Low End Mac's Best Deals

Best Power Mac G3 and PCI Video Card Prices

Also CPU Upgrades, ADB Mice, and ADB Keyboards

2012.02.15

With low-end G4 Power Macs going for a song these days, there's little reason to invest in a G3 Power Mac any longer. These machines were great workhorses in their day and still have a lot of useful life in them, but they're no longer a good investment. This is the last time we'll update this page on a regular basis, although we hope to update it a few times a year.

With models introduced in 1997, 1998, and 1999, G3 Power Macs are quite dated. Fortunately, the use of IDE hard drives, PCI expansion slots, and CPU sockets gives these Macs a lot of upgrade potential - they can even be upgraded with G4 processors.

Beige G3 Power Mac, introduced in November 1997, are the oldest Macs supported under OSæX. We consider the Beige G3 market on its last legs, as there's not much money to be made selling $25-50 computers. There are also some drawbacks to using OS X on beige G3s compared to the Blue & White G3. These are the most powerful Macs ever with an built-in floppy drive (which is not supported by OS X), and they have built-in SCSI support, so they can be a great platform for working with floppies and SCSI drives.

If you're looking for a powerful, upgradable computer to use with the classic Mac OS or an inexpensive machine that supports Mac OSæX (through version 10.4.11) decently, a Blue & White Power Mac G3 can be just the ticket, especially with a 7200 rpm hard drive and up to 1 GB of RAM.

You can buy a Blue & White Power Mac G3/350 for as little as $80, making it a decent, low cost way to own a Mac with FireWire (although it can't boot from FireWire). Boost RAM to at least 256 MB (512 MB to 1 GB is better), add a 7200 rpm hard drive, and replace the CD-ROM with a DVD-ROM-ROM, Combo drive, or SuperDrive, and you're ready to run Mac OSæX 10.4 Tiger (a better PCI video card can further improve things).

An even better bet can be a Power Mac G4 with AGP graphics, and those are currently available for as little as $100.

blue and white G3We recommend at least 256 MB of RAM and 4æGB of free hard drive space if you want to use any version of OSæX. You'll be happier with even more RAM and a fast, modern hard drive. Note that hard drives over 120 GB are not fully supported by the hard drive controller in G3 Macs (see How Big a Hard Drive Can I Put in My iMac, eMac, Power Mac, PowerBook, or iBook?/a>) - and you must have a hard drive or first partition of less than 8æGB if you wish to run OSæX on a beige G3 (and you can run into problems with the Classic Mac OS as well if your boot partition is over 8 GB in size).

Apple does not support the beige G3 with Mac OSæX 10.3 or later, but it is supported with 10.2.x and earlier. 10.3 can be installed on the beige G3 using XPostFacto 3.1, and 10.4 can be installed using XPostFacto 4. Note that 10.4 normally ships on DVD-ROM, so you will need a DVD-capable drive. (For another B&W G3 option, see Installing OS X 10.4 Tiger on DVD-challenged Macs using FireWire Target Disk Mode.)

Apple doesn't support the G3 Macs in OS X 10.5 Leopard, not even with G4 CPU upgrades. See The Future of G3 Power Macs in the Age of Leopard for more on that subject.

Used Macs typically have a 90 day warranty. Prices limited to quantity on hand. Shipping can easily add $30 to $50 to your final purchase price. Not responsible for typos. Please email any corrections or additional sources with competitive prices to Dan Knight .

Best deals are in bold type in listings below.

Best Blue & White G3 Prices

Best PCI Video Card Prices

Recent Memory Prices

Mac OS Prices

At these prices, there's no reason not to have at least one 256 MB module installed, 512-768 MB will help unleash OS X, and the B&W supports up to 1 GB of RAM.

Profiles

Operator Headgap

Prices include shipping. Operator Headgap thoroughly refurbishes and tests every Mac. When entering your shipping information, please let them know you heard about them on Low End Mac. Thanks!

Beige G3 Desktop

Beige G3 Tower

Blue & White G3

Wegener Media

Ground shipping may add $35 or more. 60 day warranty.

CPU Upgrades

Operator Headgap

Prices include shipping. Operator Headgap thoroughly refurbishes and tests every Mac they sell. When buying, please let them know you heard about them on Low End Mac when entering your shipping information. Thanks!

PCI Video Cards

The most poweful PCI video card for Macs is the ATI Radeon 9200.

Mac-Pro

Operator Headgap

Operator Headgap thoroughly refurbishes and tests every Mac they sell. When buying, please let them know you heard about them on Low End Mac when entering your shipping information. Thanks!

Wegener Media

60 day warranty

We Love Macs

ADB Mice and Keyboards

Operator Headgap

Operator Headgap thoroughly refurbishes and tests every Mac they sell. When buying, please let them know you heard about them on Low End Mac when entering your shipping information. Thanks!

Shreve Systems

Prices reflect 3% cash discount.

We Love Macs

Need more horsepower? See our Best Power Mac G4 Deals.

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