Power Mac 9500

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by CooperBox, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. CooperBox macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    I was talking with quite an elderly guy over the weekend, and I happened to mention "Macs!"
    Immediately his tired eyes lit up, and he said he loved the first one he ever had, a Power Mac 9500/150. That didn't mean a lot to me. He said he still had it "in good condition", which led me to asking for more details.
    Just received these photos. Apparently he's found the original keyboard, but not the mouse. I note that the case has yellowed from age & direct sunlight.

    Mac1.JPG Mac6.JPG Mac7.JPG

    I'd really like to know:
    From the little information I've been able to find from owners here, I'm not too sure how unusual or desirable these are. Plus I can't see that there are many available. Is this a good or bad sign?
    You've probably already guessed that I'm a bit tempted to take a chance, especially if it's cheap i.e. less than $25.
    Your thoughts are welcome.
  2. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014
    It is dicey finding pre G3 Macs. There were like a billion different machines and many people that still have them don't know if they are desirable or what their value is. Usually you can find a few (different models) for sale in different places. The 9500 was pretty high end in its day and is a pretty good system to own if you are interested in pre G3 PowerPC Macs.

    It's hard to figure a price, but if I could have it same day and knew it was in good working order, I would almost assuredly pay up to $100 (but I'd probably also try to score a deal!) Once you start going above $100 there are some resellers like Operator Headgap and I would rather buy a refurb from them or just pass entirely. Often you will see systems bundled for $300 but include monitor and other accessories. Many eBay sellers want terrible shipping (but in fairness, safely shipping a CRT is expensive). This one has some questionable things going on with the case that IMO would devalue it. Why is the floppy drive a different color? New unit?

    This system is one that can be heavily modified. IIRC I read something once about people even putting OS X on it but for me, I wouldn't be very interested in such a thing. G3+ Macs are plentiful and less trouble to do that on. For these old systems I want to be able to run classic OS.
  3. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    The 9500 and 9600 to me are very interesting and desirable systems. They were the most expandable Macs made, with 6 PCI slots and 12 RAM slots.

    I've never had a 9500, but have its little brother the 8500. To be honest, it's a pain in the butt to work because the plastic is brittle and almost any repair job will invariably result in broken plastic tabs or other pieces. Things like RAM upgrades are difficult, also, as the logic board must come out(the 8600/9600 and subsequent G3 mintowers used a "swing out" design.

    As mentioned above, OS X is possible with enough RAM, although you'll likely want to make some other changes. Member @LightBulbFun recompiled the Tiger kernel to run on 604E(and likely also 603) processors, although in my experience it's quite slow on a 200mhz 604 and would likely be even worse than the (apparently) 120mhz processor in this computer. At the same time-unless I get around to it first-you'd have the honor of holding the record for the slowest system on which OS X has been run :)

    To really make it sing, though, you'll want to track down a G3 or G4 processor. The processor in these fits in a slot(not unlike the Pentium II) and it's really easy to change. I have a 700mhz G4 that a member here gave me that should allow the computer to run OS X Leopard. Member @Intell has Leopard running on an 8600, and I'm(slowly) working toward doing the same on mine.

    As said, if it's cheap jump on it.
  4. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Very nice find. Tiger and Leopard run oddly well on them, with a faster G4. They're very fun Macs to play with. Bootable from 7.5 through to 10.5.
  5. MacTech68 macrumors 68020


    Mar 16, 2008
    Australia, Perth
    I agree will all statements so far but would like to add:

    The difference in the color of the two panels may be a result of different factories making the plastics. Many of these machines in this case style suffer from missing those panels (including the CDROM panel). Even when these weren't too old, the small clips holding these panels on would break, making a permanent fit impossible (other than gluing them on). As a result, they may have been replaced at some point during their lifetime and are either newer or a slightly different polymer mix that makes them look 'newer' in color. Nothing suspicious there.

    You never know what's inside this beast, in terms of processor, Hard Drive or RAM.

    As already mentioned the worst aspect of these models is physically getting to the RAM. It requires a lot of patience. The sockets for RAM, Graphics card and CPU will need a good clean and testing, which I normally would do with the required modules completely removed from the case and setup temporarily on the bench.

    For further disassembly info you should google:

    powermac_9500_series pdf
  6. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    Thanks guys for your input & interesting comments. The pdf link could certainly be a life-safer if I decide to go for this system. I've just been watching the video 'Power Mac 9500 overview, setup' etc, and I can see exactly what you mean about the plastic being brittle. During a normal disassembly, attachment tabs were breaking off almost everywhere. That undesirable feature, and depending on the exact spec of the machine, will probably be the decisive factors in my final decision.
    I'll certainly keep you informed.

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