The $3 Power Mac G5 project

jm764

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 9, 2017
3
1
Hi my name is Jason, and I got the insanely lucky opportunity to pick up an ram/hdd-less and untested dual 2.7 ghz G5 Power Mac for only $3 from a Goodwill Computer Works that was about to send it off to be scrapped.

Too make a long story short, one PRAM zapping, SMU reset, a 250gb sata hdd, and 4x1gb of DDR1 ram later, and the "Silver Beast" roared back to life! :p

So now it's currently running MacOS Tiger (10.4.11) and Leopard (10.5.8) and the rest of the system is stock with a Radeon 9650 as the gpu.

So I am wondering what kind of repairs/upgrades will I can do to max this machine out. My main plan is to use it mostly for legacy mac software and game support, but possibly a Mac file server for my Power PC G3 (Beige) and G4 (iBook) laptop.


So I wish to know the following before I can continue with this project of mine.


1. Can I replace the front panel board with one from a "Late G5"? Aside from the power button, all 3 ports in the front are corroded and inoperable so it will need to be replaced.
(Answered: NO only "Early 2005" or earlier panel boards will work.)

2. Can it run MacOS Jaguar (10.2.8) and Panther (10.3.9)?
I know the earlier G5 models shipped with these OS's (though 10.2.7 was a special build for the 1st gen G5's) but if possible I would love to have them all on this machine along with MacOS 9.2.2 "Classic Mode" so I can retire the Old G3 (Beige) I have for running 9.2.2 and 10.2.8

(Answered: "YES native 10.3.9 support with this system. NO native 10.2.8 support with 970FX CPUs, but possible build modification can be done.)

3. What is the fastest "overall" gpu I can upgrade too?
If question 2 is true then I assume the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition is the fastest to work with all 5 MacOS versions, if not I was planning to get a Radeon X800 XT or a Geforce 6800 GT instead.

(Answered: 9800 Pro- Best compatibility and native macOS 10.2.8 (with 970FX modified patch) support, X800 XT- Best Value, 6800 GT- Best Performance but most expensive)

4. It seems the Liquid Cooler leaked at one point, but has "sealed" itself up, but should I worry about it leaking again if I put this machine back in to regular use. Also do these need to be refilled/serviced or are they closed loop? (I'll upload a pic of it later.)
Images on my google drive of the case and LC pump damage:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1aruORxgBQEvkz9NYq2keKMhdpr6AZ1uU?usp=sharing

5. Is there a solution to wash/remove the corrosion from the case panel with out further damaging the finish look it has?

6. (Minor) TenFourFox and HD video playback seems quite a bit slow, I assume due to cpu limitation, but I've seen other post around the net saying that the Dual 2.7 ghz model should handle this just fine. I have a pc for all this anyway, but just curious to see if it's my machine only or just a limitation of the specs.

7. (Minor) Does any one have a link to download the Q Emulator (Power Mac QEMU port) version Q-0.9.1d118 beta? I wanted to run some older windows emulation on here, but only the Q-0.9.0a89 version seems to be avalible now that the creators site is down.

If anyone has an solutions to these problems let me know!

-Jason M.
 
Last edited:

Lastic

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2016
826
683
North of the HellHole
Hi my name is Jason, and I got the insanely lucky opportunity to pick up an ram/hdd-less and untested dual 2.7 ghz G5 Power Mac for only $3 from a Goodwill Computer Works that was about to send it off to be scrapped.

6. (Minor) TenFourFox and HD video playback seems quite a bit slow, I assume due to cpu limitation, but I've seen other post around the net saying that the Dual 2.7 ghz model should handle this just fine. I have a pc for all this anyway, but just curious to see if it's my machine only or just a limitation of the specs.

7. (Minor) Does any one have a link to download the Q Emulator (Power Mac QEMU port) version Q-0.9.1d118 beta? I wanted to run some older windows emulation on here, but only the Q-0.9.0a89 version seems to be avalible now that the creators site is down.

If anyone has an solutions to these problems let me know!

-Jason M.
6. What kind of video playback , which site ? Youtube ? do a search for ClickToPlugin and you will find your answer

7. For Leopard I'm using qemu 2.2.0 from CLI , installed via Macports 2.3.4 (which needs Xcode)

==Xcode=======================================================

xcode311_9m2517_developerdvd (24 July 2008 ) or a later Xcode version
downloadable from developer.apple.com
This is a 2 GB install !

