Dual G5 spring(fall) cleaning?

This is Ryan

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 19, 2007
11
0
Hi everyone, I forgot I had even registered on these forums if that gives you a clue as to how "new" I am.

I've got a dual 2GHZ G5 that's about 3.5 years old. Here's my question:
In the last (maybe 6?) months, I've really felt it slowing down. The occasional program freeze or "unexpected error" aside--it just feels like it's dragging its feet.
I realize it's an old machine...but it seems like it's got some more life left in it if I could just clean it up a little bit.
Today I realized that my 160gig HD has only 6.5 gigs left on it. Now, I do have a lot of music (50 gigs) but I have no idea what else is on there.
First: Do you think that this has something to do with the performance?
Second: Is there an easy way to basically "pull weeds" from your HD? I don't even know where to start. I do run photoshop semi-regularly and I have run FCP in the past...but I think I've pretty much cleared out any video cache from FCP.

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have (and yes, I realize best solution would be to go buy a Pro :))

-Ryan
 

Father Jack

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2007
2,481
1
Ireland
Hello and welcome .. :)

You really need to clear out some of the unwanted files (photo, movie, documents etc.) also dump any programs you don't use.

Sorry meant to say there is still plenty of life in your G5.
 
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koobcamuk

macrumors 68040
Oct 23, 2006
3,189
9
I heard leaving 10% of your HD space is a good idea - in your case, 16GB. Access of the disk will be a lot slower. Maybe get a 500GB to whack in there and tide you over?
 
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QuantumLo0p

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2006
988
28
U.S.A.
I heard leaving 10% of your HD space is a good idea - in your case, 16GB. Access of the disk will be a lot slower. Maybe get a 500GB to whack in there and tide you over?
...Or even more space. I seem to remember reading articles and MacRumor's posters quoting data, pertaining to HD space vs. performance, that was around 33% or more free space is good to have. Maybe get another disk to store files?

Another thing you may want to try is to sleep your Mac instead of shutting it down. Unlike Windows, Macs wake from sleep quite nicely. Also, programs start more quickly because they are cached from the last time you used them.

You didn't mention how much RAM you have. I wouldn't run a basic machine with less than a gig. Add more for big programs or if you have a penchant to run a ton of apps and widgets at the same time. Personally I don't know anyone working with photos, video or CAD with less than 2 GB of RAM. Seems like 4-4.5 GB is common. I know 4.5 sounds wierd but that's usually people who had 512MB and added 4GB later.

I hope your system speeds up for you. Even though my trusty old DP G5 2.7 gets spanked by the new MacPros it still has plenty of oomph to get the job done.

A dancing hula girl or bobble head seems to add speed also.
 
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leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,164
20
Chicago, Illinois
It has plenty of life in it yet! Get rid of all that stuff you don't need on your hard drive! Move it to an external drive and give your computer more RAM as suggested above. You'll be surprised at the difference.
 
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product26

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2005
774
10
If you get yourself another, drive as a secondary storage drive and clear out your boot drive you will see a world of difference.
 
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This is Ryan

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 19, 2007
11
0
Thanks everyone!

I'll get to work on clearing some stuff up--yeah I'm running 1gig of RAM, I suppose more wouldn't hurt it, especially when I upgrade to Tiger. Cheapest place to buy?

Any suggestions on where to look for program files that might be hiding?? After 3 years and a few different roommate users, I don't know if I might miss something.
 
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product26

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2005
774
10
Thanks everyone!

I'll get to work on clearing some stuff up--yeah I'm running 1gig of RAM, I suppose more wouldn't hurt it, especially when I upgrade to Tiger. Cheapest place to buy?

Any suggestions on where to look for program files that might be hiding?? After 3 years and a few different roommate users, I don't know if I might miss something.
You should still have one open drive slot. I suggest purchasing a second drive, doing a fresh instal and migrating your files over as you need them.

Eventually when you are certain that you have copied over all your important files, you can format the old drive and use it for storage/backup.

That way you will get rid of ALL of the unnecessary items.
 
