Upgrade PowerPC Mac G5 to Intel?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by guyinrubbersuit, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. guyinrubbersuit macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2009
    Is there a way to upgrade my PowerPC Mac G5 to an Intel chipset? Replacing the mother board? Or is the architecture between the PowerPC and x86 chips so great that it would be impossible? I enjoy my current Mac, but unfortunately the new Mac Pros are expensive and I don't really have the funds for them. I do a lot of things on the PC side and rather than having two different computers I'd rather have the best of both worlds.

    So is there any possible way or would I just be better off saving my money for a new Mac Pro?
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Buy a Mac Pro. It is really impossible otherwise.
  3. guyinrubbersuit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2009

    Is that due to just how different the hardware is?
  4. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    Let me put it this way... it's impossible. Short of replacing the entire insides of a Power Mac G5 it really wont work. An Intel processor will both not fit and will also not work. The "language" the processor speaks is not the same. It's like taking an average American and plopping them in the heart of Japan and expecting them to be able to hold a conversation with a purely Japanese speaking person. Basically, sell the Power Mac G5 after saving up and buy a Mac Pro.
  5. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Well, that and Apple doesn't sell the parts to upgrade existing PCs. You could upgrade the motherboard to an Intel motherboard, and add an Intel CPU... then you'd need new RAM, and a new video card...

    You could buy the parts and install them in your G5 case, but then you've really just built a Hackintosh inside a genuine PowerMac case. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you're aware of the limitations.
  6. dezign macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2009
    like notjustjay said ...
    "... Apple doesn't sell the parts to upgrade existing PCs."

    Why? Because they would lose a sale of a complete new machine ... they get more $ that way
  7. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    May I ask how you come by this thread to resurrect it? Is there some www cult necroposting around the web?
    It wasn't even a heated discussion that needed further posts.

    I'm just killing cats here I suppose.
  8. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    You could always Hackintosh it. :)

    Oops, just noticed it's an old thread :eek:
  9. lilfoot2000 macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2010
    upgrading an original g5.

    theres got to be a way. selling my cpu is not an option!!! isn't there somthing??
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You already got your answer in the other thread you started on this topic. No, you can NOT put an Intel processor in your G5.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Yes, buying a new computer.

    The chipsets are completely different, the logic board is completely different. The firmware is completely different. There's absolutely no way to turn a PPC based computer into an intel computer, short of replacing the logic board, and probably the expansion cards (because they'll not be compatible at this point. You'll in the end need to replace most of the innards of the G5 so again you'll be better off buying a new one.
  12. dezign macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2009
    yeah - I found it thru "Google" -- there are still MANY of these PPC boxes and it is a BIG cost to some people to upgrade (never mind the environmental impact of throwing away perfectly good high-end hardware - especially since it's only the mobo/CPU) -- I was looking for a way to upgrade a G5 Mac (dual core PPC) someone gave me from the 90+ they had that were obsoleted from the PPC - Intel switchover. The truth is that, if it was a PC, it would be extremely easy, just buy any range of new mobos & CPUs from any number of 3rd party vendors - but since it's a Mac, it seems it's impossible ... so I'm just installing Snow Leopard on a separate drive on my Win7 x64 Quad Core 2 PC box, a hackintosh to run few Apple apps that I use occasionally that don't run on a PC (p.s. - I hope you aren't really killing cats or dogs or panda bears, or any other small furry animals ... if you are, I'm hoping you end up in a hungry lion's cage so the tables will be turned ...)
  13. bamaworks macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Lexington, KY
    This thread has alligator blood, it just won't die.
  14. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
  15. dezign macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2009
    The chipset & firmware are attached to the logic (main/mother)board along with the CPU ... you make it sound like many separate pieces need to be changed ... it's a matter of changing 1 thing ... (something unfortunately which is not made available by the manufacturer) - it's a 25 minute job to change it.

    Also, the expansion cards are generally just PCI cards ... the same as used in a PC or other Macs & Linux boxes with PCI slots ... Apple standarized on these a while ago switching from SCSI & other proprietary formats. Even the hard drives are standard SATA drives, just formatted with HFS+ Mac format instead of the NTFS "PC" format, or Linux ext3 file system.

    I just like the truth to be known for the next person that finds this thread on Google ... Okay I'll let it die -- like my Mac G5 dual-core PPC ...

    this topic also it seems to also be discussed here ...
  16. NecroLex macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2012
    another thing

    If you plan on revising your PG4/5 to use Intel, there are options (albeit probably equivalent of new purchase):

    acquire logic board of Intel Mac Pro unit--there are hack/repair shops that make these available on swap defect for working board basis (an acquisition is higher priced)

    acquire power supply of Intel Mac Pro to swap for PG5 PSU.

    Just for kicks be sure to use the right pci-x or pci-e accessories, vid or sound and airports. these extras can also be found as upgrades or second-market.

  17. hwojtek macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    Poznan, Poland
    Congratulations on digging a 2-year old thread out of a grave.
    By the way, the Mac Pro motherboard does not fit the G5 case.
  18. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    THIS, it's like people saying you can upgrade a G4 Mini to an Intel Mini - by ripping out every single component, drilling holes through the case trying to make things fit, by the end of it you've got a totally new computer inside and a mutilated case. Yeah, I can also convert my old Ford to a Ferrari - if I replaced every single part, panel by panel and then it'd still be a nasty chop job. And certainly not a Ferrari.
  19. dsours macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2012
    Slightly different Reason

    I too would like to upgrade to my PPC to an intel chip but for an entirely different reason. I really like my "table lamp" iMac stylistically, I really believe is is a classic design and would like to take the guts from a Mac mini and totally replace the guts of my PPC. I would need to hook up the DVD drive and the screen. While I know anything is possible, is this a reasonable task for the untalented?
  20. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    No, not for the untalented.

    If you had a few computers to practice on (both "table lamp" and mini), that you were willing to discard on failure, you could eventually gain the experience and skill, but it seems like a potentially expensive proposition.
  21. dsours macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2012
    So this is not something somebody else has done and could supply instructios and pictures?
  22. hwojtek macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    Poznan, Poland
    Quite a different story. There is a LOT of space in a G4 iMac to fit a Mac Mini inside.
  23. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Is there a way to upgrade my PowerPC Mac G5 to an Intel chipset?"

    Simple, direct answer:
    No way, no how.
    Not possible.

    If you want Intel, you have to _buy_ Intel Mac. There is no "conversion path" upwards to one.
  24. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I thought about upgrading my G4 Mini until Lion came along and killed Rosetta. Now I keep the mini around so I can ssh to it when I want to run a PPC app. Seeing this old thread come back to life, and some of the responses over the years when somebody wakes the thread up again reminded me of something from the movie Uncle Buck...


    Necrolex, John Candy has something to say to you for waking up this two year old thread...


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