If i bought one of these old models like an iMac G3, could i do...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by iMacBoy, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. iMacBoy macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2009
    f i bought one of these old models like an iMac G3, could i upgrade RAM and memory, and install a later version such as snow leopard?

    Add RAM: Yes/No
    Add Memory: Yes/No
    Add Snow Leopard: Yes/No


  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. iMacBoy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2009
  4. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    This is true. I wouldn't install anything past Panther on a G3 mac.

    Why do you want an old iMac, OP? Your sig lists a new model.
  5. iMacBoy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2009
    Yeah, i have the 09' 21.5" iMac, but i thought it would be cool to get an old Mac for a laugh as i have seen them on ebay for as low as £20.

    So can you add more memory and ram or not?

    Thanks :D
  6. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2009
    North Carolina
    Yes you can up to 1gb of ram. I have an iMac G3 that I use as a jukebox and its awesome because its silent because of the convection cooling.
  7. iMacBoy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2009
    Okay cheers, i was just wondering because seen them on ebay for £20:L

  8. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    your just wrong!!!

    i have a ibook G3 600...i have installed jaguar/panther/tiger on it...results

    -jaguar=dont waste your time...it's slow and useless for modern browsers ect
    -panther=runs ok,but unless your into older safari/firefox ( 1.6.11...(which doesn't run all web pages right) i would stay away
    -tiger=even with dashboard and spotlight (which you can turn off) it runs way better then other two...even on old G3's and you can run lastest firefox/camino/flash ect ect

    if you buy older imac...make sure you get slot loading one and not tray loading....then max ram (nice door in back makes ram change nice and simple)...install tiger,run updates (your going to have to rerun a few times...then turn off dashboard and spotlight with below commands...and you should be good to go

    To turn Dashboard off: use terminal
    defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES

    You have to restart the Dock after making either change for it to take effect:
    killall Dock

    To turn Spotlight off: use terminal

    cd /etc
    sudo nano hostconfig

    Then to get rid of the existing index, run these two commands
    sudo mdutil -i off /
    sudo mdutil -E /

    reboot computer

    if you want to then get rid of spotlight icon on menu bar

    1. As an administrator, navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices, and delete Search.bundle. If you think might want to re-enable it later, just move it somewhere else or rename it.
    2. Open up the Activity Monitor and force quit SystemUIServer. When it reopens, your menu bar will be Spotlight free.
  9. iMacBoy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2009

    Thanks alot man, so at the end of the day do you think it's worth the hastle and the £20 - 30 on one of these older generations, i have noticed iMac G3 are the cheapest on ebay then the iBook G3 price is a little higher.

    I have seen the Powerbook (G3 i think) on their for around £60 also.
  10. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Depends on what you want to do with it. The iMac G3's are still usable machines, but only for specific purposes really.
  11. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn


    if money was a issue and wanted a mac,i would look for...a G4 ibook or G4 powerbook say around 1.33ghz with as much ram as possible,12.1" (prefer small light),good battery,good working superdrive (so can burn dvd's) and tiger or leopard restore dvd...
  12. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    That, of course, depends on the model. the 233, 266, and 333 MHz iMacs max out at 512 MB RAM.

    @ the OP: Memory and RAM are the same thing. Were you referring to hard drive space by "Memory"?
  13. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    My Dad asked me to have a look at his old iMac (that he inherited from my step brother) - its an iMac DV 400 (without a DVD drive which is strange!)

    I found a 256MB stick of PC133 for it for £4.99 on eBay, and had a 40GB 7,200rpm IDE hard drive laying around so upgraded it to a total of 512MB RAM and 40GB up from the original 10GB.

    The hardest problem I had was upgrading the firmware to run 10.3. It had no Classic environment of any kind and didn't have any installer CD's. Luckily I have a few computer geek friends who managed to help me out.

    It runs OS 9.2.2 really well. You forget how snappy the old Mac OS was. The problem with it is its been dead now since 2001 and therefore very hard to find apps and software for it. Classilla is a great browser. Trying to use anything other than this proved difficult just for downloading simple things. I also found out my Office 2004 CD and Photoshop 7 (which also runs under OS X which I had forgotten about).

    I was going to put Tiger on it, but decided upon Panther, plus Panther comes with iLife included. Basic photo editing in iPhoto works out pretty well. It is quite snappy and even the desktop rendering of the drop shadows on menus and windows don't seem to slow it down. The problem again with running an old OS as pointed out by someone on here is the fact you can't get modern browsers to run on it. Safari 1.3.2 is the last version to work with Panther and Firefox only goes up to I can't recall if I bothered putting Flash on it.

