How to upgrade g3 beiges

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by macEfan, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. macEfan macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Forbidden, you do not have access to that server
    I have a g3 beige that currently holds my music collection and older software.. I would like to add an internal CD burner to it. Do I have to use an apple one, or can I use any old dirve? I have a memorex DVD burner that is spare that I would like to add if possible? If I donload patchburn would it work?


    I have OS 10.1 installed currently- I have OS 10.2 disks availble though....Would my computer run faster with OS X.1 or OS X.2?

    Would adding a 10/100 ethernet card help the computer's internet speed at all?
  2. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    There are a couple of things to consider here:

    The first is that OSX really isn't meant and designed to run on your machine - and 10.2 may slow it down considerably.

    The second, and main point however is that if you were to purchase a DVD burner, possibly a software upgrade and so on, you're throwing money away that you could (and probably should consider) use to buy a new system. A Mac Mini (refurb for under £280) is a complete STEAL and comes with the latest OS, CD Burners (DVD Burner if you wish) etc. This is a great "Music holder" solution and can be purchased with a large DVD Drive to hold super-large collections!

    As for actually using any old CD Drive, I would look at Other World Computing who offer lots of great upgrades for cheap!
  3. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Well.. I've been working with these systems for quite a few years now (have serviced a ton) and I can tell with out any doubt that moving from 10.1.5 to 10.2 is the single best upgrade you can make for that system.

    The problem with 10.1.5 is that Apple hadn't finish ironing out the bugs in Quartz yet, so it runs slow on any system (and looks blurry). The whole reason Apple continued to support these systems into 10.2 was because they couldn't leave them in the state they were in with 10.1.

    As for what to do with a DVD burner, first thing to consider is if we are talking about a mini tower or a desktop. If we are talking about a desktop, you're replacing the CD-ROM drive that came with the system, so you should make sure it is bootable (if it is bootable for other Macs, it'll boot a Beige G3... I installed one of these in a desktop a year ago). If we are talking about a mini tower, then you can add it to the system while keeping the original drive (I'll be adding a DVD-ROM drive below the CD-ROM drive on my Beige G3).

    Only if the rest of your network is designed around 100baseT. If you have a 10baseT hub or switch, then upgrading to a 10/100 ethernet card won't give you any improvement.

    On the other hand, upgrading the VRAM to 6 MB would give you a big jump. And adding an ATI Rage 128 with 16 MB of VRAM would be even better. I pulled a Rage 128 out of a dying Blue & White and used it in a Beige G3 and it made a major difference in how it ran.

    Also, I would consider a Rage 128 the minimum graphics for 10.3, and it is not hard to get 10.3 on these systems. A friend of mine and I worked out the details for a presentation he was giving at our Mac OS X SIG about upgrading older Macs, and everything ran great. I did it with one of mine in an hour.

    But that is just my experiences with these systems. I was given two in the last couple months and plan on having a ton of fun with them.
  4. macEfan thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Forbidden, you do not have access to that server
    hi and thanks for the replys!

    As to Maxiseller's comments,
    I don't need to fork out tons on money on the system- I already have the OS 10.2 disks as well as a spare dvd burner. OS X runs well actually, becuase I have heavily upgraded the computer. I would consider a mini, but I have an ibook, so i have no intention of upgrading anythine soon. Thanks for your reply though!

    RacerX, thanks for your comment also.

    The powermac g3 beige is a desktop model. Could I damage the mac if I put a drive that was not compatable in? Does it need a firmware update or something first? I am going to put OS X.2 on the machine today probally- Any firmware updates needed? My home network runs at 10/100mbps, so yeah, I'll upgrade that too.

    I think my machine still have enough power to run my music collection. Its current spects are:

    g3 300mhz processor
    512mb of ram
    40gb hard drive
    Radius 8mb video card w/svideo out
    Upgraded Vram to 6mbs.
    Firewire/Usb combo card.

