Powermac G5 restoration

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mcchase, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. mcchase macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I recently picked up an old, mostly incomplete G5 tower that was going for free. I haven't bought a Mac since my old G4 back in the early 2000's and I'd like to restore this old machine for nostalgia sakes.

    As mentioned it's fairly incomplete; it's missing a hard drive, all memory, any video card, and it's optical drive - and as such, the only thing I have to identify the machine is a motherboard code (820-1592-A). I'd be really happy if someone could drop me a few details about the model of machine this is and what memory I should purchase. It would also be nice to know my options for video cards and the compatibility of modern SATA hard drives on the machine too.

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    You can better ID the machine by looking at it's serial number tag on the bottom of the inside compartment. It's grey and about the size of your little finger. G5's need at least two sticks of the same type of ram and size in order to boot. A video card isn't required, but helpful in starting one. They need one designed for a PowerPC Mac. Either an AGP card or a PCI-E card. Look at the card slots to see which kind your machine takes, it's likely a AGP. If you are looking for one, make sure that it isn't a ADC card from a G4, those are not compatible with your machine. G5's are picky with SATA 3 hard drives and it's best to avoid them when possible. They can sometimes be picky about WD SATA 2 drives that don't have their jumpers set for SATA 1 mode. They generally don't care about the optical drive and can use basically any IDE/PATA drive. You can even boot from a PATA drive on the optical bus.
     
  3. mcchase thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    #3
    Thanks Intell!

    So the serial number ends in S8J and a bit of googling tells me it's the '2.0 DP (PCI)' model. The slot looks AGP to me, and I guess it's a silly question to ask if I can re-flash a BIOS of an existing PC video card to use for graphics acceleration?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #4
    Not a silly question at all. Some PC cards can be flashed with a OpenFirmware (PowerPC Mac) BIOS. But most can only be done on a PC with the slot type of the card you want to flash. If you have some cards in mind, search around, they may be flashable. PS: Without flashing a PC card, the PowerMac may not boot or boot but not show any video output at all.
     
  5. mcchase thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    #5
    I ask because high end mac video cards on Ebay are neigh-on ludicrous price! Also I have an old 7800GS AGP card that I would like to put to good use. Thanks again, you've really been a big help!
     
  6. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816

    gavinstubbs09

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    #6
    When I bought my G5 (it's a Early 2005) the seller screwed me over and gave me a 64MB FX5200 when I should have got a 128MB R9600. The FX5200 was toast, worked but made it really hard to use. I had a 128MB FX5200 I flashed (took like 3 days and lots of trying).

    It worked fine, but I ended up buying a R9600 just for the ADC port to use my 22" Cinema Display a week later.
     

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