Power Mac G5 general upgrade questions

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Diogones, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Diogones, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013

    Diogones macrumors regular

    Diogones

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    #1
    Hey all,

    I've managed to come by an old Power Mac Dual Processor (DP) G5 1.8GHz A1047, and I've been taking it apart to clean it out and possibly upgrade it just for fun.

    My first question is about the RAM capacity. I've checked my model on three different web sites, and they all report different max RAM amounts.

    Everymac (8GB): http://goo.gl/hST3xI
    Apple Serial Info (4GB): http://goo.gl/y1u88M
    Powerbook Medic: (16GB): http://goo.gl/tc390P

    Second, is the CPU upgradable? Like to a 2.0 or 2.4? I don't think it is, because Apple made it difficult to upgrade the processors on these old machines, and I think I'd have to replace the mobo as well as the CPU in order to complete the upgrade, but I just wanted to be sure. Everymac also mentioned in the machine's Q&A that the CPU wasn't upgradable.

    Finally, how do I remove the bottom right cooling fan and heatsink cover? I checked out the iFixit guide (http://goo.gl/IEOazJ, but that seems to be for newer 2005 G5 Macs, not my older '03-'04. I seem to have 2.5mm hex screws securing it down, along with a phillips and possibly some Torx.

    [​IMG]

    Once I get that off, I can clean out the rear fan and heatsink assembly, as its pretty dusty in here!

    Other than that, I could just see myself upgrading the hard drive and a faster AGP card. They just don't build them like they used too!
     
  2. G5-Sir Mac Alot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Location:
    Ridgefield, WA USA
    #2
    Max RAM=Depends on how many RAM slots on that model. Each RAM slot can use a 1gig DDR3200 stick. More than likely that model will max out at 4gig total.

    No, processors cannot be upgraded. I tried it once and the 1.8 motherboard wont calibrate with any other processor. (I attempted 2.0).

    That cover is a pain. I dont know the link, but I know somwhere (Google it) is a step by step take apart/put together video for the G5 with the liquid cooling system. Even though your model doesnt have that, it's still a viable resource that u can use. I had one that was pretty bad and between compressed air and a vacuum cleaner, we got it looking almost. new.

    Enjoy, thats a good machine you've got.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    I have this EXACT model. It died at work and I took it home and replaced the logicboard/cpu.

    4GB is your max.

    To get the back cover off the heatsink/cpu I had to do some serious Google searching. Found a tech PDF on an Australian tech website that actually mentioned my model.

    Here's the deal. There is a plastic rivet pin that goes in to the heat sink. If you lay the mac on it's side and face it so that the top is up, then look at the top of the heatsink (not the front of it that is facing out) you will find the pin. Use a knife, or X-Acto to pry the pin up and work it out. Be careful just to work the pin out, not the part the pin goes in to. Once you have the pin out, you still have to get the socket out.

    Here's the bizzare part. Find one of those screw hooks that you use to screw into cupboards and hang coffee cups on. Find a smaller one. Screw that into the socket until it's got a grip on the socket. Then working the screw hook back and forth walk the socket out of the hole.

    Once you have both the rivet pin and the socket out you have to slide the cover forward or backward (forget which one at the moment) and then you can pull it up and out.

    Hope that helps.

    Getting that damn cover off drove me insane until I found this!
     
  4. Diogones thread starter macrumors regular

    Diogones

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    #4
    Thanks all for the replies!

    I think you may be right about the 4GB limit, even though there are 8 RAM slots. If we assume a 512MB module limit per slot, then that's 512MB x 8 = 4GB total. You are sure that the slots won't take 1 or 2GB per slot? That would bump up the total to 8 or 16GB, respectively.

    Oddly enough, I didn't have to do any of that, eyoungren. All I did was remove the hex screws, and the two separate assemblies - CPU, heatsink, and all - came right up! After cleaning out the area underneath the heatsinks -the heatsinks themselves were not that dirty - and the rear fan, I simply placed the assemblies back on their respective hex screw holders and motherboard pins, and screwed them back down. There was no plastic rivet at all, and I know nobody has removed the heatsink before. There wasn't even any indication that there might have been one and it was broken off. I guess each model is different, huh?

    I was reading on the iFxit guide for the G5s that in order to remove the rear fan, you simply push the tabs and pull the fan assembly out. I didn't have any tabs. What I did have was 7 tiny philips screws that secured the fan to the rear of the case. Once I removed the screws, I simply unplugged the fan and pulled it up and out. So that was another discrepancy I found in the guide. Their machine is probably a later/newer model than what I'm dealing with.

