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Thread: Upgrade Options for Beige G3 266Mhz Desktop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    2

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    Hello,

    I just found out about this site today and the advice on this site looks practical and helpful, so I thought I would post a question that I have been pondering for the last couple months.

    I have a beige G3 266Mhz desktop with the original 4GB drive, 320 MB RAM, a Keyspan 2 port USB PCI card, and an intellimouse explorer running OS 9.1.

    As of right now, I would like for this machine to have a bit more speed, more storage space for apps, MP3s, a couple of games, and possibly to use with an IPOD. I would also consider buying a CD burner. I would also like to try running OS X to see what it is like as I have some experience with UNIX.

    In addition I would also like to work on website development as a hobby as I have taken a class and bough a couple of books on the topic.

    What hardware would you recommend? I would definitely appreciate any insight on this matter. Only thing is that after pricing some items, I think to myself, why not just buy a new iMac or iBook as these would give me firewire, larger hard drive, faster system, and use with OS X.

    thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    693

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    Depending on your budget, I'd agree with your conclusion that a new machine offers you more hardware and OSX-ability with no hassle.

    Your RAM is plenty to do what you want. Your processor could use another 100-200 MHz (if you were to upgrade, I'd hit that first with an XLR8 500MHz G3 card.) Your drive space is not optimal either; burning CDs is more easy with more drive space. The beige G3 is actually the biggest problem; there have been lots of snafus with people trying to get OSX to work right in beiges, despite Apple's original promise of full support. It's actually the subject of a class-action lawsuit right now...


    It's up to you, but if you've got the cash and you are serious about OSX, which I'd recommend since you are just starting out, get a new or almost-new box.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    2

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    Thanks for the advice. What would you recommend? Do you think I should go for a iMac with a G4 or would an iBook with a G3 suffice? What would you recommend in terms of a newer (but not exactly brand new) system?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Downingtown, PA, US
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    My advice depends on your budget. You seem to be interested in a lot of uses for your Mac, and I'm an advocate of buying for expandability. So...

    If you can, buy the fastest used G4 or G3 you can find. Obviously, newer is better, but we all work with shoestring budgets here; that's why we're called upgraders. However, a tower, with its drive bays and ability to support extra monitors will come in handy for editing web pages and graphics.

    Otherwise, buy a new or used iMac. The new ones breathe fire, and the old ones are a bundle of power for cheap. If you are not overly concerned with expansion (i.e. adding more monitors) and you don't plan to start cutting videos, a new iMac is the way to go.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    silicon valley, usa
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    461

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    For web development, you may want a second monitor to review the HTML code and see its web page at the same time. Last-decade's PCI video cards are under $50 at http://xlr8.com/cgi-bin/cart-cc/cart...=cat:Hot+Deals and http://eshop.macsales.com/Item_DealM...5&Item=IXMU8MB

    FWIW the bleeding edge Radeon 7000 won't work on your Beige G3 in OS X, but I'm enjoying a Radeon 7000 this instant in a Beige G3 under MacOS 9.2.2.

    One of the benefits of this is that you can move a PCI card and 2nd monitor to any PCI mac you upgrade to.


    MP3 audio likely won't demand a 3rd party add-in card. I just use the built-in audio unless working with uncompressed digital like DAT or ADAT. But then again, I despise all MP3 compression and have no complaints about minidisc compression, so YMMV a lot.

    For USB audio you may wish to try Griffin Technology's $35 iMic. Despite the name, iMic has both line and mic settings. It gets good press, but I've never used one. This also can be moved to a new model mac should you upgrade.


    Until you can afford a new mac, you can try changing a few jumpers to upgrade your G3-266 to 300MHz, like I did last weekend for a free 11% performance gain.

    bibliography for jumpers:
    http://www.lowendmac.com/ppc/j16.shtml
    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G3_OC/tims.html
    http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~t-imai/g3ae1.html

    [This message has been edited by ricercar (edited 02 April 2002).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Washington, DC, USA
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    If you're thinking about the new iMac with the G4, that makes sense to me.
    If you want portability, an iBook makes sense. However, the iBooks aren't the fastest thing out there, by any means. A G4/733 will be significantly faster, for about the same money for a refurb.

    You could get significant speed upgrades by adding a PCI controller card and a new HD. And a new ZIF will perk things up a bit.

    First of all, upgrade to 9.2.2. For many things, I find that it gives me about a 15-20% speed boost, subjectively.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Oulu, Finland
    Posts
    16

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    Greetings Gurus,

    I've got one of those G3 MT 266MHz beige machines and thanks to my quirky nature, I'm planning on some upgrades instead of saving for a brand new G4, at least for now.
    Now, for starters, a couple of questions that may be embarrassingly obvious for experts but just to make sure;

    I've installed OS X 10.1 on a drive that is still in the original IDE slot but my intention is to connect (or reinstall) that drive to a Sonnet Tempo ATA 66 card I just aquired, for peanuts. That should work, right?

    The OS X installation manual tells me that the drive/partition I am to use for OS X in the G3 MiniTower should not be greater than 8GB. That's what I've done but now I'd like to know what exactly is the bottleneck in this particular case? I assume it's got to do with the age of the motherboard but still, is there any way to get around this, apart from gettting a better/newer machine? My motherboard is Rev. 2. It would be much nicer to have more 'space' for the OS X partition.
    Anyone want to give a lecture on the mind&soul of the G3 motherboard? ;-)

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