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iBook G4 and Leopard

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by kopas67, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Sorry if this has been asked here before but I was wondering if upgrading to Leopard on a used iBook G4 mid 2005 really worth it? All I purchased this Mac for was to slowly get the feel of Macs so i can switch after 30 years of PCs. If this was posted before forgive me since I am new here. :)
  2. macrumors P6


    Possibly. How much ram does your iBook currently have? You can find out that and the CPU speed by clicking on the Apple logo in to top left of your screen and selecting "About this Mac".
  3. macrumors 65816

    It is worth it, my G4 iBook runs Leopard very nicely with 768 Mb ram, I know it would even be better if I maxed it out at 1.25 Gb but for what I use mine for I'm happy as is.
    Oh and BTW, I even have Microsoft virtual PC on this thing just so my wife can periodically run a Windows app she needs.
  4. macrumors newbie

    As of now it has 1gb of RAM...have a 1gb stick on its way since this can hold a max of 1.5gb.
  5. macrumors P6


    It should be able to run Leopard very nicely.
  6. macrumors 68010


    Even though it should be able to run Leopard fine, there is a possibility that it will be sluggish. I just bought a G4 iBook and with 1.5 GB RAM 1.33GHz. Safari kept crashing and it lagged a lot. SO I downgraded to Tiger and now everything is great. The only thing I miss from Leopard was being able to access shared iTunes Libraries. Other than that, I am much happier with its performance.
  7. macrumors P6


    With iTunes 9.X, you can still access shared iTunes libraries. Even on a G3 Mac.
  8. macrumors 65816

    By any chance did you try the "tuned for Leopard" version of Safari before you gave up?
  9. macrumors 68010


    Can OS X run iTunes 9?

    No I didn't because I had no idea that existed. That wasn't the only problem though, and still glad that I downgraded.
  10. macrumors P6


  11. macrumors 68010


    Hey Intell,

    You're awesome. iTunes works better on Tiger than it did on Leopard and sharing is even better. Making it full screen before it totally loads causes it to freeze for a couple of seconds, but it is great.

    I am really starting to like my iBook more and more. I got it because I wanted a very low-cost Mac laptop for school and now I am wanting to upgrade it. This might seem silly, but OWC has a SSD that is made for the iBook G4 series and I am starting to consider that option more and more.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    I have also considered replacing the hard disk with SSD, not so much because I want to make the computer faster but because it is so quiet except for the hard disk read/write -sounds. SSD will of course speed up some things at the same time, but the biggest problem regarding speed will still be G4.
  13. macrumors 603


    I don't think it will speed up things that much, his iBook has ATA 100, a Pata disk which is much slower than SSD's can deliver nowadays.
    Better would be to add more RAM, problem is that it's only 1.25 GB Max., I Myself have a Powerbook G4 1.67, Maximum is 2 GB but lower slot does not work(Max 1 GB now), Safari is a hog and needs more RAM.
    It (SSD)probably will make a bit of difference since the swap will be a bit faster but I don't think it's worth it for the money.

    But, overall Leopard runs just fine with a few hick-ups, RAM related.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Well there is more than the maximum bandwidth, I think the iBooks have 4200rpm hard drive which is pretty slow so SSD will definently improve seek times and deliver constant performance over that HDD... but I agree that it is not likely to be worth the money to buy new expensive SSD for old slow computer and then expect it to be rocket after that.

    In my case I also do have much quieter Fujitsu 80GB drive which is 5400rpm and that could also do the trick, make the iBook silent.
  15. macrumors 68010


    I doubt it will increase speeds that much, but I just want to make sure that the machine will last even longer than it already has. And if a SSD will do that, and if I can get a higher capacity than the 40GB HDD that I have now(which I will once I save) then that will be good. After that, it's replacing the ODD with either a better one.

    I don't think it will speed things up that much either, especially since that's the only drive that OWC doesn't state the read/write speeds of. I maxed out the RAM at 1.5GB and it's much better than the 512MB that it comes with. I don't know what it was that caused Leopard to run the way that it did, but Tiger is running awesomely. Then after I downloaded the developer tools, I can run the "purge" command every once in a while and make sure that the memory stays available.

