PowerPC G3 - Mac OSX Upgradeable???

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Lizola, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Lizola macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2011

    I am using a trusty old PowerPC G3, with 900MHz processor and 640MB RAM, running OSX 10.4.11.

    Its going ok, but can be a bit slow. I have been happy enough, but when researching to buy an iPOD its clear that I need to upgrade the OSX to 10.5.8 at least.

    Is it possible and worth it or would I be better off upgrading the machine and getting one with a newer version of OSX? If so, as I prefer desktop machines I'd been thinking of a G5, but I wouldn't want to upgrade again for another 10 years or so, so would want that to be a good option! I'm using it for writing, research, photos, internet, but not for design.

    Any suggestions, comments or recommendations?

    Many thanks!
  2. creator2456 macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2007
    PowerPC is dead. Not zombie dead where it still has some form of life, but buried 6ft under and decomposed dead.

    You may find a PPC Mac useful for a very short time still, but looking forward to having a useful computer for the future, at least get an Intel based machine.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    A G5 would definitely not be useful for another 10 years. I would look into intel Macs for something that will even come close to 10 years of usefulness.
  4. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    if your happy with a G3...a newer intel mac would have you screaming like a schoolgirl meeting the bieber...

    if money is a issue,maybe a powerbook could hold you over for a year or two....you could run leopard and always hook up to external monitor...also ram and harddrive upgrades are very easy with a powerbook.........look around craigs...should be able to get good spec one for $200 ish
  5. Lizola thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2011
    Thanks guys... appreciate the blunt honesty. Although am sure my PPC is a zombie as no sign of rigor mortis. Yet. Ok, I bought it used a few years ago and, hey, what can I say, I'm a simple kinda gal. Low expectations outside of word and internet. Although latter is v slow.

    Will research intel macs.

    Thanks again for taking time to reply!
  6. creator2456 macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2007
    To get the most longevity for value I would go with a Core Duo Mac Mini as the minimum. Some quick looking shows decent spec'd ones right around the $300 range.
  7. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    i agree with the core duo, but get the iMac instead of the mini , the price difference is neglectable at least here in the uk you often pay less for a iMac core duo 1.83 then you pay for a mini 1.83 core duo , and the iMac has a dedicated ati 1600 with 128 mb vram GPU instead of that old intel GMA 950 graphics with shared with memory 64-80 mb which needs to be deducted from the max 2GB ,while the iMac has the full 2 GB ram for the OS and apps , still looking at serious £300+ in working condition up to £400

    then again it all depends what you need the Mac for and what you desperately want it to do , if you really only need leopard to sync your iphone/ipod then a eMac G4 1.42 will do the trick very nicely which can be had for under £100 and if you install tenfourfox (basically firefox 4 for ppc) things like surfing for the next couple years is not a problem if you can live without watching streamed HD youtube videos ,some 720p are possible ...but happy plays 320-480p and movies stored on the HDD or from dvd listening itunes is possible to even photoshop and final cut is possible , just not the latest versions of those apps( because newer versions are intel only) just remember to upgrade to full 2 GB when running leopard
    for me the G4 1.42 ghz eMac's are the most underrated Mac's of all time and the ati 9600 with 64mb vram is quiet a good gpu considering over 5 years old
  8. Bloodstar macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    I'd say you got it flipped around in the beginning - PPC isn't utterly and completely dead, at least not G4s and G5s. I can see a PPC user getting at least a few years longer out of their machines. (And, of course, you'll get people like me who can get by on a single 1.33 G4 no problem.) I think the biggest barrier is the fact that Leopard is the last version of OS X these can run, instead of the processors. (G3s are another story...)

    ...However, the platform's passing is inevitable (as is every platform, really), and I very much agree on buying an Intel machine being a better idea. (Going that route myself soon, albeit forced... ah well.) I'd suggest getting at least a Core 2 Duo instead of merely a Core Duo, however. With the C2D, you'll be able to run Lion in the future should you need to... but a Core Duo machine will be stuck on Snow Leopard. (Personally, I'm a fan of the recent Minis... good price, and the form factor is excellent, especially considering my space constraints.)
  9. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    If its a G3, then even though its 900MHz you're not going to run any more than 10.4.11 on it. G5 PowerPC chips are still very powerful even by today's standards, but the issue isn't power, its software support. The problem is even web browsers and other software won't be coded to run on these things much longer. Flash has already stopped being written for the PowerPC chips, so thats one step towards ending life of internet use on them.
  10. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    Actually I wouldn't get anything less than a Core 2, if you want to have some future support with a system. Your post stated that PowerPC is dead, well unfortunately the Core Duo systems are reaching their End of Life with regards of support from Apple.