    Anyway, I do have another question. After I removed the Combo/Super drive (I don't know which one it is yet) I found this underneath it:

    [​IMG]

    So what is that piece? Every guide and tutorial I've read on removing the CD drive doesn't mention that. Is that a sound card? It wouldn't be the Bluetooth card right? I've heard that the BT module is soldered on the board and can't be installed if it didn't come with the computer. Is that true?
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #5
    That's the modem. The Bluetooth card in all G5's is user upgradeable. If you look in the area just above the modem you'll see the screw hole and the small slot where the Bluetooth board connects. If your machine does have 8 ram slots, 8GB is the maximum with each stick being 1GB.
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #6
    I misunderstood you. You have a dual processor 1.8 G5 and I have the SINGLE processor 1.8 G5. You didn't mention dual in your original post so I ran with that. The instructions I gave were for the single processor.

    With that in mind, your ram limit is probably higher than what I originally stated.
     
  7. Diogones, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013

    Diogones thread starter macrumors regular

    Diogones

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    #7
    Gotcha, yeah you're right, I didn't say in my post that the Mac was a dual processor model. I've amended that now, thanks for pointing that out eyoungren.

    Well that is wonderful that the Mac I have will potentially support up to 8GB. It's looking cooler already!

    Ah so that's where the BT goes. Well thank you for explaining the modem and BT placement there Intell. I might install a BT chip, but I'll have to see if I would use it enough to make it worth it.

    Got everything cleaned up, and the Mac is looking good, runs great, and works fine. I'm thinking about reinstalling Leopard on it, but it looks like the previous owner had CS4 and Office '04 installed on the drive, and I'm not sure I want to lose those programs. Would it be possible to perform a Time Machine backup on the Volume, and then wipe the drive clean, perform a fresh install, and then restore from the TM backup during the installation process? Or would it make more sense to simply make a new user, delete the old one, and enjoy the programs that way?
     
  8. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Kelso, Wa
    #8
    He did mention dual.

    It was small but in the first line it did say DP next to the 1.8.

    It's a solid machine just be aware that ram slot solder and processor failure in early DP models is high. I have repaired a few of them and it's usually the main CPU that goes and an exact serial replacement is needed. Like there are three different age/models in the 2.0. They can be in either slot but have to have the same generation numbers that came with the board.

    If you have not done so already find the Apple Service disk online somewhere if you don't have the original installs that came with the unit. When you button it up if you swap the processors the heat management will freak and put the fans at full speed. You will need the hardware disk to re calibrate them.

    Good luck with your project and have fun.
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #9
    The Bluetooth board alone won't be enough to give that G5 Bluetooth. You also need a Bluetooth antenna for it. When buying a Bluetooth board for it, you don't need one for a G5. The non-late-2005 models, eMac, G4 iMac, 2007-early-2009 iMac, and some Mac Pro models all use the same board. But the Intell based Macs have Bluetooth 2.x while the PowerPC Macs are all Bluetooth 1.x. The Intell ones also seem to be cheaper as well.
     
  10. Diogones thread starter macrumors regular

    Diogones

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    #10
    It's interesting that you point that out, havokalien, because that is exactly what happened to me! I was putting the Mac back together, and of course I mixed up the CPUs. So while the Mac booted just fine, sure enough the fans were roaring away. I simply re-opened the case and swapped them back the way they were, and everything is back to normal now. Unfortunately, this Mac didn't come with anything except what was inside the case. No cords, no discs, no nothing. I'm going to have to find a copy of the Apple Service disk somewhere online. I'm sure someone has posted it or at least the re-calibration software that came with it.

    Thanks for the clarification Intell! Right, I figured I would need an antenna, as the G5 manual mentions attaching a BT antenna if one is pre-installed in the machine. So could I use one of the newer Intel boards in this Mac and achieve 2.x speeds? It would still be at least backwards compatible with it right?

    I've got some more stories to tell about the Mac. I couldn't get the sound to work for some reason, try as I might. The sound controls worked, and the internal speaker was connected properly after I removed it and put it back. But there was no start up chime, and the speaker wasn't emitting any sound. At first I thought the speaker was damaged or fried, but when I checked the sound preferences, no internal audio was listed, only the headphone and optical audio selections were available. This led me to discover...

    ...you guessed it. There was the tip of a headphone plug stuck in the headphone jack! I couldn't believe the beating this Mac must have taken at the hands of its former owner. Well naturally, I couldn't remove the plug - it was lodged in there way too deeply, the port was much too small to allow any tools to dig or pry it out, and I couldn't push it all the way through the jack: after I inspected the back of the headphone port, I noticed it had a metal backing to it, so the plug wasn't going through that way.

