Just gutted a Powermac G5

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Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:28 pm

Someone gave me a Powermac G5. But it didn't have a hard drive and I didn't have the installation disks. I was going to install Linux on the thing, but in reality its extremely underpowered by today's standards and probably also consumes a fair bit of power - especially given its low performance.

So, I gutted it.

I half way regret doing it now that the deed is done because it kinda felt like brutalizing a work of art. But, I'm hoping to mod the thing and stuff it with some PC guts and maybe make a Hackintosh out of it.

But what I really want to talk about is the way the thing was put together. It was built like a tank. It took a long time to take the thing apart. The G5 processor is smaller than a dime and yet the heatsink on the thing is larger than my Scythe Ninja. The motherboard is the largest I've ever seen and it had heatpipes running all over the back of the thing. The G5 CPU was mounted to a duaghter card that had all kinds of other components on it and the daughter card plugged into a socket on the motherboard. The motherboard has 8 RAM slots and what looks like 3 PCI-X slots. Everything was very tightly integrated. The fans are mounted to various different types of mounting brackets that slide into place - those are easily accessed and removed first, but everything else was not so easy to work with.

I was just amazed at how tough it was to get apart and I imagine that sending one of those things into the shop for repairs on something deep inside had to have cost a fortune and probably taken some time.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:19 pm

yet it still only had room for like 2 hard drives. That's one of the things that befuddled all of Apple's followers. The G4 towers that were discounted and later discontinued at the G4's launch could hold like 4 3.5" IDE drives, a Zip drive, and an optical drive. But the G5 never managed to support more than 2 HDDs and single optical drive.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1305

Daughter cards for the CPU had been the order of the day since the first G4 towers. They're pretty marvelous to behold. like a 3" square with a little package holding the actual CPU. On the G4's, there were cache chips - up to 1MB external L2 for the 550MHz chips on down, and up to 2MB of external L3 (L2 was integrated) for the 667Mhz and higher ones.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:41 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:yet it still only had room for like 2 hard drives. That's one of the things that befuddled all of Apple's followers. The G4 towers that were discounted and later discontinued at the G4's launch could hold like 4 3.5" IDE drives, a Zip drive, and an optical drive. But the G5 never managed to support more than 2 HDDs and single optical drive.


When I upgraded from my G4 tower to my Dual G5 2.7 I went with external FW800 drives. FW800 really saved the day back then.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:26 am

Yeah the two drive limit is pure stupidity.

I plan to put up some pictures in a bit.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:54 am

I've toyed with the idea of buying one for a long time, just because it is basically a technological work of art. Yet a good one is still going to be $300 or so, for what amounts to crappy but beautiful computer. Maybe someday.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:02 am

I had a dual G5 for some time. It was really wonderful as a general use workstation, and it was the computing equivalent of having Hayden Panettiere sit on your desk all the time. It's not underpowered at all really, it can do everything just fine - why did you think it was underpowered? I sold it for a GTX470 though.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:15 am

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:I had a dual G5 for some time. It was really wonderful as a general use workstation, and it was the computing equivalent of having Hayden Panettiere sit on your desk all the time. It's not underpowered at all really, it can do everything just fine - why did you think it was underpowered? I sold it for a GTX470 though.

What makes me think it was underpowered? Darn... I never have any graphs comparing a dual G5 to any recent computer lying around when I need them. Well, I'll just say this: A Zacate E350 system that peaks at 50 watts (25 watts with the right power supply) probably outperforms a dual G5 that idles at 100 watts.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:43 pm

flip-mode wrote:
Crayon Shin Chan wrote:I had a dual G5 for some time. It was really wonderful as a general use workstation, and it was the computing equivalent of having Hayden Panettiere sit on your desk all the time. It's not underpowered at all really, it can do everything just fine - why did you think it was underpowered? I sold it for a GTX470 though.

