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locustwounded
Nov 21, 2009, 06:09 PM
Just got a free Powerbook G4 15" 1.5Ghz 768MB RAM. I installed Panther 10.3.9 and have notices it's rather primitive. Specs say I can install up to 10.5.8 OS. So my questions are:

1. What is the optimal OS for my G4 and how can I get it (whether it be by purchase or DL)?

2.Should I upgrade the ram and/or processor?

Thank you



mac&cheesey
Nov 21, 2009, 06:25 PM
Congrats on the free PowerBook.

I have a 12" PB (1.5 GHz, 1.25 GB RAM) and am running 10.5.8 with no problems. Is it super snappy, no. Is it an effective machine for the road, yes.

I would start by upping the RAM. As for the processor, I don't think upping that is an easy feat, but I'll default to more knowledgeable people on this forum for that answer.

Good luck,
m&c

davidlv
Nov 21, 2009, 06:27 PM
I think the only way to actually improve these old machines is to upgrade the RAM, the processer cannot be easily upgraded, if at all. Maximize the RAM, check the present RAM in the system profiler (Apple menu/About this Mac/ more info).
Check out OWC or another vender for the right RAM and install it yourself.
As for the system, Leopard would be best, as it still has security updates available, but Tiger will run OK too. Finding Install DVDs may be difficult, try e-bay or such.
Good luck and may I suggest saving up for a new Powerbook? They are fantastic, IMO.
:D

locustwounded
Nov 21, 2009, 06:34 PM
Thank you for such fast responses. I have been scavenging for Leopard 10.5.8. Definitely not an OS that is easy to find.

MultiFinder17
Nov 21, 2009, 07:42 PM
Max out the RAM at 2gigs, install Leopard, and enjoy :)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145068 <-- RAM

http://www.lowendmac.com/deals/best-os-x-leopard-prices.html <-- Leopard

ClassicII
Nov 21, 2009, 08:03 PM
Yes upgrade that ram and you will be happy.

It will surf the internet just fine it may be a little choppy on youtube but should be ok.


For the os just look on ebay you can find a cd for not too much $.

You could also run Tiger and be just as happy.

locustwounded
Nov 22, 2009, 06:55 PM
Ok I will definitely up the ram. I see it's roughly 40 per 1gig.
I'm still struggling with the operating system though.
My parents have a Mac computer and MacBook Pro. Both have leopard install disks, but neither will install on the G4. If my research is correct, I have to purchase a retail version of leopard ($100-200).

A G4 on Ebay runs $400 or less with Panther installed.

So my questions are:

1. Is there a way to install a non-retail version of leopard?
(Perhaps with disk utility)

2.If not, is it worth it to purchase Retail leopard?

MultiFinder17
Nov 22, 2009, 09:22 PM
For your PowerBook, you will need a retail version of Leopard. All the non-retail versions are tied to newer Intel Macs, and will not install on your PowerBook.

iHateMacs
Nov 23, 2009, 12:47 PM
Just got a free Powerbook G4 15" 1.5Ghz 768MB RAM. I installed Panther 10.3.9 and have notices it's rather primitive. Specs say I can install up to 10.5.8 OS. So my questions are:

1. What is the optimal OS for my G4 and how can I get it (whether it be by purchase or DL)?

2.Should I upgrade the ram and/or processor?

Thank you

I bought a PB G4 a while back. I put 2Gb ram in it, replaced the optical drive and hard drive and installed Leopard. It's only the 1.33Ghz version but for anything short of video editing it's been a great machine.

Eric S.
Nov 23, 2009, 12:55 PM
I have been scavenging for Leopard 10.5.8. Definitely not an OS that is easy to find.

I would guess you could find retail versions on eBay. Otherwise this page gives some options:

http://lowendmac.com/deals/best-os-x-leopard-prices.html

After you install any version of 10.5, use Software Update to upgrade to 10.5.8.

DivineEvil
Nov 23, 2009, 06:15 PM
Ok I will definitely up the ram. I see it's roughly 40 per 1gig.
I'm still struggling with the operating system though.
My parents have a Mac computer and MacBook Pro. Both have leopard install disks, but neither will install on the G4. If my research is correct, I have to purchase a retail version of leopard ($100-200).

A G4 on Ebay runs $400 or less with Panther installed.

So my questions are:

1. Is there a way to install a non-retail version of leopard?
(Perhaps with disk utility)

2.If not, is it worth it to purchase Retail leopard?

