Best Mac to Dual Boot OS 9 and OS 10.5

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by paulwgraber, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. paulwgraber macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2013
    I want to get a Mac that can support Classic OS for my classic games and also support OS 10.5 for some of my OS X games. I would like to have classic on one HD and X on the other. What is the fastest mac I can get that is capable of doing this. I currently have a DP G4 1.8 GHZ and it has been a nightmare doing anything classic including OS 10.4. I realize classic is not supported by my mac so I am going to downgrade so to speak. Please enlighten me. Thanks.
  2. gooser macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2013
    SOME of the 1ghz emac's would support booting into os 10.5 and os 9. you don't need two hard drives to do this. there were a couple of other machines that would do this also, i just can't remember which ones they were.
  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604


    Jul 30, 2003
    Apple never sold a G4 with 1.8 GHz processor, so, you have a PM G4 with an upgrade processor installed? Unless your PowerMac is a MDD model with a FW800 port, then your Mac should be able to boot to OS 9 - unless your third-party processor doesn't support it.
    The fastest Mac that supports BOOTING into OS 9, is the MDD PowerMac G4, which is either a single or dual 1.25 GHz processor. Again, the quickest way to tell, if there's just a FW400 port, but not FW800, that Mac can boot into OS 9. If there's a FW800 port, then no OS 9 - only the classic environment, which is also not supported if you are running Leopard.
    Anyway, the fastest Mac for OS 9 booting is a MDD G4, with stock processor (1.25 GHz), and no FW800 port on the logic board, can boot into OS 9, regardless of the presence of OS X 10.5.
    And, as always, both OS 9 and OS X can be installed on the same hard drive - although the MDD gives you lots of options for multiple drives.
    Don't forget, that whichever hard drive has OS 9 installed, requires a hard drive with OS 9 drivers installed to boot into OS 9.
  4. paulwgraber thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2013
    Sorry it is the Dual 1.4 GHZ I have.


    I also have full install versions of OS 9, 9.2, 10.1, 10.4 and 10.5.
    So I would just install OS 9.2 on one HD and 10.5 on the other. I have 3 250G
    HD's to spare.
  5. ifrit05 macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2013
    Near Detroit, MI. USA
  6. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    As Delta says, the fastest machine that can boot OS 9 is the 1.25 GHz MDD (the one WITHOUT DDR memory.) You can get it in dual CPU, lots of RAM, GeForce 6200 video card.

    Although I really like my first-gen iMac G4, 17". Fast enough for any OS 9 game, nice compact "classic" form factor. Runs Leopard just fine. (Since it's "only" 800 MHz, it does need the OpenFirmware trick or LeopardAssist to install, but Leopard runs just fine once it's installed.)

    You could also do an upgraded Cube. I mean, if you're going to go for "Mac OS 9 chic", you might as well pick something with style. :-D
  7. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Doesn't the MDD have trouble with the GeForce 6200?
  8. Bob Kiwi macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2010
    I had a MDD Dual 1.25GHz, and even had the Sonnet upgrade processor to dual 1.8GHz running Mac OS 9 (that'd be the fast Mac OS 9 native machine, once upgraded). I think I have a GeForce 3 as the best Mac OS 9 graphics card? I'd have to check.

    The machine was extremely unstable, I think my upgrade card was bad. I ended up just using the 1.25GHz processor. Still super fast, but then the PSU went bad, as MDDs are known to do. It was loud, as MDDs are known for too.

    In the end, while I still have the MDD that doesn't work, my go-to dual boot machine Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X 10.5 is a PowerBook Titanium G4 1GHz, the 3,5 model from late 2002.

    I threw an SSD in there, took the battery out and run headless. It's super quiet, super small, and still super fast for Mac OS 9 stuff. I think Mac OS X 10.4 would run better than 10.5 on it, but that's about it. The SSD really helps out.

    I think for the space, I'd rather have a top of the line Mac OS 9 laptop and Mac OS X PPC laptop than one big machine. Getting a last generation PowerBook is next for me, then the Titanium can run Mac OS 9 all the time. Even having a KVM and the like it will still take up less space than a single desktop.

    I have the top of the line G5 to serve as the best Mac OS X PPC machine, running Classic in Mac OS X 10.4 is pretty neat. But I think splitting the roles to two machines is best.
  9. gooser macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2013
    bob, that's pretty similar to what i've done. i have a 600mhz g3 imac running os 9 sitting next to a 1.25ghz imac running os x. i have a usb switch so that i can just push a button to share a keyboard and mouse between the two. works for me.
  10. jrsx macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2013
    Tacoma, Washington
    I've heard they have fans that sound like a biplane.:eek:
  11. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
  12. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    The 6200 caused problems with mine. However, as with any part your mileage may vary.
  13. Swampus macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2013
    All MDDs use DDR memory. The only difference was PC2100 on the lower end (133MHz boards) and PC 2700 on the higher end (166MHz boards). But the memory type had no bearing on their ability to boot OS9. The ones with FW800 cannot boot OS 9 (but can still run it in Classic Mode). That's pretty much all that you need to know.

    I don't know if we can really expect mileage to vary in a part that is known to be incompatible. Intell is correct. Best to avoid GF6200 in MDD altogether.

    OP, one attractive option might be to look for another MDD? You'd need one without the FW800 port to boot OS9. I'd try to get one with the faster 166MHz bus. Then, nearly everything would be interchangeable between the two (can be really handy when it comes to troubleshooting). Everything except the Airport card and logic board itself would be interchangeable with the other system.

    I should note that I have a really strong bias fondness for these G4 towers. I have an 8 core Mac Pro and an 4 core MBP, but a Sawtooth and two MDDs are still part of my daily computing. Not as a hobby, they're a meaningful part of my workflow. They're solid dependable machines.
  14. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    The fastest Apple-supported card for the "MDD 2003" was the 4600. I upgraded mine to a Radeon 9800 but I wouldn't suggest that in this case because then you'll only get acceleration in OS X.

    I regret selling that machine :(
  15. Dimitris1980 macrumors newbie


    Jun 21, 2008
    Athens Greece
    I have an Imac G3 at 500 Mhz (2001 model indigo) that runs mac os 9.2 really fast. So i believe that every other mac that can boot from mac os 9 and is faster that the imac g3 will be a dream for this os. I have also a pm mdd 2003 the model with the single processor at 1.25ghz. I used it only few days (Mac Os 9.2 was so speedy and also mac os tiger seemed fast to me) but recently i got it from the basement in order to work again with it. I have to wait for my order (one 300 gb hard drive with os 9.2 and tiger installed in one partition and leopard on another, one gforce4 Ti 4600 video card and one airport card) to test the machine. I don't have the experience yet but i think that it would be great to play mac os 9 games on this machine. I would like also to buy a sonnet upgrade but until now i find it very expensive but i can also say that i am worried because Bob Kiwi said that his computer was unstable with the sonnet.
  16. bmehilos macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2007
    I had a similar setup on a Rev. A iMac G4. Hardest part was tracking down the ROMs but it had no problem running both from the same HDD.

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