Author Topic: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?  (Read 2667 times)

Offline NigelNowhere

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The only thing wrong with it seems to be that the Hard Drive is dead but it’s a normal sata connector I believe and a cheap SSD and a fresh install of tiger would make this machine pretty boss I think.  I am considering making it a dedicated DAW but if memory serves there is no midi pass through in the Classic environment.. so I am not sure what to do. I have a FireWire audio interface for it as well as a few midi controllers. So what do you guys think I should do?

Offline IIO

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Re: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2020, 12:36:54 PM »
make it a standalone synth, controlled from a proper OS9 computer.
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Offline Cashed

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Re: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2022, 05:22:18 PM »
Geee think I must have spend 20 minutes trying to figure out where to post this question of mine, move, delete, trash -if need be.

One of my Macs is the same model as NigelNowhere and I request a bit of help -no rush in replying.

During my quest and hunt, with wild eyes and froth in the corner of the mouth  :o to get my hands on hardware that could run Mac OS 9.2.2 natively. I bought an Apple iMac G5 1.8 20".
Because I knew I at least could 'approach and reach out and touch, just a bit of the classic heaven' within the "Classic" environment provided with MacOS X Tiger 1.4.11 -No! You did NOT just utter those words :-X

It's running fine and all, and it's not like I don't know what to do with it but... But, the past couple of days I've been thinking, that I'd really, really like to 'push it,' - no not in the garbage bin! But just 'nodge' it a little bit closer towards the "Classic." As I've said previously Tiger’s Classic Mode sucks big time -humongous! - and I learned from Jubadub's comment;

Then you run it (or any other Classic-compatible app) on 10.2.8 Jaguar instead. The results? Marvelous. Could almost (or literally?) pass off as a natively-run Mac OS 9 app.

See that's what I'm talking about. I'd much rather prefer running this G5 of mine on an OS that's closer to OS 9 running on my G4 Mac. Than using any emulator such as QEMU on my 'newer' Macs -for now.

Is THAT possible?
Apple Model No:   A1076 (EMC 2008)   Model ID:   PowerMac8,1
Introduction Date:   August 31, 2004   Discontinued Date:   May 3, 2005
Pre-Installed MacOS:   X 10.3.5 (7P35)

I know some of you previously have been working on OS9 booting natively on G5's.

I'm not asking anyone to do my laundry for me, rest assured I've always done a thorough search before asking for any advice. Very little shows up.

I did find this, it only mentions the update tho:
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
Mac OS X 10.2.8 (G5)
"This article describes the build of Mac OS X 10.2.8 that is specifically for Power Mac G5 computers. For the version that supports other systems, see Mac OS X 10.2.8 (build 6R73)."

Build 6S90 of Mac OS X 10.2.8, released by Apple Computer on October 3, 2003, is the final update to Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar". It only supports G5-based systems that were available at the time, and should not be installed on other models.

Enhancements

These are some of the enhancements that are part of the Mac OS X 10.2.8 (G5) Update:

• The computer will now wake from sleep if both an AirPort Extreme card and some kinds of PCI cards are installed.
• iChat works better on AirPort networks.
• Adds support for these third-party disc burners: Logitech Corp. LCW-E48F 48x24x48x, MCE Lucid-SD DVD-R/RW Drive, Formac Devideon FWD1496-3DVD-R 4x, TDK DVD+/-R/RW Drive - DED+440, LaCie d2 CD-RW FireWire 52x32x52x
• Bluetooth devices are now available after the computer wakes from sleep.
• Some FireWire devices will work better if you connect them after disconnecting certain kinds of digital cameras.
• Keyspan Twin Serial adapters work better when connected to a USB 2.0 hub.
• FireWire devices, including iPod, are now available when the computer wakes from sleep.
• Prevents a kernel panic from happening if you start Classic with more than 2 GB of RAM installed.
• Improves stability when using the "Return to command state" modem string command (; ) with an Apple Internal USB Modem (v.92).
• The Apple Internal USB Modem maintains better connections to some kinds of v.34 modems.
• Includes updated security services and the latest Security Updates.

