Power Mac G5 - upgrade-able?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by KOZmac, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. KOZmac macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2015
    I have somehow inherited a nice Power Mac G5. I hooked it up to a 20" monitor and it seems to be running fine.

    Here are the specs:

    PowerPC G5 (3.1)
    Dual 2.7 GHz CPUs
    512 KB L2 Cache
    4 GB (4x1GB) memory DDR SDRAM PC3200
    1 TB SATA SMART drive
    1.35 GHz Bus
    5.2.4f1 Boot ROM
    ATI Radeon 9650 256MB video card (1680x1050 - matches monitor max)
    Airport Extreme

    currently running OS X 10.5.8
    (no further upgrades available)

    Suggestions on what I could best use this for?

    I was thinking about setting it up for my teenagers for internet/email and to start learning to write code. I have other computers with Adobe CC stuff on it, so I wouldn't need it here....but maybe a "lite" photo-editor would be ok.

    Any suggestions on what upgrades are "worth it"? (given what I plan on using it for)

    I found a better browser for it so far - TenFourFox - seems to be running well. Youtube plays just fine. What else can I do to improve it?

    It would be a shame to let it die....hahaha. I'd like to let my kids "coax it along" for a while. :-D
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Well, my coworker users her 1.8Ghz SP G5 for production work on newspapers ads, legals, classifieds and other related work.

    Adobe CS4, Office 2004 (it can run Office 2008), Suitcase Fusion (Fusion 3 is the latest), Acrobat Pro 9.4.5 and QuarkXPress 8.5.

    A dual 2.7 G5 is far more capable than just a "lite" photo editor. :D

    Hopefully that gives you some idea of what it is capable of. Incidentally, I run most of the listed apps above on my dual 1.8Ghz G4 but I use Suitcase Fusion 3 and Office 2008.

    Also, see my tweaks/addon thread (in my signature) if you want suggestions on making T4FX faster.
  3. MacCubed macrumors 68000


    Apr 26, 2014
    Just for fun, I would put in 8GB RAM(max) runs around $30 on eBay, there are a few PC X800XTs on eBay for cheap(you'd have to flash). Check the LCS ASAP cause they are prone to leaking, so catch it early. You could throw in an SSD, but SATA1 drives are you best bet, there have been some issues with SATA2/3 drives in PMG5s.
  4. gsahli macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2007
  5. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    Run it as is. My 2.0 Dual G5 is still very capable. You'll struggle a bit with support for modern internet standards. TenFourFox is a big help although you'll struggle with outdated plugins without using workarounds.
  6. KOZmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2015
    great suggestions - thank you.

    I actually taught graphic design classes way back when using G4s and G5s - always wanted one for myself.

    Really sad that such a capable machine is no longer supported as well software-wise.

    I do like the idea of kicking in some RAM - any good sources? ebay? amazon?

    I also need to pick up an extra keyboard and mouse for it. Prices online for a used magic mouse are kinda unreal. I have a mac shop nearby, I'll swing by and see if they have any extras kickin' around.
  7. 128keaton macrumors 68020


    Jan 13, 2013
    CS2 is plenty usable in the modern world :). You could grab a logitech mouse/KB combo for pretty cheap.
  8. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    You probably don't need any more than 4GB of RAM. Most machines in period had 2GB or less. Even when messing around in Photoshop CS4 I'm yet to find any obvious signs of it paging to disk.

    I'd be more inclined to stick in an SSD. Mine flies with an old Intel SSD 320 installed.
  9. Hack5190, Dec 1, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015

    Hack5190 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2015
    (UTC-05:00) Cuba
    MagicBoy's advice is spot on! After receiving a 1.8 dual cpu G5 I upgraded it w/8 GB ram and a OWC SSD. Performance of the SSD has been outstanding. Although the memory upgrade was a good move, 4 or 6 GB would have been enough.

    You can see the results of my SSD upgrade here -> http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/best-ppc-bench-test.1932604/#post-22193486

    As for Internet access TenFourFox is a great choice. Unfortunately some of us still need (want?) to use features not supported in TenFourFox. For me adding WekKit into the mix is the solution. You can read more here -> http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/flash-v19-0-0-226.1930845/#post-22124897

    TenFoxFour just released another new tool for us PowerPC users. For more info read Dronecatcher's post here -> http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/tenfourfoxbox.1941776/

    Here is snapshot of the G5 desktop - WebKit was streaming 'The Tech Guy' (video podcast) in webkit while this was taken. You can see the CPU usage and to the left (in the menu bar) is memory usage.


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