Rebuild of iMac G5

16 March 2013

I picked up an iMac G5 the other day from one of the girls at work. She acquired it from the GoodWill for $15. Apparently they thought it was an old television which is why it was so cheap.

She gave up the G5 to me because it kept powering off suddenly and/or wouldn't power on at times.

I opened it up today suspecting blown capacitors in the power supply. Once I got it opened, my suspicions were confirmed upon looking over the PSU. I saw three capacitors who had blown their lids.

I ordered another PSU from eBay.

It had a 1GB RAM chip in it from Crucial so it appears that someone had added that at some point during it's life. I ordered a second 1GB RAM chip from OWC today as well, bringing it to it's 2GB maximum.

I then removed the 80GB WD HDD and ran Spinrite on it.

It only took 2 hours to complete compared to the 80 hours it took on my 1TB HDD from my 2010 iMac. No bad sectors were reported, so the HDD is in good condition.

I'm considering putting an SSD in it, but held off on ordering one until I do some more research on which one I should get first.

I really like how easy this G5 came apart over my 2010 iMac. I much preferred the G5's rear backing coming off rather than the front so that I didn't have to mess around with the display. Plus it was easier to get the panel off as well with just 3 screws to loosen.

Additionally, I was impressed at how clean the inside was for being an older computer. There was next to no dust inside it at all.

It's fully updated with all Apple updates (10.5.8) and seems to be running fine.

I have SimCity 4 Rush Hour patched with 1.0.2 and it's running just fine.

Overall, the OS is running okay, but with just a hint of choppiness. I think it's because of having only 1GB of RAM. I will be looking closer at the RAM I bought to see what I did, because I think I got the wrong kind. Then I'll order the proper RAM and get it running better.

I'm still looking into an SSD as well.

It's current specifications are:

Download the pdf version with pictures here.