Upgrading a Beige G3 Tower

in General Discussion edited January 2014
My friend recently won an old G3 tower that used to be in the computer lab of our community college (Graceland U) for 50 bucks. Not too bad of a deal for an X-capable machine, even if Panther will never run on it. We castrated his Dell by pulling the 128MB stick in it, put it in the G3 and it worked like a charm, 224MB of total RAM. Brought it to my place, overclocked it from 266MHz proc/66MHz bus to 292/83MHz bus. Runs under 100F after being on for a long time, not bad considering my iMac peaks at 136F. Did a clean install of X.2 after wiping the drive, and everything worked well.

Now for the purchasing advice: this thing needs USB on PCI (don't really need 2.0), a 56K PCI modem, and maybe a CD-RW drive. Looking on googlegear.com, I can get the USB card for thirty bucks shipped and the modem for fifteen-twenty bucks shipped. The problem is I have absolutely no idea if either will work at all with OS X, or any Mac OS. I don't want to make my friend invest in stuff that wont work in the G3, so I'm wondering if any of you guys know if this stuff is covered by generic drivers (in X, Classic can blow me) or not. And as for the USB card, I'm guessing a USB keyboard won't be able to soft power-on the machine, right?

As for the CD-RW, a regular old Lite-On drive will probably work? Maybe a slightly slower, midrange model that the X drivers recognize. Looking at the reader reports on XLR8YourMac.com, the Lite-On drives look like the best deal for the drive most likely guaranteed to work.

He plans on buying a 256MB stick of RAM guaranteed to work from OWC for thirty bucks shipped, making a total of 448MB of RAM. I know a stick of PC100 can be had elsewhere for less...but will any old stick do? The one from his Dell worked, but it is one that he purchased from eBay with the original intent of putting in his 7200 (not smart.)


  • Reply 1 of 4
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Sounds like a cool deal you have there. The USB card will probably say if it works with OSX on it's website. Good place to check. (I'm lazy 8) ) Although personally I would check out USB/Firewire combo cards since the beige has only 3 PCI slots. Your friend may want to get a Firewire CD-RW and leave the USB bandwidth for a optical mouse. (Which I highly recommend) As for RAM, I had problems with 256MB sticks where the Beige only recognized 1/2 of it. It has to do with the size and number of the chips on the stick. The $30 RAM stick will work, but if you have a cheaper one, no harm in trying. If it doesn't work you can return it or make a bookmark.

    Hmmm. Overclocking... I should look into it.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    spartspart Posts: 2,060member
    Thanks! Not sure that he has a need for FW, and those cards cost twice as much. We're going to replace the internal CD-ROM with the CD-RW, so no need for FW there.

    There needs to be a list of supported peripherals somewhere...

    Anyone know about 56K PCI modems?
  • Reply 3 of 4
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    why not save and get an emac...he'd probably like that more and he would have all of the stuff that u plan on adding to the g3 no?

    i did only read 1/2 to 3/4 of your post...it was very long and i'm onlunch break, dont expect too much from me
  • Reply 4 of 4
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Never seen a PCI 56K modem for a Mac, but the Beige G3 does have a 56K modem port. Some links:


    http://www.toshibalaptops.com/m7405ll-a.html Toshiba website??? Whatever!
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