Powermac G3 Upgrade

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plop1234's picture
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Hello every body, I was wondering what I needed to get my Powermac G3 into the mid-range desktop workstation department. I know I need at least a 1gb of ram and a Sonnet Zif upgrade of 1ghz. But, I don't know where to purchase the parts like USB cards and IDE adapters. Can someone show me a good store thats not to expensive,and has a good selection? I know of http://macsales.com/ but is that the best place to get the parts?

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eeun's picture
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Macsales is a good place to b

Macsales is a good place to buy parts, but what you're proposing will end up costing you more than buying a complete comparable G4 system.

You're looking at around $300 for the processor and $28 for USB 2.0 card, another $69 for an ATA133 card if you feel you need one.

Doesn't the Sonnet 1 GHz G4 upgrade drop the bus speed to 66 MHz? If so, you'll be running at only about 2/3 the bus*processor combined speed of a true 733 MHz G4 system.
Even if it ran at the 100 MHz bus speed of the B&W, you're still within 3% of a Quicksilver or Digital Audio at 733 MHz.

With a full G4 system, you'd also get AGP video.

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And, I must point out that ev

And, I must point out that even a new PC system will come in at nearly that price point too. If the concern is for a faster system, and not actually requiring Mac OS, a PC really can't be beat, esp. with Linux getting much better in general. I can certainly appreciate the want of Mac OS, but I'd also suggest a look at a used Mac mini. If you can deal with the loss of expandability a last model G4 mini or an early Intel mini could go for $3-400 depending highly on the sellers mood.

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plop1234's picture
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I already have the Powermac G

I already have the Powermac G3. I'm not instead in buying another computer right now, I already have a bunch of PCs and I don't need any more. I at least want to make this thing faster with or with out the ZIF upgrade. Can't I just put a G4 processor in the thing do a little tweaking and call it a day? I know there is a block that keeps you from doing that but isn't there a way around this?

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Jon's picture
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It's the cost vs benefit issu

It's the cost vs benefit issue we're pointing out. If you know the cost of doing the upgrades is generally a losing proposition, then by all means do as you want. We tend to get people who idealize an upgraded Mac even if it is still much slower than a comparably priced new/more modern machine.

A G4 Zip will work once the G3 has been patched to remove the original Apple firmware block.

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eeun's picture
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Re: It's the cost vs benefit issu

Jon wrote:

It's the cost vs benefit issue we're pointing out.

Yup! For example, Here is a Quicksilver 733 with a buy-it-now of $140. That's less than half of what you're looking at paying just for the G4 zif upgrade.

If you're interested in the B&W as a working collectible, then I'd still recommend getting a full G4 system, then you can keep the B&W pristine and still save a bundle.

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Gosh thats much better than w

Gosh thats much better than what I currently have' expect its running Puma Smile I wish I had the money to buy that now. But I just don't right now, I'm trying to get a macbook Pro. But dose any one know how I can at least get this thing upgraded to at least be comparable with a modern desktop? Also note that I have a WinTel and I want to completely switch to a mac at some point. I want a desktop also.

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You can make it faster but it

You can make it faster but it will never compare to a current modern system by using the original motherboard. The only option to make it as fast as a modern system is to actually make it a modern system replace the mobo and all the components. Even a low-end single core CPU like a Celeron on a cheap mobo should outperform anything you can plug into the G3 board, but it won't be a Mac. $100 for a mobo/CPU/RAM (or or $160 to go all Intel chips) bundle and a bit more for stuff like a CPU cooler and all and it's very hard to compare hundreds of dollars for a slower ZIF for the G3 mobo that is still hobbled by PC-100 RAM, and possibly a downclocked system bus. The G3 just can't compare to a modern machine, even with a pricey CPU upgrade.

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Um...When did he say it was a

Um...When did he say it was a B&W? His mentioning USB cards made me think he's talking about a Beige G3, even if his avatar is a B&W.

Either way, used 500mhz G4 ZIF's are selling on eBay these days for around $60. Don't waste your money on a 1Ghz ZIF. It'll be lousy bang for the buck. 500 or 600mhz is the realistic limit of the G3's. Other factors about the motherboard are like lead shoes for speeds higher than that. If it is a Beige G3, USB 1.0 cards, even USB 2/Firewire combo cards are now super cheap on eBay.

You sound like you probably know this already, but a faster hard drive is a major speed up. The G3's came with 5400rpm drives. There's no way I'd trust a G3 OEM hard drive at this point in time, anyway. The G3's are ten years old already. Replace any original hard drive with a 7200rpm drive--maybe a new 100GB PATA/EIDE drive--and that might be the best upgrade of all. 130GB is the limit on the G3 ATA bus. Anything larger requires an ATA PCI card to become fully realized.

That's all you need to speed up your G3. 512mb of RAM is more than enough RAM for Panther and the minimum for Tiger. If you need anything else, like an ATA133 card, then you really should be buying a more recent computer instead.

Boy, AppleFritter pages are loading slower tonight than I've ever seen before. I start a new tab and go do something else for awhile while I wait for an AF page to load.

