PowerMac G5

Welcome to G5 Center!

The Power Mac G5 was one of the last PowerPC machines Apple produced and sold. It remains a capable computer today. This website is dedicated to the venerable machine, providing users with information on available hardware and software choices for their G5.

Enjoy! -- Nathan

Welcome & Where to Start

Did you just pick up a Power Mac G5 via eBay, CraigsList, or locally? Are you interested in souping up that old G5 sitting in your garage? Do you need to squeeze more life out of your office or home G5?

The apps linked under our nifty categories above are sort of curated by me and, in some cases, from other great blogs. These apps do not represent an objective "best of" but should be taken as a starting point to find what works best for you.

If you need a place to begin, check out the Hardware page and then proceed to the System page to get your machine up and running quickly.


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About My Power Mac G5

Power Mac G5 About Screen

My Power Mac G5 has been modified from its stock state with a 120GB OWC Mercury 3G solid state drive, a 1.5 TB Western Digital drive, 10 GB of RAM, and a GeForce 7800GT video card.


About This Website

This website was built on my Power Mac G5, using the following software:

  • Espresso 1.1.2
  • CSS Edit 2.6.1
  • Pixelmator 1.5.1
  • Snapz Pro 2.3.3

The CSS code and layout are from Bootstrap (3.3.7), an elegant and responsive framework for creating awesome websites. Find out more at the Get Bootstrap website.

Bootstrap is released under the MIT license and is copyright 2014 Twitter.

Contact

Drop me an email here - nathan @ g5center.net.


Recommended Blogs & Links

  • PPC Luddite

    A blog about living and using PowerPC in the age of Intel with information about security updates, maintenance, software options, and more

  • TenFourFox

    The development blog for TenFourFox, the most current and secure browser for PowerPC Macs

  • System Folder

    A blog for all things vintage Mac hardware and software

  • viva PowerPC

    A blog and RSS feed about Power Macs

  • Mac PowerPC

    A blog with links to PowerPC software, old and new

  • PowerPC Software Archive

    Links to the last versions of popular software for Power Macs

  • Low End Mac

    A blog dedicated to information and resources about classic Macs with tons of information

  • Quadras, Cubes, and G5s

    Working with Pre-Intel Macs, a blog

  • PowerPC Forever

    Old versions of software for PowerPC Macs

  • PowerPC Archive by DyNiForm

    Links, software downloads, guides, hacks, and the Yosemite theme pack

  • Power to the Mac

    A brand new site and blog dedicated to the G5 - check it out.

G5 Center Blog Notes, updates, and thoughts about our G5s

Interview with Cameron Kaiser

Published on August 11, 2016


I happened to be in the Bay area just as Cameron (of TenFour Firefox fame) announced his presence at the Vintage Computer Festival West. Why not stop by and get a few minutes with a guy that is a hero to us PowerPC users?

Check the video below, which should be low enough in quality (360p) to be viewable on most of our machines. If you can't view it, let me know and I will generate a downloadable version too.

If you can't get Youtube to work, download a MP4 version by clicking here.

Thanks to Cameron for his work and taking a couple of minutes to chat. Cool stuff!

-- Nathan

Check Your Ram

Published on August 01, 2016


Checking in briefly with a fun story...

Got an email from a loyal reader who had a lead on a ~$40 (canadian) quad G5 which would boot with fans at full speed and then shut down.

The seller was somewhat certain it was related to the cooling system in the G5. But remember - if a computer overheats, it's not typically in the first few minutes after boot. This G5 was shutting down minutes after being turned on.

In the end, it was (partially the RAM. The G5 had an odd number of RAM. Take out the extra stick, and wallah, the system booted, looking for a startup disk. Keep this in mind as you dig around and check out used systems out and about. The fix may be simpler than you think.

Stay tuned for a special update and potential interview later this week.

Update: Liam wrote back with some success after popping out the extra stick of RAM, but the G5 continued to have issues, especially when CPU was set to anything but "reduced" mode. He flushed the quad cooling system, and things seem to be better. So, keep in mind, it could be more than one thing going on. See the comments for a picture of the beauty.

-- Nathan

Our G5s are getting older everyday.

Published on June 28, 2016


My G5 is nearing its 11th birthday (or thereabouts), and perhaps to celebrate, Apple announced that it was finally introducing a new file system to its line of Macs and devices. (Haha!) HFS+ has lived a long life, and it was about time. But with a new file system in the works, it points to yet another distancing of our old Macs with the inevitable future.

The question will be - how long will we on Leopard (or Tiger) have some interoperability with newer Macs? HFS+ support will be ongoing on newer Macs, so it's not something that will be imminent. Someday, HFS+ support will go away. Then, for those of us who may use those newer machines on a regular basis, we may have to make difficult choices or find workarounds to keep all of our Macs working in beautiful harmony.

I was also struck by other developments. TenFourFox, our beloved hero of the PPC community, will continue to face hurdles to get later versions of Firefox (and the security fixes and features that go with them) working. Cameron's work is amazing nonetheless.

I was excited to see Leopard Webkit with a new version out, but it's likely less secure than TenFourFox and potentially will always be.

The Dropbox hack is also likely facing its end of life - pretty soon, I won't be able to sync my various files between devices quite so easily. *sigh*

At some point, we will all face the difficult reality that our Macs are not going to get any younger. Already, on some websites, my G5 sputters and chokes a bit, taking its sweet time to catch up on html, images, videos, and javascript that my iPhone 6+ renders in seconds. It makes you appreciate simpler webpages and simpler times.

Already, my G5 longs to play newer versions of Minecraft instead of the old outdated version someone shared on MacRumors sometime ago.

While a 11 year old may seem quite young compared to some old mainframes chugging along after all these years, I do expect that someday I will come downstairs, press the power button, and hear a final sad whirl as my G5 shuffles off into restful sleep. Until then, I'll continue to marvel at the noisy behemoth and enjoy the many productive hours it has given me creating cool things and interacting with the world.

-- Nathan

Updates & Links

Published on April 23, 2016


It's a nice, wet spring afternoon up here in the lower northeast, so I got a bit of updates done on the website that have been brewing for a while. I continue to want to improve the readability and accessibility of this website. If you have suggestions or feel like something is missing, please let me know in the comments below.

Meanwhile, one subtle change to the website is that I am trying to include notice of when each page was last updated. Below the introduction text on each page, you'll see a new line:

last updated screenshot

I hope it is helpful as you make return visits, looking for new links and other updated information.

Meanwhile, around the PowerPC world:

  • TenFourFox is now at 38.8.0.
  • I came across Hack5190's pretty solid beginning to hardening your G5 to hackers and other potential attacks. Read it here. He lists more information in the posts that follow, if you are so inclined.
  • lotvai77, another MacRumors poster, managed to hack CorePlayer and keep it working on Power Macs. I don't use CorePlayer, but it may interest you.
  • Updates are coming to SimpleMarkPCC... soon.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

-- Nathan

Celebrating a Birthday

Published on April 18, 2016


No, not my birthday... but the fact that our little hack to keep Dropbox operational on Power Macs is still going strong, one year later.

Read the thread for the full scoop if you missed it the first time. Fun little story of tinkering and experimenting. I sort of got the ball rolling with a nagging idea that Dropbox was only checking for the system version, which prevented the client from loading and syncing. It worked! Forums hero Czo did the real heavy lifting, packaging it together in a much more elegant solution. His most recent update, getting rid of an annoying timer, was also super clever.

Just a fun reminder of the PowerPC community at work, keeping our machines going.

-- Nathan