mac mini 1.25 would i notice?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by tom vilsack, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    been wanting a mac mini for a while and scored a killer deal today...1.25,512 ram,40 gig hd,wifi (craigs and only $50! beat me why...thing is in mint cond)

    it had leopard on it...and also partition of leopard dvd (if i want to reinstall)...was running pretty slow,so i figured maybe because past users stuff i ran leopard partition and did fresh install + all updates (1.5 gigs later) it was still pretty slow....

    so i backed up leopard install partition (using carbon copy) and proceeded to to do a clean install of tiger...big difference now! faster and could get by as is for basic web daily use...

    question is:

    would changing 512 ram for 1 gig (the max it can use) and replacing the stock seagate 40 gig 5400 2mb harddrive with a 160 gig 5400 8mb make leopard run as well or better then this non upgraded tiger install?
  2. macrumors 6502

    IMHO ... no
    Tiger will always run faster on that hardware than Leopard because it was designed for it. Leopard was designed for the sort of power that was available on brand new machines when it was released.

    I have the same spec mini sitting on a shelf & you've just inspired me to reinstall Tiger & get it back in action. I upgraded it to Leopard while my Dad was using it, but it was pretty slow so I replaced it with an intel 2.0 mini
  3. #3
    Upgrading to 1GB RAM will definitely help, but Leopard is a bit slow on those G4s. An HDD upgrade might help too.
    I had once Leopard on a 1GHz G4 with 1.25GB RAM and it was not fun. Tiger is faster on those machines.
  4. macrumors 65816


    There must be something wrong with your mac mini as Leo with a 1GHz+ processor should be able to run comfortably.

    What exactly is slow to you?
  5. #5
    It is the 512MB RAM I guess, at that Mac is barely touching the minimum system requirements.
  6. macrumors 68040


    ok everybody has a different opinion about what is slow? and what is acceptable ?and what is fast ?
    i have 3 eMac's 1.42's with 2gb ram and i tried leopard on one even bought that disc , and for me it was unacceptable slow , didn't offer classic so i went back to tiger which is now my operating system of choice for all my Mac's really , i find tiger has less flashy eye candy the leopard which in my opinion is just a waste of processing power

    but you can make leopard faster ,if you are good in the terminal disable all of the eye candy in leopard
    so in my opinion leopard is only good for a second partition if you need to sync your newer iphone or ipod
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Overclock that mini to 1.5ghz (search for a how to) and max it out at 1gb ram. They go great!!!
    I miss my old one...
  8. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    there is nothing wrong with machine....however the difference between leopard and tiger without upgrading ram and possibly harddrive is can really notice it when using a web browser....

    yes i did all the tweaks in terminal (least ones i know)

    i will max out the ram and try leopard again...but as overclocking requires messing with solder...ill pass

    ps: here are some pics of it


  9. macrumors 6502

    Keep it on Tiger! Leopard on my 1.33ghz Powerbook feels like Tiger on my 700mhz iMac G4. Awesome deal, by the way.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    nah, there is no stuffing around with solder, as you can just flick the resistor off.. (however, if you stuff it up and remove the wrong resistor, then you /will/ have to re-solder them back on)

    made a big diff when i had mine, and it ran stable for the whole 3 years that i had it..

    also that drive will make a difference :)
  11. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    upgraded to 1 gig tonight....very nice difference :)

    will continue to use tiger for now...
  12. macrumors 6502a

    guess your problem was ram.
    In the other day a friend of mine lent me a core duo macbook with 1gb and tiger,the thing was sloooww,after putting 2x1Gb it doesn't even seem the same machine.
    I believe 2x1Gb and leopard you would be fine
  13. macrumors 6502a


    PPC mac mini has a 1 gb ram limit.
  14. zen.state, Feb 6, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011

    macrumors 68020


    I can tell you from loads of PPC/Leo experience that the main thing holding you back is lack of RAM and a Core Image compatible GPU.

