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10.5 on an old G4 Mini?

 
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Core
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:12 am    Post subject: 10.5 on an old G4 Mini? Reply with quote

I've never owned a Mac, or really properly used one. My father-in-law has bought a new one, and is going to give me his old Mac Mini. It's a G4 @ 1.5Ghz model with the RAM maxed to 1 gb and a 75 or 80 gb hdd.

I don't have it in my hands yet, but once I do, I am wondering if I should stick with the OSX Tiger that came with it, or upgrade to the latest PPC-compatible which is Leopard, I believe. One person told me that 10.5 is "slow as molasses" on the old Mac Mini. But experiences are subjective and depend on what you do with your computer...

I don't have any plans to try and do major video editing or whatnot on the Mac. I just want to use it to do some writing, web browsing, etc on it...basic stuff. Never used a Mac before so I figure a free Mini ought to be sufficient to get my feet wet. Can it handle basic stuff just fine? When it comes to the old G4 Mac Mini, how slow is slow?

I realize that an old Mac Mini will not be a speed demon compared to the latest models, but I'm just trying to gauge a bit beforehand as to what kind of responsiveness to expect from the system, and whether upgrading to 10.5 is something I should seriously consider, or give up on entirely.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Core, and welcome to the forums... Smile

My first Mac was an eMac with a 1GHz G4 (which shipped with 10.3 Panther and 256MB of memory). The machine was perfect for writing, spreadsheet work, e-mail, web browsing and even photo-editing with Photoshop Elements. After owning it for a year, I swapped one of those 128MB memory sticks for a 512MB module (total: 640MB) and upgraded from Panther to Tiger. Both of these made a measurable improvement in speed.

When 10.5 came out, reviewers found that G4 machines ran a few percent slower with Leopard than with Tiger.

If I were in your shoes, I'd stick with Tiger while I learned the Mac way of doing things. It's a fine OS and in my view, Tiger was the biggest improvement over its predecessor in the history of OS X.
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mshaddix
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same exact model that you are talking about. I have 10.5.8 installed and it runs pretty smooth. I use it for some streaming my iTunes content to my other macs, browsing and coding. You can always try it and if you don't like it go back to Tiger Wink
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Far a few factors I prefer 10.4, but I also have a 10.5 partition set up, for when I need it. Never really seems any slower or faster.

SC
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mshaddix
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 10.4 on my iBook, 10.5 on my mac mini and 10.6 on my macbookpro.

I really prefer 10.4 over all, but like I said earlier 10.5 runs just as smooth.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's nice to see some other fans of Tiger -- now I don't feel like such a sentimental old fool... Wink Smile
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Core
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the warm welcome and all the replies.

Those of you who prefer Tiger over other versions, could you expound on your reasons for doing so?
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ghostdawg
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Tiger is already installed on it, why pay to upgrade to Leopard. When you buy a newer mac, it will come with Leopard already installed.

I still use Tiger on my PPC Mini also.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Core wrote:
Thank you for the warm welcome and all the replies.

Those of you who prefer Tiger over other versions, could you expound on your reasons for doing so?


I have an app or two that I use that don't play nice in 10.5, which is the real holdback for me. There are some really nice reasons to use 10.5, like browsing a folder full of pictures as pictures(ie - iTunes Coverflow) instead of opening all the files in preview.

Also, there are just a few things that annoy the heck out of me with 10.5. One would be trying to set up the way that time and dates are reported, and just little things like that. Minor annoyances that I don't have to deal with in 10.4, so I use 10.4 and don't have to deal with them.

SC
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Core wrote:
Those of you who prefer Tiger over other versions, could you expound on your reasons for doing so?

It's something that I can't quite pinpoint. If you were to try using all of the versions from 10.0 onwards, you would see that OS X really becomes the operating system that we recognise today with the release of 10.3 Panther. Panther was where I started, and so my very first Mac upgrade was from 10.3 to 10.4. After many years of Windows use, I couldn't believe my eyes; here was an operating system that actually became better and faster with subsequent releases. On the Mac, an "upgrade" really was an upgrade.

Apple called Leopard "the largest update of Mac OS X" and it's a fine OS with useful extra features (I sure as hell miss it now that I'm running Snow Leopard... Crying or Very sad ). But for me, that Tiger upgrade made the biggest impression.
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mshaddix
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wiped my mini clean and installed Tiger.

When I imported my music from an external drive while using 10.5, it took over 2 hours to import the music AND organize it.

When I imported the same amount of music into iTunes on 10.4 it took less than 10 minutes to import and organize.

WOW! I am blown away by this. I have around 5k (~20gbs). I don't see how this is possible?
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mshaddix
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think its the gapless playback feature that was the culprit. That will bring a G4 to its knees.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 1.42ghz mini in my house that has run Tiger and Leopard. My perception is that Tiger was a bit faster, but I never did any testing to confirm this. I do know that Tiger has a smaller RAM footprint, and with max RAM being only 1gb in G4 minis, the smaller footprint can translate into a performance difference if you run multiple applications simultaneously. Leopard has a few features missing in Tiger (like coverflow and spaces), and if these matter to you, you might be happier with Leopard. Otherwise, I would be inclined to stick with Tiger.
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