    The main reason for the SSD is the fact that it won't be as susceptible to the way in which the laptop is handled. Sure, I'm careful, but with a multi-body enclosure(I should copyright that) that is going on 8 years old, the more that I can decrease the wear and tear of the innards would be great. Also decreasing the temperature would make the battery last longer(I think).

    Is there an automator code that I could run to start an inactive memory purge once it reaches a certain amount that's inactive? COuld that same automation notify me when it's been activated and then again once the memory has been purged?
  16. macrumors 603


    iFreeMem is a Menu App, I think it does the purge Command.
    I also read somewhere that you should not use it too often but why I don't know.
    I use that one to free up memory, think it is not free though but it only warns you when you start it up, after that you can use it normally.
    Be aware though, it tries to ring back, use little snitch to block.
  17. macrumors 68010


    Yeah, I found that app and then promptly deleted it. Any app that says it's free and then tries to get you to pay for it is not something I want on my system.

    Is little snitch free?
  18. macrumors 603


    No, it is not.

    Also, forgot to say, a timed Automator script is I think also not that convenient, reason is that if you use the purge command your system is not responsive for up to 20-30 seconds, you don't want that when you don't know.
    I always do it manually, takes little time.
    I also think it's fairly easy to find or write an Apple script which does the purge command and save it as an App which you can put in a convenient place.
    Just a shame Apple never updated the firmware for My powerbook so that the lower memory slot works again, that way I could have 2 GB.
  19. macrumors 68010


    I think you're right about having the script set to a certain time, but what if I used an "if-then" script that only started the purge once the inactive memory reached a certain level; like 400MB or something in that range.

    Can you get an updated firmware through third parties? I remember something about the early macbooks that you can download some sort of firmware update that allows you to use up to 8GB of RAM.

    And I can remember very clearly that one of my friend's powerbooks was the catalyst to my switching to Mac. 2GB of RA would be nice, but I'm fine with 1.5GB as long as it continues to perform well.
  20. macrumors 603


    I have Menumeters running so I can always see how much memory is available, even an if-then interrupts without you realizing and probably will get annoyed quite fast, if you do it manually you can do it when you do something else for a moment(make coffee-toilet visit-etc.) so won't interrupt.

    No, not that I am aware of, there is a site which tells you how to map the memory in the lower slot in open firmware(did that), the powerbook sees the memory(2GB) but crashes as soon as it needs the second memory chip, probably due to the fact that the speed is not set on the lower slot.
    Some people had luck with it, but after each restart you had to go into open firmware again and type quite a bit to get it to work again.
    The memory slot is not broken, Apple refuses(d) to update for obvious reasons.

    The more RAM, the better, OSX can be a "sucker" for memory.
  21. macrumors 68010


    I know that's true especially when you want to run more than 5-6 apps that need it. That why every one of my machines is now maxed out; well, except for the G5 iMac, but I have to either save for the 2 GB module, or sell some other electronics equipment that I'm not using to get it.
  22. macrumors newbie

    Thank you all for your input. I ended up keeping Tiger on my iBook and put in the 1gb stick to boost it to 1.5gb...it runs nice and speedy! Next will be to add a bigger Hard drive with better speeds. That will come when I get the nerve to do that daunting task of installing said drive. Thinking that I also should pick up a Super Drive as well since I will have this iBook in pieces might as well upgrade the disc drive.
  23. macrumors 68010


    I agree with that and am looking forward to doing that as well. I don't think I will do the operation myself though. Where are you going to purchase the HDD?
  24. macrumors newbie

    Not sure where I will buy the hard drive. Was looking at a simple 160gb drive that is not that much on Amazon. I already have a desktop external hdd so 160gb should be fine in the iBook.
  25. macrumors 65816

    If you'd like a larger drive this is available from OWC, good people to do business with.

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