I just got a PowerMac G3 at no cost!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by dandeco, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. dandeco macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    A person I know at my college had this PowerMac B&W G3, and didn't need it anymore, so he said I could have it at no cost whatsoever! Since I knew today a PowerMac G3 can have many uses in today's world (more than a paperweight actually) I thought "What the heck? I could use a vintage Mac!"

    Now, it was practically bare-bones when I got it, since it had no graphics card, memory or optical drive. However, I put in a CD-ROM drive and two 256 MB modules. Now all I need is the graphics card. I'm thinking of this...

    But I'm not sure how it would be installed in a B&W G3 tower. If not, they may have some old Mac PCI graphics cards at my college I could use.

    It doesn't have a 6 GB hard drive like it originally would've came with; the previous owner replaced it with an 80 GB hard drive.

    I might also get a Sonnet G3 or G4 upgrade. However, it's a Revision 1 machine with a 300MHz processor, so until then I may use it as a Mac server or as a regular old Mac OS 9 machine to use for the heck of it (like for schoolwork and stuff), while I use my trusty 1.42 GHz eMac for everything else.

    At least unlike a certain iMac G3, this thing DOES have FireWire ports!

    Any comments? I don't want to hear any "Get rid of it!" or "You've been ripped off!" comments. I just decided that I've always wanted an older B&W G3 Mac, especially since my high school used them!
  2. aibo macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2008
    Southern California
    Spending $30 on a graphics card for that thing would be an atrocity. At 300MHz, it's too slow to be of any use for anything including being a server. You might be able to run Word 6.1 on it very slowly.
  3. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
  4. WhoPhD macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2004
    But, dude! It's a blue computer! BLUE!

    There's always a place for fun & futile vintage computer projects. The PowerMac G3 is in a good place right now for that, because it runs Leopard 10.5 (I think, or maybe with a bit of trickery) and as a tower, it was one of Apple's more reliable hardware models.

    The PowerMac towers also make a really handy place to lock up your passport and a bit of cash.

  5. dandeco thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    Exactly the reason I decided to take it. They can't run Leopard unfortunately, but G3s can run Tiger (I don't plan to do so, I'll probably put Jaguar or Panther on it). Plus, I already use Leopard on my eMac.
  6. Retrosonic macrumors regular

    May 13, 2009
    Leopard on G3


    If I remember it right, Leopard needs to see a certain speed processor during the install, but there is a way to fake it out during the installation. Once its installed, it should just run.

    Search around the net for a procedure where you can install Leopard on a G4s with less than 700 mg processors. The procedure involves typing some code at the firmware level, or something. This may also work for a G3, I dont know.

    If you got Leopard running on a G3 that would be quite a feat!
  7. mr1970 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    As someone who's got various bits of Appleness lying around the house, I'm not about to tell you to just bin it, I'm sure you've done the economics. I run Tiger on a purple iMac G3 and it's absolutely fine so no reason not to have a bit of fun with this thing (and there's the green thing too of doing something useful with something that will otherwise end up in landfill).

    I would, however, suggest taking your time and doing the rounds of secondhand shops, eBay, craigslist etc rather than buying new kit for this thing. The best way to get a graphics card into this thing is almost certainly to find another one for free.
  8. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    i think Leopard needs a minimum speed of 800 MHz or something like that. I would fix this computer if I was you but I would certainly not buy a $30 graphic card. Look in garage sales you can probably grab one for one buck.
  9. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    just my 2p

    if you really like it and want to keep it , as a collectors item and want the most out of it , get ATI Rage 128 card, fit it in and install panther on it , it will do a good job , dont listen to people who think its pointless to bring it back to live

    everybody nowadays seems to think everything without a intel quad core processor is absolute useless , but that is simply not true , ok it might be a bit slower , but it will handle nearly everything apart from hd video , you could even use photoshop cs, you could even use dreamweaver mx and make a website for it ,or maybe just office2004 , or you could install OS9 on it and play all the lovely games you still can get for OS9 , there are lots of apps out there to run and work on
    speed is not everything and you got a part of apples history , i always think without these older macs there would be no macpro, no mac mini, and no iMac 27"
    my powermac 5500/275 is just running OS 9 , but i'm still able to use it to email and even for surfing a bit , ok no youtube , but i can access this forum with it which i just do in that moment , but mainly its used for watching tv as it comes with a working tv card and i use a freeview box and it works fine
    conclusion : old mac's are not useless , maybe a bit slower then a quad core intel but still fast enough for everyday computing
  10. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    The G3 can run Leopard, but you have to mess about with OpenFirmware to install it. Anyrate, it will still run a tonne slower then Tiger, etc. Personally I would get a graphics card and set it up as a server with a head. Or a backup machine. What have you.

