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whats the difference between G3 beige and B&W. optical drive rom required?


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im considering modding a G3 into a 630 case. my macintosh experience was pretty much only 68K so i have a few questions

the G3 beige has lots of ram slots and a different configuration than the B&W but looks like it maybe smaller. what are the fundamental differences? i know firewire and native USB but is there anything else that is drastically different between the two?

does a G3 need a cd drive with a mac rom on it to boot from? like the older performas did?

the G3 has only PCI slots right? no AGP?

do they both have PCI 64 bit width and if so, do PC cards work in them or do they all need to be cards with a Mac rom on them?


Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
From the Beige (1997) to the Blue (1999):

  1. faster bus
  2. "NewWorld" firmware, although this means relatively little in practical terms these days
  3. one more ram slot (1gb max vs. 768 max but os9 rarely needs more than 256)
  4. IDE broken in different ways
    1. IDE nominally fixed in blue-white Rev B, IDE more or less fully fixed in the "Yikes" PCI-graphics PowerMac G4 board
      1. Yikes G4 is otherwise the same platform as the Blue G3, minus an ADB port
  5. updated form factor
  6. no floppy, no serial, no a/v board, no scsi
  7. legacy i/o replaced with USB and firewire
    1. no USB or firewire boot, however
    2. The AGP-graphics PowerMac G4 is the first NewWorld Mac platform to support USB and FireWire boot
  8. graphics always on a pci slot (stock is 16-meg rage128 but an option for edu was an 8-meg Rage II variant w/ analog a/v in and out)
    1. fourth PCI slot intended to run graphics but the graphics will work in any slot
    2. Graphics limitations incl. ROM needs same as all other PCI-having PowerMacs
    3. Beige onboard graphics is Rage II, 2-meg, there's an SGRAM slot for 6 megs, up to 1920x1080 at thousands if you install the upgrade.

You NEED an IDE device to boot any OS, but you don't need an IDE hard drive to be permanently installed to boot one of these boards, Apple even gave guidance in the "Power Macintosh G3 Server" (beige) manual on how to remove the optical drive so you could put a SCSI hard drive in its spot. The blue also runs fine with no cdrom connected.

In terms of the CD drive needing an Apple/Mac ROM: I actually don't know 100% on this one, your 6360's CD drive should work in a beige (It's probably scsi) but the blue had an IDE CD drive, I've seen people talk about having success replacing them so it sounds like Apple eased up on that. Apple also eased up on the hard disks having Apple ROMs (it may already be like that on the IDE side of things in the 6300 and 6360.)

The boards and form factor between a 6360 and a beige are so different it may be more worth looking at whether you can find an ATX case that meets your visual needs and put the beige g3 board in there, you should be able to use a jumper to pick between Apple's power supplies and a regular ATX power supply, and the beige G3 is the easiest board to do that with. Apple started moving back toward custom power and everything later on.

I know I say this about almost every Mac but I have a few beiges and a blue-white G3 (though with a yikes board installed) and think they're great machines, even if you leave them in their stock case. I've mentioned this before too but for everyday usage with desktop productivity software, older games and edutainment, and the like, the beige g3 is sort of the start of a very long plateau for OS 9 in particular. The systems are also relatively hardy all things considered and maybe save for power supplies and hard disks don't yet need a lot of physical maintenance or restoration.

That said, if you want something fast enough for late OS9-era gaming (getting into crossing over with games that also ran on OS X) then you may want to look at later-era PowerMac G4s. A Digital Audio, QuickSilver, or Quicksilver 2002 will come stock fast enough to run basically every OS 9 game, for example.


Well-known member
what is a "yikes board"?
yea im looking at running games from escape velocity to quake 3 and warcraft 3.
my plan was maybe to pickup a raw board (G3) and then ebay a 500-800Mhz G3 or G4 cpu, then use my PCI radeon 9200.
i dont want to give up the ADB port as i want to keep my classic keyboard/mouse. i will use the 6300CD case as no one seems to want to buy it from me and ive got plasma/welder/3d printer/and tools, so long as the board is reasonable in proportions to the case - i think i can make it fit.

i figured id make my own power supply, from roughly looking at the case i think it needs to be in a 2" thick L configuration around the outside and middle of the case to fit.

i was thinking of using a PCI 90 degree headder for hte GPU and then running a riser cable for one other PCI card (maybe sata). then running 8.6/9.2 and maybe os X just for kicks.

im thinking of using a low profile laptop CD drive to save space, thats why i was asking about the rom.

if i put a G4 cpu into a G3 board, will i loose backwards functionality to older OS's or programs?


