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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > how to upgrade iMac G3

how to upgrade iMac G3
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wednesday
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Oct 10, 2006, 03:44 PM
 
I purchased an iMac G3 off eBay for my 3-year-old son to use to visit websites and maybe play some simple games. Specs are 333 Mhz, 128 MB installed memory (with 2 RAM slots), 6 GB hard drive, USB and ethernet ports, and a CD-Rom drive, with OS X 10.3 installed as the operating system.

Now obviously it needs more RAM but I don't really know anything about that or what kind you buy or where it goes. I also would like the ability to play DVDs if possible, so I'm wondering if the existing drive can be swapped for a different one (new or refurbished)?

Any suggestions?
     
ibook_steve
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Oct 10, 2006, 05:38 PM
 
First of all, I wouldn't even try running OS X on that machine. Run OS 9. With OS 9, the memory you have now may be fine for what you want to use it for, especially for simple web browsing. What games are you thinking of playing, though? OS X probably runs like a dog on that machine right now.

Drives can always be swapped out. For finding a drive, Google is your friend.

Steve
     
prodigiousfool
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Oct 10, 2006, 06:03 PM
 
If you peruse around, you can find various guides for upgrading all aspects of the imac. I just, about a month ago bought a lime imac g3 in my sig from eBay. When i got it, it was a G3 400Mhz, slot loading DVD, 128 MB ram, 6 GB harddrive with no OS. it now is running tiger really well with the stats i have below. One of the best sites for changing the RAM and the drives is here. That shows both tray and slot loading upgrades that can be easily performed.

Since my iMac was green, i had some extra green cold cathode lights that i wanted to put in there and make use of the translucent case. So i found a service manual PDF that goes step by step how to literally dismantle the entire iMac, in addition to the easy stuff, like upgrading the RAM.

To figure out exactly why version you are, check out mactracker. Since it's a 333Mhz, it's more than likely one of the "5 flavors" iMacs that were tray loading and came with either 4 or 6GB HDD. The RAM is upgradable to 512MB of PC-66 SODIMM. Which is really old, really slow laptop SDRAM. The harddrive will go up to 128GB, since the early iMac's didn't support large drives. As far as upgrading the Optical drive, i was satisfied with mine, but i'm sure there is a guide out there somewhere. If you want that PDF that is the full service manual, PM me and i can mail it to you.

If you upgrade the RAM, osx should run just fine, though i definitely wouldn't attempt to install tiger, i'd stick with 10.3 and below. If you bump the RAM and can google a DVD drive that would work, i don't see why it wouldn't be a half decent machine to cruise around on. Hope that helped.

Dane
12" Powerbook G4 | 1.33 Ghz | 1.25 GB | 60 GB | ComboDrive
Mini | Core Duo 1.66 | 1.25 GB | 80 GB | SuperDrive
Lime iMac G3 DV | 400 mhz | 1 GB | 40 GB | Slot Load DVD
iPod: iPod Mini 6GB - Green
     
teknopimp
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Oct 10, 2006, 06:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by prodigiousfool
If you upgrade the RAM, osx should run just fine, though i definitely wouldn't attempt to install tiger, i'd stick with 10.3 and below. If you bump the RAM and can google a DVD drive that would work, i don't see why it wouldn't be a half decent machine to cruise around on.
Panther is a bit choppy but tolerable for your, or your 3-yr old's, needs.

This site is under construction. carries all kinds of parts for the old imacs.

MacBook 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo | Clamshell iBook G3 366MHz | 22" Cinema Display | iPod Mini | iPod shuffle | AirPort Express | Mighty Mouse
     
wednesday  (op)
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Oct 11, 2006, 07:37 AM
 
Thanks for the advice. I think OS X is needed so he can use a modern browser. I would like him to be able to play some of the games that are on starfall.com or fisherprice.com, for example. Pretty simple flash stuff that he really enjoys.

I read a post somewhere else about disabling certain functions of OS X (such as dashboard) that were not needed in order to run it better with a smaller than 10 GB haqrd drive. I don't know how one goes about that or what else would not be "necessary". Keep in mind this is for a three-year-old child, we are not talking about running WOW or something like that.
     
   
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