View Full Version : Will a G4 w/dual 500MHz CPUs run Leopard?

Feb 3, 2008, 06:32 PM
Aloha everyone,

I am in the process of upgrading my G4 Gigabit Ethernet (2x450MHz) so that it can run Leopard. Money is only a consideration because my wife doesn't want me to spend too much money (really anything) on my "old" G4. It runs pretty well on Tiger, but some websites, particularly the ones my nieces and nephew use for online games (Disney.com, Nick.com, etc...) run extremely slowly. I have 2GB of RAM, but still have the stock video adapter - the ATI Rage128 16MB card - installed. From looking at System Monitor, it appears that my CPUs are getting pegged pretty hard, so a 2x500MHz "upgrade" isn't really that much of one, and that performance under Leopard will probably also be a bit suspect.

I was also thinking of just going to single CPU route, but was wondering if the 2x500MHz CPU upgrade would even be capable of running Leopard. Also, would a video card upgrade, to one with at least 64MB VRAM, help with the "suspect" websites? The PC being replaced by the G4 was able to run those sites very well (Pentium 4 3GHz CPU, ATI All-in-Wonder 9600 Pro 128MHz VRAM) and we wanted similar production from the G4. After looking at OWC's G4 CPU upgrade page (http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Upgrades.cfm?model=158&type=Processor&TI=2335&shoupgrds=Show+Upgrades), I decided to find cheaper alternatives and went to eBay to have a look see, but pickings are a bit sparse there. There were a couple good ones, but I don't think the MDD CPU cards will fit in a Gigabit Ethernet model - at least it looked that way to me.

Mahalo in advance for any and all assistance in this matter.


Feb 3, 2008, 08:00 PM
I think that you'll get decent performance out of Leopard with 2x500Mhz CPU's. Your real problem, as you've aleady stated, is your graphics card.

If you can find a good upgrade for cheap, I would go for it. If not, I still think you'll be able to run leopard.. Just beware of all that eyecandy, as it is the most likely culprit for slowing down your system.

Feb 3, 2008, 08:20 PM
yeah it's definatly your video card. mine runs all the kid's sites very well and ours is almost identical specs. is that ati 9600 card and agp? you might be able to flash it with a mac rom but i'm not 100% sure if the "All in Wonder "cards are mac compatible.... but if they are and if you know how to follow directions you can have a good video card.

as far as leopard, i have no clue as i havn't tried it yet on mine. 867mhz is the minimum recommended specs to run leopard though. if not tiger runs excellent so stick with that.

Feb 3, 2008, 09:18 PM
I have a Cube - 450MHz - but with the Geforce2MX, and it runs Leopard fine.

Feb 3, 2008, 09:20 PM
I thought the minimum specs for Leopard was a 867 MHz or higher G4.

Feb 3, 2008, 09:23 PM
I thought the minimum specs for Leopard was a 867 MHz or higher G4.

Dual CPU may help; but people have modified the minimum requirements for Leopard to run it on older machines.

Feb 3, 2008, 09:41 PM
Do you guys with slower CPU's notice that Stacks and Spaces run a little sluggish?

I think this is more of a CPU limitation than a graphics card limitation since it rungs sluggish on my Dual Quicksilver, but fine on my Dual MDD.


Feb 3, 2008, 09:50 PM
Aloha everyone,

Thanks for all the replies. I wasn't sure how many replies to expect, and your have been extremely informative. I only have a couple follow up questions.

slooksterPSV, the real question is what is the formula for dual CPUs? I've heard that you take 1.6x<CPU speed> or, in my case, 1.6 x 450MHz or 720MHz, which is below the minimum specs. Actually, even the 2x500MHz CPU setup is only 800MHz by that measurement. I'll have to look into a better video card, as that's cheaper anyway :D

OrangeSVTguy, the All-in-Wonder card is staying in the PC - when my wife goes to Vietnam (she's Vietnamese-American), she plans on giving it to her cousin, so that her nieces and nephews have a computer.

jwdawso, your cube has a dual 450MHz setup, right? Otherwise, how did you get a single 450 setup to run Leopard? BTW, I really like the Cube design, but my G4 was free. The Cube looks as unlike a computer as anything I've seen, which really defines the "Think Different" mantra.

Does anyone know the minimum specs for video under Leopard? Both My iMac and MacBook Pro have 128MB VRAM and run Leopard with no problems. If I were to purchase a video card with 32MB or 64MB VRAM, how well will it perform under Leopard?

Mahalo again for your responses,


Feb 4, 2008, 11:03 AM
Here is one trick for installing on sub 867mhz G4's.

Feb 4, 2008, 11:09 AM
Here is one trick for installing on sub 867mhz G4's.