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Big-TDI-Guy

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2007
2,606
13
With needing more space, and a new OS in your future. (you're getting Tiger now? - granted, I'm going back to it, but most everyone else is moving to Leopard) Why not get a new drive - install the OS fresh on that, and drag over the files from your old drive. This way here, you have more space, and a new beginning. Not to mention, should you keep the old drive - you have something for Time Machine. (if you get Leopard)

That aside, dumping excess files from your HD and repairing permissions might help a bit. The advice on adding ram seems pretty sound, too.

Now, everything said - My previous Tiger install (just over a year old) got slower, and I was seeing more and more beachballs / bouncing dock items. I had 3GB ram, and less than half of my HD full. Repairing permissions didn't do anything. A fresh re-install made all the difference.

(#*$, see what I get for using the bathroom mid-post. I got beaten to it. Oh well.
 
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Father Jack

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2007
2,481
1
Ireland
All your programs will be in the Applications folder, just drag any you don't want into the trash.

Regarding adding extra ram, it will certainly speed things up. I always buy my ram from Crucial, perhaps not the cheapest but I've never experienced any difficulties.

Fitting an extra hard drive as suggested by a few people above is also a great idea .. :)
 
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This is Ryan

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 19, 2007
11
0
did I say Tiger? Oops, i meant Leopard!:eek:

Seriously, you guys are really helpful. I appreciate this so much.
 
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fanbrain

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2005
274
42
So. UT
I have very nearly the same machine with the 160gig HD. I bought a Hitachi internal 500gig to use as the boot disc. The speed difference is phenominal. I had no idea how slow that stock 160gig drive was until the Hitachi was in there.

Also, I have 2GB RAM and an ATI 9800 256mb video card. My machine feels and responds faster than my Dad's Intel iMac. These machines have a lot of life left in them.

Do a little spring cleaning, get a new HD and life will be good.
 
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just02

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2007
47
0
Portland, OR
I have very nearly the same machine with the 160gig HD. I bought a Hitachi internal 500gig to use as the boot disc. The speed difference is phenominal. I had no idea how slow that stock 160gig drive was until the Hitachi was in there.

Also, I have 2GB RAM and an ATI 9800 256mb video card. My machine feels and responds faster than my Dad's Intel iMac. These machines have a lot of life left in them.

Do a little spring cleaning, get a new HD and life will be good.

I'm in the same situation as you guys. I bought my G5 (dual 2GHz) in August of 2004, and it's been feeling kinda slow lately.

I was thinking about getting a new HDD from newegg (something around $60-100 from western digital: 16-32MB cache, 250-500GB, 7200rpm… or maybe even spring for a raptor) and was wondering if it was worth it. It seems like like it is, especially considering the improvement you noted. :D

I already have 2.5GB of RAM and an ATI 9600 w/ 128MB video card. Should I throw in an additional 1.5GB of RAM and upgrade my GFX card? I really don't do any gaming, but would it make Leopard's GUI feel faster?

Upgrading the optical drive for about $50 (OEM from newegg) made a huge difference with disc related activities. :eek:

:):apple:
 
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Big-TDI-Guy

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2007
2,606
13
With 3GB of ram on my end, Leopard never uses much over 1GB by itself (even that's a stretch on my machine). I think your 2.5GB should be more than adequate, and jumping another 1.5GB likely won't speed Leopard up enough to be appreciated. Unless you use hugely memory intensive apps, and/or like opening everything at once.

I think the HD and GPU would be of benefit - I'm not sure if your GPU itself supports Core Image/Animation, Quartz or Quartz Extreme. (update - it does support it) But if it does not, likely moving to a GPU that does will help out with the visual candy. Have the 7600GT seems to make my experience more fluid than my 7300GT brethren. (256vram opposed to 128) Granted, there are other variables between the machines, so this is not heavy fact.