    The main problem however is the speed of the machine for doing anything complicated or even just doing software updates. What takes a few minutes on a much later gen machine (such as my MacBook Pro 13" Mid 2009 ver) takes FOREVER on the 400MHz model. Unstuffing things also takes a while, again what might take a modern machine takes eons on this thing.

    If you were to go for an older Mac - I'd get either the MINIMUM 600MHz iMac or an eMac. With a much newer processor in it (new in terms of new compared to a G3/400) you have much better OS support - such as Leopard (10.5) and much more choice of applications. Plus the eMac would have USB 2 on it where as the iMac I have been working on only has USB 1.1.

    It depends on you though. You might like me think £20 is a good investment and enjoy playing around with an old machine (I got the Blueberry iMac DV when they first came out) and seeing how capable it is. Its all personal preference. Personally, if you can afford it, get a newer Mac.

  14. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I happen to have the original install discs for an iMac DV 400. Let me know if you need them.

    Also are you sure there is no dvd drive in there? That's odd.

    I also have the original install discs for an iMac G3 500mhz
  15. datamonger128 macrumors regular


    Dec 4, 2010
    Newport News, Virginia
    Should you decide to buy one of these things, you could use it as a giant alarm clock or an iTunes server. You could also use it as a boat anchor.
  16. Justinz macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2010
    You can add Ram and Memory. Which are the same. But what you cant add would be Snow Leopard. Probably not even Leopard since it is a G3 not G5 or G4. I have a G4 and running Leopard. Snow Leopard requires to have an Intel based CPU. Depending how fast your processor is you might not be able to even install Leopard. To install Leopard. In most cases you would have the DVD so if the computer cannot read the disc your out of luck. I would consider getting a G4 or G5. Good for most uses. Until you need a program that only runs on Intel Based computers. Such as Photoshop CS5, Google Chrome, or Lightroom 3.
    Hope this helps.
  17. stroked Suspended


    May 3, 2010
  18. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    If you have Tiger on it already, then you already have an up-to-date firmware which you don't need to worry about. It is on the system board. Its a bit like the BIOS on a PC - with a few extra bells and whistles on.

    If you want to upgrade the hard drive remember you'll be limited to drives under 127GB.

    You could use something like carbon copy cloner to clone the drive to a new one

  19. MacHamster68, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    i have a iMac G3 , actually two of them , but i use my iMac g3 700 mhz for everything really from websurfing /email to listen itunes , office work , for gaming (os9 games ) , i even managed to rip a dvd on it ,its only a matter of being patient :D
    but as i grew up with commodores vc 64's and my sx64 and a PET and even used them in the early days of the internet to email and even open websites ,the couple that did exist back then ...google was not invented back then neither was facebook ,with a self build accoustic coupler (that had been pre 56k modem times where something like that did cost in the shops a fortune not to mention the cost of a email or even worse for my parents downloading and sharing self build games back then, yes selfbuild games ) , and in direct comparison the iMac G3 is a supercomputer with a ethernet connection ,
    ok it cant play hd videos , but whats the point of doing that anyway, 240p are enough for youtube , in my opinion
    and dvd's and movies (avi)look as good as on any display really

    i just love these little iMac g3's back then apple was bit more innovative with colors and the slot loader iMac's are even convection cooled (no fans) so in that aspect the new iMac's are a step back to the days of grey and beige boxes of the 90's, but i was told retro is in
  20. Tyroler, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011

    Tyroler macrumors member


    Jan 2, 2011
    Hatfield, UK
    i have a old Blue/White with Apple Monitor anywhere under a Bed.tiger on it,but 2 of 3 Ram fail and Button "6" and "C" on keyboard missing.
    Don't know if that Mac i still any good for a collector but not for reell,as CPU with 300Mhz too slow and hard drive not a few T

  21. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    G3 Macs can run Tiger, but you'll want to stuff as much RAM into it as you can.

    I should also add that G3s are great machines for running OS9 apps, if you are into any old games or use any earlier versions of things like Photoshop or Final Cut Pro.
  22. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    +1 - I have a 500Mhz iMac G3 and 300Mhz iBook G3 (As well as older Macs) to run all my old software, my iMac is also a server running 10.3.9 (Non-Server edition) with an upgraded internal 120GB HD (Works nicely, and has enough space for what its serving, which is a few webpages for use inside my house only - personalised homepages etc, and some audio).
  23. raysfan81 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2009
    North Carolina

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