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Question re OS X on old iMac

Posted on 2004-09-29
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Last Modified: 2010-04-29
I just bought a slot-loading blueberry iMac, 350 Mhz, G3, 6 GB hard drive, 128 MB ram on eBay, as a back-up machine for my home-office. According to the seller it's running OS 10.3.5. Any views on how a fairly old iMac like this one will perform running OS X ? (I'm waiting for it to be delivered so haven't tested it out yet.) Really, I should have asked this question before I bought it but that's the trouble with eBay: you just find yourself bidding!
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Question by:clareturpin
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marcmitc earned 40 total points
ID: 12180876
I have a similar set up in my kitchen. 128MB RAM is NOT enough. I'd recommend 384MB-512MB. With OS X, the more RAM, the happier the Mac. If you will be using the Mac for web browsing, word processing, iTunes, etc. it will work just fine. If you plan on editing movies or using Photoshop, expect it to be sluggish. Also, I'd avoid using old apps running in "Classic" mode - It just makes life easier.
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by:clareturpin
ID: 12181720
Thanks, that's really helpful!

A related question: is it easy to install additional memory, or is this something you would recommend having done by a computer specialist?
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by:RobMurota
RobMurota earned 25 total points
ID: 12184818
If your present software is OSX then stay with Panther. If your backup is for system 9 I would suggest going retro system 9.x on your iMac. Until then here's all you need to know about it - including the RAM answer.

http://w3.trib.com/~dwood/imac.shtml
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 12186210
OS X on a G3 350 is going to be painfully sluggish, even with loads of ram. Ram will help, but it's not going to be fun either way.
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Duffy
Andrew Duffy earned 35 total points
ID: 12188127
The short answer to the RAM question It's actually very easy to install additional RAM in an iMac - there's a panel at the back which flaps open and allows easy access.

It only has two slots though, so you might have to remove the old one(s) before you can install extra memory. I know those iMacs originally came with 64mb installed (unless it was built to order with a 128mb chip in it). What I'm saying is, it's likely you'll have 2 x 64mb chips in there, so you'd be better off acquiring 2 x 256mb (or just the one 512mb - then you'll have room to upgrade later on, but I doubt you'd need it.
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Author Comment

by:clareturpin
ID: 12188234
Thanks, in-effect. Do you agree with Marcmitc or Weed on the question of whether it would be too sluggish running OS X? I'm only using the internet, email, Word, Excel and possibly iTunes.
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Expert Comment

by:Andrew Duffy
ID: 12188260
Well I've been running OS X on my G3 333 without any problems whatsoever. It does have 768mb of RAM, which helps, and I easily run the usual suspects, plus light Photoshop use. You shouldn't have a problem, especially if you've got a 400 or better.
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