That's pretty slick...

You can also use FireWire target mode from another supported machine if you have access to one.

Feb 4, 2008, 11:11 AM
Does anyone know the minimum specs for video under Leopard?

As far as I know there aren't any. I am running Leopard on my Quicksilver and it is rather slow, and the video card is a Geforce 2MX. You can either buy a PC card for cheap and flash it for mac, which is easy, or just buy a mac card flashed or made for mac. The flashing route is much cheaper. Your GE should run it fine.

Feb 4, 2008, 11:27 AM
Drop in a new video card, you can get em on eBay or flash your own PC card.

Watch out for a seller called Mac_Geniuses on eBay, hes known for buying used cards, flashing them with The Mac Elite ROMs, selling them as new, and profiting heavily off of someone elses work and claiming it to be his own.

Either that, or look in the Marketplace for a used card. :3

GeForce 2MX or higher would be best.

Feb 4, 2008, 12:20 PM
Aloha ReanimationLP,

Thanks for the warning - actually, I was considering one of Mac Genius's offerings. I asked at the Apple Store about video requirements for Leopard and they told me the same thing - the video requirements are the minimum for the computers that support Leopard natively.

As for target disk mode, how would I install Leopard? I have bring it up that way and see the icon for the hard drive, but what is the next step? I've brought it up once that way (just to verify if one of my firewire ports is bad, which one is :(), but have not done anything else via target disk mode.

velocityg4, thanks for the link to Leopard Assist - I found it last night on a Google search and will try it out later. I think, at least for the near term, that I will just run Tiger. I do experiment a bit, however, so will eventually try Leopard Assist (probably by next week, or a couple days after my DVD-R/RW drive gets here :D)

Thanks again for all the responses,


Feb 4, 2008, 04:33 PM
Aloha everyone,

I just figured out the answer to my question as to how to load an OS on a machine in target disk mode. Here's a better question. I don't have the latest boot ROM on my G4 and have to load it from Mac OS 9.1 (at least). I have access to Mac OS 9.2 but the CD is not bootable (or at least holding down the 'C' doesn't work to boot from the CD, although that method worked when installing Tiger). From what I understand, I can insert the install CD in my MacBook Pro, boot the G4 into target disk mode, then choose the G4's hard drive as the install destination for Mac OS 9.2, correct?

I'm going to try that method when I get home from work unless informed that it won't work. I have only one last question. As updating the boot ROM is my only use for Mac OS 9, would it be safe to do an erase and install with Tiger subsequent to updating the boot ROM? The installed hard drive is only 30GB so space is somewhat of a premium.

Thanks in advance for your responses,


Feb 6, 2008, 06:41 AM
Well the Macbook Pro is not compatible with classic so it will not be able to do the install of Mac OS 9 to your G4 via target disk mode. You also will not be able to install any other Mac OS using this method since the Macbook uses an Intel CPU it will install an OS for the Intel CPU.

The only way to install any Mac OS onto a PowerPC Mac by Target disk mode would be through another PowerPC Mac.

As for booting off the Mac OS 9 disk it can be a hassle. I remember on my old G4 some OS 9 install disks would not boot for some odd reason. But I had all versions 9.0,.1,.2 so it was not much of a concern for me. Anyways you could try booting into OS X first then insert the OS 9 CD. From there open system preferences go to startup disk and select your OS 9 disc then restart. As I do not have my old tower I can not test this myself but it may work.

Another option is to boot with the OS 9 cd inserted. Instead of holding the "C" key hold down the "option" key and hope the OS 9 cd comes up as a selectable boot disk.

Feb 6, 2008, 07:22 AM
... but some websites, particularly the ones my nieces and nephew use for online games (Disney.com, Nick.com, etc...) run extremely slowly...
this may have less to do with your machine in general and more to do with the way the sites are developed etc. on my pcs i've found some things that run fast in ie will crawl in firefox or opera on the same machine. whether this purely indicates that opera's implementation of java or whatever is not as efficient as ie's or if developers just do things for ie "cos that's what everyone uses innit." and don't bother checking and optimising for other browsers i couldn't say, although i expect the latter cos ie sucks.

Feb 6, 2008, 07:24 AM
Any G4 can run Leopard. It's just a matter of whether it runs well or not. ;)

Feb 6, 2008, 04:07 PM
Aloha again everyone,

Thanks for the replies. Apparently, the CDs I have are not bootable, so I'll have to pursue another avenue for loading OS 9. I tried both the 'C' and option key approaches, but no joy on either. I can always just not use a hard drive larger than 128GB and/or no SCSI drives. I can still run Tiger just fine as soon as I receive my Super Drive and new video card.