Keeping a G5 alive.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by jihad the movie, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. jihad the movie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Smugtown, NY
    #1
    I have the Rev A. Dual 1.8 G5 with 8 DIMM slots, and I am interested in keeping this machine for as long as I possibly can. I know the new Intel Minis are faster, but I already have a considerable amount of hardware invested in my G5, and I would like to hold onto it until it no longer suits my needs. (I had my previous mac for 8 years) My needs really haven't changed much since I purchased it back in 2004, so I do not need to consider 10.6, CS4, or anything else to that effect.

    My current specs are as follows:

    Dual 1.8
    5gb Ram (all slots filled)
    160GB HD (stock)
    750GB HD (second bay)
    eSATA II card



    What I would really like to do is make my G5 a bit snappier in day to day tasks. Would upgrading the boot HD to a 10,000 or 15,000 RPM drive make a significant change in performance? Would a higher RPM drive saturate the SATA bandwidth? 10.5 really took a toll on my system's performance, so I would really like to take back some of the ground I lost with the upgrade.


    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    Did you ever consider selling it and buying a Mac Mini? It will cost you less to have an increase in speed this way.
     
  3. jihad the movie thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Smugtown, NY
    #3

    Yes, I did, but I have a considerable amount of hardware (multiple external eSATA drives, etc) invested in my G5 that would be incompatible with the Mini. The cost to migrate or replace the additional hardware would be substantial. I'm looking to hold onto my G5 for a couple more years until I can afford a Mac Pro.
     
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
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    #4
    Get a multi-bay external hard drive enclosure (maybe one with five or more so you have room to expand) and a Mac Mini.
     
  5. Bennieboy© macrumors 65816

    Bennieboy©

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Location:
    england
    #5
    for more performance you really should look at selling that and buying a mini, and before snow leopard arrives, since that will drive prices down for a G5 ;)
     
  6. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    Location:
    Tulsa
    #6
    Forget that completely and get an SSD.
     
  7. Chad H macrumors 6502a

    Chad H

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Location:
    Auburn, AL
    #7
    Can you mount a SSD in a G5?
     
  8. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #8
    Yes, though it would be hard - a 3.5-2.5 adapter may cut the mustard in this case, but one would have to look at it pretty carefully.

    I'd go for the 10k-15k drive myself...
     
  9. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #9
    That processor is going to hold you down, you really should upgrade your GPU but your options are limited, and you can't run Snow Leopard...

    Sell it and get a mini, or try for a refurbished Mac Pro.
     
  10. giffut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    Now, ...

    ... for mild increase you should:

    a) Get a Intel SSD drive and keep the 160GB as external backup. You can forward the SSD in any new system, if necessary.

    b) If not yet done: Keep the system/applications on one drive (SSD), and data on another one (separate it, too, into work and entertainement like video/music). Don´t mix those, but keep them always separated. This is always recommended.

    c) Check your graphiccard and upgrade it to the maximum possible with your machine.

    d) Depending on your workload and RAM consumption you might want to bump up the RAM to 8GB

    For good and better increases in performance, you need to jump to an Intel system, there is no way around it. Limit your budget. I would say US$ 300,- would be the absolute maximum.
     
  11. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #11
    Do you own a computer? If the answer is yes, then it can use an SSD. It made a world of difference in my G5 and G4 machines.
     
  12. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #12
    1) Do you need Leopard? If not, go back to Tiger.

    2) Get an SSD

    3) Go Intel. Seriously. This obsession with keeping computers for as long as possible doesn't work. That philosophy works with everything else you purchase except food and computers.
     
  13. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #13
    Icy Box makes a 25$ enclosure which brings the 2,5" geometry up to 3,5". The SSD is then fit to go into your G5 slot. SSD will probably set you back 400$ for an Intel 160 GB. Is it worth it? Speed is like hell that is guranteed.
     
  14. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #14
    Leopard is much better than Tiger on a G5.
     
  15. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #15
    One thing you can do is build a cheap hackintosh. Just make sure your parts are compatible before you buy.

    Check http://insainlymac.com for help choosing parts
     
  16. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #16
    Really? How? I would have thought otherwise.
     
  17. wpc33 macrumors 6502

    wpc33

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #17
    Why would you separate work/play documents? They're never used at the same time. They should be stored together, if you aim for speed.