Important: Read Before Installing
1. You may experience unexpected results if you have installed third-party system software modifications, or if you have modified the operating system through other means. This precautionary statement does not apply to the normal installation of application software.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

I've modified OS X Installers before to include my Machine ID. But I've only ever been using it on old hardware with Operating Systems going forward, never tried going backward as of yet.

Be aware my G5 came Pre-Installed with MacO: X 10.3.5 (7P35)
Also this mention of the update; "Prevents a kernel panic from happening if you start Classic with more than 2 GB of RAM installed." won't be an issue as my G5 still only have 1.25 GB installed.

I request a bit of help -no rush in replying.
Can I wreck my G5. Installing Jaguar?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2022, 08:56:08 AM by Cashed »
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Offline DieHard

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Re: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2022, 12:55:52 AM »
From NigelNowhere...
Quote
The only thing wrong with it seems to be that the Hard Drive is dead but it’s a normal sata connector I believe and a cheap SSD and a fresh install of tiger would make this machine pretty boss I think.  I am considering making it a dedicated DAW but if memory serves there is no midi pass through in the Classic environment.. so I am not sure what to do. I have a FireWire audio interface for it as well as a few midi controllers. So what do you guys think I should do?

Run away and run fast, it's best to gut it and make a really cool office desk lamp.

Ok, so after remembering many days of absolute grief with weird power on and other functioning issues due to Swollen/blown capacitors, I would say to pass on these iMac G5 bad boys (Particularity original non-ALS models).  Take a good look at the logic board and remember that this was a huge issue for these machines...

Quote
From iFixIt...
Most of the G5 iMacs were built during the capacitor plague.

When I say plague, I mean full "Bubonic."  It was common to pop the back off a customer's iMac G5 and see many (like eight or more)  leaking and/or swollen; a ton of iMac G5s in this condition were never fixed and became scrap as the labor/repair cost surpassed replacing the unit :(

From Lowend Mac...
Quote
Why Some Macs Die: Bad Capacitors
You don't need a Mac older than a Blue and White G3 to see this problem. This bad electrolytic capacitor problem also hit the first iMac G5 - it was all over the Mac news sites in 2005. The electrolytic capacitors on many of their logic boards burst, since their electrolytic fluid was made from an incomplete formula stolen from a Japanese manufacturer - it didn't include stabilizers, so the electrolyte was drying out, causing it to turn to gas, which expanded and burst out the top of the capacitors. Lots of manufacturers of all kinds of electronic devices were stung by this - manufacturers of PCs, TVs, etc.

And bad electrolytic capacitors destroyed most of the Mac IIci, IIcx, and SE/30 models, and a couple others too. The rubber stopper in the bottom of the capacitor shrunk, allowing the electrolyte to leak out and eat into the logic board, eroding circuit board traces. I've worked on hundreds of these, and in most cases, that's what you find - there aren't too many of these working any more.

I started fixing Macs in early 1985, and bad electrolytic capacitors are one of the things that fried most of the first Macs (that, and bad flyback transformers, and solder joints that cracked on the power/analog video board) - I fixed hundreds of them, and had employees who fixed hundreds more. The bad electrolytic capacitor in the original Macs was the large capacitor in the horizontal drive section of the video circuit, at the top of the analog/power board - Apple chose a capacitor that wasn't able to handle the current and/or heat it was exposed to, so that it eventually burned out. I don't know what its exact failure mode was, but possibly the electrolyte dried out there too. This remained a problem through the original Mac SE - the capacitor Apple used in the video circuit in the Mac Plus and the Mac SE wasn't much better than the ones they chose for the earlier Macs, since I fixed hundreds of those too. Since Apple buys parts in large quantities at the beginning of a production run to lock in a low price, it may be that Apple just kept using the poorly-spec'd capacitors until they used them up.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 01:05:55 AM by DieHard »

Offline FBz

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Re: iMac G5?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2022, 02:18:25 AM »
Yeah, what he said. RUN!

