You don't need to max out the RAM. Note that each model has different limits and types of RAM. All RAM must be installed in pairs, so keep that in mind as you look for deals. The amazing code wizard responsible for TenFourFox has written an exhaustive, detailed guide to maintenance for your G5. It covers a lot of ground and even spends time talking about liquid cooled machines.
You will definitely want to bookmark it and enjoy its insightful information. Always good to have a plan. Viva PowerPC also has a nice write up about cleaning out and refreshing your G5 for the long haul. Read it here.
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A new hard drive can significantly improve the performance of your G5. Yes, newer SATA drives should be backwards compatible. Your G5 can support up to two hard drives internally. Your main decision will be whether to go with a regular platter hard drive in a size of your choice or a solid state drive which is faster and typically more expensive in smaller capacities. Solid state drives provide even faster boot times and application performance with less heat and power usage. SSDs are more expensive and smaller in size, but even a GB drive would be more than enough for Leopard and a lot of applications.
Since Leopard A final option is a hybrid drive which combines a platter hard drive and a small SSD to serve as a cache. These are somewhat similar to what Apple calls a Fusion Drive. You'll tend to see a boost in performance if you use a core set of apps over and over again within that 8 GB of space.
Otherwise, performance will be typical of platter drives. For SSDs, be wary of refurb options; they may have a limited lifespan. A factory reconditioned platter drive will likely be fine. As usual, pay attention to the reviews of the drives you are considering - some companies have less than stellar track records. In the past, I've been recommended to go with Sandforce drives, but they are not the only option.
Below are a list of recommended drives that have been confirmed to work on a G5.
This list will be updated. Try to figure out whether or not the drive is compatible with your G5. Read reviews, and search for other Power Mac users and their experience with the drive. If your new SSD is not "seen" by your Mac, try placing it in the upper or lower bays. Remove any other hard drives. Consider booting from another Mac to see if a later version of Leopard can see the drive. Recommended Setup Note: Most SSDs come with some portion of the drive already partitioned to keep performance nominal.
You can add to this partition by leaving a portion of your SSD unformatted. In Disk Utility, for instance, create 2 partitions. One partition is for your OS. For more details on the benefits of this, read this article.
There might be a possibility of slotting in a faster model's motherboard into your existing case. I guess all that leaves is the RAM Phase 2 is compilation. That'll be some drudgery, but I think we're on target for release with 38ESR. I had no idea about the Quadro cards being so cheap.
Most of the ones on eBay are actually flashed cards, and it's actually pretty simple to flash one, though you need a PC. I did flash a years ago for my G4. As to the SSD and write endurance, you'll be fine. Your mechanical hard drive won't wear out like an SSD, but it can also decide to up and fail in a moment's notice anyway. And by that time, you will either want a new SSD anyway as prices fall or have migrated away from your G5. I can mark off the Intel as being incompatible, from my own experience, but supposedly even the Samsung EVO, which is a nice drive, works well in a G5.
The second trick is making sure you get a solid drive and not flaky stuff from OCZ or Kingston. I imagine an SSD would add a nice kick of speed to some of the work you do on your G5.
compatible video card for G5 "PowerMa… - Apple Community
Considering I'm still using my G5, I'm pretty bad at estimating when I'll migrate away. I still think there's too many gotchas even now with finding an SSD that works as you point out. Maybe that'll change by the time my next swap is due.
I try to stick with those. Don't blame you on that - it is nice to be safe. But you have me intrigued about the Quadro now since I drive a decent size display x Those are the closest we G5 owners will get to the Fusion Drive experience. Keep up the good work.
Power Mac G5s: Two brains, one chip
On the TenFourFox subject, thank you for your amazing work. I have been using it for a few weeks with unofficial releases on TenFourFox, Firefox and Safari on Intel , it works well.
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If possible, it seriously raises the bar. I've once read that you could also flash a GTX into your G5. I don't know if it's actually possible nor do I have the resources to try it but I just thought you might find this interesting. I'm not sure where you could find it now though.