Getting the max out of G5 1.6

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Beagl3, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Beagl3 macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2016
    Hey guys,

    i just resurrected an old Power Mac G5 (2003) featuring the single 1.6GHz PPC G5, 3GB DDR RAM and the stunning slow GeForce FX 5200 Ultra 64MB. Although it's the bottom of the barrel G5, it should be still way faster than most of the G4/G3 Machines. Currently, there's OS X 10.5.8 and a copy of Photoshop CS2 and InDesign installed. Although the Machine is quite powerful for a PPC computer, it feels very slow, especially using Photoshop. Am i able to get the machine any faster? Is there a noticeable performance increase if i upgraded to 4GB RAM or installed a new video card like the 256MB Radeon 9800 Pro Mac? I also could throw an old SATA II SSD into the computer. Or can i downgrade to a previous version of OS X to gain performance? Or is the 1.6GHz PPC just too slow?

    I'm grateful for every answer,

  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Take a look through here:

    Optimizing Leopard always helps. More ram and an SSD will help as well and so will a better performing video card (although I have no suggestions). I used to have a 9800 Pro though and it's generally a good card.

    PS. My coworker does everything I do with the 1.8Ghz G5. We produce weekly newspapers (ads, classifieds, legals, composition, etc). She has Adobe CS4, Office 2004, Suitcase Fusion 2 and Acrobat 9 Pro.
  3. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2014
    Lincolnshire, UK
    If you're only comparing to your Mac Pro it will seem terribly slow. Increasing the RAM and getting a higher spec GPU will bring negligible difference - apart from the Leopard speed tricks an SSD is your best bet or maybe a fresh install of Leopard.
  4. stewart1981 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2014
    It's a great if steady machine, don't dump it!!

    Mine is back I use after six months off and although not my main machine it is great as my number two computer at the office. Without doubt max the ram out and although I haven't done so an ssd would boost boot and launch times.

    You can also tweak leopard to improve performance, they all male a difference and there is a thread on here with instructions.

    The ram will make a difference to CS2 for sure and if you use tenfourfox with all the tweaks you can browse pretty well, though ethernet is better than WiFi. You can get a patched version of Libreoffice as well to be bang up to date though Office 2008 is still ok if a bit sluggish for me. iWork 09 is another option and if you need video editing there is plenty that will run, just more slowly than on dual processor/core G5's or intel. Mail still works well for me and is fairly lightweight as well.

    There is also the bonus of no lcs to des with!!! Enjoy it!
  5. Beagl3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2016
    Thank you very much for the advice:). I am going to order more RAM and a 9800 Pro Mac soon. A clean install seems like a good idea, but i got the Mac without any peripherals or DVDs, so i tried to create a modded OEM installation CD using the one that came with my Mac Pro after this guide from insanelymac. The problem is, i can't find the function, that checks the model number in the OSInstall.mpkg file. Has anyone an idea? I uploaded the script as TextEdit file.

    Attached Files:

  6. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    I think your Mac Pro install disk is intel only, can't see it working on a PPC computer.

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