Author Topic: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs  (Read 66121 times)

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Online EEVblog

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EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« on: August 21, 2015, 10:47:05 pm »
Dave checks out some vintage retro Power Mac G5 machines found in the dumpster.

 

Offline Godzil

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2015, 11:03:58 pm »
 :o

Want one !
When you make hardware without taking into account the needs of the eventual software developers, you end up with bloated hardware full of pointless excess. From the outset one must consider design from both a hardware and software perspective.
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Offline unitedatoms

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2015, 11:12:35 pm »
Apple used those for world record FFT implementation on grids for 2^60 samples.
https://www.apple.com/ca/acg/pdf/20040827_GigaFFT.pdf

I learned about those G5s when searched for scalable FFT papers few years ago. My result is https://github.com/khwas/gigafft where you can do 2^32 samples FFT on small laptop.

So those G5 are not too useless.
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Offline Marco

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2015, 11:15:33 pm »
You can buy conversion kits to make them PC cases.
 

Offline EngineerZ

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2015, 11:26:59 pm »
"Useless" is a bit harsh of a term for a 2 GHz dual processor G5 PowerMAC with 8 GB of memory.  While they don't stack up to today's high-end PCs, those machines are still not too shabby, even 11 years after release, just a little neglected in the OS department.  They can run Ubuntu and other flavors of Linux as well as FreeBSD, so they would be a good machines for someone who wants to explore those OSes.

--z
 

Offline Razor512

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2015, 12:40:12 am »
I wish apple would go back to that case design for their mac pros. The current trash can design sucks and leaves pretty much no room for upgrading. Furthermore, brand new with no dust buildup, if you put a 100% load on the CPU, and GPU at the same time on the new mac pro, both the CPU and GPU will throttle.

Their old design was better and more practical.

 

Offline Bickenheuser

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2015, 01:26:52 am »
Dave,
 Lexan or glass top and You would have sweet Coffee Table.
Use all 3 on the same table ?
Use one for small table.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2015, 01:36:12 am »
great score, easily $200-300 worth
Gutted case alone is >$50, and you have two working ones, nice! People are starting to collect them now and price goes up :).
Their main problem was crazy power consumption (600w for the quad model, no joke), either supply died or cpu modules cooked and thermal expansion cracked joints (can be fixed by reflowing).
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Offline Porto

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2015, 01:39:29 am »
Modded one these beautiful cases to house an ATX PC motherboard and its side components.
Still doing strong!  :-+


 

Offline westfw

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2015, 04:56:13 am »
Heh.  We were using G5-class CPUs in an embedded project at work, quite a few years ago now, and were gloating about being able to pick up "cheap" used G5 Macs as "prototype" test platforms.   Now, as you say, the case is probably the most valuable part :-(

Quote
I wish apple would go back to that case design for their mac pros.
Amen to that.   Sigh.  (Apple seems to oscillate back and forth as to ease of access/upgrade of internals.  One generation will have weird security screws and "no user upgradeable parts", and the next will have a lovely modular case with latched lift-off panel and lots of bays.
I hope my current mac pro (2008 vintage) last till the next generation comes out.
 

Offline WackyGerman

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2015, 06:55:12 am »
Well these macs were the best they ever made . Best performance of the architecture , best audio engine and the best upgrade possibilities . Performance needs power , so they need lot of energy and needed to be cooled well . These machines were favored by many audio , video and graphics engineers because they had the best performance and don t slow down and crash that fast than the intel or amd based pc rubbish that days . These macs are still useable for many things so selling would not be a big problem .  :-+
 

Offline pcdeni

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2015, 07:07:27 am »
I am curious, how would those fans perform in a similar quadcopter to this one: http://hackaday.com/2014/04/01/e-waste-quadcopter-lifts-your-spirits-while-keeping-costs-down/
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2015, 08:44:30 am »
great score, easily $200-300 worth
Gutted case alone is >$50, and you have two working ones, nice! People are starting to collect them now and price goes up :).

Maybe I should keep them for another decade...
 

Offline PeterL

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2015, 09:52:33 am »
you could take everything out, make one or two shelves in them, and replace the cover with a transparant cover. That would turn them into fancy display cases.

Or maybe you can fit a TFT in the side, and place a RPI in it, to make a RPI-powered all-in-one system.
 

Offline Delta

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2015, 10:22:15 am »
I bought a complete G5 setup for £97 a few years ago, purely for making music.  It's far better for audio work than even any modern Windows PC I've tried.
 

