OS X and Older Macs?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Fleemo, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. Fleemo

    Fleemo Guest

    After raving about OS X to all my friends, I've got a pal who wants to
    upgrade his older computers with it. He's got a 350 MHz iMac and a
    400 MHz G4. Would these older computers fare well with OS X? Or
    would it be an exercise in sluggish frustration, slow, poor
    performance on slower processors like these?


    Fleemo, Jan 30, 2004
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  2. Depends on what your friend wants to accomplish and how much RAM is in
    them. My sister-in-law uses 10.2 on a G4/400 and has no complaints. I've
    got 10.3 on a G4/450 with less RAM than some people think is the minimum
    and it's fine. I've haven't tried a recent build on anything less than a
    G3/400. That's okay, but I don't ask much of that machine so I may not
    have run into some significant limitation.

    Gregory Weston, Jan 30, 2004
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  3. Fleemo

    adam drew Guest

    I supervise a lab full o' Macs at a student newspaper. When we switched
    to OS X, we made sure every machine had at least 512MB of RAM, and, for
    the most part, they're all working fine. Is the iMac a slot loader?
    Those perform a lot better than the tray loaders, in my experience.

    I'd recommend 256MB or RAM at the bare minimum for web surfing/word
    processing, as they'll start using virtual memory if you do more than a
    few things at once. You'll want more if you're using programs like
    InDesign or Photoshop.

    We have a G4/450 that's noticeably peppier than the G3/400 iMacs,
    probably due to Altivec.

    You may want to consider upgrading the video card in the G4 to a cheap
    Radeon to offload some of the GUI work to the video card. (The Rage 128
    Pro that came in the original G4's doesn't support Quartz Extreme.) I
    picked up one on eBay last week for $40.


    adam drew, Jan 30, 2004
  4. Fleemo

    Tim McNamara Guest

    Try a Google search on this newsgroup, you'll find hundreds of posts
    answering this question. Some of them in the last day or two. The
    short answer is that they'll run fine, but he needs to make sure he's
    got the appropriate Open Firmware updates. And put in as much RAM as
    he can.

    FWIW, I run 10.3.2 on a 233mHz Rev B iMac, 384 MB RAM. Works great.
    Tim McNamara, Jan 30, 2004
  5. Fleemo

    DaveC Guest

    I'm using OS X 10.3.2 on a PowerBook G3/400 (576 MB RAM). I've never noticed
    any slowness about it, but I did notice a peppier screen display on a
    G4/mumble-mumble MHz desktop system I used recently, in comparison.

    I use all the Office products and even Photoshop (although I don't apply many
    filters). Editing and such is very useable, not frustrating at all.
    DaveC, Jan 30, 2004
  6. Fleemo

    Gary L. Dare Guest

    Be careful with QuickTime 6.5 ... according to its specs, it requires
    a 400 MHz processor. Has anybody run QT 6.5 under OS X with
    a processor speed below 400 MHz?

    Gary L. Dare, Jan 30, 2004
  7. Fleemo

    Andy Hewitt Guest

    10.3.2 running superbly here on a slot load iMac 400, 576MB of RAM. RAM
    is the key to OSX.

    If you're not in a hurry, you should be able to put OSX onto most G3s -
    there are one or two that won't run it at all.

    Mind you, some have had success forcing it to run on very old PPC
    machines as well (using XPostFacto - or something like that!).
    Andy Hewitt, Jan 30, 2004
  8. Fleemo

    Dan Guest

    Yes, I've been using XPostFacto since before it even had that name! It
    started out being called "Old World Support for OS X"!

    RAM and a good video card are more important than CPU speed, IME. I've
    got 2 OS X machines here: an old "B&W G4" with a G4/500 CPU upgrade, 512
    megs RAM and a 64 meg Radeon 7000 video card. The other is an even
    older Umax S900 (Power Mac 9500 clone) with a G4/450 CPU, 688 megs RAM
    and a 32 meg Radeon 7000 video card. Both run fine, but the B&W is
    quite faster of course - faster bus and drives. But 10.3 is noticeably
    faster than 10.2 on the Umax.

    Dan, Jan 31, 2004
  9. Fleemo

    Fleemo Guest

    Thanks to everyone for their input. It's greatly appreciated. :)

    Fleemo, Jan 31, 2004
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