What makes me think it was underpowered? Darn... I never have any graphs comparing a dual G5 to any recent computer lying around when I need them. Well, I'll just say this: A Zacate E350 system that peaks at 50 watts (25 watts with the right power supply) probably outperforms a dual G5 that idles at 100 watts.


I finally found my CINEBENCH R10 scores of my Dual 2.7 G5 and various other computers I had at the time:

Dual 2.7 G5 (2005)
Rendering (Single CPU): 1970 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 3574 CB-CPU

Core Duo 1.66 Mac mini (2006)
Rendering (Single CPU): 1672 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 3150 CB-CPU

AMD Athlon X2 4800+ (2006)
Rendering (Single CPU): 2253 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 4335 CB-CPU

Core 2 Duo 2.33 MacBook Pro (2006
Rendering (Single CPU): 2517 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 4727 CB-CPU

Q6600 @3GHZ (2007)
Rendering (Single CPU): 3365 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 11972 CB-CPU
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:45 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:Daughter cards for the CPU had been the order of the day since the first G4 towers. They're pretty marvelous to behold. like a 3" square with a little package holding the actual CPU. On the G4's, there were cache chips - up to 1MB external L2 for the 550MHz chips on down, and up to 2MB of external L3 (L2 was integrated) for the 667Mhz and higher ones.

Sounds an awful lot like Slot 1 / Slot A, just without the plastic casing.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:16 pm

One of these days I'll actually pick up a G5 case or even one of the older Graphite G4 cases to gut and turn into my desktop machine. I say I'd use it for a server, but for the things I use a server for, its a waste since I can just use a Zacate net top and be satisfied.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:11 pm

just brew it! wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:Daughter cards for the CPU had been the order of the day since the first G4 towers. They're pretty marvelous to behold. like a 3" square with a little package holding the actual CPU. On the G4's, there were cache chips - up to 1MB external L2 for the 550MHz chips on down, and up to 2MB of external L3 (L2 was integrated) for the 667Mhz and higher ones.

Sounds an awful lot like Slot 1 / Slot A, just without the plastic casing.


That is something like saying a Camero and a Ferrari are both sports cars. The engineering on the G5 CPU module is something to behold. http://www.chaosmint.com/mac/g5-processor-module

--ss
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:20 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:That is something like saying a Camero and a Ferrari are both sports cars. The engineering on the G5 CPU module is something to behold. http://www.chaosmint.com/mac/g5-processor-module

--ss



CamAro. I am constantly amazed how people that OWN these cars still spell it wrong.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:12 pm

just brew it! wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:Daughter cards for the CPU had been the order of the day since the first G4 towers. They're pretty marvelous to behold. like a 3" square with a little package holding the actual CPU. On the G4's, there were cache chips - up to 1MB external L2 for the 550MHz chips on down, and up to 2MB of external L3 (L2 was integrated) for the 667Mhz and higher ones.

Sounds an awful lot like Slot 1 / Slot A, just without the plastic casing.

Yeah, i suppose so. They had some sort of funky socket and you clamped them down with screws roughly the same size as those you'd use in your expansion card brackets. In fact, those kind of case screws would work if you lost one of the originals. In fact, IIRC some of the old Power PC Macs (pre-G3) used CPU slots instead of sockets.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:11 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:That is something like saying a Camero and a Ferrari are both sports cars. The engineering on the G5 CPU module is something to behold. http://www.chaosmint.com/mac/g5-processor-module

What's the heatpipe for? To cool the VRMs?
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:17 pm

I have a old G3 and G4, cases are cool imo,I was going to throw them out after reading this thread ,i'll see if they still actually work.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:43 pm

just brew it! wrote:
SecretSquirrel wrote:That is something like saying a Camero and a Ferrari are both sports cars. The engineering on the G5 CPU module is something to behold. http://www.chaosmint.com/mac/g5-processor-module

What's the heatpipe for? To cool the VRMs?