    If you have anymore suggestions, feel free to share them with me :D
  5. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)

    No, but not damaging and wasting your money on an incompatible drive are two different things. The worst thing that could happen to your Mac is your computer won't boot. If the drive is incompatible, then you have to buy another one...

    No. But I would recommend buying Panther (10.3) and using XPostFacto to run it. Why? Two reasons: One, Panther is a huge step up from Jaguar both in performance and in the user experience (to me the sidebar on each Finder window is priceless). Second, much of the most useful software out there today requires at least 10.3.5. For example, the latest versions of Quicktime and iTunes I believe require at least Panther (but I could be wrong about these specific examples--but I know there are plenty of good ones). Another important thing is that you want to put a disc burning drive in, which most likely means you will need to use Patchburn to make the disc drive compatible to burn discs. Patchburn in its best forms exists for Panther or Tiger. Earlier versions were not as stable or compatible or complete in their drive coverage.

    Yes, your machine can handle a music collection fine. My upgraded Powermac 7300 I used to have was fine for that purpose. The video playback was the worst part of the 7300. It had a Radius 8mb as well I think, which was bad for video. Please follow the advice of other posters here and get at least a Rage 128 with 16 mb of ram. You will notice a big difference in video playback.

    This page has lots of good information about your machine:

    After all is said and done, you are riding a very old donkey and getting a newer computer would be advised as soon as you could afford it. I think a Digital Audio G4 (466, 533, 667, or 733) is a minimum jump in point now because of the ability to upgrade them so significantly, which is not possible to the same degree on previous Blue and White G3s or Sawtooth or Yikes G4s.

    Despite that, you can still get much useful life out of your machine, but will often find the experience frustrating (streaming video on the web may be choppy for you for example).

    Best wishes.

    As to your question about using the Memorex DVD burner, check the Patchburn website for a drive compatibility list and see if your drive is listed.
  6. macEfan thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Forbidden, you do not have access to that server
    thanks very much for your advise! will let everyone know how things turn out. I find it fun to keep my g3 top of the line, but yeah, you are right, i should consider a newer comp. soon. I've been eyeying those refurbished mac minis on the apple site.
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada

    Look at the Drive Compatibility Database to determine which burners are bootable and compatible Your Memorex is made by someone else - it is a Teac or Matsushita or some other manufacturer's mechanism.
  8. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Along with this, one of the things to keep in mind is that if the drive is not bootable, you should keep your old drive handy. Swapping them in a Beige G3 desktop isn't that hard, so if it works otherwise then it should be great.

    I'm not completely sure about the performance jump... but it gives you compatibility with more things while not requiring as much resources as 10.4.x.

    I haven't felt any great need to move my Wallstreet (my main system) up past 10.2.8. But then again, I already have 10.3.9 installed on the Beige G3 mini tower I'm putting together.

    There are some nice features in 10.3.

    QuickTime... yes, iTunes... it runs fine in 10.2.8. But there are other examples where this is true and should be kept in mind.

    That is a fine system to start from. I've been looking at processor upgrades and this seems to be the best price for these systems.

    I think your in good shape to move to either 10.2 or 10.3 right now though.
  9. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    If I had a G3 beige, i'd do one of two things...

    1. upgrade the memory and intall ubuntu linux and use it as a websurfing machine...

    2. throw it away

    OS X on the old machine isn't worth your time.
  10. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    :rolleyes: Well, opinions vary.
  11. macEfan thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Forbidden, you do not have access to that server
    well, i have OS X on it and it works fine for me.
    512mb ram and the new(er) video card helped a lot.

    And an update:

    I have installed a DVD drive in it and to my surprise, i didn't need any drivers at all for it! Now, I also noticed that OS 10.1 doesn't come with DVD Player???? That is weird.

    So anyway, provabally tomorrow, i'll pop another 20gb hard drive in, and also install OS X.2.

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