What Frustrates You (when working on PowerPC Macs)?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by iMacC2D, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. iMacC2D, Jun 28, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  2. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    I had these kind of feelings today when disassembling my PowerBook G4 12", yesterday I swapped LCD's and today removed optical drive and reapplied thermal paste so I have pretty much taken apart the whole machine during these two days. I have been able to fix all problems (bad LCD, nonfunctional optical drive and high temps) but still, what I have left is obsolete old machine, I'm pretty sure that even most enthusiasts wouldn't bother taking this thing apart, but I did :)
  3. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I think you pretty much summed it up in regards to the amount of enjoyment you get versus the amount of work you do.

    That's what I meant by diminishing returns elsewhere in the threads here. That's what is frustrating.

    Everything has to be right to boot and if it's not there's a lot of work in figuring out why. I have been fortunate that I have not had many issues in this regard. Last year I swapped out a single 1.8Ghz G5 logicboard/cpu for the same. Booted right up. But I didn't want to mess with processors or logicboard or heatsinks, etc. I still have no idea if it was the chip last year or the logicboard that failed. The thing is still sitting in my garage. It was worth the $60 to me to avoid all of that.

    My Quicksilver issues are of my own making. I could say screw it right now and slap in my old NVIDIA AGP card and the Sonnet 1.2 CPUs it came with and just go on because that setup works. So, I have to discount my frustration on that a bit.

    But yeah, when you're facing diminishing returns you question things. This is also what I meant by I'm getting tired. I just want it to work, not have to be coaxed to work.
  4. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    The only thing that bothers me is the noise. I mean, my MacBook Pro makes noise, but it's more like air. The G4 and G5 sound like a microwave or something, haha.
  5. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2014
    I think it all comes down to why you are maintaining them. If it's a daily driver then it can be frustrating to have to continually maintain (or repair) something you need to use. If you're doing it because you enjoy the technology then it's worth it right there. The nice thing is you can set it aside and get back to it when you feel like it.

    I bought an iBookG3 a few months ago. Wanted to try some things with it. I did those things and then it ended up sitting doing nothing. I recognized it was likely I would really use it again so I sold it Thursday for what I paid for it. I got some enjoyment out of it and then passed it along to someone else.
  6. robertdsc macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2014
    Having to pay the Mac tax to get things just the way I want them in terms of certain video or PCI cards.

    A cheapie SATA card that's available for $20 on eBay should work in any PCI-based machine, be it Windows or Mac. But instead, I have to pay $80 for a Sonnet card or go a different route via flashing. I hate that.
  7. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    I get annoyed by the disassembly procedure for the PowerBook. I could live with the 900 screws that are all different, but I always end up getting into an altercation with those plastic clips along the front edge.
  8. iMacC2D, Jun 28, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

    iMacC2D thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
  9. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    What frustrates me is, when there are symptoms that only appear randomly and then again not for a while and you can't even get a clue, what might be causing it.

    Well re SATA-cards, only, if you want the card to be bootable. I got mine (PCI-X, not bootable) with 4SATA ports for 7,-EUR.
    I got a PCIe card for a G5 for 15,-EUR (not bootable, too).
  10. Member2010 macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2013
    things that are less than optimal...

    Many things, but it boils down to two main ones:

    1. OSX's obnoxious mouse acceleration and the fact that there is no way to defeat it.

    2. The hand-holding. It seems the G5 can't do anything without a real computer's help. Want to upgrade the video card? You've gotta track down the (very short) compatibility chart and use another (regular) computer to flash the BIOS of said card if it's not already a specialty "G5-ready" card. Want to replace the power supply? Get ready to spend more than the whole computer's worth finding (and shipping) one on eBay. Want to hook up a FireWire camera or anything even remotely resembling "obscure"? Tough luck. Want to do some intermediate video editing? Not gonna happen. Want to do some web browsing? Make sure there's something comfortable nearby to lay on while you wait for it to render. Want to save on your power bill with some energy-efficient computing? RUN AWAY! Still want to buy one? Get ready to spend twice as much money for a G5 (~$75-100+) with a quarter of the capabilities of your average Craiglist-sourced computer.

    Besides those two little things, it's great! :D
  11. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    The biggest thing that frustrates me is that my local computer shops rarely stock parts for a PPC Mac.
  12. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    I only had to work very few time on PCs and I still don't get the difference between the mouse accelerations. Must be that I am just to used to it.

    A* = flashing sucks! (Though you can use a G4 to flash ATI cards for the G5, right away)
    B* = Can be tough to find one for the G5, again the G4 is in a real good position, with cheap parts or an ATX-PSU mod
    C* = I guess I had luck (though I have to say, for photo import that small photo-app in the utilities folder can recognize more cameras than iPhoto, for some strange reason).