    Leo needs a minimum of 2GB RAM to run smooth even though the system requirements say 1GB they mean as a minimum. So with 512MB you had half the minimum needed. As already mentioned though you can only go to 1GB on a PPC mini.

    When it comes to GPU Leo really needs Core Image support and the PowerPC Mini has a Radeon 9200 which only supports Quartz Extreme. Quartz only handles simple stuff like expose or window minimizing. Core Image on the other hand is truly at the core of the OS and offloads most of the graphic work to the GPU. Quartz uses the GPU also but not in nearly as rigorous a way and the CI GPU's are also far more capable and faster.

    My G4 Sawtooth (11 years old now) with a 1.8GHz G4, 2GB RAM and a Geforce 6200 which supports Core Image runs Leo great.

    In my experience on PPC systems Tiger is only noticeably faster when you do not have at least 1GB RAM and Core Image support. On my setup Tiger is seriously only about 3-5% faster.
  15. macrumors 68040


    hm strange as it would indicate that leopard would have been quiet fast on my eMac 1.42 as it has a ati radeon 9600 which supports both quarz and core image , and it had full 2gb ram , but leopard was really slow ,about 25%slower then tiger and thats a optimistic guess it felt more like half the processing power was gone
  16. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    zen: great info..thxs

    im gonna try a new harddrive in it today (samsung hm160
    hc...160 gig 8mb) has more then double the rating of the old default (seagate ST940110A)...time to head out to local comp store...will update latter tonight on how it went.....

    here are couple pics of it apart (was easier then i thought using


  17. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    all done...was a bit tricky holding main body and reconnecting bluetooth and wifi wires

    so quiet now! and really does help overall what do i use 160 gigs for lol

    reimaged tiger to first partition (made 3 partitions) and will try leopard on one of other partitions

    so thats about it..ive now maxed out ram to 1 gig and installed this 160 gig samsung 8mb harddrive....think im good to go
  18. zen.state, Feb 7, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011

    macrumors 68020


    I cannot speak for emac performance as I have never owned one. My results though are certainly accurately described.

    One thing I have noticed over the years is that Apple's consumer systems tend to not perform as well as powermacs even when the consumer systems have a faster bus and RAM.

    Edit: Another thought about your video is that it only has 64MB VRAM. When it comes to Macs at least the VRAM is needed more for OS level stuff much more than any gaming you may do. My Geforce 6200 has 256MB VRAM and within 10 min. of a reboot at least 180MB of the 256MB is being consumed. When you combine Core Image, Core Video, Core Animation and Quartz Extreme in a single OS like 10.5+ is you need a crapload of VRAM. Even 128MB isn't enough and that is double what your eMac has.

    Those are the only reasons I can think of that your results would be different than mine.
  19. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    ok i installed leopard to second partition i made....

    -certainly more usable with this faster hd...still slower then tiger,but not a deal breaker....ill keep both on here now.

    might be interesting to see what a ssd ide would be like to really improve speed,but thats over this projects budget...

    pretty happy with the results and now have a more then usable ppc mini....

    if interested (original mini was 1.25,512 ram,40 gig hd,bluetooth,wifi,cdrw) in really nice shape....
    original mini cost $50 (just threw offers on craigs till i got a bite)
    upgraded ram 1 gig pc 3200 $25 (again on craigs)
    upgraded hd 160 samsung hm160hc $67 with tax (bought at local store in richmond/vancouver)
    have all versions of osx so that helped....
  20. macrumors 68020



    Great work on the mini. It's always satisfying to me to make a computer better. The key to being happy with this amazing older PowerPC hardware is to use it within it's means. The people who pee on PowerPC around here are trying to use 5+ year old computers for modern high demand needs.

    Some are even sensless enough to equate a computers capability to how well it plays youtube videos. Sad I know..

    I had a 1.25 mini myself for a little over a year and found it to be a great machine. I sold it to buy a G4 MDD.

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