    Anybody who buys the 2.5-3.5" adapter tray for a SSD is a sucker.

    "Then, I added some fins to lower wind resistance. And this racing stripe here I feel is pretty sharp."
     
  18. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto
    #18
    Check out this site to increase the performance of your G5.

    http://macperformanceguide.com/index.html

    I think in this economy, using what we have already invested considerable amounts of money into is worth keeping if it does what you need it to do. I know that for me, CS4 plays just as well on my dual 2.0 G5 for moderate use, using Tiger as CS2. Sure, getting a new system would be faster - how much faster to warrant spending $1,400 (all in for hardware upgrades and sales tax/ Apple care), plus software upgrades for the Intel chip? Maybe spending $500 for an SSD drive and maxing out the Ram is all you need for the performance that would make you happy. Two new hard drives, one as a Photoshop scratch disk would also work wonders.

    Mike
     
  19. jihad the movie thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Smugtown, NY
    #19

    Thanks giffut, at least you can understand what the point of my post is. New computers are expensive for those of us on a budget, and since I purchased my MacBook last year, I'm not ready to buy a second new machine just yet.

    Yeah, I was looking to spend exactly that, $300, to increase the performance of my G5. I was thinking I could get a decent sized 10,000rpm drive, and then put the rest towards a better video card.

    As it is right now, I have 5 HDs connected to my G5, one for the system, another for just music, and the rest for photos and video. I've kept all my media separate from day one, but it seems the system side of things has slowed down a bit with upgrades to 10.5 and applications like iTunes and iPhoto. I mainly use my G5 as an archive for my media, and use my 2.4ghz MacBook as my workhorse. Ultimate performance from my desktop isn't an issue here, but improved responsiveness is exactly what I am looking for; especially because I do not plan on updating to 10.6, or newer versions of Adobe CS. Plus, it gives me a little extra time to save up for the Mac Pro I intend on buying in a couple years.

    Thanks.
     
  20. Chad H macrumors 6502a

    Chad H

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Location:
    Auburn, AL
    #20
    Yes, I do own a computer. Check my signature. I don't appreciate the tone either. My post simply indicated can you mount one properly. Any joe schmoe can throw a ssd in a tower. :rolleyes:
     
  21. NIPRING macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Waukesha WI
    #21
    Keep an eye on craigslist too. In the last year I've bought two G5 units each with an x800xt card and each machine was under $300.
     
  22. giffut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #22
    I ...

    ... don´t know all of your HDs age and speed, but this might make a difference. Try to keep heavy workloads (huge pictures, raw video footage - you name it) on fast HDs, stuff like MP3 and DIVX/H.264 videos on the slower ones. You could use the AJA disk test (http://www.aja.com/ajashare/AJA_System_Test_v601.zip) and XBench´s HD test (http://www.xbench.com/Xbench_1.3.dmg) to figure out what your drives are capable to transfer.

    The system drive should be the fastest of them all - you already plan this - just because of spotlight indexing and OSX RAM caching running in the background. Fast access times are a giving significant and felt speed increases, not necessarily fast transfer times like with RAID 0.

    If you can´t get an Intel SSD or a Seagate Velociraptor HD, which both are still crushing your budget with other things waiting for upgrade, too, I would recommend to get a fast SATA HD like the Seagate Black Caviar 640GB or a Samsung 1TB SATA drives (both with 32MB caching and 72000rpm, that´s important). Those drives are faster than the old Western Digital Raptor 10000rpm series and much cheaper than the new ones, so you get the benefit of more drive space, very good speeds (transfer and seek/access times) and less money to spend - and don´t forget the warranty with new drives.

    As to separating system/data workloads: Not only does it speed up, when you use dedicated harddrives for those, but it also is giving you a minimal increase in redundancy (one drive crash will not take several layers of your installation with you). Just never ever forget to back the critical stuff to external (best: bootable) HDs, too. For those tasks you can use older, slower HDs perfectly.

    For graphics you are bound to AGP, right? In that case either grab, if possible, a cheap ATI 9800 Radeon Pro or x800 Pro or bite the concrete and flash your own NVIDIA AGP 7800GS (it´s tricky, but doable by margin the fastest possible upgrade for any AGP Mac; the forum is your friend: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=273597)
     

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