Apple tech-heads, help required!


Hi, new member to the board!

Basically, I'm buying a G5 off a guy off a music forum I frequent, but the guy seems to know absolutely naff all about anything in it, except that its a single 1.8ghz, 512 ram model. From this evidence I've assumed that it's probrably one of the original model G5's? Would I be correct in that assumption, as the only models that seem to be about now are the dual processor ones? (well from what I can see on the Apple website anyway)

What I wanted to know is.. Would I be able to;

a) insert a 512 stick of DDR ram from my PC into the G5?
b) take out my 'rather old' m-audio soundcard from my PC and put this in the G5 (I've asked the guy if he knows wether its PCI, PCI-X, etc but he doesn't know, so I'm kinda relying on you guys assumptions!)
c) and also take out my Geforce 6800GT AGP card and put this in the G5 too, so I could still run my dual displays

The other question I asked him was wether it was already equipped to handle 2 DVI monitors, to which he responded 'It looks sorta like theres 2 monitor outputs', were any of the early G5s fitted with dual display capability?

Many thanks,
The RAM stick from your PC needs to be a 184-pin PC3200 (400MHz) DIMM in order for it to work in your 1.8GHz PowerMac. You will also need 2 of these as RAM must be installed in pairs. If the PowerMac already has 512MB of RAM then it is actually two 256MB sticks installed as a pair.

Neither your sound card nor your video card will work in the PowerMac's PCI slots (the 1.8GHz PowerMac's don't have PCI-X by the way).

The current video card in the PowerMac does support dual displays and is probably a Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra which has a single-link DVI port and an ADC port. It is possible there is an ATI 9600 XT in there though if he bought that option. Either way, you would have to buy an ADC to DVI adapter to run 2 DVI monitors off this machine. As is, you can run 1 DVI and 1 ADC unless you buy the adapter.
RAM doesn't need to be installed in pairs anymore; hasn't since the 80's sometime. You get slightly better performance in some situations if it is in matched pairs, but it certainly doesn't need to be.

Your sound card may or may not work, depending on the model. a quick google for 'm-audio sound card "os x"' turned up as hit number one - so there's at least one m-audio card that is OS X compatible. Check your specific model.

At least some 1.8 GHz G5 PowerMacs do have PCI-X. Get the fellow to check (apple menu > about this mac > more info, and then explore the Hardware list).

The PowerMac will have only one AGP slot, so you can choose to keep the video card that's in there, or use the one you have - I have the impression that yours is newer and faster, so you may want to use it.
THe only computers that I remember which needed pairs of RAM were the first Pentiums due to the "superscalar" design (they were actually two CPUs stacked into one die).

But since the PII and early PPC systems (although I don't remember any 68K systems requiring this either) this "pairing" hasn't been necessary. Now, if you are talking about interleaving memory, that's different, as that was supposed to increase memory performance.
The ram I'm using is 'OCZ Premier 512MB DDR400 PC3200 CL 2.5-3-3-7', apparently.

Getting some mixed opinions here, so some people think the video card might run? The soundcard is a m-audio audiophile.. I doubt it'll work.. doesn't matter anyway, I managed to snap one of the phono ports on it so I need to buy a new one anyhow
Also, my other concern is.. if I was to experiment once I get the G5, and test out the ram/graphics card/sound card, etc and they weren't compatible, is there a possibility I could fry the card? Or would it just plain not work.
Concerning the memory installation issue, I was quoting Apple article number 86414 where it states:

"Power Mac G5: Memory Specifications and Requirements
Learn the type of memory (RAM) used in Power Mac G5 and Power Mac G5 (June 2004) computers and the installation requirements.

Power Mac G5 memory slots accept only 184-pin dual inline memory modules (DIMMs). The memory must be DDR SDRAM at a speed rating that depends on computer model (see the table below).


The required RAM speed is listed on the serial label in your computer as either 333 MHz or 400 MHz.
Use only the speed specified. Slower RAM (for example, PC2100) will not work in this computer.

DDR SDRAM DIMMs must be installed in matched pairs. "Matched" in this context means that the two DIMMs have the same capacity and speed. A valid pair would be two 512 MB PC2700 DIMMs, for example."

Now perhaps the word must is incorrectly used by Apple and they really mean 'you should'. In my Windows PC which uses DDR2 RAM, it states in the manual,"DDR2 memory modules should be installed in pairs of matched memory size, speed, and technology. If the DDR2 memory modules are not installed in matched pairs, the computer will continue to operate, but with a slight reduction in performance."

It is probably the interleaving of memory that Apple is referring to when it tells you to install them in pairs.
When it comes to the PCI cards, as long as they fit into the slot, you don't have to worry about voltage problems. The G5's with PCI slots take 3.3v PCI cards only and 5v cards are keyed differently, so they won't fit.

The video card will absolutely not work in the Mac. You can put it in if you like, but there are no drivers for that card nor is it's firmware made to work in a Macintosh. If PC video cards worked in Mac's, nobody would pay the $100 premium to get the Mac version.

Some people have successfully flashed the firmware of a PC video card with Mac firmware, but this was only successful on a few models of ATI cards and those cards had a Mac and a PC version. This process doesn't have a 100% success rate either. If you fail, the card is toast. But, since your video card does not exist in the Mac world, there is no Mac firmware with which you could flash your card.
MacWarehouse is selling a PC video card. Check the OS requirements on the page you quoted. You'll see it isn't for Macintosh computers.

Please don't attempt to flash the bios of your PC card, even if you find a way, the probability of success is low.
Your Audiophile will work with that G5 (so long as it's a single processor model, if it's a dual processor there may be complications - check out the PCI compatability link at It should work in the single processor model's standard PCI slots, despite the fact that they operate at a different voltage level to older (G4 and PC) PCI slots: M-Audio thankfully have apparently planned ahead for the change.
You can get an OS X driver for your soundcard at
Thanks ziess, kinda relieved to know that I don't have to fork out for a new soundcard now too!

Do you think it will matter that the cards about 3 years old?

Sorry applemaz, didn't read the requirements, was trying to be facetious, heh.

So.. Basically in my PC I'm using now, I've got 2 x 512 sticks of ram, this Mac supposedly has 512 so by your reconing that will be 2 x 256 sticks? Theoretically then I could remove both sticks of ram from both machines and just swop them over?

Cheers for everyones help so far.

Another thing that I wondered was, is it safe to put my NTFS drives from my PC in the G5? I know it can't write to the drive but just for the purpose of copying my files from one drive to the other, is this safe? I can't risk losing my files!

And also, does IDE work in the same fashion in Macs as PCs? (you can tell I've never owned a Mac before.. :D just need to make sure) ie. Primary Master, Secondry Slave, blah, blah

You G5 uses SATA drives, not IDE drives. If the drives from the PC are SATA, it is safe. If their ATA/IDE, you would need an ATA/IDE PCI card for the drives.
Cheers, only problem is I live in the UK.

Is there any chance you could have a quick peek on and see if you can find a similar item? I've been looking for the last 20 minutes or so to no avail, not 100% sure what I'm looking for.

Thanks for your help
A better question would be, am I able to just network my PC and G5? That way I could copy files over easily

If so are there any FAQ's or whatever on doing this?
Didn't see any cards on ebay/UK

Yes, you can network the two machines, failry simple

Connect the two machines with an Ethernet cable, might need a crossover cable.

On the Mac - Turn On Windows File Sharing in the Sharing PreferencePane

On the PC, right click the drive to share, and set it up.

On the Mac, use the Go Menu - Connect to Server. If the PC isn't listed, click the Bowse button.