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PowerMac G5 Quad Upgrade Questions!

790 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2013 8:36 PM by DwainC RSS
GoodOldMac Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 12, 2013 10:38 AM

Hello, I have a Powermac G5 Quad which I am interested in maxing out (I love this machine!). I was just wondering if it would have any problems using PC2-5300 (667MHz) DIMMs. I checked EveryMac and it says that the speed of the ram speed should be PC2-4200 or 533 MHz, but in my experience with intel pcs, it is usually ok to stick faster ram in a slower slot. Is this the case with my Powermac? Also, I have been thinking about sticking a few multi terabyte drives in this mac, but I have seen around that there is a 3TB limit or somthing. Is this true, or can i get two 4TB drives inside?


Another thing i was wondering about was whether or not I should get an ATI Radeon X1900 Mac Edition card. Right now I am having problems with my nvidia card when I use ubuntu, and it's because there aren't drivers for it. I guess i'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with the x1900 in ubuntu or any other linux, and if it worked well.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,800 points)
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    Feb 12, 2013 1:22 PM (in response to GoodOldMac)

    Hello, to start with a note on RAM... not all PC RAM is Msc compatible, even if the same rating.


    667 may work at 533, depends on the prgramming on the chip.


    G5's need RAM in Opposing Pairs. The Quad can use ECC or non-ECC, but I think it all must match. Heres some...


  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2013 2:01 PM (in response to GoodOldMac)

    Faster RAM in a G5 does nothing for performance, know that.

    The controller only operates at 533 MHz.


    If the RAM is of the correct density and spec, it should work. The most common side effect of using PC2 5300 RAM is the System report lists the RAM as PC2-3200.

    This is due to incompatibility in the EEPROM, but shouldn't effect performance.

    Get a PPC Mac compatibility guarantee.


    PPC Macs require APM within the drive format for bootability.

    APM has a drive size limit of 2.2 TB.

    If a drive is formatted in GUID, there is no size limit, BUT, the drive isn't bootable.


    Also know that the G5 controller does not accept all SATA drives equally, especially the SATA 6.0 Gbps (SATA rev. 3) drives.

    Some will require a jumper to limit data rate, some will auto negotiate, others won't be seen.

  • DwainC Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 15, 2013 8:36 PM (in response to GoodOldMac)

    GoodOldMac.... For Your money, the best upgrade with noticeable right out of the box improvement you can make to your PPC mac is to install a SSD drive. Solid state! While more ram helps when working with a massive file it really does nothing for your read write speeds that is going to be limited by your hard drives capability.

    I just installed a Samsung 840 120gb SSD from microcenter usd$79. on sale.

    I used the ssd to house my os and applications. All of my apps now open within 1 to 3 bounces boot time is almost20-30 seconds faster from power on to login.


    Im telling you the best bang for your buck is the SSD upgrade. dont get yourself confused by some retail store geek who gets a woody about how maxed out his machine is on ram.


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