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
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.
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.
This website was built on my Power Mac G5, using the following software:
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.
Drop me an email here - nathan @ g5center.net.
Published on April 24, 2017
One of the great Youtube links for Power Mac machines lately comes via ItsMyNaturalColor, a guy with a ton of enthusiasm and love for old Macs. He has a series about putting together the fastest Blue & White G3 tower ever, including an upgraded CPU, SSD drives, RAID drives, ATI 9200 Radeon Card, and Bluetooth. It's a monster machine, and even if you think it is a waste of time, his enthusiasm will get you in the end.
While that is Video 5 of the series, start from the beginning if you want. It's a fun waste of an afternoon.
As a followup, I enjoyed this video as he unboxes a G5 quad and then absolutely gets devastated when he sees what a mess it is in.
Enjoy! -- Nathan
Published on March 21, 2017
Here's a quick brief update. I stumbled across a mirror of some G5 resources from an old version of Apple's Developer Connection. Great links here with developer information about Power Mac G5s and optimization resources. If you find something cool, share it in the comments. Now, go read.
Published on February 11, 2017
The world has felt a little more apocalyptic as of late, so maybe it makes sense that all of a sudden we have a couple of "App Stores" for our PowerPC Macs running Leopard or Tiger. Is this something we need? Maybe. Maybe not. You get to decide.
The coder of this simple but effective app posted here on the site, so I am happy to share a link. The app is apparently built in RealBasic (like my own SimpleMarkPPC) and handily categorizes and links to a variety of useful software. The app is not going to be the most stylish one in the world, but it is effective and well-organized. I did notice a link or two pointing to Macintosh Garden, which might be something to frown up if you are a deeply ethical-minded person. Granted, this is the state of software for us PowerPC folks, so I'm not too concerned. But something to note. Keep an eye on his website for updates or to post suggestions.
Folded in as a part of LeopardRebirth, a PPC theme to make Leopard look more like Sierra, PPCStore is a little more elegant but sparse "app store". I keep putting those words in quotes because I'm not really sure you can buy any apps in these stores. They are essentially just handy collected links to some useful software to grab. PPCStore is much more sparse than the previous entry, but it looks more like the typical App Store you may come to love or despise in later versions of Mac OS X.
As usual, these apps may or may not be useful to you, but I am grateful that fellow PPC heroes are trying their hand at software tools to make our G5s (and G4s) useful for a while yet. Awesome.
Published on January 22, 2017
Another year, another year of service out of my G5.
2017 for me promises to be a weird year - of resistance, change, renewal, and growth. I plan to get back to school with some graduate studies. I plan to write and read more. I plant to program a tad more. I plan to try some new things.
On the G5 front, I really appreciate all the emails that come my way, and I hope my meandering responses are helpful. I'll be combing through those emails and offering up a new Troubleshooting page to the site, with tips and suggestions when your G5 goes horribly wrong. Let's face it - these old Macs won't last forever.
Second, I am hoping to dive back into some programming in XCode and work on a thing or two. New software for our PPC G5s is essentially non-existent or rare. We have TenFourFox, maybe Leopard-Webkit, SimpleMarkPPC (shameless plug), and some themes (like LeopardRebirth). Can we encourage new versions of software or new software products for our aging hardware? I think it's a worthy goal. Stay tuned.
I'd love your feedback as usual. What are you looking forward to for your PPC machines in the new year?
Published on December 19, 2016
Like many of you, when I get a new computer, I typically toss the documentation back into the box, no matter how compelling it looks. I've met people who read it front to back, and sometimes, there is helpful information therein. But I'm reckless and prefer to dive right in, figuring things out on my own.
On cold nights though, it can be fun to dive back in to the technical information available to you with a cursory search in Apple's support section of their website. To get started, go here:
I decided to dig back in case I had missed something before per the oddities that happen between our G5s and certain Solid State Drives (SSD). Was there a particular feature to the Serial-ATA implementation that could be a clue? Was there something special about either drive bay?
Here are the three documents I picked through:
I'm not saying this stuff is riveting reading, but it might be worth tracking down these documents for your particular G5 for a quick browse. For example, I found at least a couple of things that I did not know.
On Additional PCI Cards
When you install additional cards, install the highest bandwidth card in slot 3. Follow these guidelines: Install a second PCI Express card in slot 3, a third in slot 4, and a fourth in slot 2. This takes advantage of the bus bandwidth of each slot.
If you have a 30-inch Cinema Display or two 20/23-inch displays
You can connect a 20-, 23-, or 30-inch Apple Cinema Display to DVI port 1 and a 20- or 23-inch Apple Cinema Display to DVI port 2.
On Additional Video Cards
Important: Combined maximum power consumption for all four PCI Express slots must not exceed 200 watts (W). The total combined maximum video random access memory (VRAM) for all graphics cards is 1 GB (for example, you can install one 512 MB VRAM card and two 256 MB VRAM cards for a total of 1 GB of VRAM).
Unfortunately, I did not find anything helpful around the Serial-ATA implementation, other than a reminder to use the original SATA cables that came with your G5. That's not so helpful though. Have fun doing your own search for the important questions you need answered!