iMac G3 optimization and upgrading

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by iMac G3, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. iMac G3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, Florida
    #1
    Hi,

    As the name suggests, I am a BIG fan of the iMac G3. I remembered when they first came out when I was starting school. Always fascinated by all the 'pretty colors' and all the cool things you could do on it. Well now that there are systems far surpassing that of the iMac G3, I'm very much satisfied with what I've got. Throughout my 17 years, I've had an eMac(my very first Mac), a PowerMac G4(with ADC monitor), a 6100, an iBook G3(Aqua/Blueberry), and a Macbook(black). I have been without a Mac for a good 3 years now, and I miss it. I love my Microsoft Windows based PCs, but I want to get another Mac. This time, I would love for it to be an iMac G3. I have a basic understanding in the whole performance and technicality of the machine, but I'd love to hear from others.

    I want to be able to optimize the machine, and be able to install the latest possible installation of OS X. I would assume Tiger would be the latest that would run comparatively well, but if I wanted to could I go further with, say, Leopard? I've seen around the web that FastMac does logicboard upgrades from G3 to G4? Can this increase performance and speed? And another question I have is... what is the maximum amount of memory the iMac is able to hold? I think it may just be 1GB? But if I'm able to upgrade to G4, does that allow for an increase over 1GB? And also, I'd like to know about WiFi and Airport. Mostly people that have it, and if it's worth it(or should I just use an ethernet cable), as well as the ease of installation.

    I'm getting it mainly for nostalgia, internet, and basic stuff. So if I got a machine with some form of OS X on it, it would be mostly used for iTunes, iWork(or Office Mac), iPhoto, Safari, etc.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    Tiger is the latest you can install, although it will probably be pretty slow unless you get a 600 or 700MHz model. The G3s are missing hardware that doesn't allow the installation of leopard. Max ram will probably be 1GB, even if you can get the G4 upgrade (which I have never heard of in the iMac). You're limited to the very earliest wifi standards if you go with the airport, so you're better off with ethernet, which is probably a 10/100 connection. It would be good for nostalgia purposes, but highly impractical for any sort of real use. It's just too slow, too old and too limited to keep up. It won't touch youtube (or anything flash for that matter), you're stuck to Tiger at the latest, and probably office 2004 (yikes), along with some old version of iTunes and USB 1.1 to bottleneck it all. The oldest Mac I would even think about getting to use on any sort of regular basis would be a gigabit or quicksilver G4 tower.
     
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    If you really want it for nostalgia purposes then just install Mac OS 9 on it and run Netscape and Appleworks with iTunes 1.0. Then you won't have to bother with upgrading to a G4 or any of that other stuff (which isn't worth your money anyway).
     
  4. iMac G3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, Florida
    #4
    Well, I figure if I do go for it, I'll just get the lowest priced(and working) iMac. I'm going to be purchasing it off of eBay, so I'll get whatever comes with it rather than fiddling around with it.

    Its hard to believe Apple has come a long way since then(concerning the applications like Netscape, Appleworks, etc.)
     
  5. HavingFun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #5
    Apple moves along pretty quickly in hardware. Generally it's not like the PC world where it's fairly simple to upgrade hardware across many years, and eventually convert to a Linux OS when Windows support slips too far.

    Really a G3 iMac today is as practical as even older System 7 machines; you can have fun with it if your fun is offline, playing with the old apps that are on it.

    Which is the tricky bit for people with nostalgia for those iMacs -- the G3 is when the web was getting popular. A lot of the fun people remember having was online.

    Online, well it's not just the screen resolution is going to seem rather small & the colour palette limited, it's that the apps you've got are too old and cannot be updated. As said, pretty much everything that uses a bit of Flash isn't going to work now. I think even G4 Cubes have been incapable of viewing YouTube for about three years now. And the sites you can still use, well your browser will be insecure. Really, online isn't a place to go without having your security right up to date, and a G3 will be many years behind.

