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ebolla Jun 11, 2002 06:57 PM
8500 dvd?
i have a 8500 powermac 180mhz 128mb ram
my hope is to turn it into a multimedia station with a dvd rom and cdrw drives and use it to serve my powerbook.
i've never upgraded a computer before so what suggestions/comments does anyone have?
i'm already looking into a new graphics card and HD-
i think the ram will be enough for now? -
i'm not sure what type of dvdrom cdrw drives will be compatable -

thanks for the comments-
MacNZ Jun 11, 2002 08:44 PM
I think one option would be to find some cheap internal SCSI drives if you can (this might be hard) and maybe a modest video card upgrade (just a second hand or cheap new rage 128 or something like that.) You might have trouble getting DVD going because it will need a hardware decoder card (i think if memory serves me right). You would also need a SCSI hard drive, which would be quite pricey.

On the other hand you could install an IDE controller card in a PCI slot for pretty cheap- this would let you put in cheaper IDE hard drives, dvd and cdrw drives.

If you want to know what I think the best option would be-- sell the 8500, buy a cheap iMac DV G3/400 mhz (can find them for around $400), buy an external firewire CDRW drive for it. You can otherwise get cheap Blue and White G3 PowerMacs at <a href="" target="_blank">web page</a> ($400-500) with DVD already and install an IDE CD writer into them.

The reason I recommend this is that unless you find a cheap parts seller it would be more cost-effective and about the same price overall to upgrade a later model-- especially if you have to deal with SCSI drives and DVD decoders.
ebolla Jun 13, 2002 01:10 AM
the main reason i got the 8500 over an imac is because i wanted something i could have fun learning to tear apart and upgrade
pardon my ignorance but how exactly does SCSI vs IDE affect what internal dvd or cdr drives i can use?
how much does this limit me?
Captain Obvious Jun 13, 2002 01:21 AM
The BUS speed on the 8500 might be a problem.
ebolla Jun 14, 2002 01:34 PM
how might the bus speed limit the possiblities of installing cdrw and dvd drives?
what speeds or quality of drives would i have to look into buying?
or what more would i have to upgrade in the machine to get good quality dvd and cdrw's to run inside it?
are there any good internet resources to help me learn how to figure this out myself?

<srm> Jun 15, 2002 12:30 AM
I have a 7600 setup to play DVD's, and it's awesome. It's running a G4/450, an ATI Radeon, and an IDE card w/ no-name DVD player, all under OS X. CPU utilitzation averages about 50%, which is pretty good all things considered. You could probably get away with a cheap G3 (300Mhz or higher) and an ATI Rage 128-based video card. SCSI DVD drives will work too. See the Drive upgrade database at, it's a tremendous help.

The best part about my setup? The SGI flat panel. :D
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