    D* = hm, I did h.264 exports with handbrake and iMovie6 on a DC 2,3GHz G5 and 20min of DV video took me as follows:
    Handbrake preset "normal" with 2pass enabled and 2500kbit/s = 1h 10min. 0,260kWh
    iMovie6 h.264 apple preset, 2500kbit/s, PCM, high quality = 3h 20min. 0,708kWh

    I guess that is partly due, to Handbrake using both cores and also one does not know, what other stuff is activated in the iMovie-h.264-preset, because there is not much to choose from.

    E* = I know, you are exagerating a bit here, but I browse the web on an ibook G4 1,33GHz daily and though I have to wait a tiny little bit, I'd say it doesn't extend 3-5sec. with a bad site. (I don't watch movies on the web, though, only ligth youtubeing and documentaries hosted by tv channels on the net.)

    F* = it will not make you feel better, if you knew that an ibook 1,33GHz takes 13h with iMovie5 h.264 export (20min DV video, 2500kbit/s) and costs you 0,299kWh. (vs the 3h and 0,7kWh on a G5) :)
  13. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816


    Feb 17, 2013
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    G5 gets my vote!

    My 2.7 has been such a PITA for me. LCS, logic board, ugh. Some days it freezes, some days it doesn't boot, some days I get red lights on the processor, most unreliable mac I've owned unfortunately! Reliable? My MDD takes that one.
  14. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    Hi, this is offtopic but I need to know how tall is PowerMac G5, counting feet/handles. I am asking this for delivery/packaging. I read somewhere that it is 51 centimeters, I assume it counts feet/handles but it is good to be sure.

    And sorry for offtopic and possibly dumb question :)
  15. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2014
    54 cm in height x 47.47 cm in length x 20.48 cm in width
  16. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    -changing a ibooks harddrive without leaving a mark (even if it's small) when removing the bottom cover. (yes I know pop up,don't twist.)
  17. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Transferring files over USB 1. Feels like I could die of old age waiting for a large transfer to complete.
  18. jrsx macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2013
    Tacoma, Washington
    That's the easiest part for me! :eek:
  19. robertdsc macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2014
    Could you share the brand name or other relevant info? I'd like to find something like that.
  20. Cox Orange, Jul 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    BEfore you read all the long winded stuff, this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Silicon-Ima...sk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item5b011dc5f7 seems to be a real "grab or bite your as for not doing so" piece. He has more than 10, so other Macrumors users should be able to buy that, too (maybe they should wait, how it works for you ;) ) - you then only have to install the driver (link scroll down my post).

    For your Quicksilver?
    The cards I pointed you at in another thread some time ago will go for 25-30USD. To get a PCI-(X) SATA card for 5-10EUR, you have to look into Ebay from time to time or use the automatic message alert.

    Generally just every card with a SIL3124 chip works. + the driver from here http://www.drivers-download.com/en/downloadlist.php?id=72 (they also have the Mac driver for the SIL3132, I did have the latter only for a PCIe-G5).
    At current time the prices have risen a bit I see. PCI cards (35MB/s max) are still cheaper as PCI-X (60-65MB/s), though. I also try to find auctions rather than buy-it-now, because they often go for 1-10,-EUR (1,35-13,50USD).

    Here are some automatic searches you can "programme", using the alert message function by Ebay:

    The alert for buy-it-now items
    1. - at the main page enter search term "SIL3124" or "SIL3132" and select the computer category. (I don't append PCI, PCI-X or PCIe, because sometimes they are named wrong and so you might miss one. If you want to clear it out a bit, then use "PCI" AND in a SECOND run "PCI-X" or "PCIx". Some name PCI-X cards only PCI as well.)
    2. the results page builds up
    3. - check the box that says "include description" and hit search again
    4. - scroll down, at the left site set a maximum price, hit search again
    5. - look under the search buton, there is "shipping to" and a blue Zip code. Click on that blue ZIP code and change that to the US, if you use my link. Hit search again
    6. - above, about in the middle under the search field, select "only show buy-it-now"
    7. - in the same area there is in green "Follow this search", hit that and agree.
    Now Ebay will send you an alert to your private email adress and since you have set a maximum price you won't be anoyed buy multiple items showing up in the message.