==Macports======================================================

Download Macports for OS X 10.5.8 by clicking on the link saying Leopard hereunder

https://distfiles.macports.org/MacPorts/MacPorts-2.3.4-10.5-Leopard.dmg <== Macports 2.3.4

sudo port install git
(installs python 2.7 )

==INSTALL OLDER QEMU 2.2.0==========================================

cd ~
mkdir macports
cd macport
git clone --single-branch https://github.com/macports/macports-ports.git
cd macports-ports/
git checkout b05540d8c997bb4909166ba47f87222c415d8dcd
cd emulators/qemu
sudo port install

If you however wish to resort to the older GUI QEMU , I found it here

https://q-emulator.en.uptodown.com/mac/download

, indeed the author's site is gone and even via the waybackmachine I couldn't get to the download page anymore

Another way to run a Windows VM is using Microsoft VirtualPC6 or VPC7 but it only emulates a Pentium 3, whereas with QEMU you can specify a different machinetype .
 
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KawaiiAurora

macrumors 6502
Dec 16, 2016
307
189
Europa
Some answers to the questions I can help with

2) Forget native OS 9 booting, that only works on G3s and early to mid G4 (and earlier Macs obviously). The Mac OS 9 for unsupported machines images don't work either because they only (partially) function on late G4 machines. About OS X 10.2, forget it. A user on these forums (@LightBulbFun I think) was able to boot OS X 10.3.9 on a PowerMac G5 that isn't supported by Panther so maybe he could help you with your quest.

As an alternative to native OS 9, there's Classic Mode for OS X which works well with some programs and there's SheepShaver/Basilisk II which should run fine on your machine!

3) What GPU does your machine currently have? It's not worthit to spend too much on a GPU since most applications (unless you're into graphics I think) won't use all the power of the fastest GPUs available such as the Quadro 4500FX and Geforce GT 6800. I wouldn't recommend spending too much unless your machine has a Geforce 5200 (real bad choice with a 2.7GHz DP machine :/ ) You could also flash some cards but I'm not sure about flashing PCI-X ones (DP 2.7GHz machines don't have PCIe)

6) I personally prefer Leopard Webkit on PowerPC Macs for browsing. It's quite fast even on a 1GHz G4 (with 1MB L3 cache) and 360p YouTube plays fine so your machine should have no problem decoding 720p YouTube. That being said, TFF's performance is getting better! On Tiger, TFF is probably the best although OmniWeb/TenFourKit aren't horrible.

7) There's a disk image of Q floating somewhere on MacintoshGarden although I don't see the point of using a PowerPC to emulate x86. Use DosBox if you wish to play old games. Virtual PC 7 is hit and miss in terms of game compatibility.

Awesome machine you got there! We would love some pics of the front cover and the inside so the G5 lovers could determine the best course of action for your machine.
 
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AphoticD

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2017
1,968
2,606
Australia
Hi Jason, welcome to the forums. Great score! It's always satisfying to bring an old Mac back to life when it would have otherwise been landfill.

1. Can I replace the front panel board with one from a "Late G5"? Aside from the power button, all 3 ports in the front are corroded and inoperable so it will need to be replaced.
They aren't compatible. The late 2005 model uses a completely different logic board design with a very different front panel connector. I believe you'll be able to use ANY other G5 front panel board except for the late '05 in your dual 2.7.

2. Can it run MacOS Jaguar (10.2.8) and Panther (10.3.9)?
I know the earlier G5 models shipped with these OS's (though 10.2.7 was a special build for the 1st gen G5's) but if possible I would love to have them all on this machine along with MacOS 9.2.2 "Classic Mode" so I can retire the Old G3 (Beige) I have for running 9.2.2 and 10.2.8
It looks like the earliest officially supported OS for this model was 10.4. Other regulars on the forum like @LightBulbFun like to push beyond these kind of restrictions though, so perhaps there is a way to teach your Dual 2.7 to use an older OS. Unfortunately it will never run Mac OS 9 natively.

3. What is the fastest "overall" gpu I can upgrade too?
If question 2 is true then I assume the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition is the fastest to work with all 5 MacOS versions, if not I was planning to get a Radeon X800 XT or a Geforce 6800 GT instead.
If you want to max it out, go for the GeForce 6800 GT. It's a great (monster of a) card. I have one installed in my Dual 2.0 first-gen G5 and there aren't many apps or games that can cause it to suffer. I had the 9800 Pro (256MB) Mac Special Edition in this G5 previously for many years and I found it always ran hot and whiny. IMO the 9800 wasn't adequately cooled and for the most part, it was only slightly better than the 9600 (or 9650). My 9800 card ultimately died from heat exhaustion.

