Best Mac for Mac OS 9?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by davidg4781, Apr 15, 2016.

Tags:
  1. davidg4781 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #1
    I don't know if I'll be doing this soon, but after watching some YouTube videos on Mac OS 9 I'm tempted to get a Mac to play around with it. Gaming would be best since I really don't need it for anything important. I could do some word processing but I rarely have a need for that and it would have to be compatible with modern software.

    So if I start looking for a Mac, which would be best? I'd like to run it natively and it would need to be powerful enough handle anything I throw at it. I'd also like it to be something that stands out, or really says this was Apple at this time. For example, iMac G4s may not be the fastest and most powerful but their design says a lot about the road Apple chose to go down.
     
  2. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #2
    A dual 1.25 GHz Power Mac G4 MDD (pre-FireWire 800) with a GeForce 4Ti graphics card is considered the ultimate Mac OS 9 build.

    But if you want something pretty, a G4 Cube with a processor upgrade and GeForce 3 is also a good choice. Unfortunately, both Cube processor upgrades and the GeForce 3 graphics card are very hard to come by, but a stock Cube with a Radeon 7500 or GeForce 2MX plus 1.5 GB RAM would still make an acceptable OS 9 Mac.
     
  3. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #3
    @redheeler There was one made AFTER the FireWire 800 model also. MDD 2003 model which is the single or dual 1.25 GHz model. It came with a Radeon 9000 or GeForce 4Ti for graphics.

    Also, unless you're specifically using an application under OS 9 that is created to take advantage of dual processors (or are using the Classic environment strangely enough), the extra processor will be wasted space. ALSO, note that model has a highly specific version of OS 9 and nothing else will work if you want an OS 9 machine.

    If you aren't wanting to go through the hassle, there was a MDD model that could run it from 2002, but I think it only did it through the Classic environment. At some point in the life of PPC, and I can't remember the specific models, Apple screwed the pooch when it came to OS 9 users and killed native booting for it.
     
  4. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #4
    I'll go a different direction from other here and recommend an old world ROM Mac. If you can track down a nice 9600, 8600, or similar Mac you can get yourself a really nice OS 9 system that also makes a nice bridge system to anything older you may have or obtain later. Its nice having something around with the old I/O.



    The other route I'd go is a Blue & White G3 or a nice iMac G3 if you're looking for systems that were closer to the OS 9 era and has the capability of dual booting a newer OS if you want to hop online with it and throw some larger HDDs inside.
     
  5. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #5
    Apple reissued the pre-FireWire 800 MDD for customers needing Mac OS 9 bootability after the Power Mac G5 was released. It's effectively the exact same Mac as the one introduced before FireWire 800 and does not have it. The later MDD with FireWire 800 can't boot into Mac OS 9, only Classic in Mac OS X, although I've heard of people flashing it to think it's the earlier one without FireWire 800.

    The pre-FireWire 800 MDD does require the very latest build of 9.2.2 for native boot, but I was able to download and install the version found on MacOS9Lives without much hassle.
     
  6. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #6
    And here is that Mac from 2003 (it was made after the FW 800 model) that can boot into OS 9, courtesy of Mactracker.. The memory tab is the reason why it needed a special install of OS 9.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #7
    I like the MDD (and QS) because of the ADC and Pro Audio ports. They showed how Apple was trying to make things easier and declutter the back of the PC. A G3 would be nice as it was more from that era. Would I have to worry about it being under powered? I don't think they went above 500 MHz.
     
  8. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #8
    System 9 doesn't require much power from your CPU or graphics. It also doesn't need much memory. Is there a use you have in mind you're concerned about? Its really a simple OS.
     
  9. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #9
    I don't have critical use. Just to play around with. I never really got to experience it back then. I would like to play older games. I have Diablo II and had to download some patches to run on Leopard. Those kinds of games I'd like to run natively.
     
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #10
    As said, OS 9 has a fairly small footprint vs. OS X, although it's a bit "heavier" than 8.6(which I prefer for older laptops, trayload iMacs, and the like).

    In any case, Apple released iBook G3s as fast 900mhz, and 3rd party upgrades go up to 1.1ghz. I also have a beige G3 tower with a 1ghz G4 upgrade in it.

    When it rains it pours. A friend here has found me two of them within the last couple of weeks.

    Also, Cube upgrades aren't terribly difficult to find, although not as common as other upgrade cards. I bought two Cubes already upgrades-one with a 1.5 and one with a 1.8. Member jBarley also gave me an 800mhz Sonnet for a Cube.

