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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - G4 800 Mhz Upgrade/Rebuild Questions


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ncc74656m

 
Member Since: Mar 21, 2009
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I will preface with: WARNING: Mac n00b detected!

Don't hurt me. I did some searching and reading, but either my search skills suck, or I didn't find the answer I was looking for.

Ok, so, I inherited an old iMac G4 from a friend of mine, and it's bare bones. 800 Mhz, 256 MB RAM, and a dying 60 GB HDD, with no Airport card.

I have discovered that it takes PC133 Memory, both a laptop (SODIMM) and a desktop (DIMM) stick (one each) for a max of 1024 MB. This is fine for me. I've found some on eBay that matches my unit and it should cost me about $45 total for some used sticks.

For the hard drive, I've got an IDE 40 GB from a Dell that I'll be recycling. Maybe I'll upgrade it down the road, but I'm not worrying about that right now.

So my questions are these: What is the highest version of OSX I can install on this "theoretical" system (as I don't have all the parts just yet)? I tried 10.4, but that requires a 1Ghz I believe (no, I didn't read the box beforehand - and anyway, I just borrowed it from work).

The other question is, what are my wireless options that work well for Linux/OSX? I'd prefer to do an internal card, but that appears to be a PCMCIA card that connects to the iMac's internal antenna. Any options? My requirements are that it be a G card, and that it handle WPA2. If there aren't any, should I just go USB?

I appreciate the help for anyone who responds!

(I'm learning Mac so I know how to use and support it, by the way, I'm a long time PC wizard, but particularly these older Macs seem like such a foreign beast. Who knows, be nice to me and I may come away liking them a lot more! )
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harryb2448

 
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Here is a link to the two types of memory for your iMac. Check the specs and shop around. be aware most high density PC memory will not work in your iMac-

Memory Upgrades for your iMac G4 (Flat Panel) 700MHz - 800MHz at OtherWorldComputing.com

If you mac out the memory your machine will run OS X.4 Tiger very nicely. Tiger will operate on much earlier machines, so maybe you got mixed up with Leopard's specs which are much higher? One thing make sure the install DVD is a black coloured full retail instal;l DVD and not the silver grey system restore disc which will work with the machine they came with.

Check the iMac specks out for best wireless options:-

Apple iMac G4/700 (Flat Panel) Specs (iMac Flat Panel - M8672LL/A*) @ EveryMac.com

This model has the ready inbuilt antenna for a wireless card.
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tcbluejayfan

 
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For the 800mhz the only internal Airport card is "B", so you will probably want a USB wireless adapter. I recently bought a Hawking "N" adapter off ebay for around $25....thats what i would recommend.
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ncc74656m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
Here is a link to the two types of memory for your iMac. Check the specs and shop around. be aware most high density PC memory will not work in your iMac-

Memory Upgrades for your iMac G4 (Flat Panel) 700MHz - 800MHz at OtherWorldComputing.com

If you mac out the memory your machine will run OS X.4 Tiger very nicely. Tiger will operate on much earlier machines, so maybe you got mixed up with Leopard's specs which are much higher? One thing make sure the install DVD is a black coloured full retail install DVD and not the silver grey system restore disc which will work with the machine they came with.

Check the iMac specks out for best wireless options:-

Apple iMac G4/700 (Flat Panel) Specs (iMac Flat Panel - M8672LL/A*) @ EveryMac.com

This model has the ready inbuilt antenna for a wireless card.
Hey Harry, thanks for your answers! Maybe it was just that the RAM was so low that it wouldn't boot the installer before. Once I get the memory installed, I'll try it again. I do believe it was a black disc, but I can't actually find it right now to confirm.

It's good to know that Tiger will play well with this. I'm certain it was 10.4, but not much else about it. Either way, I'll try to find someone I can borrow a disc from if need be.

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Originally Posted by tcbluejayfan View Post
For the 800mhz the only internal Airport card is "B", so you will probably want a USB wireless adapter. I recently bought a Hawking "N" adapter off ebay for around $25....thats what i would recommend.
Thanks tc, I'll just pick up a USB adapter. I forget which, but a certain chipset is usually best for Linux derivatives, so I'll research them and pick up a cheapy. I think I have one already, but it's in use, so I'll just get another one.
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charlien

 
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Guys - keep this in mind.

The computer has USB 1.1. This is limited to 12 Mbit/sec. 802.11b is 11 Mbit/sec, 802.11g is 54 Mbit/sec and 802.11 is ~300 Mbit/sec.

Even 802.11g is overkill because the USB ports can't handle the throughput.

However, you probably could find a G or N adapter that would plug into the ethernet port which can handle 100 Mbits/sec.
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harryb2448

 
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Mac Specs: iMac i5 2.7GHz OS X.9.2

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And whatever Tiger disc you intend using, make sure it is a black full retail install DVD and do not try and install from a silver grey system restore disc. These are for the model the discs were released with only.
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