4. It seems the Liquid Cooler leaked at one point, but has "sealed" itself up, but should I worry about it leaking again if I put this machine back in to regular use. Also do these need to be refilled/serviced or are they closed loop? (I'll upload a pic of it later.)
You've committed enough time and money into this mac to warrant giving the LCS a major service/overhaul. There are many guides online for this. Left without service, it could easily develop a major leak and ruin the logic board and/or PSU.
 

LightBulbFun

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2013
2,333
2,287
London UK
Hi my name is Jason, and I got the insanely lucky opportunity to pick up an ram/hdd-less and untested dual 2.7 ghz G5 Power Mac for only $3 from a Goodwill Computer Works that was about to send it off to be scrapped.

Too make a long story short, one PRAM zapping, SMU reset, a 250gb sata hdd, and 4x1gb of DDR1 ram later, and the "Silver Beast" roared back to life! :p

So now it's currently running MacOS Tiger (10.4.11) and Leopard (10.5.8) and the rest of the system is stock with a Radeon 9650 as the gpu.

So I am wondering what kind of repairs/upgrades will I can do to max this machine out. My main plan is to use it mostly for legacy mac software and game support, but possibly a Mac file server for my Power PC G3 (Beige) and G4 (iBook) laptop.


So I wish to know the following before I can continue with this project of mine.


1. Can I replace the front panel board with one from a "Late G5"? Aside from the power button, all 3 ports in the front are corroded and inoperable so it will need to be replaced.

2. Can it run MacOS Jaguar (10.2.8) and Panther (10.3.9)?
I know the earlier G5 models shipped with these OS's (though 10.2.7 was a special build for the 1st gen G5's) but if possible I would love to have them all on this machine along with MacOS 9.2.2 "Classic Mode" so I can retire the Old G3 (Beige) I have for running 9.2.2 and 10.2.8

3. What is the fastest "overall" gpu I can upgrade too?
If question 2 is true then I assume the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition is the fastest to work with all 5 MacOS versions, if not I was planning to get a Radeon X800 XT or a Geforce 6800 GT instead.

4. It seems the Liquid Cooler leaked at one point, but has "sealed" itself up, but should I worry about it leaking again if I put this machine back in to regular use. Also do these need to be refilled/serviced or are they closed loop? (I'll upload a pic of it later.)

5. Is there a solution to wash/remove the corrosion from the case panel with out further damaging the finish look it has?

6. (Minor) TenFourFox and HD video playback seems quite a bit slow, I assume due to cpu limitation, but I've seen other post around the net saying that the Dual 2.7 ghz model should handle this just fine. I have a pc for all this anyway, but just curious to see if it's my machine only or just a limitation of the specs.

7. (Minor) Does any one have a link to download the Q Emulator (Power Mac QEMU port) version Q-0.9.1d118 beta? I wanted to run some older windows emulation on here, but only the Q-0.9.0a89 version seems to be avalible now that the creators site is down.

If anyone has an solutions to these problems let me know!

-Jason M.
Welcome to the forum :)

G5s are fun machines I own 3 my self including a 2.7Ghz one :)

now onto your questions. :)

when you say Late G5 do you mean Late 2005 G5? if so sadly the front panel board from one does not look to be compatible with your early 2005 G5

in regards to running 10.2.8, since you have a 2.7Ghz G5, it will have 970FX CPUs which are not compatible with the special G5 build of Jag, but you can run the special build of 10.2.7/10.2.8 for the 2003 G5s on 2004 (and probably 2005) PowerMac7,3 G5s if they have just plain old 970 CPUs (I have done this my self in-fact, only downside is the OS does not properly acquire fan control over the machine so the fans ramp to max)

upload_2017-12-10_14-19-1.png


I am however working on getting 10.2.8 booting on 970FXs I know the patch I need to apply to the source code of the Kernel I just have to figure out how to setup a build environment for the 10.2.8 kernel and compile, or alternatively figure out how to retroactively patch a stock already compiled kernel

you can however run 10.3.9 with no issues on your 2.7Ghz G5, as AphoticD says you cant run 9.2.2 natively on a G5 but it will run fine in classic mode :)

in regards to a GPU for the machine, the fastest GPU you can fit that machine would be an ATI Radeon X850 XT, this GPU is only compatible officially with 10.4.x and 10.5.x (it might be 10.3.9 friendly but ill have to test that) however Genuine Mac Apple X850 XTs are VERY Rare beasts, so you might be better off finding an X800 XT Mac edition or finding a FireGL X3 and flashing that with the X800 XT ROM, the X800 XT has the same specs as the X850 XT it is just clocked a bit slower (and the X800 XT is officially compatible with 10.3.9 :) ) but if retaining 10.2.8 compatibility is the goal then indeed a 9800 Pro is the fastest GPU for it.