    And, finally, I'll add in that a single or dual 1.25 MDD is the best factory computer. With that said, I have a "warp speed" OS 9 computer in the form of a Digital Audio G4 with a Sonnet dual 1.8ghz and GEForce 4Ti. Unlike a lot of the 7447A-based upgrades(which tends to be anything faster than 1.5ghz or so) the Sonnet software package allows it to boot in OS 9. I really should try my 7448-based 2.0ghz Newertech upgrade(in another Digital Audio G4).
     
  11. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #11
    I second this. Mac OS 9 looks more at home on an OWR machine in terms of looks. My own pimped out 8600 has provided tons of fun.
     
  12. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #12
    In my rambling, I failed to mention that I too really enjoy sitting down in front of my 9600 for some good old OS 9 fun. The nice thing about an OWR Mac is that you get true support for legacy items like the wonderful AEKII combined with the ADB II mouse. The 8600 and 9600 give you expansion slots to play with also-you can do things like throw in a USB and Firewire card(the right ones are plug and play in OS 9). My 9600 has a 10/100 card to pep up the internet a bit as well as a Radeon 9200-it's not at all a bad GPU. I think you have a Sonnet ATA card(at least if the one I sold you went there) which of course increases your HDD speed and theoretical capacity(or at least makes big HDDs easy to find).

    Any of the Beige G3s also make great OS 9 machines. Once again, they shine with a the same combo of cards mentioned above(USB/FW combo, some sort of video card, and a fast ethernet card). The RAM is inherently faster plus is a LOT less expensive and more available than RAM for the 8600/9600. I have a 400mhz G3 pulled from a B&W tower in one of my beige desktops. They even have some good multimedia capabilities with the right personality card(I'm still trying to decide where to put my Bordeaux card, which will turn it into a DVD player). The AIO-if you can find one-is a great little "quirky" computer with a nice monitor and uses the same logic board as the desktop and minitower.

    For a laptop, I really like my Kanga although I stick to OS 8.6 considering that it's maxed at 160mb of RAM. My 3400c(the Kanga is a 3400c with a G3 stuck in it) is nice to use, although my personal example has a damaged screen. A Wallstreet or PDQ has the "styling" of the later Powerbook G3s, and will give you the same benefits as a beige G3(faster system bus/memory) and can go either to 384mb or 512mb(I forget which) of RAM. The only one to avoid in this series really is the "Mainstreet" G3, which lacks an L2 cache and has a terrible passive matrix screen. If you can get one, a PDQ is a lot better vs. the original Wallstreet.
     
  13. oi!, Apr 17, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016

    oi! Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    #13
    OK, so here's my 2 cent's worth...


    Depends what you mean by best.
    For most powerful, you want an MDD with 167mhz mother board, 1.5Gb ram.
    System 9 doesn't use the second processor, so you need either a single processor 1.25 Ghz, or a 1.0Ghz with the fast bus (there are 1.0Ghz models with a 133mhz mobo out there).
    Upgrade this with a faster processor card, I think the Newer Technology 2.0Ghz is the fastest.
    Add in a SATA card and a SSD drive.
    Convert the PSU to 120mm fan with a mod similar to jbarley's, here...
    Add a PCI extractor fan in the top most slot.
    Fit 2 quiet 60mm fans at the rear of the case (I used Fractal Design Silent Series R3, they take my CPU temperatures down by around 10°C)
    Graphics card, ideally a Gainward Bliss 7800GS (with the G70 chip, NOT the G71) flashed for mac, but these are seriously rare!
    Alternatively, a Platinum Edition ATI X850GT or X800GT.
    A regular X850GT / X800GT or Fire GL X3 would be a fairly good alternative.


    If you want to get down and dirty, you could try stripping the case right down, remove the optical drive shelf, cut out the stamped metal fan finger guard for better air flow.
    If you are really keen, remove the HD cage mount bracket from the underside, try experimenting using 2 (or even 3) SilenX IXP-76-18 120x38mm fans (to actually give the static pressure they pretend they already have) they are nice and quiet, just not as powerful as they claim.


    Edit... Oops, that should have been X850XT or X800XT, not GT.
     
  14. redheeler, Apr 17, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016

    redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #14
    The Power Mac G4 MDD 2003 is a reissue of the 167 MHz bus pre-FireWire 800 original MDD. The logic board and firmware are the same. Not sure what you mean by that.
    The best Mac OS 9 graphics card is the GeForce 4Ti. All those cards are great in Mac OS X Tiger & Leopard, but Mac OS 9 lacks drivers meaning no GPU acceleration. The 4Ti has full support in Mac OS 9, and runs just about any app or game smoothly.
     
