Excruciatingly slow iBook G4?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by flashlite, May 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2013
    Alright, so I have this iBook G4 I assembled myself. It has a 40 gig hard drive @ 4200 rpm (maybe that's the problem?), 512 sorry megs of ram and a 1.33 GHz G4.

    This thing, well, it's so slow I can't find any fitting words for it. Seriously. It's running 10.4.11 (I used 10.5.8 previously but it was EVEN slower, ouch) and I am freaking out. I take this one to school because it was only 70 € and it slows down to a grinding halt when I need it most. I can't bring my expensive MBP to school and my iMac G3 is too bulky. (Who carries a desktop to school, seriously?)

    Any tips? This is making me MAD.


    Edit: DAMN, I THOUGHT I WAS STARTING A NEW THREAD... epic fail :eek:
  2. macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2012
    New York, NY
    Not sure what "assembled myself" and "it's so slow" means.

    Is it slow on all tasks or just some? There are browsers (e.g., TenFourFox, Camino) and other apps that are optimized for PowerPC though few are currently supported.

    Depending on how much you're willing or able to spend, you can throw in a faster HDD and max out the RAM. Also a good idea to strip Intel code.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2011
    I'm fairly certain that stripping Intel code doesn't do anything for performance. I'd be interested to see a quantitative test using lipo and time to remove Intel code and measure the difference. Logically though, you will save a few MB space for each binary and that's about it. AFAIK only the PPC codesection is loaded into RAM.
  4. macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    It probably frees up disk space, so maybe there is a microscopic performance gain.
  5. macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    If it's excruciatingly slow, two possible answers are your hard drive is too full and it doesn't have enough free space to create a swap file, or you don't have enough physical RAM. Before you go out and buy RAM, though, look at your System Monitor and see how low on RAM you really are, and also check for runaway cpu processes.
  6. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    "I assembled myself" meaning?

    I have owned 10+ ibooks and powerbooks and find these tips best.

    -a clean install of osx always really helps
    -you want at least 1 gig ram
    -i find with enough ram leopard is the way to go (have run geekbench scores on same machines with tiger and leopard,and leopard will get slightly higher mark)
    -*** most important*** replace the slow older 4200rpm apple harddrives...i have replaces with samsung 160 gig 5400 drives and makes a world of difference!

    here are some osx tweaks i also do after a clean install

    -in dock use scale effects and no mag or animate...also turn wallpaper off and use colored
    -turn off dashboard and turn off spotlight,if has bluetooth turn that also off

    To turn Dashboard off: use terminal
    defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES

    You have to restart the Dock after making either change for it to take effect:
    killall Dock

    To turn Spotlight off: use terminal

    cd /etc
    sudo nano hostconfig

    Then to get rid of the existing index, run these two commands
    sudo mdutil -i off /
    sudo mdutil -E /

    reboot computer

    remove spotlight icon

    1. As an administrator, navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices, and delete Search.bundle. If you think might want to re-enable it later, just move it somewhere else or rename it.
    2. Open up the Activity Monitor and force quit SystemUIServer. When it reopens, your menu bar will be Spotlight free.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    I'm sorry, but if you want any real help, you'll have to try to find those words.

    Otherwise, we'll just be able to give those off-the-shelf answers (HDD, ram, clean install).

  8. macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2011
    The risk of messing up important applications is not really worth freeing up a couple of hundred MB. If you're that low on space, you have other problems.
  9. macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Hard drive bump to 320gb or 250gb
    Ram bump from built in 512mb to 1.5gb
    Might as well add a Superdrive or a PATA to SATA optibay drive
    Leopard will run fine and fast with these specs.

    You have the last and fastest iBook next to its big sister, the 14" 1.42ghz.

    Your hard drive sounds like its failing. It's eight years old, at least. Replace it.
  10. macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2013
    It's the hard drive for sure. Go on eBay and you should be able to get a newer faster drive for less than $50. That's still a lot of money, but it will really speed up your iBook. If you can afford it, max out the RAM as well.

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