if your LCS has been leaking, then rebuild that ASAP before it leaks even more, plus running the system with less coolant then its designed for can be bad for it, indeed do post pictures of it here, BTW it is completely possible to fit the heatsinks from an air cooled model into your 2.7 G5 several members here have done so to replace bad or troublesome Liquid cooling systems, (luckily my 2.7 G5 has the much Rarer but much more reliable Panasonic made LCS :) )

I hope this helps you get your G5 running smoothly :)
 

jm764

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 9, 2017
3
1
Thank you for the responses so far everyone, it's really helpful. :D

1. Darn, well guess I'll have to hunt down a "Early" FPB then, last one I saw used on Ebay was $70 USD. -_-;

in regards to running 10.2.8, since you have a 2.7Ghz G5, it will have 970FX CPUs which are not compatible with the special G5 build of Jag, but you can run the special build of 10.2.7/10.2.8 for the 2003 G5s on 2004 (and probably 2005) PowerMac7,3 G5s if they have just plain old 970 CPUs (I have done this my self in-fact, only downside is the OS does not properly acquire fan control over the machine so the fans ramp to max)
...​
I am however working on getting 10.2.8 booting on 970FXs I know the patch I need to apply to the source code of the Kernel I just have to figure out how to setup a build environment for the 10.2.8 kernel and compile, or alternatively figure out how to retroactively patch a stock already compiled kernel

you can however run 10.3.9 with no issues on your 2.7Ghz G5, as AphoticD says you cant run 9.2.2 natively on a G5 but it will run fine in classic mode :)
2. Ok, Well if you have any instructions on how you made it work on yours I wouldn't mind patching it manually myself. If not then I'll just wait till you can hopefully build a version that works for us. ;)

3. Alright, oh by the way my current gpu is the Radeon 9650 (256mb). There's actually a bid on a X800 XT 256mb Mac Edition for just $60 ending today, but sadly I broke the bank this month with some other pc tech upgrades so guess I'll just keep looking. ;w;
If anyone knows of any cheap PC AGP cards I can flash WITHOUT having to resoldering ANY chips on them let me know.

4. I updated the post to add a link to my pics of the pump and corrosion. TBH, it doesn't look too bad, just a lot of crystallization around the top cpu pump connection, and I saw maybe 5 drops of liquid that looks to have dried for years. So I'm not too worried at least for now though I'll keep tabs on it.

6. Ok, I'll have to try those out then. Oddly I've had better luck with TFF on Leopard than Tiger as it crashes the entire system at least with my install it seems.

7. Eh it's just for fun really, I already use Virtualbox or my actual Win98 - XP era machines if I need too, just wanted to see how well it could handle it.
 

ctmpkmlec4

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2014
373
36
Lyons, KS
5. You can try using vinegar to remove the corrosion. You’ll need to let the vinegar remain on the corroded portions for a period of time in order for it to work. If removal of corroded components is difficult for you, you’ll need to figure out how to protect the power supply, logic board, etc. You’ll be left with clean metal, but any anodized coating will have been eaten away by the corrosion and subsequent vinegar wash. Truthfully, I wouldn’t attempt this unless you’re willing to remove the corroded parts from the case. As you may or may not know, these G5’s are a challenge to disssemble.
 
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RhianB

macrumors 68000
Sep 3, 2016
1,529
2,180
505 USA
A home made paste of baking soda and water might work. Yanno it's pasty, not wet & runny, so put some on and scrub with a tooth brush, let dry and wipe off. Might require a few passes but is what I use on mild to moderate corrosion on electrical bits, old battery terminals etc.

I've also used WD-40 to remove rust on a car but never on a computer before lol :D

Good luck.
 

AphoticD

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2017
1,968
2,606
Australia
A home made paste of baking soda and water might work. Yanno it's pasty, not wet & runny, so put some on and scrub with a tooth brush, let dry and wipe off. Might require a few passes but is what I use on mild to moderate corrosion on electrical bits, old battery terminals etc.

I've also used WD-40 to remove rust on a car but never on a computer before lol :D

Good luck.
I've used WD-40 and a scouring pad to clean up rust from the internal dividing plates and PSU casing in my G5s, but haven't had any rust on the exterior to deal with.
 
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