  15. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #15
    Oh you're right. They're all identified as PowerMac 3,6. However, I thought this was the only one that could Apple-supported boot into 9 rather than run Classic? Apple at some point "completely disabled" booting into OS 9, but I don't know which Mac that started with.

    But there is a single 1.25 (that pesky 2003 model) that would be ideal under Mac OS 9 and it's from that 2003 model. Unless the application used a special extension for a second processor, any second processor is useless. You can get mileage if you boot into OS X and run the Classic environment, but the second processor is next to useless when you boot OS 9.

    Granted there are processors greater than 1.25 on the G4 front now, but out of the box this is the one you want.
     
  16. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #16
    This may rankle the feelings of a few people here, but I will speak it anyway. Having used OS 8/9 in a work environment and for the first year or so of owning a PowerBook - you didn't miss anything.

    Oh sure, games. Do it for that, you won't be disappointed. But as an operating system, OS9 was about as exciting as OS X 10.3.

    Sorry, just my opinion. I know there are OS9 fanatics here and more power to you but OS 9 and below has just never been a version of Mac OS I've been very fond of.
     
  17. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    #17
    If you don't want a desktop, there's always the option of a PowerBook or iBook. The Pismo G3 is an awesome little machine, and any of the TiBooks would suit you well. A number of the iBook G3s were stinkers in terms of their reliability, and sometimes literal stinkers, but you may have better luck with one.
     
  18. davidg4781 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #18
    I may go for a portable. I have two other PPC sitting in a closet because I don't have room to put them out. I may also wait until I can get more room for the OS 9 machine.
     
  19. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Kiel, Germany
    #19
    Yes, the first generations of the white Dual-USB iBookG3 seem to smell due to some glue or sticky plastic-sheet sitting attached under the keyboard. I bought such a KB (with a quertz-layout meant as a replacement for a qwerty-one). It went to the bin - the smell did really make you feel sick.
     
  20. oi! Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    #20
    i did not know that.
     
  21. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #21
    Unfortunately, when you're "building" a Mac and want to milk all the performance out of it you can, you really have to decide up front whether you want OS 9 or OS X, and then make some of your hardware decisions based on that.

    For OS 9, you want to maximize single core performance of the processor. If it would work in OS 9(I've never tried) the 7448-based Newertech 2.0ghz would be an ideal processor-this has 1mb of full-speed L2 cache. Of course, this is also a great OS X processor, but OS X can really benefit from duals. The single or dual 1.25ghz MDD w/2mb L2 is also great for OS X, and you can also fit a 1.42 from the FW800 MDD to an earlier model and get the speed advantage of that(and also the 2mb L3/processor).

    This really shows in the GPU department, however. The two best OS 9 GPUs are the Geforce 3 and Geforce 4Ti. The 3 is somewhere between a Geforce FX5200 and 6200 in performance, while the 4Ti is roughly on par with the Radeon 9600. Unfortunately, neither of these cards support Core Image, which helps out in OS X Tiger and Leopard tremendously. For Core Image support, you need an FX5200 or better or a Radeon 9600 or better, but no core image card offers hardware acceleration in OS 9.

    I need to get around to flashing my Radeon X850 Sapphire, which supposedly is the fastest PPC video card available. I'm running a dual 2.7 G5 with an OEM X800, but would love to upgrade to the X850 if it weren't for the fact that I love running the ADC CRT off of it :) . Another great combo would be to find one of the dual 1.8 7448s, which I think someone here has in a Cube.
     
  22. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #22
    there corrected that part for you :)
     
  23. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #23
    Personally, I agree with the MDD or OWR macs. I think Erik was the only other person to mention this, but TiBooks make great OS 9 machines. My 1GHz Ti with maxed out RAM and if I put an SSD in would absolutely fly on both OS 9 and OS X. Leopard is a bit of a stretch, but Tiger should run well for a "modern" OS. Albeit you'd have to care for a Ti a lot to keep it happy and running well. OWR machines are becoming frail and brittle, so trying to do an upgrade and not break the plastic on they is difficult. Another good machine for OWR is a Power Macintosh G3 Beige.
     
  24. oi! Suspended

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    #24
    Dang, I'd better correct my post, made the same mistake.

    And there's one in this room!
     
  25. jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #25
    Someone help educate me, what does "OWR machines" refer to?
     

Share This Page