Tight-cropped portion close-up from a 17” model.
And they’re mostly Rubycon branded caps.


Offline Cashed

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Re: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2022, 01:35:57 PM »
It gets worse...
Prior to getting my hands on this iMac G5/1.8 20" non-ALS model, I got my hands on an iMac G5 17" -iSight model from a thrift store. The fan airflow coming out of it 'smelled' old, you know, like the smell of moths and mold, from an elderly home, even thought it had come from a smoking home. I installed iStat and noticed the CPU temperature hit 79° Celsius =
174.2° Fahrenheit. I shut it down, opened it up, cleaned it up and applied cooling paste, it hasn't booted up since, 3rd led blinks a millisecond. The capacitors on that board "looked" fine, think it’s an ALS model. I did not return it to get my peanuts back as I got an original Logic Pro 7 XSKey along with it, that is worth more than the iMac.
To be honest, the G5 17" iSight iMac has been THE WORST Mac I've ever worked on, not just of Macs, but ANY other computers I've worked on the past 30 years. So don't unwrap that black present.

In 2005, I was working double shifts in the health care, had closed my IT company, and cancelled my subscriptions to PC magazines, as I found they had nothing new to offer me. I hadn't been following the scene on Mac computers.

I knew about the swollen capacitors issue prior to buying this iMac G5 20" non-ALS model, and true enough there where about 6 of them, not bad, but a tiny bit swollen on the top. I did NOT know about “The electrolytic fluid where made from an incomplete formula - and didn't include stabilizers, so the electrolyte would dry out, causing the fluid to turn to gas. Nor that the rubber stopper in the bottom of the capacitor shrinks!” Thanks for that info. This machine had been standing in the closet of a commercial agentcy for the past many years. It had been used in translating Chinese and had Adobe products installed on the HDD.

I had sensed it, that something was wrong, since you don't see many of these models around anymore. They get INSANELY hot. On this G5 20" after applying cooling paste, that takes 10-20° C (50-68° F) off the temperature. The CPU temperature still lies around 47° Celcius and jumps to 60°+ (117-140°+ Fahrenheit.) The processor performance is even set to reduced in energy saver options.
As an e.g. launching Arturia Storm 1.5 in the Classic environment under Mac OSX 10.4.11. The sequencer app shows a CPU workload of 38%, iStat on your X desktop shows 85-95% it's unplayable. Forget touching the Classic environment through Tiger. Nothing beats the native boot of Mac OS 9, here Arturia Storm shows a CPU workload of 4%.
 
If you do decide to make the same mistake as me and get a G5 iMac, prepare to have it on life-support. You'll sleep lightly at night, waking up every half hour, monitoring the temperature of your child.

Let this post be a reminder for others to read.

I saw this African savage on a youtube disassembling, no more ripping a G5 completely down to the barebones. Now I know why, he was smarter than me, he must have wanted the casing only, used as a lamp -yeah I actually got a bright light that would fit right into the casing.

I'll be pondering more over, how to use it or rebuild it for optimal use. I might swap out all the capacitors and solder on new ones. I do feel Tiger is too hard for the system, so before cap swaps I will try installing Jaguar, maybe sacrificing it, in the name of science.

If anyone have tried it, now is the time to step forward and speak up.

THANKS DieHard & FBz, for your honest reply, I agree.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2022, 08:49:56 AM by Cashed »
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Offline peeperpc

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Re: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2022, 02:26:51 PM »
The "capacitor plague" is a story about capacitors from Taiwan with stolen (incomplete) formula. Dell suffered a lot from it.
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/blog/2010/jun/29/dell-problems-capacitors

But the swollen capacitors in iMac G5 were made by Nichicon which is one of the best Japanese capacitor manufacturers. In this case, it is Nichicon's bad batch. And Dell suffered from it too, as well as Apple.
https://tech.kateva.org/2005/03/more-on-great-capacitor-scandal.html

Both stories happened in the same time frame but they're unrelated.

