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HFTaylor12

iMac G4 700MHz - 10.4 or 10.5?

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Hello,

I have the original iMac G4, 700MHz with a 15 inch screen. I'd like to start putting it to a lot more use, and that had me wondering about an OS. I have 2 options: 10.4, or 10.5 (unsupported). What do you think is best? I plan to do web browsing, YouTube (with PPC Media Center) music, word processing... basic stuff like that. Tiger has the advantage of speed, however Leopard supports more software, and newer versions of software. For web browsing, I used to use Leopard-WebKit but now I'm using TenFourFox as my default browser, no matter which OS. So what do you think? Tiger or Leopard? I'm curious to hear your opinions.

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Thanks everybody. I think I'll go with Tiger based on what you're saying. I'm ok with a little slowdown for Leopard features, however this big of a slowdown seems too big. Thanks!

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Leopard really needs 2GB of RAM or more to be happy if you're planning to use it.

 

I'd disagree with that statement(typed from a dual 1ghz Quicksilver with 1.5gb RAM that runs Leopard as its main OS).

 

I don't like Leopard with under 1gb, but anything above that will generally be okay. It does run decently well on G4-upgraded beige G3s, which max at 768gb.

 

One of the biggest handicaps to Leo on all in one systems is usually the GPU. I'm at a big advantage in my Quicksilver in that I can(and do) run a Core Image card. On beige boxes you can run a Radeon 7000 or Radeon 9200, both of which are a big improvement. In NWR PCI towers(B&W and Yikes!) you can even get Core Image if you want to go to the trouble of flashing a card.

 

All that aside, I've been perfectly content with Leopard on my 700mhz eMac, which is very similar to the 700mhz iMac.

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I'd disagree with that statement(typed from a dual 1ghz Quicksilver with 1.5gb RAM that runs Leopard as its main OS).

 

I don't like Leopard with under 1gb, but anything above that will generally be okay. It does run decently well on G4-upgraded beige G3s, which max at 768gb.

 

One of the biggest handicaps to Leo on all in one systems is usually the GPU. I'm at a big advantage in my Quicksilver in that I can(and do) run a Core Image card. On beige boxes you can run a Radeon 7000 or Radeon 9200, both of which are a big improvement. In NWR PCI towers(B&W and Yikes!) you can even get Core Image if you want to go to the trouble of flashing a card.

 

All that aside, I've been perfectly content with Leopard on my 700mhz eMac, which is very similar to the 700mhz iMac.

 I agree with this as well. My Dual 1Ghz QS powermac runs 10.5.8 just fine with 1.5GB ram and does not have a CI supported GPU - still running the GF2 MX 32mb AGP card it came with. In fact, aside from boot up, most everything about Leo in terms of speed is on par with Tiger and software support is so much better with Leo.

 

Certainly the single cpu will be slower with chubby apps on the imacg4 but from using my QS when it had the single 733mhz cpu before its D1ghz upgrade, I think the imac should still be quite usable for modest everyday sort of stuff. So yeah, try it and if it sucks, reinstall Tiger lol.

 

Oh yeah, this is my first post here. Hi everybody, I'm Rhian :)

Edited by RhianB

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Honestly, I am totally OK with a slow OS. I use a Power Mac G5 as my main Mac, so I'm not spoiled by all of the new fancy Intels. So what some of you might see as "slow" could be fast to me. We probably have different definitions of "usable" and "unusable" too. Some here might know that I seriously was going to use a G3 Clamshell as my only Mac for a week... but I couldn't get Tiger installed, so that didn't work out. :( Honestly, if I can load apple.com in 15 seconds or under I am happy. So I'm totally fine with "slow".

 

I'll also point out, I'm not using this as a daily driver or anything. I just want a computer that can handle some light web browsing, email, word processing, and maybe some other software (my main reason for wanting Leopard).

 

EDIT: Also, I get the "macOS Sierra Theme for Leopard"! I'm sure many of you have heard of that. Really awesome... there is almost no way to tell your PPC is outdated.

