When You Feel Bored, Read Apple Documentation About Your G5

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!

— Nathan

Where to Find PowerPC Community

A loyal reader asked me a good question – where do you go to find a discussion forum for other PowerPC users?

The actual question included a subtle suggestion that I open up some kind of forum or give a way for more ongoing discussion here on the site. I love that idea, but my history with web forums, especially on small sites like mine, is that they get stale and stagnant. No need to create competition among our limited community, and I really don’t like the security issues that come with hosting forums. Spam is a major issue.

First, you are always welcome to hijack any post thread I have with a specific question or something to share, even if it is off-topic. Go for it. I appreciate that a number of people email me, and I do apologize if I don’t get back right away or miss your email. Feel free to send again. I won’t take offense. I have a full-time (plus) calling, and my schedule tends to be unpredictable.

Second, here are some suggestions if you want to discuss your machines, trade war stories, offer links, or whatever. Keep in mind that any forum is populated by people with different backgrounds, some with inaccurate information, and others with sizable egos. Just like life. Have some perspective. AND DON’T FORGET TO SEARCH TO SEE IF SOMEONE ALREADY ASKED YOUR QUESTION. (Haha.)

  • MacRumors PowerPC Forum is a really solid discussion forum (maybe the largest of the bunch) with a swathe of opinionated, experienced people. But it’s a good way to stay up on top of what is new.
  • Info-Mac is another resource. Dan, the System7Today guy, has transitioned the old System 7 conversations to the Vintage Mac channel. I didn’t see a specific PowerPC channel, but this might be a good place to start.
  • ThinkClassic seems like another potential resource, though the newer PowerPC forum doesn’t seem so heavily used. That could always change.
  • 68KMLA is a great resource for fans of older Mac tech, and their PowerPC forum, which I didn’t realize they had, looks to be well-maintained and has some excellent resources.

As you go looking for discussion sites or resources, feel free to share them with me. I am going to work on switching around my links and may add a few more that you find useful.

— Nathan