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X.2/X.3 performance on a G3 400

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by tom.96, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. macrumors regular

    I have a question about my imac DV G3 400 with 192mb physical RAM, 10 GB HDD (only 1.75GB spare but I could delete some things) and 8mb ATI rage 128 graphics chip.

    At the moment, I am running OS 9.1 and would like to upgrade to X. However, I am unsure as to how my machine will be able to cope with the new OS, and whether it will be too slow or not. I tried an imac G3 600mhz running X.2 in a shop a while back, and that was very slow but that machine only had 64mb RAM.

    So my question is: would the performance of a new OS be decent on my machine? If so, should I get X.2 now, or wait for X.3? I assume X.3 will have higher system requirements, and don't know whether my Mac will be able to cope at all with that.

    I will not be wanting to do heavy user stuff, just web surfing, email, appleworks and some coding/unix stuff. I would also do some low level sound/audio work.

  2. macrumors 6502


    I have only one computer and it is an iMac DV400 G3 with 320mb RAM. I am running OSX 10.2.6 and have had almost no problems with the OS. If you run classic applications, you will want to install classic (9.2.2, which is included with OSX) along with OSX. If not, you don't have to, which can save a little space on the 10gb HD. As for speed, I don't have anything to compare it to, so I am ecstaticly happy with my iMAc DV400. When OSX first became available, many publications were suggesting that it was very RAM dependent, and that we should get as much RAM into our machines as possible. I agree that having enough memory is a good thing, but 320mb is what I would personally consider to be the minimum needed for trouble free action with OSX, However, don't expect a lot from buying the maximum amount of RAM allowed by yoour system. As is the case with most any computer, there are some apps where it will make a difference and some where it won't. I am very proud of my iMac and there are too many reasons why. There have been very few times when I have wondered if I could benefit from a faster system, but all is working as it should be and I am far more productive, with more capabilities on my iMac than my previous computer, so I can't make myself spend the money for the latest and greatest machine, which is a good thing because if this were a winblows machine, I wouldn't be online, and I may not be running at all. I do a little surfing and email, I do some video and audio stuff, and I use Appleworks a lot. I think OSX rocks and I don't see it being slower than OS9... just my perspective, and 2 cents.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    I'm using a beige G3/266, which won't be supported by Panther anymore. I agree that having lots of RAM helps. I started out with 128 MB, and it became way sluggish after I opened a few apps. Having 224 MB helped, and now I'm having 384 MB and it is really fine (although not much faster than with 224 MB).

    I have MenuMeters show me the RAM used/free. Right after startup, OS X.2.6 uses about 87-90 MB of RAM. After opening Camino and Terminal, I'm at 105 MB already. However, most of the time I don't go beyond 200-220 MB+1 swapfile used, unless I use Photoshop Elements on big files. That is nice, because it leaves another 100MB+ free to be used for hard disk caching (OS X does this automatically, like most modern OSes).

    If you have little RAM, watch your swapfiles (either using e.g. MenuMeters or "ls /private/var/vm" in the Terminal). If you go beyond one swapfile when you use your favourite Apps, you could benefit from more RAM.

    As for the G3s performance, application startup is a bit slow. Once they're loaded, it's fine, though. Still, I'll get myself a PowerBook next week :).
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Re: X.2/X.3 performance on a G3 400

    I forgot about these ones:

    That should be fine for OS X, unless you often use several big apps at the same time.

    Be prepared for OS X to use at least 3.5 GB when installed, and always keep a few hundred MBs free.

    I'm using an ATI Mach64. System Profiler says it only has 2 MB VRAM, but I can't believe it. It is okay, but of course the new machines can make use of Quartz Extreme, so all the eye candy will be faster. I switched off dock magnification, since I found it a bit too sluggish. But then I prefer it non-magnifying anyway.

    As I mentioned, for me, OS X uses about 87-90 MB after startup (including a few utilities like Meteorologist, MenuMeters etc.). Which means that right after startup, the system will be continously swapping if you only have 64 MB. I assure you that a Dual 2 GHz G5 will not be much faster than the iMac 600 with the same amount of RAM. Since you have more RAM, your performance should be decent.

    X.3 is actually faster than X.2, but do check your system is still supported by X.3. If yes, I would wait at least till it is announced, or else you will have to pay $129 again.

    I guess you will be fine with OS X, and you'll love the Unix integration (as I do). I'm still getting a new computer since this machine isn't mine, and I want to do audio (Logic).
  5. macrumors 68030


    Re: X.2/X.3 performance on a G3 400

    64 megs is unacceptable for OSX (half the minimum requirements), so of course it was slow. 10.3 supports everything 10.2 did, except the beige G3, and is faster on all the machines it supports.
  6. macrumors 6502

    192 megs is NOT fine for OS X, unless you can deal with SLOW.

    Seriously, moving up to 512 in my iBook 500 mhz was the biggest world of difference I have ever experienced in my entire life, and I went up from 256.

    Get more RAM, get OS X, you'll love it.
  7. macrumors regular

    Re: Re: X.2/X.3 performance on a G3 400

    Did Apple release the system requirements for 10.3? I thought any system running 10.2 could run 10.3 (although I could be wrong). If the Beige G3's aren't supported, will the PowerBook G3 Wallstreet still be supported? They are basically the portable version of the Beige G3's.
  8. Moderator emeritus

    My older machine is a PowerMac G3/400 with 704MB RAM and a 9 GB Ultra2SCSI drive. I keep it lean with a little over 3 GB free--I've moved things like games to another drive.

    It runs well enough, but consider that 512MB is the minimum you should be using.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    If you turn off the bells and whistles like the animated apps the genie effect and magnifacation of the dock 192 is fine. I have my mom set up on a Blueberry iBook with 192 and a 300 Mhz G3 and it runs fine. It is not as fast as my G4 dual tower but you should know what hardware you have and how it performs and what is an acceptable speed for you.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Re: Re: Re: X.2/X.3 performance on a G3 400

    i have heard rumors of the dropping of the beige g3 from the support list, but i bet someone will find a way to install it on one:)

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