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winterlight

OS for Power Mac G5 -- 10.4 or 10.5?

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I just bought a powerMac G5 with the Quad core 2.5GHz CPUs  :)

 

 

This machine is a super find (I plan on maxing out the memory and putting in an SSD) 

I dreamt about owning this machine when it was out in 2005 and now 10+ years later I have one! :)

 
 

I was wondering if there any opinions out there about which OS does better on it 1)  OS 10.4   2)  OS 10.5

 

I've heard that OS 10.5 with the whole universal code thing slows things down.

Also, I don't know if Safari in 10.4 will be so outdated that I won't be able to cruise the web at all.

 

I'm also hoping to get a decent MacOS 9.2.2 set-up on it (SheepShaver?  natively?)

 

Any other tips on running either OS 10.4 or 10.5 would be appreciated.

 

Thank you ahead of time for your wisdom guys :)

 

 

 

 

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Personally I'd stick with 10.4 on it, because despite the hate it gets from certain quarters I always found "Classic" perfectly adequate for whatever OS 9-related work I ever wanted to do. 10.5 ditches Classic, and in return you get... not a whole lot, frankly. Or at least nothing I liked. (If "Tiger" was the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" of OS X versions then 10.5 is its "Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom"-level sequel.) There is a *little* bit of PowerPC software that runs on Leopard and not Tiger, but not a whole lot, and of course nearly all of it is horribly obsolete anyway.

 

As others will be happy to point out, you really shouldn't be touching the Internet with the Safari that comes with either, about your only hope for a remotely useful web browser is Cameron Kaiser's TenFourFox.

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Totally. ;)

And yeah, as Commodore mentioned "native" OS 9 flatly isn't an option on a G5. You could use Sheepshaver, on PowerPC it runs "semi-native" (IE, it acts more like a virtual machine than an emulator in terms of speed), but I wasn't particularly impressed with it when I played with it on a PowerBook G4. (I don't think it ran any faster than Classic, nor was it as stable.) A far-out option would be to try to run Linux as the host OS and use Mac-On-Linux, I did that to run OS 9 on a Sawtooth Mac back in... jeebus, 2001, but last I checked MOL had been broken for a long time; someone was trying to resurrect it but I don't know off the top of my head if it works at all, let alone works on a G5.

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OK, great feedback guys.

 

Two more questions :)

 

Anyone have experience with the coolant leaks on the quad cores?  I know there's a guide out there but I wanted to get a sense of how prevalent this would be

 

 

Also, is the PC4200 memory the fastest that the PowerMac 11,2 can use>  Could I use the next step up ? (PC5300)  The Crucial.com memory configurator is saying that the Power Mac G5 could be fitted with all kinds of crazy memory speeds, not sure if I can believe them...

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You can use any speed of DDR2 memory, but the system will only run it up to 533 MHz (PC2-4200.)  This is almost universally true within a specific memory technology, as long as you are at the minimum speed, it will work.  Original, non-DDR SDRAM was available in 66 MHz, 100 MHz, and 133 MHz.  Barring actual memory technology incompatibilities, a PC-66 system (like the beige Power Mac G3) can run the fastest SDRAM available, PC-133.

 

As for OS support, as others have said, 10.4 is probably the better choice.  There isn't too much more software 10.5 can run than 10.4, and 10.4 gains you Classic support.  As for speed differences, it's negligible - both versions had full "Universal" builds by the end, and the PPC version will ignore the Intel code anyway.

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Why not put both on it, as well as Windows XP, 7 and some flavour of Linux?

I'm serious. You have a machine that's still very usable by today's standards.

My machine at work is a quad-core 3.2MHz VM with 8GB RAM.

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Yes. Preeeetty sure you're mistaking a Power Mac G5 for a Mac Pro there, ArmorAlley.

 

I guess in theory you could run XP and 7 in an emulator like Bochs or QEMU, but the results wouldn't be pretty.

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You are right, Gorgonops - even the title says PowerMac G5...

I remembered Quad-Core when I got to writing and automatically thought of Intel chips.

Just let me bury myself into a hole somewhere until the shame wears off.

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Anyone have experience with the coolant leaks on the quad cores?  I know there's a guide out there but I wanted to get a sense of how prevalent this would be

 

These water coolers really don't leak so much as plug, I actually have 3 quad core g5s and I've done coolant flushes on 2 of the 3 so far.

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I don't like Tiger on just about anything that CAN run Leopard.  Leopard offers a lot of advantages in the web browser market and features like Time Machine and hitting the space bar to preview are really worth it.  I've got a few G5s and they're all on Leopard with zero regrets.

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For a nice G5 like the Quad packed with RAM and a fast HD, I'd go with 10.5 all the way.  It's the OS the Quad G5 was made for.

 

I do recall a hack to get Classic mode installed on 10.5, but Googling hasn't revealed much on my end.

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You should checkout Debian or your favorite fork of Ubuntu. Then run Mac-On-Linux on top, that way you can have the modern software and hardware support that a modern GNU/Linux OS brings. Put that along with a near native performance OS X Virtual Machine side-by-side, is a recipe for success. Biggest Achilles heel to that machine is going to be the lack of a GPU-Accelerated Web Browser.

Edited by asaggynoodle

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If you go with something Ubuntu based like Ubuntu MATE (in the video above), there are usually some extra modules bundled in the Kernel so most modern Mac's work *Mostly* out of the box as far as networking and Graphics support. Debian is going to be MUCH more bare-bones, you'll have to do a lot of manual configuration and installation if you go with Debian. Overall, ATI seems to have much better support in these cases if you do go down this route.

 

I'm going to say Tiger is going to be a lot better in terms of overall performance than Leopard. But if you neuter all that System indexing and bloat (Mainly Spotlight etc) - you should get pretty close to Tiger performance. 

Edited by asaggynoodle

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I'd run 10.5 on a G5 and most particularly high end dual CPU G4s and get or use a good single-CPU Power Macintosh G4 for OS 9. Almost no daily task on Mac OS 9 requires more than a good G5, and you can pretty much count on your hand-digits how many applications have extremely specific plug-ins that support SMP on OS 9.

 

Cameron Kaiser uses a G5 to compile Classilla, but I don't think you'll notice it unless you're truly doing HD video production in FCP3, batched 3d renders at very high quality, or compiling software. Several of those tasks you should probably just be doing with newer software in Mac OS X, possibly on a newer type of computer, to take advantage of better software reliability or faster hardware. (Whether it's a Quad, or a MacBook Air, or the current Mac Pro, or some kind of Windows computer.)

 

The idea of Linux or BSD on it is intriguing, because as so many people say, the G5 was a CPU that could (possibly) have lasted longer running more modern tasks, but TenFourFox is the only browser for Mac OS X 10.5/PPC on which that's reasonable to actually do.

 

(Worth noting: The Power Macintosh G5 Quad is around two times faster at CPU bound tasks that can be threaded than literally any other PowerPC system, so if you're looking to emulate what the platform was actually like about ten years ago, getting a fast G4 or an iMac G5 is probably the best way to do it.

 

It kind of depends on if you want the hot-rod or the normal system, in terms of a retrocomputing or nostalgic experience. I might trend toward the hot-rod, at least in that era, myself, if only because I used a pretty normal Mac for the 2003-2005 time range and it was... not good.

 

At this point, it's not generally worth thinking about a G5 as something you can use as a daily driver, unless you're willing to deal with BSD and Linux on it.

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