If you think that heatpipe is suspicious, you should see the back of the motherboard. There's a heatpipe snaking around that must be 18" long on back of that thing. Crazy big motherboard too. Apple must have had the CPUs and a few more things clocked to the utter limit on these machines.

And the PSU is about 12" long, 6" wide, and 2" deep, approximately. Good for 600 watts. And scarce little of that went to the anemic GPU or either of the two possible hard drives. Me thinks it was all for the CPUs. T'would explain the massive heatsinks.

7 total fans including the two fans on the PSU.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:48 pm

Ah, so the G5 ran into the same issues as the P4. Clock for clock's sake means power and heat and lots of difficulty dealing with both.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:48 pm

End User wrote:
flip-mode wrote:
Crayon Shin Chan wrote:I had a dual G5 for some time. It was really wonderful as a general use workstation, and it was the computing equivalent of having Hayden Panettiere sit on your desk all the time. It's not underpowered at all really, it can do everything just fine - why did you think it was underpowered? I sold it for a GTX470 though.

What makes me think it was underpowered? Darn... I never have any graphs comparing a dual G5 to any recent computer lying around when I need them. Well, I'll just say this: A Zacate E350 system that peaks at 50 watts (25 watts with the right power supply) probably outperforms a dual G5 that idles at 100 watts.


I finally found my CINEBENCH R10 scores of my Dual 2.7 G5 and various other computers I had at the time:

Dual 2.7 G5 (2005)
Rendering (Single CPU): 1970 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 3574 CB-CPU

Core Duo 1.66 Mac mini (2006)
Rendering (Single CPU): 1672 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 3150 CB-CPU

AMD Athlon X2 4800+ (2006)
Rendering (Single CPU): 2253 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 4335 CB-CPU

Core 2 Duo 2.33 MacBook Pro (2006
Rendering (Single CPU): 2517 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 4727 CB-CPU

Q6600 @3GHZ (2007)
Rendering (Single CPU): 3365 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 11972 CB-CPU


Nice info!
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:05 pm

just brew it! wrote:
SecretSquirrel wrote:That is something like saying a Camero and a Ferrari are both sports cars. The engineering on the G5 CPU module is something to behold. http://www.chaosmint.com/mac/g5-processor-module

What's the heatpipe for? To cool the VRMs?



Back side of the VRMs, yes.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:12 pm

flip-mode wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
SecretSquirrel wrote:That is something like saying a Camero and a Ferrari are both sports cars. The engineering on the G5 CPU module is something to behold. http://www.chaosmint.com/mac/g5-processor-module

What's the heatpipe for? To cool the VRMs?

If you think that heatpipe is suspicious, you should see the back of the motherboard. There's a heatpipe snaking around that must be 18" long on back of that thing. Crazy big motherboard too. Apple must have had the CPUs and a few more things clocked to the utter limit on these machines.

And the PSU is about 12" long, 6" wide, and 2" deep, approximately. Good for 600 watts. And scarce little of that went to the anemic GPU or either of the two possible hard drives. Me thinks it was all for the CPUs. T'would explain the massive heatsinks.

7 total fans including the two fans on the PSU.

My Dual 2.7 G5 is liquid cooled - http://goo.gl/p2F0P (not my image)

It still runs and is in daily use.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:15 pm

End User wrote:My Dual 2.7 G5 is liquid cooled - http://goo.gl/p2F0P (not my image)

It still runs and is in daily use.

Are you also using a Delphi-sourced auto heater core as a radiator?
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:53 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
End User wrote:My Dual 2.7 G5 is liquid cooled - http://goo.gl/p2F0P (not my image)

It still runs and is in daily use.

Are you also using a Delphi-sourced auto heater core as a radiator?


As far as I know, all the liquid cooling systems in the G5s are Delphi. Yeah, I found that odd, too.

edit: I'm wrong, later ones were done by Panasonic and more reliable--the Delphi models tended to leak.
Last edited by Scrotos on Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:57 pm

flip-mode wrote:Someone gave me a Powermac G5. But it didn't have a hard drive and I didn't have the installation disks. I was going to install Linux on the thing, but in reality its extremely underpowered by today's standards and probably also consumes a fair bit of power - especially given its low performance.

