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First Conquest in a While... an Upgraded Sawtooth and 5 G5s

tviolation

Member
Hi all,

I'm a frequent lurker/reader, but it's been a long time since I have posted anything as I haven't had much time to tinker with my old Macs in the last few years. Although I'm theoretically trying to reduce my collection down to a few favorites right now, I ended up picking up my first conquest in quite a while yesterday. I found it on Facebook Marketplace a little over an hour from home, and it caught my attention because the seller mentioned that the G4 had it's processor upgraded "to the max" although he didn't have the details. I asked for a picture of the inside and sure enough, purple heatsink, so I made arrangements to go pick up the lot for $140.

I was hoping for a rare dual processor upgrade, but upon inspection it turned out to be an Encore ST 1.2GHz single processor. Still happy with that find, but it's slower than the one I have in my own G4 already, so it'll probably end up being re-homed. The Mac itself was originally a 400MHz Sawtooth and still has its original video card, so nothing special there, but it also came with a Sonnet Tempo SATA card in it, which is something I've been looking for to put in one of my other Macs for a bit now. It booted up right away into Leopard and seems to be working fine, but I haven't had a chance to do anything else with it yet.

Upon inspection, the G5s included two 1.6GHz single processor (first gen) models, a late 2004 1.8GHz single processor (the "price point" model with the slow system bus), a first gen dual 1.8GHz, and an early 2005 dual 2.0GHz. None have hard drives and they came with a box of RAM. I put RAM into each one and they all at least boot. The seller said one was "security locked" which turned out to be a firmware password on the dual 1.8, so a quick PRAM reset later and it also boots fine. I'll probably hang onto one of the dual processor units and re-home the rest. I had a G5 at home when they first came out, but other than that they never interested me too much as I generally want to be able to boot classic Mac OS on my PowerPC Macs and find that 10.4/10.5 run much better on early Intel hardware these days.

The dual 2.0GHz unit was partially stripped and, although the fans came along loose in the box of RAM, it's missing the plastic housings for the fans and the metal shelf above the logic board is mangled up a bit. The power supply is also not screwed in and I'm sure there's more that I haven't found yet.

Everything is pretty dirty, but it should be fun cleaning them up and getting them back into fully working order. I haven't had a chance to do extensive testing yet other than plugging them in to see if they boot, but here's a quick picture of it all. Pardon the messy basement. So much for thinning the herd!

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k24a1

Well-known member
Amazing haul! I just got a 2003 dual 2GHz G5 from a former teacher of mine a few days back... it's a very nice machine and I'm trying to find a 6800 for it.
 

tviolation

Member
Good find!

Also, wow, you really were a lurker! Been here since 2010 with four posts?!
Thanks, and I didn't realize it was that bad! lol. For various reasons, life sort of got in the way of actively indulging my retro computing hobby for a long time. But, I still enjoyed seeing what was going on in the community and reading about other people's projects. Now I've finally got the time to get back into working on stuff and it's fun.

Amazing haul! I just got a 2003 dual 2GHz G5 from a former teacher of mine a few days back... it's a very nice machine and I'm trying to find a 6800 for it.
Nice, I used to get a lot of old Macs from teachers too! I'm thinking I may keep the dual 2GHz for myself as a project, even though it's missing some parts and pretty abused. I also need to find a graphics card... the five machines only came with four graphics cards, and they're all the base FX5200.

I'd forgotten how snappy the G5s are with older versions of OS X. I was installing Tiger on the single 1.6GHz machines, each with only 512MB of RAM in them right now, just for testing and it really clips along even on that. The two PowerPC Macs I use most often are a 1.4GHz upgraded Cube and a 500MHz Pismo, both with maxed RAM and SSDs installed, and even this slowest of the G5s definitely feels faster.

G5 towers will be collectors items for a long time just because of the case and PPC.
Agreed that the case is impressive. It's solid as a rock and the build quality is top notch, even now. All of these are a bit scraped up, sadly, but fortunately none have mangled feet or handles. One thing I have to say about the G5s is that I also forgot how huge and heavy these suckers are.
 
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