good place for info on the "how-to" of it?

    b) If the machine can be saved, where would be the best sites for parts and OS? and

    c) Would the cost and effort, assuming it is doable, be worth it (beyond saving the machine from the slag heap)?

    I'm (naively) sure there's liable to be a way to make this a useful machine again, but I wanted to get other opinions.

    Thanks :)
  2. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    Hmm... is it a Beige or a Blue and White? How fast is its processor? How much RAM? The Powermac G3 is very expandable, holding up to 768 MB- 1 GB of RAM, large hard disks, and up to a 1 GHz G4 processor, running Jaguar (Beige) or Panther and beyond (Blue and White)
  3. boz2004 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2004
    its a beige G3 mini-tower... if memory serves, it has either a 250 or 275 MHz processor on board... I think the Zip was in there via a SCSI cable as opposed to an IDE, but that may be me mis-remembering

    as for the RAM, I can't remember... I think I pulled the RAM for use in another machine a few months back...

    right now, there's a spare 4GB HD I can put in it....
  4. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Jan 27, 2005
    While you're at it:
    What would your tips for a B/W G3 300 Mhz 512Mb be?
    always intersted, mini on the way. the more macs, the merier (sry if this is not correctly spelled :eek: )

  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    There are a few places that offer processor upgrades.

    Other World Computing would be one such place.

    Well, lets see...more video board, faster processor, larger disks, possibly ide controller (ide disk + ide controller would cost less than a scsi disk). It all adds up.

    Sometimes upgrades are worth doing, and sometimes it's time to throw in the towel.

    You could get a MacMini at $600 ish (upgrade the memory to at least 512 megs and go for the 80 gig disk) and probably get a machine that is at least as good as what your G3 would upgrade to.

    Also, officially several pieces of software state they don't support machines with processor upgrades. This includes OS X. The software might work, it might not. But this is another thing to worry about. It's even more important to consider on the older machines.
  6. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Generally speaking the Beige G3 towers are too old to throw money at to use as a primary machine - their big handicaps are their slow system bus (66MHz), and lack of an AGP slot for a newer graphics card. The same applies to the B&W G3, although they have some slight advantages over the beige. They can run Panther well after installing some upgrades but it will cost you.

    IMHO you're better off investing in a newer used machine to upgrade (i.e. a Powermac G4 with an AGP slot), or looking into a Mac mini / eMac / iBook.
  7. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
  8. isaacc7 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2004
    It can be done

    My "FrankenMac" started life as a beige desktop with a 233 G3 processor in it. It now has a 450MGz G4, max ram, usb and firewire. I have a 160GB Lacie firewire drive hooked up to it and my laser printer. I use it as a file/print/music server and it does just fine. I am thinking of getting a mini though, that would be a much less noisy machine and give me back a bunch of real estate on my desk... BTW, if you use a program called Expost facto you can run panther on it, it works just fine!

  9. chv400 macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2003
    Houston, TX
    The B&W is quite useful i use it as my main machine the ram in it is fine for panther however it has also had a massive sting of upgrades.
    To get the B&W up to useful it would need a G4 upgrade i have this one and it does in fact run at 600 mhz howefer i had to put in a cpu fan. Faster upgrade cards have a problem on older systems like the B&W and what it does is it bumps the System Bus down from 100mhz to 66 mhz.

    You'd also probably need a video card upgrade to enable panthers nifty quartz effects although they are not supported. If you install PCI extreme Quartz will be enabled but you wont be able to upgrade beyond OS 10.3.6.

    PCI Extreme

    PCI ATI 9200 w/ 128 Video RAM

    The PCI Extremn trick will also work on the Radeon 7000 Card.

    Next You'll may want to upgrade the Hard Drive Controler since the B&W's Controller is only an ATA 33 and Rev. 1 B&W Have data corruption issues with Newer Harddrives.

    ATA Controllers,+&shoupgrds=Show+Upgrades

    The Next Option is a Better Optical drive
    Super Drive

    Forgot one
    USB 2.0

    I think that sums everything up

    My B&W
    -600mhz G4
    -512 RAM
    -OS 10.3.6
    -PCI ATI 9200 with 128 VRAM ( PCI Extreme enabled)
    -Sonnet Tempo HD
    -Maxtor 40 gig HD, Seagate 80 gig HD, Western Digital 160 gig HD
    -4x Super Drive
  10. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Jan 27, 2005
    thx for the extensive info and links chv400 (and others)!

    as i said, i've got a mini on the way (not yet, but it's ordered - est ship date march 7th :eek: :( )
    I would love X on the yosemite but i'm thinking about debian as well.

    I'll look in to it all in detail later. Right now i'm going to prepare for a job interview in 3 hours. JeeJ!

  11. boz2004 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2004
    thanks for the info

    many thanks for all of the excellent info... it does sound like it might not be worth the effort for me to do the upgrade... so I'll probably see what parts are salvageable for my desktop G3 and dispose of the rest

Share This Page