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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 08, 2011
    Posts
    61
    Thumbs up Got a free PowerMac G5. Now what?
    Hello I haven't been to these forums in a while! Well anyways I received a mid-2004 G5 for free I don't have a DVI cable to plug it in and try it out but should be able to get one and try it this week. Was told the "disk drive" doesn't work. Might be CD or hard disk but was assured it boots up. Question is I don't know what to do with it. I think almost everyone has dreamed of having one of these mostly for the intimidating tower but it is now 10 years old.

    Specs are: mid-2004, dual 2.0GHz CPUs, 2GB RAM, and ATI 9600 xt 128mb with DVI and ADC connections.

    Actually I just built my first PC like a week ago so I really don't have a use for it, but it's so cool I feel like I might regret letting it go. I feel like I have 3 options:
    1. sell it once I find out the operating condition
    2. my uncle needs a computer for his 10 and 6 year old kids, can give it to them and MAYBE get it back when they upgrade.
    3. keep it, care for it, maybe upgrade it and find a use for it later
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    49,450
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    They sure were great looking machines and a powerhouse for their day. However, today they're pretty much outmoded although you could certainly do things like browse the web, etc. If it's fully functional after you hook up a monitor and test it, maybe you can keep it around and play with it every once in awhile. It probably wouldn't make a good gift for the kids because of its size and the fact that it won't run Intel apps.

  3. #3

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    22,391
    Specs:
    Imac 27", 3.3GHz, 512 flash storage, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra.
    Great for kids as it cannot be upgraded to Intel CPU's or we would have all gone that way lol. Both optical and hard drives are a cinch to change in the G5 - just Google.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    35,794
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by TabletRevlution View Post
    I feel like I have 3 options:
    Option #4: A great doorstop or paperweight during a hurricane!

    - Nick

    p.s. But more seriously…unless you have older software you MUST run on it…or a need for a BIG, HEAVY electronic device for e-mail, web browsing, or playing mp3's…you don't have much need for it.
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Nov 08, 2011
    Posts
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Option #4: A great doorstop or paperweight during a hurricane!

    - Nick

    p.s. But more seriously…unless you have older software you MUST run on it…or a need for a BIG, HEAVY electronic device for e-mail, web browsing, or playing mp3's…you don't have much need for it.
    Unfortunately I live north of Seattle and there isn't very much hurricane activity. Well this is depressing news, I know there is many Pentium 4 Windows XP machines that can still do what most people need them to do. Would this G5 be able to do that (just a lot bigger and heavier lol) Can these even run Windows or Linux? Anyways these questions are getting off my topic.

    Prices for Power Macs in my area are only like $100-200 for just a tower, if the uncle doesn't want it I might as well keep it for now. I will probably start a thread this week or next on how to fully deck it out

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    49,450
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Sierra
    Can these even run Windows or Linux?
    It can run a PPC version of Linux but not Windows. Actually, you'll be better off running an older version of OS X such as Tiger or Leopard. Like I said above, keep it around and play with it now and then. As long as you don't have to spend a lot of $$ on it, could be a great learning experience.

  7. #7

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    35,794
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by TabletRevlution View Post

    Prices for Power Macs in my area are only like $100-200 for just a tower, if the uncle doesn't want it I might as well keep it for now. I will probably start a thread this week or next on how to fully deck it out
    I would say closer to $100. As "chscag" advises...keeping it to play around with would be ok...but DON'T even think about "decking it out" (other than installing a larger/cheap HD). The money you put into it will not add any value to it.

    It (at this point) will only ever be worth $100-$125 (and going down).

    Don't compare old Apple stuff to old Windows stuff. "Old Apple Stuff" is harder to use...since it is harder to find old software to run on it. It can do e-mail, web browsing, mp3's. photo viewer. Of course it will run older versions of Microsoft Office, Abobe Creative Suite, etc. You just have to find the old software to install (e-Bay).

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8

    Algus's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 14, 2014
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    81
    Specs:
    2012 Mac Mini 2.5 ghz i5, 16 GB RAM, 960 GB SSD + 500 GB HDD (5200 RPM)
    If all you're looking for is a net box that can handle music and basic office work you'll be fine with that guy. It'll still do all that stuff fine. Maybe not as valuable as say a 10 year old Windows PC just because Mac gaming isn't as big a scene as PC gaming, but still lots of fun retro stuff you can play on it.

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Nov 08, 2011
    Posts
    61
    I bought a DVI cable and it works just fine. The CD drive is dead or something, it won't eject or show any sign of life, better than the Hard disk being out though IMO. Think I'll keep it at the moment. It only has OSX 10.3, never owned a OSX machine personally how do I update it to 10.5?

  10. #10

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,981
    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    I would keep it but that is me. I would rather have it than any old Pentium 4 with XP. OSX is a much more stable OS. Sure it's old but it can do many things I do daily pretty decently. Apps for Email, Web, Photos and music are more than likely installed on the drive by default. And yes I know it's harder to find older OSX apps than Windows, but to me it would be worth it over an equally old Windows system.

    As far as Tiger 10.4 or Leopard 10.5, Ebay but on 10.5 do expect to pay a LOT for the OS as Leopard is the very last version of OSX that will run on a Power PC so the price has gone through the roof and is normally $100 or so but you might get lucky. Also check Craigslist.

    If you do not want to pay that much for 10.5 you can most likely get 10.4 for not a lot of $$$. !0.3 Panther is just too old for any Web Browser that will work properly with most sites on todays web. 10.4 is a lot better in that way and 10.5 even more so.

    I hope I did not step on anyones toe here, but I much prefer OSX to Windows and if I had a choice between a 10 year old Windows system and that Dual 2.0Ghz G5, most here know what I would take! Grin

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    G5 towers can still do oodles of useful things, but because of security threads I would not connect one to the web anymore -- which of course limits their usefulness tremendously.

    To put it mildly, XP has the same issues (only more so, because it was always insecure). Likewise, and yes I know millions run it, but I personally would not put an XP machine on the web even with anti-virus. All those "botnets" you hear about that coordinate scams and attacks? I'll give you one guess what the majority of those machines are running ...

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