Offline peeperpc

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Re: iMac G5?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2022, 02:48:56 PM »
Yeah, what he said. RUN!

Tight-cropped portion close-up from a 17” model.
And they’re mostly Rubycon branded caps.



Hmm, this is new to me, Rubycon caps in an iMac. All I've seen are Nichicon.

Perhaps, it is not a bad batch of capacitors, just heat inside the Mac.

Offline FBz

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Re: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2022, 07:13:54 PM »
Yeah... perhaps.




Offline chrisNova777

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Re: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2022, 08:00:11 PM »
i remember passing on the chance to buy an imac g5 back around 2011 or so...they were literally built to run TIGER

 G5 was nice at the time but the g5s got totally blown away entirely by core 2 duo in 2006, in terms of cost of power / performance it doesnt make any sense to use (and choose over an intel mac/hack) unless the simple act of using it solves problems in the studio re: software version compatibility

but i think for most people the intel switch of 2006 is a very distant memory at this point (16 years ago .. gotdamn!) and wouldnt be using versions that would be affected by that point...

the shittiest thing about g5's is that, on both the before + after sides, theres both hardware/software incompatibility, alot of things that worked on g4s may or may not have worked on a g5,  and again afterwards, theres hardware/software incompatibilities between the g5 + intel.... which kinda makes them the last thing you wanna reach for + play with (for me anyway) my g5 is an amazing looking machine and its a shame it spends most of the time turned off

Offline Cashed

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Re: iMac G5?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2022, 12:27:42 PM »
Hmm, this is new to me, Rubycon caps in an iMac. All I've seen are Nichicon.
Perhaps, it is not a bad batch of capacitors, just heat inside the Mac.
Great, thanks peerperpc for those links. John Gordon's Tech blog referes tho, to MacInTouch -timely, accurate info since 1985. But searching there, that article doesn't shows up. Still, I liked them, great reading, there will always be something new to learn and relearn over again and again.

Thanks again FBz, for supplying more capacitor shots -great to have them exposed and archived here, for future references.

Shots of my;

Rubycon capacitors, non swollen nor leaking. Startup failure could be many things on this logic board. 3rd led blinks once, which specifies it to CPU/GPU -could just as well be bad current due to 'bad boy rude' caps.


Nichicon capacitors, 6 of them a tiny bit swollen -I agree these are heat related, but otherwise good caps., why this iMac still lives.

they were literally built to run TIGER

G5 doesnt make any sense to use (and choose over an intel mac/hack)

the shittiest thing about g5's is that, theres hardware/software incompatibilities between the g5 + intel....
Thanks for your inputs Chris.
Inventions has never been used only -for what they were intended for. That's also the reason why we find ourselves here.
My Mac mini G4/1.42 were built for Panther, but it runs Mac OS9, much better -Thanks to you guys and four years.
My iMac 20-Inch "Core 2 Duo" 2.4 (Al) were built for Tiger. But due to my personal interests only lies in PowerPC applications, that one runs Mountain Lion.
My iMac 21.5-Inch "Core i5" 2.7 (Late 2012) were built for Mountain Lion. But it has run everything else Mac, Win, Linux, currently Mojave and patched Big Sur.
The only device I own that actually runs what it were 'built' for is my Mac mini "Core 2 Duo" 2.26 (Late 2009) running Snow Leopard, released August 28, 2009.

I'm sure I wasn't built for changing elders diapers for 30 years, but nevertheless that's what I feel good running on.
My iMac G5 1.8 20" Introduced August 31, 2004 - Discontinued May 3, 2005. Were built for Panther, released October 24, 2003, as it came Pre-installed with Panther. Tiger was first released April 29, 2005. I totally agree with you on the latter, if need be, I can just run Tiger on an Intel.

