Worth upgrading G4 iMac?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by scienide09, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    So, I've got this +5 year old "swivelhead" iMac. It belongs to my partner, but she says it's too sluggish for her usual work (especially compared to our 6 month old MBP!), so it doesn't get much use.

    Here are the specs:
    800 MHz PPC G4
    256 MB PC 133 SDRAM
    80 GB HD
    GeForce4 MX 32 MB GPU
    SuperDrive
    OS X 10.4.10
    Model number:M8812LL/A.

    She's getting random slowdowns, beachballs, and having to force-quit when running multiple apps.

    Would additional RAM bring this system up to speed? I'm thinking that more memory would keep it going for web, email, and document editing for some time to come.

    Is a RAM upgrade in this system user-friendly? I noticed from the Apple specs page that only one of the memory slots is user-accessible.

    Any input from you folks would be great.
     
  2. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    I'd pop the bottom off and check to see if the bottom slot is filled.

    It'll be very easy to add an additional 512 MB of RAM in the user accessible SO-DIMM slot.

    I found reaching the internal RAM slot to be very easy for me to reach as well with little or no instruction.

    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/iMac_g4/imacg4_takeapart.html
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #3
    256mb of RAM? and you're wondering why the slow downs?
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    #4
    This computer can have upto a gigabyte... Right?
     
  5. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #5
    Correct
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Thanks for the responses so far. Seems RAM is the problem, as I thought.

    If it takes up to 1 GB, I could potentially drop 512 MB in each slot, correct?
    A PC-133 SO-DIMM in the user accessible slot on the bottom (144 pin), and a standard 168 pin DIMM by digging around inside a little.

    Would just 512 MB in the user-accessible slot be enough, combined with the pre-installed 256 MB to total 768 MB?

    Also, if I'm going to crack it open anyway, is there anything else you can think of that I should look at replacing?
     
  7. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #7
    You have everything correct.


    You could do a hard drive or optical drive upgrade but those are much more difficult then just replacing the RAM in there.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    Thanks for all your help Eidorian. I'll have to go shopping

    It thought of those. But for the kind of use it will get, I can wait on these I think.

    One more thing: should I bother upgrading to Leopard on this machine? I suspect no, since the 800 MHz G4 PPC is below recommended sys reqs.
    (I'm thinking this iMac might serve as a secondary backup through Time Machine as a failsafe in case my external dies.)

    Has anyone tried, and what kind of results did you have?
     
  9. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #9
    You can install Leopard on in it several different and more increasingly difficult ways.

    The simplest ones being installer from a faster PowerPC Mac or cloning it from one.
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    #10
    You can fake out Leopard onto you machine, but you probably don't want to. You will take a slight performance hit and you loose classic (and access to some old software). For the new application the will REQUIRE Leopard, the will most require an Intel chip set too, so upgrading the OS on a G4 will NOT gain you access to new software. So you won't gain anything (with a 800Mhz G4) if you update to Leopard and you end up with a minor dink to performance. Not really worth it.

     
  11. thread starter macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    Thanks for the feedback. Not that surprised to hear that Leopard probably isn't worth the trouble.
     

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