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Old Feb 10, 2013, 12:42 PM   #1
davewill2010
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Exclamation O.S. Upgrade Options?

Hi Guys,

Very new to anything Apple as my background is totally in PCs but a customer has asked me to look at his PowerBook G4 and wants to upgrade the O.S. as his new printer is not supported (he called Apple and they told him to upgrade the OS)..

System Info as follows:


Machine Name: PowerBook G4 15"
Machine Model: PowerBook5,4
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (1.1)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1.33 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 1.25 GB
Bus Speed: 167 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.8.4f1

15GB if free hard drive space currently but will be freeing up an additional 10-15 once I archive his images.

Current O.S. 10.4.11

What are my options for upgrade? Could I take it all the way up to Mountain Lion?
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 12:43 PM   #2
r.j.s
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The furthest you could go is 10.5 Leopard, but you might be getting the best performance from 10.4.11.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 12:57 PM   #3
davewill2010
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Originally Posted by r.j.s View Post
The furthest you could go is 10.5 Leopard, but you might be getting the best performance from 10.4.11.
Why cant it be upgraded beyond Leopard?
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 01:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davewill2010 View Post
Why cant it be upgraded beyond Leopard?
Because in early 2006 Apple announced it's intent to make new Macs with Intel processors. Late 2006 was the last run of PowerPC Macs. Anything built after 2006 has an Intel processor.

The PowerBook is a PowerPC Mac which has an IBM/Motorola PowerPC processor. The difference between PowerPC and Intel is very different. They do not speak the same code, they are not compatible.

If your customer wants to upgrade they will need to purchase an Intel Mac.

Note that upgrading to an Intel Mac will require ugrading any software they currently use.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Ok cheers that makes sense.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 01:22 PM   #6
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No problem. Just an additional thing. Some people seem to think that all they need to do is drop an Intel processor into the CPU slot on the logicboard and they're good.

That's just not possible based on what I mentioned above. The logicboard understands only PowerPC code. Even if the dimensions would be correct and you could unsolder the old CPU and resolder in the new, it wouldn't work. Also, there are no Intel MacBook or MacBook Pro logicboards that would fit in a PowerBook without extreme modification.

Just thought I'd mention that because usually that's the next question after being told about the different processor. When told you can't upgrade the CPU, the question after that is usually if they can put a new logicboard with Intel processor in the computer.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 01:31 PM   #7
MisterKeeks
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Be sure that the driver for the printer is compatible with PowerPC before you upgrade the OS.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 03:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyoungren View Post
Because in early 2006 Apple announced it's intent to make new Macs with Intel processors. Late 2006 was the last run of PowerPC Macs. Anything built after 2006 has an Intel processor.

The PowerBook is a PowerPC Mac which has an IBM/Motorola PowerPC processor. The difference between PowerPC and Intel is very different. They do not speak the same code, they are not compatible.

If your customer wants to upgrade they will need to purchase an Intel Mac.

Note that upgrading to an Intel Mac will require ugrading any software they currently use.



Just want to voice my displeasure at Apple for not supporting the PowerPC. My top-of-the-line Mac G5 PowerPC that I purchased for $3,500.00 in 2004 is worthless to me. Yes I realize it's nearly 10 years old, but the mark of quality is that something will LAST.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 03:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdo193 View Post
Just want to voice my displeasure at Apple for not supporting the PowerPC. My top-of-the-line Mac G5 PowerPC that I purchased for $3,500.00 in 2004 is worthless to me. Yes I realize it's nearly 10 years old, but the mark of quality is that something will LAST.
Technology advances and old hardware has to wither in order to squeeze the most out of the new hardware.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdo193 View Post
Just want to voice my displeasure at Apple for not supporting the PowerPC. My top-of-the-line Mac G5 PowerPC that I purchased for $3,500.00 in 2004 is worthless to me. Yes I realize it's nearly 10 years old, but the mark of quality is that something will LAST.
I hear you. On the other hand, my boss probably paid about the same price as you for my work 2005 G5 which came with 4GB of ram and a 1.8Ghz processor.

This Mac has been on 24/7 since February 2005 (including weekends) and I use it every weekday to design ads and paginate our newspapers. I'm putting things out using InDesign CS4, Photoshop CS4, Illustrator CS4, QuarkXPress 8.5.1, Acrobat 9.0.1 with Enfocus Pitstop Pro 7.5, Suitcase Fusion 2 and Office 2008 running on Leopard 10.5.8. We do two papers weekly and all the ads that go in them. My work G5 is now 8 years old and far from worthless.

Oh yeah, my coworker does the same things I do with the same programs and the same OS. But she's doing it on a G4/450 with 1GB of ram. One of two G4's in my area that are over twelve years old.

So, yeah, I wish Apple had stuck with PowerPC, but again, these Macs are FAR from worthless yet.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 03:17 AM   #11
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Further to what "eyoungren" said it seems there is a LOT of life left in this type of hardware providing users have realistic expectations of what can and cannot be done.
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