help/suggestions for upgrading my PowermacG5?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by alex_scruff, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. alex_scruff macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2005
    hello all,

    Im new to the forum, but not to the mac... either way please excuse any ignorance on my part :)

    I've been using a powerbook for my film production degree for the last 2 years and decided its about time to get something new..

    Soooo basically the question I'd like to ask is what other people have done in terms putting extra memory in to their powermac G5's?

    Mine is due to arrive some time next week, bought for a decent price from the apple refurbished store (dual 2ghz), but there was no option to upgrade the memory before shipping on a referb'.

    Sooooo what I'd like to know is assuming im going to do this upgrade myself, what kind of memory can I use in my machine? Obviously its going to be DDR 3200, but what do you guys reccomend? Does it have to be a certain brand? I had considered a couple of GB of Corsair DDR XMS or something like that. Also how risky is this business.. I'm used to messing with the innards of wintel machines, but the prospect of opening up a lovely macintosh silvery case scares me?

    Also while im here, can anybody reccomend a decent dual layer DVD burner to use with the powermac? The machine i bought comes with the superdrive, however its only single layer. (Sure i could have got the current dual 2ghz.. but i need PCI-X if im gonna get a nice fancy HD render board sometime in the future, so i plugged for a second gen referb'). If i replaced the superdrive can i just pop a new one in its place and it'll work.. or is there a ton of messing around to be done?


  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    The first time you get to upgrade the RAM on a Mac is not something to fear. You will realize that the machine was built with this in mind. Your G5 manual will easily show you how to do this, but in case you can't find it look here:

    This will show you what memory, and how to open the case. Believe me, you'll realize it easier than any other computer you've ever worked with.

    Can't really help with the Dual DVD question, although I did replace my CD-ROM with a DVD-ROM from a Dell computer and the Mac (B/W G3) accepted the drive immediately (I did nothing software-wise).
  3. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    Opening up the Power Mac is a joy, much nicer than any Wintel machine. Replacing memory is dead simple. As for brand, just choose something with a decent reputation. People will tell you "Brand X" or "Brand Y," but in the end it usually doesn't matter as long as it's not cheap no-name stuff.

  4. alex_scruff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2005
    :) cheers guys, your input is much appreciated.

    Just can't wait now till it arrives.. fire up my work on it.. see how fast my final cut will go compared to my lil' 12" pb' 1ghz!

  5. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2003
    Between a rock and a midget
    Everyone covered you on RAM, but noone covered the SUperDrive part. If you don't want to do a whole lot of messing around you can get a "superdrive" upgrade from MCE ( that is a 16x Dual Layer that comes with disk that makes it compatible with all iApps and the Finder. It's a wonderful thing, and is very easy to install. If you want to save a little money then i would recommend looking on eBay or Pricegrabber for a Pioneer 109 DVD-burner. It's a great drive that you can usually get for around $40. To make it work with the iApps and the Finder, you'll have to install a program called Patchburn ( I've never done this myself, but i here that it works great! Hope that helps you out some.
  6. macbaseball macrumors 6502a


    Feb 27, 2005
    Northern California
    Personally, I bought the 2 gig kit from The purchase went really smoothly, and the RAM worked perfectly. When buying RAM, just make sure that it is guaranteed Apple compatible.
  7. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    Since you ARE dealing with film, space is an issue. Definitely get more HD's, at elast 500 Gigs (two 250 Gig drives). I see LaCie has a TERABYTE external drive now for about 950. RAM, make sure you get RAM with LIFETIME WARRANTIES. I cannot stress this enough. buying Ram from third parties will ALWAYS be cheaper than buying it from Apple.
  8. alex_scruff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2005
    again all looks like good advice to me, so cheers :D

    considering student status right now cash is tight, but certainly alot to consider.

    i'd probably go for the pioneer drive mentioned above with the relevant software crack (patchburn), however i know what cracks can be like for reliability. with a little bit of luck that will work okay though, so long as i can burn dual layer discs.

    i'd love to stretch to that Lacie drive, however again cash is an issue here. Probably will do the whole 2x 250gb SATA thing.. try and get 10k rpm drives if possible.

    In light of which, whats the deal with RAID on the powermac - i heard it can be done in some kind of software mode? I did consider striping a couple of drives for AV (leaving the original 160 for boot and backup), however im a little worried about the risks of loosing data... especially my work! Would you chaps reccomend a third party card, i havn't looked into prices there. I used to run an adaptec ATA array on my PC a couple of years ago for premier work, and that was always okay (ish').. but the throughput wasn't really anything to write home about... never had SATA before either, student money issues again :rolleyes:
  9. dsharits macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2004
    The People's Republic of America
    I can vouch for the DVR-109 with PatchBurn 4. I use it on my MDD, and everything works seamlessly. No problems whatsoever.

    PS: 1,000 posts!!!! WOO HOO!!! :D

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