Leopard or tiger faster in G4 dp800?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MacintoshMaster, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502


    I have a Powermac G4 dual 800Mhz, 1.5GB ram, 160GB hard drive and USB 2. Would leopard run better or tiger?
  2. macrumors 68020


    This is a question no one can really answer but you. Everyone has their own personal perception of performance.

    I personally prefer Leopard to Tiger even though Leo generally runs a tad slower on the same PowerPC hardware. I can only speak for myself though. Your hardware is fast enough to run 10.5 decently IMO and you have enough RAM to help out with performance. You will need to use Leopard Assist or whatever it's called to get it on a sub-867MHz.

    In 2011 Tiger is rather primitive in many many ways compared to 10.5. Leopard is very close to 10.6 security and feature wise. For that reason alone without even considering performance is enough for me.

    As far as telling you what OS is best for you on that hardware I really can't. All I can do is offer advice. Questions like this open up your OS fate to the possible ignorance/oversight and bias of others that could easily steer you in the wrong way.
  3. macrumors 6502



    Thanks for your reply - what is leopard assist and how do I get it?
  4. macrumors 68020



    It's a utility app that fools the Leopard installer into thinking your Mac is at least 867MHz. It has good feedback there on mac update and other users here have said it works well. Never used it myself.
  5. macrumors 6502



    Thankyou very much!
    Is there a way to trick the computer to think it has an intel so snow leopard and lion would work?
  6. macrumors 68020


    You really are a newbie huh? :)

    10.6+ will not install on a PowerPC Mac ever. There isn't a haxie or utility in the world that can make that happen. 10.6+ is Intel only.. Period. Sorry. PowerPC and Intel Macs each need their own specific set of code. "Universal" software runs on both.

    The final OS that will run on even the fastest PowerPC out there is 10.5.8.
  7. macrumors 6502


    Unfortunately not. PPC and X86 machines use completely different instructions sets and would require emulation as a go-between. Emulation is almost always dog slow, especially on older hardware.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    On my single 867, Leopard is slightly slower, but not greatly so. That said, the extra features (Time Machine, Spaces, etc) easily justify the slight speed drop. Furthermore, it's much easier to get current or nearly current versions of applications for Leopard than Tiger (in large part due to the Leopard/Snow Leopard APIs that don't exist in Tiger, but also just because any developer still thinking PPC is most likely to just worry about the newest version...).

    Your machine is plenty quick enough to run Leopard nicely, especially given that you've maxed out the RAM. The one downside to Leopard is that when you don't have a Core Image capable graphics card (unlikely, given that the only one that works in your machine is the aftermarket Radeon 9800), it software-renders Core Image effects (using CPUs+system RAM) instead of ignoring them altogether as Tiger does. Frankly, I'm given to believe this is the main reason most older Mac users feel that Leopard is slower than Tiger--but the effect will be minimized for you, given your dual processors and (relatively) high amount of RAM.
  9. macrumors 68020


    To add to what sysiphus said about the Radeon 9800 the Geforce 5200 and 6200 AGP cards on the PC market can easily be flashed for Mac and work perfectly in all the G4 tower other than the MDD.

    I have an XFX Geforce 6200 256MB AGP in my G4 tower and it supports all the graphic features of Leopard. They can be had for about half what a Radeon 9800 sells for. If you plan on playing games though then I recommend the 9800.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    I thought Tiger was the first OS to use Core Image.
  11. macrumors 68020


    Tiger was the first to use Core Image but it's implemented only when the hardware support is there. That means no capable GPU no Core Image period.

    In Leopard if you don't have a capable GPU is uses the CPU to crunch the stuff a capable GPU would if you had it. This is called "Software" in the system profiler and slows down the CPU up to 30% in my experience. When you have a capable GPU all that crunching is offloaded to it.

    So to sum up Tiger enables or disables Core Image based on GPU and Leopard runs it regardless of capable GPU or not.

    Example.. my Geekbench score when I had a Radeon 7500 running Leopard was about 860 and just adding the GeForce 6200 (which supports all the GPU features) my score went to 1127 simply just because the CPU had about 25-30% less strain on it by not running GPU emulation.

    I highly recommend a Core Image capable GPU on Leopard as it works more like an extra CPU than on Tiger. This essentially turns the GPU upgrade to a CPU upgrade as well.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Thanks zen state, for explaining that so clearly. I misunderstood what sysipus posted, when he wrote that Core Image was ignored by Tiger.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah, I could have made it clearer, I guess :p Glad you got straightened out. Long story short, having a Core Image-capable card is a BIG plus if you're on Leopard, whereas it's just a nice perk on Tiger.
  14. macrumors 6502



    Hi there,
    Thankyou very much for explaining this to me.

    Would this be the right graphics card:


    Would this make general performance faster? Would it help run programs such as iLife, iWork, Sibelius 6, Logic Pro 8 etc..?
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Take a good read @The Powerpc FAQ, it wil help you understand some things about "powerpc today" :)

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