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Re: Um...When did he say it was a

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Boy, AppleFritter pages are loading slower tonight than I've ever seen before. I start a new tab and go do something else for awhile while I wait for an AF page to load.

I've been uncertain if it was AF or just me because I'm running FireFox 3 beta.

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Lets say I go on ebay and I g

Lets say I go on ebay and I get a stand alone G4 processor. Is there any way I can patch my firmware to use that G4 processor?

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eeun's picture
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Re: Lets say I go on ebay and I g

plop1234 wrote:

Lets say I go on ebay and I get a stand alone G4 processor. Is there any way I can patch my firmware to use that G4 processor?

You'd need to find a G4 processor from a Yikes system. A G4 from a Sawtooth and later does not use the zif socket of the G3. In other words, it doesn't fit, no matter what you do to the firmware.

The Yikes G4 processors are fairly rare and sought after by G3 owners, so they're selling for a lot more than the equivalent speed G4 from a Sawtooth.
They're also not that much faster, depending on the processor that's in your G3. Basically, you'd be paying for the Altivec instruction set and the selective advantages it provides.

There are a few Sonnet accelerators on ebay at the moment that will fit your G3, but it sounds like you're actually wanting to spend a lot less money than your original post implied.

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plop1234's picture
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What if I turn it into a File

What if I turn it into a File server? I will put a 100gb HD in there, take out the Zip Disk and put the HD in its slot, and then put the HD on the CD drive bus because that Bus is faster, and than later add hard drives externally with the firewire. How dose that sound?

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Re: What if I turn it into a File

plop1234 wrote:

put the HD on the CD drive bus because that Bus is faster

Huh? I think you'd better tell us specifically which model G3 you have. I suspect you're talking about a Beige, or even maybe an earlier PCI Powermac. One way to quickly slow down your computer is to put your hard drive on the same ATA bus with your CD drive. Don't do that. The CD's bus is not faster, anyway--unless you've got some strange ATA and SCSI mix, in which case you'd definitely not be talking about a B&W. (In a Beige, you could have a SCSI hard drive on the onboard SCSI bus, and the CD on the ATA bus, and then, yes, the CD's bus would be faster, but I doubt that's your case, and, of course, a SCSI drive will not even fit onto an ATA cable, except with a very expensive adapter.)

If you do have a G3, then it takes a ZIF processor. Any G4 ZIF processor will fit in it. It doesn't have to be a Yikes! processor. Sonnet, OWC, and Daystar all make G4 ZIF's. I've been using Daystar's XLR8 500mhz G4 ZIF in my B&W for a long time and it works great. The only thing is, if you have a B&W you need to run a software patch first before installing a G4 processor. Apple put a G4 block into the B&W motherboard which needs to be neutralized. You do that in OS 9 with one of the third party patches. The Beige does not need the patch.

Oh, and one word of warning. I sometimes see sellers on eBay selling AGP G4 processors and calling them ZIF's, which they are NOT. ZIF's are smaller and don't have holes on the board anywhere.

There is definitely something screwy about Applefritter pages these days, like something is hanging onto their legs, but then, I'm beginning to have the feeling that maybe legs are being pulled generally here.

plop1234's picture
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Oh sorry I forgot to say that

Oh sorry I forgot to say that I had a B&W G3 Smile I have read on line that when you put a more modern hard drive in a B&W you should put it on the IDE bus with the cd because that bus is faster. So what do you guys think about the file server idea? I'm sure I could pull it off, but I have to do it through wireless, and I want to know what you guys though about the PCI wireless cards on ebay? Give me you thoughts.

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plop1234's picture
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I don't know what to do. I ca

I don't know what to do. I can get a much faster much higher quality G4 system, that I can use as a permit desktop so I can stop using this Dell. Not that dells are bad, Its just that I would much rather move to a Mac. Should I save my money, and get a G4 mirrored door system, or should I save my money and get a MacBook Pro? I would like to have both but thats not happening any time soon. Realistically, I could get a Powermac G4 for much less, and turn my G3 into a file server. I don't know what to do... And AF might be slow because of the 2000 something guests. Wink

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Actually, it sounds like you

Actually, it sounds like you do know what to do. G3 as a fileserver and buy a G4. Sounds smart to me. MDD's still command high prices. I'd go to either a Quicksilver or used Mini to stay within budget, or shoot for the moon if you can. The MDD, by today's standards, is not that big a jump over the Quicksilvers. No booting into OS9 with a MDD too, if that's of need.

Another thing to consider: the lowest speed stated for Leopard is 867mhz, and people are saying that Leopard will be the last OS that will support PowerPC. Intel Minis can be bought for around $500 if you look in the right places.

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Is there any good file server

Is there any good file server applications that would manage the files well? I know it has some file sharing capabilities built in to 10.3, but should I extend that? If so, what software should I use? I know if I need to access something I will use Logmein.com I'm actually using that right now! If you could elaborate on what I need to do from here that would help. What about Mac of All Trades? They have some good prices on there G4 desktops, and laptops. macofalltrades.com/Older_Macs_s/3.htm

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