Using an iMac G3 in 2014?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MacsChampion, May 31, 2014.

  1. MacsChampion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    #1
    So basically, someone I know is moving away to another country and told me he will give his iMac G3 to me for a price (he's a former trader). I have always loved the iMac G3 but never managed to own one. I cannot even recall the last time I used one.

    After much researching, I would like to ask, is it worth buying that machine? Note that I do not know which exact model it is so not sure about speed, and I also don't know which OS would be on it.

    The thing is, I have always been in love with that Mac, so I would love to own one right now. First of all, that machine might be the 233MHz one or the 700MHz one - I don't know.

    Therefore, I'd like suggestions: from which model/clock speed onwards do you recommend it to run OS X Tiger with ease, and which with Leopard? Which model would be too slow?

    Also how is Debian on the iMac G3? Does it work happily and has the drivers and stuff? I am interested in Debian Wheezy since it is a brand new, 2013 operating system that can work on that iMac.

    Also, are there any upgrades available, like G4 cards? Anything else to make it more modern?

    Thanks. :D
     
  2. harrymatic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    Tiger is the last OS that will run on any G3 - but really you want 500+ MHz and all the RAM you can get for it to run smoothly. There was once a G4 upgrade, but it has long since disappeared.

    iMac G3s are worth very little unless it's one of the unusual ones like the 'Flower Power' or 'Blue Dalmation'. That said, when it comes to classic design, you really can't get any more classic than the iMac. I've been to quite a few design museums and I've never not seen one :rolleyes: If the price is low, then by all means pick it up but keep in mind that the clock is ticking for every G3 iMac - they nearly all die from a bad PAV board eventually.
     
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    If you are in Denmark, or close by and don't mind picking them up, I have 2 standing you can have for free.

    That being said, they are now so old that you can only run older versions of OSX (And only with loads of RAM), and therefore they are only really useable for word processors. Internet is somewhat useable, but you can't run Java or newer rendering engines for instance.
     
  4. robertdsc macrumors regular

    robertdsc

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    #4
    You could run Panther on it and use it for a music station with iTunes.
     
  5. photoj2754 macrumors 6502

    photoj2754

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Akron
    #5
    I just tweaked out a G3 graphite imac with latest Tiger OS, maxed out ram and installed an air card (which I found and bought with the adapter at a company having a sale for $51 bucks) and found the original keyboard and mouse on ebay for $30 and it is a thing of beauty. I'm running Photoshop CS3 and Photo Mechanic on it and it moves along nicely speed-wise. I am using Safari as my browser and that can be a bit slow at times but overall I really love the little bugger. Just a nice computer overall.
     
  6. gooser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #6
    i have a 600mhz one that i use several times a week using os 9. i run itunes (machine is completely silent), a few old games, appleworks, a couple of old accounting programs, and slideshows. i store my data on an external firewire hard drive. i do not have the internet hooked up to it. it will also boot up into os x but i never go there. nostalgia thing i guess. it sits next to a more modern laptop that i use for internet.
     
  7. benvw99 macrumors member

    benvw99

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Location:
    Selby, SD
    #7
    I set up my blueberry slot loader for my grandma. She's a windows user but I have convinced her to try the imac. She absolutely loves it, and she's replacing her dell optiplex with it.

    Just need to pick up an airport caddy and she will be wireless (it's wired at the moment).
     
  8. Intelligent macrumors 6502a

    Intelligent

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    #8

    Why did you give her an iMac G3? A better computer would be better :D.
    Funny thing is, my grandma has the latest Macbook Pro Retina 15" Maxed out. Now she might not need that good of a computer but atleast an intel from 2006?
     
  9. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #9
    If it's a later model (500 MHz or above) with maxed out memory, it might be good as a backup machine or maybe (very) light regular usage; it could probably browse the web to a respectable degree still.

    Anything older then that? At least under OS X, they're not much good for anything but playing music/movies, older games or doing light office work. I had a 333 MHz model running Panther; If it had had the maximum amount of RAM installed, it might have been a more tolerable experience but as I had it, it was doggedly slow, and almost no modern software was compatible with it even at the time (four or five years ago).

    But, to each their own; these early G3 machines still have uses and purpose, they just don't serve mine any longer unfortunately. :(
     
  10. benvw99 macrumors member

    benvw99

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Location:
    Selby, SD
    #10
    Jeez I forget the MHz on it.

    I thought she would like it cause she said that she only needs it for word processing, email, and light web browsing. And the occasional picture download with iPhoto. I know that there are better programs than iPhoto, but she only needs to have them saved on the computer, so I didn bother to get a different one for her.
     
  11. MacsChampion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    #11
    Thanks for the replies everyone! :D

    @harrymatic and T'hain Esh Kelch : How much RAM would you recommend? Also what about the clock speed?

    Looking at the rest of the replies, I guess many of you think I should not take it if it is 333 MHz or lower?

    How about Linux? Debian Wheezy is new and is supported, so I guess modern software will work on it. If any of you have had experience with Debian on iMac G3, how was it? What's the recommended RAM and CPU?
     
  12. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #12

    A 333 MHz is pretty low. Ideally a 400 MHz would be better. Just max the RAM and it'll be okay if given a good hard drive running at least 5400 RPM!
     
  13. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #13
    The problem is, these old things are practically unusable for todays internet and websites ...

    Did I ever mention Flash and other multimedia type content?
     
  14. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #14
    That's what I do with mine, except that I have Tiger on it. It's actually a decent way to keep them useful and reduce load off other machines.
     
  15. rjcalifornia macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

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    Oct 4, 2012
    Location:
    El Salvador
    #15
    Try Debian. You can also try MintPPC.
     
  16. MacsChampion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    #16
    @opeter Using a few hacks, it is possible to run Flash on Windows 95, so why not on a iMac G3? And by the way, since Debian Wheezy is a new OS it will most likely be able to run Flash.
     
  17. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #17
    Run OS 9. Use Classilla for browsing the web and enjoy all of the abandonware for OS 9. I love OS 9 anymore since Classilla came about.
     
  18. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #18
    Just because it can run doesn't mean it will run well. Flash on that G3 would be next to unusable; it simply does not have the processing power to run it.
     
  19. BJonson macrumors 6502a

    BJonson

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #19
    What is funny is I am doing that with my Power Mac 9600 and I find that most of the time IE 5 displays the web page better than Classilla. Classilla won't even display macrumors correctly but IE 5 does a pretty good job of it.
     
  20. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #20
    By default Classilla renders most sites in their mobile format as they are designed for the less powerful mobile systems.
     
  21. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #21
    I may be wrong, but Classilla tries to display the web page as a mobile page first!
     
  22. BJonson macrumors 6502a

    BJonson

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #22
    Yep. That was the problem. Works much better now. Thanks.
     
  23. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #23
    Was it a preference option you could change? Sorry to say, but I am a bit too young to really have used OS 9. In fact I only really started getting into Macs in 2010 or 2011.
     
  24. BJonson macrumors 6502a

    BJonson

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #24

    Yep. I changed the User Agent from Nokia N90 to IE 9 and it looks perfect now. Wierd that would be the default setting.
     
  25. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #25
    I don't even know what a Nokia N90 is. Personally, I use a iOS 4.2.1 Safari User Agent on my PowerMac running Leopard!
     

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