Best O/S for iMac G3 Snow

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Legacy, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. Legacy macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2005
    Hey guys. delved into a retro snow mac which currently runs Panther, albeit sluggishly IMO. (Maybe thats cos I'm used to the MacBook :) )

    It has the following specs:

    G3 600MHz Processor
    512MB RAM
    20GB HDD
    Firewire, Ethernet, Modem

    Would it be worth putting OS X Tiger on this machine? Would it essentially make the machine run slower or faster? I am currently confused with the different arguments as to how each iteration of OS X feels snappier - even on old hardware with the argument that as a more demanding OS is loaded, it taxes the hardware more.

    What do you guys think is the best O/S. Should I just stick with OS 10.3.9 or is Tiger the way to go?

  2. T-Stex macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2006
    From what I understand, Tiger does use the hardware more than Panther did, so you'd probably feel like Tiger is in fact slower. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure about that.

    If you're feeling adventurous, and aren't set on using OS X in some form, you could try a Linux distrobution, such as Ubuntu, which typically does not need as much processing power/memory as OS X.
  3. Lixivial macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2005
    Between cats, dogs and wanderlust.
    It's not so much that each iteration of OS X is more demanding as much as the fact that each version of OS X has optimized OS X's performance from the previous release. Think 10.1 to 10.2 with Quartz Extreme for an example. Quartz Extreme handed off window-compositing to the GPU, when in prior releases it had been handled by the CPU. Things such as these, plus the addition/integration of the Core Frameworks, are the reason for these claims.

    I run Tiger on a 500MHz G3 snow (this is retro?! that's crazy talk) with similar specs and I don't feel that it's "sluggish." The only difference in my hardware and yours is that I have a 7200rpm 120 gigabyte hard drive in there. I run iTunes 6 and Safari just fine. The only problem I've ever encountered with it is using Flash video. It was my main computer from the time I purchased it in 2001 to the time I purchased my MacBook in May of this year.

    What are you looking to use the machine for? General web/music surfing/word processing? I would say Panther is more than fine for that, it's probably not worth it to buy a version of Tiger to put on it. My iMac currently serves as a file, music and dev server -- though it also handles "emergency computing needs," should I need it.
  4. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tiger would be good, it runs just fine on my 350 so I'm sure it'll be fine on your 600.

    Forget about Linux (Ubuntu) unless you want to be not compatible with anything, and lots of headaches.

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