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My G5 is extremely slow, is this normal?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by rondocap, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    So recently I bought an old first gen 1.8ghz single CPU power Mac g5 with 3 gigs of ram just for web browsing.

    Ok, I know it's 10 years old, running leopard, and Old tech.

    But it is so sluggish at everything! Web browsing is a hassle. Safari takes long to load, and even switching tabs takes a few secOnds. It freezes up too in some pages especially videos.

    Is it really just that slow, or is something slowing it down? Would tiger be faster vs leopard on this machine? It's so frustrating.

    I have a newer Mac pro too and they're not even remotely comparable.
  2. macrumors regular

    New mac pro with current standards = Fast.
    10 year old hardware trying to run current standards = Slow.

    If you take the time to read other topics in this forum you will find a TON of information.
  3. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    Most people will say the 2 Ghz ones are much better, but I have the same as you, with less RAM (512MB even! :eek:) and it runs perfectly fine. I'm running Leopard, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash Professional, and some 3D rendering software with no issue. Safari is a breeze too.

    Have you tried zapping the PRAM?
  4. macrumors G3


    If the original owner never bothered with system maintenance that could affect things too (if we are talking about more than Safari).

    My work Mac is your model, only my work Mac has 4GB ram. I have anywhere from 5-10 apps open at any time, most of them high memory consuming design apps (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXPress, Acrobat, etc, etc). I'm not experiencing any slowdown.
  5. macrumors regular


    I would try the PRAM test. if possible reinstall the OS, you will most likely notice serious improved performance. At least in my experience I always do!
  6. macrumors 6502a


    I don't know how new you are to this, but I'll say it anyway since I know that I for one didn't understand what "zapping the PRAM" meant the first time I had to do it.

    Hold command + option + P + R during startup, let go when you hear the chime a second time.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    You must have something wrong with that computer, can be software or hardware.
    Have a look on the FAQ on my sig it may help you.
    In a first instance run onyx with the automation scripts (or at least repair permissions with disk utility).
  8. macrumors 68040


    There were different 1.8 G5s as I recall.

    One only took four gigs of ram, the other eight.

    I had the one that took eight and it seemed slow to me a few years ago, too.

    One thing that G5s are notorious for is -- when hard drives go bad, it's difficult to see the problem.

    Make sure your hard drive is new or in perfect working order. A big new drive will also speed things up a bit.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Sorry guys, but if switching tabs takes a few seconds there is no way the computer is fine (again, can be software or hardware)...
  10. macrumors 6502


    why is that?
  11. macrumors 68000


    A bad and a hard drive that is about to fail could cause considerable slow down not with the OS per se but with opening and running applications.
  12. macrumors regular

    Thank you guys for the responses, you've been very helpful. I must say, I absolutely love these early Power Macs. Ever since they came out, I fell in love with the case, and what they are. I almost got one in 2003 but decided to stay with PC's - I only came to Macs in 2006, I should have switched sooner!

    My Mac Pro is a beast, I can see it being fast for years to come - but like I said, this poor 1.8 ghz Power Mac is slow as it comes. It's only a single CPU, not even the dual 1.8 - so I understand where some of that slowdown is. It's the first generation 1.8 too, that came out when the power mac was released.

    I am going to try what you guys suggested, resetting PRAM, reinstalling the OS, and even switching out the hard drive. I have a few more questions for you guys:

    1.) I currently have the last version of Leopard on this machine. Would switching out to Tiger be better for system performance? Once again, I just want it for a web browsing machine. Right now it won't even work with youtube very well. Freezes and skips video.

    2.) Do all power mac's skip youtube videos? I thought this may be due to older flash or video software no longer available. Or would a dual 2.3ghz run things smooth?

    3.) This 1.8 does not run SATAII hard drives, I think it's just SATA. Can you still find these for sale?
  13. macrumors 6502


    my dual 2.5 plays youtube videos at 720p without a problem...

    I had tiger on it before leopard and I can't feel a difference in speed. you might though because it's only a single 1.8.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Is the leopard on your system a fresh install?If don't try it.
    But after loosing time with a new install run apple hardware test (original cds that came with the machine).
  15. macrumors regular

    I don't have any of the original cds/dvds, I bought this machine second hand. IT just came with Leopard on it already, I don't know for how long it was on there.
  16. macrumors G3


    Tiger was a real PITA on my work G5. Finder was always unstable and I couldn't initiate more than two copy processes without expecting it to crash. Servers were always disconnecting and causing it to freeze. Just a general mess.

    Panther, which is what the G5 came with, was faster and far more stable. When I upgraded to Leopard everything straightened out and it's been smooth, stable, fast and responsive.

    I might try repairing permissions, Onyx (as was previously suggested) and if you can get a hold of a copy of DiskWarrior I would run that too. DW can also tell you if your hard drive is indeed going.

    BTW, I hate Safari. Unlike most, it's always been a slow tempermental POS that will only load to a certain point and then stop for me. There are much better solutions now. TenFourFox, Camino, SeaMonkey (there is a version 2.x SeaMonkey project out there for Power PC Mac) and a bunch of webkit browsers that show Safari for the beast it is. You might also look at Mactubes, which is a standalone program just for playing Youtube.

    Just my thoughts/opinion on all of this.
  17. macrumors regular

    Will an SSD drive work in the 1.8 single CPU G5? Or is it too old? I believe it should be SATA but not SATAII of course.
  18. macrumors P6


    An SSD will work in one. SATA II drives are backwards compatible with SATA I computers, like the PowerMac G5. You could also put a SATA III drive in it, pending that it has SATA II legacy mode jumpers on it. Most SSDs don't have jumpers, so get a SATA II one.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Have you tried using the ps command in Terminal do see which things are taking up the most CPU space? Assuming nothing's wrong on your PowerMac, of course. If a stick of RAM failed, you would be slowed down due to the low amount of built-in RAM.
  20. macrumors 65816


    Which? Safari keeps me because of the extensions.
  21. eyoungren, Apr 29, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012

    macrumors G3


    I posted these in another thread here awhile back, so I had to go find them. All are webkit.

    and Stainless

    At least one user here tried Demeter and thought it was much faster than Safari.

    P.S. There is also this. Webkit nightly builds.
    P.P.S Also Radon.
  22. macrumors 6502a

    I put this info on the FAQ along with other browser options =)
  23. macrumors G3


    Cool! Thanks very much! :)
  24. macrumors 65816


    Intel only.

    Nearly all these old browsers are ancient and pretty much sums up the projects when some of the developers sites are non existent.

    It's a shame after having a good look most of these browsers are quite a downgrade from Safari with lack of extensions.
  25. macrumors G3


    Yeah, the link I first placed was to Intel only (the Webkit Nightly builds). I fixed it. It goes to the correct site now. Those builds are actually done by a person who works on TenFourFox.

    It's not fixed in the quoted link because I didn't write that post. I sent skinniezinho a PM about the link.

    I've not had much success with extensions in Safari. Maybe it's because I'm a Firefox/TenFourFox person, I don't know. But I do know that those browsers while being old generally load pages quickly and perform well.

    With Safari (for me) I just have problems. The most irritating and annoying one is that Safari will tell you it has X items to load. When it loads X items, it tells you it has another X items to load. But usually, it hangs on the last few items it's telling you it's loading and then just stops. I hate that!

    My experience with Safari anyway.

    P.S. I think Rocat is still being developed if slowly.

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