I have used imacs for years, but am just busting in to modding them and stuff. Anyway, i have a question about power macs. If I buy one, will I have to buy a monitor, or can I an iMac as the display?
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If it's all all-in-one, like a G3 Beige All-in-One, you get the great hacking of a Beige G3 Desktop Hacking (Like overclocking, 3 PCI slots, etc..) you can do the same hacks that the Desktop Beiges can have happen to them. Plus, you can do the video card hack. If it's an iMac (like early Rev A's or Rev. B's) you can do the mezzanine slot add-in (but those are only on the bondi machines) you can also do the Speed hacks on them (requires soldering). If you get a G3 B&W or later powermac, they have VGA ports on them. Just pick up a VGA monitor
If you get a pre-G3 tower/desktop, you will either need an adapter (cheap, like $10 w/ s/h off of ebay) or you can get a cheap PCI Display Card (ATI) and use that.
The iMacs are a computer in themselves, you can't use them as monitors. At least, not easily. but if you can use it (through a hack) you might as well keep it in the iMac form, as machines that can have the hack done, are rare (you need to use the DB-15 connector on the imac, tray load only. but the PAV Board needs to work)
All-in-one machines pre-g3 will only have a few hacks you can do. things such as L2 G3 Upgrades. or Maxing out the ram.
Software hacks like putting linux on them is a little hard, but not non-doable. it just takes some work.
If you want to get into it, i would suggest either getting an AIO G3 (all in one) beige or desktop G3 beige, or get a Blue and white and up (into the G4s)
I have done a transfer of parts from an AIO into a powermac G3 Beige case. works nicely. tracked down all the parts
I also have a PowerMac G3 Blue & White, which I upgraded the CPU to a G4 (after doing the firmware hack) and have maxed the ram. I also put a PCI Radeon 7000 w/ VGA/DVI/S-Video into the 66Mhz Slot, and have a USB 2.0, extra ethernet card, and done the Firewire boot hack (see my sig about booting old machines from firewire. it's a complete writeup on how to do it)
There are SO many options to do it. the best thing is to find a machine, find out what it's capable, and since you are a beginner, you might want to google the system to see what other hacks people have done
Good Luck and Happy Modding!
[quote=coiusIf you get a pre-G3 tower/desktop, you will either need an adapter (cheap, like $10 w/ s/h off of ebay) or you can get a cheap PCI Display Card (ATI) and use that.[/quote]
To expand on Colus, older PowerMacs shipped with graphics cards or built-in video that used Apple's D15 female connector. Later models use VGA HD15 connectors. But you may find later models in which the card has been swapped for an old D15 card. Video cards with a D15 connector tend to max put at 1152 x 870 resolution.