Online Someone

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2015, 11:23:45 am »
The same case was used for the later Intel powered workstations, that were famously withdrawn from the European market:
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/01/apple-to-stop-shipping-mac-pro-in-europe-on-march-1/

Something about the fans being accessible in operation without tools, and without proper warning labels.
 

Offline GoneTomorrow

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2015, 12:35:06 pm »
I bought a complete G5 setup for £97 a few years ago, purely for making music.  It's far better for audio work than even any modern Windows PC I've tried.

What applications? Can't see how OS or hardware can affect "making music"
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2015, 01:06:36 pm »
Lower noise floors and designed for good audio in the on board sound system, plus good enough software to record and play back with the editing. You do not really have much advantages in the new software, MP3 and WAV audio is pretty much the same since at least the last 20 years, and once it is digital and sufficiently good bit depth and sample rate wise using the uncompressed date in another format on another machine does not need the original low noise and distortion front end.
 

Offline Laertes

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2015, 01:12:38 pm »
you could take everything out, make one or two shelves in them, and replace the cover with a transparant cover. That would turn them into fancy display cases.

Or maybe you can fit a TFT in the side, and place a RPI in it, to make a RPI-powered all-in-one system.

I like the shelve idea. You could make a little wall mount for the cases, but some nice warm(or RGB with selectable color) ambient lights between the case and the wall and into the case and make a very nice bookshelf out of it...and the clear plexiglass cover would keep your books dust-free.
 

Offline JackM

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2015, 04:07:50 pm »
Is it just me or do the exposed bus bars for the interconnect between the power supply and the mainboard seem like a bad idea? (seen at 9:00 minute mark)
Sure they look gorgeous, but safety wise why would you want them exposed like that? If someone happened to drop a screw or metal shavings in there it could easily short out. Seems like a fire hazard to me.
 

Offline rollatorwieltje

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2015, 04:26:27 pm »
Is it just me or do the exposed bus bars for the interconnect between the power supply and the mainboard seem like a bad idea? (seen at 9:00 minute mark)
Sure they look gorgeous, but safety wise why would you want them exposed like that? If someone happened to drop a screw or metal shavings in there it could easily short out. Seems like a fire hazard to me.

Google for "atx connector melted". I would say in high-end machines using those crappy pc-style connectors is a bigger fire hazard, especially back then when they didn't have the extra 12V connectors on a typical power supply.
On my HD6970 graphics card that sometimes randomly stopped working I found it out just in time, the connector was already too hot to touch.

Don't drop screws and metal filings (where would those even come from?) in a computer, it's generally a bad idea.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2015, 04:30:52 pm »
I agree about the bus bars being an awful idea, just because that thing would be a massive bloody pain to remove. Silly overengineering is bad engineering. ATX connectors only melt when not connected properly. All high current connectors do that.
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Offline codeboy2k

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2015, 04:48:02 pm »
Lower noise floors and designed for good audio in the on board sound system, plus good enough software to record and play back with the editing. You do not really have much advantages in the new software, MP3 and WAV audio is pretty much the same since at least the last 20 years, and once it is digital and sufficiently good bit depth and sample rate wise using the uncompressed date in another format on another machine does not need the original low noise and distortion front end.

That's solved today with high quality outboard USB connected ADC's and DACs. No more internal soundcards for audio work. 
Back in the hayday of these G5 Macs they were the only thing that could reliably do A/V editing (and they had all the best software tools too).  But todays's Intel PC's have become fast enough now, and there's much more software available, some of it even exclusive to PC (sadly)...

I'm no Mac fan boy, nor a Wintel lover.... I'm a Linux nerd, and the limited A/V work I do is covered by the available open source tools.
 

Offline codeboy2k

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2015, 04:58:19 pm »
I agree about the bus bars being an awful idea, just because that thing would be a massive bloody pain to remove. Silly overengineering is bad engineering. ATX connectors only melt when not connected properly. All high current connectors do that.

Pain in the ass compared to plastic connectors, yes... but it's not something that was designed to be removed, and I think it was a great idea at the time for the power being supplied.  These things also bussed the power across the motherboard to the other side, for use by the hard drives bay, which were mounted with the connectors facing out (towards you!).  No reaching into tight spaces on G5's.  Such a great design that I think even todays ATX PC specs can (and should!) learn something from this.
 

Offline Kevman

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Re: EEVblog #783 - Dumpster Dive Power Macs
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2015, 05:10:08 pm »
I guess they're not the water cooled models? The water cooled G5s have bad o-rings and have a tendency to leak...
 


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