Which Power Supply Works in My Power Mac G5?

The power supply in my Power Mac G5 fried itself. What G5 Power Macs can I use for a donor power supply?

Power Mac G5Truth be told, this is my own question. I recently acquired an Early 2005 2.3 GHz dual Power Mac G5, and after about three days of use, its power supply failed.

Bad Caps and Hardware Failures

There was a period of time, roughly 2003 through 2005, when second-rate capacitors flooded the market, and the failure rate for G5 Power Macs, eMacs, G5 iMacs, and many PCs as well was quite high. If these capacitors (or caps) aren’t replaced before they fail, they can leave a real mess.

Power Mac G5 failure was so pronounced that MacInTouch collected data from users and published a report in June 2006 sharing their findings. They were not good. Here’s our summary, which includes the overall failure rate and the components most likely to fail.

  • G5/1.6 single Mid 2003, 24%, logic board, hard drive
  • G5/1.8 single Mid 2003, 19%, logic board, video card
  • G5/2.0 dual Mid 2003, 32%, video card, logic board
  • G5/1.8 dual Late 2003, 27%, logic board, optical drive
  • G5/1.8 dual Mid 2004, 19%, logic board, optical drive
  • G5/2.0 dual Mid 2004, 17%, logic board, hard or optical drive
  • G5/2.5 dual Mid 2004, 26%, logic board, hard drive
  • G5/1.8 single Late 2004, 19%, hard drive, logic board
  • G5/2.3 dual Early 2005, 11%, logic board, power supply
  • G5/2.7 dual Early 2005, 22%, logic board, power supply
  • G5/2.0 dual-core Late 2005, 18%, power supply, logic board
  • G5/2.3 dual-core Late 2005, 18%, power supply, logic board, optical drive
  • G5/2.5 quad-core Late 2005, 17%, logic board, power supply

Bear in mind that the Mid 2003 models were three years old when the results were published, while the dual-core G5s had been out just nine months. Since then, all of these Macs have aged, and the so-so capacitors have grown worse over time.

Protect Your Investment

If you have an eMac, iMac G5, or Power Mac G5 that’s working, this might be a good time to find someone who does component level repairs and have them replace all the old capacitors with new caps. If you’re good with a soldering iron, you might even do it yourself.

If you have an eMac, iMac G5, or Power Mac G5 that’s not working, you can probably put it back in service by recapping the logic board, power supply, etc. Someone who works with electronics regularly should have no problem helping you identify failed and failing capacitors. If it were me, I’d play it safe and recap the whole machine.

If you’re looking for bargains, there are a lot of dead eMacs, iMac G5s, and Power Mac G5s out there that can be had for a song, especially on Craigslist. In many cases, you can probably get them fixed very reasonably.

Back to Power Mac G5 Power Supplies

Let’s start with a list of models sorted by introduction date and CPU speed. We include the model indentifier and Apple item number as well as the power supply. And you won’t find this anywhere else on the Internet. Believe me, I’ve looked and looked. It took the MacTracker app, Apple tech specs, and some sites that sell these power supplies to put all the pieces together for you.

Model Identifier Part no. Power Supply no. Cooling
1.6 GHz single Mid 2003 PowerMac7,2 M9020LL 420W 661-2903 air cooled
1.8 GHz single Mid 2003 PowerMac7,2 M9031LL 430W 661-2903 air cooled
2.0 GHz dual Mid 2003 PowerMac7,2 M9032LL 604W 661-2904 air cooled
1.8 GHz dual Late 2003 PowerMac7,2 M9393LL 604W 661-2904 air cooled
1.8 GHz dual Mid 2004 PowerMac7,3 M9454LL 604W 661-2904 air cooled
2.0 GHz dual Mid 2004 PowerMac7,3 M9455LL 604W 661-2904 air cooled
2.5 GHz dual Mid 2004 PowerMac7,3 M9457LL 604W 661-2904 liquid cooled
1.8 GHz single Late 2004 PowerMac9,1 M9955LL 552W 661-2903 air cooled
2.0 GHz dual Early 2005 PowerMac7,2 M9747xx 450W 661-2903 air cooled
2.3 GHz dual Early 2005 PowerMac7,3 M9748xx 450W 661-2903 air cooled
2.7 GHz dual Early 2005 PowerMac7,3 M9749xx 600W 661-2904 liquid cooled
2.0 GHz dual-core Late 2005 PowerMac11,2 M9590LL 450W 661-3737 air cooled
2.3 GHz dual-core Late 2005 PowerMac11,2 M9591LL 450W 661-3737 air cooled
2.5 GHz Quad Late 2005 PowerMac11,2 M9592LL 550W 661-3738 liquid cooled

In short, there are only four different power supplies. The 450W 661-2903 is used in all single-processor models and in the Early 2005 dual processor machines except for the 2.7 GHz one, which answers my question.

The 600W 661-2904 is used in dual processor 2003 and 2004 models and the 2.7 GHz dual from Early 2005.

The dual-core Power Mac G5 Dual models both use 661-3737, and the Power Mac G5 Quad with two dual-core CPUs needs the 661-3738.

So there you have it, all the Power Mac G5 power supplies in one handy table. We’ve also updated our Power Mac G5 profiles with this information.

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4 thoughts on “Which Power Supply Works in My Power Mac G5?

    • We’ve decided to replace it because more than just the caps could be damaged. I found a use 1.8 GHz Late 2004 for a song, Andrew Delisle swapped its power supply into my 2.3 GHz dual last night, and I’ve now got a spare SuperDrive, and extra SATA drive, and some additional RAM. (The donor was the low-end version with PCI slots and only 4 RAM sockets.)

  1. Quality electrolytic capacitors should have a service life of around 10-20 years before they go out of spec. That is, the capacitance changes by more than the tolerance listed for the part, not that the part actually leaks or fails. These macs are barely 10 years old and in most cases shouldn’t need recapping. I suspect the problem is either Apple is cheating by using cheap Chinese junk components or they are running above the rated temperature to get the slimmest possible design, or maybe both. If you get your PSU recapped by a professional technician, make sure he isn’t replacing junk with junk. Pay the extra money and use high-quality European or Japanese parts, such as Panasonic or Nichicon.

    • Concensus seems to be that pretty much the entire industry was using Chinese junk capacitors. A shame, given Apple’s reputation and premium price.

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