    But yeah, they're pretty machines. You can still use it for your home music server. You can load it right up with old games that you couldn't afford back then, are are cheap now. If that's an interest, then collecting those for it can be a few years worth of fun.

    If that sounds interesting then what you might do here is ask which G3 models to look for, and what are the known hardware issues to look out for on these aging boxes.

    But upgrading a G3 iMac for "internet, and basic stuff", I'd have to say no. Do those on your modern machine, and leave the iMac on OS9 as an offline nostalgia console.
     
  6. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    I disagree on the machines not being useful. Up until Mid-2010, I was still using a PowerMac G4/450 and iMac G3/500 for video editing using Mac OS 9 and Final Cut Pro 2, and I still use OS 9 on a variety of old Macs for some things (And that includes email, just as if I cant load the images in email, so much the better), and iCab does mean you can kindve browse the modern web just about okay under Mac OS 9, and there are still plenty of useful applications for OS 9. Just cos its old doesnt make it useless (Digital Audio is a point of note here - so much Audio software works on OS 9, in fact some new stuff is still vaguely being updated for OS 9 today :eek: )

    Also, if you want something to sit in a corner running iCal, Address Book, Mail and iTunes, a 500+Mhz iMac G3 with 1GB RAM and 10.4.11 will do it perfectly. (Yes this is what I use mine for now my classic workstation is a Dual 867 G4).
     
  7. HavingFun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    #7
    Go for it. It's not a bad thing to be corrected on. Though I didn't say "useless". ;)


    See, that's the keyword: kindve. For someone like the thread starter, be specific - like what are the shortcomings? Does it do Youtube? Google Maps? That sort of thing.

    http://www.icab.de/dl.php
    iCab 3.0.5 hasn't been updated since 2008. It's not secure; you shouldn't be accessing webmail through this. Or anything else that needs Login access.

    I mean if you want to, it's your choice certainly, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. That's for people who know what they're doing and are set to take or avoid risks.

    But for the offline apps, we've really no disagreement -- these machines did a ton of stuff and they still do those things now. I just wanted to be clear that they don't meet modern expectations for online.

    Offline, there's precious little difference other than speed. In general terms I can't really think of anything I do right now that I didn't do ten years ago, it's just the files are bigger and processed faster.

    But for online, and for trading office-type documents with others, you want apps that are kept up to date with the latest patches. I don't think we have those for G3 Macs, but if you know different then please do list those here for the thread starter.
     
  8. iMac G3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, Florida
    #8
    Well. I did it!

    I'm excited, I purchased a graphite G3 with Jaguar and a G4 with Tiger and Studio Display(both come with a mouse and keyboard; unfortunately the G4 mouse had to be replace with a puck mouse, so it won't match the pro keyboard, but if it really bothers me, I can resell it and get a replacement pro mouse)

    The G3 is a 600MHz, 40GB HD, and 384MB RAM model. Useable, and I can optimize it when I get more time/money.

    The G4 is a 400MHz, 40GB HD, 640MB RAM, WiFi, DVD running both Tiger and OS 9. I reckon that I will definitely upgrade it, and replace Tiger with Leopard. I've heard it's DOABLE, but it isn't an 800MHz model, so I may have issues. And as always, more RAM can't hurt.

    Anyhow, I'm happy, and I will be even more happier when they arrive next week.
     
  9. HavingFun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
  10. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    For most things Microsoft Office:2004 still suffices, and that should run under 10.2.8 or later on a G3, and is modern enough to still be very useful (Most businesses are still using its PC counterpart, Office 2003, so its not that out of date).

    Also OP: Congrats on the G3 and G4. To install 10.5 on the G4 without upgrading its CPU, check out LeopardAssist - Its the program I used to install 10.5 on my 450Mhz G4 with 1GB RAM, its still not great without upgraded graphics, and the dock redraws were sluggish, but it was still at least useable.
     

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