Well-known member
ive been researching a bit. the power supply in these is VERY hard to find a replacement for.... 20A on both 3.3 and 5V? server PSU's have close to this but most of those are 600+ watts. the fact this factory PSU is only 8 or so amps on the 12V rail is crazy to me. most PSU's that have 18A on the 3.3 or 5 will have 20A+ on the 12...

im thinking if i need a smaller PSU to get one with only 5 and 12v rails. then use a separate step down to generate a 20A 3.3 off the 12 rail. its the only option i can think of if i want to keep the size of this PSU to a reasonable level.


Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Apologies, "Yikes" is the codename for the Power Macintosh G4 (PCI Graphics) -- it's the same platform as the blue-and-white Power Mac G3, but with fixed IDE and no ADB port.

Barefeats was a mac performance web site in the G3/G4 era and has some Quake 3 data: https://barefeats.com/quakeX.htm

Warcraft 3's requirements are for a G3/400 with any 16-meg ATi or nVidia graphics card.

My recommendation if you want those newer games to work better is go directly t a machine that started its life as a PowerMac G4.

Upgrading older machines, and G4-upgrading a G3, will get you a speed boost, but it likely won't be as fast as a machine that started at whatever speed you choose.

AGP graphics G4s pretty much start at 400 or 450 and for these games basically any of them should work great. The first few generations have 100MHz buses (same as the blue G3 and the PCI graphics G4) but faster G4 upgrade CPUs exist for them and the AGP graphics are faster.

The middle group have 133MHz buses and that's probably the sweet spot.

The last group (the three "mirrored drive door" generations) are probably not worth it if 9 is your primary aim, but would make great OS X machines.

The games at the tail end of the range you mentioned do run on OS X too, so you can basically run them on any G3/4/5 as well, I don't see why they won't run on newer versions of OS X than what the specs mention. Depending, it may be worth thinking about splitting this range into two -- one your 6360 can run and one a hypothetical PowerMac G4 can run.

To your question about G4 upgrades: In general no, if you put a G4 upgrade in, all the old software will still run if you had some reason to want, say, 8.1 and a G4, that would work in a Beige G3. G4s also work with system 7 in the PCI PowerMacs.

When this stuff was all new, most of the reason people did upgrades was to get some existing pro app to run better. There were times when faster-than-stock upgrades existed while the machine they upgrade were still on sale, but the other half of the use case is speeding up used machines. There was a moment when a PowerMac, some RAM, a new disk, and a G4 upgrade cost a bit less than, say, a new intel iMac and PPC still had full software compatibility (10.4/5 had very long lifecycles by today's standards).

w/re 8.6: G3s are better if you want 8.6 specifically (although the yikes and sawtooth (first-gen agp graphics powermac g4) will run it) but some of your games require 9 specifically and on any G3 or better 8.6 and 9 will be functionally the same speed. There's a handful of apps that run better under 8.6 than 9 but none of them are games or things people are want to tourism in our modern times, it's nearly exclusively stuff for Specific Industries.


Well-known member
ok, so ive been doing some research. i do not think i can make a beige G3 board fit, too much stuff in teh way.
so a G3 BW is what im leaning towards. will a usb to ADB adapter work on a G4? will the power button on the keyboard work to turn them on and off?
i see there are G3 processors up to 1GHZ but some are rare. im looking at maybe a 500-800Mhz g3? cpu speed steps are few but i think i saw a 700 or 800mhz g3 out there.

will a sata card be bootable via a pc dvd drive?

i found a CPU that has the 3.3/5/12v rails, its about 4A shy on both 3.3 and 5 than the factory PSU had. however i figure i wont be running platter drives or firewire so that might make up for the short comings.

i already have a 9200 PCI radeon - another reason to lean to the G3. the AGP would be nice but i think G4 might be too new for me. depends on ADB support i guess.

i did some work in autocad and it seems the G3/cd drive/9200/psu/front panel mod/and sata card can all fit into a 630CD case. if only just. lots of welding/soldering/3d printing will be needed.... but it looks to all clear. thats what im leaning towards atm

would a dual G4 work in a G3 board?


Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
  • ADB/USB adapter will work but the power button may not work
    • The blue G3 shipped with a keyboard that had a power button but that was dropped very quickly, so I don't know how well it'll work on anything newer
  • SATA card should work with a DVD drive and I've believe I've seen that it'll be bootable.
  • The fastest stock G3 is 500MHz, that's a great chip if you can get it. Anything above that's definitely an upgrade and should run fine, it's just a matter of what you can get.
    • For OS 9 and most games under OS 9, G4 itself doesn't matter that much, the main thing G4 added was AltiVec which is used in "literally dozens" of apps, mostly multimedia authoring and rendering types of things, iTunes and iMovie could use it for their respective rendering functions, for example, and OS X can take advantage if you have a scenario where the CPU needs to do graphics assist (10.2+ on a GPU that doesn't support Quartz Extreme or 10.4+ on a GPU that doesn't support Core Image, Apple also disqualified all PCI graphics from those two, although there's a command you can do.)
  • w/re PSU amperages: I actually genuinely don't know what Apple was doing with all those amps, maybe the PPC chips themselves are 3v chips or something?
    • Stuff like this was super common in the RISC UNIX world where some machine's 300 watt power supply would have a really high-amperage like 3-volt rail to run the graphics or whatever.
  • Dual G4s WILL NOT work in any G3. In addition to the platform not supporting it, Apple changed the way the CPUs were mounted/installs, The Beige/Blue G3 are installed in a ZIF carrier (similar to like a socket 7) and the AGP-graphics G4s are all set up with one or two CPUs on a carrier card using a big high density connector.

w/re the case mod: That sounds interesting but I suppose the thing I'd caution is that it would be a shame to go from having a working 6360 to not having a working 6360, and my wholehearted recommendation is to either build an entirely new case for the G3 guts, or to just use the newer system in its original case, and have two working Macs where you can use 100% of the originally designed functionality.

How you go with this will depend on your aesthetic preferences but ultimately several of the games you listed are really "early 2000s" games and the machine you have right now is fundamentally from the mid '90s.

If this helps: You can get a Beige G3 desktop, pop a faster CPU and your Radeon 9200 in there and see how things go. The Beige G3 desktop looks the same as the buy-up machine sitting above the 6200/6300/6360, so you can potentially get good enough performance for those later games on a machine that still looks like it could've been on sale in 1993.


Well-known member
Goodness you do post a lot ... everywhere! I admire your enthusiasm though.

Why not just get a QuickSilver G4 (the first 733 model would be a good choice over dual G4s) - it has everything you want, fast G4, use some sort of USB to ADB adapter and you're done.


Well-known member
thank you for the info.
do you know if the G3 to G4 cpu itself changed pinout? if i have a 350mhz G3 zif socket board and desolder the CPU itself from this board - then take a G4 7455 cpu off its daughter board @ 700/800/1000Mhz - and ball/solder it onto the G3 board - will it function?

my primary goal is to make a 630 style case and have modern games. i had first thought that i could do this with a G3 card and 9200 but im at the point of giving up trying to make that work. i am in the market for a different G3 L2 card - sonnet maybe, just to test brand compatability because I WANT TO KNOW! but the current booster i have and gpu's do not play nice together under any OS.

I had a 630CD as a kid. thus, this exact case/forum factor is what i want to stick to. the beige G3 systems seem to have far worse ide and hardware stability so i was looking for a revision B blue and white G3 instead. i think i can fit the board.

i want it to be a full sleeper so the keybaord needs to remain a performa with functional power button.

some rough checking and it looks like i can fit it all in there. ill need to weld some new brackets, 3d print some fan shrouds and turn all rear i/o into headders/cables - but it physically fits


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Well-known member
question: i was thinking of using the zif G3 as my base. now i have found some usb to adb adaptors that keep the soft power button working.

i have a pci 9200 already.
but, would i be better off sourcing a 8500 AGP and building off a MDD or quick silver or just newer gen G4?

my plans were a G4 500 with 9200PCI into the G3 board. if i went with a newer system id have maybe a 800-1.2Ghz G4 with 8500 radeon.
i want to keep os 9 so... cant go higher in gpu.

thoughts? also i dont know if the board woudl fit yet, still looking at things


Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Here's the core of my concern:

I fear that the 6360's case will not survive the mod you are proposing and that you'll be cutting out structural support steel and that on the other end of the mod, it at minimum won't support the weight of a CRT monitor and possibly may not look as good as you want.

My recommendation of "just upgrade a biege g3" is mostly about splitting the difference between "computer that looks like it came from 1993" and "play games from the 2000s".

My recommendation of "just get a G4 of some kind" (and agreement w/ Byrd on the mid-era powermac g4 as a top candidate, for flexibility but also just being high end to start with) is focused on those games being playable and good up front and preserving your existing 6360 setup for what it does well.


Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Beige G3 IDE is stable. It works great and consistently and you'll experience no data loss or corruption if you stay within these two guidelines:
- Boot partition 8GB or less, first partition on the disk
- This is less of a guideline and more of a limit, this machine predates LBA48 and doesn't work with the extended capacity on disks above around like 128 or 137 gigs.

Popping a SATA card in will bypass both of those issues. Of all the Macs i have, my Beige G3s are very close to the top of the pile in terms of "will this Mac turn on again?" and their ATX flexibility is a huge boon on that front.

You can put your Radeon 9200, a bit of RAM, a SATA Card in a Beige G3 and I bet it would play those games "fine", pop in a newer/faster chip for a bit of a boost and then use a CRT monitor and turn the settings down a bit if you want high framerates and that sweet sweet mid '90s appearance. (Beige desktops look good with up to 17" monitors, beige towers look good with any monitor.)

Again though, those games are from the 2000s and the surefire best way to get good performance is to use a contemporary system and that's a G4.

My apologies if this all sounds overly nitpicky or severe. I'm posting this because I genuinely want you to experience the best vintage nostalgia outcomes and I don't think casemodding a newer system into a 6360 will do that.

If you absolutely can not under any circumstances compromise on the physical appearance: get a cheap dead 6200 and do the mod on that system.


Well-known member
i have a 6300CD as well, thats the system ill tear apart. my plan is to plasma out some 16ga sheet metal bead roll it and weld it into some type of tab style interface like the system had to start with. ill need to fab mounts for CD/GPU/and SSD mounts.

rihgt now im researching using a quick silver or digital audio board in the build but they moved the CPU to the other side of the board from the standard AGP G4. while not the end of hte world it complicates cooling and the ram is now DIRECTLY behind the CD drive.
i wanted to use a tray DVD drive but maybe i look into a slot load that might be smaller...

at the moment im trying to wrap my head around os 9 compatability wiht G4. seems apple released a BUNCH of variations of the G4 and im having a VERY HARD TIME determining which one will boot 9 nativly or not


Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Gotcha. That 6300 is still a competent machine, but the parts can a tleast be swapped to other machines later (you can run a 6300 board in a 6360 case, you can't, without mods, fully run a 6360 board in a 6300 or earlier case), worth either keeping, passing along, or selling if you can (I know you posted it and that there haven't been many bites), I'd say still shop around for dead parts donors.

In terms of PowerMac G4s and booting OS 9: The only one to avoid is the "Mirrored Drive Door" - about half of those boot 9 and about half of them don't. The very last model before that, the QuickSilver 2002, really needs you to use its special 9.2.2 media but that's up on macgarden. I've run the eMac'03 media on mine and it worked but I recommend against it just so

And, yes, Apple re-arranged the PowerMac G3 internally a few times. The QuickSilvers have additonal fan outlets behind the CPU in the port cut-out area, for example.

That's one of the tough things about a project like this is... a legitimate reason the machines got bigger is there were more, hotter components to cool. If you're completely gutting the machine, I'd say install OS on your new board in its original case first and perhaps eliminate the CD to allow for some breathing room, and take advantage of the top fan the 630+ case had? Depending on what voltages everything left needs you may be able to externalize the power supply (there's a project to this effect for some machines but nothing that I know of for the newer ones).


Well-known member
top is a digitial audio or quick silver - bottom is a G4 agp/pci.
if someone had the physical systems id love to get some better measurments off them. i got the current measurments by taking top down photos, scaling them on my screen to match a ram stick to the slot and then measuring. im pretty sure im close.

thats a 1u short rack PSU there, 8500 or 9200 radeon, and a liteon DVD rom small forum factor.

im thinking of milling a copper heat sink and cutting out openings in the steel for 40mm fans as well as a low profile 92mm fan up top. then fiberglassing some fan shrouds to direct air in the sides and out hte top - through the new heat sink.

i may use some liquid metal or at least kryonout thermal compound.


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Well-known member
The B&W G3, Yikes G4 and Sawtooth (AGP Graphics) G4 will all work with soft power on the M2452 keyboards. Some have said support ended with the ADC-equipped machines, others say the Quicksilvers were the last to support, and it seems most agree the MDD does not work.

Second thing to check is if iMate works identically to the M2452 in regards to soft-power. I suspect it does. I can try to test this next time I shuffle some things around.


Well-known member
well i just bought a quick silver for my retro gaming system...
so thats good to hear!
idk when i can start this build. its 35+ parts orders from like 15+ companies in 4 countries...