Why don't you download it from (censored). For such an old laptop it's not worth it to buy yet another leopard (though your family has a few of those).

maflynn
Nov 23, 2009, 07:29 PM
I'd avoid leopard and instead load Tiger. You'll get better performance out of 10.4 instead of 10.5. Less bloat in 10.4

Eric S.
Nov 23, 2009, 08:50 PM
I'd avoid leopard and instead load Tiger. You'll get better performance out of 10.4 instead of 10.5. Less bloat in 10.4

If he maxes out the RAM, that system should run Leopard just fine. The problem with Tiger is that it's old in the tooth (pun intended), past even the "security update" stage now, and will be getting less support for the latest app versions. And it's probably just as expensive to buy now as Leopard.

Gabriel GR
Nov 23, 2009, 08:59 PM
I would recommend maxing out the RAM and getting a faster HDD while at it (which in that case would probably be ATA).

locustwounded
Nov 24, 2009, 04:36 PM
A friend just brought over OS 10.4 install disc 1 and 2 for a powerbook G4.
It won't load though. I have no idea why. It was originally for a 12" I think.
Any suggestions?

Eric S.
Nov 24, 2009, 04:55 PM
A friend just brought over OS 10.4 install disc 1 and 2 for a powerbook G4.
It won't load though. I have no idea why. It was originally for a 12" I think.
Any suggestions?

You'd be lucky to get an install disk for a different model to work, as it will likely be missing drivers that your system needs. That's why you need a full retail version.

itou
Nov 24, 2009, 06:57 PM
I bought a PB G4 a while back. I put 2Gb ram in it, replaced the optical drive and hard drive and installed Leopard. It's only the 1.33Ghz version but for anything short of video editing it's been a great machine.

i have the same PB.
17 inch. 1.33ghz. maxed the ram and installed leopard and everything runs amazing.

OrangeSVTguy
Nov 25, 2009, 02:00 AM
Any Retail Leopard 10.5 DVD will work. A faster WD 250-320gb HDD will also improve the performance and the 2gb upgrade will complete it. You can find DDR PC3200 for less than the price you mentioned, just look around as there are mail-in-rebates on quite a bit of them and can get it for around half the price.


You could actually clone one of your Macbook Pros HDD to your PB but you will have to format the PBs HDD for APM(Apple Partition Map) first by using the built in Disc Utility app. Hook up your PB to your MBP via firewire and boot the PB into target disc mode by holding T. Using Disc Utility format the PB drive as HFS+ and APM. Using an app such as SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your hard drive.

This does violate the licensing and EULA though since you only have one Leopard license for the MBP so I don't recommend it.

Abstract
Nov 25, 2009, 03:26 AM
Wirelessly posted (Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic : Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

I forget. Was 10.4.0 the version where they introduced Exposť? I think 10.3.0 may have introduced that, and if so, I wouldn't bother upgrading beyond what you have now. If it's 10.4 that had it, I'd get 10.4.9. Don't bother with Leopard.

r.j.s
Nov 25, 2009, 03:31 AM
Wirelessly posted (Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic : Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

I forget. Was 10.4.0 the version where they introduced Exposť? I think 10.3.0 may have introduced that, and if so, I wouldn't bother upgrading beyond what you have now. If it's 10.4 that had it, I'd get 10.4.9. Don't bother with Leopard.

Yes, it was 10.4 that introduced Exposť.

Hrududu
Nov 25, 2009, 10:57 AM
I'd avoid leopard and instead load Tiger. You'll get better performance out of 10.4 instead of 10.5. Less bloat in 10.4
I've run both 10.4 and 10.5 on my 1.5GHz 12" Powerbook and Leopard feels just as fast as Tiger even with only 1.25GB of RAM installed. At 1.5GHz I don't have any problems viewing youtube videos or anything else. Its a lot faster than I think many people realize.

locustwounded
Nov 25, 2009, 11:14 AM
A

You could actually clone one of your Macbook Pros HDD to your PB but you will have to format the PBs HDD for APM(Apple Partition Map) first by using the built in Disc Utility app. Hook up your PB to your MBP via firewire and boot the PB into target disc mode by holding T. Using Disc Utility format the PB drive as HFS+ and APM. Using an app such as SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your hard drive.

This does violate the licensing and EULA though since you only have one Leopard license for the MBP so I don't recommend it.

Not a bad idea.

I think my PB will only take pc2700 ram. But correct me if I'm wrong. I like saving money.

Eric S.
Nov 25, 2009, 11:22 AM
I forget. Was 10.4.0 the version where they introduced Exposť? I think 10.3.0 may have introduced that, and if so, I wouldn't bother upgrading beyond what you have now. If it's 10.4 that had it, I'd get 10.4.9. Don't bother with Leopard.

