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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Your help with upgrading B&W and Beige G3 towers

Your help with upgrading B&W and Beige G3 towers
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Since EBCDIC
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Dec 20, 2002, 02:28 PM
 
I was just gifted with two towers: a B&W and a Beige G3.

I'd like to upgrade these cheaply, and then use them as Mac OS X headless servers. Perhaps one will be my iTunes MP3 server, the other will take over being a POP server from my spare Lombard G3 PowerBook.

I would like the opinions of the readership on what my best options might be.

RAM: DMS seems to have the cheapest 256MB PC100 RAM, at $25 per stick. (I have had great experiences with DMS, and would consider someone else only if they were basically free :-) Seven sticks ought to max out both machines.

Hard Drives:One seems to have a hard drive, the other doesn't. I would appreciate suggestions for 7200 RPM drives, but I don't need very large drives. 20 GB, perhaps? Bigger if it's not much more.

Video Out: For the B&W: I've heard the Radeon 7000 PCI is a good choice, albeit pricey. I wish I could find a $10 used card somewhere, but it seems that eBay has them for about $80. Is there a difference between the PC and Mac versions? Or do I buy the former (cheaper) and download the Mac OS X drivers?

Video In: The Beige seems to have a bunch of RCA connectors, but I don't think it has a video in. (Hey, I just got the cards last night. I haven't done much (any :-) research yet.) I'd like to copy home movies from VCR tapes (don't ask). Suggestions?

Thank you for reading this far. As a PowerBook kinda guy, having towers in the machine room is interesting. But I'll need to be hit with a clue-by-four to ensure I don't make expensive mistakes. Thanks again.
Since EBCDIC
Using Macs since they were Lisas.
     
Cincinnatus
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Dec 20, 2002, 04:47 PM
 
Is there a difference between the PC and Mac versions? Or do I buy the former (cheaper) and download the Mac OS X drivers?
Unfortunately, there is a difference between the PC ATI Radeon 7000 PCI and the Mac version.

Based on information at www.xlr8yourmac.com (posted by ATI engineers) and www.arstechnica.com, it is my understanding that you cannot install the PC version in a mac (as its ROM doesn't have the proper fcode) - nor can you flash the PC version with the Mac ROM image [the cards are named similarly, but are rather different at the HW level]. You might try scavenging eBay for old ATI Rage 128 cards - run well under X (and would be perfect for you, given OpenGL performance isn't your main concern).

As for HDs - I have Western Digitals and Seagates and have not had any issues in 4+ years of continuous usage (knock on wood).

/cincinnatus
     
derekn
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Dec 20, 2002, 05:08 PM
 
The video in on the Beige is the A/V Personality card. Unfortunately it won't work in OS X though, only in OS 9 with a program like BTV, iMovie might work not sure.

If you plan to do video capture though, you'll need a LOT of space. I keep at least 40 gigs free on my DDR 867, you can get about 2 hours of DV video at a decent resolution.
     
Since EBCDIC  (op)
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Dec 21, 2002, 03:33 AM
 
Personality card, eh? Thanks. Now I've got a search phrase.

eBay has both 128 Rage and the Radeon 7000 Mac cards around, at around $50 and $100, respectively. I'll have to ponder.

I don't prefer to slum, going back to OS 9 for much of anything, but if that's my only avenue for some short bouts of audio and video input, that's what I'll do.

I'll be installing Jaguar on these machines as soon as the RAM arrives, then tossing them on the home 'net, and then figuring out what to do with them. iTunes / Rendezvous doesn't yet work, but perhaps some protein folding...
Since EBCDIC
Using Macs since they were Lisas.
     
derekn
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Dec 23, 2002, 03:07 AM
 
Be careful with Jag, it's a shot in the dark as to whether it will work or not. I tried various things to get it to run on my Beige and kept getting lockups. 10.1.5 ran without problems though.
     
tooki
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Dec 23, 2002, 03:35 AM
 
Lots of RAM is good. But for your purposes, maxing out those machines is probably overkill. 256-512MB each should suffice.

You really don't need the video upgrades if all you'll be doing is running them as servers. As it is, people have found that no PCI-graphics G3 Mac is fast enough to actually take advantage of a Radeon card. So leave the blue and white as it is, and maybe pick up a used Rage 128 for the beige. (Although again, for a server, it's completely unnecessary.)

Hard drives are dirt cheap now... I've heard of people buying 120GB drives for under $60. In any case, you can't go wrong with a Seagate, Maxtor or current-model IBM. Just don't bother with anything over 120GB -- you cannot access anything past the first 128GB on those machines without using a PCI IDE card. Also, you're unlikely to find anything under 40GB at this point. Just take the cost of a drive and divide it by the capacity to determine cost per GB, and see what gives you the most bang for your buck.

The beige's AV inputs are good, but not as good as DV. You will get better quality using an analog-DV converter on a FireWire port.

tooki
     
Avon
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Dec 26, 2002, 10:39 AM
 
Originally posted by derekn:
Be careful with Jag, it's a shot in the dark as to whether it will work or not. I tried various things to get it to run on my Beige and kept getting lockups. 10.1.5 ran without problems though.
I disagree. It is documented to work, and I have installed it with no problems on a 300. The only problem is you have to update the Apple SCSI firmware if you have the SCSI card or it will not work very well.
     
   
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