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OS X 10.4 on older mac

Posted on 2007-04-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
I have an old 667Mhz G4 (Digital Audio) running OS X 10.2.8. I plugs along at a reasonalble rate. Would installing 10.4 speed it up or slow it down?
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Question by:Pilate
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by:Tom Ray
ID: 18847251
sounds as if RAM may be more likely the issue. how much does the machine have?
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by:Pilate
ID: 18847564
1GB
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pkutter earned 25 total points
ID: 18848181
I upgraded a G3 Pizmo 400Mhz 512MB laptop from 10.2 to 10.4 and didn't notice a slow down. Admittedly I don't use it much, a little snood and vlc for watching vidoes. I don't think it will speed it up at all, slow down I would think would be minimal. You're probably fine leaving it at 10.2 unless you're looking for specific features in 10.4.
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by:Andrew Duffy
Andrew Duffy earned 25 total points
ID: 18848983
Your issue isn't so much speed as compatibility and support. Most new applications support 10.2.8 fortunately (10.1 isn't supported at all anymore) so you might be able to get away with it. But perhaps not for long.

I upgraded a client's G4 (which was older than yours) because they wanted to use Quark 7 - it won't run on anything earlier than Tiger. Considering they were using OS 9 previously, it's impossible to make a speed comparison, but certainly in terms of usability it's a massive improvement.

There were some big improvements between 10.2 and 10.3. If you were on 10.3 I'd say don't bother, but because you're on 10.2 and you have 1GB of RAM I'd say do it - it's worth it.
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by:mcmarks
mcmarks earned 25 total points
ID: 18849205
There were huge speed improvements between 10.1 and 10.2, but not so much after that.  I haven't seen any slowdowns from any upgrades and have put it on some pretty slow machines including a 600 MHz G3 iMac.  Incidentally, you can upgrade the processor in your computer pretty easily.  I have PowerMac that is slightly older than yours that started life at 400MHz, but I put in a 1.25 GHz G4 a few years ago.  That provided a huge improvement.  Prices have dropped quite a bit since then and you can put in a 1.6 GHz upgrade for as little as $239.  Check out www.powerlogix.com or www.sonnettech.com.
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by:Tom Ray
Tom Ray earned 25 total points
ID: 18850414
you've gotten some good suggestions.

i think it will depend a great deal on what programs you are using and hoping to see speed improvements from and how much money you might be willing to put out for that extra edge.

maxing out the ram and upgrade the processor (like mcmarks suggested) would be two of my top choices. but how much all that is compared to the price of a new machine and what your budget (if any) is would be the factor that tips the scale one way or the other.
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by:homepup
homepup earned 25 total points
ID: 18871541
I had upgraded an entire computer lab of 850Mhz G4's from 10.3 to 10.4 (with 768MB Ram) and noticed a slightly slower 'pep' to them. Don't get me wrong, they ran fine, but more RAM would have probably went a long way. They just really seemed slow compared to all of the newer Macs I worked with on a daily basis. Moot point now, the lab was upgraded to iMacs (fully automated, dual-boot deployment with WinXP).

If you were considering sinking any money into the G4, like upgrading the processor, I'd probably nix that idea and shell out $500-700 for a Mac Mini. Will run circles around the G4. Then again, an 8-core Mac Pro would be nice too. :P
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