PowerMac G4 500MHz: Making it useful

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ltcol266845, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. ltcol266845 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Elgin, IL
    #1
    Hey all.

    A friend of mine was just given an old 500MHz G4 PowerMac and I want to try and make it useful for him..

    It has:
    - 640MB of RAM
    - 27GB HDD
    - OS X Panther (10.3)

    Here is what I want to put in:
    - Thinking of getting a total of 4 512MB sticks of RAM for a total of 2GB. One question here is if I can buy PC133 RAM (easier to find, might even have some at home) and if the computer would just down clock the RAM to the system bus of PC100 (which is harder to find RAM).
    - I have an extra 120GB drive from back in the day that is at least surely way faster than the 27GB that is in the system now.
    - I also am thinking of putting OS X Tiger (10.4) on there as well to give him a more modern OS, with the iLife '08 (or maybe '06 if I can find it) suite, since he wants to mostly use the system for GarageBand.

    So my biggest question aside from the RAM mentioned above, is Tiger and iLife going to be too much for the system? Is it all worth it?

    Thanks for the input!

    PS - this is my first time working with a non-Intel Mac! Woo!
     
  2. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #2
    The memory and hard drive will definitely help out out. Make sure the memory is low-density though. Try finding iLife '05 or something because some of the Apps on '08 won't work. A dual 500mhz machine would handle that very well but I don't really know about the single, so it might be a little bit slow. If you install Tiger, Disable the Dashboard to free up CPU usage.
     
  3. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    Don't put a hard drive that's larger then 128 GB in it, because it will only recognize 120 GB, and I'm pretty sure that it has to be an ATA drive, not SATA.

    Don
     
  4. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #4
    Yeah his 120gb will be fine, anything larger will cap at 128gb. You can always install a PCI SATA card or IDE/ATA controller card to remove that limit. Preferably a SATA card if you want to use larger, faster and cheaper hard drives ;).
     
  5. ltcol266845 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Elgin, IL
    #5
    Its a ATA drive. Didn't know about the 128GB limit, thanks!

    Anyone know about the memory speeds? Will I HAVE to buy PC100 or will PC133 slow down to PC100 Speeds?
     
  6. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #6
    PC133 will work fine. Just make sure its 512mb sticks.

    Tiger will work fine on that machine. No need to go down to panther. The other big upgrade you can do on that machine is the video card. Not really sure whats in there now, or how big of a monitor it'll be running. Its most likely a Rage 128 which doesn't support Quartz Extreme or Core Image.

    iLife will run, but I wouldn't expect it to run great. Iphoto should be fine, but the video editing apps and garageband will be painfully slow
     
  7. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    Yes, PC133 is backwards compatible with PC100. I agree with CubeHacker, iPhoto will run fine, but your friend will want to kill himself while using iMovie and GargeBand. I would also try to get a better video card in the PowerMac. I'm not sure of which ones are compatible with it, but you have to use a Mac specific one with it.

    Don
     
  8. Coalman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #8
    Tiger should be fine. I had a Sawtooth over the years. I upgraded the processor to a 1.2 ghz G4, the graphics card to a Radeon 8500.

    iLife might be a bit more than its 500 mhz processor can handle.

    They are fun machines to tinker with and upgrade, and there are a lot of upgrade options. Having said that, I would not spend much money on upgrades. I now have a fully upgraded Sawtooth sitting on the floor of my daughter's closet. For what it would cost to upgrade your friend's to match mine, you could get a decent intel mini.
     
  9. ltcol266845 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Elgin, IL
    #9
    Exactly, which is why I'm not putting anything in that I don't have laying around in old computers.. He is planning on buying a MacMini if/when they are updated, this is just to tie him over for a while. I guess he will probably just have to stick to Audacity for recording... I suppose Tiger might still be worth throwing in...

    Thanks for the info! funny this machine used to be $3500 8 years ago :)
     

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