    The upcoming release of Lion will not support a Core Duo Mac Mini, or any other Core Duo system sadly. :(

    My suggestion would be for Lizola to look into a Core2, or Core2 Duo Mac Mini, Macbook, or MacBook Pro!
  11. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    The only problem is that Core2 systems carry a significant markup, and a Core Duo would probably provide the OP with another decades use (If their happy with a G3, and 10.6 will probably be supported for a while yet given its need to be installed before installing Lion, a Core Duo should be fine)
  12. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    I guess it depends on the market. In my area, you can find systems both core and core2 within $50 of each other on Craigslist weekly.

    If their market is similar, just waiting in the woodwork for the right system will provide a more future-proof system.
  13. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    Go with an older Intel Mini. They're cheap, reliable, compact, and pretty cool lookin.

    You'd be able to watch flash videos instead of flash slideshows.
    You'd be able to use newer software.
    You'd be able to have multiple windows/tabs open without worrying much about memory.
    You'd have much more hard drive space.
    You'd be able to watch higher resolution videos and MP4s without trouble.
  14. KurtangleTN macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2007
    Interesting post...

    On one hand I feel if you're not upgrading for 10 years you should go with a pretty nice new Intel machine.

    However the fact that you're running a G3 with no problems shows that you probably don't need the power.

    Still, I'd consider a refurbished Mac Mini. You'll get a warranty and a very nice system for $300 or so more then your typical decent G5 thats reliability isn't very pretty.
  15. adcx64 macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2008
    PowerPC is far from dead! (though the G3 is a little long in the tooth), a good G4 of G5 PPC machine with upgrades is plenty to serve as a good computer for at least a few more years!
  16. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Errrr no. 10.6 will be unsupported within a few years of 10.7. New machines will come with a 10.7 thumb drive restore most likely and won't be 10.6 compatible at all.

    Only older machines which shipped with 10.6 or lower will be required to install 10.6 first before moving to 10.7.
  17. HyperZboy macrumors 65816

    Feb 7, 2007
    Owning both Intel and PowerPC Macs, even I don't recommend upgrading a G3 anymore. While it's possible to hack/install Leopard on it, you won't be happy with the results mainly because of the memory limitations on the G3s. You really need 2GB of memory in my opinion and my G5 has 3GB and neither is technically possible on any G3 I don't think.

    My 1st recommendation would be to buy a new Intel Mac if you have the money.

    But if money is an issue, which it is for many people in this current economy, sell the G3 on Ebay, and buy a high end G4 or G5. Look for one that's tricked out, upgraded graphics card, lots of memory, bigger hard drive. It would still probably be a bargain and you to keep all your current software running without having to buy lots of new stuff. Then use Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper to transfer all your programs/files on the new Mac via a Firewire cable in Target Disk Mode and you're good to go with little investment involved.

    A high end tricked out G5 can easily outperform several early versions of the Intel Mac Mini and possibly be less costly.

    Down the road though, if you intend to buy new apps, the cheapest Intel would be a better long term route.

    By the way, for those making jokes about PowerPC being dead...

    Last I checked, the XBOX still runs on a PowerPC chip. However, software wise on the Mac, see my post about SAFARI possibly going Intel only. The software future for PowerPC is bleak. Mozilla has dropped Firefox support even now (although TenFourFox has been updated to Firefox 5 surprisingly).

    While I have purchased Intel Macs, I've not yet trashed any of my G4's or G5s as of yet. I got rid of all my G3's several years ago even though they were still working fine. Leopard just wouldn't work well on them, way too slow so that's my advice.
  18. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Actually it isn't. The only 'G3' macs running Leopard have had aftermarket G4 upgrades.
  19. HyperZboy macrumors 65816

    Feb 7, 2007
    I think I once had Leopard running on maybe 1 G3, I can't remember if it was a G4 upgrade or not, it was not pretty though and virtually unusable.

    I also had Tiger running on old Beige G3s using XpostFacto.

    I even had Tiger running on a Performa 6500 as well!

    Now the last one was REALLY TOUGH to pull off! LOL

    I'm not sure, but I think that machine still boots into Tiger!

    The Performa was kinda a neat machine. The only problem is Jonathan Ive didn't design it and it looked boring among all other boring desktops and was crippled on so many levels compared to PC's at the time.

    The amazing part of the 6500 is that I think it's the last Mac that had the capability to run Apple ][ software AND later run Tiger! :D
  20. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    You must have done. Leopard requires Altivec which is only present in G4s and G5s. That's not a restriction which you can bypass, either.
  21. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    One of the developer previews for Leopard was G3 capable. To get the retail Leopard to work you have to modify lots of kexts and use a few files from the DP. If I remember correctly, the hack only worked up to 10.5.3 and it was very slow.
  22. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Interesting, thanks for the heads up :)

Share This Page