So, I gutted it.


A pity. You might have been able to sell it for decent: http://www.lowendmac.com/deals/best-pow ... rices.html

But probably more fun to mod it out!
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:08 pm

flip-mode wrote:I was just amazed at how tough it was to get apart and I imagine that sending one of those things into the shop for repairs on something deep inside had to have cost a fortune and probably taken some time.


Oh, you should have tried working on a Powermac 8100/8500 case.

http://lowendmac.com/mail/03/0528.html#6

The steps are similar for just installing more RAM. I wish I had a pictoral guide for that, it's... an adventure.

derFunkenstein wrote:Daughter cards for the CPU had been the order of the day since the first G4 towers. They're pretty marvelous to behold. like a 3" square with a little package holding the actual CPU. On the G4's, there were cache chips - up to 1MB external L2 for the 550MHz chips on down, and up to 2MB of external L3 (L2 was integrated) for the 667Mhz and higher ones.


I never got the 2-drive limit, either. I think once they went Intel they allowed for 4 internal drives. But still...

And daughter cards were really popular with the PowerPC 601/603/603e/604/604e series, too. I think it was only the G3's that didn't use them since the switch from 68k? Some other mac nut will probably know that off the top of his head. Predated the Slot 1/Slot A tomfoolery on the PC side by several years, I think.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:17 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Ah, so the G5 ran into the same issues as the P4. Clock for clock's sake means power and heat and lots of difficulty dealing with both.


Yup, and Jobs promised 3GHz at an Apple keynote and IBM didn't get there and BOOM they switched to Intel. Decent info here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Mac_G5

And the Ars articles at the bottom under "External Links". Good stuff.
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:07 am

SecretSquirrel wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:Daughter cards for the CPU had been the order of the day since the first G4 towers. They're pretty marvelous to behold. like a 3" square with a little package holding the actual CPU. On the G4's, there were cache chips - up to 1MB external L2 for the 550MHz chips on down, and up to 2MB of external L3 (L2 was integrated) for the 667Mhz and higher ones.

Sounds an awful lot like Slot 1 / Slot A, just without the plastic casing.


That is something like saying a Camero and a Ferrari are both sports cars. The engineering on the G5 CPU module is something to behold. http://www.chaosmint.com/mac/g5-processor-module

--ss


So ummmm....where is the interface from the CPU module to the rest of the system?
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:33 am

Scrotos wrote:And daughter cards were really popular with the PowerPC 601/603/603e/604/604e series, too. I think it was only the G3's that didn't use them since the switch from 68k? Some other mac nut will probably know that off the top of his head. Predated the Slot 1/Slot A tomfoolery on the PC side by several years, I think.


That brought back memories. Back in the day I upgraded my 7300/180 to a G3. I still use the 7300 (monitor stand).

Cripes. I forgot that I have two G4 450's and a second gen iMac behind the sofa!
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:36 am

Captain Ned wrote:
End User wrote:My Dual 2.7 G5 is liquid cooled - http://goo.gl/p2F0P (not my image)

It still runs and is in daily use.

Are you also using a Delphi-sourced auto heater core as a radiator?


I haven't a clue. What should I look for?
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Re: Just gutted a Powermac G5

Postposted on Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:14 am

MadManOriginal wrote:
SecretSquirrel wrote:That is something like saying a Camero and a Ferrari are both sports cars. The engineering on the G5 CPU module is something to behold. http://www.chaosmint.com/mac/g5-processor-module

So ummmm....where is the interface from the CPU module to the rest of the system?

Looks like there's a connector on the underside of the module, visible to the right side in the upper picture. In the lower picture (top side of the module) you can also see the array of through holes where the pins of the connector are soldered.
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