View Full Version : iBook G4, upgrade to Leopard?

May 11, 2011, 06:53 PM
I have an iBook G4 that I am looking to give to someone else as a birthday present. It is a 1.33ghz 12" and I am planning to upgrade the RAM to 1.50gb. Would the iBook run Leopard well? Or should I just stick with Tiger? The only thing that makes me nervous about sticking with Tiger is that so much of the new useful software for macs is moving to 10.5+ and I don't want to be unable to get new software for the computer in the future. Even so, I also don't want the iBook to be so sluggish that it isn't much use.. Anyone have experience with a similar machine running Leopard and can share their thoughts?

May 11, 2011, 11:26 PM
Assuming all of your hardware is working right, Leopard will run fine on your iBook.

May 11, 2011, 11:36 PM
It'll run it OK. I have it installed on a 1ghz iBook w/512MB RAM. Slow, but not really slower than any previous version of OS X.

Compatibility with more apps is reason enough to upgrade.

May 11, 2011, 11:42 PM
Stick with Tiger, in my opinion Leopard just slows down many of the G4's too much. Tiger will at least be pretty quick, but Leopard is too bloated and slows the G4's down too much. If you really want Leopard, download Onyx and TinkerTool and adjust the settings so that it is at least decently quick. I'd suggest disabling the Dock shadow, perhaps set the windows to minimize using the scale effect instead of the Genie effect as just two of the things you should consider.

May 11, 2011, 11:42 PM
With 1.33ghz CPU and 1.5GB of RAM, it will run Leopard pretty well.

Because it's still a G4 processor, you (or your gift recipient) should make a habit to use a few G4 optimized/friendly software to get the most out of the iBook (if you're not already using them, which you should, if you're using Tiger).

I'd use TenFourFox (http://www.floodgap.com/software/tenfourfox/) or Camino (http://pimpmycamino.com/parts/g3-g4-g5-camino-by-rpmozley) as the browser. I personally prefer TenFourFox but many people love Camino. Both have optimized versions specifically for your CPU, they run better than standard browsers, faster, smoother, do video better, etc.

I'd also use MacTubes (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/28608/mactubes) as much as possible when you want to view Youtube videos. It can be set in the preferences to use Quicktime to decode the video rather than flash, which works much better.

I'd also follow the OP's suggestions in this thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1129727) and download and install MPlayer, using the settings suggested in the thread. MPlayer will play any downloaded or installed video (set it as the default player for everything) far better than Quicktime does. It's really great.

Those 3 things drastically improve the experience on G3 and G4 Macs.

May 12, 2011, 03:24 AM
Go for Leopard! There is a performance drop, but if I recall correctly... it's only a miniscule one (I haven't noticed it), and the usability improvements and wider range of software are much more worth it. Leopard's humming away happily on my iBook, and I've only got 768MB of RAM in it. Of course, the better processor and the Core Image-capable video card help a lot. (On any lesser iBooks, I'd imagine Tiger being the best choice...)

I'd also suggest getting VLC - I've actually had much better luck with it than mplayer, believe it or not. I'd grab both, though - always good to have a backup in case one fails, and perhaps I just have a few files mplayer doesn't really like.

If you're picky about RAM usage, go for Camino - I've noticed it's used less RAM than TenFourFox, though I still opt for TenFourFox personally.

If you need to stick with Tiger for some reason, however, the aforementioned web browsers, mplayer, and MacTubes all work on it as far as I'm aware. VLC, however, requires Leopard.

Good luck, and I hope they enjoy their iBook!

May 12, 2011, 06:33 AM
With a fast hard drive, Leopard will not be much slower than Tiger. Only Spotlight appears to be slower but for instance shutting down the machine is much faster in Leopard.

With the stock 40GB hard drive, Leopard can be sluggish at certain times in my opinion. I've replaced my hard drive with a newer and faster one and it made a BIG difference. Leopard is actually really snappy now on my iBook.

If you would like it to run newer software, I'd say go with Leopard.

May 12, 2011, 06:15 PM
Leopard runs great on my iBook. See my signature for specs.

I think u should upgrade to leopard, it runs extremely well.

May 12, 2011, 08:28 PM
Other people are the worst to ask about OS performance. The only real way to know if you will like the performance is to actually try 10.5 on it and answer the question for yourself.

Another persons perception of performance does not speak for you.

May 17, 2011, 04:08 PM
With the processor speed and the amount of RAM, you should be able to run Leopard smoothly.
If you end up sticking with Tiger and download an app that requires Leopard, then you can just edit the plist file so the app will launch on your Tiger machine.

May 17, 2011, 04:37 PM
With the processor speed and the amount of RAM, you should be able to run Leopard smoothly.
If you end up sticking with Tiger and download an app that requires Leopard, then you can just edit the plist file so the app will launch on your Tiger machine.

Can you explain how to do this, starting with where to find the plist file?

tom vilsack
May 18, 2011, 12:35 AM
Have done same thing....

i would only install leopard if you upgrade harddrive. (along with ram)

May 22, 2011, 08:22 PM
mine has 768 ram, and run smoothly with Leopard.