I don't know why Exposť would be a deciding factor. Panther is an obsolete OS; there's no reason to stay with it unless you just don't want to spend the money to upgrade. Panther won't run things like MobileMe, Firefox 3, the latest version of iTunes or Safari, and probably many other apps. Tiger, now past even the "security update" support phase, will probably soon be in a similar position.

Since the OP has already said he plans to increase the RAM on his system, there's no reason that system will not run Leopard absolutely fine. The expense of upgrading to Leopard won't be much different than Tiger, and Leopard will be a viable OS for a much longer time.

SkyBell
Nov 25, 2009, 11:31 AM
Eh, I'd still go with Tiger. I know the OP's PowerBook is faster then my old 1.33 GHz iBook G4, but when I ran Leopard on that thing even with maxed out RAM, it just wasn't satisfactory. Tiger was much quicker and responsive, which is worth more to me then any new features Leopard had. Maybe the OP's PowerBook has the extra juice to make Leopard tolerable, but I kind of doubt it...

Eric S.
Nov 25, 2009, 11:43 AM
Eh, I'd still go with Tiger. I know the OP's PowerBook is faster then my old 1.33 GHz iBook G4, but when I ran Leopard on that thing even with maxed out RAM, it just wasn't satisfactory.

How much RAM did you have, maxed out? His PB also has a slightly faster system bus than your iBook, but I can say that on my PowerMac G4 (see sig for details) even with a slower CPU and system bus I cannot see any performance difference between Tiger and Leopard.

There is one reason to choose Tiger over Leopard, and that is if you need to run Classic mode for anything.

OrangeSVTguy
Nov 25, 2009, 03:50 PM
Not a bad idea.

I think my PB will only take pc2700 ram. But correct me if I'm wrong. I like saving money.

Yes. But PC3200 400mhz will work too. I got a 1gb pc3200 in mine. They are also usually cheaper so you will save money there too :p. Just look around as they usually have rebates attached to them. Expect to pay $25-$40 for a good name-brand1gb stick.

I've ran Leopard on my 1gb iBooks and it ran no better than Tiger did. I even dual booted both OS's and never had any problems with either. Leopard is just more compatible with everything and is much prettier :D.

Dizzler
Dec 18, 2009, 07:45 PM
I would recommend maxing out the RAM and getting a faster HDD while at it (which in that case would probably be ATA).

My old 2005 PowerBook is wonderful except that it still has the factory 80 Gb drive in it. I'd love to install a larger drive, but I was under the impression that there was a maximum size that I could use for this machine. Or was it the limitations of the OS? Running 10.4.11 and not planning to go higher with this machine.

Gabriel GR
Dec 18, 2009, 08:42 PM
My old 2005 PowerBook is wonderful except that it still has the factory 80 Gb drive in it. I'd love to install a larger drive, but I was under the impression that there was a maximum size that I could use for this machine. Or was it the limitations of the OS? Running 10.4.11 and not planning to go higher with this machine.

I think that you are limited only by the availability of IDE drives these days since Apple started using SATA with the Macbook line. Search about HDD upgrades in your laptop. If the limit doesn't exist, I know that WD makes a 320GB one that will be a huge upgrade over yours.

powerbook911
Dec 18, 2009, 09:22 PM
My old 2005 PowerBook is wonderful except that it still has the factory 80 Gb drive in it. I'd love to install a larger drive, but I was under the impression that there was a maximum size that I could use for this machine. Or was it the limitations of the OS? Running 10.4.11 and not planning to go higher with this machine.

The real difficulty is it's just a difficult process to open it up on the old machines.

gnr319
Dec 18, 2009, 09:31 PM
I am running a 1.42 GHz iBook G4.

I have 1.5gb of ram and running tiger (greatest mac os ever?)

I love it.

Dizzler
Dec 19, 2009, 03:48 PM
Well, I just looked on the ifixit.com website for the instructions for doing this and all I have to say is fuggetaboutit. You have to remove like 40 screws in a certain order, take off the keyboard and other stuff. Too complicated for me: even with my small fingers I'd probably trash something.

OrangeSVTguy
Dec 19, 2009, 04:37 PM
Well, I just looked on the ifixit.com website for the instructions for doing this and all I have to say is fuggetaboutit. You have to remove like 40 screws in a certain order, take off the keyboard and other stuff. Too complicated for me: even with my small fingers I'd probably trash something.

I can do it for you if you like. Just pay to ship your PB and new hard drive and also pay for return shipping. I'd even clone your existing drive over to the new one for you so you get everything back the way you left... just with a lot more space :).

Just PM me for details.