Edit: From MR itself: http://guides.macrumors.com/Core_Image
 
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9Charms

macrumors regular
May 19, 2006
206
0
Vancouver, BC
I was thinking about getting a new HDD from newegg (something around $60-100 from western digital: 16-32MB cache, 250-500GB, 7200rpm… or maybe even spring for a raptor) and was wondering if it was worth it. It seems like like it is, especially considering the improvement you noted. :D
Get the biggest drive you can afford. The less full the hard drive is, the faster it'll perform. I think they write data to the outside of the platters first, then work their way inwards. Also I think the perpendicular recording provides a big speed boost.

Raptors are a waste of money for everyday general use. So unless you have a very specific need, don't bother. You'll just notice a faster boot time, and not much else. A graphics card upgrade would give you better GUI performance in leopard.

And considering the time of year, you might as well wait for black friday before you buy anything just in case some big sale happens.
 
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deadkenny

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2006
129
0
Go an get a new HD a 500GB or 750GB with 7200rpm as long as they are still available because eventually new drives will be limited to SATA and IDE will get more and more expensive. (I assume that a G5 will need an IDE drive, right?)

Right now you can buy a

750GB IDE drive for 190€
500GB IDE drive for 100€
750GB SATA drive for 170€
500GB SATA drive for 85€

There are 1000GB SATA drives but no 1000GB IDE drives. So now is the right moment to buy one or two of these large drives. It will make a huge impact on performance because those drives are a lot faster than the 160GB you have!

Install the new drive as your main boot drive and then copy your old files over.
 
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just02

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2007
47
0
Portland, OR
I assume that a G5 will need an IDE drive, right?
No. All PM G5s use SATA. :)

A graphics card upgrade would give you better GUI performance in leopard.

Seriously? I had doubts initially, especially for ~$250 for an X800. But if it gets rid of the occasional stutter in dashboard and other GUI goodies, and smooths things out a bit, then I'd be happy.

So a large 7200RPM drive (such as a 500GB 7200rpm drive) and an additional drive for storage/Time Machine would be the best for money/performance?


:)Thanks
 
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This is Ryan

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 19, 2007
11
0
Hey everybody--thanks for the help.

I spent some time weeding through crap on my hard drive and I freed up a couple gigs. I'm looking into a new one to boot Leopard from when I get it, along with a RAM upgrade.

You guys were really helpful, thanks a lot!
 
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9Charms

macrumors regular
May 19, 2006
206
0
Vancouver, BC
No. All PM G5s use SATA. :)
All PM G5's actually can use BOTH SATA and IDE. The IDE bus is used by the optical drive. You'll need to get a longer IDE cable with 2 connectors, but it'll work. The Mac can boot from any installed drive. I don't remember, but I think there was some caveat against putting a HD and optical drive on the same bus... In my case, I removed the optical drive all together and have 2 IDE drives in that area of my PowerMac G5. (I have an external Firewire burner).

Seriously? I had doubts initially, especially for ~$250 for an X800. But if it gets rid of the occasional stutter in dashboard and other GUI goodies, and smooths things out a bit, then I'd be happy.
Get a used 9800 Mac Edition card. Much cheaper especially on eBay ($150).
 
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This is Ryan

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 19, 2007
11
0
Hi everyone, I figured I searched for this thread so I could make sure I didn't miss anything before asking another question.

I got everything installed--more RAM and a new 500gb internal drive.

Leopard is booting from the new 500gb and my old 160 is still in and still accessible.

I was reading some of you guys saying that you use 1 drive for apps and the other for music and photos...how do I do this? Do i need to erase the old drive and then re-load music and photos onto it? Or can I just direct itunes and iphoto to point towards that drive?

Thanks!
-Ryan
 
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9Charms

macrumors regular
May 19, 2006
206
0
Vancouver, BC
I was reading some of you guys saying that you use 1 drive for apps and the other for music and photos...how do I do this? Do i need to erase the old drive and then re-load music and photos onto it? Or can I just direct itunes and iphoto to point towards that drive?
You need to erase the old drive if you want to use it as storage. You can tell iTunes to keep your itunes folder on the other drive. I'm not sure, but I think you need iPhoto buddy to do the same thing with iPhoto.

Personally, I'd keep all your stuff on the 500gig and use your 160 as a time machine backup.
 
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