Edited by HFTaylor12

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If you already have a newer/faster web-faring machine, what if you just install 9.2.2 on that iMac? Then, you can run 10.5.8 on that G5 without worrying about having Classic Mode on it.

 

Alternately: 10.3 should be fine on that hardware.

 

How much RAM does that iMac have?

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I've yet to see a situation where Panther ran noticeably faster than Tiger on any given set of hardware. To me, it's hard to make an argument for using Panther in any situation anymore as the software availability for Tiger is many times better.

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Well, here's one of my reasons for going with Tiger... this iMac has 512MB of RAM. Now, I remember 512MB working well on some other Mac models for Leopard. But I think that in this case I should go with Tiger.

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I had a TiBook and a blue-and-white G3 when 10.4 came out and later replicated everything I'd tried on those on a Pismo.

 

I've yet to see a situation where Panther ran noticeably faster than Tiger on any given set of hardware. 

 

 

I have all the weird problems with Macs and my Windows installations run flawlessly for years on end -- but I had so many problems with 10.4 when it was new. It was worse at literally everything and I always ended up reverting back to 10.3.

 

It pretty much wasn't until I had an Intel Mac that 10.4 was semi-stable, and I moved to 10.5 the literal instant my preorder of the new version arrived at my house.

 

Later, I would do up a bunch of G4-Intel machines for a K12 environment with 10.5 client and server. It 10.5 was "acceptable" on a group of 700MHz iMac G4s, IIRC with 512M of RAM, but this was also literally ten years ago (well, eight, but who is counting?). It ran "fine" but it was by no means "very good" -- the machine that really struggled was a Power Macintosh G4 dA/466 with either 128 or 256M of RAM. It ran, but it was not pretty.

 

 

Well, here's one of my reasons for going with Tiger... this iMac has 512MB of RAM.

 

 

Honestly, either is going to be slow. I'm betting if you put tenfourfox on any OS on that hardware and try to go to most modern web pages you're going to find yourself swapping to disk. I'm not sure that it makes a material difference which version of OS X you run, because even 10.2 really wants a half a gig if you can give it.

 

Perhaps what you should do is just get a bunch of different things and try them? Heck, try Linux on that machine, too. If you want to run it on a network, that's going to be your safest and most up-to-date bet.

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Perhaps what you should do is just get a bunch of different things and try them? Heck, try Linux on that machine, too. If you want to run it on a network, that's going to be your safest and most up-to-date bet.

I'd like to! I've never really tried Linux before. Once I tried Debian, but my computer wouldn't boot up correctly after installation. Do you have any good recommendations? I'd really, really like a GUI with this also. ;). Also, I need something that supports a fully up-to-date web browser, 'cause OS X can do that (TFF).

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If I didn't make this abundantly clear before, I'll go ahead and do so now:

 

If you need to browse the Internet, I recommend you set this computer aside and buy a modern one. Old systems like these are a big risk on the Internet, because they're vulnerable to being used as part of a service amplification attacks, and because problems often go unfixed.(among other things, it has been discussed at length on this forum).

 

It's less about the security of your individual information (which most attackers don't want, or they'll just use phishing to get), and more about creating an Internet that's less likely to see spam and have DDOS attacks.

 

There are some, but not many, and no good centralized resource for hardening old PPC versions of OS X. The US Government has some hardening information, but it was published when 10.5 first came out and doesn't have updated information about, say, installing the relevant patches for, say, ShellShock, which Cameron Kaiser published.

 

So, my advice?

 

Get an Intel-based Mac, or some other sort of Intel-based computer on which you can run the newest versions of Mac OS X, Windows, or an up-to-date Linux (or other) OS distribution.

 

In terms of Linux on PowerPC, I don't have any specific recommendations. I haven't looked at that for years, because to me, a Mac is better used as a Mac. If you want to use OS X for some OS X apps, disconnect it from a network that can be routed to the Internet, or run OS 9 on it.

 

A modern, patched linux will be much more secure, but it will reveal the same thing tenfourfox will on either OS: Something this old and crusty and slow is going to be a bad experience on the web. You aren't going to minimize the badness by using an older OS that purports to use less resources because....