    You can use this link and fit it to your needs (i.e. change to US shipping, set max. price, choose buy-it-now, maybe multiply that with different search terms and finally "follow this search") http://www.ebay.com/dsc/Computers-T...&LH_TitleDesc=1&_ipg=200&_nkw=SIL3124&_sop=15
    Oh, for easyness of comparison, for buy-it-now stuff, I sort the results by "cheapest first", the order in my link will change, once you choose US shipping.

    alert for auction-items
    - do everything the same, but instead DON'T set a maximum price, just leave tha untouched and of course choose "show onyl auctions", the of course the last step again is "follow this auction".
    If you don't want to get alerts, and rather search manually everyday, bookmark and use this link http://www.ebay.com/dsc/Computers-T...g=200&_sop=15&_nkw=SIL3124&rt=nc&LH_Auction=1 (and important set the shipping to US, you might also want to "dublicate" it by using another search term)

    without alert and a wider search term
    - reason behind this is a) you will find (odd listings, which will be) much cheaper and b) you will get 2000+ results for buy-it now (you might want to set the max. price limit here, of course, if you do not gamble on finding an auction for a bundled lot) and like 60 results for auctions, I do not set a max price here again.
    - search term: "SATA PCI" (so it will find the PCI-X ones that are often named only PCI, too). You can look at the pictures in the results overview, if it has the long golden Pin row, it is PCI-X, if you don't want to take a PCI version.
    - of course, here you would have to scan through the single results and look, if there is a SIL chip on them. (If you concentrate on only the PCI-X cards, while scrolling down and having a look at the pictures, you would not have so much single auctions you have to look for the SIL chip.)

    I found, that some people even use Serial ATA or PB3124, it was luck, that I saw them, they came up wwith the "SATA PCI" term, but where in the lower regions of the results page.

    other than SIL chips searches
    - the LSI or 3ware PCI-X cards are compatible, you have to download the driver at their page. They are often sold used. So when using the term "SATA PCI" term, your eyes to "detect" the pictures that show the typical LSI 3ware card design with the writing "AMCC PowerPC" on the chips (that doesn't mean they are for PowerPC, but that they used a PowerPC chip there, for compatibility you still have to install the driver and not all LSI/3ware cards work, I mentioned the exact series in another thread.)
    Here is an example for a compatible PCIe card http://www.ebay.com/itm/LSI-3ware-9...sk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item2ed3940329

    This btw., is the PCI-X model I have and got it for 7EUR in an auction http://www.ebay.de/itm/SATA-Raid-PC...60914373869?pt=Controller&hash=item54082c4ced and this http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-channel-P...sk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item25902fb3cb (compare both fo US shipping)
    Here a 15USD PCI card http://www.ebay.com/itm/SYBA-SATA-II-NCQ-Host-Controller-Card-/201118392488? or http://www.ebay.com/itm/S-ATA-II-4-...sk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item2ed39720a8
    all with the SIL3124 chip
    Here a 30USD piece for a PCIe G5 http://www.ebay.de/itm/SYBA-Multime...sk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item27e5a51ae4

    You might want to reread this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1713461&page=2 (for the recomendations I did)
    and this, where there is a more general list with exact namings. Post #19

    - there is a Highpoint RocketRaid and Adaptec card as well, that is compatible. You may find mentioning of them somewhere.

    PS: the SIL3132 card I had for my G5-PCIe (without flashing) has this design, it is sold by many different manufacturers http://deepapple.com/forum/index.php?topic=44676.0 or better, this one http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT_a9S4cnoP1wrNFgPfRPRCc-M1QNnGUWwaV8IIN3m7mKkiLO31qlbZkf31

    PPS: CORRECTION, I had a part above, where I wrote "I can't guarantee for this one, it has SIL chip, but first ask, if the main chip is the SIL3124 or SIL3132 (I have heard of someone using a SIL3134 with a SIL3132 driver, the last number indicates the number of ports.
    6,- USD as an auction (14 USD buy-it-now) http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-PowerV...sk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item417f16f33d"
    The card linked to has a SIL3512 chip. The flash with a Firmtek ROM was done on a SIL3112 and the suguestion by that other forum was, that a SI3114 may work as well and that the last number is the number fo ports.
  21. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    I just stuck a $10(on Ebay) Adaptec USB 2.0 card in my G4, and fortunately it makes a real difference for the times when using USB is unavoidable. Of course, Firewire is better but not always an option.

    I've been told that any cheap USB 2 card will work as long as it has an NEC chipset. That's what I looked for when shopping, and so far it's worked great for me.
  22. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Is there a way to install one of these cards in an iMac G4?
  23. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    No, G4 iMacs do not have internal expansions slots.
  24. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Heh. Didn't think so. It's cool, it's a bugbear I can live with.
  25. bunnspecial, Jul 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014

    bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    Sorry, I didn't think of this when I responded earlier.

    As I've been getting more and more interested in older PPC computers, I have pretty consistently avoided all-in-ones and this is one of the main reasons why.

    As much as I love the iMac G4 design, the lack of expandability kills it for me(although I certainly wouldn't refuse one if offered it!).

    I mentioned in another thread that my G4 has become my scanning workstation-something I've been doing a lot of lately. I have two scanners that I use(both serve different purposes), one is SCSI and the other USB. Scanning a 2"x2" or 2"x3" piece of film at 3200 DPI is painfully slow over USB 1.1, particularly since I'm often doing multiple passes to dig as much shadow detail out as I can. It's still slow, but at least tolerable over USB 2.

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