    After doing some digging on the issue, I found a solution. I unscrewed the tip off of a cheap plastic ballpoint pen, and removed the ink cartridge. Cutting off the end of the cartridge (without the ink) using a pair of scissors, I set the Mac on its back and rammed the cartridge section into the jack so that it "grabbed" the tip of the plug, making an air-tight seal. Then in one fluid motion, I pulled the cartridge up, along with the plug. There wasn't even any resistance. It was almost too easy; I thought I was going to have to glue the end of the cartridge onto the plug in order to make it stick, but reports from various other computer users in my situation reported that the glue wasn't necessary.

    I had to get a picture to commemorate my victory:
    [​IMG]

    The speakers and the headphone jack work fine now, so no more sound issues for this Mac!

    Thanks a lot for your well wishes! I'm loving this project the more time I spend on it!
     
  11. wobegong Guest

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    #11
    Neat :D Enjoy the machine.
     
  12. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #12
    An Intell Mac's Bluetooth board would give you faster speeds. There is an internal and an external antenna. All G5's have the internal antennna, that that alone won't give it Bluetooth because of the metal case. You also need the external antenna. It's about the thickness of a pencil and about 1-2 inches long. It plugs into a little hole in the back of the machine. If you look at the back, you'll see it. It's hole is marked with the standard Bluetooth rune.
     
  13. Diogones thread starter macrumors regular

    Diogones

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    #13
    Well got another update on the 'ol Mac.

    Turns out that the optical drive wasn't working quite right. I would insert DVD-R and CD-R discs, and the drive would spin up, but it wouldn't read it, as nothing would be mounted in Finder or recognized by Disk Utility. I even inserted a plain CD player lens cleaner disc - just in case the drive was dirty - which spun around but wasn't recognized either.

    Of course, the drive was coming up short in other areas as well. I checked the manual, and the drive that shipped with my model could only do like 4x burn speeds anyway, so that wasn't very encouraging. It didn't have support for +R formats either, so the CD+R and DVD+R discs I used were rejected. Dual layer (DL) discs weren't welcomed either.

    Fortunately, I had a spare optical disc drive lying around from an old eMachine 2892, and I was able to swap the drives out with ease. Now not only does the drive burn much, much faster - 16x according to System Information - but it can read any format I throw at it, +R and DL discs alike, without any trouble.

    Thanks Intell, I'll make sure to get the antenna as well. I'm sure most of those cards will have it included, but I'll double check to be sure.

    I'm getting ready to wrap up the hardware repair side of things, and I'm beginning to dive into the software aspect. Would it be better to perform a fresh install of Leopard and restore the Time Machine backup I've created with all the great software already installed on it, or should I just delete the current account and make a fresh one using the existing installation?

    Any ideas on how that might affect performance and clean up some drive clutter left over by the previous owner?
     
  14. Diogones thread starter macrumors regular

    Diogones

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    #14
    Hey again Intell!

    I just wanted to ask you about wireless, since we covered BT already: Can the G5 support an N Wifi card? I know you mentioned that I can use a BT card from one of the newer Macs and it is fully compatible, but what about wifi? Am I limited to G wireless?
     
  15. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #15
    It cannot use an Airport N card. But you can use a PCI card or USB adapter. If you have a late-2005 G5, it could probably use a N Airport card from a newer Mac via a mini-PCIe adapter.
     
  16. Diogones thread starter macrumors regular

    Diogones

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    #16
    OK, I had a feeling my model was too old for a direct Airport N speed card. Unfortunately, it is a 2003/2004 model, so it doesn't have a PCIe slot. However, you did mention that I could use a PCI card or USB adapter instead of a straight up Airport card.

    If I use a PCI card, such as this one: http://goo.gl/qV0uQP I still couldn't do N speed because it's only PCI right? If I went with a USB adapter, could that do N speed because it might be faster than PCI? I know this model does have PCI-X, which is faster than PCI, but still might not support full N speed.
     
  17. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #17
    I'm fairly sure PCI/PCI-X N cards exist. Mostly any Broadcom based card will be Mac compatible. I don't know if a USB solution would be faster, but I'd hazard a guess as to it would not be.
     
  18. KeegM480 macrumors 6502a

    KeegM480

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #18
    Congrats on the G5! I love mine! My new RAM is on the way. I'm pretty sure your model can't do more than 8GB, 4GB does sound right
     

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