1) Older versions of Mac OS X generally don't consume less resources. Mac OS X will expand to fill the computer you put it in.

2) Most modern web pages are simply so huge and complicated that any of them will overwhelm an old Mac.

 

 

Remember, it has been a few years since smartphones became faster than the Quad G5, and the Quad is already over twice as fast as something like the dual-core 2.3, dual 2.5, or dual 2.7. Those are themselves something like four or six times faster, in total, than a G4 like this.

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The only systems I run 10.5 on are G5's and then only the towers with dual processors and tons of RAM. G4 towers and Laptops plus Imac G5's get 10.4 because they fly with it and are limited to 2GB or less RAM.

 

If I had that G4-700 I would probably just run OS 9.2.2 and keep it off the internet (but use local networking). OSX 10.3 would probably run very well on it if you needed OSX.

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I am NOT running OS 9. It's Tiger or Leopard for me. I really like TFF and I'd like to be able to sync my bookmarks via Firefox Sync. I'm not getting an Intel either. I don't normally like to upgrade something unless I absolutely need to (a few weeks ago, an iPhone 2G was my main iPhone. But I needed better web browsing, so I switched to a 3GS). I am determined to put this iMac to good use. This thread/topic if getting a little off-topic here... I just want to know if I should go with 10.4 or 10.5. And I'm going with 10.4, it looks like.

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OSX 10.4 then.

 

I am usually not in a hurry to upgrade either if what I have still works. For example I was still using a dumb phone (LG 500G had it for 5 years) with a small screen and a real keyboard until this week when I had to purchase a new phone (ZTE Paragon for $30) because service would stop. I rode out analog cell phones till the end of service as well.

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Without considering security at all: web browsing, today, will not be a good use of a 700MHz G4 that only has 512MB of RAM. It just won't work well, and there are honestly loads of things you could do on that machine that it would be better at.

 

As with Unknown_K, I would be running 9.2.2 on there. At most, I would consider 10.3 on it, to recreate what I had in the early 2000s with my TiBook and blue-and-white G3, but I'd want something a lot faster to use 10.4 or 10.5 on. 9.2.2 though, will be fast enough to do some multitasking with simpler software, or to do some neat things with some of the higher end OS 9 software for technical computing, content creation, etc.

 

But, this thread has been running almost ten days as of this writing. You could have installed 9.2.2 alongside every version of OS X that will even run on this thing and given it a day or two of trial under your own proposed workload by now, so at this point, I'm not sure how productive any more responses to the thread will be, whether or not they are "on topic".

 

At this point, I would say that if your goal is to browse web sites, you "absolutely must" upgrade away from a 700MHz iMac G4. I don't think, compared to your G5, you'll notice 10.5 or 10.4 being appreciably faster. (And, like I said, it's been a few years since cell phone passed the G5 Quad in overall performance.)

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I've frequently been amused at what I see as absurdly high recommended specs for Leopard on this forum.

 

Leopard IS big on eye candy, but you can tone that back and it will really speed up things up if you are running on a marginal specs.

 

I have run Leopard on a B&W G3 with a G4 upgrade running at 350mhz. It's not the fastest in the world, but it does run. With the right GPU(in my case, a flashed PCI Geforce FX5200), you can even turn on the animations without really impacting the performance.

 

I think I've mentioned several times that I have a 700mhz eMac, and it runs Leopard very well.

 

Yes, a good G5-especially a Quad-flies with Leopard. I just transitioned one of my "main" computers to a dual 2.7 and it's quite fast also(I require PCI in this particular role, which is why I can't use a Quad).

 

On a tower, find a good core image GPU and things will really perk up. CI gpus can be had for any new world rom tower.

 

Why go to the trouble with low spec computers, you might ask? My primary reason is much better app availability.

 

I see little reason to run any version of OS X earlier than Tiger. It runs as fast as Panther, but again the app availability is significantly better. If I could not run Tiger, I would run OS 9(in fact I do in many cases).

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