Hi I have a G3 and need some help...

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by kabloomz, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. kabloomz macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2005
    Before I start... I've never used a mac before except in school for a few projects... :p

    Recently I got a G3 Mac for free and wanted to tinker with it abit.
    Here are the specs:

    Power PC G3 233mhz
    4GB HD
    24X CDROM

    The G3 is in the Translucent Monitor-in-one case.


    1) Where do I start as far as how to use/tinker with Hardware?
    2) Does it matter the difference between Translucent Monitor-in-one case vs the Gray tower type cases?
    3) Will it accept standard ibm/pc ide drives (I have a bunch of hd and dvd drives laying around that I wouldnt mind trying to upgrade it with)
    4) Is it worth it to do a cheap processor upgrade (from ebay) + memory upgrades?
    5) I want to install OSX and did a search but don't know if I need to use a loader program.

    I want to tinker with this machine to play+learn OSX before I go out and buy a Mac. I do alot of work with graphics and I know macs are renowned...


  2. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    My upgrading experience on a iMac 350 MHz

    I recently upgraded a friends iMac G3 350 MHz. She already had OS 9. The first thing I did was to upgrade to OS 9.1, then apply the firmware upgrade. After that I upgraded to OS 9.2.2. Before upgrading to OS 10.2 I had to add some Ram so I bought a 256MB stick of Ram for $40 at OWC (total of 320 MB now). This machine is very functional. I was surprised at how responsive this relatively older mac is with OS X.

    OS 9 is a must upgrade before you can upgrade to OS X. And 128 MB Ram is an ABSOLUTE minimum amount necessary to run OS X - the more the better.

    You can use standard pc HD and Ram (PC66 for the first gen iMac ?) for your iMac. I don't believe there is any processor upgrades for those machines. Financially it wouldn't be worthl it.

    Before you spend a ton of money upgrading that machine, maybe it might be cheaper to buy a used power mac tower. You can get a Blue and White G3 for less than $200 - and it might already have OS X - you never know.

    Best of luck.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    The iMac G3 differes significantly from the tower G3's. Your iMac 233 MHz Tray-Load CD (Rev A - D) model is also *not* the same as Tweakers' iMac 350 slot-load CD model.

    A) it uses laptop RAM (SODIMMs). The 1st generation iMac is also finicky on the RAM modules it will accept. 32 Mb RAM is by far too little for doing much of anything. Don't even think of OSX unless you have more than 128 Mb, 192 Mb and above would be better.

    B) You cannot add PCI cards or change the video processor. The CD is difficult to change out for another. There was once a CPU upgrade for the machine but it is expensive and not recommended - any CPU upgrade would have to be one specially engineered for the iMac Tray-load CD model, you cannot use any other type of upgrade.

    C) you can upgrade to an IDE internal hard drive of 120 Gb or less with some effort at installation. However for OSX, the drive must be partitioned, and the first partition must be 7.9 GB in size or less.

    D) There is no Firewire and no way to add it.

    E) To install OSX you will have to purchase an OSX retail box

    Good info at LowEndMac.com

  4. AdamR01 macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2003
    This may be a dumb question, but is the computer in question an iMac or a G3 All in One?
  5. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    Thats what i would like to know. The All-in-ones had a whiteish to semi clear top and back on it. The iMacs however are incased in a clear plastic with those lines in the plastic, and with a colored top area.

    However, if you are talking about an All-in-one, they can be easily upgraded. You can upgrade the processor, HD, CD/DVD drive to a Combo drive, you can add more on board VRAM, Boost the RAM (to 768 if you have a Rev B or C ROM chip), get a better Video Card (Radeon 7000 works great), you can also add a FireWire and USB combo PCI (or seperate PCI cards). If you have an original iMac though it will be more of a task to upgrade that.

    Attached Files:

  6. kabloomz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2005
    Wow thanks for the reply's...

    While waiting for reply's I googled and found out this mac i have is an iMac :( In fact it was one of the first production of this series....

    My only option really to upgrade this is getting a whole new motherboard rig w/ 600 processor = $280-$350. And then the ram, hd, dvdrom, vram etc... which boils down to a waste of $$ to upgrade.

    I think I am better off buying a lower end G4 to tinker with before I have my mind set on getting a Mac for permanent use... (maybe I can use pearpc emulated Mac proggie for Linux x86 system to learn OSX before i actually commit)...

    To be honest i never really cared for apple but I have a lot of clients who use mac audio/video/graphics editing (and I admit graphics on the Mac look way better than any PC)....

    Again, thank you for everyone's replies!!!

    btw... when i meant loader... i found out that OSX (panther?) needs a loader to be installed on older G3 macs....


    I think I might donate the machine to charity :p
  7. Hemingray macrumors 68030


    Jan 9, 2002
    Ha ha haaa!
    Are you talking about XPostFacto? That's only needed for beige G3's or old Macs without built-in USB. All model iMacs will take Panther (10.3) with no workarounds.
  8. kabloomz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2005

    Oh okie... thanks for the update =o)
  9. kabloomz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2005
  10. BillHarrison macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2003

    These, amongst other problems are basically why you could just get a new Mac Mini, and be a happy mac user. :D I went this route, using a beige G3 AIO as shown above. Please note, adding a different video card is NOT easy, and requires a good bit of hacking to get it to work on the internal monitor. That aside, they are upgradeable, but at what price? I ended up with nearly 600 dollars in the machine over a 4 month period, including Panther purchase (which I guess can be used on another machine so thats not a total loss). A mac mini comes with panther (129$), iLife (79$, not sure, but close). That makes the mac mini cost less than 300$ for the hardware. You could dump this easy on an older mac, and not get near the performance.

    Just use your mind when doing these!
  11. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    I would have to totally agree. I upgraded my original Beige PowerMac G3 MT 266, to what you can see in my sig, a 533. The OWC G3 processor alone cost me $200, the memory (PC133/100) three sticks of 256 cost another $120, plus the modem which i needed at the time because i didn't have DSL then cost me another $55.

    I personally had tweeked my G3 MT for having the latest of everything, because at the time i couldn't afford a G4. So, i also ended up adding the A/V personality card, a 2 port USB PCI card, a 3 port Firewire card, and after i updated the OS to 10.2 i of course had to get a better video card (a Radeon 7000 with 32MB DDR).

    So, i figure that if those Mini's were around then i would of spent my money on one of those instead. But, then again money is a big factor. So if you/anyone is just going to be playing around trying to learn OS X, i wouldn't say not to get one.

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