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How can I upgrade my Powermac g5


New member
I had recently gotten an old PowerMac g5 from a local school of mine and loved it as I used to have one when they first came out. It needed a hard drive and a good cleaning, so I installed a 500GB Samsung 850 Evo I had laying around, and got a 10.4 tiger disk from an old local mac store and downloaded it onto the SSD, the pc now works fine, but I don't really know much about these computers but I'm quite experienced with windows machines and was wondering what upgrades I can do it to make it as powerful and fast as possible. other than the SSD I put in, everything else is factory, as far as I know, it currently has dual 1.8 GHz processors and 2 GB of ram.



Well-known member
Welcome mjacob :)

Sounds like a nice G5 - good start with the SSD; you can max out the RAM super cheap and your next upgrade would be the GPU - what do you have now (Geforce FX5200?)?  You can source generic Wintel AGP graphics card but you'll need to flash these with Mac compatible BIOs, among other things.  A good card for such a machine would be an AGP 6800GT, ATI X800 (Mac edition, I'm not sure if you can flash the PC edition).  An ATI 9800 Pro (Mac edition) is another choice, but I'm yet to find one that hasn't flaked out.




Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
You've probably already discovered it, but just in case, as a heads up, this is not, by any means, a modern computer. At absolute minimum this machine is sixteen years old, and you can not think about or treat it as if it were a modern computer or as if there is any hope at all that you'll be able to do modern things on it. This largely includes the Internet. Where things work (tenfourfox) they often work poorly because of how slow these things are.

In terms of upgrades: There's not an awful lot. This machine is relatively inflexible compared to what came both before and after it. You can basically only do:

  • Storage (which you have already done)
  • RAM
  • Graphics (although there's a much narrower band of compatible/suitable cards)
  • Whatever else fits in the PCI slots and has drivers and might fill a need/desire you have.

It can't hurt to put a bit more RAM in it, although it's probably not worth actually maxing the RAM, 64-bit graphical software didn't really come to the Mac until much, much later and so to max out, especially the later/faster G5s is almost entirely performative or because you want to keep several disparate task sets in memory.

Graphics, I'd say only to bother with if yours is failing or you need something like dual-link DVI to run a 27-inch 1440p display. (or you otherwise want different outputs, I suppose.) Every G5 graphics card is Core-Image capable and so they'll all run 10.4/10.5 "fine".



Well-known member
Which model do you have exactly? There are PCI, PCI-X, AGP Pro, and PCIE models that take DDR or DDR2 in either 4 or 8 slots.