I have no interest nor usage for running this G5 on Tiger, but on Jaguar, that supports the NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 GPU -it makes a whole lot more sense. It's a perfectly well preserved iMac, that are in caring hands, I rarely start it up.
I'd like to modify it tho, but there's a feeling holding me back, wanting to preserve its aesthetics, for future historical reasons -no I'm not gonna open up an Apple museum. That doesn't mean I won't be modding it one day, but that part will have to be postponed, due to costs and tweaking design concepts. I need to 3D print at least a new backside for it, before modding it with better cooling and airflow.

Fun odds, the last 3 days, I had considered swapping out the power supply, sooner than latter, eliminating any danger of flybacks.
Then you pop up with this cool find The ATX2AT Smart Converter Thanks a lot Chris, for sharing.
obviously its for vintage
« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 12:43:44 PM by Cashed »
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Offline chrisNova777

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Re: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2022, 02:06:35 PM »
i meant they designed it to run TIGER... originally
i said that just from my own experiences + memories of seeing them white imac g5's show up with the awesome tiger UI
at first i loved the design... and then it was confusing when the intel  machines rolled out looking very similar
the tiger UI was one of the best os look + feel i think i ever had the chance to work with at work professionally

i had bought a 2008 imac back in theday i wanted to run TIGER but it forced me to run LEOPARD heh
(nevermind that i got hacked the tiger installer and got tiger to install on it anyway similar to your points above hehe)
but i never really used it with tiger as it had peripherals that didnt work 100% properly under tiger i cant remember exactly its been so long now
i dunno what bothered me about the leopard ui initially but i just wasnt a fan and was kinda miffed there was no way to switch ui prefs back

Offline Cashed

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Re: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2022, 02:28:58 PM »
Heh cool Chris, caught it, just couldn't resist -the urge  ;D Everything written can be misunderstood.
Btw, pleased to meet ya! Man I don't think there's one vintage forum that I've been on, were your name hasn't popped up  -afro- over again and again lol.

Also your comment
things have changed since the first days i came on here..

im still fascinated by what makes the experience of using specific vintage platforms good or bad, i tried out a new version of linux last night and just something about the feel of using the os doesnt jive 100% with me,  compared to older versions of osx i felt more connected with.. it cant be simply nostalgia that makes the difference... 

I missed growing up with Apple, like many of you guys did. I started on the Amiga, so do kinda have a fondness for the Motorola CPU. But I still can't tell why I'm hit by nostalgia and on this retro trip back in time, other than its got something to do with our current time.

Yea Apple can force all they want, just they keep that whole big iPhone OS away from me, I'm tired of it and I'd had enough of Intel throughout my PC years.
Operating Systems too stand on the shoulders of giants, even tho that giant may be the small Mac OS 9. Most companies fails in segmentation.
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Offline chrisNova777

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Re: I got a 20” iMac G5 1.8 ghz with 2gb ram what should I do with it?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2022, 02:35:15 PM »
i didnt really grow up with mac, i had many ibm/pcs growing up 286/386/486/etc
my first mac was the peforma 6400 tower i bought it off a friend i think it was stolen from a school or something lol
must have been 1997-1998 because i stilll lived at home with my family, moved downtown toronto in 99
i guess i was probably running macos8 on the performa 6400.. staying up late downloading warez + graphic design fonts on hotline
learning to do graphic design i was taught alot from a next door neighbour who was a graphic designer for revlon nyc
guess i learned alot because when macos9 launched i was working on designing the first news website in CANADA, "ctvnews.com"
using macromedia + adobe software and spending all the money i made on records at playde ;)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 02:55:29 PM by chrisNova777 »

Offline IIO

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Re: iMac G5?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2022, 12:10:00 PM »
Perhaps, it is not a bad batch of capacitors, just heat inside the Mac.

and what a great idea to put them directly beside the processor chip.
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