    It was free. You might not be able to recapture the cost you input with a graphics card, but its up to you if its worth that investment for what you want out of it. If you're an enthusiast (which is what you seem like, OP), then you shouldn't have any regrets.
  11. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    I so adore the Power Mac G3 Blue and White! :cool:

    ... I love 'em so much I still have 3 of them...

    - One for old OS X betas (DP 2, DP 3, Public Beta).... why? 'cause it's cool to see Mac OS X DP 2 working. ;)
    - One for Mac OS 9 purposes. I gave this one the 3Dfx Voodoo 5500 PCI Mac grfx card. OS 9 games FLY on this Mac! :cool:
    - One as backup.... if either of the other two fail. :)

    Okay, back OT. I agree with MacHamster68. Get an ATi Rage 128 Mac PCI grfx card (the original grfx). I am sure you'll be able to get one for very, very cheap, maybe even for free.
    With your 512 MB RAM, Mac OS X 10.3 (i.e. Panther) will run nicely.

    Have fun with it!
  12. dbculp macrumors member


    Dec 29, 2009
    G3 Smurf

    First decide on how much money you want to put into the Smurf and stick to your budget. Try to find two more 256 MB RAM sticks. They have to be low density (16 total chips, 8 on each side of the stick) but they don't have to be Apple OEM; RAM pulled from old PCs will work if it is low density. The Radeon 7000 is a good video card but you should be able to find them for less than $30. If you can get a Sonnet G4 500MHz for under $30 it might be worth it, a G4 cpu will let you run some newer apps. The best OS (IMO) is Tiger, after installing and updating you can strip the OS down quite a bit by running Monolingual. I just wish I could follow my own advice about that budget thing, my last "free" Blue & White ended up with a SATA controller card, two SATA hard drives, a Pioneer DVR, a Sonnet G4, and a GeForce 6200 video card. As MacHamster68 said, it does a good job at everyday computing tasks- web browsing, email, iTunes, MS Office 2008 (the latest Mac version, not Word 6.1).
  13. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    ^^ Seconded.

    Think THIS will work.
  14. Buzz Bumble Guest

    Oct 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    Stupid comment of the week winner.

    I still daily use a 266MHz beige PowerMac G3 to run my own computer business, which includes using InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, FileMaker Pro, Office, a Photoshop-clone, and more ... yes, they are older versions, but they still work perfectly well. In fact until recently it was only running Mac OS 9 as well and I've only bothered to install Mac OS X because my hopeless Internet provider refused to fix a problem with their servers which prevented my dial-up connection (yes dial-up) from logging in.
  15. aibo macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2008
    Southern California
    Stupid comment of the year winner. As a graphic designer, I'd have quite a laugh if someone tried to send me legacy files from the versions you're using. Nevermind your ability to open up anything I'd send back. $30 is too much on something that anyone serious will be unable to do any real work with.
  16. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009

    i dont think the op got the smurf to run his multi million dollar designer business with it , so to mention he cant do that is pointless , but that does not mean the little smurf would be useless for a lot other things , just needs a graphic card and ideally he should try to find the apple studio display (crt 17")
    because this setup looks beautiful and the colors are matching
    and ideally the matching keyboard and puk mouse to it
  17. aibo macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2008
    Southern California
    I suppose if he operates in a closed bubble, sticks with old software, doesn't need to print to modern printers, and doesn't need to access the internet, it could work.

    Even when it was brand new, the 300MHz B&W was ungodly slow. It was due to having half the L2 cache of its siblings.
  18. Buzz Bumble Guest

    Oct 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    I regularly send files to print companies - that's what PDFs are for. I do do "real work" and I am a "graphic designer" - I would have absolutely no reason to send or recieve any files from you / like you.

    The fact that you decided you "have to" have the latest toys (and no doubt overcharge your clients for the priviledge) doesn't mean it's actually necessary nor that the older stuff is "useless".

    Plus, since the original person said "I don't want to hear any "Get rid of it!"", that makes you an even bigger idiot.

    Don't bother replying because I won't be bothering to read any more of your stupid drivel.
  19. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009

    its all down what you expect from it , you can surf the web , maybe not much flash content like youtube or similar sites , but its still fast enough for ordinary websites and emailing and itunes , he could even create a" my smurf" website in html with dreamweaver mx if he would like to ,among other things ,

    ok it might not be a extreme performing computer ,but it is far from useless

    nobody who got himself a computer thats already near or over 10 years old got it because it could outperform a brandnew computer
    its just a hobby for most of us who like the old Macs , we dont expect them to outperform brandnew computers , thats not why somebody would collect a old mac
    and i even have more respect for somebody who is able to run his business with a old mac , its certainly more challenging , which makes it fun too i believe

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